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Author Topic: Oce Lightjet vs. Epson 11880  (Read 8239 times)
hdomke
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« on: December 29, 2010, 08:00:52 PM »
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Please help me understand the differences between an Oce Lightjet and an Epson 11880 printer.
How do they compare in terms of:
Color Gamut
Tonal Range
D-Max
Detail
Longevity
Paper choice

I am asking because a photographer friend tells me that the Oce Lightjet creates "true photographic prints" which are superior to the Epson 11880.
I'm having a hard time finding much online about the  Oce Lightjet printers.
Thanks!
Henry


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Henry

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shewhorn
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2010, 09:23:08 PM »
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I am asking because a photographer friend tells me that the Oce Lightjet creates "true photographic prints" which are superior to the Epson 11880.

Well, that's just beyond silly. If you print out a photograph on an 11880 is it not a true photographic print? It's a photograph and a print is it not?

I've yet to see an RA4 printer that has an output which I like better than the prints that come out of pigment based inkjet printers on good paper.

Cheers, Joe
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pfigen
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2010, 10:18:41 PM »
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There are only two scenarios today that would push me to use a Lightjet. One is if I needed a larger size print than an Epson can deliver. The other is if I absolutely needed to print on a high gloss finish print. That is the one and only area that the Lightjet outperforms an inkjet these days.

The Lightjet will be more economical for high volume printing, but you can pick up an 11880 for under $10K now, and a 9900 for a little over half that.

In all of your criteria, the Epson is better:

Color Gamut - Much larger on the Epson and especially visible in sunsets and images with bright blues, yellows and greens.
Tonal Range - Not sure what is meant here, but if you mean the range from the blackest black to the brightest white, then the nod goes again to the inkjet.
D-Max - depends on the paper, but most photo papers using Photo Black ink will be able to print blacker blacks than the LJ.
Detail - Again, dependent on the paper, but the new Epsons will be equal or slightly outperform the LJ.
Longevity - According Wilhem, the inkjets are significantly longer lasting than LJ
Paper choice - No contest here. The range of papers is literally staggering for inkjet, from photo to fineart, watercolor and canvas, and quite limited for LJ.
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tim wolcott
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010, 10:41:03 PM »
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Tell your friend he's smoking some wacky weed.  But you also forgot that they are dumping hugh amounts of chemicals into our water system.  Lightjet does not even come close.  Canon printers are far better than the Lightjet.  Oce fails on every point, any one wants to name the challenge and put money on it.  I take that bet.  As one who helped created the pigment printing process.  The galleries like the ones in Vegas have not really told their clients what they are buying.  But they won't, they don't want you all to know the truth nor do they want the consumers to know the truth also.  But they all will in the end when they get sued, when there so called investment fades.  Its like buying antiques with termites.

This is where inkjet has failed to educate, photographers, galleries, consumers, museums ect.  they need to do the challenge side by side and  inkjet will win in every level.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 11:16:46 PM by tim wolcott » Logged
hsmeets
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2010, 02:01:02 AM »
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Tell your friend he's smoking some wacky weed.  But you also forgot that they are dumping hugh amounts of chemicals into our water system.  Lightjet does not even come close.  Canon printers are far better than the Lightjet.  Oce fails on every point, any one wants to name the challenge and put money on it.  I take that bet.  As one who helped created the pigment printing process.  The galleries like the ones in Vegas have not really told their clients what they are buying.  But they won't, they don't want you all to know the truth nor do they want the consumers to know the truth also.  But they all will in the end when they get sued, when there so called investment fades.  Its like buying antiques with termites.

This is where inkjet has failed to educate, photographers, galleries, consumers, museums ect.  they need to do the challenge side by side and  inkjet will win in every level.

About a year ago Canon bought OC ! 
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2010, 06:17:20 AM »
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Lightjet if you want

1.  a gloss print.
2.  if you don't want to back off your nice blown highlights.
3.  If you don't want GD or Bronzing

The fact is we take 2 steps forward and 3 back.  Pigment inkjets at times don't produce "typical"
photographs that one would get from a lab.  There are times when only a dye printer will do the job
or naturally one can use gloss clear and coat the pigment print.
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Sven W
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010, 06:41:33 AM »
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I can only agree with the above pros & cons.
If you want a face mounted print on acrylic with silicone, most of the labs prefer RA4. But that's also changing, some mounting studios
accept pigment inkjet prints. I've done some "diasec" tests (printed on my 11880) with excellent results.

