Once a week I'll print a A4 color photo with the new Epson EcoTank ET-1810 (dye based) printer... to keep the print head clog free. So, I made my first print on glossy photo paper i bought like.... uhm... 22 years ago.

Well, I must say. For a 3 color printer - it does very well for color photos. (Perhaps a bit on the cold side in my case, which one can counteract, by making the image warmer).



that I am not (yet) familiar with ICC profiler and have only printed out a very few images. In order to really see what a printer is good at in terms of color, balance etc. - one would have to print out certain tests (which I have not done yet).

Note 2

Images look different when looked at in different light (sources). So, during daytime, my images look quite a bit colder, because when the sky is clear (e.g. blue) images look colder. In indoor lightning, they look better with this printer, because indoor light is warm by nature.


simple iPhone photo of my wall


Pretty impressive for a simple home printer !

Not that these photos will last long; once exposed to strong light or sunshine it will fade. And the rapid yellowing of the whites (due to the nature of the glossy photo ink paper). But the overall image quality for an average home user - i think - will get impressed.

There was no bronzing or "blooming" visible in the print, either.

As the printing software i used the Epson Print Layout app in MacOS - which went absolutely flawless and unusual easy. I didn't attach any ICC profile, and let the printer handle the color profiling. I can only say, the printed photo looks really good ! From the perspective of a super amateur - I am really impressed.

Perhaps also because I really didn't expect much from this entry, dye-based printer with only 3 colors + black. I bought it to write out documents with better and sharper blacks than my old laser printer does. And to add colors, if documents contain colors - because it simply looks nicer (less boring/ tedious) to read. So, my focus was never images.

And speaking about images and fading


Simple Epson printer back in 1999

The Epson printer that i got together with the MacPro G3 as a tax subventioned bundle via our employer/government 25 years ago, was a dye based printer with 3 colors + black as well.

Now those prints faded rapidly when exposed to the sun, after a couple of years, those where gone i noticed at Johannes place who pinned them onto his kitchen wall. The paper itself strongly yellowing due to its porous nature sucking everything in - not just ink, but everything else in the air as well.

However - when kept in darkness - those prints are still alive (they didn't fade or only very little). The paper white is a bit more yellow. I saw the other day a frame with 4 images in them... which i had printed 25 years ago.

Still fully visible.

So; dye-based images for home use, and framed - may actually last like 10 years in normal daylight without direct sun. And since I am not doing anything professional, i could think of printing a couple images like that (for smaller formats i use the Canon Selphy printer instead, whose images last 100 years, outlive me by many decades).


A bonus

For home use, a photo lasting like 10 years I guess is fine. I mean it is nice to change some images over time, instead of having them hanging for like 40+ years.

But this is from a primitive, amateur, private home users perspective - nothing else. I see the capability in the Epson EcoTank ET-1810 also making some really good quality photos, as an unexpected bonus.


BW Print... (meh !)

My first attempt to print a BW photo with the Epson ET-1810 - was at first sight, good looking. But as soon i got daylight - it looked awful.

Like a cold BW image with a pinkish tint. Not really that nice. (I prefer rather warm looking images). In comparison, the Canon Selphy CP-1500 made far more neutral looking BW prints (with a very slight warm tone) - which looks both pleasant as well natural.

Where my settings wrong ?

The Printer appears to have used all 3 colored inks + black. So, it did use color. So, I'll have to test various settings instead, in order to see what look good as "black and white" images. In the worst case, I simply turn the original BW images slightly warmer, so that in print it looks more neutral black & white.

In the fluorescent light, the image looked almost neutral. In warm LED light the tone of the print didn't look as neutral but still within the margins of acceptable.


Two printers - both a bit on the cold color side

In daylight however, the BW print it it looked cold with a magenta tint. Even the color prints was colder than normal. By the way, even the Canon Selphy CP-1500 tends to make many (but not all) images a bit colder with a slight greenish cold tint. I usually counteract this by adding a little bit of yellow, and a little bit more magenta - then it gets right.


Normal vs Print

Here i try to simulate the print's look. Normal vs Print.

the original neutral image file

Epson EcoTank ET-1810 printer • Unpleasant cold pink-ish looking "black & white" print + darker highlights



I noticed something else in general (both color as well black & white" prints: Scrutinizing the two prints i have printed this far - I see with fine eyes close upfront - that there is a hunch of "graininess" visible in the photos. (The original image files had no visible noise). You can spot this in the transition from medium to darker shadows where it becomes more visible than in other areas. A sort of unbalance in how smooth the gray tones go from light to dark. This has to do with the dotting pattern of the printer itself, of course. After all... there are only 3 colors + black in this printer - so the transitions from medium to dark areas, are a bit coarser.

Yet, the quality is better than the Epson 3 color + black printer from 1999. But goish, who would ever come of the idea to compare a 1999 printer with one bought in 2024 ?!


It is just a low-end printer, remember.

Anyway - this is just a low-end / entry printer with only 3 colors + black. The image quality is better than expected, but does not in truth come close to the output from professional printers like the Epson P-900. The latter would be my choice of printer for professional, long lasting work (with pigmented inks instead of dye-based inks)

It is just that I have no need or use for such a printer.

After a couple of A2+ images on the walls... they would be full. And then ? What would I want to do with more large prints ? Piling them up somewhere in a drawer ? As long I am not selling photography, there is no need for such large images.

I like the color output from this low-end printer. By that I mean; they are far better (in relative terms) than i ever had expected coming from such a printer with only 3 colors. I also love that the ink is so extremely affordable where one fill up literally "lasts forever".

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