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Author Topic: Opinions on the epson 9900  (Read 1578 times)
larkis
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« on: January 19, 2013, 01:44:47 PM »
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I currently have a 4800 and a 9800 printer that I want to sell and upgrade to a 9900. What I would like to know from existing users is what the improvements are and if they are worth it. What is the average cost in ink to print a 30x40 and how much money does it cost to switch from matte black to photo black and back again ? At the moment the 9800 drives me nuts in that respect and this is one of the main reasons (among the extra colours) that I'm contemplating the upgrade.

Any tips or insight would be great. Also, what is the chance of epson releasing a newer model this year ? Anyone have a guess ?
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langier
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 03:30:47 PM »
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I'm still running my Epson 4000 and 9800 in addition to my 9900.

My second-hand 9800 was charged with MK and it took a lot of ink to switch over to PK which it still uses today.

With a good profile, PK on matt paper isn't too bad, IMO and to most of my clients.

My rule of thumb is to figure that I'll use 2ml ink per square foot on any of my Epson printers. I came to to figure in printing many prints, figuring out how large the image area and then look up the job info regarding ink consumption for each of the prints. Most of the time, the 9900 uses quite less ink than my rule of thumb, but I prefer to error on the high side. My gut tells me that with cleanings, etc. I should probably add another .5ml per sf to the overhead.

I've switched a few times between PK and MK. I think the spec is perhaps 2-3ml for the change-over, but you'll need to figure a nozzle check and most likely a black ink pair cleaning once it's set. The change-over seems to be in the head and doesn't require the purging of the lines, just the head. Apparently, the pumps on the 9900 handle two channels each, so the change-over will consume not only the PK/MK, but also LK in the process. I think that changing from MK back to PK takes a little less ink.

Your cost per print will depend upon how much ink each will need. If you print high key mostly, it simply takes less ink than the proverbial black cat in the coal bin photo. If you have an idea of your ink consumption in printing your current 30x40 images, simply take that consumption factor and it should be similar to the 9900.

Your cost of ink will also vary depending upon the size of cart you purchase. The 700 ml carts will give you the lowest cost/ml, 150 ml carts, are the highest. However, don't simply buy a bunch of the large carts unless you are printing up a storm. Best is to get the smaller carts so that they don't "spoil" past the use-by dates! The recommendation is to use them within 6 months, but it's not set in stone.

When your carts drop to perhaps 30-40%, it's time to think of getting a replacement color since once they are down to less than 5-10%, you won't be able to do a cleaning. Once the cleaning is complete, simply replace the nearly empty carts and use them until they run out.

The last three Epson prints I've purchase second-hand and there have been few issues with any. The 7600 and 9800 were purchased on a whim and within months each had paid for its purchase and then some. The 9900 I bought for a canvas project since to upgrade the 9800 to the rotary cutter still required me to sit there and manual cut it. The 9900 handles the cutting of canvas automatically and is at least twice as past to print as is my 9800.

With the right images, the 9900 will get you a wider print gamut but the 9800 isn't a sloucher in that department either!

If you are using any cut sheets for printing or need to output cut sheets in quantity, hold on to your 4800. Feeding one sheet at a time in the 9900, especially smaller than 11x17 takes time and a lot of handling.

As to a new printer from Epson, I couldn't care less. I have what I need and hope to simply wear them out. At that time the 9900 will require 4 pall bearers to remove its carcass from my studio, the same number it took to wrestle it down the stairway and into the studio two years ago.

We ran my Epson 2200 into the ground a couple of years ago. Had it since new and after 6,000 prints twice, the tech said it was time to make it a parts donor. It got replaced with the 3880 and that should last another ten or so years.

Get what you need today and run it until you wear it out or can't find the inks any more.
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Larry Angier
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larkis
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2013, 08:18:02 PM »
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Thank you for the info, this is helpful. Is your 2ml figure per ink cartridge (i know not all of them get used up equally) or is it 2ml total of ink usage per square foot ? In other words, in one printing, do you subtract 2ml of ink from 3500ml (10x350ml) or do you subtract 20ml (2ml from each of the 10 colors)?
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hugowolf
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 09:53:29 PM »
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Thank you for the info, this is helpful. Is your 2ml figure per ink cartridge (i know not all of them get used up equally) or is it 2ml total of ink usage per square foot ? In other words, in one printing, do you subtract 2ml of ink from 3500ml (10x350ml) or do you subtract 20ml (2ml from each of the 10 colors)?
Two ml total, not from each cartridge. My prints vary from 1.6 to 2.2 ml per square foot.

Brian A
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larkis
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2013, 10:56:20 PM »
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So a very rough calculation (please let me know if I'm correct) according to those numbers would be as follows: 40x30 inch print = 8.3 square feet. So at 2ml per square foot it takes about 16.6ml of ink to do a print that size. So if I buy the 350ml cartridges, there is 3500ml worth of ink in the printer. So 16.6ml divided by 3500ml= 210.84. So I can do 210 give or take 40x30 prints on one set of inks ? This is also theoretically assuming all the inks are being used up equally in each cartridge.

