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Author Topic: Why buy the Epson 3800?  (Read 9019 times)
Mary K
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« on: December 22, 2006, 03:15:39 PM »
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I just read Michael's review of the Epson 3800, and it seems as though this is a fine printer.  However, I don't see the point of purchasing a 17"printer that will not take roll paper if the longest cut sheet available for the printer is 22".  

I take my photographs with the intention of printing at full frame, and this printer will only allow a full frame 35mm print at a bit more than 14" x 21".  I can get a little better than 12" x 18" from my Epson 2200, and I wouldn't consider upgrading to the Epson 3800 for such a small increase in output size.

Now, if someone was producing cut sheets at 17" x 25" I might reconsider.  Then I could get an output size of 16" x 24", which is a considerable jump from the Epson 2200 output.

Is anyone cutting sheets at this size?  Seems to me that Epson would increase sales of the 3800 if it provided larger cut sheets.

Mary
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2006, 03:49:38 PM »
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Now, if someone was producing cut sheets at 17" x 25" I might reconsider.  Then I could get an output size of 16" x 24", which is a considerable jump from the Epson 2200 output.

Is anyone cutting sheets at this size?  Seems to me that Epson would increase sales of the 3800 if it provided larger cut sheets.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91975\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Mine quite happily gobbles up sheets of A2 paper which is 420 x 594 mm. I assume that is something close to what you are looking for - though not knowing what an " is I am best guessing here (must be some historic form of measurement from the last century ;-)

There is also a technique used by some photographers which involves purchasing a roll of paper and then cutting it into sheets of their own dimensions - I believe this can give good results...being serious, it is possible to set the custom size of paper on the Epson 3800 and whilst I haven't actually had to do this yet I have visited in the past several websites that discuss this in more detail.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
jjlphoto
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2006, 03:56:15 PM »
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There are also larger sheets like 35" x 47", 24" x 36", etc, that you can cut down.
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2006, 04:19:02 PM »
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Re cut paper dimensions: Paper size chart on DP&I. (" = inch = 2.54 cm.)

14x21 and 15x22 may sound little larger than 12x18, but in fact they very much are. Cut a sheet of newsprint to 14x21 and another to 12x18 to see what I mean. Metric paper is hard to come by in my part of North American. The idea of buying a roll then cutting off whatever sheet size you want sounds a good one. That way you get to experience all the joys of curl reversal before making the print, instead of afterward.

If I were in the market for a pigment printer, my very first concern would be clogging. After my experience with my Epson 4000 I'd want considerable reassurance in this area before tossing more big bucks in Epson's direction.

I was buying some 220ml cartridges for the 4000 a few days ago. Conversing with the store chap, the 3800 came up and he casually pointed at their rack of 80ml cartridges. I was flabbergasted at how tiny these things are. What's the idea here? Is Epson unable to keep their profit margins in the stratosphere by selling 110s? Or is it just their way of contributing to the environment?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 04:23:11 PM by Dale Cotton » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2006, 05:03:43 PM »
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I was buying some 220ml cartridges for the 4000 a few days ago. Conversing with the store chap, the 3800 came up and he casually pointed at their rack of 80ml cartridges. I was flabbergasted at how tiny these things are. What's the idea here? Is Epson unable to keep their profit margins in the stratosphere by selling 110s? Or is it just their way of contributing to the environment?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91986\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Dale, one doesn't need a conspiracy theory to second-guess manufacturers' intentions. Sometimes there are design decisions responsible for these things, and in all such situations there are constraints and trade-offs. If they are going to put 9 cartridges into a machine rather than eight and they want the footprint of the machine to be small and economical for competitive purposes, then the cartridge size goes down. Perhaps it is as simple as that. That much said, the combination of reduced size and pressurization results in much higher cost per ml of ink than we are accustomed to paying for the 220 ml tanks. But we don't know yet to what extent the 3800 will be a more economic consumer of ink for both prints and cleaning. That remains to be seen. As for buying one, I too am not there yet. I think there is more to come onto the printer market within the next half year or so.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2006, 05:13:25 PM »
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Sometimes there are design decisions responsible for these things...
Thanks, Mark. Epson is a company I'd like to be able to think reasonably well of given the percentage of my annual income I send their way, so your reasoning is entirely welcome.
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Mary K
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2006, 05:38:18 PM »
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It just seems to me that the 3800 would be much more attractive to photographers if Epson would market cut sheets that would allow us to make prints at 16"x24" -- 406mm x 609mm ;-)

As for me, there is a 24" printer in my future.

