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Author Topic: Buying my first printer, epson 3800 or 2400  (Read 28107 times)
Wayne Fox
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« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2007, 06:07:49 PM »
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I don't generally trust business or industry to provide the whole and unvarnished truth.  They may not exactly lie, but they may also not be entirely forthcoming.  That is why public companies need independent financial audits.  That is why I like an independent firm like Wilhelm to certify results.  If they are unwilling to certify the results, then I am suspicious about what is being witheld from Canon's results. 

It may be that I am being paranoid, but epson has a long history of certifying results.  HP is obviously also committed to certifying their results with Wilhelm.  What is so special about Canon that they don't need to have the same independent validation. 

I own a canon camera.  I love it.  But until they get their print longevity story in order it will remain an obstacle to me buying their printers.  Print longevity is very important to me.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=156296\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I had a long conversation with 3 people from Canon ... I can't say names, but this was at a national level, and included his boss from Japan.

I have even forwarded this conversation on to him, because it keeps coming up.  You're right, it does look "fishy" that after this long, Wilhelm hasn't published their results.

The problem with Wilhelm is that while they are "independent" in one way, they are very dependent in another ... they need these companies to pay them pretty large amounts of money to stay in business.  This situation isn't much better, and it is possible they have tried to leverage themselves to the point of holding companies hostage. According to my conversation, this is exactly where Canon is with Wilhelm ...

The simple fact is Canon's internal testing is more extensive than Wilhelm's, at this point even Wilhelm has admitted that worse case scenario they are at 95 years (and still going ... though I'm sure it's concluded by now).

My real problem with Wilhelm is they tend to focus only on the inks, yet the paper bases are a huge variable in how they react to ink.

The problem with longevity testing is it doesn't account for real world scenarios. I've also felt for some time that fading really isn't the challenge of longevity.  Most prints will die from physical damage (lost, trashed, burned, spilled ... you name it) far before they ever have a chance to fade.
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« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2007, 06:29:21 PM »
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I had a long conversation with 3 people from Canon ... I can't say names, but this was at a national level, and included his boss from Japan.

I have even forwarded this conversation on to him, because it keeps coming up.  You're right, it does look "fishy" that after this long, Wilhelm hasn't published their results.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=157103\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It is good to hear that canon is listening.  It is too late for me, I just got an epson 7880, but maybe my next generation printer in five years.  Perhaps they can get it straightened out for the 5100.  It appears that if they learn from the missteps they made on the 5000, they really could have a competetive printer range for the fine art photographer.  

You mentioned images being lost or destroyed somehow as another component of the longevity story.  I couldn't agree more.  That is why I never liked the paper/ink solutions that weren't waterproof (dye with swellable polymer paper).  

I was at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC a few weeks ago looking at Annie Leibovitz and Ansel Adams shows.  It was interesting that one of Ansel's most famous shots was printed in the 30's as a whole negative.  When he printed it again, after mastering his printing craft in the 50's and 60's, the negative had to be trimmed because he lost a corner of the negative in a darkroom fire.  There are so many hazards for maintaining a photographic record.
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« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2007, 06:31:00 PM »
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I had a long conversation with 3 people from Canon ... I can't say names, but this was at a national level, and included his boss from Japan.

I have even forwarded this conversation on to him, because it keeps coming up.  You're right, it does look "fishy" that after this long, Wilhelm hasn't published their results.

The problem with Wilhelm is that while they are "independent" in one way, they are very dependent in another ... they need these companies to pay them pretty large amounts of money to stay in business.  This situation isn't much better, and it is possible they have tried to leverage themselves to the point of holding companies hostage. According to my conversation, this is exactly where Canon is with Wilhelm ...

The simple fact is Canon's internal testing is more extensive than Wilhelm's, at this point even Wilhelm has admitted that worse case scenario they are at 95 years (and still going ... though I'm sure it's concluded by now).

My real problem with Wilhelm is they tend to focus only on the inks, yet the paper bases are a huge variable in how they react to ink.

The problem with longevity testing is it doesn't account for real world scenarios. I've also felt for some time that fading really isn't the challenge of longevity.  Most prints will die from physical damage (lost, trashed, burned, spilled ... you name it) far before they ever have a chance to fade.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=157103\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'd be interested to know what inside information you have about Wilhelm's business to know that he has any capacity whatsoever to hold any of these companies "hostage" - hostage to what? They are his clients. They are paying for the tests and the data. Presumably they control what he is allowed to publish. Have you ever seen any of those contracts between Wilhelm and his clients to know who really controls what (I haven't, but I think I understand the basic principles at play here), or is this hostage business speculation on your part?

