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Author Topic: Epson LF vs. Canon LF  (Read 17722 times)
Schewe
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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2011, 03:50:27 PM »
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And as a Canon dealer, Canon still just doesn't seem that interested in really making their printer division a factor through their dealer network.  I guess it's not a problem, since I've only ever had one request for a quote on a Canon printer and that was from another state.  Makes me wonder what Canon has in mind - maybe the LF printer division is more like a hobby.

Oh, it's not a hobby at all for Canon...they are very serious about their printers. The problem is it's really a different division from the camera division in Japan and they aren't very good at marketing and dealer relations here in the US. That has always been a weakness for Canon US in the photo/fine art printer markets...
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keith_cooper
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« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2011, 04:57:53 PM »
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Oh, it's not a hobby at all for Canon...they are very serious about their printers. The problem is it's really a different division from the camera division in Japan and they aren't very good at marketing and dealer relations here in the US. That has always been a weakness for Canon US in the photo/fine art printer markets...
Interesting to see differences/similarities between Canon in the UK and US in this respect - perhaps more due to differences in size between the divisions.
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Schewe
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« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2011, 05:40:43 PM »
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Interesting to see differences/similarities between Canon in the UK and US in this respect - perhaps more due to differences in size between the divisions.

I can't say exactly how things are now within Canon USA since I'm no longer directly involved any more...but both Canon USA and Canon UK are simply marketing/distribution companies for Canon's mothership in Japan. The real power and decisions are (or at least were) always made in Japan. Canon Japan is a huge company and traditionally, Canon printers and Canon Cameras have been run completely different with little interaction nor much in common other than they are under the umbrella of Canon Japan.
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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2011, 11:55:04 PM »
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It's human nature to make these kinds of comparisons and ask "which is best" questions. Having used Epson and Canon printers, and seen output from the HP LF models, I think we're really splitting hairs trying to come up with a definitive answer here. There never will be a definitive answer that overcomes simple human preference. All three lines of printers do damn fine work.

I believe a far more important element in the final quality of that print will be your own Photoshop chops and the quality of the file you start with. Because unless you are confident that all your files are 'perfect', then any unhappiness in the final print is likely to be more easily affected by going back to Photoshop than it will be by switching printers. Canon vs. Nikon, Phase One vs. Hasselblad-if any one of these cage fights ever had a clear cut outcome, wouldn't we all be using that gear exclusively?

It is far easier to look at these printers and make statements about other factors, such as cost, speed and reliability. Image quality? Man, we're living in a Golden Age of printing.
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Farmer
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2011, 12:43:04 AM »
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Nicely said, Rob.
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2011, 02:20:52 PM »
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"It's human nature to make these kinds of comparisons and ask "which is best" questions. Having used Epson and Canon printers, and seen output from the HP LF models, I think we're really splitting hairs trying to come up with a definitive answer here. There never will be a definitive answer that overcomes simple human preference. All three lines of printers do damn fine work."

"Image quality? Man, we're living in a Golden Age of printing."

And it seems that most all agree that the quality differences are so minimal as to be non existent.  However, if that truly is the case then wouldn't it be crazy to buy the Epson LF printers?  The fact is right now you can buy a 44" Canon cheaper than a 17" Epson, why buy the Epson?  You can buy the Canon 8300 for $2600.00 (includes $1000.00 rebate) with $1200.00 worth of extra ink over and above the Epson 4900.  The Epson 4900 costs $2200.00 (includes $500.00 rebate) plus $1200.00 for additional ink and we have a grand total of $2600.00 for the Canon 8300 44" printer and $3400.00 for the Epson 17" printer, why would anybody buy the Epson?  I still haven't pulled the trigger but I can tell you that I'm probably going to buy the Epson 7900 (once $1000.00 rebate happens), which is totally irrational.  Makes me want to buy a Mac Pro too!   Wink  Just kidding about the Mac
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 02:32:29 PM by Gemmtech » Logged
Czornyj
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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2011, 09:51:51 AM »
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I got an iPF6350 for testing - it's really a cool printer, it has huge gamut, clean, vibrant colours, nice contrast and virtually no gloss differential, but...
Am I doing something wrong, or does it have coarser screening than x880/x900 Stylus Pro series? I've set the quality to "highest" possible, the print goes reeeeealy slow, but I can easily see the screening pattern (Hahne Baryta, Canon Semimatte), and it still looks much worse than "SuperFine" setting on my 7880, not to mention "SuperPhoto"...
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 09:53:51 AM by Czornyj » Logged

