(and the Whole Story)

All notes are in chronological order, to read the latest notes, page down to the end. To understand the whole story and the problem itself, I strongly recommend you read through the entire sequence the first time you review these notes.



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First,let's set the table..

EPSONAmerica  recently introduced it’s new generationof Photo Quality printers, the 870 and 1270 (add the 875DC for digitalCameras).. Initial response to this product was overwhelmingly positive. One could look at the prints, particularly on the Premium Glossy PhotoPaper, and simply be amazed.  For all the world, they were nearlyindistinguishable from traditional photo prints!

And EPSON advertised the prints as "lasting as long as traditional photo prints"!

To quote EPSON on the 870 (as of 18 July)
 

       "STUNNING 6-COLOR 
       MEMORIES THAT WON'T 
     FADE AWAY.

      Here today. Here tomorrow. Print your photos with 
       the EPSON Stylus Photo 870 ink jet printer and 
       they'll be beautiful and fade-resistant for years to 
       come-as long lasting, in fact, as traditional color 
       photo lab prints.* We're talking about bright and 
       colorful pictures boasting 1440 x 720 dots per inch 
       of Photo Quality. Shots so stunning you'll definitely 
        want them to last. "

and

       "Whether you're a Windows® or Macintosh® user, 
       you can print, edit, re-size and share stunning 
       photos for years to come with your EPSON Stylus 
       Photo 870 ink jet printer. " 
 

or onthe 1270 page (as of 18 July):

       "THE CHOICE FOR 
       PROFESSIONAL 
       PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO 
       WANT TO LEAVE A LASTING
      IMPRESSION.

       Whether you're a professional photographer or a 
       talented amateur, you want your best photo prints 
       to last. That's precisely the thinking behind the 
       EPSON Stylus Photo 1270, the fast and friendly 
       ink jet printer that brings you true, lightfast and 
       water-resistant Photo Quality printing. 

       With the EPSON Stylus Photo 1270, your best
      shots will beam in brilliant, 6-color Photo
       Reproduction Quality on fade-resistant media 
      rivaling anything you've seen on standard color 
       photo lab prints. You'll be in control as you 
       conveniently print out everything from portfolios 
       and soft proofs to panoramics and exhibition 
       prints."

and

       "Best of all, your efforts will last and last. The 
       EPSON Stylus Photo 1270 blends 6-color Photo 
       Inks with EPSON Premium Glossy Photo Paper 
       and EPSON Matte Paper - Heavyweight. So, for 
       years to come your gallery prints, composites, 
        reprints and enlargements will look as good as the 
       day they were created."
 

Even the printer descriptions on EPSON USA's inkjet printer listing page trumpeted the archival qualities of these printers.

EPSONUSA's Inkjet Printer Listing Page (as of 18 July)
 
 





It seemed the promised Shangri-La of photo-quality printing from a consumer/SOHO product had been attained.  Finally, all those Photographers and Hobbyists who wanted an in-house option for production of  prints had an affordable option. 

In fact, the productscarry the endorsement of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) (a nationally known professional organization favored by many Portrait and Commercial photographers), as "an effectivetool for creative professional imaging."  What more could one reasonablyask for? 

I was, and still am,  using my inexorably slow ALPS dye-sub printers to produce photographic quality output. But this limited me to: 8" x 10" output, a single choiceof media for said output (when there are a veritable plethora of mediaavailable for inkjets), and the fact that ALPS had ceased branding printersin the US market.  Of course I wanted something that would produceoutput rivalling the quality of my ALPS in dye-sub mode. So, I checked Nai-ChiLee's Sample Images comparing EPSON inkjet output to ALPS MD 500 dye-sub output.

It looked like the1270 would be the answer to my quest!
 
 


 
 
 
 

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May2000





I wanted to purchase a 1270 immediately.  I mean, to produce lasting photo quality imagery in-house, at sizes up to 13" x 19", is a great option, no?  But, knowing the reality of technology, and the dangers of being a "first-adopter,"I chose to wait.  By Mid-May, reportswere surfacing, particularly, on the EPSON ink-jet mailing list, that some owners had prints that were turning orange in as little as 24 hours..  Whoa!  But, EPSON was promising 10 years of archivalness based upon the testing of WilhelmResearch.

Unfortunately, likeShangri-La, EPSON's  promises were a phantom, a mirage in the desert.

"Ok," many on thelist said, "maybe it’s a bad batch of paper or inks."  So, the peoplereporting the problems tried new batches of paper and new inks, with the results being consistent.  In the interim, these individuals had contacted EPSON and gotten initial feedback indicating EPSON believed it might simplybe a bad batch of paper also. 
 
 

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June2000





Fast forward to June 2000.  Reports have by this time come in to EPSON from England, the US, and Japan of the same problem.  It seems that the light-cyan dye is fading on prints in some locations and this fading is prompting a shift towards orange in the prints.

At the same time I travel to PC Expo in New York City. At the Expo, I ask three EPSON reps about the "orange shift/fade issue." EPSON rep #1 says "It'll never happen to you. Never heard of it, these glossy prints will last 12 years!"

EPSON's onsite person in charge David Decker said  "Don't know anything about it have not heard a thing.. Why don't you ask my engineer over there?"  Now, keep in mind, EPSON already had at least one-month's worth of notices of this problem.

So, I asked EPSON's on-site engineer Michael Morro about the problem.  He says he has not heard of it either.  At the very least one would expect that if EPSON was serious at that point about exploring the problem and solving it, their front-line engineering staff would have been made aware of the issue and asked to watch for it.  Instead, they were still, apparently, playing it close to the vest. 
 
 







About the same time,an EPSON staffer tells a list member that they believe the problem may be caused by high ozone levels. Several list members begin to try to produce the problem artificially through the creation of high-ozone environments in which they place sample prints.

Results are unpredictable.  Some list members are able to reliably induce the shift in high ozone environments, while others can't seem to induce it.
 
 




Again, about thesame time, on June 18th, EPSON adds a new small disclaimer to the webpages advertising the 870 and 1270 printers, said disclaimer only being apparent if one clicks on a link referencing EPSON's claims of lightfastness. Specificallyat the bottom of the adtype is the following:

      "For more information on Epson's lightfastness paper, clickhere."
 

 That caveat states in part  that

      "We have received a few inquiries regarding an orange 
      color  shift  on our  Premium  Glossy Photo Paper. 
      This color shift is due to the exposure of  the 
      unprotected print  to some atmospheric contaminants, 
      specifically high concentrations of ozone. This shift is
      not caused by exposure to light. 

      As stated above, Epson recommends that the prints be 
      placed in a glass frame, stored in a photo album, 
      or inserted in a protective sleeve after printing. 
      If you are  experiencing this kind of color 
      shift and for some reason cannot protect the print, Epson 
      Matte Paper-Heavy weight and Epson's Photo Paper offer 
      much more resistance to these atmospheric contaminants." 
 

So, which is it,prints that last as long as traditional prints or prints that fade in a few days?

It seems EPSON wants to have it both ways.

But you see, thetwo are inherently contradictory..

And, although EPSONhere tries to differentiate between "lightfastness" and the lifetime ofa print, allow me to quote from a MacWorld articleannouncing Epson's unveiling of the "long-lasting" inks used in the 870/1270/875DC:
 

   "Inksfor the Ages

     Epson (800/ 873-7766, http://www.epson.com) thinks it 
     has a solution in the form of longer-lasting inks-- 
     and studies from Wilhelm Imaging Research,
     which has a strategic partnership with the company, 
     suggest that Epson may be on the right track. 

     The research firm, which tested the new inks for 
     Epson's Stylus Photo 870, 875DC, and 1270 
     printers, estimates that images produced with 
     the inks can last from 6 to 26 years, depending on 
     the paper used. Conventional "heirloom" 
     photographs last longer, but the Epson prints were 
     acceptable for consumer use and held up well 
     compared with snapshots on traditional film. 
     The 870, 875DC, and 1270 printers cost
    $299, $399, and $499, respectively. "
 

Now, if one of theleading industry publications conflates/confuses light-fastness and print life, how do we expect the average consumer to parse that difference?

And, "What" might one ask is the nature of this "strategic partnership" the article mentions?  Does this relationship, perhaps, potentially limit Wilhelm's objectivity? Is there an inherent conflict of interest here? 

Then, might one also ask, "who normally puts all the snapshots they print out behind glass, or in a protective sleeve?"  It turns out that some individuals have reported that prints stored in paper envelopes (a typical way to store one's minilab prints without finding them rapidly fading or color shifting) still exhibit the orange-shift. 
 
 




Lastly, as a professional photographer located in the New York City Area, I can relatively easily get archival sleeves for 4"x6" Prints (B&H Photo is my preferred source,link below). But, 8 1/2" x 11" sleeves are significantly less common (it's not a standard traditional photo paper size, and as many photographers know, standard document protection sleeves may, over time, degrade a photographic print - one needs archival sleeve materials) and where can I find 13" x 19" sleeves?  If EPSON knows this is an issue and there is no ready source for such sleeves, shouldn't EPSON be selling them along with all its paper offerings? 
 
 





Some members of theEpson Inkjet list who own the 870 or 1270 are by Mid-June beginning to get, to say the least, a bit restive. 

At this point EPSON is suggesting that owners of the two printers "Dark Cure" their prints on Premium Glossy Photo Paper.  (I.e. - after printing, place the print in a dark location for 24 hours)

It is suggested by some, including myself, that the 870 and 1270 printers have failed to meet the Manufacturer's Warranty of Fitness for Particular Use Intended, a basiccomponent of the Uniform Commercial Code, which serves as the basic model for Consumer, Retail, and Trade Law  in the United States. Given that,I and others suggested that owners of the 1270 and/or 870 may want to pursue legal action against EPSON. I also decided, at that point, to directly inform PPA officers of the product's failure to satisfy its broad claims. 
 
 





Soon, EPSON is quietly offering to buyback 870 and 1270 printers and even expended consumables from aggrieved parties.  BUT, the claims on EPSON's website, and theclaims made in advertising by both EPSON and its resellers regarding the long-lasting nature of its prints continue in the same form.  If the claims are valid, why are they buying back these items?  Some wonder aloud whether EPSON is doing it as a palliative to simply quiet the most vocal critics. 

About this time (still mid-June 2000) EPSON reps are providing contradictory information on which papers incorporate a barrier layer above the ink.  Initially we are told that the Premium Glossy Photo Paper has a barrier layer, later it is only the Heavy-Weight Matte paper that incorporates this layer. And EPSON would have us believe that the product was properly tested before introduction, but that their own tech people don't know the composition of differing papers? 
 
