ICC Profiles for the Epson 3800 Advanced B&W Photo Driver

by Eric Chan

Last updated: April 12, 2010


Icicles, Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire, March 2005



In an earlier article, I described how to build and use gray curves for the Epson Advanced B&W Photo (ABW) driver. These gray curves provide screen-to-print matching when printing B&W images through the ABW driver. However, they're inconvenient to use because (1) you have to remember to apply the gray curve (e.g., via an adjustment layer) prior to printing and (2) applying a gray curve is different from the usual color-managed workflow involving ICC printer profiles. In addition, if you print from an application such as Lightroom (as I do), then you can't use gray curves at all unless you first perform an inconvenient round-trip operation to Photoshop.

To address this problem, I have written a small software program that builds gray curves into ICC profiles. This makes it easy to get screen-to-print matching when using the ABW driver: you can use exactly the same workflow as when printing color images, from any printing application (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.). The only difference is that you select an ABW profile instead of a RGB color profile.

I have built ICC profiles for the 3800 ABW driver for several papers and am making them publicly available. You may download them from the table below (free of charge).

Important Note: In general, these profiles will not work well for other Epson printer models, such as the R2400, R2880, 3880, 4800, 4880, etc. Different models use different inks and/or different screening methods. It doesn't hurt to try these profiles with other models, but please be aware that the tonality may be significantly off (e.g., your prints may come out way too light or way too dark). I have started building ABW profiles for the newer 3880 model and they are available for download on a separate page.

Download and Installation Instructions

Please download the appropriate ICC profile from the table below.

To install the profiles:

  • If you're on Windows, right-click on the .icc profile in Explorer and choose Install Profile from the popup menu.
  • If you're on Mac, drag them here: /Library/ColorSync/Profiles

Then restart your printing application (e.g., Photoshop, Lightroom) and you should see the profiles available in the Printer Profile popup menu.

Profiles and recommended driver settings

  • When using the provided profiles, be sure to use the Media Type and Tone settings listed below.
  • Use the Perceptual rendering intent (black point compensation doesn't matter).
  • Set the print quality to 1440 dpi for matte papers, 2880 dpi for photo papers.
  • Set the Platen Gap to Wide for all papers, except for Enhanced Matte (in which case use Auto).
  • Set the Paper Thickness according to the thickness listed in the paper specifications.
  • Disable (uncheck) High Speed, Finest Detail, and Edge Smoothing for all papers.
  • Leave all other driver settings (e.g., color density, drying time, paper feed adjustment, etc.) at their default values.

In the table below, the Media Type column lists the Media Type setting that you should choose in the ABW driver. I've used the following abbreviations:

  • PGPP = Premium Glossy Photo Paper
  • PLPP = Premium Luster Photo Paper
  • PSGP = Premium Semigloss Photo Paper
  • EEM = Enhanced Matte
  • VFA = Velvet Fine Art
  • USFA = Ultrasmooth Fine Art
  • WPRW = Watercolor Paper Radiant White

Similarly, the Tone column lists the Tone setting that you should choose in the ABW driver (Dark, Normal, or Light).

Using the Media Type and Tone settings that I've listed below is important, because I created the profiles using these settings.

Paper ABW Profile (zip file) Media Type Tone
Arches Infinity Smooth 3800 AIS ABW 1440.icc WPRW Normal
Canson Infinity Baryta Photographique 3800 Canson Baryta Photographique ABW.icc PGPP Dark
Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag 3800 Canson Platine Fibre Rag ABW.icc PGPP Dark
Crane Museo Max 3800 CMM ABW 1440.icc WPRW Normal
Crane Museo Portfolio Rag 3800 CMPR ABW 1440.icc WPRW Dark
Crane Museo Silver Rag 3800 CMSR ABW.icc PLPP Dark
Epson Enhanced Matte 3800 EEM ABW 1440.icc EEM Dark
Epson Exhibition Fiber 3800 EEF ABW 2880.icc PLPP Dark
Epson Hot Press Bright 3800 Hot Press Bright ABW.icc USFA Dark
Epson Premium Luster 3800 EPL ABW 2880.icc PLPP Dark
Epson Velvet Fine Art 3800 VFA ABW 1440.icc VFA Dark
Epson UltraSmooth Fine Art 3800 USFA ABW 1440.icc USFA Dark
Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta 3800 HFAB ABW 2880.icc PLPP Dark
Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl 3800 Hahnemuehle Fine Art Pearl ABW.icc PGPP Dark
Hahnemühle German Etching 3800 HGE ABW 1440.icc VFA Light
Hahnemühle Photo Rag 3800 HPR ABW 1440.icc VFA Light
Hahnemühle Photo Rag Bright White 3800 HPRBW ABW 1440.icc VFA Light
Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta 3800 HPRB ABW 2880.icc PGPP Dark
Hahnemühle Photo Rag Pearl 3800 HPRP ABW 2880.icc PSGP Dark
Hahnemühle William Turner 3800 HWT ABW 1440.icc VFA Dark
Harman Gloss FB Al 3800 HMGLFBAl ABW 2880.icc PGPP Dark
Harman Matte FB Mp 3800 HMFBMp ABW 1440.icc USFA Normal
Hawk Mountain Condor BW 3800 CondorBW ABW 1440.icc WPRW Dark
Ilford Gold Fibre Silk 3800 IGFS ABW 2880.icc PSGP Dark
Ilford Smooth Gloss 3800 ISG ABW 2880.icc PGPP Dark
Ilford Smooth Pearl 3800 ISP ABW 2880.icc PLPP Dark
Inkpress Baryta Warm Tone 3800 IBWT ABW.icc PLPP Dark
Innova FibaPrint Ultra Smooth Gloss 3800 IFUSG ABW 2880.icc PGPP Dark
Innova FibaPrint Warm-Tone Gloss 3800 IFWTG ABW 2880.icc PGPP Dark
Innova FibaPrint White Gloss 3800 IFWG ABW 2880.icc PGPP Dark
Innova FibaPrint White Matte 3800 IFWM ABW 2880.icc WPRW Dark
Innova FibaPrint White Semi-Matte 3800 IFWSM ABW 2880.icc PGPP Dark
Innova Smooth Cotton High White 3800 ISCHW ABW 2880.icc WPRW Dark
Innova Soft White Cotton 3800 ISWC ABW 1440.icc USFA Dark
Moab Entrada Fine Art Bright White 3800 MEFABW ABW 1440.icc USFA Normal
Moab Entrada Fine Art Natural 3800 MEFAN ABW 2880.icc USFA Normal
Moab Kokopelli Studio Semi-Gloss 3800 MKSSG ABW 2880.icc PLPP Dark
PremierArt Generations Alise Bright White 3800 PremierArt Generations Alise Bright White ABW.icc USFA Dark
PremierArt Matte BW n/a VFA Dark
Red River Arctic Polar Satin 3800 RRAPS ABW 2880.icc PLPP Dark
Red River Aurora Art Natural 3800 RRAN ABW 1440.icc EEM Normal
Red River Aurora Art White 3800 RRAW ABW 1440.icc USFA Normal
Red River Dourian Art 3800 RRDA ABW 1440.icc USFA Normal
Red River Premium Matte 2.0 3800 RRPM20 ABW 1440.icc USFA Normal
Red River UltraPro Gloss 2.0 3800 RRUPG ABW 2880.icc PGPP Dark
Red River UltraPro Satin 2.0 3800 RRUPS ABW 2880.icc PLPP Dark