Epson has launched the 24-inch Stylus Pro 7900 and 44-inch Stylus Pro 9900. Both feature an improved ink formulation, a new printer mechanism and a raft of new technologies to make them ideal for production and contract proofing, as well as the highest quality fine-art and photographic applications, according to the company.

In addition, an optional calibration and verification system, the Epson SpectroProofer™, means the Stylus Pro 7900 and the Stylus Pro 9900 can be confidently used for remote proofing.

The new printer mechanism implemented in the Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 builds on Epson’s MicroPiezo TFP (Thin Film Piezo) print head, introduced with the launch of the Stylus Pro 11880 last year. It delivers perfectly spherical dots with high precision dot placement and can deliver resolutions up to 2,880dpi. Both the number of nozzles and throughput has been doubled in the Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900, resulting in a maximum speed of up to 40m2/hr. At these increased print speeds, the new 10-channel MicroPiezo TFP™ print head ensures production of the highest image quality.

The Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and Stylus Pro 9900 utilise a new 5th generation pigment ink, which is key to the quality of print output. Epson UltraChrome™ HDR (High Dynamic Range) ink is an 11-colour ink set consisting of Photo black, Matte black, Light black, Light Light black, Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Yellow, Light cyan, Vivid Light magenta, Orange and Green available in 350ml and 700ml cartridges.

This ink set expands Epson’s UltraChrome K3 inks with Vivid Magenta by adding Orange and Green inks, which the company says significantly increases the range of colours that can be achieved, especially bright green to yellow, and yellow to red. The Orange ink in particular contributes to smoother skin tones. Epson UltraChrome HDR pushes the limits of ink chemistry to deliver the widest colour gamut on the market to date on a variety of media. This makes the Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 ideal solutions to address the high demand for colour representation in proof production, especially when there is a particular requirement for spot colours.

Epson says that the new ink technology’s ability to both maximize the colour gamut without sacrificing print quality and deliver smoother gradation is optimised by the company's new Look Up Table technology. Through advanced mathematical translation of RGB into 11-colour CMYK, the LUT technology seamlessly integrates hi-fidelity primaries allowing colour constancy under different light conditions, smoother transitions between colours, grain reduction and gamut smoothing.

The optional SpectroProofer tool turns the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and Stylus Pro 9900 into a proof verification and printer calibration solution, making remote proofing a reality. By using this spectrophotometer solution, colour control workflows such as colour calibration, colour certification, a daily colour check, profile creation, spot colour matching, colour shift tracking and target measurement can be achieved automatically and very precisely. Furthermore, a colour certification label, like the Fogra wedge, can be printed to support the certification process. The Epson SpectroProofer in-line, off-carriage calibration and verification system is powered by an X-Rite spectrophotometer and controlled by Epson SpectroProofer software or a third party RIP. It is available with or without a UV-cut filter as well as changeable black or white backing.

Other new technologies featured in the Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 include the ability to automatically switch between Photo and Matte Black inks; an integral automatic media rotary knife cutting system; a new spindleless roll holder mechanism; a new automatic paper set/release mechanism and Epson’s new automatic nozzle check technology. In addition, the launch of the two new printers sees the launch of a new line up of high performance fine art media, as well as backlit media.