 





Well, people tried the "Dark Curing" option.  For some it helps, for others it is not a solution, and prints still fade.  Besides, now, instead of having a printer that does prints in 5 minutes, you now have a printer that does prints in 24 hours?  And EPSON is "serious" about this "solution?"
 
 





Soon it becomes apparent that not only is "Dark Curing" not a blanket solution to the issue of orange-shifting, but that prints made in one location which end up in one of the "negative environments" may exhibit the "orange shift."
 
 









Worse still is the potential consequences of this when combined with the knowledge that prints may fade in less than 24 hours.  If I were to make a print in a "safe" location, and mail or otherwise ship it to a second location that I know is also a "safe" location, I should be able to expect the print to survive without any fading. Unfortunately this little habit of the prints shifting in under 24 hours means that may not, in fact, be the case.  Imagine that my print is carried in a truck, aircraft, or ship that has an internal atmosphere that would qualify as "negative," much less the possibility of it ending up in a Post Office or Shipping Office with a "negative" environment. My unsuspecting colleague at the receiving end of my shipment could easily receive an orange-shifted print.  What would he/she think of me? 

So, am I now expected to hermetically seal any packages or correspondence  which will be bearing with it one of my lovely prints?  The sheer ludicrousness of this becomes rapidly apparent.  What kind of traditional photoprints need this kind of handling for basic survival?  Without knowing the potential outcome, EPSON expects 1270/870/875DC owners sending even 4" x 6" prints to relatives to do this?

If I use an 870/1270/875DC to print my Holiday Greeting Cards I now must put each card in a protective sleeve?  Those are going to look rather strange indeed on Granny's mantlepiece...   Let alone imagining including a note  to theeffect of "please keep this greeting card inside the plastic sleeve to prevent your loved ones from turning orange,"  when I send Granny my card.. (and the average relative is likely to heed and adhere to that warning -- sure...)

I shudder to even think of pursuing using an 870/1270/875DC under the current conditions to print "Comp" or "ZED" cards; the inclusion of proper instructions forhandling, alone, would engender a serious note of unprofessionalism in any serious-minded recipient. 
 
 




To return to thestory-in-chief though, about mid-June list members begin testing ( Nai-ChiLee's Tests) of varying paper and ink combinations in high ozone "torture environments" hoping to find a usable paper and to also help EPSON finda solution. 

The fact that the orange-shift cannot be automatically or reliably  induced through simple light and high-ozone combinations remains a topic of discussion.  EPSON and others conjecture that it may be ozone, and light, combined with NOx, SOx, or other free radicals in the environment that is inducing thefading in the light-cyan dyes.

EPSON at this point,is reportedly unsure of whether they will find a solution to the orange-shift problem.

EPSON recommends, therefore, that 870/1270/875DC owners use one of the other EPSON paperoptions.

However, as testing continues of EPSON prints made by the 870/1270/875DC on various EPSON papers, it becomes clear that each and every available paper option tested exhibits orange-shifting to a greater or lesser degree. 
 
 





To add insult toinjury, when EPSON Customer Service was reportedly contacted by an EPSON Inkjet list member on or about 24 July 2000, they were told by a female EPSON Customer Service staffer, that the orange-shift issue was one of paper, not the printer or inks, and therefore EPSON would not buyback the printer but would replace the paper with suitable paper (that list memberwas able to eventually ensure a buyback by contacting a specific individual at EPSON - an option he would have not been able to avail himself of hadhe not had the knowledge conveyed by listmembers). But, if it is a paper problem, why has every EPSON paper tested by listmembers, whom are able to reliably induce the fading of the light cyan dyes, shown the orange shift phenomenon to a greater or lesser degree? 
 

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JULY2000





By July, the testing of Liz Glasgow, Bob Meyer, and Bob Marcy seems to indicate  that the Epson paper which exhibits the slowest orange shift is the HeavyWeight Matte paper.  This is possibly the result of a design which prevents the ink deposited upon this media from later coming in contact with free radicals. On Epson's Glossy Papers, however,  the ink is received on a micropore layer, and prevented from contacting the base by a barrier layer.  Unfortunately the same micropores on the receiving layer that allow the inks to dry almost immediately upon deposition, later allow ambient air constituents to reach the inks and attack them directly.

Unfortunately, the HWM paper is susceptible to UV damage and yellowing. In point of fact EPSON HAS advised against using this paper in direct sunlight since its intorduction in 1999.

This also may explain EPSON initially recommending "dark curing" as a solution.  It mayhave been believed that if the inks were fully dried, in each micropore that only the very surface layers of the dyes would be attacked.. Unfortunately, that seems not to be the case. The reciever layer may break down under the influence of UV and Ozone (or other conataminants), allowing all ormost of the cyan dyes to be rached by whatever components are causing the fading. 
 
 





To EPSON's credit, as of MacWorld EXPO, which ran at New York City's Javits Center  through 20 July, they had on-site staff ready to openly discuss, and gather information, on the orange-shift issue at their booth.  Unfortunately, I could not make my planned trek to MacWorld, and missed the opportunity to personally meet with said staff.  If sheer dedication and responsiveness could resolve this issue, EPSON  would probably have had it licked long ago. 
 
 





As of 27 July, the UK copy of PC Magazine was publishing a letter under the title "EPSON INKJETGETS THE BLUES," on page 22 of their September edition, from an EPSON Inkjet list member referencing the issue and a response from Epson's UK product manager for the product.  Unfortunately, EPSON's public response thereis to continue denying any knowledge of a colorfastness issue with the printers in question. This statement by EPSON contradicts their own admissions of colorfastness issues - including the small caveat they themselves added to their websites on 18 June. 
 
 






There is some openconjecture that the 1270 was rushed to market, as quoted from the respected LuminousLandscape website:

"Was the 1270 Rushed? 

      When the 2000P was announced so soon after the 1270 many 
      observers seemed to think that the 2000P had somehow been 
      rushed to market. That is not the case. In fact, I'm told that
      if anything it was the 1270 that was rushed.

      The 2000P, 7500 and 9500 along with their archival inks 
      and papers have been the result of a long-term 
      development effort at Epson. They were scheduled for 
      introduction this year.

      It seems though that Epson brought out the 870/1270 models 
      sooner than  anticipated because of a concern that one 
      or more  manufacturers were going to be  bringing out 
      competitive products in this segment. It could be that 
      the problems that Epson has had with orange coloured 
      fading on some of its 1270 print materials could be 
      the result of this rush.  This is just speculation on my 
      part though." 
   Copyright© 1993 - 2000 by Michael H. Reichmann
 
 





By late July it is clear that the basic problem is one related to the Cyan dye component formulation in the 1270/870/875DC inks... Of course, EPSON's decision to go with Ink cartridges incorporating a microchip, currently wholly prevents consumers from turning to another ink source, as they might do with other EPSON printers.  EPSON has effectively locked 870/1270 consumers into a flawed ink withthe inclusion of the microchip.. 

There are reports that at least one ink manufacturer is pursuing a workaround to the microchip obstacle.. (Perhaps they see a ready market for an ink exhibit the dsappearing cyan dye trick, under some atmospheric conditions?)  One wonders whether it would have been worth the expense of pursuing such a workaround if the inks were not flawed? In effect, through the use of a flawed cyan dye, EPSON has now also pushed 3rd party ink suppliers into a position wherethe workaround is fiscally attractive..  If one becomes possible,the microchip becomes simply a complete waste of money by EPSON.. It was meant to limit third party ink sales; instead a flawed ink effectivelyensured the development of that secondary market, and the evisceration of any value the chip design may have provided to EPSON..  " Can you say Albatross ?"
 
 







As of 31 July, EPSON significantly Changed the adcopy for its 870 and 1270 printers..

See first the current EPSON USA 1270 page..

The adcopy now isquite clear and explicit...

As is the adcopy on the current EPSON USA 870 page...

You can also accessEPSON USA's current lightfastness page here.
 

I think everyone will (well, maybe?) agree that had that been the original adcopy there would be no real argument about people being misled. However, as I have said hitherto, I do not believe EPSON had ANY foreknowledge of the problems with CYAN dyes on their new glossy papers..

There are however significant questions remaining as to whether a sufficient portion of EPSON's current 1270/870/875DC consumer base are aware of the problem with the product they now own, and whether the adcopy is clear enough that one sprints may, under certain circumstances, if not protected in accord withEPSON's recommended turn orange in less than 24 hours. 
 
 

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August2000




Now, all that's really left is for EPSON to "take care" of those who bought a printer before the adcopy changed.. There are however significant questions remaining as to whether a sufficient portion of EPSON's current 1270/870/875DC consumer base are aware of the problem with the product they now own, and whetherthe adcopy is clear enough that ones prints may, under certain circumstances, if not protected in accord with EPSON's recommended turn orange in lessthan 24 hours. 
 
 




So, along the lines of resolving the liability issue, I would like to suggest the following to EPSON USA..

The potential damageto professional photographers and artists is more likely to be SUBSTANTIAL, only more likely, not automatically so..  Obviously this was a danger of targeting the pro market..

Accordingly, I would suggest a two-tiered strategy..

First, EPSON, continues, as a default,  its current process of re-imbursing those with problems for their printers and consumables.

Second, in individual instances, to be judged by EPSON, and I would suggest using proof that one is a Professional Photographer / Artist (PPA, ASMP, membership, etc..  Tear-sheets, whatever), as a sufficient threshold in most cases, yet still leaving other avenues to this second level open (such as proof of extremely significant expenditures on consumables), I would extend the buyback/refund, and combine it with a base discount on a 2000P, of say $200..

No-one who purchased an x70 after Monday would be so eligible (and no I don't own one) (Personally I would give the poster who said he was dying of cancer and couldn't afford a 2000P, one outright in exchange for his 1270 - it would be a great source of goodwill, and good PR too.)

Part of the reason I strongly advocate such an approach even  given its appearance of unfairness, is that many of the pros who had committed to the 1270 really cannot afford to wait for the problem with the inks/glossy paper to beresolved they are hurting everyday, and/or have already suffered damageto their 
business/reputation..

Beyond that, all EPSON can do is look for a long-term solution...

Again, there arehowever significant questions remaining as to whether a sufficient portion of EPSON's current 1270/870/875DC consumer base are aware of the problem with the product they now own, and whether the adcopy is clear enough  that one's prints may, under certain circumstances, if not protected in accord with EPSON's recommendations turn orange in less than 24 hours. 
 
