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Author Topic: 2400 or 4800?  (Read 11756 times)
jayelwin
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« on: March 25, 2006, 06:42:49 PM »
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Hello all,

I am a recent convert to an all digital photography workflow. I am an advanced amateur who's photos consist of mainly vacation shots, portraits of my kids, and stitched panoramas. I only just recently switched off of film when Canon finally made a (somewhat!) affordable full frame sensor camera, the 5D. I currently do all my post processing using Aperture and Photoshop and shoot raw with frequent shots of a WhiBal card to keep things straight. I currently just have my local photofinisher print me C prints on a Noritsu 320 LPI run-of -the-mill laser exposing C printer on Endura paper. When I was entirely film based I had my own darkroom and printed a lot of black and white, and even dabbled in analog color printing.

I have recetly entertained the notion of doing my own printing. I've tried to resesarch these two printers as being possibilities, with the price differential duly noted. I am intrigued by the Black and White capabilities of the K3 inks. I have not been happy with the typical ink jet print I've seen casually through friends but a lot of that may have to do with the lack of caring on the part of the photographer. I loathe glossy prints when getting C prints and I find that the result out of inkjet pritner lacks that "print" feel, it's sort of grippy on your fingertips.

Has anyone been happier with the output from a "pro" or "near-pro" printer in regards to overall quality, including the feel of the print (which paper most feels like endura?), the colors, sharpness, etc. Just wondering which way to go.

Also I am torn over which printer to consider taking into the account the ease of printing 4 x 6 prints which is 90% of my printing with the desire to Occasionally print a larger print. I have printed black and white up to 20 x 24 but I've used MPIX.com with good results - maybe the occasional big print can go out. It also seems that the 4800 cannot just use the 4 x 6 paper as 8 x 10 is the smalles size? is this true?

Also the question of sRGB vs. Adobe RGB? Right now the 5D is set to sRGB since there are no C printers that use a larger color space - would there be an advantage to using Adobe RGB when using an inkjet printer?

Thanks, sorry such a long post.

-Josh
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2006, 07:49:51 PM »
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8.5*11 inch is the smallest sheet a 4800 accepts. That much said, you can fit 3 4*6 images on one sheet and cut them after printing. I always do that when I make prints in the 4*6 size range. The 2400 is an excellent printer. The 4800s are individually calibrated to a fixed standard for the professional and near-professional market. The choice between the two should more likely depend on volume - it is a trade off between the cost difference of the machines versus the ink cost saving you get from the 4800's much larger ink cartridges.

Once you get into digital image processing with these Epson printers, you will want to start with raw files and use ARGB98 or ProPhoto colour space.

I don't know the Endura paper surface. With the 2400/4800 there are so many paper choices - check your dealer's Epson sample book, select what you like, and use the Epson profile provided for that paper when you do your printing. The profiles will be loaded onto your computer with the software. To get good results you should be sure to read-up on the correct colour management settings between Photoshop and the printer.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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soboyle
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2006, 08:32:36 PM »
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I can vouch that the 2400 is a very nice printer indeed, I'm making gallery quality prints with it, so if size isnt an option, I wouldn't hesitate with the 2400. That being said, now that some galleries are getting interested in my work I do wish I had the capability to go to 17 or 24" wide prints.  I think I will go with a larger format printer when the next round of printers are available a year or 2 down the road.
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jayelwin
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2006, 08:59:51 PM »
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Thanks for your replies. I guess for the difference in price I can get quite a few larger prints made professionally.

What I'd love to do is find a place that sells the printer that would let you show up with a file on a thumb drive and make you a print.

Why do you feel the need for the larger gamut color space - does the printer use it?

Thanks for the quick replies.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2006, 06:46:24 AM »
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Thanks for your replies. I guess for the difference in price I can get quite a few larger prints made professionally.

What I'd love to do is find a place that sells the printer that would let you show up with a file on a thumb drive and make you a print.

Why do you feel the need for the larger gamut color space - does the printer use it?

Thanks for the quick replies.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61023\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

These are top of the line Epson printers, and many find them to be better than their predecessors. But you may want to evaluate whether the older or smaller current models can meet you need when used correctly. The 2400/4800 are definitely overkills for 4"x6" prints. If cost is not a concern, either one will work.

Note that the printer's cost is just the tip of the iceberg. These printer's media cost is much higher. To get the best prints from them, you will need to have a color managed workflow, which will cost you bundles more.

