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Author Topic: Which Printer to Buy?  (Read 5705 times)
Kenneth Sky
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« on: December 10, 2006, 08:54:20 AM »
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Now that the "Big Three" have released their most recent iterations of pigment inkjet printers capable of printing larger than 8x10, I've decided I'm ready to take the plunge. Forget about the Canon iPf 5000 and the HP Z3100 - they're too expensive and too large for my needs. This really focuses the discussion between the Canon Pro 9000, the HP B9180 and the Epson 3800. No one review directly compares all three as to output and cost but I'd sure like some objective advice about which way to go. Thanks.
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picnic
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2006, 09:17:41 AM »
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Now that the "Big Three" have released their most recent iterations of pigment inkjet printers capable of printing larger than 8x10, I've decided I'm ready to take the plunge. Forget about the Canon iPf 5000 and the HP Z3100 - they're too expensive and too large for my needs. This really focuses the discussion between the Canon Pro 9000, the HP B9180 and the Epson 3800. No one review directly compares all three as to output and cost but I'd sure like some objective advice about which way to go. Thanks.
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I don't think the Canon Pro 9000 Pixma is a pigmented printer--its dye based.  The 60" Prographic9000 is--maybe a confusion there.  I think the Canon 13" printer is due sometime in 07.  So--for now, if you want a pigment printer your choices would be the 13" HP9180 and Epson 2400 and 17" Epson 3800--I'm guessing you would feel the 4800 would be too large as is the Canon 5000 (for me too).

I don't think there really is any objective advice as to which one.  For me--wanting 17", small footprint, medium carts--there wasn't any other choice.  If you would be happy with 13", then the 9180 enters into the ballgame and you can compare ink usage, speed, neutrality of b/w, bronzing and GD--and whether the 9180 handles clogging issues better--and what other issues it may have (awfully new to know yet).  You would have to decide what matters most to you---as one does some things better and the other---well some things better.   Oh, I believe the 2400 can handle rolls and the 9180 and 3800 can not--one other issue.   So--LOL---you are sort of back where you were at the beginning.  

Diane
« Last Edit: December 10, 2006, 09:19:33 AM by picnic » Logged
thompsonkirk
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2006, 11:48:09 AM »
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While the Ipf5000 might be too big for your workspace, it's probably not too expensive in comparison to the 3800.  

It looks like Canon, until the end of the year, is offering dealer incentives to empty their warehouses.  Try either ColorHQ or Shades of Paper.  You can get an Ipf 5000 for $1345 or $1395 including shipping - which may make it cheaper than a shipped 3800 - AND they'll include a roll holder.  

I dealt with Jim Doyle of Shades of Paper, & it arrived just 2 days after the order.  He's a good person to buy from because he has used the forums, esp. DigitalBWThePrint, to answer questions & give information about characteristics & availability of new papers.  

I would decide this way:  If you print mostly on matte papers, the Ipf5000 will give you a wider gamut.  But if you print on glossy/luster, the 3800 should yield a bit less gloss differential.
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2006, 01:18:57 PM »
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I print 80% matte and 20% glossy. For the last few years I've been using the Epson R800 and came  to love the gloss optimizer especially for Pictorico High Gloss Film. But as I transition to more and more non-gloss papers, I feel colour gamut and resolution will determine my decision. BTW, the price of the Canon ipf 5000 in Canada is $2500 if you can find a retailer. I just don't print enough to justify the outlay. Space is not an object although the larger the printer, the harder to conceal it from my wife.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2006, 02:51:07 PM »
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I am spoiled owning an iPF 5000 but was impressed with the output of my brothers HP 9180 I don't think you would be disapointed. borderless sheet feed prints, reasonable size and price. A good printer now is worth 2 better printers in the future.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2006, 05:21:57 PM »
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Ken,

1. Look at maintenance and ink cost.
Michael says his iPF500 has an 11x17 ink cost of 25 cents. For the HP 9180 I calculate an ink cost of $1.80 using data from HP's print yield page: http://h10060.www1.hp.com/pageyield/us/en/...9180/photo.html

The Canon has user replaceable print heads.