I think it would also be useful if you could tell us something about your background in the science of longevity testing and specifically what you know about Canon's methods compared with Wilhelm's methods to know that Canon's testing is more extensive than Wilhelm's, or are you just repeating back here what a few folks at Canon told you? I can understand if the detailed data wasn't allowed into the publid domain because, for example,  there may be unresolved disagreements between Canon and Wilhelm about certain results, but that is a different matter and should be seen as a possibility that can arise in the normal course of implementing a contract.

Have you carefully read any of Wilhelm's reports on his website? You will see he not only focuses on the inks, but also on the papers. His tests include for yellowing, and they test for failure of the substrata. He has written extensively about both paper and ink. I don't understand how you could believe a scientist of that calibre and experience would not understand the importance of both, because if you and I know they work together, so does he - in spades.

Turning to your statement about accounting for "real world scenarios" - I don't know what that means, but whatever it means, it's irrelevant. Most of these tests are "accelerated light fading" tests. In order to get results out within our living lifetimes to be able to advise the manufacturers and their clients about the expected longevity of the materials, they can't pin the prints on fridge doors, leave them there for a 100 years and tell our grandchildren whether the prints lasted. I want to know within my life-time - in fact by the time the product hits the market. So acceleration is substituted for time, and therefore it cannot be "real-world" from the get-go, because in the real world you don't hang your prints in accelerated conditions. There is a problem with this methodology called "reciprocity failure", in the sense that acceleration does not necessarily correlate one-for-one with longevity, but Wilhelm is well aware of that issue too and his written about it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #43 on: November 29, 2007, 07:05:52 PM »
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I'd be interested to know what inside information you have about Wilhelm's business to know that he has any capacity whatsoever to hold any of these companies "hostage" - hostage to what? They are his clients.
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I'll tell you EXACTLY how Canon feels like a "hostage" when dealing with Henry...Henry's terms are completely upfront and part of it–the test results will be the test results–period. And, Henry's timetable for testing can't be hurried and he doesn't negotiate his fees and terms...you either pay, or he doesn't do the work. That's why Canon feels like they are being held "hostage" because he won't play games...(and if somebody from Canon says it's a "lot of money" he's full of horse pucky, Canon will drop huge sums of money on some of the most STUPID things, if they feel like it and they've got money to burn)

Canon may be feeling the heat because both Epson and HP have seen the value of Henry's work and have agreed to have Henry work on his terms. So, two out of the big three can be compared, apples to apples.

I often see people do all sort of rationalizations about why Henry's work is, or isn't valid and important. But he's the best game going for independent testing and reporting. There are others, like RIT's Permanence Institute, but their policies are designed ONLY for the commissioning company and the results are selectively released on by the company (the company decides what is and isn't made public and how).

And, I would be hard pressed to believe second and third hand accounts...the Canon guys may have believed what they said but more likely their minds have been made up by powers further up the food chain that would NEVER talk to somebody outside of the company. Canon Japan holds security very, very tight. Canon marketing companies in the US and Europe not so much, but then they rarely actually "know" anything.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2007, 09:23:38 PM by Schewe » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #44 on: November 29, 2007, 07:41:08 PM »
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I'll tell you EXACTLY how Canon feels like a "hostage" when dealing with Henry...Henry's terms are completely upfront and part of it–the test results will be the test results–period. And, Henry's timetable for testing can't be hurried and he doesn't negotiate his fees and terms...you either pay, or he doesn't do the work. That's why Canon feels like they are being held "hostage" because he won't play games

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=157121\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That sounds more like it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2007, 01:39:55 PM »
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Well just a small update:

I am picking up a used R2400 from a friend tomorrow. Which just cost me about 450 dollars.

I felt alot I really wanted to have the 3800, but my economy would sink to zero. So I prioritize a scotland trip this summer instead.

At least I can use roll paper. Hopefully I will think 13X17 is big enough. A small plus thou was that the R2400 could print out postcard size easy. I always give my grandmother this size. As she think others are too big.

I reviewed my printing habits and see that I print big like 3-5 times a month. Will be able to do it alot more often. I reviewing other options for real big prints, as I think I cant afford to buy the equipment to do it myself.

Anyway I am must grateful for all information. Tomorrow I am going paper testing and hunting.