Please let me know if I'm totally off base with this calculation.
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hugowolf
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 11:04:42 AM »
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So a very rough calculation (please let me know if I'm correct) according to those numbers would be as follows: 40x30 inch print = 8.3 square feet. So at 2ml per square foot it takes about 16.6ml of ink to do a print that size. So if I buy the 350ml cartridges, there is 3500ml worth of ink in the printer. So 16.6ml divided by 3500ml= 210.84. So I can do 210 give or take 40x30 prints on one set of inks ? This is also theoretically assuming all the inks are being used up equally in each cartridge.

Please let me know if I'm totally off base with this calculation.
Yes, you are totally off base with the calculation, but the result is close. If you buy 350 ml cartridges, you have (counting only one of the blacks) 10 x 350 ml of ink = 3,500 ml of ink. If you then divide that by 16.6 ml (not into 16.6 ml), then you get approximately 210 prints at 40 x 30 inches.

Brian A
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 01:24:40 PM »
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This is also theoretically assuming all the inks are being used up equally in each cartridge.

which of course isn't anywhere near what happens.  Once the printer is up and running you won't buy "sets" of ink anymore because the consumption by color varies dramatically.  Most of the inks last long enough you can purchase one when you see the ink is getting low. the blacks are most used, especially LK so they'll change out more often, and it is worth using the larger cartridge even if running the 350s.  Some find they 150's are about right for most colors except the blacks and run the 350's in the blacks..  Just depends on how much you print.

Don't wait too long to buy the spare when you put in a new cartridge, as sometimes when they get low on ink the printer won't let you do a nozzle clean if you need it.  You may need to put a new cartridge in to do the clean the put the other one back in.

Use the ink until the printer stops and tells you to replace the cartridge.  When the printer shows it as "empty" on the panel there is probably still about 10% or so ink left in it, enough for many more prints.  I've never seen an issue with a print when changing the ink mid print.
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langier
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 11:28:27 AM »
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Even with heavy ink coverage, 2 ml/sf total ink from all carts gets me an average maximum ink consumption for figuring my costs and anticipating my needs on larger jobs. I'm certain that each print uses ink from nearly every cart, even b&w from RGB files.

Depending upon the predominant overall colors of your work, you'll need to replace some carts more often than others. The light colors, especially VLMagenta seem to go the fastest for me. MK I seldom use and Orange and Green followed by Cyan seem to last longer.

If you are doing a bunch of b&w, count on replacing those more often.

When I was in the thick of things, I simply bought an extra set of carts at the start of the project and would then buy the individual cart as each was used so I always had a full one ready. That strategy worked well since I've had a couple of carts that were defective and weren't recognized by the printer when they were installed. When that has happened, a call to Epson got me a replacement in a few days.

When you get down to the flashing low ink lights, you'll need a cart with at least 10% left to swap out if you need to do a nozzle cleaning or ink swap. However, once the head is cleaned, you can put the older and nearly empty cart back in and use it until the printer tells you to "feed me".

Since I had the Epson 2200 and ran it until the ink ran out, I've seen no issues in a mid-print cartridge change on any print and that includes having to wait a day for the next cart to be delivered. Once they have dried overnight, I haven't seen any difference. Luckily, that's a rare event now that I've got a few years under my belt with these printers!
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Larry Angier
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 09:35:58 PM »
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When two (or more) cartridges start flashing and the printer wants to do a nozzle check and wont' because there's not enough ink - is there any way to tell which of the cartridges is the culprit? When it's only one, no problem, but I've got four flashing now, two just recently, so I have to swap them all out just to do a cleaning.  Not fun.
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davidh202
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 10:27:17 PM »
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Don't want to hijack the op but...
Yeah that's a pain in the butt.
If your doing a pair clean, you only need to switch whichever cart(s) is (are) too low in the pair. All 4, for all channel clean unfortunately Roll Eyes

David
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 10:33:35 PM by davidh202 » Logged
Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2013, 06:37:37 AM »
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ahhh... didn't think about doing a pair clean... that should help.  Thanks David!
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Bob Smith
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2013, 10:26:41 AM »
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When two (or more) cartridges start flashing and the printer wants to do a nozzle check and wont' because there's not enough ink - is there any way to tell which of the cartridges is the culprit?

Get in the habit of frequently checking the actual level of "low" carts via the printer status menu on the printer itself.  They start flashing low at something like 8 percent.  But you don't have to actually swap them for a clean until something like 2 percent.  You'll notice that once they hit 1 percent, you can print and print and print before the thing finally registers as empty.  That last 1 percent lasts waaaaaay longer than any of the steps leading up to it.
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