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Author Topic: The "big three" 24 inch inkjets - which to choose?  (Read 6363 times)
Farmer
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« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2009, 09:11:37 PM »
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Quote from: Dan Wells
Canon is (amazingly) shipping 330 ml carts with the 8100 - they don't offer any smaller size for it (the other available  size is 700 ml). I know that the new Epsons go up to 700 ml carts (150/350/700?) as well, but ship with 110 ml starters. It would seem worth Canon's while to make a 110 or something similar (even if it was only sold with the printer), just to avoid giving away all that ink. A $3400 printer that comes with nearly $2000 in ink is pretty remarkable (of course, it probably shows the profit margin on ink - even in the cheaper big cartridges).

It's pretty expensive to set up production runs for low volume items.  I'm betting Canon decided it was cheaper to supply the larger inks than to set up production for smaller carts just to provide with the printers (most people wouldn't buy the smaller ones retail because of the higher per ml cost that would certainly come with them).  At some point (volume of printers sold) it would become economical, but that's a pretty large number.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2009, 09:27:54 PM »
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Quote from: AlanG
I notice that the Epson 7900 print head has 3600 nozzles and the two Canon print heads have 30,720 nozzles combined, so this may affect the price of the heads.  Whereas the single head for the 10 color Canon Pro 9500 has 7680 nozzles and sells for around $125.00


This difference is simply due to the different technology ... advanced bubble-jet for the Canon, and Piezo-electric for the Epson.  Epson nozzles and heads are designed to last the life of the  machine. If a nozzle clogs, ink is used to clear and restore it.   Nozzles on the Canon (and HP) will wear/clog over time, and the printer monitors it.  While some attempt is made to unclog nozzles, it is less aggressive, and instead the printer will remap that nozzle to a "spare", of which there are thousands.  Theoretically all spare nozzles can get used, which then means the only way to resolve the problem is to replace the head.  I believe the Canon heads are more expensive because they contain 1/2 of the colors (6) where as HP's each are for just 2.  I've heard but cannot verify that HP includes fewer spare nozzles in their heads to keep costs down ... if this is true it may mean HP's might need replaced sooner.  However, both printers heads usually require substantial use before replacement becomes necessary, and in fact those printing their own prints may never need to replace the heads.

Both technologies seem to work, especially now that Epson clogging is substantially less than it's original printers.  One advantage of the Epson technology is accuracy of dot placement.  Since it always uses the exact  same nozzle, and by using some new advanced materials in the 11880/7900/9900 heads, Epson claims they can control the placement of dots much more precisely than other technologies, which allows them to used more advanced screening algorithms.

As far as which printer, I am somewhat  biased.  I tried a z3100 extensively for several weeks on 2 different occasions, sent it back and stayed with my 9800 ... sorry but output just wasn't really much better.  The onboard spectro has no appeal to me ... I would rather take full control of that process using my external tools.  I also tried an ipf5000 which I didn't like at all, and I didn't use MK ink enough to justify the printer

More recently I have been totally delighted with output from my 3800, as well as my 11880.  Clogging on both of those printers is really a non issue.  When the ipf6100 was introduced, Canon sent me one, and I have used it for over a year with great success.  MAJOR improvements over the 5000 I had.  Output is terrific, although there are some subtle gradations and details the 11880 seems to handle better ... but I'll admit its difficult to see and a subjective opinion.

I have just replaced the 6100 (which I have no problems recommending to anyone) with an Epson 7900, and personally I feel build quality, dithering and screening technology, inkset and gamut, as well as ease of use and flexibility of handling of material, this is best printer I've ever used.  Fast, quiet, incredible output, a terrific new roll paper system that doesn't use a spindle ... this is the best printer I've ever owned or used.

I have not used a z3200 (and won't), so if they have solved their red problem as well as some of their other concerns (which from early reports it appears they have), then it perhaps could be a contender for someone just buying a printer.  Again, the spectro to me is something I would not like having to pay for ... I just want more control and ability to use more advanced targets.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 09:38:13 PM by Wayne Fox » Logged

Dan Wells
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« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2009, 11:51:07 PM »
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Quote from: Farmer
It's pretty expensive to set up production runs for low volume items.  I'm betting Canon decided it was cheaper to supply the larger inks than to set up production for smaller carts just to provide with the printers (most people wouldn't buy the smaller ones retail because of the higher per ml cost that would certainly come with them).  At some point (volume of printers sold) it would become economical, but that's a pretty large number.