2. Look at the cost difference now that the iPF5000 is running about 40% off retail - after free roll paper holder, free shipping and Canon's rebate.

3. Put a 16x24 and a 12x18 sheet of paper side by side then look at them from across a room. Consider the 5x to 10x the diagonal of an image for viewing distance rule from projecting slides. You might find that being able to print 17" wide prints when needed is worth it.

Best of luck in your choice.
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2006, 07:53:03 AM »
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I stand corrected on my original post on this thread. I confused the Canon Pro9000 which is dye-based with the upcoming pigment-based Pro9500. However the preliminary tests by Wilhelm give the dyes a 100 year expectancy which is far greater than mine. I'm not a professional photographer so my main client is me. So the original question still stands : which of the the 3 is best for me? or should I wait till the Pro9500 is released in a few months?
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abiggs
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2006, 10:06:30 AM »
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I am not a fan of the B9180, unless you only want to print with HP papers. The Epson 2400 is an awesome 13x19" printer, even though it might be replaced in the near future. The Epson 3800 is probably the most popular 17" printer, and will easily outsell all other 17" printers on the market. Why? Because it does not ship on a pallette, and FedEx/UPS/DHL can deliver one to you quite easily.

Epson printers seem to have the most paper options, as well as a larger community of users. This might account for something in your decision.
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Andy Biggs
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2006, 10:40:04 AM »
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Why would I only want to use HP papers with the 9180?  The papers I like least with my 9180 are the HP papers I've tried.
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John Camp
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2006, 10:50:48 AM »
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I'm about to spring for a new printer, too, and I'm beginning to wonder if the comparisons in image quality between, say, the 3800 and the 5000 are not another form of pixel-peeping, and that other aspects (the presence of absence of roll feeders, the cost of ink, etc.) might not now be more important than differences in image quality? Or maybe not? I really don't know. But if the difference between a 5000 and a 3800 is such that you need a loupe to see it, then I really start to think hard about the wider usage base of the Epsons (on one hand) and the user-replaceable print heads of the 5000 (on the other.)

I hate having to clean the print heads on my 2200 -- sometimes it can take a half-dozen cleaning cycles, if I haven't used it for a couple of weeks, and sometimes when they're not quite clean enough, you'll put a print through and halfway down the print, the banding starts; I'll have to say that I'm impressed by Michael's reports that he hasn't had any head cleaning problems with the 5000.

But I'm also impressed by reports that the 5000's instruction manual is so bad that people are now making their own on Wiki, which, as interesting as it is, isn't the way the world should work. I'm technologically challenged, and I NEED the best possible instruction manual.

With all of those considerations (and there are more), I'd still take the one with the best image quality, if there was a notable difference.

JC
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Tony B.
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2006, 10:58:11 AM »
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Ken, I asked the people at Pictureline about the Pro9500 and they expect it to run around $800 (similar to the Epson 2400) and most likely run 13ml carts.  If you do any amount of printing I think the Epson 3800 or Canon IPF5000 would end up costing less to print in the long run do to ink costs.  In one post I started
http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=13471

the ink costs between 3 different users for the IPF5000 varied between  $.002 and $.0058 per square inch ($96 to $276 for 600 8x10's).  For me the ink cost is the biggest factor.  I am sure all new printers have good output so it would come down to size,weight and brand loyalty (if that matters to you).

Another item that came up in my post was the durability of pigment ink on glossy paper.  I am waiting for a couple of prints from DFAllyn (hopefully arrive today) to see if durability would work for what I print (glossy calendars).  Once I get those prints and check them out I will post my thoughts on my post.

Tony B.