 




Frank DuPont has created a newsite with visible comparative fade tests of EPSON 1270 output as compared to Hewlett Packard (HP) 882 output.. 
 
 





A preliminary look at the geographical breakdown of locations where people are reporting the orange-shift shows the following:

1)     most locations are coastal or near a coastal driven weather pattern

2)     most locations tend to be suburban or rural

It also turns out that in urban locations, NOx and SOx cause  degradation of ground level ozone, keeping ozone buildup from accumulating significantly. 
 
 






EPSON UK is reported to be recommending the old "Dark Curing" option with an update of 48 hours of "dark curing" before display.  Obviously, one must assume that an option which doesn't solve the problem in the United States, would be mighty strange if it solved the problem effectively in the UK..  Perhaps there is something stranger about UK climatology than the permanent low/trough that tends to sit over the British Isles..?

EPSON Australia and EPSON New Zealand are reportedly even worse than EPSON UK.  According to posted reports, neither operating group is even responding to e-mail,correspondence, or telephone calls regarding the problem. Can you say "stonewalling?"  Perhaps they have provided a whole slew of 870 and 1270 printers to The Sydney Olympic Games and don't want them to know about the problem? 
 
 





There are now reports on the EPSON Inkjet Mailing List of an observed shift to brown when the black EPSON dye is exposed to conditions that cause the orange shift on color prints..

It may well be that the Black Ink in the 1270/870/875DC is not actually a black dye..

It may well be that the observed black color is the result of combining the dye-color components of several dye colors in a single solvent/carrier.. In fact, that is a quite common approach to creating a visibly black dye color..

If the chemical dye component of our old nemesis cyan dye is one of the dye components utilized in this "blended" black dye, the cyan chemical components should fade when attacked in the black print areas leaving..? 

an observed brownshift...
 
 
 
 
 




PC Magazine UK has a new SecondLooks piece that references (in the most tepid andcautious manner possible) reports of the orange-shift problem
 
 






Mark Gibbs, one of the resident pundits at Network World   magazine - for whom he writes two columns, in which he is known for both his breadth of technical knowledge and his incisive humor, has published a piece in his BackSpin column on the Orange Shift Issue..

It is entitled: "Vendors in denial:      Prints at 11"

Network World is a "must read" for those in the IT business.. At the very least this is not going to help EPSON in the Corporate Sales sphere.. But, given that Network World is read cover-to-cover by both, IT analysts at places like the NY Times and Wall Street Journal, as well as by staffers and correspondents at other trade and consumer  publications, I would suspect this may only be the first in many similar pieces to be seen on this issue in future...

Given the way theUS and European public is currently being negatively predisposed by the media to product quality issues from Japanese firms with a large US market presence, as a direct result of the current Firestone debacle, I would say EPSON is currently threading its way through a veritable minefield..  I do not envy them right now in having to deal with this issue on these terms..
 
 






I have added a newseries of links to Ozone Forecast and Ozone Measurement Maps and Information on the Links Page.. Please keep in mind that interior ozone levels may well differ significantly from these reports and forecasts; in fact they may differ significantly room by room in a structure.
 
 










There are unconfirmed reports that EPSON has stopped distributing the Premium Glossy Photo Paper and hopes to have a reformulated glossy paper that addresses the severe orange-shift exhibited by the current glossy media on shelves by October. Of course, for those people who have experienced the fade/shift on other EPSON media, I would sincerely hope that EPSON will eventually release a reformulated ink as a long-term fix..  However, the realities ofthe corporate world might dictate that inkset will only be available for EPSON's next generation photo printer..

To be more specific, I was contacted recently by a reader of this site, to be told that an EPSON USA executive "who is very plugged into the orange shift issue" expressed the preceding "unofficially" to the reader in question. Of course, this information applies only to EPSON USA; other markets/operating groups,"who knows?" 
 
 




I now have independent confirmation from several credible sources that EPSON USA is withdrawing the Premium Glossy Photo Paper from circulation, and of the October target date for a replacement paper to be on the market. 
 

Additionally, there are some wholly unconfirmed reports that EPSON is actively engaged in field-testing/beta-testing some alternative glossy paper formulations..  Let's keep our collective fingers crossed..

(AND,  Why is this site starting to sound like a "political reporting site focusing on the White House?")
 
 





Bob Meyer's extensive "torture testing" of various media has identified four current glossy papers that reportedly exhibit little to no orange-shift in his tests.  Each has its own attendant problems..

1)   LuminosRC Glossy - Colors bleed/migrate in high humidity environments.  An anticipated effect of using a gelatine receiver as noted in my text above..

2)   Ilford- Significant reticulation, which may be overcome by judicious use of driver settings.  Not waterproof.

3)   Kodak- actual puddling of inks; there is a newer Kodak media Bob has said he will be testing.  The newer paper is reported to print beautifullyon the 1270, but no orange-shift data is available..

4)   EPSON- EPSON's "old" Photo Paper, as used with its earlier photo printers.  The paper reportedly yellows under UV exposure.
 
 





I have always tried to present ALL the available information on this issue fairly and intend to so continue..

Accordingly, for those in the US:

Just so you are aware,if the problem with the 1270/870/875DC has you really mad, has not been fully resolved to your satisfaction by EPSON USA, or begins to affect your business reputation there is a "class action" brewing...

I am not personally  involved, NOR WILL I  BE, beyond knowing of the potential litigation;  but I can refer anyone to the attorney in question if you ever want to engage in a dialogue with him/her on potentially personally joining inthe litigation in question.

Similarly, for those in the UK:

there is a potential action being organized by an aggrieved consumer... I can also forward those interested in the potential UK litigation.

I am NOT personally sure that the US legal action is the best option now, nor am I endorsing it at this point (as I personally feel EPSON USA is doing itsbest in trying to respond to the issue and addressing aggrieved consumers- I do however differ with EPSON USA on how well they are handling notifying current consumers and/or future potential consumers of the full extentand impact of the issue), I am however duly noting that such efforts do exist..  Each consumer can, and axiomatically must, make these determinations for themself...

As for the action in the UK, given reports that continue to come in,
consistently, that EPSON UK is ignoring the problem and apparently explicitly refusing to record reports of this problem when contacted directly by consumers, litigation may well be the only appropriate option/avenue for redress in the UK..

I should note CLEARLY,that I am not a Member of the Bar (i.e. an attorney, barrister, lawyer, solicitor, or counselor) in the US or UK, and cannot offer legal advice on these issues, my opinions and representations are simply those of an interested layperson.
 
 











Should anyone doubtthat certain parties/elements within  TheProfessionalPhotographers of America (who have apparently been  compensated for their endorsement of the 1270 for professional use) do not apparently wish to hear or fully acknowledge debate on the 870/1270/875DC  issue,I include the attached post by Jack Reznicki (a PPA officer)..  I received  the response reproduced verbatim below to a post I made to the PhotoDigital list that attempted to provide background on the currentstate of the information on the orange-shift...

I had hitherto personally requested of Gary Gladstone, the listowner,  that Jack recuse himself from any decisions involving my posts on the Orange-shift issue to thePhotoDigital list  or any of my other posts, given my close identification with this issue (as Jack is a PPA officer,  while PPA endorsed theEPSON 1270 for professional use, I felt the inherent conflict of interestwas glaringly obvious..)

Well, I'll let Jack'scorrespondence speak for itself...
 

Jack Reznicki wrote:

Keith,

You were previously removed from PNN and we're doing it again. This is a
private list and you are not allowed on for breaking our rules.
If you subscribe and post again we will contact our attorney to pursue this
matter.
The only correspondence I will answer you at this point is any request for
my attorney's name,address, and phone number.

Jack Reznicki
jack@photonews.com


The text of my letter to Gary Gladstone, the listowner, follows..
 

    That as Jack Reznicki is an officer of PPA..

    And therefore beneficiary of a direct interest, both pecuniary 
    and personal, of PPA's endorsement program..

    And, as PPA has officially endorsed the EPSON 1270 
    for professional use...

    That he fully recuse himself from any involvement in 
    post/no-post decision-making regarding any and all e-mail 
    related to the EPSON 1270, 870.875DC issue..

    And all future posts by myself..

    I ask this off-list rather than on-list, to attempt to maintain 
    a level of appropriate professionalism on this..

    Of course, Jack may feel free to comment on the issue as he 
    sees fit.  With that I have no argument, I do however feel it 
    is inappropriate for him to be exercising editorial discretion 
    on this issue.  Should these steps not be taken, the 
    listowners could be held legally liable, along with Jack, 
    in any class-action involving the EPSON printers..

    Your attention to this issue is appreciated..

    Keith

and I received thefollowing response from Gary, following Jack Reznicki unsubscribing me from the list:

gary@GLADSTONE.COM wrote:

Keith:

Be advised.

You are not allowedto post here.

As you know, youwere banned from this list. You broke our rules. You are still banned.

This is a privatelist and is operated entirely at the discretion of
the owners.

Be advised, thatif you post again after this warning, or otherwise
interfere with theoperation of this private forum, you will be
hearing from ourlawyers.

Gary
ListOwner

Well, what can I say..?I guess I have leprosy or something.. 

I am however, herein,advising any advertiser subsidizing lists run by PhotoNewsNetwork to be fully aware that they are underwriting a "private list...  operated entirely at the discretion of" Gary Gladstone and Jack Reznicki. They are therefore, in effect, personally underwriting, not open discussion lists for professionals in the field, but instead private organs for the dispersion of the personal opinions of Gary Gladstone and Jack Reznicki,and information which appropriately supports said same opinions.

Given the preceding,I would suggest that if anyone takes issue with PPA's unqualified endorsementof the EPSON 1270 for use by photographic professionals, that you e-mailJack Reznicki (in his capacity as a PPA officer) directly.

You may do so simply,by clicking on the following link:

Jreznicki@ppa.com
 
 
 
 
 
 





It appears EPSONUK has decided upon outright denial of any problem with the 1270/870/875DC printer line or its associated media/consumables.  The following was reportedly quoted from an apparent e-mail by an EPSON UK staffer namedSue Savage.
 

     "EPSON haven't at any stage guaranteed lightfastness for 
      ten years. To do so we would have to have produced the 
      prints 10 years ago and only now, with the benefit of 
      10 years actual proof, could we make such a guarantee. 
      This is why EPSON (and any other manufacturer involved 
      in similar work) would need to carry out controlled 
      accelerated tests to support the claim.  Therefore what we 
      do is make a statement in which we claim that by following
      the guidelines set out by EPSON when producing such 
      prints they will offer 10 years lightfastness.