Suggestion: get an older or smaller current model for your 4"x6" prints. Start without color management and see if the prints meet your requirements. If they do, you are golden. If they don't, figure out what's wrong. You will need go down this path with the 2400/4800, but won't be burning ink/paper on them. For bigger prints, find a local walkin service to work with you.

Good luck.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2006, 07:18:27 AM »
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Why do you feel the need for the larger gamut color space - does the printer use it?
Yes and no. Editing spaces such as Adobe RGB 1998 and  especially ProPhoto are actually significantly larger than any printer gamut if you only consider total volume, or range of colors. But what many people misunderstand (most famously Will Crockett) is that printer color spaces and editing spaces are shaped differently, and even though printer color spaces are usually smaller overall than sRGB, they will still have some parts that poke out well into Adobe RGB 1998 and ProPhoto territory. If those parts happen to contain some of the oranges you need for your fall foliage scene, or reds you need to print that classic car properly, you'll definitely benefit from editing in ProPhoto even if it's much larger than the overall printer color space.

Using a large editing space such as ProPhoto guarantees you the ability to use the full gamut of whatever printer you may use to output your image both now and well into the future. There's no no reason not to, especially if you edit in 16-bit mode (something you should always do anyway).
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2006, 08:50:44 AM »
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Josh, don't get frightened by the suggestion from Chris_T above that a colour managed workflow will "cost you a bundle more". This is just not correct. If you have already invested in a 5D, Aperture and Photoshop, for another 300 or so you can buy the ColorEyes display from Integrated Color Corporation which is bundle consisting of their software and the X-Rite DPT-94 colorimeter for profiling and calibrating your monitor. Once you have the monitor properly calibrated, are using the correct Epson printer profile for the paper you are using, and have your colour management settings in Photoshop and the printer driver correctly set, you should get decent matching between the monitor and the printer. It isn't rocket science and it won't cost a bundle.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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jayelwin
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2006, 07:18:57 PM »
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Josh, don't get frightened by the suggestion from Chris_T above that a colour managed workflow will "cost you a bundle more". This is just not correct. If you have already invested in a 5D, Aperture and Photoshop, for another 300 or so you can buy the ColorEyes display from Integrated Color Corporation which is bundle consisting of their software and the X-Rite DPT-94 colorimeter for profiling and calibrating your monitor. Once you have the monitor properly calibrated, are using the correct Epson printer profile for the paper you are using, and have your colour management settings in Photoshop and the printer driver correctly set, you should get decent matching between the monitor and the printer. It isn't rocket science and it won't cost a bundle.
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Thanks! I actually have the GMB Eye-One color calibrator for my monitor and use it monthly. I'm hoping to be happy with the paper profiles in general and avoid buying a paper profiling setup for now.

Also about not getting a quality printer for "just 4 x 6 prints." I am most concerned about the quality of these prints especially since they are the ones that are most scrutinized, usually being viewed from a distance measured in inches. I'm much less concerned about a print hanging on the wall.

It seems that the ability to handle 4 x 6 paper, and the rarity of me making larger prints makes the 2400 the logical choice.

Thanks.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2006, 07:40:59 PM »
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Correct on both counts.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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soboyle
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2006, 08:48:11 AM »
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If your primarily printing 4x6 prints, you might want to check out the Epson Picture mate printer, I have heard good things about this printer, and the cost per print is quite low.
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jayelwin
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2006, 01:22:54 PM »
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If your primarily printing 4x6 prints, you might want to check out the Epson Picture mate printer, I have heard good things about this printer, and the cost per print is quite low.
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I guess I want my options open, and if the 2400 handles full bleed 4 x 6 well, and the occasional larger print than it's probably the way to go. I'm not looking to throw money away, but I'm currently spending $0.25 per 4 x 6 and would be willing to spend a bit more if the result was good.

Are the 4 x 6 epson paper choices limited, or does the whole line run in that size?
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akclimber
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2006, 02:25:34 PM »
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Hi there,

I own a 2400 with which I'm very happy.  I print both color and B&W on all types of paper (Moab Entrada Bright 300gm being my current favorite).  The results are very nice indeed.  Swapping matte and photo blacks is annoying but I've learned to live with it.  I purchased the 2400 prior to purchasing a 5D however and now feel constrained by the 13x19 max print size of the 2400.  As soon as Epson annouces that next iteration of the 4800 (hopefully with no black ink switching required), I'll ante up for one.

