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Author Topic: Epson Printer Rumors?  (Read 16704 times)
360NikonD300
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« on: September 25, 2008, 02:26:24 PM »
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The Epson 17" printers have been out there for quite a while now. I've been thinking of upgrading my 2200. I hate to do it just before Epson releases a new printer! Has anyone heard any rumors about an updated printer coming out any time soon? And what's with this Epson Ultrachrome HDR ink?
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jcote
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2008, 07:49:47 PM »
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Production versions of the new 79/9900 Epson will be shown at Graph Expo in Chicago at the end of October. I believe they will be available in the US shortly after that. With a ten channel head and 11 colors of ink on board, including the switchable matte/gloss black, the graphics industry will embrace this new printer as a proofer. Graphics companies are one of Epson's biggest markets and they need the extended gamut that the new inks will allow, to simulate the spot colors used in commercial printing. It is very difficult for the old Epsons to duplicate some corporate and spot colors like Home Depot Orange etc. On an offset printing press or silk screen press you can print 4 color process for the contone images and add exact spot colors when CMYK will not build them closely enough.

These machines will make wonderful photographic printers also for a couple of reasons. First because finally Epson's large printers will have the ability to print on both coated and uncoated papers without physically switching out a black cart. Second, the extended gamut will be nice for some hard to get natural colors in photos. I think a good RIP will be necessary to take full advantage of these printers.

I don't think Epson has announced any printers with this head and ink configuration smaller than the 7900 (I could be wrong).

Epson's 3800 (17 inches) already has both matte and gloss inks on-board and is a fantastic little printer for anyone who does not need to use roll stock. I have had the 3800 as my home printer since the late November almost 2 years ago. I have yet to have a clogged head or any real trouble with it. In my opinion it prints so close to as well as any printer on the market that you would be hard pressed to tell any difference.

As a disclaimer, I will say that I have done work for Epson and I am probably a little bit biased.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 07:50:39 PM by jcote » Logged

marty m
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2008, 09:22:37 PM »
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As a disclaimer, I will say that I have done work for Epson and I am probably a little bit biased.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224437\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
A great report.  And your disclaimer is both refreshing and honest,  and you are to be commended for that.

What will the two versions cost without the separate profiling unit, and how much will that unit add to the cost?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 09:24:23 PM by marty m » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 09:36:20 PM »
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These machines will make wonderful photographic printers also for a couple of reasons. First because finally Epson's large printers will have the ability to print on both coated and uncoated papers without physically switching out a black cart. Second, the extended gamut will be nice for some hard to get natural colors in photos. I think a good RIP will be necessary to take full advantage of these printers.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224437\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


You're right to say they make very good photo printers...but wrong about the RIP being needed to take advantage of them (unless you have odd workflow requirements other than single fine-art printing). The Epson drivers will drive the printers just fine & dandy and with really accurate profiles (the gamut is indeed huge) you will get better gamut and D-max out of the 79/9900 than any other inkjet printer I'm aware of (at the moment-it's yet to be seen exactly what HP's recently announced printer will fit).

As far as I know, there are no upcoming announcements regarding ANY Ultrachrome HDR printers any smaller than 24" because the print heads are so big (and expensive) and won't be put into 17" carriage printers any time real soon. So, if you need a 17" printer now, there's no reason to wait. Next year? who knows...

And while the NDA status of the 79/9900 printer is sorta vague (it's due to be officially announced in the US around Graph Expo but was announced world-wide at Drupa in May), I've been told by Epson that I can say I have a 7900 beta unit and that I'm using it. It's a big heavy mother (much heavier than the 7880) and that the gamut and D-max is very large...and it prints really nice...and very fast. But I've not yet had time to make a bunch of profiles and I've really only printed on Premium Luster so far.
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marty m
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2008, 12:09:23 AM »
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You're right to say they make very good photo printers...but wrong about the RIP being needed to take advantage of them (unless you have odd workflow requirements other than single fine-art printing).  I can say I have a 7900 beta unit and that I'm using it. It's a big heavy mother (much heavier than the 7880) and that the gamut and D-max is very large...and it prints really nice...and very fast. But I've not yet had time to make a bunch of profiles and I've really only printed on Premium Luster so far.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224469\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Jeff, how does the profiling unit work that attaches to the front?  How easy to take on and off?  What software drives it?  Do you like it?  Any idea what it adds to the cost?

Does the Epson driver for these units work like the driver for other units?  (I am only familiar with the driver for the 4000.)  Where it only provides the names of Epson papers, and you have to guess what means, and pick one of those for a non-Epson paper?  