      The above claim has existed since the launch of the product.

      EPSON (UK) Ltd. are still selling the SP1270.

      EPSON America has decided to offer refunds certainly, but 
      this is due to the requirements of US."

      Replies to: ssavage@epson.co.uk

If Ms. Savage's reply is indeed genuine, then EPSON UK has decided to move from simple failure to respond to queries on the orange-shift problem, to outright denial ofit...

To quote from EPSONUK's own 1270 page as of 23 August:

     "The Stylus Photo 1270 is a high quality A3+ printer
     ideal as a dedicated Photo Printer or for the
     everyday over size printing requirements of
     photographers, business users, and home
     enthusiasts. In addition, the newly introduced inks
     and paper media used by the Stylus Photo 1270
     provide in excess of 10 years light fastness for
     images printed on EPSON Premium Glossy Photo
     paper and Matte Paper Heavyweight."
 

or from EPSONUK's own 870 page as of 23 August:

    "The EPSON Stylus Photo 870 is the perfect
     product for photo enthusiasts but is also
     ideal as a general purpose home or small
     office printer. In addition, the newly
     introduced inks & media used by the Stylus
     Photo 870 provide in excess of 10 years
     light fastness for images printed on EPSON
     Premium Glossy Photo paper or Matte
     Paper Heavyweight.

or from EPSONUK's own 875DC page as of 23 August:
 

      "The EPSON Stylus Photo 875DC is the
       perfect product for photo enthusiasts and
       will appeal to digital camera users who also
       want the best print quality from their photos
       with the flexibility of an all round home
       printer*. The newly introduced inks & media
       used by the Stylus Photo 875DC provide in
       excess of 10 years light fastness for
       images printed on EPSON Premium Glossy
       Photo paper or Matte Paper Heavyweight."

If Ms Savage's commentswere accurately represented by the individual posting them, I can onlysuggest that, in future, EPSON UK staff read their own adcopy before decidingto dissemble.  It helps one be a bit more believably disingenuous...
 
 





There are some signsof cracks in the monolithic visage of EPSON UK...   It has been reported that a Mr Paul Savill of EPSON UK has acknowledged the problem.  Still at the same time, others at EPSON UK continue to dey the problem's very existence..  This kind of outright denial reminds me of the "Emperor has no Clothes,"  the denial of Marie Antoinette, or that of the court of Czar Nikolas.. Perhaps so, because a program on classical painting is on in the background as I pen this..

In any case, please feel free to e-mail Paul Savill at:

psavill@epson.co.uk

and, if possible, "cc" Ms. Savage, as noted above, to let them know beyond doubt or ignorance that this problem is real..  That should give Mr Savill the base of proof he needs to get EPSON UK to move on this..
 
 




Individual users are trying various sprays on the prints to protect the prints from fading.  Theoretically this should work, however, the long term stability of thesprays and the spray/media/ink combination are unknown.  I can say,that two sprays: SureGuard's Mc Donald 900 Series Photo Lacquers and KrylonWorkable Fixatif have been recommended by those who have tried various alternatives.. Another alternative might be the Marshall's Photo Lacquers. 

In my personal experience,on traditional photo prints, these three sprays have remained stable over periods beyond 7 years.. I always liked the MacDonald's and Marshall's products.

As an aside, the Krylon Workable Fixatif, is a viable alternative to Marshall's Print Prep spray for anyone contemplating hand coloring a print.

LastIy, I should note that Gepe also makes Inkjet Fixatif Sprays, which, if they are of the same quality as their other fine products,should be a great option.

I will, of course,welcome, and report, any comments from users of these sprays, as appropriate.
 
 




Bob Meyer has now opened his site reviewing the orange-shift results of his extended testing of the 1270 inkset on various media.  If you own a 1270/870/875DC, have decided to keep it, and need to know your options for media, or are contemplating purchasing one of these printers and want to be fully informed on your options, I would strongly suggest you check out his site HERE. Bob's work has been diligent, extensive, scientific, repeatable,  and eminently useful, I wholeheartedly recommend his site.
 
 





There is apparent factual independent confirmation by EPSON USA of both the withdrawal oftheir Premium Glossy Photo Paper from distribution and an October target date for a more viable glossy media release..

You hear more than enough from me already, so I will let the original poster of the relevant e-mail speak for himself here..

     "I think I've confirmed your report that Epson is coming out 
     with a new premium glossy paper.  Their EPSON USA 
     website store no longer lists or sells the premium 
     glossy paper.  When I called the 1-800 number, I was 
     told that none would be available until October.

     Then, I called Epson customer service.  I mentioned the 
     unavailability of the Epson premium glossy paper, and the 
     person confirmed for me that it was no longer available 
     because of a color shifting problem.  He said that Epson 
     was working to make a better paper, and that this paper 
     would be available in October.

     Hope this information helps,"
 

It sure does...
 
 










I include the following post by John Mills from the EPSON Inkjet list, regarding per gallon costs for the EPSON x7x Printer Inks.  It may help illuminate why EPSON decided to go with chipped cartridges.

     For those wondering:

     The Epson 1270 cartridges has 5 chambers in which each is 
     filled with 14 ml of ink.

     There is approximatly 3782.4 ml per gallon.

     The total cost per color in the 1270 color cartridges 
     ( based on an average cost of about $22.00 per cartridge)
     is about $1189.00 per gallon per color.

    Thus a 5 color cartridge has the equivalent cost of $5944.00
     if one were to buy enough cartridges to make 1 gallon of ink 
    for each color.

    $5944.00 is equal to about 270 cartridges at $22.00 
     per cartridge.

     If the average user gets about 30 prints per cartridge
     (full photographic A3 size images) Then $5944.00 
     allows for about 8100 prints.

     Thus the cost of the 5 color cartridge per page is about $0.73.

     I did not include the black cartridge cost, printer depreciation 
    (The printers are good for about 10,000 prints), cost of paper, 
     or labor.

     This is a fast and dirty calculation as the cartridges don't 
     always sell for $22.00 everywhere, The entire 14 ml of ink 
     is not used, and I erred conservatively based on reports 
     through this list on the actual page yield of the cartridges.

Nuff said...
 
 








The Online versionof Digital Camera Magazine has added a shortpiece taking note of the orange-shift reports
 
 



 

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Jimmy Traylor has begun his own series of fade tests on the EPSON x7x inkset printed on three different media, with his personal test sites set up in 4 different locations, local to him..  His page includes a downloadable Adobe Photoshop printable version of histest pattern, composed of bars of individual ink colors, so one can replicate his tests in their own locations, thereby hopefully allowing them to screen for the orange-shift.  He promises regular updates as his own tests progress.
 
 




There are reports that EPSON's replacement media for the withdrawn Premium Glossy Photo Paper incorporates an anti-oxidant layer.  This will buffer the oxidants attacking the cyan dye and reportedly should extend print life, prior to a discernible orange-shift on the glossy media, by a factor of five to six times..  Of course, eventually the buffer, too will be expended. This may not be a full solution, but, if accurate,  is a welcome interim move and evidence that EPSON USA and EPSON Corporate have moved with some alacrity, ingenuity, and dispatch to address this problem.

To be clear, if one generally sees the fade in two months or more, and are not selling prints, I would recommend using this paper, you should see 10-12 month printlife. 

On the other hand,the ink issue is unresolved, so if you are selling prints, or experience the dreaded orange plague in less than 2 months, I would say this reformulated paper is simply not likely to be a real answer.
 

I'm sure clients will not be pleased to learn that your new glossy paper gives them 5 to12 day print lives, even if you point out that they might have only had a one or two day printlife on the old media.. Oh yeah, and try telling them the line about it simply being a fault of their location..
 
 


 
 

EPSON Printer BuybackGoes International!

Significant news...

I have heard throughthe grapevine so to speak..

It seems during Seybold (last week) it was decided by EPSON Corporate to let EPSON USA call the international tune on this one..  That apparently involved significant internal politics as there is reportedly some not-insignificant tension between EPSON Europe and EPSON USA..

However, I have beentold that EPSON Corporate now hopes to use the EPSON USA model for further action on this issue, to at the least, attain consistent results in the international marketplace.. We will report progress on this issue.

I also have reports of at least one actual buyback offer, made late last week, by EPSON UK..

So for those of youin markets covered by non-EPSON USA operating groups, I would suggest you contact them directly.  Now..

If you have any problems,I have the fax numbers of EPSON Corporate in Japan and will forward those to you..
 
 






Bob Meyer has again updated his papertest site.  His first tier papers/media include three from Ilford,one from Kodak, and one from RedRiver Paper.  The second tier papers, which should perform satisfactorily in all but the most severe locations, include three papers/media from EPSON and one from Luminos.
 
 





Some had noted my absence from active newgroup or mailing list discussion of the issues referencedby this site.

Well, I am back..

And I now will explain my self-imposed absence from the discussion of these issues and apologize for the delays I have had in getting information on buybacks, etc. to individuals who e-mailed me over the last few days..  For these delays you have my sincere apology..

On Monday, I received a letter from an attorney representing Jack Reznicki and PNN(PhotoNetworkNews)..  Said letter informed me that comments made by or attributed to me were being "examined by us for possible litigation. .. any additional statements, postings, correspondence, etc. you may make may subject you to liability pursuant to law.  Libelous, false, derogatory and/or defamatory
statements made of or concerning Mr Reznicki are at your peril." 

And that  I was not to access the PNN site or its mailing lists as located at:

http://www.photonews.net/
 

The reasons for the letter, in part,  were, I believe, that I had been banned from thePNN mailing lists, purportedly for questioning the advertiser policy there (problematically, the letter never indicated any acts I had undertaken or completed - it's a bit difficult to avoid doing something that someone objects to when they fail to accurately identify what alleged behavior they are complaining of).. More strangely, I was banned during an intense period of discussion on the PNN lists regarding the 1270/870 issue.. Why is that so "strange?"

Well, many will recall that the Professional Photographers of Americahave endorsed the 1270 for use by Professional
Photographers (said endorsement is plainly visible, but perhaps hard to read in full on thecurrentEPSON USA 1270 page)..  Jack Reznicki is a PPA officer.. PPA received compensation for the endorsement..  I had stated to PPA officers and to those onlist that PPA could potentially be a co-defendant in any action against EPSON regarding the x7x printers, if some of the plaintiffs had relied in part upon the PPA endorsement..  Jack Reznicki,took a distinctly contrary position, and I was banned within days for my purported violation of unpublished list rules in discussing list operationson-list..... Coincidence?

