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Author Topic: 4900 or ???  (Read 2657 times)
Dan Wells
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« on: February 18, 2012, 06:46:57 PM »
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Hello all-
      I've been printing wide-format (Canon and older Epson) for years, but I'm now in a situation where I'll need to move a few times in the next several years (maybe twice a year). Anything larger than a 17" printer becomes a massive pain to move with, so an iPF6300 or an Epson 7900 are out. I'm used to roll paper, and like to print 16x24 (thereby 17x22 sheets are a pain). The only truly modern 17" printer I seem to be seeing on the market is the Epson 4900 (the 3880 is a last-generation inkset and heads, and lacks roll feed, and the iPF 5100 is similarly last generation, although with a good roll feed).
    I'm a little worried by all the x900 clogging posts, although I live in a more humid part of the country. I print fine-art landscape, for myself and for some gallery sales... Volume is certainly low by print shop standards (although probably not unusual for an artist/teacher)!
    I like the 4900's tray and paper handling, because I'm assuming that I can use it as a "convenience" printer for word processing documents and the like in addition to its primary role as a photo printer. Without the automatic path switching, that would be an unbelievable pain...
     What else should I look at (if anything)? Is there likely to be some printer coming out that will meet my needs for a serious art printer with roll feed that is relatively movable by car??

                      -Dan



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Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 06:59:33 PM »
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I'm a little worried by all the x900 clogging posts, although I live in a more humid part of the country.

I would not be worried...forum posters tend to be looking for solutions to problems so the number of negative posts far outstrip positive posts. Yes, there's still a chance you might get a "lemon", but the odds are against that. And the odds are if you DO get a lemon, it'll be a lemon out of the box. Not something that develops over time.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 07:11:08 PM »
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To add to that - Epson is first-rate at looking after warranty issues for new printers. I don't think there is anything else out there that is both 17 inch and roll with the latest technology. It makes gorgeous prints and works well. It should be fired-up and used for at least a couple of prints every several days just to minimize the need for cleanings, but I've left mine off for three weeks recently, and sure there were gaps in the nozzle check pattern when I first started it up after that absence. One cleaning brought it right back just fine, and it was not an "extensive" cleaning.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 07:14:05 PM »
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Oh - but I forgot to add - you are moving around a lot: beware: this is not "cabin baggage". It's built like a tank. Bulky and it weighs over a hundred pounds. It has stretched the concept of desk-top probably to the max. Two people who can manage bulk and weight would need to get it from point A to point B without risking personal injury.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 07:41:14 PM »
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Size and weight wise, how much worse is it than a 4800 (I know it's MUCH bigger than a 3800)? Is it worse than an iPF5000 (which is substantially larger than an Epson 4800)? As I remember, the iPF5000 is also right around 100 lbs... I'd consider a 17" iPF about the limit of what I'd want to transport in a car a couple of times per year (which is why i've ruled out the iPF6300). Remember that I'm not moving every couple of months - it's just that I may make 1-2 moves per year over the next two years or so...
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 07:45:14 PM »
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Moving-wise it's worse than a 4800. Two people from the house to the car and back. Trust me - been there done that. Even if you train at the gym a few days a week :-)
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 07:57:26 PM »
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Sounds like an iPF5000 - never met anyone who'd heft one of those alone, but it still fits in the back of a station wagon with plenty of room to spare (NOT in the box, which could double as a stable...)
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 08:01:49 PM »
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It'll fit into the back of a Toyota Sienna in its box minus the palette it comes shipped on. But you won't get much else in. And you won't want to keep that box hanging around once you unpack the printer. Check out how it filled one of our bathtubs in my review of the 4900 on this website. It will transport OK wrapped in a blanket when you need to move it. 
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 08:53:02 PM »
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I have moved a 4900 by myself, but I highly recommend against doing so (it's dangerous to you and the printer).
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Schewe
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2012, 10:02:29 PM »
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I have moved a 4900 by myself, but I highly recommend against doing so (it's dangerous to you and the printer).

I lifted my 4900 from the floor up to a stand myself...didn't break anything on the printer nor myself but it's not something I would want to do a lot of...not I didn't actually carry it anywhere, just a dead lift on to the table.
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2012, 10:33:59 PM »
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Is there anything dangerous to the PRINTER about moving these (I can easily get a friend to help me a couple times a year, and I'm smart enough to make sure it's fully shut off with the heads parked and the belt stopper in place before yanking the power)? I'm assuming that 17-inchers are designed to be moved with reasonable care (I'm talking about back seat or trunk of a car (wrapped in a blanket, as Mark suggested, not flying or loose in a truck)? I know that there are horror stories about ink spills when moving larger printers, even after preparing them correctly (it's actually happened to me), which is one reason I'm looking at a 17-incher instead of anything bigger... Epson doesn't make it sound especially hard - just get two people to lift it and keep it level in the car. They don't even say to take the ink out or install dummy cartridges.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!
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Schewe
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2012, 10:58:55 PM »
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Is there anything dangerous to the PRINTER about moving these (I can easily get a friend to help me a couple times a year, and I'm smart enough to make sure it's fully shut off with the heads parked and the belt stopper in place before yanking the power)?

