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Author Topic: Time to upgrade my printer  (Read 7300 times)
RichFisher
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« on: June 27, 2009, 02:11:39 PM »
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I am interested in upgrading my Epson 2400 to either a 17" or 24" wide printer.  Part of the decision will be finding room for a 24" and how much better the 24 is 17 (and how badly I want the bigger toy versus the size/cost trade off).

Both roll and sheet feed is important to me, the smallest sheet I can imagine using is letter size (8x10) except for holiday cards.  Thus I have ruled out the Epson 3800 (no roll feed).

I print mostly glossy prints but have done some prints on Harmon Gloss FB AI.  Volume of printing is light and irregular.  I can go a week or 2 w/o printing anything and they make 3-4 13x19 (will be larger in the future) in 1 night (plus smaller test prints).  in  a month I will print 30-50 prints (counting test prints) though occasionally go over this.

While I would like to get the printer this summer, I am somewhat flexible about the timing (early 2010 is the latest I will wait).

Any suggestions/thoughts/recommendations on the printer or where to look for info/reputable reviews would be great.

Thanks,

Rich
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 02:12:00 PM by RichFisher » Logged
JohnBrew
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2009, 02:29:09 PM »
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Some of us who used the 2200, 2400 series Epsons have been very happy with upgrading to the 3800.
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RichFisher
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2009, 02:45:22 PM »
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Quote from: JohnBrew
Some of us who used the 2200, 2400 series Epsons have been very happy with upgrading to the 3800.

John

Yes I agree that the Epson 3800 is very attractive, especially at its current price.

However I print pans and need roll feed for that.

Do you have work around to feed paper for a pan on the 3800?

I guess I could cut roll paper into a 17 x 50 for a 16x48 pan -- but sure if I could feed it without problem creasing.   Thoughts/other opinions?

T
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dseelig
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 02:56:28 PM »
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I have got a hp z3100 which I love. I had a epson 7600 great printer but, it goes through alot of ink without using it . Apparently so do all the newer epsons. The hp just works no clogging issues and it is miserly with ink. Do not know about ht canons have not used them also the hp is great for black and white. The epsons if not used a lot tend to clog where as the hp does not. David
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2009, 04:07:06 PM »
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Quote from: RichFisher
I am interested in upgrading my Epson 2400 to either a 17" or 24" wide printer.  Part of the decision will be finding room for a 24" and how much better the 24 is 17 (and how badly I want the bigger toy versus the size/cost trade off).

Both roll and sheet feed is important to me,
You have not told us what camera you have, if you stitch up to what size, what you do with the prints or hardly anything.

I bought an Epson 7900 and colorburst, because I wanted no-compromise top quality gallery prints from 100 Mpx top quality files...
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2009, 07:04:08 PM »
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Paper handling: One of my colleagues has an Epson 4000 series and also a 3800. She uses the 3800 to print cards and small prints, and the 4000 to print from roll paper. Her 4000-series won't print cut sheets smaller than 8x10 and the 3800 won't print longer than 36 or 38 inches. So she needs and uses both.

Size: I got the 3800 two years ago. When I was working in a wet darkroom, I rarely printed larger than 11x14, and that was a "big" print. For me, anyway. I can count on one hand the number of 16x20-inch prints I ever made.

So I got the 17-inch printer thinking that I would print 11x17 max size, with the ability to print the occasional 16x20.  But now I can go downstairs and make a 16x24 inch print in a few minutes. No mess, no chemicals, no giant trays. Now the 17 inch printer seems too small -- I wish I had a 24 inch printer.

So think carefully about what you are printing and why, and what your long-term needs might be. I know I would be printing 24x36 if I had the larger printer.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2009, 07:04:44 PM »
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If you want to print big you are probably not going to be happy with anything less than a 24" printer. The 3800 is limited to 37". To go longer you can try the "User defined paper size utility" from http://dahmerphotography.blogspot.com/   It requires an earlier driver. My solution is to have this driver on my laptop and print from that for panos. Cut the paper from the roll allowing an extra three inches or so as the last bit of the paper will never flatten completely and you will get head strike there as it exits. Put the cut paper through a de-roller first, and store flat for a few days before using.
David
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2009, 05:54:41 AM »
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Rich

I have had a Canon ipf6100 24" printer for about a year and a half now and find it excellent.  If you need to make big prints, 24" is the way to go.  The Canon has worked flawlessly for me, and it does get quite a lot of use.  Many of my prints are small, but as I have to print a lot, I tile them up in Lightroom templates and print them on the roll paper.  Sometimes I can get through a 30m roll of paper in a few days.  Which is my only concern, as you are doing much lower volume.  How will the ink stand up to long term storage in the printer?  Since Feb 08, I have changed the Grey cart 11 times, the Photo Grey cart 4 times, and the Blue and Photo Cyan only once.  That probably covers about 18 30-metre rolls, plus hundreds of A4 and A3 sheets.
At you volume, the lesser used cartridges could be in place for the lifetime of the printer!