Cheers!
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ddolde
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2006, 04:44:24 PM »
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My R2400 is great as far as print quality goes, but those tiny ink carts are always on empty.  I would (and will) get a printer that can take the 220ml carts...much more economical  in the long run.
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alainbriot
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2006, 09:45:49 PM »
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"As soon as Epson annouces that next iteration of the 4800 (hopefully with no black ink switching required), I'll ante up for one."

Could be a while.  Except for the ink swap, which can be bypassed using ImagePrint, there's little to improve on.  Another solution to bypass the ink swap are the new papers such as Crane Museo Silver Rag which are fixing to be all one may ever want from a paper.  I am printing on this paper as I type, and the prints are nothing short of stunning.

Alain
« Last Edit: April 13, 2006, 09:54:49 PM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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pobrien3
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2006, 10:10:57 PM »
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...solution to bypass the ink swap are the new papers such as Crane Museo Silver Rag which are fixing to be all one may ever want from a paper.  I am printing on this paper as I type, and the prints are nothing short of stunning. Alain[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62525\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Alain, if I may ask, how are you getting over the ink swap with this paper - which black is loaded in your printer?
Peter
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pobrien3
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« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2006, 10:34:56 PM »
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Josh, I was in your position a year or so ago (when unfortunately the choice of printers wasn't as good), so I decided to test the waters and learn the craft by buying the cheap R800 - prints A4 size max, and has the gloss optimiser so produces very nice glossy prints (I know you don't like those!).  Colur profiling the thing proved to be a challenge, as did learning how to overcome it's limitations in the low-value browns and greens, but now I get prints from it that greatly surpass anything I ever did in the darkroom (and I spent years in the bloody place). The point of this is, the only way forward now is to print your own images, and I assure you that once you get through the learning curve for your chosen printer, you'll never look back.

The R800 and the A3 R1800 take 4x6" paper, and that's the majority of what I print (not for art, but it's what most folk want).  I'll buy a larger format printer when the Epson / HP question gets clearer (Epson does poor glossy prints, HP dye printer has inferior B&W and print robustness).  If matt is what you want, the Epson is the way to go.  Once you see what quality you can print (and with the resolution of the 5D), you'll inevitably want to go a bit bigger that the 2400 will allow - you won't want to send them out.  If I shared your criteria, I'd go for the 4800 and buy a decent rotary trimmer for the small pics.
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alainbriot
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« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2006, 02:08:31 AM »
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Alain, if I may ask, how are you getting over the ink swap with this paper - which black is loaded in your printer?
Peter
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I use ImagePrint with Phatte black (both blacks installed at once) but you only need the photo black for Museo Silver Rag.

ALain
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Alain Briot
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2006, 07:46:35 AM »
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For all of us thinking about this or that model of Epson, or Epson versus HP, a word of caution: don't forget to throw CANON into the option set. Their soon to be released new generation of wide-format pigment printers with 12 inks could be the best yet - if I were in the market for a new printer at this time, I would wait for the test reports on these new CANONs before buying anything - and then I would wait a bit to see whether the quality control of the production units is satisfactory.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2006, 09:33:16 AM »
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Coming from the 1280, I'm still very unhappy with the R2400's color management routine in the driver, or the lack thereof. I get best results with the Photoshop driver on "Printer color management" and the printer's driver on "Colorsync", without involving any icc files.

Can't be right.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2006, 10:31:56 AM »
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You're correct - it isn't right. There is something wrong with your colour management settings when you are letting Photoshop Determine Colors. You need to check that all the relevant settings are correct in Photoshop Print with Preview, that the correct paper profile is loaded for the paper you are using, that you are using Relative Colorimetric or Perceptual WITH Black Point Compensation checked, and that in the Epson driver you have the same paper selected, you have Printer Color Management OFF (no color adjustment), preferably High Speed OFF, Microweave ON, quality set to 1440dpi and Color Mode on "Custom". Check for all of that, run a print and see what you get (oh yes - there is also running the appropriate black ink for the paper you are using). If you are using Colorsync you are on a Mac - I am on Windows so I can't help on Mac-specific issues; but one thing I do know of - there is a compatibility problem between the Epson driver and the Mac O/S - you often need to repeat all the settings at least twice over to make sure they stick before printing.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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