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Author Topic: Epson 3000 vs. 3880? Help me decide  (Read 8554 times)
ZoranC
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« on: January 10, 2012, 07:16:00 PM »
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I am looking at purchasing the printer and I have narrowed down the choices to Epson 3000 and 3880.

What attracts me to 3880 is bigger prints.

What attracts me to 3000 is that I will be getting 220dpi out of my 12MP files with it, vs 180 with 3880, and that it has 2 picoliter drops vs 3.5 for 3880, which implies better print quality out of 3000 when looked up close, especially when it comes to skin gradations.

But at same time I keep wondering whether one could perceive any difference when 13x19 220dpi print with 2 picoliter 3000 and 17x22 180dpi print with 3.5 picoliter 3880 are looked at from their respective regular viewing distances?

And how much of perceptible difference would be between 13x19 220dpi print with 2 picoliter 3000 and 13x19 220dpi print with 3.5 picoliter 3880 are looked at from same viewing distance that is regular for 13x19 print?

Please advise.
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rmyers
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 07:43:42 PM »
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A little ink math to consider if you haven't already.


R3000 ships with 9 ink cartridges @ 25.9 ml each for a total of 233.1 ml of ink.  Replacement ink cartridge = $31.99 at one on line retailer.  Ink = $1.24 per ml.

3880 ships with 9 ink cartridges @ 80 ml each for a total of 720 ml of ink.  Replacement cart = $59.95 at same retailer.  Ink = $0.75 per ml.

If you deduct the 233.1 that the R3000 ships with from the 720 the 3880 ships with, you get 486.9 more ml of ink in the 3880.  If you use the 3000 price of $1.24, that = $603.76 more ink shipping with the 3880 that you were eventually going to use in the R3000.

There is approx $230.00 difference in the printers at the same on line retailer.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 07:45:32 PM by rmyers » Logged
AFairley
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 07:52:25 PM »
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A little ink math to consider if you haven't already.


R3000 ships with 9 ink cartridges @ 25.9 ml each for a total of 233.1 ml of ink.  Replacement ink cartridge = $31.99 at one on line retailer.  Ink = $1.24 per ml.

3880 ships with 9 ink cartridges @ 80 ml each for a total of 720 ml of ink.  Replacement cart = $59.95 at same retailer.  Ink = $0.75 per ml.

If you deduct the 233.1 that the R3000 ships with from the 720 the 3880 ships with, you get 486.9 more ml of ink in the 3880.  If you use the 3000 price of $1.24, that = $603.76 more ink shipping with the 3880 that you were eventually going to use in the R3000.

There is approx $230.00 difference in the printers at the same on line retailer.



Looking at B&H, he 3000 after rebate, deducting the value of the ink that ships with it, costs $345.  The 3880 after rebate, deducting the ink value, costs $420.  So you are paying $75 more to get a printer that will print larger and whose ink costs about 60% of the 3000's.  The only thing you are giving up by going to the 3880 is the ability to print on roll paper.  the 3880 would be a no brainer to me.
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ZoranC
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 08:11:19 PM »
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A little ink math to consider if you haven't already.
Thank you, yes I did consider it, I am focusing this topic mainly on perceptions of output quality.
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ZoranC
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 08:12:36 PM »
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Looking at B&H, he 3000 after rebate, deducting the value of the ink that ships with it, costs $345. ...
Thank you, what about questions on output quality I asked, please?
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rmyers
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 08:16:32 PM »
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I haven't seen a print from a 3000 to compare to a 3880, so I can't help you there.  You might be able to order sample prints from Epson if  you can't find someone that has a 3000.
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Farmer
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 10:18:40 PM »
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You won't see any improvement on the R3000 compared to the R3880.  The minimum droplet size is not the deciding factor in output quality.  The Epson's use variable droplet technology so depending on your print mode it will use different droplet sizes (or combinations).

Both will produce excellent results.
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ZoranC
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 11:58:58 PM »
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You won't see any improvement on the R3000 compared to the R3880.  The minimum droplet size is not the deciding factor in output quality.  The Epson's use variable droplet technology so depending on your print mode it will use different droplet sizes (or combinations).

Both will produce excellent results.
Thank you!
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2012, 02:58:04 AM »
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You won't see any improvement on the R3000 compared to the R3880.  The minimum droplet size is not the deciding factor in output quality.  The Epson's use variable droplet technology so depending on your print mode it will use different droplet sizes (or combinations).

Both will produce excellent results.

Makes me wonder then why Epson desktop models use 2 picoliter droplets as a minimum droplet size and other desktop models go as low as 1.5 picoliter. The variable droplet size exists for all models, some have 3  droplet sizes, some 5. The 3880 has a minimum droplet size of 3.5 picoliter. My line of thought has been that the wider formats have larger droplets to keep enough speed at the sizes they print and the larger droplet will be less visible on those sizes considering the viewing distance. The distance between nozzle and substrate can be increased with larger droplets as they will keep their course better so media that can not be kept flat over wider areas, like in wide format printers, will benefit. All compromises in view of the sizes printed. The definition/addressing (shape/placing) of the dot laid down with a pro head could be better and compensate the droplet size difference somewhat but that is all. The custom quad ink developers take the droplet size into account, where they see 4 to 7 different ink grades as good for wide formats (3.5 picoliter), the desktop models can do with 2 to 4 grades.