I tendered a response to Mr Reznicki's counsel and gave him a ten day window in which to answer my quesitions, and identify how I had violated Mr Reznicki's rights in any way.  As a sign of good faith, I unilaterally bound myself to not commenting on the x7x printer issues beyond the confines of this site during a period of ten days or, until Mr Reznicki's counsel overtly failed to identify any specific actions violating Mr Reznicki's rights.

In any case my response to Jack's attorney may be seen at:

http://www.p-o-v-image.com/epson/greenberg_2000_1.htm

And YES I wrote it myself..  I worked as a law clerk for a prosecutor before moving on to journalism..

I have since received correspondence from Mr Reznicki's attorney that fails to identify a singleaction by me that violated any of Mr. Reznicki or PNN's rights..  No, it steadfastly refuses to do so..

In accords with my promise in the correspondence with Mr Reznicki's counsel, I now consider myself absolved of any responsibility to continue my silence..

CONSIDER ME BACK!

And if Jack's attorney sues me, even EPSON is likely to become unhappy, as I will assert truth as an affirmative defense and, as necessary, prove the flaws/problems with the 1270/870 in open court.. Both counsel and expert witnesses have already volunteered their services. 

So, I don't think Mr Reznicki and PNN will be helping anyone except their own ego by moving ahead with litigation (it certainly won't help Jack's pocketbook)..  It won't help EPSON resolve the x7x issue, and litigation at this critical juncture could even conceivably hinder EPSON's in-process efforts to resolve the issue at a technical level, nor will it aid PPA in addressing the issue of endorsing an apparently  flawed product, that was not suitable for general use as advertised  by professional photographers.

Additionally, I will pursue any and all avenues for counterclaim/countersuit against Mr Reznicki, PNN, and any
and all organizations where his involvement with this issue involves also his role as an organizational officer.... 

The public has theright to every bit of available information on this..

This in no means indicates any intent on my part to rejoin any PNN sponsored forum, as, although I still believe by law the lists to be public, I have no desireto pursue such actions.  They shall not at this time, in my estimation, add to the debate, but instead might simply antagonize Mr Reznicki andothers needlessly, and add to the "noise" level surrounding the x7x printerissue.

I am a strong believer in my First Amendment rights, and have had my speech chilled by the threat of litigation for several days..  I have lost sleep worrying about potential litigation against me and have missed work as a result, having to reschedule shoots, etc..

I agree with formerSupreme Court Justice Hugo Black who said that when the framers of our Constitution said "no law" to restrict freedom of speech or of the press, in the First Amendment, the framers knew quite well the meaning of "no law"  and meant it in its literal sense..

Finally, I would quote from the header on the Home Page of PhotoNews Network itself..

     "...there is not just one business model for running a 
     successful commercial, advertising, corporate, 
     editorial, architectural, or whatever, photographic
     business. At the core of all of those models is the 
     notion of standing up for yourself, and educating 
     others to stand up for themselves too."
                            -Ellis Vener, PhotoPRO Forum

That I intend to do..
 
 





InkJetMall home of Jon Cone, an acknowledged expert on InkJet printing, a great site for info on Inkjet printing, custom printer profiles, and the home of JonCone's Piezography Black & White printing solution for InkJet printers,has announced that it is unable to produce custom profiles for EPSON's x7x series printers.  They reportedly cite the rapid and measurable degradation of the inks over time, following printing.  To quote JonCone in an InkjetMall newsletter:

      We have given up on producing ICC and ICM profiles for 
      the EPSON 1270 printer!

      We spent many months producing profiles, and 
      re-measuring them, and adjusting, and re-adjusting, 
      and re-doing the whole process over and over again. 
     The culprit that foiled our attempts is the new EPSON ink. 
     The EPSON 1270 inks have a tendency to shift over 
     multiple periods of time. This phenomena  (described 
     as ozone fading) has been noticed by many people 
     on the new EPSON papers. However, we use a Gretag
     Spectroscan to measure our profile targets and it is 
     plainly evident that this color shifting occurs in varying 
     degrees on all the various papers that we profile. 
     The end result is that we profiles for this printer are only 
     accurate based upon the time elapsed between printing 
     of the target and the measuring of the target; a useless
     proposition!

Well, now we havea expert in the field as a credible source with verifiable measurements documenting the ink problem... This proves ineluctably what we have long said, the real problem is the inks themselves, NOT the papers/media.
 
 





I am finally receiving enough reports from the field that I can make some initial comment on theuse of oversprays to protect 1270 prints (particularly on glossy media).

Initial reports indicatethat the Krylon and SureGuardproducts are being well received.  Users are apparently less thrilled with the Gepe sprays, in fact one user reports satisfactory results with the Gepe product only after first spraying a base coat of the Krylon product on the prints.. From my personal perspective it is bad enough to have to apply a single spray overcoat, but two?

I should also notethat there are a number of waterbased oversprays currently marketed for inkjet print protection.  I have not seen, nor received, anything but wholly unsatisfactory reports on the usage of the water-based sprays with x7x prints. 

My suggestion is,for now, you still need to use the above products, if you decide to use overspraying, and unfortunately deal with the generally offensive fumes..  I would certainly make sure I had good dust-free ventilation. 
 
 




I have now personally referred well over 500 individuals (initially averaging approximately 5-6 consumers daily, but peaking at approximately 100 consumers daily) to my contacts at EPSON USA, whom have either, chosen to accept a buyback of their x7x printer and/or the associated consumables, or to accept EPSON's offer of a one-year grace period.  If we estimate an average buybackcost of only $500/instance, EPSON has avoided potential liability for over $250,000 in potential class-action liability, through their hard work and my referrals.  The EPSON USA staff, with whom I have had contact inthis, have been exemplary throughout. 

The personal-high daily watermark has been 112 referrals in a single day..
 
 



It appears that ESPON UK/Europe is reneging on it's buyback pledge, both generally, and as regards promises they made to individual consumers.. I guess they think they can play successfully the same game that Bridgestone/Firestone lost at...

I will quote the following post first:

Robert Smith wrote:

      Well at the end of last week I thought that Epson UK were 
      going to face up to their responsibilities  HA HA HA
      At my age you would have thought I has learnt my lesson.
      Their Offer was put to me today. Vomit worthy is the only 
      way to describe it.

      Here it is:
      They will only reimburse me for prints that have 
      changed colour.

      My question was As I have sent my prints worldwide 
      How do I find out which  ones have shifted, and if they shift in 
      the next two years will the offer still stand as I bought the 
      printer thinking it was good for ten years.

     If I accept this Offer I will have to make 150 more prints, 
     now taking into  account that each slide will have to be 
     scanned, corrected, and printed,  that will cost me 
     at least 3 days, I will also have to recall my slides from
     the library  where they are.  When the prints are made 
     I will then have to post them out again  worldwide.

     All this and they will only replace the two or three prints that 
     we know have a colour shift today if any more shift in the next 
     two or three years,  or even months thats my tough luck and 
     my company's name is not worth a brass farthing.

     If this was a genuine mistake it would have been bad enough, 
     but I phoned Epson on the 28th June before I made these 
    150 A4 prints, asking if there was a problem with a orange 
     cast as I had heard a rumour. At that date I was told they 
     had no knowledge of this problem and as long as I was 
     using their best glossy paper their warranty still stood.

     I now know at least 3 people had contacted Epson 
     before me and warned them of this Orange cast, and that 
     Epson had delibrately lied to me. So I will have my day 
     in court, I want to do as much damage to their name 
     as possible  and make these mealy mouthed 
     managers of Epson stop treating customers as 
     trash just to be fleeced of their money.

Now, for my own commentary..

EPSON USA should be feeling pretty good as they read this, their buyback policy has likely already saved them from over 200 people who would be similarly inclined in the USA.
 

Additionally, last week, Mr Smith reportedly had a conversation with a Jayne Keane of EPSON UK Customer Service. He was supposedly offered payment for his Printer and new Ink cartridges and 10 packs of Epson's new paper.

Now, Mr. Smith reports,that Ms Keane apparently no longer works for EPSON UK.  Sheer coincidence,right?
 
 





It looks like EPSON UK, and perhaps the other EPSON Operating Groups will now be offering a buyback similar to that in the United States..  I post here the text of the second message I received, over the last two days, that reports EPSON UK is finally giving buybacks in full...

HiKeith ,
        Yes I had another person on to me a Dave Ratcliff , and he started afresh and I think Epson are at last going to play Ball.
    I have decided to keep the printer as for a lot of things It is still
the best on themarket, But Epson UK are going to replace all consumables I have used andadd a little extra for the time I will have to spend reprinting.  Also as the new papers come out They will send me a nice lot of that aswell  (well this is what they have promised).
   Without doubt This is all possible because of you and your site. Everytime they tried to flannel me with tech I could refer them to the contradictionthat was on your site, eventually they knew  the game was up.
And when I saidthat really I did not want them to settle so that I could do as much damageto them in court  it was finished (well at the moment it is).
Tell your UK readersto not take crap from them and go for the Jugular .
Dave Ratcliffs numberis 01442 227448

 
 





Bob Meyer has again updated his papertest site.  His results now include some 3rd party  inks utilized in a 1200 printer and printed on a variety of media..  He has also added significant data on the new 2000P.
 
 






With due acknowledgement to Kennedy McEwen for his initial reportage of this, it seems that EPSON UK now reportedly has a comprehensive policy for dealing with the orange-shiftfiasco.. The supposed details are as follows:
 

EpsonUK now accept that this is a problem and are prepared to offer the following deals to affected owners of 1270/870 & 875 products:

1. Complete refund for the printer and all genuine Epson consumables purchased- only proof of purchase is required, it will not be on a pack for packor new sheet for used sheet basis as, I think, Gary was offered earlier in the week.

2. Keep the printer and get a full refund for all EPGPP purchased and inkcartridges used - again only proof of purchase is required, and I was giventhe impression that they may even be flexible on this.

3. Keep the printer and get all EPGPP purchased replaced by Photo Paper andthe ink cartridges purchased to date replaced.

4. Keep the printer and get all EPGPP purchased replaced by the new versionof EPGPP when it becomes available* and have the ink cartridges purchased to date replaced.

5. Get full credit for the printer and all EPGPP purchased and ink
cartridgesused towards the purchase of an Epson 2000P.

Thisisn't quite the same as the offers made in the US, which permits retention of the printer for a year before deciding whether to return it if Epsonfail to deliver a fix for the problem, but it is reasonably close.