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I stand corrected on my original post on this thread. I confused the Canon Pro9000 which is dye-based with the upcoming pigment-based Pro9500. However the preliminary tests by Wilhelm give the dyes a 100 year expectancy which is far greater than mine. I'm not a professional photographer so my main client is me. So the original question still stands : which of the the 3 is best for me? or should I wait till the Pro9500 is released in a few months?
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sralser
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2006, 12:04:40 PM »
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Maybe I've been lucky, but I can only vaguely remember 1 clog/forced head cleaning on my 2200 in the 3 years I've owned it.  That includes moving it halfway across the country (NM-WI), not using it for at times for months (especially right after the move), but often not using it for a few weeks at a time, leaving it turned on for a few days at a time (forgot to turn it off) etc., and it's performed well.  I am now having some paper feed problems, especially after using REd River premium matte notecard paper - but I can live with that.

I'm going to upgrade in the new year (either an Epson 3800 or Canon 5000).  I'm leaning towards the 3800 as I can contnue to print notecards (I don't really want todeal with a 2nd printer with a CFS).   Can the Canon be tricked into printing on 7x10 notecard paper? Could you turn the paper around and print it lengthwise?  

Steve




"I hate having to clean the print heads on my 2200 -- sometimes it can take a half-dozen cleaning cycles, if I haven't used it for a couple of weeks, and sometimes when they're not quite clean enough, you'll put a print through and halfway down the print, the banding starts; I'll have to say that I'm impressed by Michael's reports that he hasn't had any head cleaning problems with the 5000."
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2006, 12:22:31 PM »
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I'm about to spring for a new printer, too, and I'm beginning to wonder if the comparisons in image quality between, say, the 3800 and the 5000 are not another form of pixel-peeping, and that other aspects (the presence of absence of roll feeders, the cost of ink, etc.) might not now be more important than differences in image quality? Or maybe not? I really don't know. But if the difference between a 5000 and a 3800 is such that you need a loupe to see it, then I really start to think hard about the wider usage base of the Epsons (on one hand) and the user-replaceable print heads of the 5000 (on the other.)

I hate having to clean the print heads on my 2200 -- sometimes it can take a half-dozen cleaning cycles, if I haven't used it for a couple of weeks, and sometimes when they're not quite clean enough, you'll put a print through and halfway down the print, the banding starts; I'll have to say that I'm impressed by Michael's reports that he hasn't had any head cleaning problems with the 5000.

But I'm also impressed by reports that the 5000's instruction manual is so bad that people are now making their own on Wiki, which, as interesting as it is, isn't the way the world should work. I'm technologically challenged, and I NEED the best possible instruction manual.

With all of those considerations (and there are more), I'd still take the one with the best image quality, if there was a notable difference.

JC
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John,

Based on your description, I think you would be a good candidate for the IPF5000.  Learning your way around a few quirks of the printer (now that we have the Wiki) is nothing compared to the ongoing headache of clogs.  No one I have talked with has experienced any clogging, and a lot of people have been using theirs for 4-6 months.  Try that with an Epson!  Once the little problems are ironed out, the printer just works.

--John
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jmparis
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2006, 05:27:18 PM »
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Why would I only want to use HP papers with the 9180?  The papers I like least with my 9180 are the HP papers I've tried.
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What would be your prefered papers now?

Personnaly, I received a B9180 one week ago and I have a hard time getting HP paper (particularly in 8.5x11 inch size) to run tests. I found, however, that I could get very good prints on Epson Photo Paper and on Epson Heavy Mate Paper (perhaps even better than I ever achieved with my now terminally clogged Epson 2400.) Of course I had to create a profile for each paper but it's not too much of an effort when you have reams of paper to use-up. I can't wait to tackle art paper!
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2006, 07:10:26 PM »
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I've been using a lot of the epson paper.  (HW matte and glossy leftover from a 1280.)  Also, the inkjetart micro ceramic luster paper is very nice.  Hahnemule William Turner has its moments.  (Depending on the image.)
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tbonanno
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2006, 11:19:20 AM »
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Hi Kenneth,

I'm a happy Canon ipf5000 user, but from reading this thread, sounds like the 3800 might be where you are headed ?  

