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#1 Scuba_SI

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 04:57 PM

Hi,

Coming up to the new tax year and as of next year i'm going to try to make my money outside of the office, which means im looking for a new printer....

I'm currently using an Epson Stylus Photo 950, about 6 years old. A4/letter sized prints. I'm not sure about the archival quality of this ink, i'd still keep it for sampling / small prints and cd prints.

But i think i need something for larger sizes, and with definite archival quality. Before anyone gets too fancy, my budget is limited!

I was looking at the new Canon A3+ printer and some of the newer Epsons. I appreciate Epsons are the industry standard, but they sure are thirsty, and i had awful success rates with my 950 and non-epson papers. Has anyone tried teh new canon pigment based ink systems?

Please help me find a couple of decent A3/A3+ printers for use both for underwater and studio imagery.

Cheers,

Simon

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#2 pmooney

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 06:51 PM

I am in the process of researching affordable large format ( A2) printers and recently had the opportunity to use both the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 & 4800 while participating in a digital printmakers masterclass.

We printed a large number of prints across a broad variety of media ( fine art linen's & canvasses and various photo papers ).
I was even able to print a couple of panoramas which i must say will be quite impressive by the time they are framed / mounted.

The fact that Epson 3800 printer comes preloaded with ICC profiles for Epsons most popular printing papers and that other profiles are readily available for various other manufacturers media ( both photographic & fine art ) make this a standout machine.

The Ultrachrome K3 inks are highly stable which is of real interest to me - as being able to offer long lasting archival quality prints is the motivation for committing to such a printer.

Ink cartridges are a reasonable size (80ml) and while not offering the same economies as the 110ml & 220ml inks it is still way better than using the smaller ink cartridges available in lesser machines.

Am I sold - pretty well.

#3 Scuba_SI

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 08:11 PM

I dont know whether i can justify the A2 size printer, for canvas it would be great as i pay a small fortune to get those done at the moment, but it is a big lump of a printer.

I hadnt noticed the 3800 until now, it's only just our of my budget. If i end up with that, i blame you Peter!

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#4 Scuba_SI

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 08:39 PM

Im not sure if this applies to this printer, but i read that on some epson models when you swap between matte and photo paper it has to sump a load of ink, pushing up the $$ if you print on many formats.

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#5 pmooney

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 10:06 PM

That doesn't apply to this printer , in fact not having to do this is one of it's shining lights.
This fact combined with it's relatively small footprint are the main reasons I decided on this machine instead of the 4800.

Edited by pmooney, 21 March 2007 - 10:09 PM.


#6 photovan

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 03:12 AM

I've had a 9800 for a year now (it replaced my 9600).

The K3 inks are great, good colour gamut, nice black and whites. Not only is it quite stable, I find it to be very robust for an inkjet... once it has cured, it can handle quite a bit of wear and tear (but remember this is also a function of the media you print on, I use Ilford Peearl and Gloss RC media and Crane & Co Museo Silver Rag, and Ilford Canvas).

The bigger printers (7800/9800) do have an issue with huge wastage when changing from matt to photo black, but I didn't think it was an issue with the smaller versions.

darren

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#7 saeedrashid

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 03:39 AM

We use the Stylus Pro 3800's here at the university that I work in and they are an outstanding printer, but not the cheapest if you work it our per print.
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#8 Scuba_SI

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 08:26 AM

Ok, well i've been lusting after printers today!

The 7800 and 9800 are way out of my price range!

So my 3 options are the following:

The Epson R2400

http://www.epson.co....400_printer.htm

A3+ printing, K3 Ink 8 Colour, the cheapest option at £489

--

The Canon Pixima Pro 9500

http://www.canon.co....o9500/index.asp

A3+ Printing

10 colour Pigment Ink £620

--

The Epson 3800

http://www.epson.co....us_PRO_3800.htm

A2+ Printing

K3 Ink 9 colour, ouch.. £999

--

The Canon appears to be more economical, after a higher initial investment. But it doesn't take roll paper, which would be useful for panoramas. And they are new to archival quality ink, so its an unknown quantity.

At £999 i think the 3800 is just about out of my price range, unless it is really cheap to print images, i can't see me being overly successful with mounting canvases, i think i'd rather get someone else to do it, then when they mess it up they have to reprint for free, whereas for me i can see my mistakes being highly annoying and expensive!

For example, i can get a mounted 12"x12" done for about £30-£50, how much do you think it would cost to do in-house on a 3800?