Cheers,
Daniel
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Daniel Sunebring, Malmoe, Sweden
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alain
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« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2007, 01:41:36 AM »
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Epson R2400:
* can print on sheet and roll paper
* can print only 13" wide
* cheaper to buy
* more expensive to keep running due to ink cost
* switch between matte black and photo black tedious and expensive

Epson 3800:
* can print on sheets only, no roll paper
* can print up to 17" wide, can still be lifted by a single person
* more expensive to buy but comes with 9 x 80 ml of ink
* cheaper to keep running due to lower ink cost
* switch between matte black and photo black quick and fairly cheap

An A3 size colour print uses approx. 2 ml of ink so a set of eight 13 ml cartridges will last through approx. 50 A3 prints (provided you're using up all colours evenly). Eight 80 ml cartridges are good for more than 300 A3 prints. So in order to get the same number of prints as with the 3800, with the R2400 you'd need to buy approx. five additional sets of ink cartridges, at a total cost of about $400 - $500 US. Don't forget to take the value of the ink sets coming with the printers into consideration!

-- Olaf
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=154116\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Is the following assumption correct or am I missing something?

If the 3800 prints 300 A3's with one cartridge set and considering the lifespan of the cartridges inside the printer (6 months or more?), the 3800 could need a reasonable printvolume to make it economical.  Even considering a 2 year lifetime (which seems quite much) and the assumption that the lowest used inkt is used at half the average rate, the 3800 "needs" 300 A3's a year.  

Maybe the cleaning cycles will higher the inkt usage "enough" to change the nr's, any experience?

Alain

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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #47 on: December 12, 2007, 02:48:20 AM »
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Canon may be feeling the heat because both Epson and HP have seen the value of Henry's work and have agreed to have Henry work on his terms. So, two out of the big three can be compared, apples to apples.


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Image Engineering in Germany does independent fade tests right now and the first results have been published in the German magazines ColorFoto and Fine Art Printing.
Based on Iso Standards still in development but not much different to what Wilhelm uses and including ozone test results. It correlates well to Wilhelm's findings where Wilhelm published the results but there are no ozone results for Epson K3 (still in test :-) and no Canon data in general. In the German test Canon however occupies third place after Epson and HP is definitely up front.

I had some scans of the test result pages but can't put that on the web. This is new: Some results are published on Image Engineering's pages. A bit cryptic in this form, realize that RC papers have very good ozone resistance with almost all manufacturers but that RC papers themselves are estimated to have a lifetime of 70 years at most. Ozone fading is a problem for non RC papers that are not framed behind glass or not protected by a good varnish, it can give a shorter lifetime than the light fading alone creates. Years are shorter in the German testing but there are no real opposite results to Wilhelm's but with the Fuji Crystaljet and Cibachrome.

[a href=\"http://digitalkamera.image-engineering.de/]http://digitalkamera.image-engineering.de/[/url]


Ernst Dinkla

try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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John R Smith
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« Reply #48 on: December 12, 2007, 03:00:32 AM »
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Canon have traditionally had a following for their printers in the areas where print life was not a big concern - fashion, glamour, product and layout proofing. The printers were quick, well profiled, and punchy. Now they have a bit of catching-up to do if they want break into the world of fine-art printing.

John
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« Reply #49 on: December 12, 2007, 07:51:19 AM »
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Is the following assumption correct or am I missing something?

If the 3800 prints 300 A3's with one cartridge set and considering the lifespan of the cartridges inside the printer (6 months or more?), the 3800 could need a reasonable printvolume to make it economical.  Even considering a 2 year lifetime (which seems quite much) and the assumption that the lowest used inkt is used at half the average rate, the 3800 "needs" 300 A3's a year. 

Maybe the cleaning cycles will higher the inkt usage "enough" to change the nr's, any experience?

Alain

Alain
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Let's do some of the arithmetic: All my numbers come from the B&H website with rebates and specials included. The 2400 costs 670 dollars, and the 3800 1200 dollars, a difference of 530 dollars cheaper for the 2400.

The 3800 comes with 640 ml of ink, the 2400 comes with 104 ml of ink. An 8 ink cartridge set for the 2400 costs 99 dollars for 104 ml of ink, or $1.05 per ml. Eight cartridges for the 3800 cost 440 dollars for 640 ml or 69 cents per ml or 34% less per ml.