Don't know what size papers you print on, but if you plan to print on cut sheets smaller than 8x10, then the Canon is not an option.  The 3800 will handle cut sheets down to 4x6.  

I'm actually thinking of replacing my 2400, which I use for 5x7 prints, with a 3800 just to realize the ink savings.  I'm still trying to figure out the actual ink costs of the 3800 though before making the switch.

Tony Bonanno
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Tony Bonanno Photography
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llama
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2006, 04:38:03 PM »
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I'm also going through this frustrating choice process...

On the paper front, I originally thought rolls could save me $, but it seems the roll is about convenience and size, not $ (see my thread here).

On the ink front, the iPF5000 ships with about $330 more in ink than the B9180.

Taking this into account and ignoring roll paper, the math looks like (Canadian dollars):

Price diff between iPF5000 and B9180 (includes CDN taxes, shipping, brokers' fees, etc):
$2392.62 - $911.99 = $1480.64
Reduce by value of ink that Canon provides over and above HP's starter amount:
$1480.64 - $334.80 =$1145.84

Savings at print time:

Assuming same paper (11x17) and using the numbers quoted earlier in this thread ($0.25 per print on iPF5000 and $1.80 per print on B9180), one would have to make 739 prints at 11x17, or 138,193 square inches, to erase the $1145.84 gap in price between the iPF5000 and the B9180.

While I was originally keen to take advantage of some of the deals in the US on iPF5000 with roll holder, I think I'm leaning back to the B9180 as I don't see prints larger than 12x18 in my immediate future. Once the the 5D's successor allows me to move up from my 20D, that might change, but I also don't see myself making anywhere near that volume of prints in 5 the years that I could expect the unit to remain sufficiently current with regard to its gamut, tech, and reliability.

As for the 3800, with the iPF500 at $1400, I'm not sure that it is overly appealing.

Thoughts? Any of you old hands see any flaws in my analysis? Am I making a tragic error?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 04:43:02 PM by llama » Logged

Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2006, 06:46:44 PM »
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llama:
What do you mean by:
"As for the 3800, with the iPF500 at $1400, I'm not sure that it is overly appealing."
In Canada the iPF5000 is $2400-$2500. The Epson 3800 is $1500 and the HP B9180 is $800. Like you, I doubt I really need more than a 13" printer although the flexbility to go to 17" is tempting. To add to the mix, the Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 is scheduled to come out in a few months for $900. This reminds me of Michael's article based on a book by ?.Schwartz called "The Tyranny of Choice". I'm paralyzed by choice, not wanting to make a mistake. Although I'm tempted to say it's not about the money, it is.
Ken
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llama
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2006, 08:16:09 PM »
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llama:
What do you mean by:
"As for the 3800, with the iPF500 at $1400, I'm not sure that it is overly appealing."
In Canada the iPF5000 is $2400-$2500. The Epson 3800 is $1500 and the HP B9180 is $800. Like you, I doubt I really need more than a 13" printer although the flexbility to go to 17" is tempting. To add to the mix, the Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 is scheduled to come out in a few months for $900. This reminds me of Michael's article based on a book by ?.Schwartz called "The Tyranny of Choice". I'm paralyzed by choice, not wanting to make a mistake. Although I'm tempted to say it's not about the money, it is.
Ken
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Kenneth,

I didn't look at 3800 pricing in Canada, but if, as you say the 3800 is $1500 CDN, then it certainly would re-enter the race.  However, my initial reaction was based on it being around $1300 - $1400 US, with the Cannon in the same range.

I'm also curious about the 9500 from Canon and will likely wait to see it before making a decision.

I totally agree on the choice issue.
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