Here's an example on a gamut comparison between Epson HDR inks/Harman Gloss & Lightjet/Fuji RA4 paper.
Epson to the left and Lightjet to the right.(click on the image to enlarge)
/Sven
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deanwork
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2010, 10:49:16 AM »
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Lightjets have been traditionally popular with a lot of the big name art photographers who make gigantic prints.

1. reason one, for very large work you can send a file size over there at as low as 100 ppi or less with good results. A file for the Epson as highest resolution produces quite a large file. But as many of us have seen you can do amazing things with software like Q-Image.

2. they are far cheaper to produce in large sizes, especially for large volumes

3. they mount and face mount very easily to acrylic

-----------

The cons are what everyone here is saying and to me FAR outweigh the advantages for art that is meant to last:

1. Type C gamut - to me it looks like mud compared to any of the best pigment inkjet printers used today

2. Tonal Range - My HP Vivera inks blow away the density on gloss media of a Lamda or Lightjet which look gray in comparison. There are no BLACK dyes or pigments in type C prints, only composite color dyes

3. Toxic - this chemical world is outdated and should be abolished from the face of the earth. Why would anyone want to go back there.

4. The big one for me is permanence. There is so much bull spouted by people who believe in labeling something "archival" (what ever the hell that means), makes is so. Fuji Crystal Archive, though light years ahead of the garbage that Kodak used to market, is neither crystal or permanent in the long term in daylight.
In dark storage it holds up quite well, even in some museum light, but let daylight hit it for any length of time, like in a well lit room or a public space, and it is toast. Wilhelm's 40 year figures are way too generous at 240 "average" lux.

Look at the Aardenburg FCArchive figures, and he has many samples that have been tested and reached total end points a long time ago. They are so bad that even the worst performing pigments on the worst performing papers are way ahead of the type c .

You gotta join this site www.aardenburgimaging.com and print out this chart and give to your pal. I'll try to upload it here. It's not like Mark hasn't talked about this publicly many time before. The figures at 120 mega lux endpoint are - Conservation rating failed at 30 megalux for the best patches (15 WR years) and 18 meglaux (9 WR years) for the worst patches . If you look at the patches moving toward the end of the test you will see Fuji Crystal Archive dyes actually reversing hue, not fading but actually becoming different hues altogether. In the end the BEST hues are showing an average shift of  -10.3 while the worst patches are showing an average of minus 276! And in that regard at 15 Wilhelm Years the 450 lux intensity level the Dmax is not just extremely low and faded but it is also reversing color to a minus 253! The neutral areas are the same and many colors in the spectrum have become completely different hues! Is that Archival by any definition? Yea I know, Aardenburg formulas are strict but this is unacceptable for any gallery or museum work in my humble opinion. It is only archival in that it beat the even worse results of Kodak. This is 1980s photolab technology at best.

Finally many if not most of the big name art photographers have moved from C prints to pigment inkjet prints for all the reasons people have stated. One example of this is Richard Misrach who has always produces huge C prints and in the last decade giant Lightjet prints from scans of 8x10 film. He now has an Epson 11880 in his studio, for all reasons we've stated. And he can certainly do anything he wants for the best results. He's just one of many traditional color photographers that finally woke up.

One again if permanence is not an issue and they will only be displayed in dark museum lighting type c can work for you, but never say it is superior to a well done pigment inkjet print from any of the big three companies. That IS silly.

john

« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 12:25:48 PM by deanwork » Logged
Scott Martin
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2010, 04:34:35 PM »
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What you're really talking about is a silver halide versus inkjet comparison - not necessarily an OCE/Epson comparison. You've certainly got a lot of printer options in either category. ZBE , Durst and Noritsu make compelling silver halide printers while Canon and HP also have compelling 60" inkjet printers.

