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Author Topic: Epson 7900 - please help me buy  (Read 11344 times)
Wayne Fox
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« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2009, 08:32:57 PM »
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Quote from: Gemmtech
I had decided to go with the 7900, but I was wondering about any gloss printing?  I don't think even the Epson fans will dispute that the HP does much better on glossy media?

Call me an Epson fan if you want, but I've used all three brands of printers.  My original attraction to the z3100 was the GO, but the output quality didn't cut it for me. I assume the 3200 is better, looking forward to giving it a test run.

The gloss differential of the current Epson's  is rather insignificant - certainly nothing I worry about using Epson Exhibition Fiber, Epson Premium Luster, and Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta, Ilford Galarie Gold Fiber Silk, and Harman Gloss FB AL.    The ipf6100 isn't quite as good as the Epson with gloss differential, but to borrow a word from Michael, the difference is a quibble ... I can't imagine it being an issue for someone using a Canon either.

I recall this being discussed at length in an earlier thread that was comparing the z3200 with the new Epsons. One point I made in that thread is to actually see Gloss differential requires manipulating the viewing angle pretty dramatically until you can "see" it.  Holding the print in your hand makes it easy to change the angle of the light by moving the image.  Once the print is displayed, the only way to do this is to "move" around physically, something which only those looking for it would even do.  Reflections of the glass itself will also "interfere".  I just can't imagine it ever being a problem in an image that is displayed, even if there is a very slight "hint" of it in the image.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2009, 08:33:30 PM by Wayne Fox » Logged

Gemmtech
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« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2009, 08:42:06 PM »
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Obviously you guys have used all the printers from the dye days forward, so lay it on the line, compare the Z3100/Z3200 and the Epson 7900 to the Epson/Canon dye printers.  Forget archiving for a moment, just the quality of the print, color gamut, GD and bronzing and punch.  Wayne, you obviously have owned all the printers, I'd like to hear your opinion on this?Huh  

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Primus
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2009, 08:49:39 PM »
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I've finally decided to go for the Epson, most likely the 7900, unless I can think of coming up with the extra $2000 somehow for the 9900.

The clincher really was the hassle in loading paper from the back, having to move the printer out every time, not being able to keep it flush against the wall. Silly thing in the end, but all other things being about equal, this became the deal breaker. I know there will be differing opinions on this. The head clogging is not a problem if you print every few days or run a nozzle check once a week as per the dealer.

So thanks everyone who pitched in. You can bet I will be asking the gurus here for help as things move along.

Pradeep
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sfblue
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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2009, 09:22:00 PM »
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Just to put my two cents in as someone who has recently bought a 7900-- I get pretty obsessive about black and white printing and I really feel like the gloss differential is not an issue at all.   HP and Epson take two completely different approaches to this obviously.  I have not printed a single print yet that exhibits gloss differential at anything resembling a normal viewing angle.    I just went through some prints holding them up  to the light at a fairly extreme angle-- you would really have to go through a bunch of prints holding them up to the light like this to find the right print with extreme whites and blacks.   Maybe with the HP's gloss layer, you wouldn't even be able to do this-- but I'm really talking about holding the print up to the light and looking right down the surface.  

I don't have the breadth of experience that Wayne and some others here have across brands.   I have seen quite a few prints from the Z3100 including some really outstanding black and white prints.   I came down to choosing between the HP Z3200 and the Epson 7900.   I agonized over image quality even though I knew they were both capable of genuinely outstanding output.  Little things pushed me over the edge to Epson.   Ease of use is definitely secondary to IQ, but if the IQ is outstanding, the little things count for something.   e.g. the paper handling for both roll and sheet is extremely easy. The paper cutter can cut canvas and I believe is self-sharpening.   Finally, I was already an Epson person so it was just easier for me to stick with a brand with which I was already familiar.

Is it perfect?   No.   MK/PK switching is quite easy, but I still think it's silly that they share the same head instead of adding a new one-- seems to need a few minutes of a cleaning cycle  whenever I switch.    Everything is solid, well-designed, and over-engineered, except . . . . what's up with that paper catcher?   It seems like something that Magyver tossed together with whatever materials were on hand.   But, I just have the printer wait to cut or hold the print after it's done printing.  I cut/release the print manually so it's not a big deal.