abiggs
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« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2011, 09:54:46 AM »
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I have found that when profiling these Canon machines the media type used is extremely important, and will affect what you are seeing. Perhaps the profiles you are using could be better made if they had used a different profile.
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Andy Biggs
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Czornyj
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« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2011, 10:00:18 AM »
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Well, I admit that the standard Canon and Hahnemuehle profiles didn't really impress me, and so or so I've planned to create my own ones, so I'll try to fine tune media settings, make a profile, and will see if it helps...
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 10:12:57 AM by Czornyj » Logged

jdoyle1713
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« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2011, 09:53:56 PM »
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Gang

Wow what a great topic and great feedback.."Golden Age" Wow So Much to consider when choosing a printer..Is It Cost, Is It quality , Is it comfort, Is it..Is it..Today there is a printer for everyone! As a dealer all three channels have there pros and cons. Epsons Playing field for resellers is somewhat fairer than the other two for sure. Since we are in a Photo/Fine art forum Epson Has the leg up..Just one Item that stands out is the straight thru path for me..But I need to throw this out when considering a new printer there are many factors so with rebates now a part of doing business rather than a bonus the Value play changes..sometimes weekly sometimes daily But certainly every month~! The Value play changes all the time. With that said my answer will change all the time depending on who I am speaking with and what they do!
Cheers
Jim Doyle
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deanwork
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« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2011, 10:03:05 PM »
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Thanks Jimmy for chiming in. I was just about to say if you want a great source for sorting all this out by all means contact Shades Of Paper dot com.

These guys sell and advise on them all and have no agenda to sell one brand over another. They also have had the finest papers and media in the country and have for a long long time. Personally I wouldn't shop anywhere else. Shades follows all these changes on a daily basis and are the best people you could possibly deal with in the US.

j
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gubaguba
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« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2011, 09:12:20 AM »
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I agree about shades of paper very helpful and for me I trust their opinion.  They could have sold me either Epson or Canon made no difference to them.  I make prints of my images I am not a printer.  Much of what is discussed is pretty much small stuff or personal opinion not necessarily much scientific method being applied.  Consider myself lucky I have options I chose one and moved on.  In the end when the image is on the wall only about .1% of those viewing it are going to concern themselves with my gamut issues.  That is me I am about creating images.  I am happy with my choice.  Maybe the other is slightly better.  Then again I am no longer in a darkroom dealing with toxic chemicals.  So I am happy.   
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2011, 11:45:50 AM »
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I'm seriously considering moving to Canon. Probably the 6300. I have tested this printer extensively against the 3800 (not the 3880) and I can get a better black from the Canon. Darkest black I can get on the Epson (Semigloss) is about L=3 as measured by the Colormunki, on the 6300 on the same paper I can get down to L=2. The B+W prints are really nice as a result.

There are other reasons too, but this Dmax is quite a big deal I think. I also think Canon have caught up, if not exceeded Epson in many respects. Build quality is not so good though - the Canons are very plasticky. But the results are good and that's all I really care about. Plus, it's possible that the TCO is lower too, which might be a deal maker for some. Hard to measure but the 6300 seems to use very little ink - Canon reckon the fixed inkdot size with a larger number of nozzles gives a 30% less ink usage but I have not tested this myself.

Czorniyj reckons the screening is coarse - not seen that, looks smooth to me. Try turning on 'High Precision Photographs' and turn off 'Fast Graphic Process' in the 'Main' panel (on a Mac). HPP will slow it down a lot but the results are awesome - and you'll need to make a profile with this setting checked. Also make sure it's printing Unidirectional.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 11:57:15 AM by Nick Rains » Logged

Nick Rains
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TylerB
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« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2011, 01:10:52 PM »
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Do we have, anywhere, some direct dither comparisons on line somewhere from an "unconnected" and demanding user or reviewer?
Tyler
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Czornyj
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« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2011, 02:49:42 PM »
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I'm seriously considering moving to Canon. Probably the 6300. I have tested this printer extensively against the 3800 (not the 3880) and I can get a better black from the Canon. Darkest black I can get on the Epson (Semigloss) is about L=3 as measured by the Colormunki, on the 6300 on the same paper I can get down to L=2. The B+W prints are really nice as a result.

