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Author Topic: Epson 9800, Epson 9900, Canon 8400, current thinking?  (Read 2827 times)
fuchsia-groan
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« on: March 05, 2014, 07:10:55 AM »
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I've been reading this site for a while and now using an Epson 9800 in anger, have started to come up against the infamous nozzle clogs so that I have to clean the nozzles a few times per day in order not to get random ink splodges on prints.

I print on canvas. I was thinking of going to an Epson 9900 to get the increased speed and automatic nozzle cleaning, but reading further has made me start to think the nozzle situation might be even worse on the 9900 than it is on the 9800?

I am quite tempted by the Canon 8400, or 9400.

I wondered what people's current thinking on best wide format printers is? Any advice? Feedback? Suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
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Some Guy
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 09:28:21 AM »
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Personally, paying that much for a wide bed printer I'd go with the Canon for the user replaceable heads.  My small Canon has that feature and I've used it (about $125 for a new head in it.).  Not that hard to change out either.

On of our local photo labs had to haul their large Epson in for service as the heads clogged badly over one hot weekend.  Seems not only the heads, but a pump, and circuit board are needed as well.  So far they are out about $2,300 for Epson service and it's been a few months as they were still waiting for some parts.  They have a Canon 8400 on the floor now and are quite happy with it and debating on a lease for it.  Don't know what will become of the Epson though.

Only issue they had was the Canon was larger then their Epson and they had to knock down a false wall to move it into the area.  It is pretty big and when I was looking at one the saleswoman said they had trouble getting them into an elevator at one location.

Canon, or at least their saleswoman claim, that the Canon ink will last twice as long as the current Epson too - if that matters.  It's not high on my list verses maintenance costs.

SG
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shadowblade
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 10:26:17 AM »
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Why not the Z3200? No clogging, built-in spectro, supposedly more durable heads and longer-lasting inks than Canon.

By the way, it seems that the Epson clogging problem isn't due to the heads, but the Ultrachrome inks. People running alternate inksets seem to be having much fewer problems with clogging than those using OEM.
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mkihne
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 10:35:51 AM »
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I am frozen in time regarding a large format printer. I have been with Epson forever and am pleased with my current 2 3880's and an R3000, but am thinking of going to 44" rather than the 7900 at 24" because of the possibility of canvas printing and if I wrap, the 24" really limits the size. I would welcome comments from those using alternative inks regarding comparison to Epson ink, brands and sources being used, etc. If this is hijacking this thread, I would be happy to start another. Thanks

Mike
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fuchsia-groan
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 11:01:44 AM »
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Why not the Z3200? No clogging, built-in spectro, supposedly more durable heads and longer-lasting inks than Canon.

By the way, it seems that the Epson clogging problem isn't due to the heads, but the Ultrachrome inks. People running alternate inksets seem to be having much fewer problems with clogging than those using OEM.

Yes, thanks, I will look at the Z3200 too.

Plus, interesting about the ink. I was carefully sticking with the epson ink to try to avoid the nozzles clogging.

Have just taken my business offline because the clogging problems with my epson 9800 have snowballed so that I can't use it sensibly anymore. I clean the nozzles, they clean okay, and then in a very short time I am getting splodges and lines on my output. Something must have gone badly wrong I guess, not sure what it is yet.

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Some Guy
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 12:07:52 PM »
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Why not the Z3200? No clogging, built-in spectro, supposedly more durable heads and longer-lasting inks than Canon.

By the way, it seems that the Epson clogging problem isn't due to the heads, but the Ultrachrome inks. People running alternate inksets seem to be having much fewer problems with clogging than those using OEM.

The Z3200 seems to have a lot of angry people who use the sheet feed which might be an issue for people who switch papers a lot and sheet feed small ones.  My Epson 3880 is very temperamental with canvas (Hits some internal lip - and I'm not revisiting the taped-leader mess ever again!).

HP is suffering in their Customer Service area a lot too.  Enough for me to avoid them:  http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/Hewlett-Packard  Canon, on the same webpage, is far better by a huge margin.

On the Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks, I have had the 3880 clog with them as well as aftermarket.  Even Cone dye inks will clog in it, especially the PK and MK blacks if I don't alter between them enough, and sometimes the Magenta will clog too.  Usually one or two nozzle checks, let it sit for a couple of hours, nozzle re-check, and it will be good.  Even have a smaller dye ink portable of theirs and it will clog up solid if I don't run it every two weeks.  I live in a desert environment though and even running two room humidifiers cannot get me above 40% RH.  Too large a space and too much A/C or furnace blower interaction I guess.  They cannot even manage to fog up a window, but the carpet is damp around them.  Might move a couple of RH points and that's all.  I'm waiting to see what the carpet shampoo guy does to the readings as it does get muggy that day.

Epson made a big deal out of their new head technology last summer.  Hope it is user interchangeable too in their new line, whenever that is.  Trucking them away 200-300 miles is a major PITA as my local photo print shop found out.

SG
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shadowblade
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 12:16:44 PM »
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New head technology?

