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Author Topic: Epson 3000 vs. 3880? Help me decide  (Read 8931 times)
ZoranC
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« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2012, 09:59:19 PM »
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I have run ink cartridges in my 3800 for considerably longer than 6 months; for considerably longer than a year actually. It is wise however, to agitate them periodically to keep the pigment in suspension.
Thank you! What's the agitation procedure that you are recommending?
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2012, 02:32:59 AM »
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You are forgetting that you are paying only 60% of the the ink cost on the 3880, so even if you have to throw away 40% of the 3880 ink, your cost per print has been the same.  Not to mention that you can print with Ultrachrome inks for at least 2 years in the 3000 (personal experience).

Interesting. What I counted is that near 500 square feet produced the price per square feet would be the same. It is above that number that things change and the 3880 becomes cheaper, below that number the 3000 is cheaper. Throwing away 40% of the ink does not make the 3880 purchase a better choice, below and above that volume printed. A company would estimate the expected economic lifetime of a printer and the volume produced during that period and base a print price on that. In that case I would set 3 to 4 years as the lifetime. If more than 500 square feet is produced per year, more than 1500 to 2000 during the lifetime than the 3880 is certainly the better choice. If it will not be more than 750 to 1000 then I would think of the 3000. If your 3000 is really 2 years old and there are carts in that printer as old, you made at least the right printer choice :-) it would have been worse with a 3880.

Both the 3000 and the 3880 lens are more or less using an OEM CIS internally, carts separated from the head. Larger carts both than models that carry the carts on the head. The economy of a printer changes a lot if one considers refilling carts with the ink from carts of the larger models and filling 26-80 ML carts is less a hassle than the much smaller carts. With more courage you could even short circuit to the internal tubes of the printer from the larger carts. Something I have done on more than one printer. Prices per ML drop to 20-25 Eurocents ex VAT a ML depending on the wide format cart size. You are still using the Epson factory ink. Avoid that route if the volume is as low as 500 square feet a year, ink will stay too long in the system. If that route would be interesting then also consider the 4900 + larger carts, no DIY skills required.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst
Dinkla Gallery Canvas Wrap Actions for Photoshop
http://www.pigment-print.com/dinklacanvaswraps/index.html
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kikashi
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« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2012, 02:36:35 AM »
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I have run ink cartridges in my 3800 for considerably longer than 6 months; for considerably longer than a year actually. It is wise however, to agitate them periodically to keep the pigment in suspension.

Terry.
My findings exactly.

Jeremy
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kikashi
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« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2012, 02:38:04 AM »
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Thank you! What's the agitation procedure that you are recommending?
I take each cartridge out of the printer, oscillate it gently for a few seconds, then put it back. It takes less than two minutes in all. I do it every month or two.

Jeremy
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2012, 03:24:42 AM »
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What attracts me to 3000 is that I will be getting 220dpi out of my 12MP files with it, vs 180 with 3880

where are you coming up with those numbers?  a 12 mp file is @3k x 4k pixels in dimension.  If you print that to an 8x10 print, you will be at 400dpi. If you print it at 16x20, you'll be at 200dpi.  it's the size of the image vs. the output size that determines this.  (internally the printers are working at 360/720 dpi ... both the same so it's a lot more complicated than that. Maybe you're seeing that 180 is the nozzle density in the head, (but that's the same for both printers), so that's how many drops it can spit out at a time, but that's why the printer can't print a 1" wide strip on each pass.  If printing at max resolution (which vertically is 1440) the printer will pass over each inch 8 times.

So the question is whether the smaller dots, which you probably only get by forcing the 3000 to its highest resolution of 5670x1440 (using the smaller dots at the other resolutions probably won't get enough ink on the paper) would result in a real world visual difference, and I concur with Phil, I've seen both (and sell both models) and unless you use a loupe you won't be able to tell which print came from which printer (and even then probably only if you know what you are looking for and have a high powered loupe).

Several good  points I've seen mentioned (from my perspective both as an experienced user and a dealer).  Build quality .. the 3880 is a workhorse, solid and designed for serious use. It rarely clogs .. probably the best printer epson has ever made and maybe the best printer anyone has ever made (imho). The 3000 is a good printer but not in the same category.  The difference in ink costs is substantial, but as ernst mentioned, if you don't print a lot that's not helpful.  You can use the ink cartridges far longer than epson recommends without any issues, removing them and gently agitating them as Jeremy mentioned.  I recommend turning the cartridge upside down before oscillating it gently and then setting it down that way for a few minutes.. You can do 3 or 4 at a time, just hold them together as a group.  Do not shake.  Something to do every 6 to 8 weeks ... don't need to do it a lot.

Finally, the 3000 is a 13" wide printer, the 3880 is a 17" wide printer ... personally this alone sways most of those I sell too, unless they just don't have the budget and really don't print a lot.  Ok by me because most of them are bringing in stuff for me to print on my 3880 within a month or two.

