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Author Topic: Looking to purchase a new Large Format Printer  (Read 5414 times)
abeofRD
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« on: November 09, 2011, 02:54:36 PM »
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Hello everyone.

We are a digital marketing company with a digital press catering to high end fashion and photography market, due to client demand we would like to expand into larger format sizes, bigger than we can on a digital press.

We have a vast knowledge in color management/RIP/Media etc. We do our own ICC profiles, an have the means to do it in house.

We are looking for a printer with the widest color gamut to reproduce skin tone and fall foliage for example. Our interest in using it for high end portfolio books, gallery/canvas wraps.

Our options are the Epson 9900 HP Z6200/Z3200 or Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9100 or the Roland Hifi, D'vnci or Mimaki, we need production and quality. We know there isn't a printer that "THE" perfect printer but the best closest.

Also any feedback/experience with aftermarket ink sets like American Inkjet Systems or others.

Thank you for your input
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Luca Ragogna
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2011, 09:01:21 PM »
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For the markets you're looking at the Epson or Canon is probably the best fit, IMHO.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2011, 09:59:50 PM »
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You mention the 9900 (a 44") printer, but then the Canon ipf9100 (a 60" printer) instead of the ipf8300 (bigger gamut, better blacks than the 9100),  as well as superwides like Mimaki (basically a big Epson)

Are you needing wider than 44"?  If so you choices would be Epson 11880/canon ipf9100 or some of the wides you mention. 

You also mentioned you needed "production" and quality", but you don't define quality other than largest gamut possible. chasing a huge gamut may be misleading because smaller gamut devices (such as traditional photographic paper) still produce beautiful skin tones and rich saturated colors.  So while a 9900 might have a larger gamut than an 11880, you won't' see much difference in most photographic output, both will look terrific.

Using aftermarket inks will rarely land you in the same quality level, void warranties and while they sound cheap, ink costs are a fraction of paper and other costs so saving per print isn't substantial.

If you are interested in fine art quality printing the Epson 9900 and the Canon ipf8300 (both 44" printers) are the best that can be had.  both have very large gamuts, but have strengths in different parts of the gamut. I've heard some say the inclusion of orange ink in Epson's HDR ink set benefits skin tones, so it might be worth looking at, but the canon will produce gorgeous skin tones and colors. 

there are many recent threads that talk about the differences between the two technologies but output from either is as good as it gets.

If you need a wider printer you probably still are better off with the canon 9100  or the epson 11880, most of those using rolands/mimakis are more concerned with throughput and decent quality, not maximum quality and because they need a printer wider than 60".  I've had Mimakis because I needed an 8 foot wide machine.
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aaronchan
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2011, 10:25:51 PM »
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I have all 3 brand printers sitting in my lab and here is my conclusion.

If your clients on demand on RC paper, go for the Z6200. It is the fastest printer in the format.
Plus it produce very good color on both matte and glossy/luster media.
The only down side is it does not take ANY kind of thick paper such as Fiber or Rag.

If not, Canon iPF9100 or the Epson 11880 would be something you will need.
They take all kinds of media including super thick Fiber paper (Hahnemuhle Baryta FB 350gsm)
I like the Canon and I'm using it as my production printer right now.
Good Color, good driver. Plus good B&W output.

If you are talking about the 44" size, I prefer the iPF8300.
I have the HPZ3200 and Epson 9900 as well.
HP Z3200 is extremely slow, smallest gamut, does not work well with curly thick roll paper.
And it does not cut canvas.

Epson 9900 is fine but I had some unhappy experience with it.
Especailly 9900 needs to swap MK and PK whenever you need to swap your media surface.

Canon 8300 has both MK and PK live in the same time.
It is fast (as fast as the 9900), the Color Gamut share pretty much the same size as the 9900.
The only downside is the ink is a bit more than the rest of the 2.

Hopefully these information can help you.

Aaron
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kaelaria
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2011, 03:45:44 AM »
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+1 to the HP not liking curly thick paper Sad  I love mine but man that is a problem sometimes.  I would definitely be getting an alternative if buying today.
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abeofRD
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2011, 12:53:50 PM »
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You mention the 9900 (a 44") printer, but then the Canon ipf9100 (a 60" printer) instead of the ipf8300 (bigger gamut, better blacks than the 9100),  as well as superwides like Mimaki (basically a big Epson)

I didn't know that the ipf8300 has bigger gamut and better black.
For what I wanted the 60" is mainly for canvas wraps if the 44" is sufficient I think it will do.
I don't need it for big posters becuase I can get it from my sign shop
Mimaki, you are right Epson printheads


Are you needing wider than 44"?  If so you choices would be Epson 11880/canon ipf9100 or some of the wides you mention. 

