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Author Topic: What printer to start with? A little help needed.  (Read 3489 times)
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2012, 10:19:49 AM »
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John,

Don't forget to think about the cost per ml. If you will be printing a lot then the 4900 might be the right pick. Cost per ml for the 4900 is about 44cents a ml and 63cents a ml on the 3880. While the initial cost may be a little bit higher the savings long term will be worth it.

This may be a consideration, but not necessarily. I've provided on this website previously a method for determining how much throughput of paper is necessary to recover the additional capital cost with savings in ink. There are two caveats however: (1) differences in amounts of ink used for cleanings between the two models (on average we don't know), and (2) depending on what paper you use, the cost of paper may be a much more important variable in overall cost profile than the relative savings in ink, so perhaps the latter is a second order issue.
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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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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2012, 11:40:22 AM »
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On ink saving again you should look at the savings through a RIP, it has intelligence to add black where normally where ink droplets of each colour is used in a driver. this can give substantial ink savings and it's money you don't need to spend. If you print a lot the saving on ink soon pays for using a RIP.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2012, 12:19:09 PM »
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On ink saving again you should look at the savings through a RIP, it has intelligence to add black where normally where ink droplets of each colour is used in a driver. this can give substantial ink savings and it's money you don't need to spend. If you print a lot the saving on ink soon pays for using a RIP.
curious as to your source.  On an Epson printer, the majority of ink going on the paper is black, even in areas of color.  LK is probably the most used ink, followed by LLK.  Only when  colors are extremely saturated will other colors be used more.  What you described is pretty standard ... I don't know how you would use just the colored inks instead.

 I would be surprised if a RIP can add any magic to this that would result in substantial ink reduction.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2012, 12:21:50 PM »
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Even if it did, depending on the cost of the RIP it could take years for the investment to pay off in terms of ink saving.
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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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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2012, 12:28:06 PM »
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I've not had very satifactory results with the Ilford profile for Gold Fibre Silk.
I also have my own profile for GFS, but I think the factory profile will improve greatly in the very near future.  I spoke at length to my MAC group rep who distributes the paper in the US, and as I mentioned, all of the Galarie papers are being repackaged and re-profiled, and the profiles are being made by x-Rite.  I would assume being the industry leader in color management they would do everything they can to make sure their profiles are exceptional.

I just think buying a RIP for the "advantage" of the profiles really isn't a major factor. Even if you choose a paper which doesn't have a good factory profile, having a custom one made isn't that expensive.

I just don't see any advantage to a RIP for the majority of users, especially someone like the OP who is just getting into printing.  Better off using the money for something else ... such as Camera to Print and Screen videos or other training.


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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2012, 12:33:07 PM »
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When they publish their new profile for GFS/4900 I shall of course be interested to test it and see what it does - only costs a sheet of paper and a bit of ink. You're right, they have an interest in making it good, but so did Ilford for the current profiles. Sometimes what we think should logically be the case doesn't quite work out that way in practice. Maybe this time.
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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
mfryd
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« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2012, 07:53:27 PM »
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Epson's printer driver limits page length on the 3880 to about 37".  Some third party drivers (including some software RIPs) bypass this  limitation.  Hence the suggestion to get RIP software in order to print panoramas.

The 3880 hardware is not designed to handle long sheets.  If you are printing on long sheets you need to pay attention to proper paper feeding of the sheet into and out of the printer.  If the long sheet was cut from a roll, you need to remove the curl from the sheet.  The 3880 was not designed for curly paper.

The 4880 and 4900 are designed for roll paper, and do not have these issues.

On the other hand, the 4880 and 4900 have a minimum paper size of 8x10 inches.  If you want to print on smaller cut sheets (5x7, 4x6) the 4880 or 4900 may not be good choices.

I like that I can put a stack of paper (including odd sizes like greeting cards, or 4x6 proofs) and let my 3880 print away without me having to babysit it. 


Summary:

The 3880 and the 4880 have identical print quality.  The 4900 offers slightly better gamut.

Ink for the 4xxx printers cost less than ink for the 3880.

The 3880 is a great cut sheet printer for sizes from 3.5 x5 up to 17 by 25 (note: Epson's driver supports borderless on 17x22, but not on 17x25).  Epson's design limit for the 3880 is about 17 by 37".

You can get a 3880 to print on paper longer than 37", but this is not something the printer is particularly good at.

The 4xxx series printers can print on cut sheets larger than 8x10, and very long prints on rolls.  The minimum paper width is 8".
I may be wrong, but my understanding is that the 4xxx series will not print borderless on cut sheets.  If you want borderless prints you must use roll paper.


The 4xxx series printers are much larger than the 3880 printer.


Both are good printers.  Pick the one that is a better match for your needs.


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johnbirch
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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2012, 09:14:02 PM »
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Thanks for all the advice, much more than I expected!

I purchased a 4900, and am really excited to start printing.

Jeff
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