Printing the Panorama

My only printers have been Epsons and  therefore these notes are based on using both A4 and A3+ versions, starting with a Stylus 600 and now using a 2100 with the Lyson Fotonic continuous ink system from Marrutt Digital of Uckfield.

Panoramics are simple with an A4 machine, the initial problem is the paper size and my first efforts were on A2 paper carefully cut into 21cm strips.

Next stage is to select the user defined paper size in the properties section of the printer driver and type in the dimensions of your paper strips, as an example say 100mm X 650mm and save them with a suitable name, maybe Panorama 100X650, for future use. PC's and Macs have different layouts for the setting up dialogue boxes but mainly the same information and then use the printer settings you would normally use for the type of paper you have cut into strips. Maximum depth on an A4 machine is about 210mm and width will almost certainly be a maximum of 1100mm or 44 inches. More of this later.

 The strips were carefully rolled, with the printing surface inside and fed through the normal feed, making sure the end entered the printer at exactly the desired angle. Not easy but with practice it is possible, with later machines you could utilise the roll paper feature which makes life a lot easier. Watch in wonder as this marvellous long creation appears and make sure you catch the paper before it falls to the ground.

The quality of paper to print on is now amazing and it is possible to purchase rolls from makers such as Lyson, Epson, Somerset Mills, Hahnemuhle, etc with superb surface textures that are normally only available for large format printers. These are then rolled out as required and cut to size with a craft knife, ruler and a cutting mat

Thicker art papers and card are best fed through the rear feed on the 2100 and the new GRP tray has adjustable guides that guarantee precise paper alignment. Without this guiding system it is extremely difficult to control the parallel feed of the paper and if you get it wrong there is the possibility of damaging the printer mechanism, apart from the frustration of having to trim the print and waste paper..

The Continuous Ink System and Lyson Fotonic Inks were supplied by John Read of Marrutt Digital in Uckfield and they have been really helpful throughout the whole transition from cartridges to the new set up. The ability to be able to print these long images without one of the cartridges becoming empty and stopping the session, resulting in the waste of both paper and ink, has been both a joy and a relief.

I am also impressed with Epson 2100 itself, the build quality and ability to keep churning out huge and impressive panoramas. It is just a shame about the dependence on such small cartridges.

Many thanks to Epson and John Read for helping satisfy my desires to print these long images.

For more information about Lyson products - www.marrutt.com/panoramics.php

Please click here for the latest developments with this Continuous Ink System.

A mark 2 version has now been in use for several months using modified Epson 2100 cartridges with alternative chips and this link will take you to a brief article about the development.

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