Epson and HP both do run special cheated ink cartridges (and Canon does for their smaller printers, up to the 6100). I wouldn't think it would be that expensive to simply supply 330 ml cartridge shells 1/3 or 1/2 full... Of course, the big ink fill is a nice bonus to Canon printer purchasers, and may (along with the lower cost of the printer) actually drive business their way. The Canon is less than half the price of other 44-inch printers , once you account for all that ink (and image quality seems to be very similar), and is actually very competitive with 24-inch machines. They may be counting on people buying the big printer, starting to print really large, and buying more Canon ink and perhaps media. I wonder what it really costs to make a jumbo printer? Is Canon selling the printers very close to cost in order to sell consumables? What does ink really cost to make? No manufacturer seems willing to sell ink for less than 40 cents/ml (Canon and Epson 700 ml carts and the HP twin packs are all right around this figure), but does it cost 25 cents per ml to make, or 2 cents? The same ink in small cartridges for less expensive (8.5x11) printers can cost as much as $2.00/ml or more! It's pretty clear that some small printers ARE sold at or below cost to make money on ink, but is the same true of wide-format printers where ink is 1/5 as expensive? Some of the third-party pigment inks sell for 10 cents/ml in large bottles, but are they really equivalent to the manufacturer inks (which are supposedly microencapsulated and may use more expensive pigments)?

                                               -Dan
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AlanG
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« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2009, 12:16:22 AM »
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Quote from: Dan Wells
I wonder what it really costs to make a jumbo printer? Is Canon selling the printers very close to cost in order to sell consumables? What does ink really cost to make? No manufacturer seems willing to sell ink for less than 40 cents/ml (Canon and Epson 700 ml carts and the HP twin packs are all right around this figure), but does it cost 25 cents per ml to make, or 2 cents? The same ink in small cartridges for less expensive (8.5x11) printers can cost as much as $2.00/ml or more! It's pretty clear that some small printers ARE sold at or below cost to make money on ink, but is the same true of wide-format printers where ink is 1/5 as expensive? Some of the third-party pigment inks sell for 10 cents/ml in large bottles, but are they really equivalent to the manufacturer inks (which are supposedly microencapsulated and may use more expensive pigments)?
                                               -Dan

I paid $799 for the ipf 5100 with ink and a bunch of paper, plus free delivery. Considering the dealer had to make some money, I have a hard time seeing how Canon made much money off of me.  If they did, then the ink and paper costs them very little and the printer also mus be much cheaper to produce than I can imagine.

I am sure that the ink is the profit center for the printer companies. Especially for Canon who sometimes sells the printers at very low prices. I use third party dye based inks in a Canon multifunction device.  It seems to print as well as with the Canon inks and costs around $2 per cart instead of $12.  I can't say if the prints will fade sooner, but this printer is just used for general purpose business printing and proof sheets and is not used for important photos.

I noticed that one Chinese company that makes pigment inks for the Canon (I don't know anything about them and am not recommending them) says they have a productivity of 35 tons a day. I presume that is for a wide variety of inks that they make.  And that works out to about 8,000 gallons per day.  If they work 200 days a year and charge $100 per gallon that works out to $160 million per year.  $1000 per gallon would be $1.6 billion so you know that isn't right.  

http://www.made-in-china.com/showroom/caij...-5000-5100.html

I bet the markup on the Canon ink is very high.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 12:18:33 AM by AlanG » Logged

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Farmer
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« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2009, 02:03:35 AM »
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You're not just paying for ink.

You're paying for cartridges, storage, shipping, administration, insurance, research and development, advertising, environmental levies, taxes and so forth.  Bulk ink rates don't translate into cartridge prices very well.  There's also multiple levels in the distribution to consider.  Warranty costs to be covered and finally, simple profit.

Companies that don't make the printers don't have to worry about research and development of the hardware.  The alternative is to pay far more for the printers in the first place.  The bulk of revenue is generated from professional use of the products, and for companies it is usually a better model to pay as little up front as you can and then pay more along the way, as you generate revenue from sales, so I don't think most buyers are going to want to fund things up front.