So, maybe not perfect, but pretty darned excellent.  Black and white output-- shadow details, tonal range, punchy blacks on gloss-- is truly outstanding.
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sfblue
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2009, 09:27:37 PM »
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Oh yeah-- one more small thing that also pushed me to the 7900.  I print on some thick matte art papers.   Vacuum feeding= no risk of trackwheel marks.
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2009, 09:30:51 PM »
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Ok, so where should the 7900 be purchased from?  Authorized, least expensive, great service?

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Primus
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« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2009, 10:20:20 PM »
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Quote from: Gemmtech
Ok, so where should the 7900 be purchased from?  Authorized, least expensive, great service?

I had a long conversation with Kirk from Meridiancyber.com about both the HP and the Epson printers and he 'convinced' me to go for the Epson. Currently they have the best price, the 7900 is $3075 delivered (outside CA), plus two rolls of paper. From the conversation with them I feel comfortable the service would also be great. They are also authorized dealers.

Pradeep
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pindman
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« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2009, 10:40:07 PM »
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Quote from: Primus
I had a long conversation with Kirk from Meridiancyber.com about both the HP and the Epson printers and he 'convinced' me to go for the Epson. Currently they have the best price, the 7900 is $3075 delivered (outside CA), plus two rolls of paper. From the conversation with them I feel comfortable the service would also be great. They are also authorized dealers.

Pradeep

I bought my 9900 from Chris at Spectraflow (www.spectraflow.com).  He is fantastic!  And Julian (see his review of the 7900 at http://www.spectraflow.com/files/pdf/7900%20review%20V1.pdf ) is accessible and also extremely helpful.  The price should be similar to that above, but after experiencing the service and support I have received from Spectraflow I can tell you that I wouldn't think of ordering anywhere else.

Paul
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2009, 11:28:05 PM »
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Do you guys want to try and see if we can get even better pricing if we all buy together?  I'm ready, willing and able to buy the 7900.
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Primus
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« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2009, 09:35:13 AM »
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Quote from: pindman
I bought my 9900 from Chris at Spectraflow (www.spectraflow.com).  He is fantastic!  And Julian (see his review of the 7900 at http://www.spectraflow.com/files/pdf/7900%20review%20V1.pdf ) is accessible and also extremely helpful.  The price should be similar to that above, but after experiencing the service and support I have received from Spectraflow I can tell you that I wouldn't think of ordering anywhere else.

Paul

Paul, you may be correct. However, I did initiate the deal with Kirk and feel obligated to see it through. I have also decided to go the whole hog and get the 9900 - 'she who must be obeyed' agrees it makes the most sense :-)

My feeling is that these are high-end products and judging by the paucity of reviews/forums on the net discussing them, both the users and suppliers of such products are a dedicated and passionate bunch. I would not want to buy a $5000+  printer  from a fly-by-night operator  or from somebody who does not stand by the service that something like this would invariably require.

I also do not like to nickel and dime a seller for a product, leaves a bad taste. I am going to call Kirk again today and place the order. If I get the sense things are not right, I will be very happy to call Chris or Julian.

Thanks again for  all your help everyone.

Pradeep
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Gurglamei
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« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2009, 09:45:37 AM »
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I have recently been in the same position. I am just a serious amature, and I consider photography ultimately to be about making prints - big prints! I am so happy to see that I am not alone  

I have owned an Epson 4000, and wanted somthing bigger. I read what I could find about the Epson 7900/9900 and HP 3200, and decided on the HP. To my amature eyes the print quality from both printer is excelent. The decisive points for me turned out to be ease of use of the printer. Specifically the spectro and APS of the HP Z 3200 was appealing, since I have had mixed pleasures trying out new paper and messing arround with profiles on the Epson 4000. The spectro on the Epson is as I understand of no use for this. I also like not having to change black inks.

I have plenty of space, so moving the printer to change role paper or feed sheets is no problem. Although I mostly use role paper, I went to my dealer and requested a demo of the paper sheet loading. My experience was that this was much less of a hassel than some threads on the WEB suggest. They suggested feeding the paper directly into the slot where the role paper is feed, using the side as a guide.

Regarding the choice between 24" and 44" models, I went to several galleries with a measure and found that to my eye 24" prints will do for most of my images.  They generally do not need to be bigger to make an impact, and the 24" seems to strike a nice ballance between viewing distance, size and detail. Lacking a baronial hall, I also fear the bigger prints will simply be somewhat difficult to display.  So, I decided on the 24" model.  I also got a nice agreement with my dealer letting me come and do printing on their 44" when I need a bigger print.