There are other reasons too, but this Dmax is quite a big deal I think. I also think Canon have caught up, if not exceeded Epson in many respects. Build quality is not so good though - the Canons are very plasticky. But the results are good and that's all I really care about. Plus, it's possible that the TCO is lower too, which might be a deal maker for some. Hard to measure but the 6300 seems to use very little ink - Canon reckon the fixed inkdot size with a larger number of nozzles gives a 30% less ink usage but I have not tested this myself.

Czorniyj reckons the screening is coarse - not seen that, looks smooth to me. Try turning on 'High Precision Photographs' and turn off 'Fast Graphic Process' in the 'Main' panel (on a Mac). HPP will slow it down a lot but the results are awesome - and you'll need to make a profile with this setting checked. Also make sure it's printing Unidirectional.

I'm an old "Epson Whore" since Photo EX, but I'm also seriously considering switching from my 7880 to iPF6300 - I like the compact size and silent work of the printer, the print quality is stellar - the blacks are deep, the contrast is high, the gamut is huge so the colors are clean and vivid, gloss differential, bronzing is virtually non existing, scraching resistance is impressive, and the results seem to be stable and repeatable (I'm also using my printers for contract proofing from time to time, so it's important for me).

The only issue I've encountered with that printer is that for some reason - no matter what quality options I choose - I still see the grain, and can't get the perfect smoothness of screening I easily get from my 7880, or any other x880/x900 (3800 was not that good in this respect). But I still belive it's a matter of my lack of experience with iPF's drivers and it's only a matter of time to eliminate some PEBKAC error. 
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 02:53:14 PM by Czornyj » Logged

Tariq
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« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2011, 05:57:52 PM »
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Just my short experience with the Canon IPF 8300 as compared to the Epson's I have used over the past eight years - 9600, 9800....  I have not used the most current 9900 - I bought the Canon instead Smiley

- The 9600 seems noticeably more solid/ robust and far less plasticky then either the Canon IPF 8300 or even the later 9800.  The Canon also shakes more when printing.

- I was really concerned about the non-straight paper path of the Canon but after testing it with all the materials I use (nothing thicker then say H. Museum/ German Etching)
, it is not an issue whatsoever.  Even loading sheets is no worse then with the bigger Epsons.

-The Canon just works and is always ready to go...no worrying about clogged heads and I no longer do a nozzle check - nor the subsequent two to three cleaning cycles - before each print session.  To me, this is a HUGE deal.

-If the profile is good and the correct media setting used, the print quality is amazing and smooth as can be.  If your not seeing this then there is something either wrong with your profile/ settings or there is a defect with the printer/head. 

-I absolutely love the software that Canon provides, particularly the 16bit Photoshop export plug-in and the Media Configuration Tool.  Epson's driver support has been quite pathetic ever since it moved away from Mac OS 9! for my 9600 and Epson has proven very unreliable in fully supporting older hardware with newer software releases.  This was also a contributing factor in leaving Epson, along with their attitude towards third party software such as QuadTone RIP.

Anyway, thus far I'm extremely happy with all aspects of my move to Canon.  I do believe they have at least matched Epson with regard to print quality and surpassed them in a few other areas.  Right now, it's quite the bargain to boot!     

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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2011, 12:43:59 AM »
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I got an iPF6350 for testing - it's really a cool printer, it has huge gamut, clean, vibrant colours, nice contrast and virtually no gloss differential, but...
Am I doing something wrong, or does it have coarser screening than x880/x900 Stylus Pro series? I've set the quality to "highest" possible, the print goes reeeeealy slow, but I can easily see the screening pattern (Hahne Baryta, Canon Semimatte), and it still looks much worse than "SuperFine" setting on my 7880, not to mention "SuperPhoto"...