I echo pfigen's comments that the look and feel of a true C print are exceptional when glossy and metallic papers are utilized. Glossy and metallic silver halide papers have a look that can't be matched with inkjet. For other papers inkjet clearly has the quality advantage, and a much broader selection to choose from. Start with the final look you're after and that will point you towards one or the other.
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Jeff Kott
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2010, 06:13:46 PM »
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I echo pfigen's comments that the look and feel of a true C print are exceptional when glossy and metallic papers are utilized. Glossy and metallic silver halide papers have a look that can't be matched with inkjet. For other papers inkjet clearly has the quality advantage, and a much broader selection to choose from. Start with the final look you're after and that will point you towards one or the other.

If you want to use ink jet printers, but want a great glossy look, I suggest you try ink jet printing on gloss paper and flush mounting with a gloss laminate.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2010, 07:47:58 PM »
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Gloss lamination is problematic (dust, air bubbles, etc), expensive and doesn't look as good. Acrylic face mounting is certainly a nice option worth considering.
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elliot_n
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2010, 08:01:40 PM »
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Whilst inkjet prints are superior by most technical criteria (gamut, dmax, longevity etc) I still prefer the look and feel of c-types.

I like matt surface digital c-types the best (Kodak Endura or Fuji CA matt paper, printed on Lambdas, Lightjets and Chromiras).

The closest inkjet paper I've found is Epson Premium Semi Gloss, but like most inkjet papers, it exhibits too much gloss differential to be considered for exhibition purposes.

My favourite inkjet paper is Harman Gloss FB. I would have printed a recent an exhibition with it, but its maximum roll width is 54". The Lightjet prints up to 72" wide.
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Farmer
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2010, 09:46:56 PM »
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As a slight tangent, for a larger range of media, you could consider solvent.  It's inkjet, but the solvent inks offer a much broader range of acceptable media.

The likes of the Epson GS6000 will give you the best results (by far) when talking solvent for photography/fine art.  It's not as good as aqueous offerings from the three big brands, particularly with only 1 black ink, but it's certainly something worth looking at.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 10:46:21 PM by Farmer » Logged

tim wolcott
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2010, 10:23:50 PM »
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I would have to say that anyone who thinks C prints could ever in any area look as good or better than inkjet does not or has ever really seen great looking inkjet prints.  When inkjet was invented and when more important to this discussion when the papers were invented and still being developed.  I showed them what surfaces are needed to best replicate color photographic prints.  I have been making or helping invent these papers for the past 16 years.  We have replicated every paper out there just do some research.  We have and still are making the papers better and thicker less scuffing ect.  WE have Matt, Luster, Gloss, Satin, Watercolor of many types and textures. 

Gloss differential, if you have a problem than get a better printer that does not have those problems like Canon.  If you have outgassing which is big problem with coated papers than either switch printers or dry them for 4-5 days.  It all can be solved or has been solved.

I converted probably the very first printer of the Epson's from dye based to pigments.

I recently switched from Epson to Canon.  I switched to get rid of the outgassing problem, and gloss differential as well as the speed, cost, ink and perfection of the printer. I'm currently testing paper and materials to see just how well each work and why.   Tim
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bradleygibson
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« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2010, 02:17:41 AM »
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Tim, not sure who you mean by "we"? "we have replicated...", "we have matt..."
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hdomke
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« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2010, 09:42:17 AM »
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My photographer friend (the one who triggered this discussion) wrote to me. I thought it would be helpful to add her comment:

It is a "true" photographic process in that the light-sensitive material is activated by light (laser not my old omega enlarger). Ink is Not applied to the surface. DigitalPlus has an Oce flatbed too. The big drum system cost more than a million new. For clarity it blows Every inkjet i've ever seen (even yours) out of the water. It is Not for advertising, it's for fine art. Expensive material; we've been hanging "RL" ... for 20 years and looks new (under 24/7 fluorescents). So do all our other installations...

For the big details, like your specialty, I might prefer the droplets on canvas or watercolor paper, but for walk-into-it scenes, I don't think the uber-realism of our prints can be surpassed.
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Henry

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Jeff Kott
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« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2010, 11:36:11 AM »
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Gloss lamination is problematic (dust, air bubbles, etc), expensive and doesn't look as good. Acrylic face mounting is certainly a nice option worth considering.

I disagree with your opinion. I'm not saying it's easy. I have my prints mounted professionally and there is no dust or bubbles and many people have told me that the presentation of the prints is the best they have ever seen. In my opinion, I don't like having glass, plastic or acrylic between me and the print.
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hdomke
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« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2010, 11:39:20 AM »
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The ultimate way to decide between the Oce and the Epson prints has to come down to which one you prefer.
If someone says "I LOVE the Epson" then the Epson is better; personal taste.

