After more than a month and almost 100 A3+ nature and landscape prints (border and borderless) and a few A2, only one ink catridge got empty yesterday (light black). The others are still from 25% to 50%. And they are the first set, where about 20% got wasted on the initial setup. Pretty frugal.
Still no technical problems except some head scratches on the last border on heavy paper (Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308). No problems with the first border, but if the last one is just a bit curled, the head touches it unless the platen gap is set to wider.
I just quit trying to use EPSON Archival Matte. No good results on blacks or dark tones. EPSON Watercolor Radiant White gives gorgeus results, and this is becoming my main paper for this printer. Really, really good.
A nighmare with settings and print quality with Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, and I still got better results with WCRW than with HM. To the best of my knowledge, this is due to the icc profiles for the paper. I've tried with a lot of settings.
With the HM profile (HFA3800PhotoRagMK), if you set the media type as Velvet Fine Art Paper (VFAP) and 1440 dpi, then the results are really bad. Some colors are pasted and resolution are bad. With the same setings, if you increase the dpi to 2880, then things improve a lot, but still not really good. With the HM profile you must set media type to WCRW. Then the quality is good at any dpi. But only good. Especially in flat or very even colors (such as fog or cloudy skyes), the ink droplets can be appreciated to the naked eye. I tried with 1440, 2880, and high and low velocity (HV, LV). Slightly better with 2880 and LV, but not for fireworks. VFAP setting doesn't work wit the HM canned profile.
This do not happen if you use EPSON WCRW paper (with the EPSON canned profile). With this paper it is impossible to see the droplets with the naked eye (even at 1440 HV) and hardly with a 4x magnifying glass. I'm still very impressed with the results of WCRW.
I tested Hahnemuhle Photo Rag with the Booksmartstudio free profile, with slightly better results than with the HM. Also tested with the DTG profile. The DTG profile gives me better results than the HM and the Booksmartstudio, and it is now my default profile for the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag.
Also I detected difference between 1440 HV and 2880 HV and LV (didn't test 1440 LV). I can appreciate increase in quality from 1440 HV to 2880 LV. If you are not in a hurry, it is worth use 2880 LV.
I also compared 3800 results with the EPSON 2100 I still have opperative. Whatever the profile and setting combination I have used for the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag in the 3800, results from the 2100 is always better than from 3800. ALWAYS.
This is not the case with the EPSON WCRW which you cannot distinguish results form 2100 and 3800, apart from that 3800 is faster and cheaper.
I also checked rendering intent, and differences from Perceptual No BPC and Relative Colorimetric BPC are, in most of the cases, just a question of taste. I tend to use Perceptual No BPC.
In general I'm a bit disappointed with the 3800 in the sense that I expected better results from using an expensive top of the line paper, and got the best results from a cheap and considered as low profile paper. And not a noticeable increase in quality from the old 2100. I never expected to se the droplets with the naked eye in the HM paper. And I'm sure it is not a printer fault because WCRW and even Archival Matte (with all of they problems) are perfectly OK.
I'm going to order some other more upscale EPSON papers to find a replacement for the HM paper, wich I have not been able to make it work with the 3800, and I do not want to devote to it any more time or money. At least until HM releases better profiles. I refuse to buy third party profiles for a paper. If HM wants me to keep using their paper, better provides usable profiles for the 3800.
Of course I'm using last versiůn of profiles, printer firmware, color managed by PS CS2, and so.