Yes, at absolute maximum resolution for each printer, single pass printing, the Canon is a little slower.  I tested this extensively with an 11880 vs the 6100 and at maximum resolution for the Canon (600dpi, 32 pass, unidirectional, precision ON) I was getting about 8.5 square feet per hour vs the 11880 (2880dpi, uni-directional) at a little over 12.  Neither of those are fast, but in all equivalent quality settings the Epson is the faster printer, unless you go to a pretty low quality (300 dpi standard bi-directional) which is very fast (133 sq/ft hour) but the Epson doesn't even have an equivalent setting and certainly the quality was unacceptable for top notch work.  But I never feel like I needed to use those settings, lower quality settings are still outstanding and completely acceptable for both printers, so personally I feel the speed comparison is a wash.

As to seeing the screening, I think I can see it but I have to look really really close (with reading glasses), and even then it's so subtle in only shows up in a few small areas.  With a loupe not so hard to see.

The Epson is a 360/720 dpi based algorithm that can lay down 2880x1440 individual droplets per square inch at 3 different sizes.  The Canon is a 300/600 dpi based algorithm, and lay down 2400x1200 per square inch. I'm not sure about variable dots on the Canon. The Epson has a slightly smaller minimum droplet size.  This calculates out  to 4.1 million dots per square inch on the Epson vs. the canons 2.9 million dots per square inch.  Now I'll be the first to admit that 2.9 million dots and 300 dpi is really really good and from any normal viewing distance isn't a problem.  But in printing some very large prints from my p45 a few years back, I always thought the Epson output just seemed a little "cleaner".  Perhaps thats the screening, which is incredibly important part of the technology, perhaps it's the resolution or maybe some of both (or maybe I just imagined it).  But the 24x72 pano that hangs in my office was printed on my Canon, and I have no problem with it.

As mentioned they both can produce really great output, and the quality of the output from either has as much to do with the files and skill used in preparing the files than anything.  After using both for about a year, I prefer the Epson and sold the Canon, but that's just personal preference.  I don't knock either one, they both have strong points and weak points.
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Tariq
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« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2011, 06:44:52 AM »
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Wayne, is all the above experience with the Canon x100 series?  I thought the newer Canon x300 series printers were faster and offered slightly better print quality?  Have you compared the x100 to the current x300's?
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abiggs
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« Reply #38 on: February 03, 2011, 07:30:16 AM »
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I think the printing speed needs to be compared between, say, an iPF8300 and a Stylus Pro 9900. The x100 line and the 11880 is old old tech now.
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Andy Biggs
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2011, 07:48:37 PM »
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I think the printing speed needs to be compared between, say, an iPF8300 and a Stylus Pro 9900. The x100 line and the 11880 is old old tech now.
Good point.  However, I don't see anything from either company to indicate there were significant overall speed changes to the process of actually laying down the ink.

It all depends on the size, but on large high quality prints, the 9900 didn't improve enough on the 11880 to be significant.  Epson specs 40x60 on the 9900 at 1440DPI bi directional at 24:20 vs 25:52 for the 11880.  I'm not sure the difference is in pure printing speed, which all my tests were based on ... timing was done from the beginning of the printer laying down ink until the completion of the final pass.  Each test was repeated 3 times on each printer, printing a 6 square foot image with nothing in the image at pure white.  The new printers will print small prints in less time, but it seems that may be based on Epson shortening some per file prep time, not in speeding up the process of laying down the ink, because the print speed gains seen in smaller images don't translate to large prints at all.  For epson users coming from a 78/9880, the speed improvement of the 78/9890 or the 79/9900 is significant.  In comparison to the Canon, it just means these Epsons are now similar in speed.

I have never seen any fully published speeds on Canon's printers even though I've looked quite a bit, other than an occasional single speed rate that is based on an unknown output quality setting.  I don't remember seeing anything in the press release of the 8350's and other information which indicated anything about printing time or speed, and watching them in operation last year for about an hour at WPPI saw nothing that made me feel they were any faster.  It looks like all changes were to inkset/head design/firmware, but mechanically the appeared to perform identically to the previous models. (which isn't a knock, they perform just fine).

If you've seen something else love to hear about it, because you have used far more of these printers than anyone I know of, including the new models. Do you think the new ipf's are significantly faster than the older ones?
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