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Author Topic: Timing of Replacement Model for Epson 3880  (Read 6780 times)
kentlands
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« on: September 21, 2011, 06:49:27 AM »
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I'm looking to purchase a new 17" printer but I'm concerned that the Epson 3880 is already two year old technology and that a replacement model might be forthcoming in the next 6-12 months. Has anyone heard about the timing of a replacement for the 3880 - perhaps a model 3900 with the UltraChrome HDR ink set and 10 channel print head of the 4900, and the roll media support and wireless connectivity of the R3000? I suspect that anyone who really knows can't say, but I thought I'd ask anyway so I don't purchase technology in the 3880 which will soon be updated and replaced.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 09:17:42 AM »
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If it makes you feel better, I bought my 3800 just shortly before the 3880 came out. I have never regretted getting it, and the step up to the 3880 has never seemed worth getting rid of my 3800.
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JBerardi
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 09:31:05 AM »
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I also got a 3800 shortly before the appearance of the 3880, and I also have no regrets about this. The differences in these printers are marginal enough that the "just buy what you need when you need it and don't sweat the new model" rule is in full effect, IMO.
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John Rodriguez
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 10:57:21 AM »
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Epson has stated there will not likely be a 3900 as the tech involved won't fit well in the 38XX series chassis.  They also don't give you roll abilities in this series (keeps the size down).  Your best bet is to grab a 4900, which seems to be what you really want.  Rebates have taken the price down close to 3880 levels a few times this year, just keep on eye on the Epson rebate page.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 01:24:16 PM by djjohnr » Logged
Randy Carone
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 11:30:29 AM »
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There is a $700 Instant Rebate on the 4900 through the end of September.
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Randy Carone
kentlands
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 06:49:33 PM »
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Thanks everyone for your advice.

Although the 4900 is a great printer, it has some disadvantages for anyone not doing volumes of printing for commercial purposes, namely the inability to print sizes < 8x10 and the high cost of replacing the ink carts ($900 to replace the whole set with 200ml cartridges vs $370 to replace the 3880's 80ml carts).

So, I'll keep focusing on the 3880, but everyone's feedback has helped make the wait vs buy decision a bit easier.

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RFPhotography
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 06:54:25 PM »
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the high cost of replacing the ink carts ($900 to replace the whole set with 200ml cartridges vs $370 to replace the 3880's 80ml carts).



Cost/mL is actually lower and you'd be replacing them less often.  That would make the overall cost lower, not higher. 
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rmyers
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 07:24:48 PM »
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Also, you can print smaller than 8 x 10.  You just can't use paper smaller than that.  You can use 13 x 19 paper for 4 x 6 and get 3 wide x 3 tall or several other combinations with sheets or rolls.
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feppe
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2011, 07:31:06 PM »
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Cost/mL is actually lower and you'd be replacing them less often.  That would make the overall cost lower, not higher. 

Also, the bigger printers usually come with more ink, which bridges the price gap between models significantly, although not sure what the difference is between these printers.
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kentlands
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2011, 07:37:18 PM »
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Also, you can print smaller than 8 x 10.  You just can't use paper smaller than that.  You can use 13 x 19 paper for 4 x 6 and get 3 wide x 3 tall or several other combinations with sheets or rolls.

Thanks - that's helpful. I didn't think of that.

Cost/mL is actually lower and you'd be replacing them less often.  That would make the overall cost lower, not higher. 

That's certainly true on a cost/ml basis for consumed ink. But for someone not doing large volumes of printing for commercial purposes it's a daunting proposition to pay $900 to replace an ink set, and overall costs would be higher if the inks go unused.

How long will the inks for the 4900 last if the printer is used to only make 1-2 prints every week or two?
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AFairley
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2011, 08:10:14 PM »
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Cost/mL is actually lower and you'd be replacing them less often.  That would make the overall cost lower, not higher.  

True, but there is the volume issue to consider.  For example, I am hard pressed to use up a 3800 cart before the expiration date on most colors at my low volume of printing (though I go way past the expiration date with no apparent problems)  So for me, the larger carts could end up costing more over the long run.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 10:55:37 AM by AFairley » Logged

rmyers
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2011, 09:17:27 PM »
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Also, do you need roll handling or are you just thinking you might.  I got my 3880 a few months ago.  I didn't want to handle a lot of rolls.  One reason is because my work area is in a small spare bedroom.  I didn't want to store and handle a lot of rolls.  I can print 16 x 24 on 17 x 25 cut sheets.  If I ever need to go larger, I will send it out until it becomes common enough to look at a bigger printer.

One thing that concerned me was that I couldn't find 17 x 25 cut sheets of canvas.  I really didn't want 17 x 22, so I bought a 17" roll of canvas and cut it to length with a razor and straight edge.  The sheets came out flat even at the end of the roll, and I have had no problem feeding them.  This would be a pain if I were doing a lot of canvases.  If I were doing a lot of canvas, I might have taken a longer look at a printer with roll handling capabilities.

You rarely see clogging complaints about the 3880.  I have yet to have a clog on mine and it sets for a week often without printing.  I don't think it has ever set idle for two weeks.  

« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 09:19:30 PM by rmyers » Logged
kentlands
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2011, 09:41:04 PM »
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Thanks for the additional info on the 3880. I'm not sure whether I really need roll handling, but I'd like to be able to print panoramas and thought that a roll feeder was necessary to do so.

I wasn't aware you could print on paper longer than 22" on the 3880, but it sounds like it can be done if the paper is manually fed. Is that correct?

Thanks again for the insight.
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leuallen
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2011, 09:50:40 PM »
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You can print small panoramas with a 3800. Red River has 13x38 sheet paper and other unusual sizes. The Aurora Natural is a very nice mat paper. I use that to print ~12x34 panoramas.

Larry
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rmyers
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2011, 10:58:48 PM »
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You can print longer than 22".  I am not at home this week, so I can't look, but I think the max length without a RIP is 34.5" or 37.5".  Maybe someone else can verify.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2011, 08:25:14 AM »
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The max in the Epson driver is 37.5".
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Randy Carone
Nill Toulme
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« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2011, 10:02:21 AM »
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I'm using some cartridges in my 4800 that are two years past the expiration date, no problems.  But then I don't throw away aspirin on its expiration date either.  ;-)

Nill
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2011, 11:47:02 AM »
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When you purchase a 4900 the included cartridges are 80 ml.
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kentlands
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« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2011, 05:55:02 PM »
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I'm using some cartridges in my 4800 that are two years past the expiration date, no problems.  But then I don't throw away aspirin on its expiration date either.  ;-)

Nill
Smiley

Has anyone seen an analysis on the lifespan of the Epson Ultrachrome inks prior to printing? I've seen anecdotal information on this, but I'm hoping someone has done a more thorough analysis on how the qualities of unused inks change over time. The economics of the 4900 aren't so favorable relative to the 3880 at lower print volumes if unused ink expires and has to be replaced every 6-12 months.
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AFairley
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« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2011, 06:12:25 PM »
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Smiley

Has anyone seen an analysis on the lifespan of the Epson Ultrachrome inks prior to printing? I've seen anecdotal information on this, but I'm hoping someone has done a more thorough analysis on how the qualities of unused inks change over time. The economics of the 4900 aren't so favorable relative to the 3880 at lower print volumes if unused ink expires and has to be replaced every 6-12 months.

More anecdotal information, but see this thread  http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=34465.msg281964#msg281964

It appears from the above thread that the ink is fine at least several years past the expire date.  I got my 3800 about 18 months ago, and am still using many of the original carts without any noticeable problems, and the carts were right up against the "install by" date when I got the printer.
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