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Author Topic: Epson 7900 OK for occasional use?  (Read 9739 times)
GeoffM
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2009, 09:44:28 AM »
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Again, thanks everyone for all the advice and comments. It really was a tough decision with all three brands having their distinct advantages. In the end I went ahead and ordered a 7900 (with some great help from Sarah at Spectraflow!) and it will be here next week.

One question: Should I leave it on all the time so it can do its maintenance thing when it wants to, or is it better to turn it off when not in use?

Geoff
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2009, 02:16:13 AM »
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Quote from: GeoffM
Again, thanks everyone for all the advice and comments. It really was a tough decision with all three brands having their distinct advantages. In the end I went ahead and ordered a 7900 (with some great help from Sarah at Spectraflow!) and it will be here next week.

One question: Should I leave it on all the time so it can do its maintenance thing when it wants to, or is it better to turn it off when not in use?

Geoff

You should turn the Epson off if it won't be in use for a while ... such as overnight.  This seals the head and helps prevent the nozzles from drying out.  the Canon's and HP's are better if left on except for extended periods of time, as they constantly prime the nozzles with miniscule amounts of ink.
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GeoffM
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« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2009, 08:55:09 AM »
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Quote from: Wayne Fox
You should turn the Epson off if it won't be in use for a while ... such as overnight.  This seals the head and helps prevent the nozzles from drying out.  the Canon's and HP's are better if left on except for extended periods of time, as they constantly prime the nozzles with miniscule amounts of ink.


Thanks Wayne.
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jeverton
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« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2009, 02:37:16 PM »
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Quote from: GeoffM
Again, thanks everyone for all the advice and comments. It really was a tough decision with all three brands having their distinct advantages. In the end I went ahead and ordered a 7900 (with some great help from Sarah at Spectraflow!) and it will be here next week.

One question: Should I leave it on all the time so it can do its maintenance thing when it wants to, or is it better to turn it off when not in use?

Geoff

Hi Geoff -

I will be curious on the end results and your experiences with the 7900. in Houston.. I've had two ink clogs with very occasional use and now question my printing requirements in Austin.

Jeff
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Scott O.
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« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2009, 11:05:55 AM »
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Wayne, the service tech at Epson told me not to leave the 7900 powered on when not in use for awhile for the reason you stated, so that is good advice.  He also suggested running a nozzle check daily just to flow a little ink.  Do you have any other tips or tricks that you use to minimize clogs in a printer which receives light use?  Sounds like whatever you are doing is working... Thanks.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2009, 03:13:34 PM »
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Quote from: soberle
Wayne, the service tech at Epson told me not to leave the 7900 powered on when not in use for awhile for the reason you stated, so that is good advice.  He also suggested running a nozzle check daily just to flow a little ink.  Do you have any other tips or tricks that you use to minimize clogs in a printer which receives light use?  Sounds like whatever you are doing is working... Thanks.

Personally at this point, after trying out the recent firmware update, I now always start the printer in service mode, run a nozzle check from the computer and then use the service mode cleans to resolve any issues.  A service mode CL1 still appears to use far less ink than anything in normal mode, and it will almost always resolve missing nozzles.  You can run a CL1 on the entire head if you have nozzles missing from several colors that do not share channels, or you can do a CL1 for just a channel or two when just a couple of colors are affected.  MOST of the time when I start up I have only one or two colors affected.  unfortunately after this recent service the issue of dropping full colors is resolved, but the printer has exhibited clogs any time it sits for more than 8 or 10 hours, or any time I start it up.

I can't find any documentation on how much ink is consumed when cleaning in regular mode.  Even with the recent firmware update that actually lets me turn off nozzle checks, cleaning from normal mode still consumes more ink, and unless I can find out from a reliable source it is similar to a CL1, I'm sticking with those, because they will consume the least amount of ink of any option.
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fjmcsu
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« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2009, 03:35:30 PM »
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Quote from: Wayne Fox
You should turn the Epson off if it won't be in use for a while ... such as overnight.  This seals the head and helps prevent the nozzles from drying out.  the Canon's and HP's are better if left on except for extended periods of time, as they constantly prime the nozzles with miniscule amounts of ink.


Of all the recommendations to help reduce ink clogging this has been the most helpful & effective!
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GeoffM
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« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2009, 06:04:19 PM »
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I started this thread a couple of months ago so I thought I'd add a quick update on my experience with the 7900 so far.