Also, will a Canon printer accept my images taken on a Nikon?? ^_^

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#9 loftus

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 08:34 AM

I think all these printers are great; I think the difference in cost per print is not going to be a bank breaker. Just dont 'underbuy' and then spend the next few years wishing you had the features of the more expensive printer you decided against. I have an Epson 4800, and sure it was expensive to start, but when those 17x22 prints pop off the machine and just blow me away, it's all worth it!

Edited by loftus, 22 March 2007 - 08:38 AM.

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#10 AndyBarker

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 01:25 PM

HI,
You may want to look at the EPSON 1290s but I think it is being upgraded to
1400, which is under £300 pounds.
Andy :blush: :ninja:

Andy Barker
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#11 Scuba_SI

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 01:43 PM

Hi Andy, Epson are running a deal on the 1400 at the moment, £199 if you trade in another printer against it.

It's inks only have a lifetime of 10yrs max though, which is not enough for what i'm after.

It uses the same system as my 950 i think, which makes lovely prints, but if i'm going to spend some money i want to make a step up in printable size, and ink quality.

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#12 AndyBarker

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 02:04 PM

HI Si,
Well I think both of the printers you have mentioned have very good
write ups. I use Epson which I find very good for what I want, but I am
looking for a good A3 one at the moment. I have never used Canon, but
I think the Pixima Pro 9500 has had the best write up in the photo mags.
Good luck hunting,
Andy :blush: :ninja:

Andy Barker
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#13 Scuba_SI

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 02:10 PM

Canon have a free test print facility on their website, but they havent added a 9500 there yet, i've emailed them to see if it's possible. Will let you know what happens. If i was just using the printer for my underwater stuff then i'd be happy with the 1400, it's a great deal at 200 quid.

My 950 cost me about £350 when i bought it, and they sell for about £20 on eBay now :blush:

I dont suppose you know of a recent/current photo mag in the Uk with a write up do you?

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#14 AndyBarker

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 02:18 PM

Well thats quite hard, I normally go in to WHS & look at all of the mags
I normally buy Amateur Photographer, which mag normally runs the best in
group, sorry can not be any more help.
Andy :blush: :ninja:

Andy Barker
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#15 PeterCatchpole

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 02:50 PM

PC Pro have a review in their march edition. It should be reviewed in Professional Photographer soonish as they recently reviewed the HP and Epson A3 printers a few months ago.

Edited by PeterCatchpole, 22 March 2007 - 04:13 PM.

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#16 bvanant

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 03:09 PM

I use both Canon and Epson printers and each has its place. I love the Epson 4800, and have chosen to print only with the photoblack instead of matte cartridge and the results even on matte paper are quite lovely. The Canon that I use (the 9900) is a bit nicer for very glossy prints on film than any of the Epsons (we also have an 800 and an 1800). I have seen prints supposedly from the 9500 and they look great but Canon US are still saying Spring 2007 (after months of late 2006) for availability. I don't think you can go wrong with any of your choices, but I will say that profiles for the Epson inksets are much more easily found for most papers than profiles for the Canon printers and I would suggest that profiles for the 9500 will be a while in coming.

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#17 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 03:45 PM

(full disclosure: HP is the second largest employer in my town, but they don't employ me...)

I would also recommend looking at the HP B9180 in this price range. It has inbuilt closed-loop colour calibration hardware, does the sizes you are looking for (ie A3+), pigment inks with good longevity, and from at least some of the reviews I have read, really good blues. As UW photographers, I think we can all agree on the importance of a kick-ass blue.

I'm seriously thinking about getting one of these myself.
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
D300, D200, D70, 12-24 f4 AFS DX, 60mm f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 AF-S VR, 105 f2.8 AF-S VR, Tokina Wunderlens.

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#18 Scuba_SI

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 04:05 PM

Thanks for your input,

I must admit i totally suck at colour profiling when it comes to seeting the correct ones for my printer to use. I still cant print direct from photoshop! It's something i really need to sort out!

The HP looks good, i like the colour calibration option. I will have to look into it further.

Cheers,

Simon

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#19 pmooney

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 05:29 PM

Not sure how economical the HP will be with only 27ml ink cartridges.

#20 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 05:41 PM

Not sure how economical the HP will be with only 27ml ink cartridges.


True, these are smaller than some of the cartridges in the bigger format options described, but (allegedly) this printer has one of the lower ink costs and lowest ink consumption rates in this class of printer.

It's been a while since someone posted a Luminous Landscape link on Wetpixel, so I s'pose I should fix that by offering up Michael Reichmann's take on the HP B9180...

Edited by Craig Ruaux, 22 March 2007 - 05:41 PM.

Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
D300, D200, D70, 12-24 f4 AFS DX, 60mm f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 AF-S VR, 105 f2.8 AF-S VR, Tokina Wunderlens.

Photo galleries @ Ruaux.net