You also mentioned you needed "production" and quality", but you don't define quality other than largest gamut possible. chasing a huge gamut may be misleading because smaller gamut devices (such as traditional photographic paper) still produce beautiful skin tones and rich saturated colors.  So while a 9900 might have a larger gamut than an 11880, you won't' see much difference in most photographic output, both will look terrific.
Got it, Thanks

Using aftermarket inks will rarely land you in the same quality level, void warranties and while they sound cheap, ink costs are a fraction of paper and other costs so saving per print isn't substantial.
I don't intend to use aftermarket ink becuase of cheaper pricing, maybe wider gamut or less gloss differentiation, less bronzing if its true what they claim like from Scott Saltman, American Imaging Corp

If you are interested in fine art quality printing the Epson 9900 and the Canon ipf8300 (both 44" printers) are the best that can be had.  both have very large gamuts, but have strengths in different parts of the gamut. I've heard some say the inclusion of orange ink in Epson's HDR ink set benefits skin tones, so it might be worth looking at, but the canon will produce gorgeous skin tones and colors. 

there are many recent threads that talk about the differences between the two technologies but output from either is as good as it gets.

If you need a wider printer you probably still are better off with the canon 9100  or the epson 11880, most of those using rolands/mimakis are more concerned with throughput and decent quality, not maximum quality and because they need a printer wider than 60".  I've had Mimakis because I needed an 8 foot wide machine.

Thank you
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enduser
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2011, 06:21:14 PM »
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It seems that American Imaging only make inks for piezo heads, not Canon?
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BannerB
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2011, 10:38:59 PM »
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Canon 8300 - No Question

Do your research of coarse... but...

Cheaper to purchase than epson
Cheaper to run than epson(uses less ink for same output)
More user serviceable parts (no waiting on a tech person)
WAY more 3rd party media support handling.
No INK wasted when switch MK or PK ( even 9900 uses a little ink to switch)

You mentioned high-end canvas as a potential product. There is no way you will be satisfied with an OEM product in that case and therefore, the third part media support should be well enough reason right there.
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Brett Banner
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deanwork
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2011, 10:57:24 PM »
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The Epson 9900 has the most expansive gamut of them all and is very fast. The Canon IPF 8300 is built like a tank and is a wonderful canvas production printer. I would NOT go backward to the earlier Lucia inkset that was a work in progress in the 9100. If you go Canon stick with the new models in my opinion because they are in a totally different class. If you want a really big machine for massive prints the Epson 11880 is still the biggest bang for the buck. I think Roland and Mimaki and simply out of the running these days due to the new offerings by Epson and Cannon at a fraction of the cost. I wonder about even their dye sub printers with Epson entering that market as well.  Roland uses Epson ink and Epson heads. The HPs you are looking at are not in the same realm of gamut except the Z3200 and it is quite a bit slower than the 9900, 11880, and the 8300.

j

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lighthunter
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 02:18:54 AM »
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Aha >>> Huh
For real photos will there will be a noticeable gamuts & IQ different between HP z3200 & Canon 8300  ?
i mean if i print a high qualtiy photo in both printers at the same paper type will the custumer will clearly notice that canon IQ is better than hp ?
i ordered hp z3200 and that because of these reasons
1- there isnt canon support or supplier in my country(thats tha main reason)
2-i heared that hp prints lives longer
3-Build in spectrometer
4-less  ink waste and less colgged heads
5-user maintancable
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abeofRD
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2011, 08:30:34 AM »
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Hello everyone,
Thank you all for the advice you have shared with me, I am leaning towards the Canon IPF 8300 for all the reasons you have mentioned and for the price which I can add a good RIP like the Ergsoft Studioprint.
Any opinions, user experience for this RIP?

Thank you
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abiggs
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2011, 09:47:27 AM »
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I love my 8300, and haven't found a need for a RIP if image quality is all one is after. I would only consider a RIP if you need other features like nesting and layout functionality.