Both printers comes with one set of eight inks. The difference in the amount of supplied ink in the printer price is 536 ml. If you bought a 2400 printer and then had to self supply that 532 ml differnece at $1.05/ml, you would be paying a supplement of 562 dollars, which is more than the price difference between the printers. They probably use different amounts of ink for initial charging (I don't know because I don't own a 2400 and I bought my 3800 already charged - but the ink usage looked very low). So the bottom line is that the machines alone (without any ink) cost about the same; but 3800 embeds newer and improved printhead technology, it is a professional level printer supported by Epson ProGraphics, and that most likely means it was individually linearized before it left the factory.

Once you buy a 3800, from then onward you pay 69 cents per ml of ink instead of 1.05 with the 2400. Both the Epson 3800 and the 4800 consume about 0.65 ml of ink for a 6*9 inch image placed on an 8.5*11 inch sheet (one inch border all around). I don't know the specific consumption of a 2400, but it is probably similar. Ink used for maintenance can be high on a 4800; I don't know what it is for either the 2400 or 3800 yet - this takes many months of operational experience to build a reliable dataset, and I haven't owned my 3800 long enough. Apart from that element of uncertainty, the 3800 MUST be a much cheaper printing option unless you really think you will be printing so low a volume that the inks will expire to the point of becoming unusable. I've never had that happen in 8 years of printing with Epson professional printers. While the official life of an open cartridge is 6 months, I've heard - reliably - that this is intended to be a very "safe" and "conservative" estimate.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2007, 08:05:02 AM »
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Image Engineering in Germany does independent fade tests right now and the first results have been published in the German magazines ColorFoto and Fine Art Printing.
Based on Iso Standards still in development but not much different to what Wilhelm uses and including ozone test results. It correlates well to Wilhelm's findings where Wilhelm published the results but there are no ozone results for Epson K3 (still in test :-) and no Canon data in general. In the German test Canon however occupies third place after Epson and HP is definitely up front.

I had some scans of the test result pages but can't put that on the web. This is new: Some results are published on Image Engineering's pages. A bit cryptic in this form, realize that RC papers have very good ozone resistance with almost all manufacturers but that RC papers themselves are estimated to have a lifetime of 70 years at most. Ozone fading is a problem for non RC papers that are not framed behind glass or not protected by a good varnish, it can give a shorter lifetime than the light fading alone creates. Years are shorter in the German testing but there are no real opposite results to Wilhelm's but with the Fuji Crystaljet and Cibachrome.

http://digitalkamera.image-engineering.de/
Ernst Dinkla

try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=160041\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ernst, as you know this can't be discussed without reference to the display/storage conditions. For Epson Premium Luster (RC) in a 3800 Wilhelm shows a huge range from about 70 years under some display conditions to over 200 years in albums/dark storage.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2007, 08:14:57 AM »
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Let's do some of the arithmetic:

Don't forget the network card that comes with the 3800, not even available on the 2400.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2007, 08:31:07 AM »
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Ernst, as you know this can't be discussed without reference to the display/storage conditions. For Epson Premium Luster (RC) in a 3800 Wilhelm shows a huge range from about 70 years under some display conditions to over 200 years in albums/dark storage.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The test conditions are described in the article + some other papers on the site. Plus the relation to normal households, museum lighting conditions, etc.

The light fade resistance numbers should be compared with the bare bulb test results of Wilhelm.

There's another choice in light spectrum including more UV. The humidity is 50% which is/was according to the proposed ISO standard but Wilhelm uses 60% humidity.

It's a bit between Xenon chamber testing and what Wilhelm does, faster than Wilhelm but without the usual Blue Wool reference of Xenon chamber testing.

So there are differences in testing and the lifetime in years will not match but nevertheless there's correlation in the numbers which makes both test methods more valid. The extra ozone fade information that didn't appear on Wilhelm's site is welcome too I think.

I do hope the fiber/baryta types are tested soon to see their numbers compared to RC paper. Especially on ozone.

Ernst Dinkla

try:  [a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/[/url]
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« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2007, 12:14:27 PM »
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..., the 3800 MUST be a much cheaper printing option unless you really think you will be printing so low a volume that the inks will expire to the point of becoming unusable. I've never had that happen in 8 years of printing with Epson professional printers. While the official life of an open cartridge is 6 months, I've heard - reliably - that this is intended to be a very "safe" and "conservative" estimate.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=160073\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I agree.