I took delivery of the printer yesterday, and boy am I looking forward to the weekend!





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Gemmtech
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« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2009, 10:43:29 AM »
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I don't beat anybody out of a buck, but sometimes if the stars are aligned and you can get "group" pricing there is nothing wrong with that.  If 3 people go to 3 different stores and each buy at the same price, you don't think that each of those stores would love to have the other 2 customers?  I get great pricing at my appliance dealer because I take ALL of my clients there and so each of my clients benefits from my better pricing.  I have appliance distributors contacting me all the time because they want my business and I do agree that service is just as important, but today you can get great pricing and great service, we've proven that here.

The other question I have is, if you are considering a 24" printer and you haven't had many 24" prints made over the past few years then why buy a 44" printer?  Or is it more like, if I have the capability to print 44" then I will?  Obviously you can only put so many large prints in your own home, so then it comes down to, do you sell your prints and if so what kind of market do you have?  My decision is 17" or 24" and I can understand some of these guys here have every printer made, but they are running them.  I print a lot for my business, but we wont exceed 24", that's a pretty big print.  Obviously you need the photo gear to be able to generate that kind of print, who stitches everything together?
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Primus
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« Reply #32 on: March 24, 2009, 11:01:14 AM »
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Quote from: Gemmtech
I don't beat anybody out of a buck, but sometimes if the stars are aligned and you can get "group" pricing there is nothing wrong with that.  If 3 people go to 3 different stores and each buy at the same price, you don't think that each of those stores would love to have the other 2 customers?  I get great pricing at my appliance dealer because I take ALL of my clients there and so each of my clients benefits from my better pricing.  I have appliance distributors contacting me all the time because they want my business and I do agree that service is just as important, but today you can get great pricing and great service, we've proven that here.

The other question I have is, if you are considering a 24" printer and you haven't had many 24" prints made over the past few years then why buy a 44" printer?  Or is it more like, if I have the capability to print 44" then I will?  Obviously you can only put so many large prints in your own home, so then it comes down to, do you sell your prints and if so what kind of market do you have?  My decision is 17" or 24" and I can understand some of these guys here have every printer made, but they are running them.  I print a lot for my business, but we wont exceed 24", that's a pretty big print.  Obviously you need the photo gear to be able to generate that kind of print, who stitches everything together?

I too agonized over the size issue. A friend of mine who is a hobbyist like me has an old Epson 44" and has several large canvas prints on his walls at home, they look awesome. All were taken by him using the older Nikon D200 and you cannot tell they came from a sub-12 MP camera. The other thread on 'buyer's remorse' over inability to print in canvas larger than 20" (the 24 becomes 20 when you stretch the print) also was a factor in my consideration.

Finally, you only live once and I thought, if I am going to print big, why not as big as I can? One never knows, maybe I will sell my stuff one day :-)

Far as the price goes, I agree there is power in collective bargaining, and I will discuss this with Kirk today and let you know if he is willing to consider it.

Pradeep
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Primus
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« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2009, 11:04:36 AM »
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Quote from: Gurglamei
I have recently been in the same position. I am just a serious amature, and I consider photography ultimately to be about making prints - big prints! I am so happy to see that I am not alone  

I have owned an Epson 4000, and wanted somthing bigger. I read what I could find about the Epson 7900/9900 and HP 3200, and decided on the HP. To my amature eyes the print quality from both printer is excelent. The decisive points for me turned out to be ease of use of the printer. Specifically the spectro and APS of the HP Z 3200 was appealing, since I have had mixed pleasures trying out new paper and messing arround with profiles on the Epson 4000. The spectro on the Epson is as I understand of no use for this. I also like not having to change black inks.

I have plenty of space, so moving the printer to change role paper or feed sheets is no problem. Although I mostly use role paper, I went to my dealer and requested a demo of the paper sheet loading. My experience was that this was much less of a hassel than some threads on the WEB suggest. They suggested feeding the paper directly into the slot where the role paper is feed, using the side as a guide.

