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Author Topic: Imageprint - worth the $ ? - compare to QImage? other views please!  (Read 25627 times)
narikin
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« on: November 04, 2010, 06:47:36 AM »
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Imageprint 8 is a LOT of money for people with bigger printers.  My cost would be over $3000 for the two machines I have
(yes, to my shock you have to pay extra if you own two machines, like a 3880 for sheets and a 9900 for large prints/rolls)

I appreciate the recent review, and it seems valuable - but other opinions please -  is it really worth the $2500 for a 9900 owner to get it? or any element of 'huh?' - to the end result.  I do not run a printing bureau, so am not interested in the nesting/compositing aspects of owning a RIP, its all about quality, and this is a lot of money for maybe the teeniest difference?

Compared to Qimage, its a shocking price jump - any one ever compare the final output of these two?
Compared to Atkinson profiles - still noticeably better? they both are generic profiles after all - not your particular machine.
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2010, 06:56:27 AM »
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You're asking an unanswerable question. At least for anyone to answer except yourself with your own eyes.

At the high end of any technology the price / performance curve gets very flat. It takes large amounts of money to extract small amounts of improvement. This is the case with medium format vs 35mm, and between RIPs and other printer drivers.

Is there a difference? Yes. Is the difference one that is worth the expenditure? Only you can answer that since it's your eyes and your money.

My understanding is that you can get a free trial of Imageprint. Do so and draw your own conclusions.

Michael
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bradleygibson
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 07:04:02 AM »
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Image-quality wise, I have found IP prints to be second to none.  Price and user-friendliness wise, well, that is a different story.

As Michael quite rightly points out, it really is about your own needs, and whether you perceive any difference in the prints and whether that difference is significant enough to justify the cost.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 07:30:35 AM »
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Both companies have demo versions. Check them against one another on paper you know and with the best profiles available. Select low and high resolution images to test the up- and downsampling.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

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



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Gemmtech
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2010, 08:01:13 AM »
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Think about it in terms of automotive performance;  Look at the enormous amounts of money it takes to shave
.01 second in the 1/4 mile, is it worth it to you?  Probably not if you aren't earning a living from it.  I would be curious
if the differences with Imageprint are that noticeable if the prints aren't side by side? (2 cars drag racing it's easy to
tell who won and it's a tangible result).  I think it's a lot easier to determine which print is the nicer of the two if they
are next to each other, but what if they are viewed in different rooms, would the conclusions be the same? 
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narikin
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2010, 08:13:26 AM »
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I would be curious if the differences with Imageprint are that noticeable if the prints aren't side by side? I think it's a lot easier to determine which print is the nicer of the two if they are next to each other, but what if they are viewed in different rooms, would the conclusions be the same? 

very true!
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PeterAit
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2010, 08:31:58 AM »
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Unfortunately, the Windows demo of ImagePrint will not actually print.

It should always be kept in mind that anyone who has bought ImagePrint will have a strong psychological motivation to see prints made with it as better. Otherwise, they have just wasted a big chunk of money! This is not to fault anyone, it's just the way humans work.

It should be pointed out that QImage is not really a RIP because it prints thru the standard printer driver and does not control the printer directly. How much difference that makes, I don't know.
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Peter
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narikin
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2010, 08:57:14 AM »
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Unfortunately, the Windows demo of ImagePrint will not actually print.

exactly...  and as Qimage is ONLY Windows,then you cannot compare without buying Imageprint.

very much agree about human nature, but maybe someone out there had it, thought it ok, but not worth further $ when they changed printers?

It would cost over $3900 for me with an 11880 and 9900!  Gasp... and I'm not even bothering with the 3880 on my desktop.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2010, 09:28:46 AM »
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You would think . . .

That messrs Epson must have a team of software engineers whose sole function is to develop and write printer drivers. And that it would be very much in their interests to ship the very best possible drivers with their printers, rather than leave it to a third-party to come up with a superior product. And if a third party did just this, then you might suppose that Epson would investigate that product and figure out just what was better about it, and incorporate that into their own drivers. Or buy them out.

But perhaps I am just being a little too trusting . . .

John
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2010, 10:53:36 AM »
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You would think . . .
And though... We don't live in a perfect world, do we?
http://www.custom-digital.com/2008/09/bw-print-quality/
Epson ABW mode doesn't seems that optimal.

There are also some elements of comparison in Markus Zuber's review of ImagePrint.
It is also said in it that there is a 30 days money back guarantee for testing purposes.