That is one thing HP did right with the Z series, by providing generic paper types and names when using such a paper, and excellent documents that explain all of the technical attributes of those drivers for generic papers, such as paper height, ink loading, etc.  With HP you can also select less, standard or more ink or tell the driver that you using a thick paper to avoid head strikes.  The HP approach is far superior to the Epson 4000 approach where it only provided Epson paper names, and absolutely no information as to what those even meant with regards to carriage head height, paper loading, ink loading, etc.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 12:33:58 AM by marty m » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 01:38:44 AM »
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Jeff, how does the profiling unit work that attaches to the front?  How easy to take on and off?  What software drives it?  Do you like it?  Any idea what it adds to the cost?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224494\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The spectro unit is really only designed for print shops that need to do proofing. The spectro can do easy targets to linearize the printer and process control...but the photo industry isn't where the spectro is aimed at. Most photographers wouldn't want it because it's expensive (compared to an iOne or other table top unit) can only really work on the size unit you've got (there's two spectro units, one for the 24" and one for the 44") and while easy to put on and take off, even Epson won't be recommending the unit for people outside the proofing industry (oh, they'll sell ya one but it's really designed to work with rips not straight photo printing). Epson doesn't really NEED to worry about trying to sell spectros because the unit to unit variation is so low and the printers are easy to profile with traditional units. The printing industry needs process control and the 79/9900 printers with the spectros are a drop in the bucket for for that industry.

As for the rest, yes, obviously the media settings are designed and set based on the Epson papers. Sure there's some experimentation involved with trying different media settings for 3rd party papers.
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geotzo
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2008, 02:19:48 AM »
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I just hope they come up with a replacement of the current 17", that will hold matt and gloss black at the same time. I have the 4800 a few years now and have to admit it works like charm, but the black switching process is a real pain in terms of cost and time. I have also tried the 3800 which a great "little" A2 printer but the black switching on board is not great either, cause it still wastes ink. Why don't they do it like Canon and Hp? They both have released printers with that characteristic, a couple of years now. I just don't understand it as Epson is supposed to lead the way on inkjet technology.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2008, 02:32:35 AM »
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The Epson 17" printers have been out there for quite a while now. I've been thinking of upgrading my 2200. I hate to do it just before Epson releases a new printer! Has anyone heard any rumors about an updated printer coming out any time soon? And what's with this Epson Ultrachrome HDR ink?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No new Epson models in that segment on the Photokina 2008.

Epson had the ecosolvent wide format GS6000, the 11880, the 7900, the 9900 and the 3800 on their booth and some less recent models. In fact nothing new since the Drupa in May.

They are busy in other segments of the industry, little of that was shown on the Photokina but the dry mini labs of Fuji and Norita and Epson pro inkjet office models with huge carts that print cheaper pages than laser printers, etc.

Next to the Z3200 24"and 44" Hp had no 17"model (yet). Canon's program isn't changed much either so the 17" iPF5100 was still there + a new 24" iPF6200 that only differs in having a harddisc aboard if compared to the iPF6100.

Little news on inkjets in the wide formats. A lot of news on photobook production with all kinds of printing and binding technologies. Web interfaces, dry minilabs, production software.

On Epson 7900/9900 Dmax, I have yet to see prints that beat the Z3100/Z3200 significantly on Dmax in B&W printing.



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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jcote
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2008, 06:41:01 AM »
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You're right to say they make very good photo printers...but wrong about the RIP being needed to take advantage of them (unless you have odd workflow requirements other than single fine-art printing). The Epson drivers will drive the printers just fine & dandy and with really accurate profiles (the gamut is indeed huge) you will get better gamut and D-max out of the 79/9900 than any other inkjet printer I'm aware of (at the moment-it's yet to be seen exactly what HP's recently announced printer will fit).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224469\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Jeff,

I am glad to hear of your experience with the new printer and its new drivers. If Epson has truly developed drivers that give a fine art photographer a way to take full advantage of the new gamut extending colors they will have really done something. I don't doubt that it could possibly be done, but I guess I will wait and see.

Though my direct dealings with Epson have been as a photographer, most of my dealings with Epson printers have been in using them as graphics proofers. Chances are I will never get to deal with an Epson 9900 without a big RIP in front of it so I will have to rely on others to make judgments about the drivers.

As far as the issue of Gamut and D-Max I have no doubt that you are right. I think that, even without the gamut extending (hi-fi) colors the Epson 11880 probably prints as well and with as much smoothness, gamut and usable D-Max as any printer I have seen and quite frankly, I don't think my little home 3800 is far behind.

Best,
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martinog
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2008, 06:49:36 AM »
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Jeff,

Thanks for all this info. I will be buying either the 7880 or the 7900 shortly but it depends on the overall size of the 7900 as my space is restricted. Do you have the front to back measurement of the 7900 without the stand, ie printer only?

