Nigel Atkinson Photography

Equipment review: Epson Stylus Photo 1290 printer


Before reading this review please read my general introduction to reviews here


I first bought this for black and white prints because it was impossible to get decent ones from a lab. On arrival I installed Lyson Small Gamut cartridges but I had limited success. I could get fairly neutral prints from the printer but with moderate exposure to sunlight I found them shifting towards green before fading away within a few months.


Once I had the 2100 giving me good colour prints at home for the first time I decided to switch the 1290 back to Epson inks and retire my 890 (as three printers seemed excessive even for me). The 1290 started to produce truly excellent prints immediately without any need to profile it. Either my 1290 is one of the best made or my 890 was one of the worst, but I am really happy with the prints it makes on both glossy and semi-glossy paper. I use it for giveaway photos and rough proof before printing on the 2100.


I have just invested in a colour profile for Epson's Premium Semi-gloss as this paper doesn't feature in the 1290's driver yet I really like it. The profile was done very quickly by Stone Quay Studio in London, and I'm now trying to assess the subtle differences that have resulted.

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Nigel Atkinson