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19 April 2012

Epson 3880 and Panorama Prints

The Epson Photo Stylus 3880 printer produces excellent results up to A2.  One of its major shortfalls is that it does not have a paper roll option as available on Epson's older R800 A4 printer.  I wanted print a Photoshop-stitched panorama using a 10m roll of Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper and had an interesting afternoon of tries, failures, internet searching and success.

My research revealed that the standard Epson driver (for Apple Mac OS-X 10.7) will only print lengths up to 940mm (37").  However, it is important that you cut the roll into 940mm to 1m lengths.  This is because on completing the print, the printer tries to eject all remaining paper - that can means up to 10m of it.   With this methods I was able to print panoramas of dimensions 210 x 940mm.

One problem to watch is the 3880's tendency to smear the last 20-30mm (1") of the paper as it curls up on exit from the print head.  The way to overcome this is to cut a slightly longer length (ie. 1m); use a roller cutter to get a good square cut to ensure that it feeds correctly.

There are other drivers, called RIPs, that are reported to be able to print longer panoramas but these are expensive.  However, you will find the above technique a useful and inexpensive solution to printing reasonable sized panoramas.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the info you posted here!!! I recently received the Epson 3880 and have really been pleased with it. I have had really good success with "canvas" which I basically started with first and the reason I went with this printer. Of course I have to cut my own sheets which hasn't seemed to be much of a problem. I've used my wife's "quilting" rotary cutter along with a quilting ruler that's clear and about 8" wide x 36 inches long. I have had to add a sheet of paper, actually one half of a file folder manila divider type taped to the leading edge of it for it to take but so far about 12, 17" sheets and really look great.

    I just purchased a roll of the Epson Luster and am trying to figure out how best to use it. I guess I can cut it to desired sizes and just choose them during set-up? From what I've read, it sounds like you have done this? I'm a bit confused about the set-up portion though...if my photoshop image size is 16x20 and I want to print an 8x10 do I have to re-size it in photoshop to 8x10 or can I just cut my paper to 8x10 and use the "paper settings" in the print set-up and choose 8x10? Do you think this should work, or is there anything I should know about here? I choose the 8x10 photo setting but don't see it change on the main "front" print screen under "scaled print size". Do I have to manually put in my desired final output size here also? Thanks so much for any help and info you can give me. It means so much and I'm trying not to waste a lot of paper or of course ink;) have a great day, Ben Tebbens of Lincoln, Delaware. bentebbens@comcast.net

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  2. Hi Ben, thank you for your comments and sorry for the delay replying.

    For you roll of Epson Luster you need to cut it into lengths no more than 1000mm to use if with the 3880. The max length you can print is 940mm and the last 60mm is for safety to avoid any smearing.

    If you want to print out a 16x20 at 8x10 you can simply enter the 8x10 paper size in the print driver and check size to fit box. The driver will do a reasonable job of scaling the print by half. However, you would be better to resize the image inside Photoshop before printing.

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