Regarding the choice between 24" and 44" models, I went to several galleries with a measure and found that to my eye 24" prints will do for most of my images.  They generally do not need to be bigger to make an impact, and the 24" seems to strike a nice ballance between viewing distance, size and detail. Lacking a baronial hall, I also fear the bigger prints will simply be somewhat difficult to display.  So, I decided on the 24" model.  I also got a nice agreement with my dealer letting me come and do printing on their 44" when I need a bigger print.

I took delivery of the printer yesterday, and boy am I looking forward to the weekend!

Congratulations! I am sure you will enjoy the HP very much.

The decision with the bigger printer was difficult but in the end, I looked at a slightly longer term strategy. I am sure there is no way I could display huge monster prints in my house, since I too lack a baronial hall, but if they could be put up at the local hospital or the offices of my family/friends, hey, that would be something I would be proud of. Who knows, people may even buy them ;-)

Pradeep
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Primus
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« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2009, 05:23:20 PM »
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Quote from: Gemmtech
I don't beat anybody out of a buck, but sometimes if the stars are aligned and you can get "group" pricing there is nothing wrong with that.  If 3 people go to 3 different stores and each buy at the same price, you don't think that each of those stores would love to have the other 2 customers?  I get great pricing at my appliance dealer because I take ALL of my clients there and so each of my clients benefits from my better pricing.  I have appliance distributors contacting me all the time because they want my business and I do agree that service is just as important, but today you can get great pricing and great service, we've proven that here.

OK, so I took the plunge and ordered the Epson 9900 today. I asked Kirk if he would give us a 'group discount'. He said if two more people from this forum called him within the next two days to order a 7900 or 9900, he would consider it. At the moment, his prices are the lowest online, being $3075 and $5035 for the two models (after mail-in rebate).

So if anyone is interested, please call Kirk at Merdiancyber.com There is no tax or shipping charge out of CA and it can be delivered from a warehouse close by. My printer should be here in NY in two days.

Pradeep

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PeterAit
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« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2009, 05:48:32 PM »
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Quote from: Gemmtech
I had decided to go with the 7900, but I was wondering about any gloss printing?  I don't think even the Epson fans will dispute that the HP does much better on glossy media?

I will certainly dispute that! In fact, in my many hours of research for buying my own printer I never heard that notion mentioned even once. I have an Epson 4880 and print on nothing but glossy paper, and have never seen a trace of ... drat, what's the term? When the surface of the print looks different in different areas, you know. The reason the HP requires the gloss enhancer "ink" is because of shortcomings in the color inks that result in surface irregularities. Epson inks do not have that shortcoming.

The output is of course the most important thing, but the high-end Epsons and HPs are both excellent. Not identical, but the differences are something only a professional nit-picker would be concerned with.

As for the weight, think about it - why are the Epsons heavier? Could it be because some parts are made of metal instead of plastic? Perhaps some parts are thicker/stronger/more durable. Does this make a difference? I have no idea. Still, I think it's wrong-headed to think of more weight as a disadvantage. How often will you move the printer?

In any event, HP or Epson, you'll have a top quality printer and you'll have a blast!

Peter
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Peter
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sfblue
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« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2009, 07:42:31 PM »
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Btw, I checked out both Meridian and spectraflow.   I ended up buying from Spectra but I had stopped in Meridian a couple times and my impression is that you'd be fine with either place.
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2009, 08:13:31 PM »
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OK, correct me if I'm wrong, I thought that Epson used a GO on their less expensive consumer printers and the results on glossy were fantastic?  I thought that HP did the same thing even on the large format like the Z3200?  I thought the large format Epsons didn't use a GO and aren't as good on glossy media as the HP?  They certainly aren't as good as the Dye printers of yesteryear, are they?
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Primus
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« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2009, 08:41:55 PM »
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sorry, the program keeps posting my old message again.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 10:30:47 PM by Primus » Logged
Gemmtech
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« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2009, 09:46:52 PM »
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Quote from: Primus
OK, so I took the plunge and ordered the Epson 9900 today. I asked Kirk if he would give us a 'group discount'. He said if two more people from this forum called him within the next two days to order a 7900 or 9900, he would consider it. At the moment, his prices are the lowest online, being $3075 and $5035 for the two models (after mail-in rebate).

So if anyone is interested, please call Kirk at Merdiancyber.com There is no tax or shipping charge out of CA and it can be delivered from a warehouse close by. My printer should be here in NY in two days.

Pradeep

I'll call him tomorrow
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