On the economy of the R3000 versus 3880, much depends on what volume is printed in a year. Roughly 1.5 ML ink counting per square foot.  The 3880's 720 ML ink translates to 480 square feet of print in best case. The R3000's 234 ML to 156 square feet. Not counting the length of the printers ink tubes that have to be filled (must be about 30% more to fill on the 3880) and not counting the gloss/matte black ink switch cycles on both. Price difference of $ 580 between the R3880 and R3000 buys you about
470 ML R3000 ink carts which should translate to 314 extra square feet printed. All BHphoto Jan 2012 prices. If you print less than 500 square feet in two years then the R3000 is the better choice, not counting other factors. If you print more than 500 square feet in one year take the 3880. Between those numbers it is harder to decide.

met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst
330+ paper white spectral plots:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
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Farmer
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 03:39:29 AM »
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The models that dropped down to 1.5 picoliters (such as the R1800 etc) didn't have 3 blacks.  The availability of such a small dot size is an alternate solution to K3.

Under a loupe, you may see some benefit of the smaller minimum drop size, but in actual practice, having held prints from the two together, there is no practical difference.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2012, 06:45:59 AM »
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The models that dropped down to 1.5 picoliters (such as the R1800 etc) didn't have 3 blacks.  The availability of such a small dot size is an alternate solution to K3.

Under a loupe, you may see some benefit of the smaller minimum drop size, but in actual practice, having held prints from the two together, there is no practical difference.

There are differences. Gradations benefit of smaller droplets>dots so you can use less black-grey inks and use the extra head channels for extra hues like in the R1900. Or just deliver a cheaper printer with less channels like the Claria models. But we compared the R3000 that has a 2 picoliter minimum droplet size and the R3880 that has a 3.5 picoliter minimum droplet size. Almost half the size and in practice that is quite analogue to the dot size on the paper. Both have variable droplet sizes above that minimum but at their highest resolution setting both will use their respective minimum droplet sizes. Both have the same inkset, 9 channels, 8 in use per media preset. What could be the reason for Epson to use 2 picoliter droplets in the R3000 if 3.5 would have been as good? It sacrifices speed for image quality and that is a good choice when smaller prints will be made. What I recall of Epson technology for dry minilabs, Noritsu/Fuji, is 1.5 picoliter + 4 droplet sizes above that, CMYK dye. If there is a photo printing market that asks for speed  it is in that sector. But they went for 1.5 picoliter droplets so the 4x6"s can compete with analogue output in image quality.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst
330+ paper white spectral plots:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
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John R Smith
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2012, 11:31:34 AM »
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Ernst is spot-on, as usual.

The smaller the print, the bigger the advantage the R3000 will have. Which is why I may well purchase one.

John
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Light Seeker
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2012, 12:20:46 PM »
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Something else worth considering is that Epson positions and treats the 3880 as a "pro" printer. A few years ago I went from a 2200 to the 3800, which is (roughly) representative of the two models you're considering. I found the 3800 to be in a different class in terms of design, build and handling. It was more "elegant", for want of a better term. It would be like comparing a consumer level SLR to a pro or semi-pro SLR. Both will take great pictures, but the pro body is more responsive and pleasant to work with, and more resilient in harsher environments.

Terry.

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Farmer
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2012, 03:05:05 PM »
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Again, this is all technically correct, but having held prints from both printers next to each other there is no practical difference.  I would not make the decision as to whether to purchase an R3000 or a Pro 3880 based on expectation of output quality.  All other factors will be more useful in distinguishing between the two products to determine which is the best solution for a given user.
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ZoranC
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2012, 05:28:31 PM »
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Thank you all!
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bjanes
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2012, 05:51:31 PM »
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A little ink math to consider if you haven't already.


R3000 ships with 9 ink cartridges @ 25.9 ml each for a total of 233.1 ml of ink.  Replacement ink cartridge = $31.99 at one on line retailer.  Ink = $1.24 per ml.

3880 ships with 9 ink cartridges @ 80 ml each for a total of 720 ml of ink.  Replacement cart = $59.95 at same retailer.  Ink = $0.75 per ml.

If you deduct the 233.1 that the R3000 ships with from the 720 the 3880 ships with, you get 486.9 more ml of ink in the 3880.  If you use the 3000 price of $1.24, that = $603.76 more ink shipping with the 3880 that you were eventually going to use in the R3000.

There is approx $230.00 difference in the printers at the same on line retailer.

Whether or not the larger ink cartridges of the 3880 would be economically advantageous depends on your printing volume. Epson says the life of the cartridges in the printer is 6 months, although I've read of users experiencing no problems after 1 year or more. I went with the 3880, but don't know if my print volume will be enough to use up the cartridges before they out date.

Regards,

Bill
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ZoranC
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« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2012, 06:03:03 PM »
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Whether or not the larger ink cartridges of the 3880 would be economically advantageous depends on your printing volume. Epson says the life of the cartridges in the printer is 6 months, although I've read of users experiencing no problems after 1 year or more. I went with the 3880, but don't know if my print volume will be enough to use up the cartridges before they out date.
Thank you Bill, I have been taking this into consideration as I am feeling that my volume in first year would be such that I would be throwing away ink in 3880, and I have no way of guessing whether business would take off and that would change in second year. If it doesn't then 3880 would be a burden.
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Light Seeker
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« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2012, 06:49:25 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.

Terry.
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AFairley
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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2012, 07:45:57 PM »
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Thank you Bill, I have been taking this into consideration as I am feeling that my volume in first year would be such that I would be throwing away ink in 3880, and I have no way of guessing whether business would take off and that would change in second year. If it doesn't then 3880 would be a burden.

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).
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ZoranC
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« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2012, 09:58:17 PM »
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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.
Wouldn't it be better (for printer) to use up all the ink rather than risk a chance of dried out ink clogging things up?

Not to mention that you can print with Ultrachrome inks for at least 2 years in the 3000 (personal experience).
I thought R3000 is not even a year old?
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