Steve's Digicams


Stylus Photo R1800

Review posted 9/28/2005

Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Photo Printer

The Stylus Photo R1800 - Wide Carriage & Longevity

The Epson Stylus Photo R1800 offers digital artists a wide selection of photo printing features, fast print speeds and a high level of enduring image quality up to 200 years. Based on the letter-size-format Stylus Photo R800, the Stylus Photo R1800 uses the same UltraChrome Hi-Gloss™ eight-color pigment inks and is capable of making photo quality prints up to 13 inches wide and 44 inches long. This is Epson’s fastest photo printer to date, capable of printing an 11”x14” color image in less than two minutes.

With patented, true BorderFree photo printing technology, the Stylus Photo R1800 is able to produce prints in a variety of frame-ready and portfolio-ready photo paper sizes. Customers can print their photos (without having to trim the borders or tear off perforations) in seven sizes: 4”x6”, 5”x7”, 8”x10”, 8.5” x 11” (letter), 11”x14”, 12”x12” and 13”x19”. Users can also print on 4-inch, 8.3-inch and 13-inch widths of photographic roll media.

The Stylus Photo R1800 raises the bar on long-lasting photos by supporting a wide selection of media types and sizes of borderless Epson archival media. The printer's output can resist fading up to 200 years on Epson’s Watercolor Paper Radiant White, and up to 300 years on Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper when kept in “dark storage” environments such as in photo albums. In addition, the rating for Epson UltraChrome Hi Gloss ink on Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper has recently been updated to 104 years in normal lighting conditions.

The Stylus Photo R1800 is the first 13-inch-wide format printer in the U.S. capable of printing directly onto inkjet printable CDs or DVDs. Users simply place these disks in a tray that slides through the printer’s front-loading CD tray and path. This capability is only offered by Epson and can also be found on the Stylus Photo R200, R300/R300M, R320 and R800. Users can create their own CD or DVD designs, or utilize colorful backgrounds and images with the included Epson Print CD software.

The printer comes with Epson Print CD Software, Print Image Matching Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and three filters from Nik Color Efex Pro™ 2.0, which operate on both PC and Macintosh platforms. Epson RAW Print is also included for easy printing of RAW format image files. Supported by Windows 2000 and XP, Epson RAW Print works with the following cameras: Epson RD-1, Nikon D70 and Canon EOS Rebel. Color management solutions include premium ICC color profiles, X-Rite Complete Guide to Color Management, and an exclusive offer by X-Rite for Monaco™ EZ Color.

The Stylus Photo R1800 supports Windows 2000 and XP and Mac OS X 10.2.4 or higher with both Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports.

Stylus Photo R1800 Features:

  • 8-Color UltraChrome™ archival inks in individual ink cartridges

  • Improved matte quality with optional Matte Black ink cartridge

  • 5760 x 1440 dpi resolution with ultra-fine 1.5-picoliter droplets

  • Fast print times: 4x6" photo in 42 sec., 11x14" in under 2 minutes

  • Borderless photo printing: 4”x6”, 5”x7”, 8”x10”, 8.5” x 11” (letter), 11”x14”, 12”x12” and 13”x19” and with roll paper

  • Prints directly on inkjet printable CDs and DVDs

  • Epson PRINT Image Matching (PIM) technology ensures that digital cameras and Epson printers work together to produce the best possible prints

  • USB 2.0 and FireWire (IEEE 1394) connectivity

  • Fade-resistant photos lasting up to 100-200 years

    (Light fastness rating of 104 years with Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper, and 200 years with Epson Watercolor Paper Radiant White, based on accelerated testing of prints displayed indoors, framed under glass. See www.wilhelm-research.com for test details and information on other Epson papers.)


Initial setup went smoothly on my Windows XP machine. It took longer to install all of the bundled software than setting up the printer itself. Figure on spending a good half an hour from the time you open up the box. As with most printers, the Stylus Photo R1800 comes with a large " Start Here Card" set of instructions that guides you through the whole setup process. You just follow the numbered steps, it's easy.

The setup isn't much different from other inkjet printers except there's a few more ink cartridges to install. The Stylus Photo R1800 uses eight ink tanks; Photo Black, Matte Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Red, Blue and Gloss Optimizer.

Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Photo Printer

The Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss ink set is designed specifically for professional and advanced amateur photographers and digital artists who seek superior image quality, fade-resistance, and flexibility. Advancing beyond the traditional combination of cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) inks, the UltraChrome Hi-Gloss ink set adds red and blue inks that expand the color gamut of these primary colors. The UltraChrome inks are pigment based whereas most inkjet printers use dye based inks. Dye based ink prints can (and do) fade over time because of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light and airborne pollutants. The pigment based inks are formulated so that the ink droplets are protected by a microscopic layer of resin and this covering makes them much more fade resistant.

