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Author Topic: Epson 3800 or 4880 redux? Good deal on 4880 right  (Read 16929 times)
Tklimek
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« on: March 10, 2008, 12:46:51 AM »
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Epson 3800 or 4880 redux?  Good deal on 4880 right now...



Good evening folks.....

I've been reading this board for a few weeks, but this is my first posting.

First off, hat's off to Michael and gang and Luminous Landscape for putting out some truly great videos at some reasonable prices; I've purchased LLVJ 14-17 and both Lightroom and Camera to Print videos and have really enjoyed all of them.

So I'm pretty new to printing; never really thought of printing my photos too much before, and now want to "jump in".  I was really hyped up about getting a 3800 and went to a Calumet Photo in my city (Chicago) to get a demo of the printer.  While I was there I also saw the 4880.  Almost all of the reviews I've seen on the 3800 are solid; with the one disadvantage of not being able to use roll paper.  The ink swap (matte black/photo black) issue which seemed to plague earlier Epsons in terms of ink waste seems to have minimized/removed with the 3800.  Everything sounded really good.

Now however, I'm thinking about the 4880.  Part of that was reviewing the difference between roll and cut sheet paper.  In one example I found online, this information was found:

17x22 pre-cut sheets , 25 per box = $177; which comes out to about 46 feet of paper
17x50 paper roll = $125; which is 4 feet longer than buying the pre-cut

So, in an absolutely perfect world, it would appear that by using the roll paper you save about $52 per 25 photos (at this size) and have a bit left over for fudge factor.

And then, I saw a pretty crazy deal seemingly going on at www.ShadesofPaper.com (I think there is a JDoyle on this board from that company).  The 4880 seems to be offered about $200 less than most other folks PLUS you get 3 rolls of paper.  Now I did not find out exactly what paper you get with this deal (is this retailer specific I wonder or an Epson offer?) but at the worst case scenario you've got some paper to mess about with and learn to use the printer.

So at Calumet, the 3800 goes for the typical $1,295 (plus you get a free Epson 3000 photo viewer) and the 4880 at the typical $1,995.  About a $700 difference.  The deal at Shades of Paper lessens that difference to $500 PLUS you get some paper.  Hmmmmmmmm.....

Unfortunately, I've not been able to find a good deal of information on the 4880.  I know that this has the latest Ultrachrome inks with the "Vivid Magenta", the carts are larger, it obviously comes with the ability to use roll paper, and my understanding from what I've read on the "Luminous Landscape" is that Epson has really minimized the ink loss that occurs with the blank ink swap (the black ink for the cart in use is expelled into the maintenance tank while the other ones are capped - in previous iterations it appears that all inks were expelled resulting in approx. a $75 ink waste per swap; for the 4800 at least).

So any kind of guidance from the group out there?  Any additional information about the 4880?  What do you think about this especially with the "deal" from ShadesofPaper?

I see that there have been a few discussions re:  3800 or 4880, so I thought I would add this on.  :-)

Cheers....

Todd
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jpegman
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2008, 02:28:20 AM »
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Epson 3800 or 4880 redux?  Good deal on 4880 right now...
Good evening folks.....

I've been reading this board for a few weeks, but this is my first posting.

First off, hat's off to Michael and gang and Luminous Landscape for putting out some truly great videos at some reasonable prices; I've purchased LLVJ 14-17 and both Lightroom and Camera to Print videos and have really enjoyed all of them.

So I'm pretty new to printing; never really thought of printing my photos too much before, and now want to "jump in".  I was really hyped up about getting a 3800 and went to a Calumet Photo in my city (Chicago) to get a demo of the printer.  While I was there I also saw the 4880.  Almost all of the reviews I've seen on the 3800 are solid; with the one disadvantage of not being able to use roll paper.  The ink swap (matte black/photo black) issue which seemed to plague earlier Epsons in terms of ink waste seems to have minimized/removed with the 3800.  Everything sounded really good.