Iinformed Mr Bellor of the information that I have from contacts in theUS that the new paper only provides a 5-8 times reduction in cyan bleachingrate and asked what the outcome would be if I selected the new paper andit was not a solution.  He replied that the other options would continueto be available.

He asked me to pass his contact details on to any other UK people who maybe experiencing this problem so that it can be resolved amicably.

MrPeter Butler
EpsonUK Ltd.
Campus100
MarylandsAvenue
HemelHempstead
Herts. HP2 7TJ

Mobile:removed : if you need this, e-mail Mr Butler at the address below or meat buyback@p-o-v-image.com

email:pbutler@epson.co.uk
 

I apologize for the smaller typeface, but it makes more sense than quotes here..

I would ask that this address not be further distributed for the moment.. It would totally undercut this achievement were Mr Bellor to be inundated with queries from every EPSON UK consumer on issues unrelated to the orange shift..
 
 






I just want to make everyone aware of an open letter by Bruce Fraser (PhotoShop Guru, and author of "RealWorld Photoshop")  to Seiko-EPSON in Macweek.

Every owner of an EPSON product or individual considering any EPSON product purchase should read this letter..

If one agrees with him, and if I were an activist, I might even suggest printing it out, affixing your name with a note of support and sending it to the appropriate parties at EPSON..

Bruce's letter is thoughtful, pointed, erudite, succinct, and comprehensive..

Not an easy task...

The piece is at:

http://macweek.zdnet.com/2000/09/03/0908colorgeek.html
 
 





OK, well, it looks like the word has gotten out generally on the buyback.

The number of dailyrequests for buyback info has spiked to 100 and held at that daily rate for several days..  That means we have now made over 500 referrals..

It also means that it is time to change the manner in which we are handling the buyback requests. EPSON USA  Customer Service is supposedly all on-board with this now and a consistent policy should be available no matter who one speaks to there.. Accordingly, the new info is posted below under buyback..

Before speaking to EPSON USA corporate executive staff on this, and deciding on referring people directly to EPSON Customer Service, some other options were considered by me.  However, most of them would have made full and effective buybacks less likely.  Other solutions would have necessitated adding advertising to this site.  Something I hesitate to do for a consumer help site..

As for international buyback info, that is noted below...
 
 






Well, last night at about 2230 GMT, PC World Magazine released a new article called "Lost in the Ozone:  Epson Photos Fade".  The piece includes quotes from EPSON staff tacitly admitting the real problem is with the inkset..  We can consider this issue officially mainstream computer industry news now..

If you read the piece,and the attendant quotes by EPSON staff,  you will see it may not be a good idea to get your hopes up if you are expecting a inkset reformulation.
 
 





Oh yes, and now that the existence of and seriousness of this  problem is uncontestable, for anyone who is interested, the following quote which you may recognize from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" succinctly expresses my feelingsfor all the apologists and naysayers who harangued me for "whining" aboutthe problem, which they were characterizing as minor... It may be ridiculous, but the amount of crap I have taken in this effort has been unreal at times..

Here'sthe quote in RealAudio Format
 
 
 
 






First off, sorry for the delay in updating the site and in getting back to people..  I have been out-of-action with a cold..
 

CNN is now carryingthe EPSONorange-shift printer saga on their own site..
 
 




The NewZealand Herald, the leading Daily for Kiwis, ran a piece on the orange shift on 9 September.  You can find the piece at:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=150140

Apparently, the Kiwisand Ozzies are not on-board with the buyback program yet..
 
 





Also, Dan Crane,VP, Marketing at EPSON USA has respnded to the Bruce Fraser's open letter to Seiko-EPSON.  You can read the response yourself at:

It'sHere

However, I am both pleased and disturbed by Mr Crane's reponse. 

I am pleased that EPSON has finally established a unitary process for handling x7x printer buybacks worldwide and established a singular EPSON USA e-mail address for dealing with said issue (you can find the e-mail address below).

However, to play the old "it's the paper" tune while not acknoledging the inkset problems are basic, is simply untenable in light of current knowledge....
 

My full response follows:

Dan Crane said:

>I would like to respond to the questions that you and others have 
>raised over thepast few weeks regarding a color shift some 
>people have seen with prints on Epson Premium Glossy Photo >Paper from Epson Stylus Photo870, 875DC and 1270 printers. 
>We regret that some of our customers have experienced a 
>problem with theoutput on this paper. You can be assured that 
>Epson takes this issue very seriously, and we are working to >resolve it. 

And that has been true since June... How about giving the user community some idea -- besides a reformulated glossy media, what, if anything is EPSON pursuing as a longterm solution..?
 

>Our highest priority is assuring that each customer who has 
>purchased an Epson product is satisfied with the purchase.
>Therefore, we want to provide as much useful information as 
>possible and correct any misunderstandings regarding the causes
>of the color shift and the measures Epson has taken to address >it. 
 

Of that I am also well aware.. EPSON USA has heretofore, been the only EPSON Operating Group to come anywhere near clean on this..  The rest of EPSON worldwide, is, as we both know, an entirely different matter..

>First, we appreciate your conclusions that Epson has done more >to advance the cause of photorealistic ink jet printing than any >other company and that the Epson StylusPhoto 1270 is an >excellent printer.

Now if it just had an inkset to match..

> Because the market has
>demanded improvedl ightfastness, Epson focused its research 
>and testing on meeting that challenge.

Dan, sorry but that's the kind of hair-splitting and bad post-facto parsing that got Bill Clinton in trouble with Monica and Ken Starr..

The claims EPSON made were not restricted to lightfastness.. EPSON promised images that "last as long as traditional prints."

To analogize: let's say I tell you I have a new latex paint that lasts as long in outdoor useas oil-based formulations.. You paint your house in Scottsdale and it looks great until it rains.. Then the paint is slowly washed away.. Would you accept me adding a caveat after the fact that I meant dry-condition weathering?  I think not..  You would haul me into court faster than I can say Rembrandt was a Dutch Boy..

> In independent testing by Wilhelm Imaging
>Research, printson Matte Paper Heavyweight on these printers >achieved lightfastness of25 years for indoor display under glass, 
>and prints on Epson Premium Glossy Photo paper achieved 
>lightfastness of 10 years under the same conditions. 
 

But EPSON could not but know that the Wilhelm tests were only of materials kept in Museum Standard conditions..  How could you make the boneheaded leap to "images lasting as long as traditional prints"..? 

Guess what Dan, that statement is not the fault of the Product Management, R&D, or Legal Groups at EPSON - it is the fault of marketing..  And guess whose desk that means it lands on?

You made broad claims you could not keep...

>Unfortunately, following the introduction of these printers, Epson 
>learned about a problem with the Epson Premium Glossy Photo 
>Paper that was introduced at the same time as these new photo
>printers. 

This old chestnut?

Dan, please, we had narrowed the problem down to the inkset by early July... As did your own people in Japan and the USA..

If the inkset is not the problem, then why does the fading occur on every media that leaves the inks exposed to ambient air..?

Actually, if someone has the time who is in an orange-shift prone location, I might suggestthe following test..

Open an ink cartridge and empty the inks into graduated cylinders.. Hook up a compressed airpump, or fishtank pump, and bubble ambient air through the inks..  I would bet the CYAN inks will became colorless over time and the normally greenish EPSON black ink will go brown..

Then we can all endthis silliness about the paper..

If EPSON was serious about proving the inkset flaw, they could even bubble ozone through thefluid inks..
 

> Output from the 870, 875DC, and 1270 has greatly
>improved resistance to light, but equal resistance to gas on Matte
>Paper  Heavyweight and Glossy Photo Paper as the predecessor
>printers. However, we now know that Premium Glossy Photo
>Paper is more sensitive to these gases. 

The paper may or may not be more sensitive, surely the polymers in the micropore receiver may be broken down, opening larger pores... BUT, all that does is leave more of the inkset exposed to ambient air..

The real problem is the inkset..  If that is not the case, simply state clearly and incontrovertibly that the inkset is stable... 

You won't,  because you can't..
 

>Epson regrets that we did not find out about this problem sooner 
>so we could have alerted our customers before they experienced 
>the color shift.In our zeal to satisfy the market's demand for the 
>highest photo qualityink jet output, we focused on improved 
>lightfastness and failed to anticipate the extent to which output on 
>Premium GlossyPhoto Paper could be compromised by oxidants 
>in the air. When we understood the problem, we revised our 
>advertising andother communications about these products. 

For that EPSON USA deserves credit..

>We recognize that Epson needs to solve the "gasfastness" 
>problem. The best solution today is to frame the prints to 
>maximize display life or to use an Epson paper with greater gas 
>resistance for unprotected prints. Our next step will be to release 
>a reformulated Premium Glossy Photo Paper, which  will be 
>distributed inearly October. This paper delays the effects of 
>airborne contaminants,but it does not solve the problem.
 

Then the problem is NOT the paper... Even your statement here implicitly acknowledges that..
 

> After discussing
>this issue with numerous customers, we have concluded that it's 
>important to keep the reformulated paper in the market for those 
>customers who choose to follow the recommended display 
>procedures. We have changed the packaging for this paper to 
>emphasize that it is for use in glass frames or protected storage. 
>We are also continuouslyupdating our Web site at 
>http://www.epson.com/lightfastness to provide more information 
>about ozone andother polluting oxidants and to emphasize the 
>importance of properlydisplaying or storing photos to maximize 
>display life. Additionally, we changed our advertising so any 
>messages about lightfastness ratings cannot be misunderstood to
>apply to gasfastness for unprotected prints. 

And I also understand that you have many customers with diverse needs who bought the printerwith differing expectations.. 

>While there were some inconsistencies among the Epson 
>companies early in our understanding of the ozone issue, I can 
>assure you that all the Epson companies now apply policies 
>similar to Epson America's regarding this issue. 

There still are reportsof  inconsistencies!

EPSON Canada
EPSON Australia
EPSON New Zealand
EPSON Singapore
and EPSON Europe...

not one has a publicly announced contact person..

Of those, only EPSON Canada and EPSON New Zealand, have made any buybacks that I am aware of...

and I have queries from customers in each of those areas..

Only EPSON UK, afterconsiderable pressure, is toeing the line..

As you are so concerned about this, I would ask that you expend a bit of corporate political capital and track down the contact people for each of those units... I have waited patiently for such information from EPSON.. If it is not immediately forthcoming,I will suggest to individuals in these affected areas that formal legal redress appears their best option and I will provide them with every piece of information I have at hand, including submitting my own interrogatories and all my e-mail records, etc. as evidence..
 