The printer is big, and very heavy.  But I have mine in the office on what is basically a kitchen work-top that is 24" deep.  When in use I open the drawer under the work-top, and slide a couple of long pieces of old mount-card beneath the printer to catch the paper as it emerges.  This setup negates the need to use the separate printer stand and paper catcher.

Jim
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jcote
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2009, 05:34:31 PM »
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Quote from: RichFisher
John

Yes I agree that the Epson 3800 is very attractive, especially at its current price.

Do you have work around to feed paper for a pan on the 3800?

I have a 3800 and it is a nice printer. However, I just reprinted some D3x files which had a very wide color gamut on a friends 7900. What a difference the 2 gamut expanding colors have. I was expecting it to be subtle but it is way more. Also, we printed on Crane's Museo Silver Rag which has been problematic on my 3800. On the new 7900 the ink looks great on this paper with no gloss differential. I am glad my friend lives close to me because otherwise I would probably have to spring for a 7800.
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neil snape
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2009, 02:14:09 AM »
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For test prints the 3800 is a lot easier to do. Takes up a minimum of space.

Yet yesterday I printed out an entire portfolio on one roll both BW and color on my Z3200. I wouldn't be without the Z3200 for printing, the only regrets are small print sizes.
Each printer has it's advantage. All three of these are wonderful> Epson 7900, Canon iPGraf5100, HP Z3200. The Canon is the most versatile, the HP the best at batch printing , the Epson the ultimate in image quality.
I wouldn't have any printer that requires huge ink purges when going to / from MK<>PK so as good as they are the 4880, 78+9880 have to change.
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RichFisher
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2009, 07:12:08 AM »
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Quote from: neil snape
All three of these are wonderful> Epson 7900, Canon iPGraf5100, HP Z3200. The Canon is the most versatile, the HP the best at batch printing , the Epson the ultimate in image quality.
I wouldn't have any printer that requires huge ink purges when going to / from MK<>PK so as good as they are the 4880, 78+9880 have to change.

Thanks - this type of info is very helpful.  Is there a good side by side review of the 3 printers?
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neil snape
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2009, 07:36:45 AM »
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Quote from: RichFisher
Thanks - this type of info is very helpful.  Is there a good side by side review of the 3 printers?

Yes I think Julien Mussi had a comparison of all three. Michael Reichmann also has reviewed the printers at various times. Yet the best reviews are not always side by sides as we all need to take a side so to speak. The problem with reviews are they are often done without intimate knowledge of the printer. You have to live with them for some time before discovering all the ins and outs. MR really does this, lives with the printers , uses them, and finds out a lot by doing so. Yet much of this information doesn't make it into a review. Most of the details though do surface here in the printers topic forum for all three brands. Probably the best site for level balanced posts I know of.
I know the Z3100 very well, and am only now getting to know the Z3200 . It's not much different but generally better in every way than the 3100. I would have liked to have the 79 or 9900 to use too, but I didn't push the issue, and don't have the room yet. I looked at the output many times though. There are people who are really strong in their fields such as Jeff Schewe, Andrew Rodney, Bill Atkinson, Joseph Holmes etc who all work with Epson. Their posts are very valuable, reliable and greatly appreciated as they are the best at sharing info on Epson. Less people use Canon but there are enough here to have all the info one would ever need.

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PeterAit
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2009, 10:17:29 AM »
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Quote from: RichFisher
I am interested in upgrading my Epson 2400 to either a 17" or 24" wide printer.  Part of the decision will be finding room for a 24" and how much better the 24 is 17 (and how badly I want the bigger toy versus the size/cost trade off).

Both roll and sheet feed is important to me, the smallest sheet I can imagine using is letter size (8x10) except for holiday cards.  Thus I have ruled out the Epson 3800 (no roll feed).

I print mostly glossy prints but have done some prints on Harmon Gloss FB AI.  Volume of printing is light and irregular.  I can go a week or 2 w/o printing anything and they make 3-4 13x19 (will be larger in the future) in 1 night (plus smaller test prints).  in  a month I will print 30-50 prints (counting test prints) though occasionally go over this.

While I would like to get the printer this summer, I am somewhat flexible about the timing (early 2010 is the latest I will wait).

Any suggestions/thoughts/recommendations on the printer or where to look for info/reputable reviews would be great.

Thanks,

Rich

I can't say enough good things about the Epson 4880. 17", roll feed option, gorgeous prints, never a problem or a nozzle clog despite sitting idle for 2-3 weeks at a time, worked perfectly out of the box. It does require manual switching from glossy black to matte black ink, but since I never print on matte paper that is not an issue.