Now however, I'm thinking about the 4880.  Part of that was reviewing the difference between roll and cut sheet paper.  In one example I found online, this information was found:

17x22 pre-cut sheets , 25 per box = $177; which comes out to about 46 feet of paper
17x50 paper roll = $125; which is 4 feet longer than buying the pre-cut

So, in an absolutely perfect world, it would appear that by using the roll paper you save about $52 per 25 photos (at this size) and have a bit left over for fudge factor.

And then, I saw a pretty crazy deal seemingly going on at www.ShadesofPaper.com (I think there is a JDoyle on this board from that company).  The 4880 seems to be offered about $200 less than most other folks PLUS you get 3 rolls of paper.  Now I did not find out exactly what paper you get with this deal (is this retailer specific I wonder or an Epson offer?) but at the worst case scenario you've got some paper to mess about with and learn to use the printer.

So at Calumet, the 3800 goes for the typical $1,295 (plus you get a free Epson 3000 photo viewer) and the 4880 at the typical $1,995.  About a $700 difference.  The deal at Shades of Paper lessens that difference to $500 PLUS you get some paper.  Hmmmmmmmm.....

Unfortunately, I've not been able to find a good deal of information on the 4880.  I know that this has the latest Ultrachrome inks with the "Vivid Magenta", the carts are larger, it obviously comes with the ability to use roll paper, and my understanding from what I've read on the "Luminous Landscape" is that Epson has really minimized the ink loss that occurs with the blank ink swap (the black ink for the cart in use is expelled into the maintenance tank while the other ones are capped - in previous iterations it appears that all inks were expelled resulting in approx. a $75 ink waste per swap; for the 4800 at least).

So any kind of guidance from the group out there?  Any additional information about the 4880?  What do you think about this especially with the "deal" from ShadesofPaper?

I see that there have been a few discussions re:  3800 or 4880, so I thought I would add this on.  :-)

Cheers....

Todd
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Guess everything is relative - According to Wayne Fox, the 4000 wasted about $160 worht of ink for a round trip swap, the 4800 halved it to about $80 per swap, and the 4880 halved it again to about $40 per swap. In contrast, Eric Chan estimates a 3800 uses about $6 per swap.  Do 12 swaps a year (1 per month if you batch) for 4 years and the 4880 will waste about  $1920 worth of black ink, while the 3800 will waste $388 worth of ink. This assumes you will limit printing changes to batches across 12 print sessions per year - and unless you are selling a lot of prints or have ink to burn , the 4880's cost saving paper roll option is not going to be too cost effective, unless your roll printing volume is very high.

If you haven't seen it already, here on Fred Miranda forum is exactly the same 3800 vs 4880 discussion - [a href=\"http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/620511]http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/620511[/url]

It's not an easy choice to make - since you may be second guessing print choices knowing that if you really want to physically see what a print "looks like on the other paper", it's going to cost you $40 to find out!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2008, 02:38:54 AM by jpegman » Logged
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2008, 07:13:11 AM »
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Guess everything is relative - According to Wayne Fox, the 4000 wasted about $160 worht of ink for a round trip swap, the 4800 halved it to about $80 per swap, and the 4880 halved it again to about $40 per swap.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The 4000 has MK and PK aboard ..... ?-)

Wonder why there's so much effort in comparing the switch waste of Epsons and no alternative brand mentioned that doesn't need a switch. The Canon 17" models may not be the champions in ink use in general but you do not need to switch blacks on them.


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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titusbear
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2008, 07:17:20 AM »
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And then, I saw a pretty crazy deal seemingly going on at www.ShadesofPaper.com (I think there is a JDoyle on this board from that company).  The 4880 seems to be offered about $200 less than most other folks PLUS you get 3 rolls of paper.  Now I did not find out exactly what paper you get with this deal (is this retailer specific I wonder or an Epson offer?) but at the worst case scenario you've got some paper to mess about with and learn to use the printer.


