The ZEDOnet Blog

In our blog we would like to inform you about the latest from the ZEDOnet development department - e.g. about new printers, new technologies or other interesting topics.

We are often asked by our customers for our recommendation for a new printer purchase - after all, we have adjusted and calibrated almost every device supported by TurboPrint and PrintFab on site. It is of course not the task of our support to recommend certain devices. Instead, we would like to report in this blog from time to time about our experiences with one or the other printer that somehow caught our eye.

Epson L8050, L18050 / ET-18100 and L11050 / ET-14100

Canon PIXMA Pro-200 and G550 / G650

Epson SC-P700 and ET-8550 in our development lab

Epson XP-15000 and ET-7750


8.7.2024

Epson L8050, L18050 / ET-18100 and L11050 / ET-14100

We have recently developed drivers for the Epson L8050, L18050 / ET-18100 and Epson L11050 / ET-14100 printers and we would like to introduce these devices to you.

All of them are pure printers without a scanner, which are filled with ink from the bottle as EcoTank printers, which ensures very low consumption costs. The Epson L18050 and L11050 print on formats up to A3+. The Epson L8050 only has the A4 print format and is identical to the L18050 in terms of print head, inks and print result. The L8050 / L18050 are designed as photo printers with 6 inks, while the L11050 is an all-round device with only 4 colors. We want to examine how this is reflected in print quality. Both printers use dye-based inks that are suitable for all types of paper, including glossy photo paper. However, this "dye ink" is not very lightfast and is not smudge-proof on normal paper and has less contrast than pigment ink.

The printers are supported in our software PrintFab macOS from version 2.98-3, PrintFab Windows from version 1.23 and TurboPrint Linux from version 2.57.

About the printers in detail:

Epson L8050 and L18050

    

The L8050 and L18050 printers are the successors to the Epson L800 and L1800, also photo printers with 6 colors, where the ink tanks were housed in a box to the right of the printer. Theser printers were popular for over 10 years as devices for inexpensive photo printing, especially in the Eastern European and Asian markets. They were often installed in printing stations or filled with special inks for textile printing.

The L8050 prints with the colors black, yellow, cyan, magenta and the lighter photo inks photo cyan and photo magenta. This ensures a very fine-grained image that is almost free of visible halftone dots. For color-neutral black and white photos, however, you would still want the gray ink.

The L8050 does not have a paper cassette; paper is fed in via the paper tray from above, which holds up to 80 sheets depending on the paper type.

Printing on CD/DVD media or ID cards is also possible with this printer.

Epson L11050 / ET-14100

    

The Epson L11050 is an A3+ size printer without scanner - just like its predecessor, the L1300. Compared to the L8050, the L11050 lacks the ink tanks for photo cyan and photo magenta.

The L11050 has no paper cassette; paper is fed in via the paper tray from above, which holds a maximum of 100 sheets. Otherwise there is not much to see; the equipment is quite simple.

Print speed

The L11050 has 400 print nozzles for black ink and 128 nozzles for color ink, L8050 / L18050 have 180 nozzles each for all inks. This means that the L11050 is a little faster when printing black and white documents, while the L8050 is clearly ahead when printing color documents and photos.

In the following, we will examine the print speed of borderless photos in the format 10x15cm / 4x6 inches. This depends on the print quality, from level 2 onwards you can speak of real photo quality:

Printer / Quality 

1 - 600/720dpi  

2 - 1200/1440dpi  

3 - 2400/2880dpi  

4 - 4800/5760dpi

L8050

22sec 32sec 60sec 1:53min
L11050 36sec 1:08min 2:08min 4:04min

 

Print quality and color accuracy

Both devices achieve a high print quality. The special photo inks on the L8050 ensure that it prints without a visible grid even at a slightly lower quality level. At the highest quality level, you almost need a magnifying glass or a microscope to see the difference (section of printed photo 15 x 10mm):

During the measurement and color profiling and the subsequent photo test prints, we were able to confirm a high level of color accuracy for both devices.

The graphics show the color space in three dimensions - on the left L8050, in the middle L11050 when printing on Epson Semimatte Proof Paper and on the right the offset printing color space ISOCoated v2 for comparison. Unfortunately, both printers do not fully cover the printing company color standard "ISO Coated" and are therefore not suitable for "proof prints", i.e. the exact color simulation of printed products from the printing company, in contrast to the printers presented so far. This is because both printers cannot print very dark color values ‚Äč‚Äčintensively enough. In addition, the L8050 cannot reproduce the standard for the printing color cyan and the L11050 cannot reproduce the printing color yellow exactly. However, this problem is not usually visible when printing photos, and bright colors are also reproduced very well on glossy paper. It is interesting to note that the inks used (L8050: Epson Ink 108, L11050: Epson Ink 104) are obviously not identical.

Metamerism

When printing black and white photos, a very clear metamerism effect occurs, i.e. gray appears slightly color-cast depending on the lighting.

Influence of lighting on the color tone, simulation by measurement with spectrometer and subsequent visualization

The black and white photos look slightly reddish, especially in artificial light. This is to be expected due to the lack of gray ink.

You can find more information and the exact specifications for the devices on the EPSON website.

Suitability for printing on transparent film, e.g. for screen printing

The L8050 is well suited for printing on films. Unfortunately, the L11050 does not feed transparent films; as a workaround, you can attach a sheet of white paper to the top edge with adhesive strips, for example.

Conclusion

Very good photo prints can be made with both devices; the Epson L8050 / L18050 prints photos faster and has almost no visible print grid. When making a purchase decision, the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 / L8180 is also an interesting alternative - a multifunctional device that we introduced here in the blog two years ago. When comparing the two devices, it is noticeable that the ET-8550 covers the same print format and also has 6 inks. Instead of photo cyan and photo magenta, the ET-8550 has two tanks for black ink - pigmented black ink for printing on normal paper and non-pigmented black for photo paper, as well as gray ink for color-neutral black and white photos. The ET-8550 is a multifunctional device with scanning and copying functions, while the L11050 is a pure printer. When handling paper, the newly introduced printers pull the paper from a feeder from above, which in our experience works more reliably with photo paper and thicker paper than feeding from the paper cassette (ET-8550). The L18050 has a slightly higher RRP (EUR 799) and market price than the Epson EcoTank ET-8550. For users looking for an "all-rounder" for office applications and photo printing, the ET-8550 is probably the better choice. As a photo lab for photo printers, however, the L8050 or L18050 can score points. The L11050 does have the lowest list price (EUR 699), but since it is still quite new, there is currently hardly any discount in stores. It also lacks a scanner compared to the ET-8550. If its price drops soon, the L11050 is also a good alternative for inexpensive prints up to A3+ format.