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Author Topic: Deciding between the Epson 3880 and R3000  (Read 12500 times)
FredT
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« on: March 29, 2011, 10:33:44 AM »
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When the Epson R3000 was announced, I thought that I would buy it to replace my aging R2400.  I was of course attracted to the larger ink cartridges.  But it appears that those larger cartridges are not going to bring along significantly lower ink cost, as the price per ml is just about the same as the 2400 cartridges.  So I looked at the 3880 specs again, and though it is a fairly old model, it seems to match up quite well with the the R3000 from a technology standpoint.  It is not that much more expensive, $930 with current rebate versus $800 for the R3000, and it could be argued that it is actually less expensive when the extra ink that it comes with it is considered.  The only real downside I see is that I will have difficulty using it enough to keep the ink fresh.  Epson gives the inks a life of six months after opening, though I've read of people going much longer.  Opinions?
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Ramonn
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 10:57:39 AM »
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If the only issue is ink concerns, I say go fo it. From what I have read on various forums the life span of the inks is much longer than stated. It has also been suggested that periodic agitation of the inks can/may prolong life. If you plan to use the 3880 as much as you use your present printer and the ink issues are minimized, the 3880, in my opinion, is the better selection.
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AFairley
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 11:09:41 AM »
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Also bear in mind that even if you had to change 3880 carts before they were fully empty, your net ink costs could still be below the R3000.  I don't know how long you can use the 3800 inks for, but I am still using some of the original carts that came with my refub 3800 over a year ago (which were right up against the package expire date, to my annoyance) without any noticable problems or IQ degradation.  To me the larger format capability makes the choice a no-brainer, givien the minimal price differential.
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ChrisS
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 11:23:04 AM »
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I just went through the same question. The quantity of ink (both that came with the printer, and cost of future purchases)  and potential to print A2 were enough to convince me that the extra money would be well spent on the 3880. I'm still getting to grips with it, but very pleased so far.

Chris

ps 930 USD? I paid 930 GBP! I'd definitely go for it at that price.
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mfryd
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 05:39:09 PM »
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In the US, Epson 3880 print engine is in fact less costly than the R3000 print engine.

At first glance, the 3880 seems more expensive, because it is bundled with three times as much ink a the R3000.

The 3880 bundle can be found for about $929 after rebate.  This bundle includes about $405 worth of ink (720ml) which means the cost of the included 3880 print engine about $514.

The R3000 bundle can be found for about $835.  This bundle include about $243 worth of ink (233.1ml) which means the cost of the included R3000 print engine is about $592.

Thus the R3000 print engine is $78 more than the 3880 print engine.

As to operational costs, ink for the 3880 is about half the cost per ml that R3000 ink (56 per ml for 3880 vs $1.05 per ml for R3000).


If print engine and ink costs are your concern than the Epson 3880 is a much better deal.

If you need to print on CDs, or use roll paper, than you may need to get the R3000.

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BarbaraArmstrong
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 06:08:36 PM »
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Maybe it's just me, but I have trouble printing 4x6 photos on the 3880  -- they often come out slightly crooked.  Sometimes I can get them straight, sometimes not, and it's frustrating.  I think the problem is that if you place the left hand "thing" at the very edge (left hand vertical) of the paper you're feeding in, then you get a paper feed error.  You need to leave a bit of wiggle-room there.  Whatever the printer does to straighten the feed path of paper once it's taken up by the machine, a 4x6 sheet seems to be too small for the printer to handle well.  I've actually unearthed an old 2200 to print those small photos for family and friends to avoid this problem.  On anything larger, the 3880 turns out beautiful results -- certainly a noticeably sharper image than the 2200.  (I realize you're comparing with the 2400, not the 2200, but I imagine the 2400 handles small sheets well, too.)   --Barbara Armstrong
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BarbaraArmstrong
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 06:11:05 PM »
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Looking back at the post, I realize you're considering the R3000 versus the 3880.  I bet the R3000 has good small-paper handling characteristics as well.  Good luck in your choice.  I just wouldn't throw out your old printer if you go with the 3880.  --Barbara
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 06:52:01 PM »
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A 3880 is a professional series printer and a R3000 is not. That affects build quality, unit by unit linearization out of the factory, service arrangements, etc. Based on the cost data above, it's a no-brainer.  I used a 3800 and it was the best of 4 Epson professional printers I ever owned till I bought the 4900.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
mfryd
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 07:04:19 PM »
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Maybe it's just me, but I have trouble printing 4x6 photos on the 3880  -- they often come out slightly crooked.  Sometimes I can get them straight, sometimes not, and it's frustrating.  I think the problem is that if you place the left hand "thing" at the very edge (left hand vertical) of the paper you're feeding in, then you get a paper feed error.  You need to leave a bit of wiggle-room there.  Whatever the printer does to straighten the feed path of paper once it's taken up by the machine, a 4x6 sheet seems to be too small for the printer to handle well.  I've actually unearthed an old 2200 to print those small photos for family and friends to avoid this problem.  On anything larger, the 3880 turns out beautiful results -- certainly a noticeably sharper image than the 2200.  (I realize you're comparing with the 2400, not the 2200, but I imagine the 2400 handles small sheets well, too.)   --Barbara Armstrong

I suspect it may be an issue with your particular situation.  I have not had any problems printing 4x6 on my 3880.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2011, 03:04:28 AM »
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Hmmm.

So where then, would you say, does the new R3000 fit into the Epson scheme of things? For the present, the 2880 remains in the line, but it is hard to see a place for both of them. The larger ink carts of the 3000 are a bonus, as is the fact that you do not have to physically swap PK and MK in and out of the carriage as on the older A3+ models. The 3000 also has a 2pl minimum dot size, so it will probably make nicer small prints than the 3880. But Epson seem to have shot themselves in the foot by charging the same per ml of ink as on the 2880, so there is no obvious running cost incentive to make the change. And the cost of the 3000 has crept up so close to the 3880 that it seems overpriced.

John
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 03:06:58 AM by John R Smith » Logged

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