I've purchased a 4880, ink,  and paper from Shades of Paper - and found them to be a very reputable, cost-effective vendor.  Their staff is knowledgeable, and helpful.  They're a certified Epson pro dealer, and ink/paper arrives 'fresh' and well packaged.  


I've run probably ten dozen 'art' prints , and I find the 4880 to be a very well built, (+/- 1/100's of a mm. tolerances - according to the repair manual), easy to use machine, especially with QImage. The 220 ml carts are cost effective, and imposing (second only, I guess, to the 700 ml carts in the 11880).  The only 'gripe' I have so far is trying to figure out how to take off the lexan plastic doors (which stay open to allow for the 220 carts).

The 4880 is obviously, from it's build and design, a commercial/pro grade machine that should last for thousands of prints.   The 3800 is a good machine - capable of very fine /museum-grade prints, but not in the same 'build' class as 4880.

e/tb
contemplativeeye.com
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Tklimek
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2008, 07:40:55 AM »
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Thank you for the reply.

I had not seen the thread on the Fred Miranda forum and will check it out.

Thanks!

Quote
Guess everything is relative - According to Wayne Fox, the 4000 wasted about $160 worht of ink for a round trip swap, the 4800 halved it to about $80 per swap, and the 4880 halved it again to about $40 per swap. In contrast, Eric Chan estimates a 3800 uses about $6 per swap.  Do 12 swaps a year (1 per month if you batch) for 4 years and the 4880 will waste about  $1920 worth of black ink, while the 3800 will waste $388 worth of ink. This assumes you will limit printing changes to batches across 12 print sessions per year - and unless you are selling a lot of prints or have ink to burn , the 4880's cost saving paper roll option is not going to be too cost effective, unless your roll printing volume is very high.

If you haven't seen it already, here on Fred Miranda forum is exactly the same 3800 vs 4880 discussion - http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/620511

It's not an easy choice to make - since you may be second guessing print choices knowing that if you really want to physically see what a print "looks like on the other paper", it's going to cost you $40 to find out!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180351\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Mike_L
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2008, 04:04:43 PM »
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I just purchased a 4880 over a 3800 for the following reasons:

1. There is a $200 rebate for previous Epson Pro Printer owners.
2. I receved $500 worth of Epson Exhibition Fiber paper for free.
3. The 4880 has the latest inks (vivid magenta's)
4. Even though I liked the smaller footprint of the 3800, I determined that the 4880 would fit the desk space I had reserved for a new printer.
5. Roll paper capability
6. Ability to make longer panoramic prints

Initially I was leaning towards a 3800 since it doesn't require black ink swapping, however, I decided I could stick with Photo Black due to the latest paper advances.  

BTW:  I purchased mine at IT Supplies out of Chicago.  And note that even though it lists for $1995 on the website, when you add it to the shopping cart the price is actually $1799 and that doesn't include the rebate.  And shipping is free.  The bottom line is I got a 4880 for $1799 minus a $200 rebate plus $500 worth of paper.  Not a bad deal if I do say so myself.

mike
« Last Edit: March 10, 2008, 04:09:51 PM by Mike_L » Logged
Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2008, 04:30:45 PM »
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A few points:

a) On the plus side for roll paper: there aren't a lot of 17x25" papers available and the more common 17x22" may not meet your needs. Still: when you need a non-standard paper size, you can always buy a roll, cut it by hand, then feed that as a custom-size sheet.

b) On the minus side for roll paper: you have to de-curl each and every print. Many of us use sheet paper just to avoid this minor hassle.

c) The 3800 has a utility that reports the exact ink usage for every job to the nearest 1/100th ml. I've done multiple ink swaps using a 1 pixel non-black image file and the usage reported is consistently 1.2 ml for PK->MK and 3.2 for MK->PK. You'll have to price that yourself but for me it's $3.32 per swap, but in the US you can probably do better. Chump change compared to the 12 ml hit I took when I failed to print for a few days and the 3800 decided it was time to do an auto-nozzle-clean. (I doubt the 4880 driver would do any differently.)
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Tklimek
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2008, 11:29:06 PM »
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A few points:

a) On the plus side for roll paper: there aren't a lot of 17x25" papers available and the more common 17x22" may not meet your needs. Still: when you need a non-standard paper size, you can always buy a roll, cut it by hand, then feed that as a custom-size sheet.