I'm sure the margins are worthwhile - the companies wouldn't be selling if they weren't - but that's true of any industry/product/service/etc.
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neil snape
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« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2009, 02:13:59 AM »
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Just want to clarify;

HP send the 24" with 69ml cartridges, send the 44" with regular 130ml carts. This is NOT hard in stone though as I had 130ml shipped with two 24" units.
Both sets are full standard cartridges, no cheating at all. It takes around 20-25 ml of ink (each) to prime the heads, ink supply lines and run the first calibration. This is around the same amount on all the LFP.

As to the reason why manufacturers ship with reduced sets must be assumed to be from first run production until the units are in the shipping channels the delay could almost put the warranty and best before dates near a problem zone for all concerned. Scenarios like but I have a 3 year warranty yet the inks are out of warranty in less than this, or the printer isn't uncrated and used yet the date on the carts are expired etc etc.

The update to a Z3200 did address many of the issues (but not all) for which they may not have communicated well. Canon also fixed many weaker points after the 5000 and did charge for a new printer, same when they put a colorimeter in the printers. Seems Canon did their homework quietly which is very nice for users. HP did a lot in the background too on the technical aspects, but few users if any really know what they did why, or what it could be of value. Too bad really as there is a plethora of changes undocumented, not  highlighted by marketing.

On thermal heads: both HP and Canon are lithographically printed heads. Many of the patents come from under the same roof so to speak. The process should be less expensive than Piezo, but is indeed less durable due to the associated problems of heat and ink over electro mechanical in Epson.
The heads themselves don't really wear per se, rather reduce output sporadically, frequency of use, and over time by volume and or time of idle/non use. It is not essential to have control over the output , yet is a way to ascertain a certain level of calibration for repeatability. Having a spectro onboard brings this up to a high level of repeatability via nozzle remapping and LUTs for output. Being able to profile this state is a good thing due to it's variability.
It seems to me, although I don't have the 9900 yet, that if there were a variable that would benefit Piezo , that would be environmental conditions mostly due to the media in that condition. OF course validation for proofs is an essential element of prepress... Validation of output on 79+9900 will ultimately put it at the very top of the class in every aspect. I eagerly await a photo solution for this over the RIP targeted  side.

Looking at the profile for Epson Tradition(Europe)  Exhibition on the 7900 it clearly shows the gamut volume and character finally cover something Joe Holmes said couldn't be done before; i.e., cover a huge gamut on a photo paper with outstanding permanence yet image quality and surface as good as any darkroom paper. It will be a challenge for any other printer to get close to this , or exceed it in the near future.


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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2009, 02:44:19 AM »
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Quote from: Dan Wells
Canon is (amazingly) shipping 330 ml carts with the 8100 - they don't offer any smaller size for it (the other available  size is 700 ml). I know that the new Epsons go up to 700 ml carts (150/350/700?) as well, but ship with 110 ml starters. It would seem worth Canon's while to make a 110 or something similar (even if it was only sold with the printer), just to avoid giving away all that ink. A $3400 printer that comes with nearly $2000 in ink is pretty remarkable (of course, it probably shows the profit margin on ink - even in the cheaper big cartridges). Does the HP take anything bigger than a 130? I know that HP partially solves this issue with their discounted twin-packs, which are actually pretty cheap for 260 ml of ink  (a bit cheaper per ml than Canon and Epson 330 ml carts, although a bit more expensive than 700s). It still seems like HP users might do a lot of cartridge changes on 44-inch machines?

                            -Dan


In the past I have done some googling on Euro/ML prices for different OEM cart contents from desktop models to wide pro.
It will no longer be precise but then there was a strong relation between the manufacturers of price per ml to the cart content.
HP Z models are frugal on ink use and with 12 carts aboard there's still 1.5 liter in total, divide that by 6 for the old Epson models and you are close to the 220 ML carts of that period. So switching inks isn't really an issue. The Z6100 has the larger carts and higher speed. Given the low consumption and the nice price of the twin packs I think the Z3100 etc is hard to beat on ink price per square meter. The same for head replacements: frequency of and head price.


Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/


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