Pigment based inks give you longevity and look great on matte papers but because the ink is not absorbed into glossy papers, some areas will end up looking "bronzed." To solve this phenomenon Epson added the Gloss Optimizer to the UltraChrome's ink set. Think of gloss optimizer like the clear overcoat that protects a fine lacquer paint job. It fills in the void areas between colors and gives the surface of the paper a nice, uniform glossy finish. Gloss optimizer is automatically turned off when the selected media is a matte type.

Behind each ink cartridge is a red LED indicator that illuminate when an ink tank runs out. The ink levels are constantly monitored and a software popup warning is displayed whenever the ink gets low, the red LED tells you that it's now empty.

Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Photo Printer

The Stylus Photo uses two different black inks, Matte Black for matte media and Photo Black for glossy and all other media types. The Matte Black yields higher density and contrast on matte papers and is ideal for matte fine art photography. It also produces superior B&W prints on matte paper.

Using an eight-channel print head, the Stylus Photo R1800 conveniently contains a Gloss Optimizer as well as both the Photo Black and Matte Black ink cartridges in the printer at all times, avoiding the need to swap cartridges. The printer driver automatically determines which black ink to use based on the paper type selected.

Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Photo Printer

The printer "knows" which ink cartridges are in the printer and exactly how much ink is left in them. There are tiny "smart" chips on each ink tank. You can actually remove a cartridge and then put it back in the printer later and the ink level indicators will remain accurate. These IntellidgeTM cartridges actually count each ink droplet used to keep track of the ink remaining. Other information is also stored in the ink cartridge's smart chip such as the manufacturer, its product code and date of manufacture.

After installing all of the ink cartridges (remember to shake each cartridge first), you press the Ink button on the front and it begins the all to familiar "pump up" cycle. This primes the ink lines and printhead which uses up a certain amount of ink, so don't try to figure the per print costs based on your first set of ink cartridges. The initial charging cycle takes a few minutes during which time you can insert the CD and begin the installation of the software drivers.

Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Photo Printer

Compatible with both Windows and Macintosh platforms, the Stylus R1800 features both a high speed USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 "FireWire" port on the back.

Halfway through the software driver installation it will ask you to plug it into the computer. The Stylus Photo R1800 comes with a FireWire cable but no USB cable, Windows/PC users will need to have one before installing the printer.

Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Photo Printer

Epson's Velvet Fine Art, canvas and other "thick" fine art papers can be fed through the manual paper feed in the rear. The manual paper path supports a variety of media up to 1.3 mm in thickness.

Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Photo Printer

Here's the roll paper holders mounted on the back of the printer. Shown here with a 4" roll of photo paper. The printer handles 4", 8.3" and 13" width roll paper stock for edge-to-edge borderless printing. The roll paper is fed into the manual feed paper path which automatically pulls the paper up to the start point.

Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Photo Printer

I can't recommend the use of the 4" wide roll paper as these prints never seem to sit flat again. These prints were under a heavy book for three days and still retain as much curve as when first printed. The roll paper is nice for making wall-size panoramas, but for borderless 4x6" prints, I'll go with the cut sheets.

Here's a tip for better using 4" roll paper from Jon Falk:

    For years I've used the Epson roll paper feature. Curly prints result from cutting the roll to 4x6's too soon. Instead of putting cut prints into a book for three days to try to flatten them (which doesn't work), simply roll the finished prints white side out and wrap a rubber band around the roll to hold it tight. Leave it sit overnight (two days less than the book technique). The cut prints from the reverse-rolled prints will lay nearly as flat as those from a mini lab digi print machine. Another trick - when printing in a place where rubber band shortages are critical - if the whole roll of paper is printed, just reverse-wind it (white side out) and then simply put it back into the box for the 'overnight' trick.

Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Photo Printer

The R1800 is the first 13"-wide format printer sold in the U.S. capable of printing directly onto inkjet printable CDs or DVDs. Users simply place these disks in a tray that slides through the front-loading CD tray and path.

Users can create their own CD or DVD designs, or utilize colorful backgrounds and images with the included Epson Print CD software.