On my Epson 2200 I have used Epson inks that were up to three years past their expiration date with no problem whatever. I expect the same is true for the 3800. When my 2200 dies, I will definitely go for a 38xx over a 24xx.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 12:15:02 PM by EricM » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2007, 12:30:46 PM »
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On my Epson 2200 I have used Epson inks that were up to three years past their expiration date with no problem whatever.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=160141\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

One thing you should do, if you haven't printed in a while, is to take out the ink carts and do a gentle agitation to re-mix the pigments in the inks. Most people follow the directions for agitating when they first install the carts but then kinda forget that over time (even as short as a month) the pigments tend to settle out of solution.

I have a lot of printers (currently a 4800, 7800, 9800 as well as a 3800 which gets the most use) and the first thing I do after not using a printer for a while is take out the carts, rock them gently back and forth and re-insert them. Then I do an auto-nozzle check to confirm the nozzles are clear and then do an auto-alignment on the heads to make sure the alignment is good (I have printers on rolling stands and they get moved around a lot).

The only caution I would make is when BUYING ink carts, not to accept short dated (or out of date) carts...unless the retailer offers a substantial discount and you think you'll run through the ink in a relatively short period of time.

But agitating the ink is a good way of making sure you cut down on nozzle clogs.
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« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2007, 01:21:12 PM »
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I'm often traveling so the 3800 can go a few weeks without use.   I've now added this to my protocol.  

Thanks a lot for the tip.

FWIW, I'm very happy with the 3800.  Despite my erratic usage pattern I've not had a nozzle clog.  The printer lives at a constant 55 degrees C of humidity.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 01:23:57 PM by GregW » Logged
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« Reply #56 on: December 15, 2007, 06:45:16 AM »
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I agree.

On my Epson 2200 I have used Epson inks that were up to three years past their expiration date with no problem whatever. I expect the same is true for the 3800. When my 2200 dies, I will definitely go for a 38xx over a 24xx.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=160141\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Where those inks inside the printer for three years or just on a shelf within there packaging.  This could be a big difference.
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« Reply #57 on: December 15, 2007, 02:19:09 PM »
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Where those inks inside the printer for three years or just on a shelf within there packaging.  This could be a big difference.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=160827\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
They were sealed in the original packaging. I had bought some old stock on which the expiration dates were hard to read in the store.

I do swap MK and PK inks about once every four months or so (I rarely use the PK), keeping the open cartridge in a small ziplock bag until needed. I do shake it before reinserting, but I haven't had a problem. I would guess that the longest I have used an opened-and-then-stored cartridge is perhaps a year past the official expiration date, and these have worked fine for me. It's only the gloss ink (PK) that gets opened and then stored for a long time.

If you think you are likely not to be printing for a fairly extended period, it is probably a good idea to remove all the cartridges and store them (upright) in small ziplock bags, shaking them again before installing them again the next time you print. And do a nozzle check on plain paper.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2007, 02:21:30 PM by EricM » Logged

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« Reply #58 on: December 15, 2007, 04:08:08 PM »
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One thing you should do, if you haven't printed in a while, is to take out the ink carts and do a gentle agitation to re-mix the pigments in the inks. Most people follow the directions for agitating when they first install the carts but then kinda forget that over time (even as short as a month) the pigments tend to settle out of solution.

I have a lot of printers (currently a 4800, 7800, 9800 as well as a 3800 which gets the most use) and the first thing I do after not using a printer for a while is take out the carts, rock them gently back and forth and re-insert them. Then I do an auto-nozzle check to confirm the nozzles are clear and then do an auto-alignment on the heads to make sure the alignment is good (I have printers on rolling stands and they get moved around a lot).

The only caution I would make is when BUYING ink carts, not to accept short dated (or out of date) carts...unless the retailer offers a substantial discount and you think you'll run through the ink in a relatively short period of time.

But agitating the ink is a good way of making sure you cut down on nozzle clogs.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=160146\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for reminding me.  I print in spurts--and over this past year--no clogs at all (I run a nozzle check each time I print and have been thrilled with the total lack of clogs as opposed to my last several Epsons).  However--I have NOT agitated them and I'll do so  now.  I'm about out of almost all blacks but  not colors (and though I have extra blacks on hand, I didn't bother to buy any colors yet--and Atlex is quick).

I moved from a 2200 last Dec. and have printed 16" wide a lot since then so the 3800 has been a good buy for me--besides even the difference in ink prices.   I haven't regretted buying the 3800 even once since then.

Diane
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« Reply #59 on: December 17, 2007, 10:18:06 PM »
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The prices of the two printers are very close after factoring in the $400+ of ink that comes with the 3800 as well as the current rebate.  The ink in the 3800 also seems to go further per ml.
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