Starting out things were a bit rocky, with probably more cleanings than I would have liked. Lately - especially after the latest firmware update - I haven't had a single clog. That includes a two week no-use period and a one week no-use period. Not sure if the firmware had anything to do with it or if it's just coincidence. Regardless, it's always a pleasure to fire up the printer, run a nozzle check, and have everything look good. And when I have experienced a clog, clearing it has been easy thanks to all the great advice posted here - especially Wayne's detailed info.

So at this point the verdict on occasional use is a big thumbs up. After a break-in period for me and the printer, things have been good.

Geoff
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hjscm
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2009, 10:58:46 PM »
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Well i am not by any means a pro at this but i got a 7900 when they first came out.  in the beginning i was printing a lot cause it was  new but ever since i have gone atleast 2 months with nothing to print.  i always leave the printer on though if that has anything to do with it.  it might have some clogs but i can't tell and when the cleaning process is done it seems fine.  everyone i sell a print too seems to love it so i guess it is all right.  my only problem is i wish i got the 9900.  i would have if i had more room to put it.
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bellimages
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« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2010, 04:04:54 PM »
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I recently returned from a month-long trek though the west/southwest. Along the way, I talked with various photographers. A couple of them feel that they can save considerable money by outsourcing their printing. By doing so, the printing is done by people who specialize in the art of printing. I for one, like to do everything myself. But printing is VERY expensive overall. What are your thoughts on this?
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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"Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."    Charles Mingus
Wayne Fox
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« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2010, 05:35:55 PM »
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Quote from: bellimages
I recently returned from a month-long trek though the west/southwest. Along the way, I talked with various photographers. A couple of them feel that they can save considerable money by outsourcing their printing. By doing so, the printing is done by people who specialize in the art of printing. I for one, like to do everything myself. But printing is VERY expensive overall. What are your thoughts on this?
Printing for yourself is all about control, very rarely about saving money.

I would also suggest this might be better as a new thread, not tacked onto this sort of old one.
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john milich
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« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2010, 06:11:02 PM »
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100 prints  and a $5k printer makes the machine cost only $50 per print and it only gets better
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bellimages
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« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2010, 08:29:10 AM »
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Quote from: john milich
100 prints  and a $5k printer makes the machine cost only $50 per print and it only gets better
GREAT POINT. But, there's also the cost of ink and paper .... which adds another $5,000. LOL
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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"Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."    Charles Mingus
Dan Berg
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« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2010, 09:02:38 AM »
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Quote from: bellimages
GREAT POINT. But, there's also the cost of ink and paper .... which adds another $5,000. LOL

You can spend 10 grand on a D700 and 200-400vr f/4 and shoot some awsom images.
Or you can spend 10 grand on setting up a top notch print studio.
Or you can spend 10 grand for a country club membership and play some nice golf.
Or you can spend 100 grand on a real nice motorhome and see some great places.
Get the drift.
Most hobbies have a major dollar amount attached.
Pick your poison.  
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2010, 11:04:20 AM »
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For luster/glossy RC-type prints, the labs are hard to beat on price - especially if you don't particularly enjoy printing yourself.

For inkjet prints on specialty papers it's a little different though. The pro labs that offer these tend to charge $20-25/sq-ft, and and that's for fully-prepped files (by you) with no proof. Plus you're going to have to choose from their limited selection of papers, which may not be exactly what you want. It doesn't take many 20x30" prints at $90-100 + shipping for a 24" printer to pay for itself, especially if you time your purchase to take advantage of the rebates Canon and Epson have been offering.

Still, I think it's something you have to enjoy for it to be worthwhile, otherwise the learning curve will just be a big headache and it will take time away from other things you'd rather be doing. I enjoy printing, for me it's part of the process and I like having complete control of the final print.
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sfblue
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« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2010, 12:53:18 PM »
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Just to add my two cents-- I would say that even if it doesn't make sense, it does make sense.   i.e.  owning an epson 7900 or something similar vs outsourcing may or may not make sense in terms of cost depending on how much you print.   But even if it doesn't make financial sense, I still think it makes sense in the control and learning that goes on by having a printer in your home;  I realized that outsourcing and even going and printing myself at a local lab in SF-- Rayko (which is a great place),  I was never going to get really good at printing and never going to experiment with different papers, materials, profiles, fabrics, and everything else.   In the end, I've printed and experimented and learned way way more by having made the plunge.   Yes, there are occasional frustrations and headaches, but despite these issues- I think it's worth it.   I also feel like getting that detail-oriented about prints has made me a better photographer as well.
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2010, 02:54:09 PM »
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Quote from: sfblue
Just to add my two cents-- I would say that even if it doesn't make sense, it does make sense.   i.e.  owning an epson 7900 or something similar vs outsourcing may or may not make sense in terms of cost depending on how much you print.   But even if it doesn't make financial sense, I still think it makes sense in the control and learning that goes on by having a printer in your home;  I realized that outsourcing and even going and printing myself at a local lab in SF-- Rayko (which is a great place),  I was never going to get really good at printing and never going to experiment with different papers, materials, profiles, fabrics, and everything else.   In the end, I've printed and experimented and learned way way more by having made the plunge.   Yes, there are occasional frustrations and headaches, but despite these issues- I think it's worth it.   I also feel like getting that detail-oriented about prints has made me a better photographer as well.