However the prints made with the Oce Lightjet and the Epson 11880 have important qualities that can be measured.  For example:
Which has the wides possible range of colors (Color Gamut)?
Which has the deepest black tone (D-Max)?
Which shows the finest detail?
Which lasts the longest before showing signs of sides of fading? (Longevity)
Which has the greatest choice of media to print on?

To fairly compare both printers I think you must consider both the the technical specifications as well as your (or your clients) personal preference.
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Henry

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MHMG
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2010, 11:47:11 AM »
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My photographer friend (the one who triggered this discussion) wrote to me. I thought it would be helpful to add her comment:

It is a "true" photographic process in that the light-sensitive material is activated by light (laser not my old omega enlarger). Ink is Not applied to the surface. DigitalPlus has an Oce flatbed too. The big drum system cost more than a million new. For clarity it blows Every inkjet i've ever seen (even yours) out of the water. It is Not for advertising, it's for fine art. Expensive material; we've been hanging "RL" ... for 20 years and looks new (under 24/7 fluorescents). So do all our other installations...

For the big details, like your specialty, I might prefer the droplets on canvas or watercolor paper, but for walk-into-it scenes, I don't think the uber-realism of our prints can be surpassed.

I would only quibble with that statement in that "traditional" silver-halide photographic process is probably a more accurate term than "true" photographic process. Photographs produced by the inkjet process are also "true" photographs, IMHO.  If a "true photograph" were defined by the action of light on chemical salts within the image forming layer of a substrate, then by that definition we'd have to rule out Kodak Dye Transfer prints, Polaroid "peel apart" prints, and other widely acknowledged traditional photographic processes. The final image formation in Polaroid and Dye Transfer prints, in particular, is produced by dye migration and physical transfer to a dye receptive receiver sheet (yes, very analogous to dye-based inkjet prints). Like inkjet paper, the final substrate where the image finally resides never contained light-sensitive image forming chemistry.

As for 20 years on display and "looks like new". No problem for the best RA4 process prints like Fuji Crystal Archive paper under many real-world display conditions.  Aardenburg tests results show what kind of illumination levels you need to maintain in the display environment in order to preserve that "looks like new" end result over time.  Typical commercial buildings lit by fluorescent lamps usually produce about 400-500 lux illumination on horizontal surfaces like desktops and tables. The office walls are usually less than half that illumination level, e.g., <200 Lux as the daily average light level. This photographer's experience with Lightjet prints on display is pretty consistent with that type of environment and with the Aardenburg lightfastness test results for Crystal Archive paper.  Most museums would light much more cautiously and definitely not invoke permanent 24/7 lighted environments, so all in all, modern Crystal Archive II prints have moderate lightfastness that most collectors should be able to deal with easily if they are informed about how this print technology fades over time.  Where you will get into trouble with Crystal Archive and many other artworks is in more brightly lit areas of a home or building which occurs more and more often these days due to the growing architectural trends towards multiple skylights, "greenhouse-like" atriums, and large picture windows that can all increase average indoor illumination levels by a couple of orders of magnitude or more. In many of these locations, you will surely see very noticeable fade in those Crystal archive prints in less than 5 years.

kind regards,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 11:57:12 AM by MHMG » Logged
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2010, 04:46:34 PM »
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The ultimate way to decide between the Oce and the Epson prints has to come down to which one you prefer.
If someone says "I LOVE the Epson" then the Epson is better; personal taste.

However the prints made with the Oce Lightjet and the Epson 11880 have important qualities that can be measured.  For example:
Which has the wides possible range of colors (Color Gamut)?
Which has the deepest black tone (D-Max)?
Which shows the finest detail?
Which lasts the longest before showing signs of sides of fading? (Longevity)
Which has the greatest choice of media to print on?

To fairly compare both printers I think you must consider both the the technical specifications as well as your (or your clients) personal preference.

The L range: Dmax-Dmin as presented in Aardenburg's data on the Fuji Crystal doesn't suggest that its tonal range is wider than that of inkjet prints. The gamut isn't wider than N-Channel pigment printer's gamut either when profiles are compared.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

New: Spectral plots of +190 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm


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