 On the minus side for roll paper: you have to de-curl each and every print. Many of us use sheet paper just to avoid this minor hassle.

c) The 3800 has a utility that reports the exact ink usage for every job to the nearest 1/100th ml. I've done multiple ink swaps using a 1 pixel non-black image file and the usage reported is consistently 1.2 ml for PK->MK and 3.2 for MK->PK. You'll have to price that yourself but for me it's $3.32 per swap, but in the US you can probably do better. Chump change compared to the 12 ml hit I took when I failed to print for a few days and the 3800 decided it was time to do an auto-nozzle-clean. (I doubt the 4880 driver would do any differently.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180481\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thank you Dale.  At the moment, I'm thinking that having to de-curl should not be an issue for me.

I did check and see what papers were available for the offer; and I added up 3 of the available offers (the 17x22 cut sheet Exhibition Fiber) and came up to approx. $587.  I don't think the $1799 price would apply to me however since I'm not a previous Epson Pro owner...  :-(  .  Oh well, still, with the paper offer, and the more ink from the get-go, I'm figuring I'm getting the actual printer for almost the same amount of $$$ (minus the free P-3000 picture viewer which is currently offered with the 3800; that would be nice but not really necessary for me at the moment).  Sounds like I have until the end of March to decide if I want to score on the free paper offer.    

Cheers.....
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P Macino
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2008, 01:43:15 AM »
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and unless you are selling a lot of prints or have ink to burn , the 4880's cost saving paper roll option is not going to be too cost effective, unless your roll printing volume is very high.

I had the 3800, sold it and bought the 4880 a few months back. The difference of "roll vs. sheet" in cost for most papers is about half (or more) when you price it out by square foot. You don't need a lot of volume to make up the ground. I have a pretty robust Excel sheet where I figured the COGs per print for my business. Bottom line, costs went down, margins grew, profit grew. You don't need to be in business to reap the benefits either.

For example take a sheet of Ultra Premium Luster to make 16"x20"s

$75.95 for 25 sheets of 17x22  from ITSupplies= $3.04 each, ink aside

from a 16'x 100' roll of Ultra Premium Luster (260) also from IT Supplies, you can get 60 (100ft = 1200 inches/20 inches = 60) 16'"x20"s per roll for $78.99, that's $1.31 each.

This formula is pretty consistent all around...some papers, vary more or less of course, but the savings is always rather large.

On top of the paper, the ink is cheaper per ml with the 4880.
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duraace
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2008, 11:26:11 AM »
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I had the 3800, sold it and bought the 4880 a few months back. The difference of "roll vs. sheet" in cost for most papers is about half (or more) when you price it out by square foot. You don't need a lot of volume to make up the ground. I have a pretty robust Excel sheet where I figured the COGs per print for my business. Bottom line, costs went down, margins grew, profit grew. You don't need to be in business to reap the benefits either.

For example take a sheet of Ultra Premium Luster to make 16"x20"s

$75.95 for 25 sheets of 17x22  from ITSupplies= $3.04 each, ink aside

from a 16'x 100' roll of Ultra Premium Luster (260) also from IT Supplies, you can get 60 (100ft = 1200 inches/20 inches = 60) 16'"x20"s per roll for $78.99, that's $1.31 each.

This formula is pretty consistent all around...some papers, vary more or less of course, but the savings is always rather large.