Well said!
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2010, 03:17:11 PM »
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Quote from: sfblue
Just to add my two cents-- I would say that even if it doesn't make sense, it does make sense.   i.e.  owning an epson 7900 or something similar vs outsourcing may or may not make sense in terms of cost depending on how much you print.   But even if it doesn't make financial sense, I still think it makes sense in the control and learning that goes on by having a printer in your home;  I realized that outsourcing and even going and printing myself at a local lab in SF-- Rayko (which is a great place),  I was never going to get really good at printing and never going to experiment with different papers, materials, profiles, fabrics, and everything else.   In the end, I've printed and experimented and learned way way more by having made the plunge.   Yes, there are occasional frustrations and headaches, but despite these issues- I think it's worth it.   I also feel like getting that detail-oriented about prints has made me a better photographer as well.
I certainly concur with your premise.

The risk is the time spent learning/printing can take a photographer away from how they make money, which is taking pictures.  For some photographers this isn't an issue, but for many it can be problematic, in that printing begins to infringe on time that could be spent on something more profitable, such as shooting.

Finding a balance is important.
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bellimages
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« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2010, 11:21:03 AM »
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I totally agree with all of you, and I thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts. I'm a control freak (as many of us are); and that's the main reason that I invested in large format printing gear. I want to do more experimenting and learning in this area, but I feel frustration. Each of us has to learn pretty much on our own .... from the ground up. Personally I like learning in small workshop type settings. I thought that I had found the perfect workshop when I saw a "Digital Printing for Fine Art Photographers" listed at the Ansel Adams Center. While it was a GREAT workshop, not much time was spent on the ins and outs of printing. I had hoped that we would be introduced to various types of papers, ect. But that didn't happen since Epson and HP supply the center with printers, paper and inks.

My next hurdle is finding papers that I'm happy with. I thought that I had it nailed down. But I've learned that the paper that I settled on for B&W prints -- Epson's Ultrasmooth Fine Art paper, does not reproduce color well. And to make things worse, I have an Epson 7800. So every time I change from matt black to photo black ink, I waste a ton of ink. Aargggg

Without purchasing a lot of paper, does anyone know of a paper supplier that will send free samples? If I lived near NYC, I could simply stop at B&H Photo. But it's a 10 hour drive .... a little far.

I just get a bit depressed in today's economy. Sales of fine art prints have been really down the past couple of years; not just for me, but everyone. It's one reason that some of the big name guys have taken to offering workshops, selling calendars and books. As income drops, the costs associated with "doing business" continue to mount. Advances in technology presents us with new and better gear every couple or three years. While it's easy for some guys to drop a few thousand bucks here and there on gear, it's much more difficult for others. That brings me around to my initial question: wondering whether it might be more cost effective to outsource printing? I guess that it was an unnecessary question, since I want print control myself!
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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"Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."    Charles Mingus
Randy Carone
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« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2010, 02:11:43 PM »
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Jan,

We try to make the paper search a bit easier by offering 5-sheet packs (all 5 can be different) of 8" x 11" for $9.95 + shipping. Of course, this is for papers that come in this size. It has proved to be an effective method for our customers to evaluate, profile, print papers that they may otherwise not have been able to test without purchasing a box or roll. With the constant flow of new product the choices can be overwhelming. In addition, some manufacturers, such as Canson and Hahnemuhle offer nominally priced sample packs to test the performance of their papers. As a matter of fact, Hahnemuhle has just split their packs into two categories, Matte FineArt Sample Pack and Gloss & Canvas FineArt Sample Pack, due to the increased number of media in their product line, which now numbers twenty.
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Randy Carone
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