And if you ask me, I'm not for neither against RIPs, at the contrary. Wink
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2010, 10:54:05 AM »
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John,

Epson works with third party vendors (EFI, ColorBurst and others) to offer features and color management that are not available in Epson drivers. Of course, there is a cost for this upgrade. I have not done side-by-side testing with these RIPs, but they should offer more control of color management than the standard driver. Your point is well taken, but in order for Epson to incorporate these features into their drivers the price of the printers would be higher and the benefits may be lost on 80% of the printer owners. For those who need these features, it may be a better marketing decision for Epson to stay out of the RIP development business.

One benefit of buying the RIP as an upgrade through Epson is that support should be more seamless. Should be. Smiley
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Randy Carone
narikin
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2010, 11:02:10 AM »
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It is also said in it that there is a 30 days money back guarantee for testing purposes.

...after a 15% restocking fee. and both ways shipping. thats over $400 in many cases.
seems like a lot to find out you don't care for the product.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2010, 11:19:43 AM »
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exactly...  and as Qimage is ONLY Windows,then you cannot compare without buying Imageprint.

It would cost over $3900 for me with an 11880 and 9900!  Gasp... and I'm not even bothering with the 3880 on my desktop.

Well, you could start with the Qimage Ultimate Demo, drive them all three and wonder what you are missing in image quality and features after that experience. Next I don't think the 90 $ of a real version will still be a hole in your pocket when you decide to go for the 3900 $ option six months later. The other way around however .......
Is your custom profile creation system already optimal? I would invest on that side first.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

spectral plots of +100 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
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alfin
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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2010, 11:57:04 AM »
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Is your custom profile creation system already optimal? I would invest on that side first.
And that is one of the strengths with ImagePrint, all the excellent profiles provided. The cost of creating custom profiles for different printing papers soon adds up to the cost of the RIP for the smaller Epson printers.
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Lars Mollerstrom
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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2010, 12:28:23 PM »
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You may want to read MR's review of the 9900.  There are some blunt comments regarding rips.  I own a 9900 and have used ImagePrint in the past on a 7600.  I am perfectly happy with the stock Epson Driver and would not consider the ImagePrint rip even at $500.00.  I also find that the profiles provided by various paper manufacturers are as good or better than any profile I can make using PM5.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2010, 12:33:05 PM »
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How exactly are the ImagePrint profiles so much better? I use the canned Epson profiles to print to a 4880 (with soft-proofing, of course) and the screen-print match is exceptionally good. What could a "better" profile possibly do?

There's a whole lot of snake oil and hooey being spread around regarding profiles and color management. It really is not that difficult, and there's no need for exotic and grossly overpriced tools. Too many photographers look to gadgets and software to improve their images, thinking that technical perfection can overcome aesthetic weakness.
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Peter
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Fantome
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« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2010, 12:43:25 PM »
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You guys can do what you like - but let me tell you that i absolutely LOVE the Imageprint 8 RIP. I had a light version for my 2200 which was not so good - but when i purchased my 3880 i hemmed and hawed and took the plunge for the full blown new version. The dude at Vistek thought i was out of my mind when I told him that i was considering a RIP however my first print with the RIP sold me.

There is way more beautiful graduation in colour and I have gorgeous saturation. My Black and whites are perfectly neutral (if i want them to be) and stunning. I can also print neutral black and white along with colorized areas.

I would never go back to printing with the supplied manufacturer's profiles. And the beauty is paper to paper the printing is consistent - of course excepting the differences for the papers themselves.

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alfin
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2010, 01:03:09 PM »
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How exactly are the ImagePrint profiles so much better? I use the canned Epson profiles to print to a 4880 (with soft-proofing, of course) and the screen-print match is exceptionally good.

And you only print on Epson papers? There is a whole bunch of really excellent papers out there that you should try.

Quote
What could a "better" profile possibly do?

You might have to see for yourself to understand.
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Lars Mollerstrom
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« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2010, 01:17:11 PM »
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I also print on Ilford Gold Fiber Silk and Museo Rag and a couple of others and the manufacturer profiles are equally good.
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Peter
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View my photos at http://www.peteraitken.com
Sven W
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« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2010, 03:14:30 PM »
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How exactly are the ImagePrint profiles so much better? I use the canned Epson profiles to print to a 4880 (with soft-proofing, of course) and the screen-print match is exceptionally good. What could a "better" profile possibly do?

Because the ImagePrint profiles are made for, hmm, ImagePrint only. One have to understand that IP is a printing system,
complete with its own color management, ink laydown, dithering, nesting, scaling, layout, queuing  etc. And that whole system is unbeatable compared to the driver. Both in performance and cost  Grin
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Stockholm, Sweden
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