Paper Feed Adjustment to the max but still some dark bands

Hi Walker and others,

I have been using my remapped 9900 printer lately to print negs on Pictorico Ultra Premium (roll), and banding appears, as dark thin lines that are visible in homogeneous areas. All nozzles are printing clear, this has been checked several times attentively.

Based on my experience, this was mainly due to paper feed adjustment, and in fact, by changing the paper feed adjustment values the banding was “morphing” and getting lower as I increased the values. In order to calculate the correction value, I have printed the chart with distances provided on this link. This file, that I have modified to just print the lateral strips on Pictorico, basically prints a 280 mm calibrated distance and allows one to measure whether the distance is respected by the printer, and if not, calculate the adjustment value by using their chart. After many tests, I realized that the maximum positive correction possible of Paper Feed Adjustment alleviated the dark banding, but not totally. When printing from Pictorico in roll (17 inches) and Custom paper set to 0.1 mm thickness, narrow platen gap, Photo Gloss 170 paper, Suction -1, I had to go as far as Paper Feed Adjustment to +0.7% (the maximum value allowed for Custom paper) and STILL I got at around 279.5 mm instead of 280 mm. I must mention that I had also activated the Paper Feed Adjustment from the Epson LFP Remote Panel 2, where I set up the Paper Feed Adjustment correction to +25 for Photo Gloss 170 paper in roll and with 2400 dpi. I do not know whether these two corrections add (the one set up for custom paper and the one set up from the LFP Remote panel). Long story short, it seems that my 9900, at least when using Pictorico in roll, demands what seems to me an extraordinarily high Paper Feed Adjustment value, and even at the maximum amount of possible adjustments I still get very slight banding…Is this normal? What could be the cause for this? Any way to correct this?

Thanks in advance and very warm regards,

Rafael

hmm. This can possibly be corrected with a paper feed motor adjustment using Maintenance Mode. This is where you print at a meter of material (with a tic mark at both ends) and measure to make sure it’s a full meter. It’s all in the maintenance service manual for the printer available at epson wide format at groups.io

best,
Walker

Hi Walker,

Good advice. I have the service plan and will check that.
One question: As I explained on my post, I saw one can adjust the Paper Feed Adjustment for a Custom paper (in driver, or in printer, to values between -0,7 and +0,7) AND also from the LFP Remote Panel for a given Paper type (and resolution and roll or sheet). DO THESE ADJUSTMENTS ADD or one of them overrides the other? Should we normally just need to tweak the one affecting our Custom paper on the printer itself?

Thanks again and I hope you are well,

Rafael

Always do it on the printer itself. This over-rides.

-Walker

I have read the Service Manual… they recommend making this adjustment by using Epson Glossy Photo Paper 250 paper. Would it be correct to perform the Service adjustment by using Pictorico paper (which is thinner I think) or should I use a glossy thicker photo paper?

I am just trying to make sure I will not induce the printer into more error if I perform this setting with “any” kind of paper…and if Pictorico would not be the right one to use.

Thanks Walker for the help. This will be my task tomorrow morning after a whole day spent in frustration!
Ahhh… printers.

rafael

Actually I think using the Pictorico is best

-Walker

So that I understand this, when you adjust the paper feed from Service mode, does that set up the Zero Default Paper Feed Adjustment value that we can then adjust and tailor made on the printer for custom papers? In other words, would it be correct to assume that if I set up the Paper Adjustment Feed on the Service mode for pictorico paper, then I should introduce 0% for Paper Adjusment Feed when creating a custom paper for Pictorico on the printer?

Thanks again Walker,

rafael

Hi Walker and others.
For what this might help other readers, I performed the Paper Feed Correction from Service mode as Walker adviced, and indeed the values were quite off… I got 985,50 mm instead of the standard value of 990,60 ± 0,35 mm. I performed the correction, reprinted, and got spot on the standard value.

Now, the final question: I performed the test in Service mode by using Pictorico paper (I just print digital negs with this 9900 printer), where the Epson manual tells to use Epson Photo Gloss 250 paper. Now in production mode, and with the custom paper created for Pictorico, does that mean I need to use the Paper Feed Adjustment value that the machine applies by default for Epson Photo Gloss 250 paper? Or should I use 0% since the calibration made in Service Mode sets actually the Zero value?

Thanks in advance. I hope this will be the end of that banding!

Rafael

FYI…According to the Field Service Guide, the final “actually used” Media Feed Step in the Epson 7900/9900 is calculated as follows:

PAPER FEED ADJUSTMENT (990.6mm service adjustment) (this is the “base” calibration for the paper feed mechanism)
+
MEDIA FEED TABLES (media feed offset as defined in each Epson media type)
+
LFP REMOTE PANEL 2 MEDIA FEED ADJUSTMENT (writes the offset value to the printer modifying the Media Feed Table value for the specified media)
+
CUSTOM PAPER FEED ADJUSTMENT (Control Panel)
or
PAPER CONFIG FEED ADJUSTMENT (in the Driver)

=

MEDIA FEED STEP

Perhaps this will help answer some of your questions. The key thing is to understand that it’s important to start with an accurate Paper Feed Adjustment (990.6mm service adjustment) since all the other adjustments are offsets (adding or subtracting) on top of that. If you use the printer for doing paper prints as well as negatives, I would use the recommended paper for the initial 990.6mm adjustment. Then you can tweak for the Pictorico using the Paper Feed Adjustment in the printer Control Panel.

FWIW

Thanks so much for the clarification!
Whereabouts in the field service guide did you find this information? I missed that!
Regards,

rafael

p. 422, Field Repair Guide

i’m in the process of verifying this on a new printer. I will let you all know if I find out more too.

it’s been a while since I did this (about 4 yrs)

best.
Walker

I’d like to note here that I just went through this on an old 9900 at CEP for film printing. It was printing too short with the light-weight OHP film and +70 feed adjustment was unable to get it to not micro-band just like Rafael.

I did three iterative adjustments (three “1 meter” print-outs) and got it perfect.

Now with a paper feed adjustment of zero +/- there is no grain and no micro banding. I’m beginning to think it is required for the pro 9900 and SC-P9000 printers. . . .

-Walker

Just curious . . . Were the three iterative 1-meter adjustments done with paper or with a roll of of the OHP? (Does it even come in a roll?) If paper, which paper?

Thanks.

EDIT: Ok, just checked and I see that the OHP does come in rolls. Anyway, I’m still interested in whether you calibrated with the OHP or paper.

yes, with the film. It was a 1meter test so yes, roll film. I think this is the best way to do it if the printer is dedicated to film printing.

best regards,
Walker

Thanks Walker for testing this. Yes, my experience has been the same. I got it good after the first iteration. The micro-banding related to my feed adjustment went away. However, I also realized I had ink starvation due to the dampers, since in order to make the micro-banding disappear totally I had to use a drying time of 6 seconds!

I also think that these 9900 machines are very sensitive to the feed adjustment speed when it comes to digital negatives. My Epson 9880 has not been that picky!

I hope this will help other users around.

Cheers,

rafael