Favorites: Best Printer for Black and White – Epson 3880

In Black and White Photography, Hardware on February 1, 2010 at 11:02 am

Epson 3880

We often get asked for recommendations on equipment and will respond with a list of candidates. When it comes to the current state of printers in the sweet spot of 17” X 22” formats there is a current leader: The Epson 3880.

With the previously introduced Advanced Black and White  (ABW) printer driver combined with UltraChrome K3 ink and an auto switchable glossy/matte mode, this model is the best for Black and White enthusiasts.


  • Industry-leading pigment ink technology: Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink for intense blues and violets
  • Professional control – Advanced Black-and-White Photo Mode to easily create neutral or toned black- and white prints from color or monochrome images
  • Precision print head technology – Advanced MicroPiezo AMC, one-inch wide print head with ink-repelling coating for accurate dot placement
  • Optimal black density – auto-switching Matte and Photo Black ink for a high Dmax and superior contrast on glossy, matte and fine art papers
  • Advanced image quality architecture – smoother color transitions and outstanding highlight and shadow detail with AccuPhoto HD2 screening algorithms
  • Broad media support – create prints up to 17" x 22" on media types including semimatte paper, fiber paper, fine art media or art boards up to 1.5 mm thick

HP and Canon also have very good printers but utilize a different technology for ink application that is lagging Epson in detail capture and contrast control.

The ABW mode does not support ICC profiling but allows for a great deal of fine tuning. Photoshop soft proofing is not supported except through special workarounds.

Nonetheless, the images are excellent and relatively easy to produce with fine art level results.

For a good 3880 printing workflow developed for the earlier 3800 model see:Eric Chan

  1. Hi, that was definitely an awesome post. I had actually been searching for a photo printing related blog for a while now. Thanks! I have a similar blog, how much do you charge for advertising? because I can’t seem to find the details anywhere.

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