On top of the paper, the ink is cheaper per ml with the 4880.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180540\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Probably comes down to whether you have commercial needs or not.  The 3800 is clearly more of a pro-summer model.  It would take me (home user) a very long time to realize a $700 savings in paper using a 4880.  If I were an imagining business, an even wider model might make more sense.
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2008, 12:58:45 PM »
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...  The only 'gripe' I have so far is trying to figure out how to take off the lexan plastic doors (which stay open to allow for the 220 carts).
...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180395\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Assuming it's the same as the 4800, you carefully pull the door straight towards you, away from the machine, as gently as possible, one side at a time.  The snapon hinges look like this:



Nill
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Tklimek
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2008, 02:03:52 PM »
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Well this is very intersting now.

The paper is something that everyone certainly can use; I've looked at the paper that is available for this offer (for either 3 rolls or other cut sheet paper) and they actually look "useful".  So the price difference between the 3800 and the 4880 is $700.  With somewhere between $500 - $600 of "Free" paper (only if it's actually useful; and it appears to be), the cost difference between the two printers is now only $100 - $200.  Add in the fact that you are actually getting more ink in the box with the 4880, the cost is almost a wash.  Granted there is a promotion for the 3800 which gives you a free Epson picture viewer; which is nice but we are talking about printing here.      So right now I'm really leaning towards the 4880.  I'd like to call Calumet and see if they honor any of these offers because I'd like to support a local store, and the Chicago Calumet is like 4 minutes from my house.

Now...I just have to sell the wife on this idea....    

Cheers....
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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2008, 02:49:06 PM »
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Is there any difference in prints made with the 4880 versus the 3800?
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P Macino
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2008, 04:16:52 PM »
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Well this is very intersting now.

The paper is something that everyone certainly can use; I've looked at the paper that is available for this offer (for either 3 rolls or other cut sheet paper) and they actually look "useful".  So the price difference between the 3800 and the 4880 is $700.  With somewhere between $500 - $600 of "Free" paper (only if it's actually useful; and it appears to be), the cost difference between the two printers is now only $100 - $200.  Add in the fact that you are actually getting more ink in the box with the 4880, the cost is almost a wash.  Granted there is a promotion for the 3800 which gives you a free Epson picture viewer; which is nice but we are talking about printing here.      So right now I'm really leaning towards the 4880.  I'd like to call Calumet and see if they honor any of these offers because I'd like to support a local store, and the Chicago Calumet is like 4 minutes from my house.

Now...I just have to sell the wife on this idea....   

Cheers....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180657\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

To be completely fair here...(I'm all for being an enabler)

The 4880 will consume a lot more ink in it's initial line charge. almost 55 ml or 50% of its first 110 ml cartridges.

My experience with the 3800 was that it only used about 16 ml (20%) to charge its lines.

Make sure you have enough space for it too. It is deceptively large and heavy. I would only consider it a "desktop printer" if you have an open back table or desk. If you have a desk butted up against a wall, it won't work. It does get delivered on a pallet.
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duraace
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2008, 04:23:18 PM »
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To be completely fair here...(I'm all for being an enabler)

 It does get delivered on a pallet.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180680\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's a non starter for me.  Too much printer for a home office. Also, wouldn't the shipping costs for a pallet item be considerably higher?  The 3800 comes in a box, which you can still carry (barely).
« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 04:24:18 PM by duraace » Logged
Tklimek
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2008, 04:36:10 PM »
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That's a non starter for me.  Too much printer for a home office. Also, wouldn't the shipping costs for a pallet item be considerably higher?  The 3800 comes in a box, which you can still carry (barely).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180683\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I need to check the dimensions again and see if I can wrangle a space for it; tight for sure.  I was also considering a seperate stand for it as well (I've seen some advertised specifically for it, but would try to make due with something from IKEA).

As far as shipping; luckily for me I can drive my Honda CR-V for 4 minutes at be at Calumet's loading dock.    

I did call Calumet and they would honor the "March Madness" Epson paper special, so that really helps.  Calumet also has the wonderful "Bill Me Later" option which allows 3 months interest free financing; now that is really enticing.