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Stylus Photo R1800 Specifications

Printing Technology

  • Advanced Micro Piezo® 8-color pigment ink jet technology, optimized for photo printing

Nozzle Configuration

  • 180 nozzles (per cartridge)

Ink Palette

  • 8-color (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Photo Black, Matte Black, Red, Blue, and Gloss Optimizer)

Ink Cartridge Configuration

  • Individual cartridges

Ink Type

  • Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss™ Pigment Ink

Minimum Ink Droplet Size

  • 1.5-picoliter

Ink Cartridge Life

Black Ink Yield

  • 550 pages ISO/IEC 10561 letter pattern, 400 pages graphics at 5% coverage¹

Color Ink Yield

  • 400 pages at 5% coverage per color¹

Gloss Optimizer Yield

  • 400 pages at 5% coverage¹

Ink Shelf Life

  • 2 years from production date; 6 months from first use

Maximum Resolution (dots per inch)

  • 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi

Print Speed

4" x 6" Photo

  • 42 sec. (Photo Mode)²

11" x 14" Photo

  • 1 min. 51 sec (Photo Mode)²

Paper Handling

Maximum Paper Width

  • Single sheet - 13", Roll paper - 13"

Maximum Printable Area

  • 13" x 44"

Paper Sizes

  • 4"x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", letter (8.5" x 11"), 11" x 14", 12" x 12", 13" x 19", B (11" x 17"), A3+, Super B (13" x 19"), user definable, plus 4", 8.3" and 13" wide panoramic roll papers

Borderless Photo Sizes

  • Popular 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", letter (8.5" x 11"), 11" x 14", 12" x 12", 13" x 19", and panoramic sizes

Paper Types

  • Premium Glossy Photo Paper, Premium Semigloss Photo Paper, Premium Luster Photo Paper, Enhanced Matte Paper, Matte Paper Heavy-weight, Water Color Radiant White, Premier Art Matte Scrapbooking Paper, Photo Quality Inkjet Paper, Premium Bright White Paper, plain paper, ink jet printable CDs/DVDs.

Special Media Support

  • Roll paper - 4", 8.3" , and 13" rolls , Direct CD printing

Direct CD / DVD Printing Support

  • Yes

Light Resistance / Print Longevity

  • Fade resistance of 104 years for Epson Premium Glossy Paper, 150 years for Epson Matte Paper Heavyweight, and 200 years for Epson Watercolor Radiant Matte Paper³

Paper Capacity

  • Input paper tray: 100 Sheets(plain paper)/ 20 sheets (photo paper)/ 1 printable CD/DVD

Hardware and Software Details

Printer Dimensions & Weight

  • (L x W x H): 24.2" x 12.6" x 9.1"; Weight: 33 lb

Printer Case Color

  • Silver and dark gray

Interface and Connectivity

  • Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and FireWire® (IEEE 1394)

Operating Systems

  • Windows 2000/XP, Mac OSX 10.2.4 or higher

Software Included

  • Epson Print CD Software, PRINT Image Matching Plug-In for Adobe Photoshop, Epson Raw Print, Nik Multimedia Color Efex Pro 2.0 (3 sample filters)

Printer Language

  • EPSON ESC/P Expanded Raster Graphics Code

PostScript Support

  • No

Color Management

  • EPSON Standard, EPSON Vivid Color, and Adobe RGB

Color Management Solutions

  • Premium ICC Color Profiles, GretagMacBeth EyeOne Share, X-Rite Complete Color Management Guide and Monaco EZ Color demo

Sound Level

  • 47dB(A) (max)

Printer Duty

  • 25,000 pages - letter

Environmental Conditions

  • Temperature: Operating 50°; to 95°; F (10° to 35° C), Storage -4° to 140° F (-20° to 60° C); Humidity: Operating 20% to 80% relative humidity, Storage 5% to 85% relative humidity (without condensation)

Safety Approvals

  • Safety standards: UL60950, CSA 22.2 No. 60950; FCC part 15 subpart B class B, CSA C108.8 class B

Power Requirements

Rated Voltage

  • 120V AC

Rated Frequency

  • 50 - 60 Hz

Rated Current

  • 0.5 Amp (0.8 Amp max.)

Power Consumption

  • Approx. 20 W (Energy Star compliant), approx. 2 W in Standby mode

Input Buffer

  • 64KB


  • One-year limited warranty in the U.S. and Canada


    ¹Cartridge yields will vary with images printed, print settings, paper type and frequency of use. Printer ships with full cartridges and some ink from the first cartridge is used for initialization.

    ²Color photo speed is in Photo mode on Premium Glossy Photo Paper. Additional processing time will vary based on system configuration, software application and page complexity.

    ³ Lightfastness rating of 104 years with Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper, and 200 years with Epson Watercolor Paper Radiant White, based on accelerated testing of prints displayed indoors, framed under glass. See www.wilhelm-research.com for test details and information on other Epson papers. Actual prints stability will vary according to display conditions, light intensity, humidity, and atmospheric conditions. Epson does not guarantee longevity of prints. For maximum print life, display all prints under glass or properly store them.

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