Peter

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Mussi_Spectraflow
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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2009, 05:05:52 PM »
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Rich,

I think that you'll find a lot of answers for the simple fact that there are a lot of good printers that should fit your needs. I've worked quite a bit with both the Epson and HP's and have reviews of the 7900 and Z3200 up online.

http://www.spectraflow.com/index.php?optio...4&Itemid=67
Strictly in terms of the output quality I prefer the Z3200 a bit more than the others. The 7900 is a great machine but may be a bit overkill. I would also consider the 4880 as a good compromise, it will give you roll support where the 3800 does not should provide years of reliable output. If you get to the point where you are really doing a lot of work it would also continue to serve you well as a backup or second printer. Just my 2 cents. Fell free to pm me if you have any questions.
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2009, 10:23:52 PM »
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Quote from: Mussi_Spectraflow
Rich,

I think that you'll find a lot of answers for the simple fact that there are a lot of good printers that should fit your needs. I've worked quite a bit with both the Epson and HP's and have reviews of the 7900 and Z3200 up online.

http://www.spectraflow.com/index.php?optio...4&Itemid=67
Strictly in terms of the output quality I prefer the Z3200 a bit more than the others. The 7900 is a great machine but may be a bit overkill. I would also consider the 4880 as a good compromise, it will give you roll support where the 3800 does not should provide years of reliable output. If you get to the point where you are really doing a lot of work it would also continue to serve you well as a backup or second printer. Just my 2 cents. Fell free to pm me if you have any questions.

OK, I pride myself on reading comprehension and am always inquisitive about statements that are made that seem to contradict within the same sentence or paragraph.  You state that "Strictly in terms of the output quality I prefer the Z3200 a bit more than the others."  But then the next sentence you state: " The 7900 is a great machine but may be a bit overkill." What exactly does that mean?  The quality of the Z3200 is better than the 7900?  The Z3200 has better output quality but the 7900 is "Blank" what makes the 7900 "overkill" if the Z3200 has better output quality?  I ask these questions because every review that I have read has stated that the Epson 7900 has the best output quality of any inkjet printer.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 10:56:06 PM by Gemmtech » Logged
Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2009, 10:34:51 PM »
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Quote from: RichFisher
I am interested in upgrading my Epson 2400 to either a 17" or 24" wide printer.  Part of the decision will be finding room for a 24" and how much better the 24 is 17 (and how badly I want the bigger toy versus the size/cost trade off).

Both roll and sheet feed is important to me, the smallest sheet I can imagine using is letter size (8x10) except for holiday cards.  Thus I have ruled out the Epson 3800 (no roll feed).

I print mostly glossy prints but have done some prints on Harmon Gloss FB AI.  Volume of printing is light and irregular.  I can go a week or 2 w/o printing anything and they make 3-4 13x19 (will be larger in the future) in 1 night (plus smaller test prints).  in  a month I will print 30-50 prints (counting test prints) though occasionally go over this.

While I would like to get the printer this summer, I am somewhat flexible about the timing (early 2010 is the latest I will wait).

Any suggestions/thoughts/recommendations on the printer or where to look for info/reputable reviews would be great.

Thanks,

Rich


When there is a toss up in your mind about size, you better get the larger, and you will wish you had.
Looks like you are very hapy with the Epson, Why switch to something "differnent" or "new".  4880 to 7900 covers your needs.
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RichFisher
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2009, 11:14:33 PM »
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Quote from: Phil Indeblanc
When there is a toss up in your mind about size, you better get the larger, and you will wish you had.
Looks like you are very hapy with the Epson, Why switch to something "differnent" or "new".  4880 to 7900 covers your needs.

Phil,

Size is more than just how large I can print.  It involves unloading and file cabinet and moving the cabinet into storage (plus finding room to store the stuff in the cabinet).  

As far as Epson goes, I have had good luck with them -- I am bit concerned that the 7900 clogs often.  Since I print mostly on glossy paper, the PK to MK is not an issue to me.  Wasted ink is.

Thanks for the thoughts,

Rich
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2009, 01:42:48 AM »
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Quote from: RichFisher
Phil,

Size is more than just how large I can print.  It involves unloading and file cabinet and moving the cabinet into storage (plus finding room to store the stuff in the cabinet).  

As far as Epson goes, I have had good luck with them -- I am bit concerned that the 7900 clogs often.  Since I print mostly on glossy paper, the PK to MK is not an issue to me.  Wasted ink is.

Thanks for the thoughts,

Rich


Having said that, if you are OK with few select papers, and you don't mind 80-90 years life... Have you looked at the designjet 130?  It is a desktop 24". It does take a large chunk of desk space (about 33inches but can let some hang off), can be done if you have the length. The front to back is very narrow. It prints via roll, or tray for smaller papers, I believe down to 4x6. A stand is available. I hate to mention it as I kinda wrote about it in another thread, and don't want to sound like I am pushing it. But I use it and can only say my experiences.  It really does come down to what you will use it for.
If you are very critical on color with CMYK, you will need a RIP.  I would look at it and rule it out at least or buy it.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 01:43:45 AM by Phil Indeblanc » Logged

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RichFisher
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« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2009, 06:36:46 AM »
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Quote from: Phil Indeblanc
... Have you looked at the designjet 130?  It is a desktop 24". If you are very critical on color with CMYK, you will need a RIP.  I would look at it and rule it out at least or buy it.

Thanks - I will check it out.

Rich
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« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2009, 12:09:09 AM »
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I faced the 17" vs. 24" decision recently.  While I was trying to decide, I saw a post saying that if you plan to print canvas for wrap-around frames, you really need 24" because leaving 1" for wrap-around cuts you down to 15" on a 17", and that's really too small.

Like you I want to print panos, so I have unboxed a new ipf6100 just this week.

--Milt--
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