Printing problems Epson R2880 and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl

This afternoon has been a frustrating one. I must have wasted over two hours (and four sheets of expensive A3 paper, not to mention ink) trying to print some photographs for a competition. After a bit more time, digging around on the internet looking for causes and solutions, I finally found the solution.

It all started on the third print. The first two prints were from an old box of Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl, my paper of choice for most printing. Then I had to start a new box and that was where the problem started. The printing process would get to the last half an inch or so, then there was a loud clacking noise, followed by a bang and then the paper would suddenly jump towards the left hand side of the printer (the top of the print). This caused a misalignment of about quarter of an inch, which was of course very obvious in the final product and completely unusable. When I examined the paper, the bottom right hand corner of the print was bent, as if it had been hit by something.

The cause was simple, as was the solution. It seems, that it is a problem that tends to occur mostly with Hahnemuhle paper. Something I have noticed, but not been too concerned about before, is that Hahnemuhle paper is curved towards the printing side. It just so happened, that the offending box was more curved than usual and it must have been this that had worsened a problem that was already there, but not causing noticeable effects. The solution was to flatten the paper. Before printing, I placed the sheet inside the polythene wrapper and rolled it in the opposite direction to the curve, as suggested on one forum. I then used the rear paper feed, which I had never managed to get to work properly (possibly it seems due to the curve) and the printing went without a single hitch, gone also was the alarming clacking noise I’d always had. So something to bear in mind if you get similar printing problems.

5 thoughts on “Printing problems Epson R2880 and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl

  1. I wish this were so! I love the Hahnemuhle matt papers, but my Epson R2400 just can’t hack them. The probem occurred only rarely at first, but now despite cleaning rollers, trying all three feeding options, and a multitude of other suggestions, it just seems to have given up. I tried your tip, as my last hope, but it just didn’t help. The fromnt loading was the most frustrating, it at least always takes the paper, but the edges of the prints are blurred and it leaves ink all over the rollers. I tried the thick paper setting, but noticed that this is set automatically so I turhed it off. Just didn’t work.

    The problem is I ordered 12 boxes of the PhotoRag Ultra Smooth (matt fine art) paper, so which is to go? Once you’ve seen what the printer can do with this paper when it works, it’s hard to go back to other papers (somethiing like Ilford Gallerie Gold, which is a nice paper, looks totally second rate by comparison), so I think it has to be a different make of printer come upgrade time!

    Very nice blog, hope your solution works out for you ini the long term.

    Steve M

    • Thanks for your comments Steve, sorry to hear you’ve had problems. I haven’t tried the front loading, as it seems to be for paper over 1mm if I remember correctly. I found the rear feed quite fiddly at first, but, after setting the correct option in the drivers and working out how much pressure to apply to avoid jams, that seems to be the best option. However, I’ve never had problems with smearing of ink on the rollers. It may depend on print volumes or age, as the 2880 had been out for quite a while by the time I purchased it, so your printer is probably significantly older. I have had some problems with ink “misfires”, but a series of head cleans and nozzle checks eventually solved that problem.

  2. ….I then used the rear paper feed, which I had never managed to get to work properly ….

    when you read the manual then you see that you have to use the rear manual feeder for fineart paper. it´s all written in the manual, i don´t see how that can make problems.

    of course you have to read the manual first…..

    • For your information, I read the manual, more than once and it is less than clear. In Britain, there is the “Use Plain English” campaign and sadly, Epson would fail miserably.
      If you search on the internet, there are a number of reported problems and complaints. Using the rear feed is quite finickety, you have to get the pressure just right when feeding, slightly too hard or too soft and it jams. I get it mostly right now, but it isn’t perfect. To my mind, that is a poor design.
      However, the issue with Hahnemuhle paper isn’t so much the printer and the rear feed, but the fact that the paper is slightly curled, due to the manufacturing process. Again, an internet search revealed that this is also a common problem, with a straightforward solution, as I indicated in the blog post.
      I wouldn’t be so quick to put problems down to user error and not reading a manual. At least ask first before making assumptions.

  3. Yes, the problem exists, it’s very frustrating and the uncurling solution only works sometimes. Usually you can leave large margins and press the left button to take out the page a little before the printing is over (once the image has been completed, of course), but that makes it very difficult to print in A4, and some times ink stains in the border are unavoidable, ruining the print.

    Sometime I lose my joy of printing for weeks… 🙁

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