Finally, I am still getting notes citing dissembling at the initial contact level by EPSONCustomer Service..  Beryl Ito, Kathy Grubich, and Sharon Baker aredoing a great job... And Greg McCoy's efforts in support of both a search for a solution and his forthright discussion of the problem in the media and at Trade Shows has been exemplary also..

Others?  Well,I will let it go at that...

>As always, if customers have any questions or concerns, we 
>encourage themto contact us directly at 
>Epsonsupport70@ea.epson.com ...

Funny you chose to institute such an idea as a singular e-mail address for customer supporton this issue..  If the idea came via Susan Aldort (sp?), please be aware that I broached that idea to her earlier this week and was told
that EPSON didn't need to do something like that..  That standard customer service procedure would handle the problem sufficiently... In fact, her attitude at the timewas one of being none to happy to even ponder my suggestion...
 

Dan, I understandthis is a PR NIGHTMARE..

I did some political consulting, which is not much different from what you are stuck with here..

I would tender a small piece of advice...

The same advice Imade in June...  Coming completely clean at the earliest possible point and working to redress the problem works best..

I would ask therefore that EPSON USA notify all consumers in its warranty database for the affected printers of the problem, the buyback, and the newly recommended storage conditions..

I might also note,that the more recent requests I have gotten for info on the buyback have contained a much higher percentage of users who did not know they even had the problem because they had not compared prints until now, or who thought it was appearing through some fault of their own..  All these users deserve the same information..  They should have the choice that the more informed, or more internet savvy,  have had since the EPSON USA buyback was initiated..

I don't think a recall is necessary as many may still be satisfied with the reduced claims and new storage provisions. But all consumers should be aware of the buyback option..

The reality is this: EPSON conjoined their pursuit of the Professional Photographer/Graphic Artist market with the claims of "images that last as long as traditional prints."  Those elements, in tandem, are much worse than a failure to meet advertised claims would have been absent the other one or the other...  If you want to retain the potential of grabbing that market niche when a suitable product does arrive, you had best be fully forthright, no moremarketing speak.. The people in that market niche bought your product and placed their reputations in the hands of your product, your marketing,and the Professional Photographers of America's endorsement..  If you don't demonstrate a reason to be trustworthy, after having harmed the reputations of many of these people (and I have the e-mails to back up that claim), then neither they nor their colleagues will be potential EPSONconsumers for a long time to come....  That would help no-one and seriously damage the cause of digital printing.. 

Dan, I have worked beside some of the biggest names in Photography, I have travelled the world pursuing sports images to bring to viewers, I have pursued digital imaging options for years, and I have been, with others, at the forefront on thisissue, I would hope, given all the preceding, that my advice is given some heed here.  I have heard from over 700 EPSON consumers on this issue and am trying to simply give you some valid sense of the general attitude on this issue, combined with my specific insight into the needs of the professional market segment..

However..

The "ball" as they say "is in your court."
 

Keith Krebs
Editor/Senior Photographer

PS - Dan, might Isuggest you take a ride on a better rail-line and read the "Cluetrain Manifesto"or just visit it's online counterpart at
http://www.cluetrain.com/ ?
 
 




As of 18 September,I have e-mail from consumers indicating that EPSON New Zealand, and EPSON Singapore are still refusing to consider buybacks.  I also have e-mail noting a singular buyback offer made to a persistent New Zealand consumer.. 

To quote "Tina" from Customer Service at EPSON Singapore Pte LTD:

Dear user,
Thankyou for your mail & the informaion.

We are aware that the problem lies on the media (Premium Glossy Photo Paper
-a media which can be used with Stylus Photo 870 / 875DC / 1270) and not
the printer, nor the ink cartridges.

It is suggested that printed media to be framed under glass or a protective
plastic sleeve to protect the prints from atmospheric contaminants like
humidity,cigarette smoke and high levels of ozone.

Epson Singapore does not run a buyback programme, however we are willing to
compensate on the media (PGPP) as the printer is able to print excellent
print quality.

I hope the above is satisfactory.

Rgds,
Tina(Customer Service Dept)
EpsonSingapore Pte Ltd

Well, Singapore is apparently doing its own thing for the moment. I guess they don't care how they make the promises of EPSON Japan/Corporate appear.. 

EPSON New Zealand, may or may not, have begun a buyback that controverts the comments of theGeneral Manager there, a one Greg Skinner, in the 9 September New Zealand Herald..  Let's hope for the best here.
 
 








There have been some reports on both the EPSON Inkjet Mailing List and other lists of problems with prints from these printers framed under glass..
 

There is a significantthread concerning this issue, and several reports of these problems, at this Photo.netaddress.
 
 













Update!

EPSON USA has reportedly made two major changes to the buyback policy:

1)   No more one year grace period on buyback.. You apparently need to decide now or forget about it..

2)   No more compensation for expended consumables 
in thevast majority of cases,  only professionals with affected clients will now be so re-imbursed..
 
 

These changes affect ONLY those who have NOT  received a personal buyback offer from EPSON USA Customer Service as of yet (i.e. gotten your name or printer serial number into their database, etc.). 

If you are alreadyin EPSON's database, or have received a one year buyback offer grace period from EPSON via phone or e-mail, this change DOES NOT affect you..

In fact, there are reports of some individuals still receiving new one-year grace period buyback offers, but these reports are counterbalanced by new applicants who are being explicitly refused a one-year buyback option.

EPSON USA Staff has also reportedly told consumers there WILL BE NO complete fix for the problem in this generation of photo printers.

For individuals who feel this response is insufficient compensation for their losses or costs, e-mail me, and I will refer you directly to the Attorney preparing the class-action suit (participation in the litigation will be at no cost to you).  I wish I could be of more help..
 
 




EPSON Australia reportedly has (and has had) a 100% satisfaction policy in place and will buyback printers of those not happy with their printers. 
 
 


 
 
 

EPSON USA has reportedly returned one of the key buyback policy provisions:

1)    The one year grace period on buyback is back, but I hear may only be temporarily available.. 
(This buyback extends one-year from the original date of purchase.)

2)    No compensation for expended consumables will be offered: refunds are to be offered only for unexpended consumables and images that actually shift....

They really need to make up their mind... But I will report on this as many times as itchanges..
 
 




Well, since we are all here already lets talk about some other new x7x issues:

1)     I have multiple reports of problems with EPSON's version of the Windows2000 drivers for x7x printers, rendering it impossible to print to the printers in question from Windows 2000 machines so affected.  Theworkaround in this case, is to use the x7x printer drivers supplied byMicroSoft with Windows 2000.

2)    I have some reports, though not enough to confirm, that some users are experiencing similar issues with Windows ME.

3)   There are also reports of  issues involving the x7x printer drivers under MAC OS X also. (If you have printed and try to use remote access to access the net, then it's a solid lockup.)

4)   Finally,the EPSON USB drivers are reportedly incompatible with many basic OEM USB cards installed in current PCs and affected users reportedly  need to install a new USB card to print via the USB port.  They may also need to enable the card to use only specific IRQs.. And, if that is not enough..  To ensure proper operation, the x7x must be the only device plugged into that port, and have a cale legth of now more than 3 meters(10 feet).  That doesn't sound like USB functionality to this writer.. I thought the idea behind USB was being able to run multiple devices throughthe same port..
 
 






There is some potentially good news involving a workaround to the chipped cartridges on the x7x printers,meaning one should be able to eventually (when the product ships) use non-OEM inks, thereby avoiding the orange shift completely.

The product, from99th.com,which was reportedly shown at World Expo in Las Vegas (a convention for the recycling and remanufacturing industry). 

The kit consistsof:

1. a Compatible CartridgeBody
2. a "Carrier" for the chip that snaps into the cartridge body
3. a removal tool for removing the factory chip from a factory cartridge
4. a device that will REPROGRAM the factory chip from a "FULL" to empty status by inserting the smart chip and carrier into the device (which looks like a Sony Playstation Memory Card)
 

They will reportedly offer this product two ways, the initial kit which includes the reprogrammer, two chip carriers, and one color and one black compatible ink cartridge. It should be about 70% of the cost of two OEM cartridges.  They will also be offering empty cartridges, so one will be able to choose their inks..
 
 

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October




InkJetMall, home of Jon Cone, an acknowledged expert on InkJet printing, a great sitefor info on Inkjet printing, custom printer profiles, and the home of JonCone's Piezography Black & White printing solution for InkJet printers,has posted clear info on why it is unable to produce custom profiles forEPSON's x7x series printers. Can you say "Orange shift"?

The piece is at:
Printerprofiles for Epson Photo 1270
 
 






Back in August I initially contacted Windows Magazine to question the inclusion of the 870 on their "Winlist 100", given the known flaws with the printer..  I heard nothing in return.

I was especially concerned as the review that they based selection of the printer for said:

            "The printer, in conjunction with a new set of papers and
             inks, offers what Epson calls Lightfast 
             Printing Technology.
             It's comparable to color silver-halide photo lab prints, with
             minimal fading over time. "
 

Obviously, that is not the case...

I again contacted them in September and received the following response..

"JamesE. Powell" wrote:

We are looking into the matter.

JimPowell
Managing Editor, Reviews

It has now been 5 weeks and there has been no further response from anyone at Windows Magazineor WinMag.com.  I even sent them another e-mail last week directly questioning why the printer remains on the list without any note of the known flaws..  Whether it is thorugh ineptitude, negligence, or some pecuniary motivation, the fact is that Windows has not updated the product review since February, noted the potential problems anywhere on their website, or removed the printer from the "Winlist".  Accordingly, I will not again purchase Windows magazine and would recommend that anyone who wants fair, accurate, and timely reviews avoid this publication and its site..

You can find theoffending section of the "Winlist" at:

  Winmag.comWinList - Hardware: Printers: Ink Jet
 

With the review itselfat:

  Winmag.com> Reviews: Hardware > Epson Stylus Photo 870 > Color You Won't Believe> 02/03/00
 
 

I got the following in my e-mail recently and am posting it with the author's permission..

    Its my experience that the orange shift problem is not confined to the1270
    and 870 range of printers, but is a much wider issue concerning 740, 760 and
    many more Epson printers.

    As a medical imaging laboratory, part of our 'going digital' project (to
    enable faster turnaround of small projects) saw us purchase a[n] Epson 1270.
    Almost immediately, we discovered the now infamous orange cast problem. We
    carried out some research in an attempt to combat the problem.

