Epson launched the UltraChrome HDX ink late in 2015, introducing not only orange and green in the ink set, but also violet. We have tested the SC-P7000V and SC-P5000V to evaluate, among other things, the actual gamut achievable in those printers. We found it to be quite astounding.
Epson has four lines in the SureColor series, denoted by a prefix, where F stands for fabrics (or textiles), P stands for photo and proofing, T for technical. For this test we’ve focussed on the P-series, professional high quality photorealistic prints and contract proofs.
Wider gamut and smaller dots
The UltraChrome HDX inks, especially since the violet ink was included, offer wide gamut printing, meaning a much larger colour gamut than can be achieved using CMYK only. For printers wanting to match spot colours, typically used in packaging print production, the HDX inks can match almost all of the Pantone spot colours (99% of those can be proofed if Violet is used in the inkset). But it’s not only the added colours which increase the gamut – the density of the black ink has also been increased, which means higher relative contrast and so contributes to the larger gamut achieved.
Another development, which will enhance image quality for the SureColor series of printers, is the PrecisionCore printhead technology, where droplets down to 1 micron can be addressed. For comparison, 1 micron is 1/100 of a hair, or 1/1000 of a millimetre. It uses variable sized droplet technology down to 3.5 picolitres. The print heads are one inch wide with 10 channels of 360 nozzles each, technically able to produce an output resolution of up to 2,880 x 1,440 dpi.