Thanks to everyone for their input.

Mary
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jjlphoto
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2006, 06:03:10 PM »
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The footprint really is quite svelt. I have it on a mini wire metro shelf, right under my old 1280. I am taking a liking to this machine. But very few decisions in life are irreversable. When my interest in it wanes, it can easily be flipped on the 'Bay, and replaced with whatever Epson, Canon or HP comes out with next. Since the year 2000, I've been through a few 1520's, some 1160's, 1200's, multiple 1280's, and more. No reason to ever think this 3800 will be the be-all and end-all of printers.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 06:04:27 PM by jjlphoto » Logged

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Jo Irps
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2006, 07:15:29 PM »
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The 3800 does not have the roll paper feature, but it can print up to 94cm of lenght. There are occasions that one has to print longer formats than that. Given for example that a panorama made with a 6x17 camera, as I do, gives a format ratio of 2.8:1, and to make a print with the max. width capability of 42cm will give me the lenght of 118cm. Well, to overcome this shortcommings, one could resort to "Epson Page Proofer EX", but it does nor support the 3800 (yet). Is there any another way to bypass this, maybe with Quimage? Even without a build in cutter, I am happy to pre-cut my paper from rolls.
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K.C.
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2006, 11:53:54 PM »
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You can print up to 17" X 37" with the 3800 if you're willing to cut roll paper.

The guys at Ink Jet Art did so.
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Jo Irps
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2006, 07:20:25 AM »
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Yes I know, thats 43 cm x 94 cm (430mm x 970mm). But I need more in lenght than 37" or 940mm.

Epson should have put the print limit at least at 51" (or 1.295mm) to satidfy panorama photographers who are used to a 3:1 format ratio. That is the only qubble I have with the 3800 which prvents me for purchasing this printer at the moment.
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BJNY
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2006, 08:46:39 AM »
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Perhaps using ColorBurst RIP software instead of the Epson driver bypasses the length limitation.....worth investigating.
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Guillermo
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2006, 10:06:18 AM »
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Dale, one doesn't need a conspiracy theory to second-guess manufacturers' intentions. Sometimes there are design decisions responsible for these things, and in all such situations there are constraints and trade-offs.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91988\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Another possible reason for going to 80ml for the cartridges is the claimed maximum 6 month life for the cartridge once it has been installed. As the 3800 is intended to be used  for lower volume than the 4800 and up it would not make economic sense to buy a 220ml or 110ml cartridge and then have to throw it in the bin after using only 80ml of link because it is stale...though does anyone really throw them away after such a short time period?

Is there any correlation with the age of the ink in the printer and printer clogs? That is, does clogging become more prevalent if the cartridge has been in the printer for several weeks? Would agitation help to minimise clogging?

PS Now in the South-West of France where I can get a litre of good quality red wine for 1 Euro (buying in bulk, but is there any other way?). Also, the wine here improves over time. Now if only wine came in several colours I could run my printer more efficiently ;-)
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2006, 11:17:30 AM »
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David Plummer wrote:
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Is there any correlation with the age of the ink in the printer and printer clogs? That is, does clogging become more prevalent if the cartridge has been in the printer for several weeks? Would agitation help to minimise clogging?
The 6 month limit is ultra-conservative at least for the generation of UltraChrome used in the 4000 and 7600/9600. I and others have used past-expiry ink with zero problems of any sort, including colour matching. I haven't experimented with agitation, being concerned that removing than reinserting cartridges might introduce air bubbles, perhaps someone else can comment.

My own experience with clogging is that I rarely have a spontaneous or naturally-occurring clog. Instead, almost every time the clock-initiated cleaning cycle runs - something like every 3 days - the cleaning cycle CREATES clogs that were not there before.