I'm just hoping for some longer-lasting inks (replace that yellow!), one or two more ink channels (to run extra colours) and fairer pricing for Australia vs the rest of the world.
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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 01:06:08 PM »
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After using the Epson 9600 and 9800 for about 6 years, I switched first to the Canon 8100, then the 8300 and last year upgraded to the 8400. No head clogs is a daily benefit but there are others, too. The ink set is the most durable for scratching/buffing of the big 3-Canon, then Epson and HP last in this regard. Although in printer speed Epson has caught up with Canon, they are both about three times faster than the HP printers. Some people report problems sheet feeding on the Canon, but I do it all the time with all sizes and have zero problems.

As for raw  image quality, I think each of the top end printers are so good that although each may excel in some small sliver of hue, no one printer dominates in overall quality.

The Epson printer, although offering matte black and photo black in one printer-finally-still wastes a small amount with each switch. Not so Canon and HP.

Canon has been very aggressive on pricing. They also include 330ml cartridges when you buy the 44" printer, about $1800 worth of ink, unlike the puny amounts Epson and HP stock their printers with. Just on a cost basis, I think Canon wins by a lot.

Hope this helps.



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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 01:35:56 PM »
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Personally, paying that much for a wide bed printer I'd go with the Canon for the user replaceable heads.  My small Canon has that feature and I've used it (about $125 for a new head in it.).  Not that hard to change out either.


The ipfx400 series heads are about $450, and there are 2 of them.

How long they last depends very much on the same things compared to how much ink it takes to keep an Epson running ... low humidity/low usage/dirty environment the heads will wear out pretty quickly (or you will get more clogs and require more ink to clean on an Epson)  Manage all of those well and they will last a long time (or you will clean far less frequently on an Epson. My 9900 only needs a channel or two cleaned every few months, even if itís off for a week or two).  I really think cost of ownership is more similar than it appears at first glance.

The HP heads are less expensive, easy to change, and because each head handles only 2 colors you donít have to change out half the colors because you loose one channel of the inks. I believe 5 heads for the HP is less than the 2 heads on the Canon.

Personally I still feel the Epson dithering produces a slightly more pleasing print, but side by side there really isnít much difference between the outputs.  From a ergonomic/user perspective as far as paper loading etc, I really like the Epson.  From a black ink switching perspective, while Epsons new ink switching helps a lot, the others are better.
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Atlex.com
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 01:51:39 PM »
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As a heads up, Canon has gone through a new program if the print heads become unusable within a year (during the printer purchase or after replacing the heads later, you can talk to their customer service/technical dept and they will send a replacement head to you at no cost.)

Purchase the printer and issues within the year, call Canon and receive a replacement for free.
Issues within the next year after the replacement heads; call Canon and free replacement again.
Hope it's not too confusing, but this is their new program to help personal users to big companies save money on their printers.
Plus, you get a full set of ink with Canon's 44" and 60" printers where HP only provides starter inks upfront.  Both brands have their goods and bads.

HP print heads are around $30-50 per color or per 2 colors (depending on the printer).

Epson 9900 provides great quality just as well as the other 2 and the heads were updated with Teflon to help prevent the clogging issue.  I've heard people that continue to have the clogs and others that haven't had this problem yet.

With cleanings, Canon uses much less ink the Epson (reason for their ink price to be a little higher), though the nice part with Canon is it comes with an accounting software to provide the ink usage per print (Epson doesn't have this).
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mcpix
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 03:01:25 PM »
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I had an Epson 9800 and 7800 before I bought my Canon 8300 about 3 1/2 years ago. I never really had that much of a problem with clogs on the Epsons, but I needed to be able to switch blacks back and forth for canvas prints. The Canon 8300 has fit my workflow perfectly. I might go a week without printing and then I'll have a bunch of large print orders come in all at once. I rarely run a nozzle test. I just turn on the computer and start printing. I also appreciate that the Canon doesn't need to switch blacks. Sometimes I'll have a canvas print, then an order on Epson Luster, and then another canvas print order. All I have to do is change the media and I'm good to go.



 





« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 03:03:39 PM by mcpix » Logged
enduser
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 04:27:47 PM »
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Genuine Canon heads can be bought on Alibaba for $350.
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Travis Wallace
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 05:25:00 PM »
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I print on canvas. I was thinking of going to an Epson 9900 to get the increased speed and automatic nozzle cleaning, but reading further has made me start to think the nozzle situation might be even worse on the 9900 than it is on the 9800?

I am quite tempted by the Canon 8400, or 9400.

