The Stylus Photo R1900 is a £369 inc VAT B-size (13in by 19in) desktop printer with pigment-based inks, advanced paper-handling capabilities and productivity features aimed at serious amateurs and professional photographers.
The sample prints Epson showed us were impressive. We liked the look of the Epson Stylus Photo R1900's glossy prints. The new gloss optimiser, which Epson says is more transparent than the first generation spray, produced no visible gloss differential in the samples, and we would expect that in our tests as well.
(It's worth noting that Epson had a rather ingenious sample image for us to look at. The photo, a letter-size page, displayed an image printed in thirds: one third was printed on Epson's dye-based Stylus Photo 1400, the second part on the R1800, and the final third the R1900. The R1900 output was far and away better than either of the other two printers, both of which have excellent print quality in their own right.)
And, while the Epson Stylus Photo R1900 is optimised for glossy papers, the inclusion of matte black ink means that its output on matte paper types should be very good as well. Unlike the R2400, which requires you to swap out the matte and photo black inks when you change paper types, the Epson Stylus Photo R1900 has separate channels for each black ink, using the appropriate ink for the paper you've chosen in the print driver.
Of course, without the light black inks, you won't get the rich, deep tonal range of the R2400 when printing black-and-white images, but the Epson Stylus Photo R1900's black-and-white output should still be passable for most people.
One thing we'll be keeping an eye out for is Wilhelm Research's print longevity tests for the Epson Stylus Photo R1900 and Epson papers. Their results for the R1800 showed print life of more than 100 years (under glass) for the Premium Glossy and Enhanced Matte papers, and we would hope that the R1900 at least shows that, but with the change of the inks, it's not certain.
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