Epson L310 under linux, plus an optimized gutenprint configuration

09.11.18

While I do have a Pro-10s, printing photos on it is quite tedious, (and more so since I cannot print to it from Linux.) I tried the TurboPrint driver but the quality far from what I was expecting (and far from the proprietary driver), even after quite some tweaking and costly.

Most of my prints just hang on my wall for a few months until I get bored and replace them, so I wanted a small, efficient and economical printer for quick prints. I decided on the L310 because Gutenprint supports it and the reviews on the web were all raving about EPSON's ink tank system. On the other hand photo quality didn't seem to be one of its strong points.

Thus, I expected the photo quality to be mediocre but even so I was in for a nasty surprise. The quality was awful.

weird embossed texture in print

I tried to align the print heads but that proved difficult to do from linux. The escputil did not recognize the printer and epson.gr said that Linux was not supported, (which is false, there is a driver and utility here but I didn't know it at the time)

On windows I did an alingment and a test print of the same photo. It came out darker than it should and quite warmer but the quality was good enough and at a decent speed.

It turned out that the quality issue on Linux went away after turning off borderless printing (and weirdly didn't come back after enabling it again, maybe it was another setting), but now the prints were really really dark.

many many prints

More than 80 successful and a few failed prints later and I have reached quality better than the default windows print. My settings look as follows. The temperature of the prints match my color-calibrated at D65 monitor.

My L310 Gutenprint settings

So these are the settings I have settled with

Brightness:       1,080
Contrast:         0,750

Cyan Density:     1,100
Magenta Density:  1,100
Yellow Density:   0,550
Black Density:    0,900

Composite Gamma: 1,020

and a luminosity map as shown below. I think the luminosity map creates some banding issues and it could be optimized a bit more (or set to default and play a little bit more with the composite gamma)

gutenprint settings screenshot

Conclusion

All in all I'm pretty happy with this printer. It seems quite cheap to run (this is the ink level after almost 50 prints), the quality is very good, especially if you take your time to print in 2880x1440 (I usually print at a quarter of that resolution, 1440x720 because impatient).

ink levels after almost 50 prints

My only gripe is that I haven't managed to print completely borderless. The left side always has a tiny margin.

Update:

I deleted the luminosity curve and I increased the cyan and magenta density even more:

These are my current settings:

Brightness:       1,080
Contrast:         0,750

Cyan Density:     1,600
Magenta Density:  1,600
Yellow Density:   0,650
Black Density:    0,900

Composite Gamma: 1,020