A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Epson 3800 Transparency film for contact printing, is it possible

Chris Watts , Jul 27, 2012; 08:52 a.m.

Hallo, I have found scant information about this on the web so far, plus nothing on the forum really so far. I phoned Epson out of desperation and asked them if the 3800 model can print on transparency film or tracing paper, they said absolutely not. Mmm I never trust epson but could not believe that they would lie, But it seems they did. I found two meagre references to someone mentioning that he uses Pictorico transparency on an old 3800 and another website that claims to provide exceptional quality transparency film for "Large format pigment inkjet printers", I have emailed them to find out exactly what printers they are referring to.
In the meantime I simply wish to ask whether or not people doing Contact Printing have or are using an Epson 3800 and exactly what transparency film they recommend please.
Kind regards


L G , Jul 27, 2012; 09:45 a.m.

I think in this case Epson isn't telling the whole truth. It's true they don't make a transparency film for the printer, but some transparency films do work fine in their printers.
You will be able to find lots of information on the http://www.dpug.org/. The CarbonTransfer group on Yahoo http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/CarbronTransfer/ also has lots of information, and I think a majority of the people who print inkjet negatives for carbon are using Epsons. I have made them successfully on Pictorico with the 3880.

David W. Griffin , Jul 27, 2012; 01:05 p.m.

They aren't true transparencies, but there used to be an clear plastic "film" that did print on Epsons reasonably well. I used them to make something to hang up next to window panes. It didn't look too bad. You'll probably have to experiment with the transparency film you find in the store till you find one that works. It probably won't be perfect but it might look pretty good.

Chris Watts , Jul 27, 2012; 04:55 p.m.

Thankyou for your tips. Too much reading in that first site before you even get snippets of useful information, know that you meant well, but site searching can be so tiring after a week. Anyway found a starter from Permajet, especially made for contact prints apparantly. Never used Permajet, only Hahnemuhle and Ilford for inkjet prints, so it was nice to see they did transparency. What did you mean David when you said: "They aren't true transparencies...", were you referring to Pictorico?

Scott Ferris , Jul 30, 2012; 09:16 p.m.


I never heard so much rubbish, not from you, from whoever you spoke to at Epson. I use transparency film, made by Epson, in a 4900 that has the same K3 ink set as your 3800.

It is specifically made for contact printing, here.

Chris Watts , Jul 31, 2012; 03:10 a.m.

Hi Scott, this is exactly the page that I had seen. I am going back to Epson just to let off steam and complain about their incompetent answer. You, I presume, use the Ultra premium as opposed to the ordinary premium? I notice that one mentions the chrome black ink and the other does not, yet Pictorico insists via their information that there is absolutely no difference in the two, which I found, upon reading, to be a bit ridiculous. And also another thing, they offer ICC profiles for a lot of epsons except the 3800, contacted them about this but have received no reply at all. All a bit disturbibg to be honest. Can you offer any hope here?

Scott Ferris , Jul 31, 2012; 09:41 a.m.

Hi Chris,

To tell the truth I had never paid any attention to it. I use it for my girlfriend who does screen printing and intaglio printing after etching plates. The transparency print is a small part of her process but it works in my printer so I am tasked with doing it :-)

But it is the same thing as you are trying to do, she is contact printing to light sensitive emulsions from printed transparency sheets, Pictorico (I mistakenly credited that to Epson, on looking at the box it is not an Epson product but a Mitsubishi one). Here is their ICC profile page that includes the 3800 though it doesn't have the transparency one, it also doesn't have my 4900 at all, but I just use the Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper profile as per their recommendation that is on the pdf linked to on that page, and it works fine.

Paul Viapiano , Aug 15, 2012; 12:30 a.m.

Freestyle Photo makes an OHP film called Arista...Google it...works perfectly on the 3800 for contact printing of alternative processes. You can even contact print gelatin silver with the right profile and image. I've been making negs all day on my 3800.

Chris Watts , Aug 15, 2012; 08:02 a.m.

Hi Paul, This unfortunately is another USA product so a pain to order. I am sticking to pictorico ultra. But if you do a lot of scanning, may I ask do you place the paper front or rear load? And do you adjust the platen gap or celotape the transparency to another piece of card?

Back to top

Notify me of Responses