Many thanks

Martin
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jcote
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2008, 07:21:31 AM »
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A great report.  And your disclaimer is both refreshing and honest,  and you are to be commended for that.

What will the two versions cost without the separate profiling unit, and how much will that unit add to the cost?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224461\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks Marty,

No sense in saying that I am not biased. I like to think I am biased for objective reasons but I am sure every biased person feels the same way.

As far as pricing is concerned, I am the wrong dude. Maybe Jody at Roberts' Imaging or some other dealer has the price list by now.

Best,
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digitaldog
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2008, 09:21:55 AM »
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Epson's 3800 (17 inches) already has both matte and gloss inks on-board and is a fantastic little printer for anyone who does not need to use roll stock. I have had the 3800 as my home printer since the late November almost 2 years ago. I have yet to have a clogged head or any real trouble with it.

Same opinion and experience here. I have a 4800 and 7880, but for really cranking out prints that the 3800 handles, I prefer it (for one, its quiet). Its been rock solid. Well, I did have a little piece of plastic on the door itself break off and I'm trying to get a replacement. Otherwise, its an amazingly good printer for its price point. No clogs.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 09:22:20 AM by digitaldog » Logged

Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2008, 09:22:16 AM »
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These machines will make wonderful photographic printers also for a couple of reasons. First because finally Epson's large printers will have the ability to print on both coated and uncoated papers without physically switching out a black cart....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224437\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I suspect you mean that both matte and glossy papers are both coated, as inkjet printing does benefit from coated papers on matte surfaces. I can only think of a few uncoated matte papers, and none of them have ever been good at producing wide color gamuts or sharp enough results to satisfy most users.

I am glad to see that there are some beta units out there and that we might see them here in the USA at some point!
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Andy Biggs
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2008, 01:33:46 PM »
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Do you have the front to back measurement of the 7900 without the stand, ie printer only?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224566\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


It ain't tiny...

Without the base;
Length about 53.5"
Depth about 24.5"
Height about 26.5"
(27" more or less if you count the rubber feet on the base–which can slide into a tabletop)

And this thing is built heavy. Since they went to 360 nozzles/inch the head track is much beefier (which is why I don't see the head design fitting into a small carriage printer any time real soon)
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2008, 01:59:19 PM »
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I "need" roll paper in a 17" form factor as well as sheets.  I presume that at some point over the next year (I hope) the next iteration - 4980? -  will appear and I'll buy that unless the size of the unit expands significantly.  Until then I'll keep feeding ink into my 4000.  
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martinog
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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2008, 03:02:37 PM »
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Jeff,

Many thanks.

As I have to negotiate it thorough narrow doors at an angle it won't fit.

So at least I can make use of the good offer price here in Spain for the 7880 that ends Tuesday.

Regards

Martin
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Schewe
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« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2008, 04:05:36 PM »
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I presume that at some point over the next year (I hope) the next iteration - 4980? -  will appear...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224703\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, as I said, the actual size of the new heads may preclude them from EVER being put into a 17" carriage. I don't doubt that some time the 4880 will get some sort of update, but the 79/9900 printers are a breed apart. You realize Epson is going to continue to sell the 78/9880's well after the 79/9900s come out, right?
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Doombrain
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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2008, 04:42:38 PM »
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the TFP head's no bigger than the F8 head, in fact it's smaller. there's no reason it can't be used in a 17" unit.
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JimGoshorn
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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2008, 05:31:46 PM »
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Thanks for the report Jeff.

As to the increase in gamut, what areas are showing the increase? Are the reds improved? I ask because I got print samples from Epson for the X880 series printers and there was a print of a Ferrari and the reds still looked a bit towards the orange side.

Thanks!
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2008, 09:34:34 PM »
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Quote from: abiggs,Sep 26 2008, 02:22 PM
"I suspect you mean that both matte and glossy papers are both coated, as inkjet printing does benefit from coated papers on matte surfaces. I can only think of a few uncoated matte papers, and none of them have ever been good at producing wide color gamuts or sharp enough results to satisfy most users."

There are hundreds of uncoated papers.
Gamut is certainly compromised but sharp images are possible with heavily sized paper.
I am currently using Somerset White Book and Zerkall papers . On both text is quite  sharp.
You can , of course coat your own papers . This significantly improves DMax and gamut, but not up to , say, Canson standards. All the same if you want 4 true deckle edges and the random grain of handmade papers, then that is the way to go.
Just so I'm not completely off topic I do this on a 9800, but expect  considerable improvements with the 9900. The greens and reds should be much better as they are on the Roland Hi Fi with orange and green inks. The 3 black inks should take the 900 series closer to the Roland D'Vinci.
Hopefully someone will do the tests and report soon.
Cheers,
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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