    Eventually, we contacted Epsom, who responded very quickly, and within2
    days collected the printer and refunded our money.  We now have anEpson
    1160.  Not that the orange shift is any less with this printer whenusing
    Epson's own inks, but the lack of Epson chip in the cartridge does enables
    us to use the third party inksets (Lyson).

    Results
    Here are the results of our research all of which is using Epson inksets.

    An orange cast can first be detected in most cases within 2 hours when
    viewed in daylight compared against a test print using a different (third
    party) inkset.

    The initial cast renders a copper type sheen on very dark, shadow areasof
    the print within 2 hours.  Areas of lower density blacks take a
    correspondingly longer period to indicate the cast.

    We conducted trials using Epson gloss photopaper, Ilford premium gloss
    photopaper and HP deluxe Photography paper (gloss).  All papers were
    affected to similar extents.

    To date we have not seen the any orange shift effect using fine art or
    peal/satin/matt papers.

    The development of the orange cast takes place at a similar rate regardless
    of the exposure to light.

    A coating spray available from lyson is designed to waterproof and protect
    prints.  If this spray is applied (2 light coats, 4 mins apart) within45
    minutes of the print being produced, no orange shift has been observedeven
    after 4 months storage in daylight.

    We also have a Epson 740, which is our standby printer.   Thiswas fitted
    with a set of cartridges which were at least 9 months old, a test print
    showed no sign of the orange shift problem.  However, when the inksetwas
    replaced (with the new formulation archive inks) the orange shift is
    apparent to the same extent as with the 1270.

    Gloss  paper is almost exclusively resin based and thus the ink driesmuch
    slower than matt/pearl/satin papers which also have a larger surface area
    due to their diffusing surface finish .  It's our conclusion thatthe
    extended drying time associated with gloss paper allows some ink separation
    to occur.  During this period, the reformulated Epson inks (blackin
    particular) undergo a pigment separation, similar to chromatography, where
    different components in the ink migrate through the paper at different
    speeds and to different depths.  The least migrating component remainson
    the surface of the paper and creates a more significant influence thanthose
    migrating deeper.

    To test out this theory we conducted some paper chromatography experiments
    using water/alcohol mobile phase system 80/20.  This yellow/red dyesin the
    black ink had the lowest retention time thus indicating least mobility.

    Interestingly, the blue component of the black ink (one of the most
    important, for good black intensity) was the most mobile, which explainswhy
    freshly printed images using Epson inks often have good intense blackswhich
    lose impact on drying.

    Similar experiments carried out on HP and Lyson inks, show that brown and
    blue have the lowest retention times.

    Conclusion.
    Hiding behind the Ozone excuse, does nothing more than make Epson 
    look  ridiculous.
    .

    The problem is clearly associated with the formulation of the inks, in
    particular the black ink. The paper has little or no impact on the orange
    cast results other than the general absorbency properties, which implicates
    most gloss papers in a similar way.

    Me and my team are not ink specialists, merely analytical and microbiological
    scientists, but if we can predict how inks will behave when applied wet,
    onto an absorbent medium, using simple 6th grade laboratory techniques,why
    have Epson failed to identify and resolve the problem after all these
    months?

    Some additional information, if the paper is warmed to 50°C beforeprinting,
    and placed back into the oven immediately following the printing, the colour
    shift is significantly reduced, by drying the inks much quicker i.e. less
    time for separation of ink components to occur.

I look forward to comments on this.

I'll give you my personal take on this.  I think the separation is not the cause of the fading, but the chimera behind much of the accelerated fading we have seen on the micropore papers.  I think the separated components are more susceptible to the airborne constituents that are causing the fading, as are the dyes as a whole on the micropore papers.  The fading is possible on any media, but with separation AND airborne constituents at high levels, one will probably see the fastest fades.  This would help explain why some fades are much faster than can be explained by airbornecomponents alone.
 
 

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November




Well, I asked EPSON Marketing types about the status of the NEW Glossy Paper at PhotoPlusExpoEast2000 in New York City last week.. They said it should be out in distribution already..  (For more on product offerings at PhotoPlusExpoEast 2000,look for my piece in Steve's Digicams this week.  It is the first of what I hope to be a new, ongoing, and productive relationship with me providing my trademark hard-hitting coverage as a guest columnist there. Hopefully, the reading audience at home will enjoy my addition to the site and gain some  benefits from my accession to the team there.) 

However, they had no samples of it..  And although Glossy media is now listed again on the EPSON USA website...  It apparently has the same product number as the earlier product...

Uh oh!

Oh, did I fail to mention that once some of the EPSON people read my name tag, and noted that in addition to my name, it said "PRESS" on it, that they became considerably more evasive in their answers..?  Aaa, it's probably just me being paranoid again...
 
 





David Em, has published a new piece at BYTE Magazine fully, evenhandedly,  and honestly reviewing the state of knowledge on the orange shift.  It is a highly recommended read and can be found HERE .
 
 


 
 

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December





Well, I held off commenting on this here until the field was relatively settled.  It seems EPSON's new reformulated Premium Glossy Photo Paper is seriously flawed.  Under certain conditions, as yet undetermined, crystals will form on the surface of the print about a week after printing, thereby ruining the print.

My guess is that certain conditions of humidity and temperature are causing the buffer to leach out of the paper and recrystallize on the surface.

EPSON USA has now admitted the problem and is officially withdrawing the new paper. 

They have no date for release of a new reformulated version of the paper..  Let's hopethat third time is the charm.  One must wonder whether they do any real world product testing at all.  Let's just say they aren't making themselves look like geniuses right now.  Hate to say "told ya so," but EPSON should have bitten the bullet and reformulated the cyan dyes.(Especially since it seems the next generation photo printers due in the USA this spring use the SAME flawed inkset, with, in some cases, the addition of a seventh color, "dark yellow")

Wilhelm is supposed to be coming out with new info on updated longevity tests in the near term. We will report on those when they are released.
 
 


 
 
 

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March

Wilhelm promised those new longevity tests back in December, remember?  Well, it is now the end of March and the new results have been pushed back several times. April 2 is the current expected release date.  I would suggest investing in the stock market as a surer thing.

As for EPSON's third attempt at producing a glossy paper that can protect the flawed Cyan and Black dyes from the dreaded color shift, it looks like the new paper is usable if you are willing to accept a media that simply extends the display life six times over the first generation product.  It certainly does not help in places where the fading is severe.

Finally, EPSON has introduced its new series of x8x printers.  They sport a 2880 dpi resolution and unfortunately the same flawed black and cyan inks as the x7x printers.  The difference, EPSON now warns, up front, about the potenteal for print fading in the presence of certain atmospheric "contaminants."
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 

BuybackInfo and Contacts




EPSON USA is offering a full refund/buyback for the 870/875DC/1270 printers.  This refund includes both the printers themselves and consumables (whether expended or not).   Owners who do not currently wish to part with their printer can use this option to get themselves into a queue that will give them a one-year grace period on buyback.  Lastly, for those only interestedin getting EPSON to only buyback the Premium Glossy Photo Paper, that too, is an option.
 
 

Update!

EPSON USA has reportedly returned ONE of the two key buyback policy provisions:

1)   The one year grace period on buyback is back, although I hear that maybe only temporary.. 
(This buyback extends one-year from the original date of purchase.)

2)   Compensation for expended consumables will no longer be offered. Refunds will only be offered for unexpended consumable and images that have actually shifted....
 

These changes affectONLYthose who have NOT  received a personal buyback offerfrom EPSON USA Customer Service as of yet (i.e. gotten your name or printer serial number into their database, etc.). 

If you are already in EPSON's database, or have received a one year buyback offer grace period from EPSON via phone or e-mail, this change DOES NOT affect you..
 

To be partof the EPSON USA buyback, simply e-mail EPSON USA Customer Service at 
Epsonsupport70@ea.epson.com

or call them direct at (562)276-1311.

EPSON USA Staff hasalso reportedly told consumers there WILL BE NO complete fix for the problem in this generation of photo printers.

For individuals who feel this response is insufficient compensation for their losses or costs,e-mail me, and I will refer you directly to the Attorney preparing theclass-action suit (participation in said litgation will be at no monetarycost to you).  I wish I could be of more help..

Should you have any problems in getting the provisions of the buyback as noted above, ask tospeak with Beryl Ito, Kathy Grubich, or Sharon Baker in EPSON Customer Service. 

For EPSON UK buybackscontact:

Peter Butler atEPSON UK
email: pbutler@epson.co.uk

For international buyback info excluding EPSON UK and EPSON USA (i.e. EPSON Canada. EPSONEurope, EPSON Australia, EPSON New Zealand, or elsewhere outside the US),or if you have further problems with getting your buyback properly handled,and cannot obtain full satisfaction from EPSON USA,e-mail us at:

buyback@p-o-v-image.com

and I will forward your e-mail directly to the correct party at EPSON...  They have been getting back to people generally w/in 48 hours (business week)... 

EPSON Australia reportedly has (and has had) a 100% satisfaction policy in place and will buyback printers of those not happy with their printers. 

I have personally referred well over 500 individuals (which moved from an inital average of approximately 5-6 consumers daily to a daily total of 100 a day as Iwrite this) to my contacts at EPSON USA, whom have either, chosen to accept a buyback of their x7x printer and/or the associated consumables, or to accept EPSON's offer of a one-year grace period.  If we estimate an average buyback cost of only $500/instance (a low-ball estimate), EPSONUSA has avoided potential liability for over $250,000 in potential class-action liability, through their hard work and my referrals.
 

Neither e-mail addresses,nor names, sent to us, will be used for any other purpose or transferred/sold to any third parties.
 
 


 
 


 
 
 

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GeographicProfile



We are quite interested in producing a geographic profile, to be posted here, of users/owners ofthe 1270/870/875DC who have experienced the orange-shift/fading phenomenon. If you are one of those, and have no objection to being included in said profile, please e-mail us (include your geographic location and how longthe minimum estimated period before visibly noticing the orange-shift is) at: 

orange@p-o-v-image.com







Names and e-mail addresses will, of course,  be withheld from the list upon request. Neither e-mail addresses, nor names, sent to us, will be used for any other purpose or transferred/sold to any third parties.
 
 


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Links to sites containing more information on this issue are accessible below, and will be added to as more resources become available.
 
 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
Orange-Shift Home
 
 

 


 

Links to Resources 
For 1270/870/875DC 
Owners/Consumers

This page includes links to information on where to file complaints, samples of affected images,  and information on protecting your existing prints.