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Advice on new 24" printer

Some sound advice on this thread from Doug, Stanley and Stuart. Doug suggested the HPZ 3200, and I've heard many positive things about this pronter from those who have owned it. The only negative thing I've read is with respect to an internal belt that needs replacing with extended use... and some who have mentioned this have stated that they did the repair themself. The HP won't have the clogging issues with infrequent usage as much as the Epsons will.

I've owned the Epson 9500, 10000 and 9600 and I like the ease of loading sheets or rolls as well as the interface. The piezo heads will clog (if not used weekly) if one lives in a dry climate, and cleaning cycles will be required. I often kept and ran a small humidifier near the printer and managed to minimize extended cleaning cycles.

I also owned the Canon 8300 and hated the interface as well as the fact that there was a design flaw in the heads that caused them to short and run endless cleaning cycles that wasted a ton of ink. I was told this by a Canon repair technician, and if memory serves me he also said the 8400 had the same problem. Canon, to their credit, always replaced the heads (3) at no charge as I had minimal usage with this printer. But when you have a job and a deadline to meet and a head goes south late on a Friday (which it always does) you're screwed bananas... especially if you don't live near a location that stocks Canon heads for your printer. The Canon, while some rave about it, was my least favorite printer because of the head problem. In all fairness, part of my problem with Canon could be due to my intimate familiarity with the large format Epsons and the cost of time in learning a new printer interface.

The new Epson P Series printers that Stuart speaks of are a good deal less apt to clogging issues, from what I've been able to research. They have a better dmax than prior Epson printers and are more reliable, but as Stuart also stated they also don't like to sit for extended periods with no usage.

There's nothing quite like owning your own printer if you're involved in fine art print sales. I personally think that many of us obsess over the extended color gamut issue when most would be hard pressed to see the difference between a 7880, as Stanley mentions above, and a later model Epson. Some of these gamut differences will be more obvious on glossy substrates than on matte so this never was an issue for me as I always printed on cotton rag papers or fabrics.

On the other hand, as Stuart wisely advises any printer can become a maintenance headache and especially if it's only getting limited use. Finding a good print house is a valuable option in those instances... but I personally got involved in printing my own images out of frustration with print houses in the SF Bay area in the 90's who couldn't seem to get it right.

I sold both of my 44" printers a week before moving to Arizona and am glad I did as the desert environment is not too kind to printers that aren't used at least twice a week. When the time comes for me to buy another wide format printer I think I'll look for a used 24" HP or Epson that has low usage and can print a clean test pattern. That way I'll minimize my loss if I run into head issues.
 

JohnBrew

Member
I have Epson 3880 and Canon 6400. They both work well. If I needed a 24” again it would still be Canon because of size (smaller than equivalent Epson) and its a bit more thrifty with ink.
 

DougDolde

Well-known member
I'm going to buy the Canon ImageProGraf 4000, 44" model. I like doing my own canvas wraps and you need an extra 7" of width for the wrap. So you can do a 36 x length wrap. 24" would be too limiting for canvas wraps.
 

stngoldberg

Well-known member
With all due respect Mr Richardson’s post is misleading. You need a printer to determine how what you see on your monitor looks on paper. You need a printer to determine how your image appears on paper each time you employ a photoshop correction.
my lab in Rhode Island prefers that I send him one of my prints in order to duplicate my work before printing a large image on metal that doesn’t calibrate with my perspective
stanley
 
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