As far as the amount of ink needed to prime the lines, I suppose that will be a startup cost regardless of the printer you get; but just to different levels.  So in the end, it may cost about $200 more (after factoring in the free paper, the larger ink "in the box", and the larger amount of ink lost to prime the lines) than the 3800.  Sounds like if I could wrangle the space for it, $200 more that the pro-sumer model might be not too bad a choice.

Does that logic seem to hold up?  Remember.....whatever I come up with will need to pass the CFO's review (wifey).  

Cheers again...

TK
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P Macino
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2008, 06:42:16 PM »
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I need to check the dimensions again and see if I can wrangle a space for it; tight for sure.  I was also considering a seperate stand for it as well (I've seen some advertised specifically for it, but would try to make due with something from IKEA).

As far as shipping; luckily for me I can drive my Honda CR-V for 4 minutes at be at Calumet's loading dock.     

I did call Calumet and they would honor the "March Madness" Epson paper special, so that really helps.  Calumet also has the wonderful "Bill Me Later" option which allows 3 months interest free financing; now that is really enticing.

As far as the amount of ink needed to prime the lines, I suppose that will be a startup cost regardless of the printer you get; but just to different levels.  So in the end, it may cost about $200 more (after factoring in the free paper, the larger ink "in the box", and the larger amount of ink lost to prime the lines) than the 3800.  Sounds like if I could wrangle the space for it, $200 more that the pro-sumer model might be not too bad a choice.

Does that logic seem to hold up?  Remember.....whatever I come up with will need to pass the CFO's review (wifey).  

Cheers again...

TK
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180685\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Makes total sense to me...just check on the box size. It almost didn't fit in my (new/larger)Grand Cherokee, even after lifting it off the pallet and leaving it behind. You'll definately need two people to load/unload.
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2008, 07:22:13 PM »
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The 4800 is about the size of a Mini Cooper.  

The IKEA kitchen piece recommended on this site (here) makes a great stand for it.  I liked it so much I bought a second one for the drawer space and as a stand for my cutter.

Nill
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« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 07:25:32 PM by Nill Toulme » Logged
Mike_L
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2008, 07:34:05 PM »
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Just to clarify.... the $1799 price at IT Supplies does not include the rebate for previous owners... that's the price for everyone and shipping is free.  

Also, here's an interesting article by Andy Biggs on a 4880 stand option:  

http://www.andybiggs.com/article_Epson4000desk.html

Finally, here's the list of papers available on the 4880 deal:

http://www.itsupplies.com/isroot/itsupplie...igibleMedia.pdf

As far as I can tell nearly every Epson paper is included.  I opted for three boxes of Exhibition Fiber at a value of $500.

Regards,
mike
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titusbear
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2008, 07:53:19 PM »
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Quote from: P Macino,Mar 11 2008, 04:16 PM
To be completely fair here...(I'm all for being an enabler)

The 4880 will consume a lot more ink in it's initial line charge. almost 55 ml or 50% of its first 110 ml cartridges.
_________

I've found that in order to charge lines on a 4880 it uses:

MK - 41.8ml,  C - 40.7ml, VM - 39.5ml, Y - 40.7ml, LK - 41.8ml, LC - 40.7ml, VLM - 39.5ml, LLK - 40.7ml.   Waste tank showing 28% used (72% available).
Since them I've printed 64 pages full coverage (17X22) - and am still running on the original 110ml carts.  ML's remaining:

MK - 55, C - 44, VM - 48, Y - 32, LK - 13, LC - 34, VLM - 28, LLK - 48, Waste tank - 72 available.    Seems to burn through LK, with MK/C/LLK the least used.

Once the original 110's are gone - will switch to all 220's for economy of scale.
Great machine - with one caveat...... it needs a BIG sign on the front of the machine (for left-handed scientists/artists - Yale/Columbia grads) that reads  "set left hand paper guide" (for Princeton /Harvard grads - hire Geek Squad to figure it out for you).   Forget to do that and the paper feeds skewed and machine balks - set it properly (1 sec of work) and the machine works like a bear.
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