(i guess the 3000 does do something the 3880 doesn't do .. DVD/CD's, if you need that.  That's the only reason I have one setup in my store).

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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2012, 07:19:37 AM »
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Build quality .. the 3880 is a workhorse, solid and designed for serious use. It rarely clogs .. probably the best printer epson has ever made and maybe the best printer anyone has ever made (imho). The 3000 is a good printer but not in the same category.  The difference in ink costs is substantial, but as ernst mentioned, if you don't print a lot that's not helpful.  You can use the ink cartridges far longer than epson recommends without any issues, removing them and gently agitating them as Jeremy mentioned.  I recommend turning the cartridge upside down before oscillating it gently and then setting it down that way for a few minutes.. You can do 3 or 4 at a time, just hold them together as a group.  Do not shake.  Something to do every 6 to 8 weeks ... don't need to do it a lot.
+1 on this.  I started out with a 2880 and quickly found out that my printing needs were too high for this printer and its small cartridges.  I bought a 3880 about 15 months later and the difference in build quality between the two was clearly evident.  I've had this printer for just short of two years now and have gone through one complete set of ink cartridges and have NEVER had a clog (in fact I sometimes forget to do a routine nozzle check since it has been clog free).  I've used some of the cartridges for almost a year after opening and have visually seen no difference in the color rendition on prints (I probably should do a spectro check of patches to study the longevity of the inks after opening in more detail).  Agree with Wayne on the timing and approach to agitating the cartridges.  If you have the funds, this is the printer to purchase.
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Ronny Nilsen
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« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2012, 02:29:57 PM »
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How old is the 3880 now? Is it due for being replaced by a new model soon?

A local store is having a sale on the 3880 where they include software called  Mirage 1.6. Does anybody have any experience with this software?

Ronny
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Farmer
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« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2012, 02:45:03 PM »
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http://mirage.dinax.de/

It's very good.  I've tested it a reasonable amount.  It's a mini-RIP, if you like.  Great for nesting and other placement related functions for printing.  There are also very nice canvas wrap functions (auto mirroring at edges etc).  All in all, slick product with good results.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2012, 02:46:40 PM »
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Ronny,

I think the 3880 is just a little over 2 years old.  I bought mine in early 2010 and it had only been on the market for three months or so.  Other than moving to the additional ink set of the 4900 (Ultrachrome HDR) it is difficult to see why Epson will phase this out (they are still marketing the 4880 which has roll paper capability and the same ink set despite putting the 4900 on the market).  There is a current rebate on the 3880 in the US but this is nothing new; rebates appear from time to time.  Were Epson to add the two new inks and create a 3900, one would assume the cost would be higher but the question is whether the they would keep the 3880 size or need to increase the width to accommodate two extra cartridges.  Just for comparison here are the widths in inches for the three printers:  3880 - 27"; 4880 - 30"; 4900 - 33"

Alan
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2012, 03:51:59 PM »
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Yeah, I don't see Epson putting the HDR inks into the 38xx chassis, but then I was surprised they pulled it off with the 4900.  I'm just not sure the intended market for that printer really needs the orange/green inks, the head would get large so an entire new printer (like the 48-4900) change, the expanded gamut isn't significant for most photographic application.

I suppose Epson could be working on improvements in the current K3VM ink set other than just adding a couple of colors which may require printer upgrades.  But K3 inks are outstanding right now .. not sure there is much to be gained so we might not see anything for quite some time.  Even if they did, they would roll the changes out to the entire printer line right away .. it might be a while before it migrated to the 38xx chassis much like it took a while for vivid magenta in the 3880.

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MHMG
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« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2012, 05:55:21 PM »
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I suppose Epson could be working on improvements in the current K3VM ink set other than just adding a couple of colors which may require printer upgrades.  But K3 inks are outstanding right now .. not sure there is much to be gained so we might not see anything for quite some time.  Even if they did, they would roll the changes out to the entire printer line right away .. it might be a while before it migrated to the 38xx chassis much like it took a while for vivid magenta in the 3880.


A boost in Epson's yellow ink lightfastness could bring Epson to parity with Canon and perhaps even HP, so it wouldn't surprise me if Epson chemists are working on further durability improvements even though many customers no doubt already think the print permanence issues have been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.  With the HDR ink set, as the orange and green inks are substituted for yellow ink (e.g.,in skin tones, greens, reds, and cyan/blue-greens, an increase in the light fade resistance for those blended colors is already measurable because yellow is the weakest link. While the improvement isn't huge and only places the HDR ink set modestly above the K3VM in overall lightfastness, it's real. For me, it would be enough to purchase a 4900 over the 3880 if I was going to be doing a lot of portraiture where better skin tone color retention over time is a desirable trait.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 06:08:24 PM by MHMG » Logged
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