I wondered what people's current thinking on best wide format printers is? Any advice? Feedback? Suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

I am in the same boat printing canvas exclusively and looking at the 9890 DES or the IPF8400s, just not sure if the extra cost of the Canon is worth it. Currently have a 3880 I bought last year and have all the same issues as other reviewers having to clean print heads 2-3x a week etc. More input is appreciated. Thanks
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 05:54:03 PM »
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I have an Epson 7890, it often goes for quite some time before being used to print. Last week,after some weeks of idling, I printed a nozzle check and only had to do a normal clean  once. Right now the humidity in my studio is only around 30%, so it should cause problems!  All in all, fingers crossed, I don't see any issues with my printer, or with my 2400 either.
Jean-Michel
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hugowolf
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 07:18:36 PM »
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I am in the same boat printing canvas exclusively and looking at the 9890 DES or the IPF8400s, just not sure if the extra cost of the Canon is worth it. Currently have a 3880 I bought last year and have all the same issues as other reviewers having to clean print heads 2-3x a week etc. More input is appreciated. Thanks

If you have to run a cleaning cycle on the Epson 3880 two or three times a week, then something is really wrong. Inline with most 3880 users, a head cleaning is rarely needed - I have run a head cleaning twice in three years.

Brian A
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MHMG
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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2014, 08:11:30 PM »
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If you have to run a cleaning cycle on the Epson 3880 two or three times a week, then something is really wrong. Inline with most 3880 users, a head cleaning is rarely needed - I have run a head cleaning twice in three years.

Brian A

I concur on the 3880's remarkable freedom from clogging. My 3880 rarely if ever clogs at all, but unfortunately it does dribble. I lose about 15-20% of the prints to cyan, magenta or black ink blotches in margins or in the image area, so I've essentially quit using the printer.  Ironically, when I do fire it up again after months of not using it I still get a clean nozzle check, but each time I start to print with it in earnest again, the blobs of inks start appearing again, and I'm forced to move the job over to my Canon IPF 8300 or risk my sanity Wink
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Travis Wallace
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2014, 12:14:12 AM »
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Currently printing 2-3x a week I have a problem with the cyan, after 1 cleaning it generally clears up but occasionally needs 2 cleanings. Since you all say it is abnormal I may give BH a call and see what they recommend.

I'm leaning towards getting the 9890 since there is a $1000 rebate and I like the K3 inks on the 3880, but willing to jump to Canon if anybody thinks it's worth it. Our work involves printing mostly abstracts and collages and less than 10% is photography. Personally a photo noob w/ Nikon d5100, so hopefully that gets better and I can use either printer for that too.
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Damir
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 04:38:03 AM »
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Just to add my experience. I Have Z 3100 and Epson 9800.
After a lot of printing and using both of printers I can say that I love and hate both of them  Wink
Now I use HP for printing on matt papers where it shines, especially black and white, which is approximatelly 70% of printing. It have the best output I ever see of any printer. HP is great printer.

Comparing prints from my HP and Canon prints (sorry I don't know exact model from which prints come but it is bought new last year and it is 44" - some customers bring prints to compare it with my prints to decide where to print for exhibition) my HP prins have much more details, some details on Canon prints do not exsist and are clearly visible on HP prints (matt papers) especially in darker part of the picture. I just adore my HP for matt printing.
Last week I printed some color prints on HP it always surprise me how it renders colors and fine details. I never ever see that on prints from other printers - again matt paper.
Why I hate it, well this is not proper word but I use phrase "love nad hate" - as I use matt paper only I need to clean MK head often, ink is bulding on it. I need to pull head out and clean it every week. I also change that head often. I have that printer for 6 years now and still have some original heads in it, MK-R head is not one of them I change it every year.
I also do not like output on gloss and satin papers - when compare it to Epson prints it always have some gloss differential, even with gloss enhancer.

Epson - I use it for PK printing only, great output, with no gloss differential or bronzing. I was not able to compare it with Canon will do some day. Not too much clogging, but every so, and always in the middle of biggest print I am printing  Angry . A lot of waste on paper and ink comparing to HP. While HP "lay out" too much ink by dropping ink from MK head, Epson "lay out" too little ink by clogging in the middle of the print - not all the time, just some time.

Yesterday I made a bunch of test prints on new Hahnemuhle Photo Glossy on both printers. Great output from both, HP have much wider range of colour, with stronger and better reds ( I never have truoble with reds on my printer - ever with strong syntetic one ) but that translate to warmer skin tones on portraits that I actually do not like - profiles are from Hahnemuhle, did not have time to make my own. But again - even with gloss enhancer some angle of view produce gloss differential on HP prints. Epson prints are perfect. I am not sure how will they compare to Canon, but will found out one of this days by ordering same test prints fom Canon printer, which of course tell me nothing about user experince on Canon.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 04:39:41 AM by Damir » Logged
Travis Wallace
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 10:39:17 AM »
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Thanks for that comprehensive review. It's a very large purchase for our budding business, but the competition is forcing us to buy to stay alive. I will order the Epson today and update after I've had a chance to test it.
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hugowolf
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2014, 07:32:52 PM »
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... but unfortunately it does dribble. I lose about 15-20% of the prints to cyan, magenta or black ink blotches in margins

Interesting, apart from the occasional head strike, my 3880 has not yet had any problems with ink smears/blotching in the margins or in the image area. Although, since the 9890, I run it rarely because the ink price per millilitre is so much less with the 9890ís cartridges. And the 9890 does very well with sheets, apart from being much more prone to skewing error.

Brian A
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