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Author Topic: Printing B&W FineArt  (Read 1808 times)
Michael Hoth
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« on: October 03, 2013, 03:00:54 PM »
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Hello,

Im new to digital printing. I used to print in my (wet) darkroom using Ilford papers.
I want to start with digital printing.
Most of my work is B&W FineArt;  Sometimes also color.
So, Im looking for a printer especially for B&W.

Can you suggest me the Epson 3880 or the 4900?

Which would you recommend me?

Best Michael


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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 06:34:15 PM »
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I would go for the 3880. Points for it:
     It is physically small enough for one person to move it if necessary, unlike the 4900.
     To judge from many comments here and elsewhere on the Web, the 38xx printers are extremely reliable, while the 4900 seems to have more problems.
     3880 only takes sheets, not rolls, and sheets are easier to keep flat.
     I think print quality is probably indistinguishable between the two.

Points for the 4900:
     It can make bigger prints than the 3880 (if you need them).
     It can take rolls of paper, saving some money on materials.

I have a 3800 which has done beautifully for me for four and a half years, and when it dies I will replace it with the 3880 or its successor.

Good luck!
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Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 07:56:34 PM »
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Can you suggest me the Epson 3880 or the 4900?

Which would you recommend me?

I would go to opposite of Eric, and get the Epson 4900.

It is more robust, with a better quality build.  It has vacuum assisted paper transport, which all but eliminates paper misfeeds.  It uses roll paper, it has a wider color gamut, it uses significantly less expensive ink cartridges.

I personally have an Epson 4880, purchased before the 4900 was available, and an Epson 7890.  To be honest, for what you have described looking at a 7890 is a good idea if you can deal with the initial cost and the space problems.

My experience with these printers is that a 24 in carriage is very very nice.  I like 16x20 canvas wraps, and the 17" printers are not wide enough.  I very much prefer using roll paper and larger  ink carts.  The vacuum assiisted paper transport is something I cannot live without.

The biggest drawback to a 24" wide printer is that they have no auto sheet feed at all.  I print hundreds of flyers and brochures on bond papers, so the 4880 is essential for my needs.  Almost all photographs are printed on the 7890.

I'm not sure how BW prints are affected by the extra colors available with the 4900, and since that is important to you it is something to do some research on and know precisely what the differences are.
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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 08:59:53 PM »
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I have the 3880 and don't need higher IQ.  I would _love_ to have a roll feeder, as it often takes two to three tries to get the paper properly registered (I use mostly Epson Hot Press Natural).  Putting in, taking out, putting in, taking out, putting in paper is tiresome.  My work often needs to be printed larger than the 3880 allows.  I maintain a membership at an arts organization that gives me access to an Epson 9880.  While this is cost-effective, scheduling and travelling across town to print is also tiresome.

In short, you prob. can't go wrong with the 3880.  Having used one for three years, I expect to at least look into replacing it with a larger roll-fed machine at some point.  My advice to give your needs (and budget) careful thought.

(Fwiw, I have never moved it.)
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langier
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 10:45:08 PM »
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The 3880 is the sweet spot, IMO.  It's the smallest of or 5 Epson printers and image quality is very close to that of my 9900 but is so much easier to run sheets through than it.

For workflow, keep all your images in either Abobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB throughout the process. I, too, worked in a wet lab doing finer and toninging, both selinium and sepia and a couple of other metals. By keeping your workflow in RGB you'll be able to both dilter and tone your work in post, allowing you to better craft your photos and "tone" your b&w photos consistently to your heart's content.

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Michael Hoth
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 11:50:05 PM »
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thank you for your answers.

i do the workflow discribed in the book -fineart printing for photographers- using also a hardware calibrated monitor.

- mostly i will do b&w in 8x8 inch format with fineart papers like baryta 325g
- sometimes colors and bigger prints.
- i will print no rolls (no panoramas)

i think that i will do about 400-600 prints a year.


best michael
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kikashi
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 02:50:00 AM »
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thank you for your answers.

i do the workflow discribed in the book -fineart printing for photographers- using also a hardware calibrated monitor.

- mostly i will do b&w in 8x8 inch format with fineart papers like baryta 325g
- sometimes colors and bigger prints.
- i will print no rolls (no panoramas)

i think that i will do about 400-600 prints a year.


best michael


On that evidence, I'd have thought the 3880 is far preferable.

Jeremy
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slackercruster
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 08:06:25 AM »
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3880 is a fantastic printer. Only thing missing is gloss optimizer.
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jsiva
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2013, 09:12:45 PM »
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Make sure to check these guys out for fineArt B&W on Epson.  You can also search under ConeColor and Piezo.

http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.362672/sc.15/.f
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