This was driven home to me most clearly a few months ago. I had been printing all morning and the day before that with no clogs. A clog-free print finished with another one waiting in the queue. The 4000 took that moment to decide it was time for that wondrous clock-initiated cleaning cycle to kick in and performed it. Voilà: instant clogs. About $50 in ink and several hours later I was free to resume work.

I don't usually use auto mode, but I did in this case:



You can see from the top strip that the three light inks on the right - that were clog-free a minute prior - now have various degrees of clogging. After a second clean cycle the light inks are now largely clog-free, but the problem has been moved to the dark inks on the left.

Often I'm lucky and the resulting clogs can be cleared with much less trouble. Are these problems unique to my 4000 unit or even the 4000 series? Nope. I buy my ink and paper from CCBC in Toronto, a shop that specializes in inkjet and computer consumables. The staff obviously have extensive contact with other Epson owners as well as their own experience, and they find nothing a-typical about my experiences: clogs are frequent and shift from nozzle to nozzle. I don't remember having this many clogs with the 2200 I had before the 4000, but it had larger-bore nozzles.

(I should add that this is the only issue I have with the 4000; in every other respect it's given me yeoman service, print quality is excellent, and the supplied profiles are spot-on.)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 11:28:02 AM by Dale Cotton » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2006, 12:54:51 PM »
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Everything you describe is completely typical. Some of these clogs are not clogs, but rather air bubbles in the lines. Epson has explained to me that cleaning cycles can cause ink gaps close to the print-head. They recommended NOT to use Auto-clean, but do one replication at a time, interspersed with making a print between each cycle, to force the ink back through the printhead. This often reduces the number of cleaning cycles needed and cuts wastage of ink. It is also true that debris accumulates around the print-head, such that the wiper can spread it from place to place. Another source of trouble is an improperly seated capping mechanism allowing ink to dry on the head when the machine is not in use. This happened with my 4800. Since it was fixed by Epson's service agent Trek-Hall here in Toronto, it has been working flawlessly. The 4800 on the whole uses less ink for prints and cleaning than does the 4000.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2006, 01:57:19 PM »
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Some of these clogs are not clogs, but rather air bubbles in the lines.
Very unlikely in my case, since clogs almost always only appear after a cleaning cycle.

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They recommended NOT to use Auto-clean, but do one replication at a time, interspersed with making a print between each cycle
I think you posted that advice in a previous thread and I've been following it. Thanks.

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It is also true that debris accumulates around the print-head, such that the wiper can spread it from place to place.
That's how I interpret the pattern of clogging gaps in the auto-clean pic I posted above. But further: I strongly suspect the cleaning cycle is causing the original clogs in the first place, before moving them about.

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Another source of trouble is an improperly seated capping mechanism
I'm sure this is true for some units. The pattern of clogging events would be different. Yet other units might have air bubbles that periodically work their way through the lines to the nozzles with perhaps a correspondingly different pattern of clogging events. That's why I feel it is useful for as many people as possible to post detailed information and to keep a mind open to the implications of multiple causation.
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Jo Irps
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« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2006, 04:29:28 PM »
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Perhaps using ColorBurst RIP software instead of the Epson driver bypasses the length limitation.....worth investigating.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92057\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No RIP's for the 3800 yet. But Quimage could take care of it if the 3800 has a "roll paper" or "banner" setting. Could someone with a 3800 confirm if that setting does exist?
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2006, 05:24:41 PM »
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Could someone with a 3800 confirm if that setting does exist?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92094\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There is NO option for roll paper on the 3800 driver, so Qimage cannot solve the print length problem.

We just need to keep moaning to Epson to get them to rewrite the driver to allow for the  longer custom print lengths that are available on their other printers.

Paul Holman
www.paulholman.com
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jeffok
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« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2006, 06:30:35 PM »
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They recommended NOT to use Auto-clean, but do one replication at a time, interspersed with making a print between each cycle, to force the ink back through the printhead. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92079\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What do you mean by "one replication at a time", rather than Auto clean?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2006, 06:34:51 PM »
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What do you mean by "one replication at a time", rather than Auto clean?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92106\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

In the cleaning process dialogue box, do not select "Auto" anything. Do one cleaning cycle. Then print a nozzle check test. Then make a print. Then do another nozzle check test. As long as the test pattern shows clogged nozzles repeat this process.
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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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