My Z3200 is slower than molasses, and I wouldn't ever put that machine into a production environment. Certain media is a pain on that printer, especially heavier cotton rolls as well as no cutter support for canvas.

My 9900 is a great printer, and I would recommend it if you really need to do a mix of cut sheets as well as rolls. The 9900 has a wonderful cut sheet setup that is tough to beat.
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Andy Biggs
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Africa Photo Safaris | Workshops | Fine Art Prints
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2011, 10:43:15 AM »
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link=topic=59292.msg479662#msg479662 date=1321372047]

My Z3200 is slower than molasses, and I wouldn't ever put that machine into a production environment.

[/quote]

No doubt that it is a slower machine than the 8300 but I wonder if you use the sheet Skew Check Off mode from time to time. From the first time I got the Z3200 there was a problem that if I used that mode the printer would become extremely slow both in that mode and the roll mode. The only way to get faster again was using the normal Skew Check On mode which also makes the roll mode fast again. So I never use the other mode now. I reported it to HP and they replied that it was a bug.

met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst

330+ paper white spectral plots including the Canon US catalog:

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm

« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 02:06:47 PM by Ernst Dinkla » Logged
abiggs
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2011, 10:45:56 AM »
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Very interesting! The print head is just slow, not the feeding mechanism. I also wouldn't consider the Z3200 if you are switching rolls out often, as one needs to move the printer away from the wall to change rolls. Not easy.
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Andy Biggs
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Africa Photo Safaris | Workshops | Fine Art Prints
John Nollendorfs
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2011, 11:20:33 AM »
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Being 6'3", I have no problems loading rolls over the top of the machine! ;-)
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2011, 02:22:50 PM »
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Very interesting! The print head is just slow, not the feeding mechanism. I also wouldn't consider the Z3200 if you are switching rolls out often, as one needs to move the printer away from the wall to change rolls. Not easy.

The bug I mentioned makes everything slow in printing, as if the information comes in drip by drip. I have two Z printers next to one another with the left sides against the wall, the roll loading is no issue then. That said I think the 8300 is the printer to get. I would miss the easy calibration and profiling though. The head prices differ quite a lot too. The nozzle quantity is reflected in the speed and the price so acceptable.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst

330+ paper white spectral plots including the Canon US catalog:

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm





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abiggs
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2011, 02:26:55 PM »
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One thing that I have never been comfortable with on the Z3200 is the lack of linearity in any of my B&W prints. If I print off a gradient, whether in B&W mode or RGB mode, I can never get a nice, smooth linear print. I have tried the internal profiling solution, APS as well as a 1728 patch / iSis / i1 Profiler. Go figure.
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Andy Biggs
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Africa Photo Safaris | Workshops | Fine Art Prints
aaronchan
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« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2011, 08:52:47 PM »
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Hello everyone,
Thank you all for the advice you have shared with me, I am leaning towards the Canon IPF 8300 for all the reasons you have mentioned and for the price which I can add a good RIP like the Ergsoft Studioprint.
Any opinions, user experience for this RIP?

Thank you

I have Ergosoft as well. But I use it for special projects only since Canon drivers are doing extremely good jobs already.
Why bother?!  Cool
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abeofRD
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« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2011, 10:16:34 PM »
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I have Ergosoft as well. But I use it for special projects only since Canon drivers are doing extremely good jobs already.
Why bother?!  Cool

Hi,
How good is the Canon Drivers compared to Studioprint in regard to linearization tools, ink-limit controls, ColorGPS profiling application etc.
Also what kind of special projects?
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2011, 02:08:02 AM »
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One thing that I have never been comfortable with on the Z3200 is the lack of linearity in any of my B&W prints. If I print off a gradient, whether in B&W mode or RGB mode, I can never get a nice, smooth linear print. I have tried the internal profiling solution, APS as well as a 1728 patch / iSis / i1 Profiler. Go figure.

Correct, the reason why I kept the Z3100 that delivers a perfect linear B&W stepwedge. You could correct the Z3200 with a curve (or profile based on the curve) but it will not deliver the same Dmax the Z3100 can achieve. I have written about the issue in my Z3200 review.

John Dean's comments on the excellent B&W gloss qualities of the Canon iPF8300 and the availability of an affordable B&W RIP for it from BowHaus is another good reason to get that printer.



met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst

330+ paper white spectral plots including the Canon US catalog:

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm




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