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Author Topic: Printer Review & Tests Website  (Read 749 times)
BHoll
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« on: August 23, 2014, 11:06:16 AM »
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Hi,

Does anyone know of a reliable website that tests inkjet printers? Something like preview for cameras or prad.de for screens.

I'm looking to buy an A3 photo printer, and I'm particularly interested in the cost of printing especially ink costs.

Or maybe someone here can help me? I don't mind losing a little bit of image quality if I can cut down printing costs. Back in the late 90s I had an Epson Photo 1200 which I was reasonably happy with. And I'm sure most printers these days will be a lot better than this 'oldie' Wink

(I know matte paper uses more ink than glossy but in general: which ones of today's A3 photo printers is the most economic or has the best balance between print quality & economy?)

Thank you!

« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 11:10:42 AM by BHoll » Logged
Dan Berg
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2014, 11:15:25 AM »
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Really nothing better then Epsons 3880. They just run and run.
Ink is about .62 a ml or about $52.00 for an 80ml cart.
A little google search on this model will give you a ton of info and then some.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2014, 11:16:50 AM »
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I don't know a site dedicated to comparing printers. That said, you can do some research and figure it out. the cost of ink is sensitive to the size of carts the printer can accommodate, so if this worries you, buy a printer that can take larger carts - normally means going to a 17 inch carriage instead of 13". Once you get into a decent-sized cartridge, the cost of the ink is the lowest share of total printing cost. Paper, and how much of it you waste, is usually a much more important factor, as is depreciation on the printer itself. I've written a fair bit about printing cost on this website. Reviewing that stuff will give you an idea of how to approach calculating the trade-offs. I would definitely not chose between printer brands depending on differential ink cost between them. The DIFFERENCES are likely to be minimal and there are far more important factors to consider. I'm assuming you are not in a large scale production environment where saving pennies multiplied by large volumes ends-up making a difference to the bottom line.
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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
BHoll
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2014, 05:34:59 PM »
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Thanks for your answers! Might look into an A2 printer, though A3 would be big enough, really.
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Martin Archer-Shee
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2014, 07:03:44 PM »
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I moved to a 3880 after having several epson printers, including, 2200, 2400 and a 2880. All were good units and I used continuous ink systems with them (Lyson). i was pleased. I sold the 2880 and inks and bought a refurb 3880 from Epson with a discount. Basically it became a wash. I now use reusable carts (China) and ink from Jon Cone (inkjetmall.com) which seems so close to the actual Epson ink that I have no need to change profiles. I actually mixed some left over Epson ink with the replacement and had no problem colour included. Even left the printer for 3 plus months and no clogs.
In short I am sold on the 3880 and the use of 3rd party good inks. Cost? Way less as the ink is bought in volumes (check their website).

If a 17 inch wide printer not able to take rolls (the 2200, 2400 and 2880 did) suits your needs go for it.
Martin
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BHoll
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2014, 11:23:15 AM »
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May I ask why you sold your 2880 and moved up to a 3880?
And how hard/easy is it to get an Epson refurb? Do they have a refurb store (similar to Apple, for example)?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2014, 11:32:53 AM »
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Thanks for your answers! Might look into an A2 printer, though A3 would be big enough, really.

OK, so here's the calculation you would need to make: What is the purchase price difference between the A3 and A2 models you would consider buying (and I agree with Dan Berg - hard to go wrong with an Epson 3880)? What is the difference in cost of ink usage between them per sq.ft. of printed media? How many sq. ft. would you need to print before the extra expenditure on the machine becomes worthwhile compared with the total savings on ink? You would need to do some research for the data, but I think Dan's statement on ink usage for the 3880 is likely pretty good. Quite apart from those rather mechanical considerations, an Epson 3880 is a professional printer. The smaller models are not. There are difference of build quality and technical support; however Epson's higher-end non-pro photographic printer models do also deliver fine print quality.
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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
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2014, 11:59:37 AM »
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May I ask why you sold your 2880 and moved up to a 3880?
And how hard/easy is it to get an Epson refurb? Do they have a refurb store (similar to Apple, for example)?


I would recommend a bit of caution buying refurbed printers. I've had negative experience with this, replacing an Epson WorkForce Pro model that went defective under warranty with the refurbs they sent me. Four of them had to be returned to Epson before they finally sent me a brand-new one that works properly. To their credit, they did back me very respectably, but just to say, the quality of a refurb is not a given; depends on how thoroughly and with what QC the refurb was done.
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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
Randy Carone
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2014, 12:13:36 PM »
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I don't know the current policy but when I bought my refurb 3800 about 5 years ago it came with a one year warranty. No brainer.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2014, 12:19:06 PM »
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You're right to the extent of 12 months - only the potential nuisance value of repeated machine exchanges if necessary, but Epson does back them up. I would still expect a new printer delivered in fine operating condition to have a higher probability of greater longevity than a refurb, simply because ALL the parts are new, but I have no data to confirm one way or another - just an expectation. Is it worth the cost difference? Each to his/her own.
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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 #10 on: August 24, 2014, 08:47:32 PM »
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I don't know of any websites that methodically test printers as they are released, but Keith Cooper at Northlight images does occasionally review fine art pigment printers and his reviews are very worth while reading if you are in the market.

Keith is sometimes on LL and his website is: Northlight Images
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2014, 09:02:54 PM »
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Does anyone know of a reliable website that tests inkjet printers?

http://www.flaar.org  (and their associated sites) but to get the deep info you gotta pay.

http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2014, 09:11:07 PM »
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Yes indeed - should have remembered the Red River site - it will give the OP a good amount of comparative data between the 3880 and the smaller models covered. It is sufficient for doing the consumables part of the calculations I suggested above.
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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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