As long as you lock the head so it can't move...no problem moving it. However, depending on HOW you move it, there are implications. If moving by ground, no problem...if by air then it's a different set of problems. The change in altitude can have an impact on the carts and lines.
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2012, 11:20:00 PM »
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Can someone with a 4900 handy confirm whether or not the roll holder comes off (for transport only). I'm concerned about getting it through doors and up and down stairs without tipping it if it's 30x34" with everything removable removed... I know Epson says it's 30x34, and the 34" dimension is fixed, but if the 30" includes removable bits like trays and roll holders, that means that the dimension that has to pass through the door is more like 24" or less (much easier). I know the roll holder came off the 4800 with only two screws and a cable (and the printer was only 18"deep once you removed the tray and the roll holder, although it was closer to 30" when you actually had it set up to print. The same was true of the iPF 5000 - once all the removable bits were off, the transport dimensions were about 20x36". From the pictures, it looks like both the roll holder and the tray are removable, and the printer without them is something like 20 or 22 x 34" for the purposes of fitting through doors.

                                              -dan
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2012, 11:21:41 PM »
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I'd never fly with a big printer, because the excess baggage fees are probably the price of the printer...
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JRSmit
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 03:00:38 AM »
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Can only but agree fullhartedly with Jeff and Mark. I have a 4900 and use it sometimes only every other week. Had clogging once, in a period of frost here in the netherlands thus quite dry air in the house (about 30%), which could also be a coincidence. Simple clog cleaning solved it. I use roll and sheet. I am very happy with the 4900.
Moving it up and down stairs and into cars, hmmm, it is a heavy printer, will need two persons to move it like that. Mine is on the first floor, i lifted it out of a small van and up the stairs together with the person from the vendor, and that went well. It has sort of indents in the sides at the bottom, specifically for lifting.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 07:44:20 AM »
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Can someone with a 4900 handy confirm whether or not the roll holder comes off (for transport only). ................ From the pictures, it looks like both the roll holder and the tray are removable, and the printer without them is something like 20 or 22 x 34" for the purposes of fitting through doors.


Hi Dan, the roll holder is fixed - not meant to be user detachable and not shipped by Epson with it detached. It does add to the height and length of the printer. Out of the box, the total length of the printer is 31 inches from the outermost point of the roll holder to the front of the printer. The height from the top of the roll holder to the desk is about 15.5 inches. The width is about 35 inches. Taking out the front tray has no impact on these measurements. For ground transport, only  transport it sitting in its normal up-right position, and it would also be good if it weren't jiggled-up too much, though obviously it can withstand normal vibration from a car moving on a reasonably smooth surface.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2012, 11:16:47 AM »
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Sounds to me like a 3880 would be the way to go and live without the roll attachment. The 3880 is much more moveable and despite it being the "last generation ink set" there is not as much difference as one might think between it and a 4900.
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tsjanik
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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 11:26:40 AM »
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Is there anything dangerous to the PRINTER about moving these (I can easily get a friend to help me a couple times a year, and I'm smart enough to make sure it's fully shut off with the heads parked and the belt stopper in place before yanking the power)? I'm assuming that 17-inchers are designed to be moved with reasonable care (I'm talking about back seat or trunk of a car (wrapped in a blanket, as Mark suggested, not flying or loose in a truck)? I know that there are horror stories about ink spills when moving larger printers, even after preparing them correctly (it's actually happened to me), which is one reason I'm looking at a 17-incher instead of anything bigger... Epson doesn't make it sound especially hard - just get two people to lift it and keep it level in the car. They don't even say to take the ink out or install dummy cartridges.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

FYI: Epson shipped my replacement  4900 by air freight and it was fully charged with ink .  It works fine (after a noozle clean  Cheesy ).  So I wouldn't be concerned about ground transport and although it is heavy, it's not that difficult for two people to move (mine had to go up stairs).
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2012, 02:39:36 PM »
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How does it go through a normal-width door with the roll holder on? I don't think most doors are 31 inches wide (some are 26", others 30"... Can it withstand enough tipping (loaded with ink) to get it through a 26" door without spilling ink?
    I'm really not interested in the 3880 - expensive sheet paper (tough to print 16x24 - 17x25 sheets are both very expensive and hard to find), last-generation inks and heads and it's only about $200 cheaper than the best deal I can find on the 4900 with rebates (plus the ink is nearly twice as expensive as the 4990's per ml).
    I'll measure some doors, and if the 4900 is too big to fit, I'll just go with some 13" printer for much less money until I am settled enough for a 24" model.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2012, 03:00:38 PM »
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Our house has standard doors - the entrance to my studio/office is 28 inches without removing the door. So yes, we did have to tip the printer to get it through. I have no idea whether this would cause any ink spillage, because when I needed to do this it wasn't loaded. However, with the cartridges in, I believe it is a reasonably sealed system. But I say this hypothetically and I do not recommend you proceed on this notion alone. I would advise that you call Epson professional imaging presales, tell them how you would need to move the printer filled with ink and ask them for a firm technical view of this matter.
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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
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