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please don't tell me to buy an Epson 3800

cam

New member
okay, guys, i need a printer. a SMALL printer. while cost is a consideration, size is even more so. we live in a tiny apartment -- the only space large enough for a 3800 would be the stove-top or the bed.

i don't need to print any larger than 8X10 and am much more concerned about black and white quality than colour.

i know the cost of ink is an issue but i don't care -- i just want a printer!

who has gotten decent b/w from any smaller printers available? i am not wedded to Epson -- Cannon or HP, it's all the same to me as long as i'm not sacrificing quality.

HELP?

thank you!
 
R

Ranger 9

Guest
Do you care about pigment vs. dye?

I had an Epson R800 (pigment) and it was capable of good b&w results although some tweaking of individual files was needed to avoid tone shifts.

For nice b&w with no need for diddling, you might want to look at the HP printers that take a "photo gray" as well as black dye. I've only tried this a few times with my HP all-in-one, but got surprisingly good results. HP's printer lineup is hugely confusing, but here's a page with info for identifying their printers best suited to b&w.
 

cam

New member
thank you, Ranger. i appreciate your input. there's a photo fair here next weekend and i'm hoping to walk out with one... finding info in the photography forums is difficult -- i understand why Epson was popular for so long but it does seem there are some decent contenders out there (that few, seemingly, have tried).

so it's cool to know your HP all-in-one gave you good results. their web page has to be the worst ever, so i appreciate the link.
 

trisberg

New member
I've used an Epson R280 with MIS Ultratone B&W inks from inksupply.com <http://www.inksupply.com/r260_blackandwhite.cfm>

The printer is inexpensive but it seems to use a lot of ink. I think the prints look better than what I was able to produce in the darkroom. Especially using the newer baryta type papers. Tried a few different ones and settled on the Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta paper which just looks great with this ink/printer combination.

This solution works best if you can dedicate the printer to only B&W. If you want a printer for color as well I'd look at the HP printers that have dedicated Grey Photo cartridges available.

-Thomas
 

cam

New member
thank you, Thomas.

do you use a special RIP? i have the okay to totally cannibalize any printer to get optimum black and white (which is pretty much all i do). and i really appreciate your recommendation of ink/paper combination. it's all so confusing, especially when you need to order long distance.
 

Diane B

New member
Cam, I don't know this for sure, but the 2400 was the smaller version of the 3800 (which I have and love). I think it was just a baby 3800 more or less--but the ink costs would be more. I had the 2200 in years past and bought the 3800 when it came out. I love it--love the output--and if the 2400 (there may now be a new one in the same vein) is otherwise the same except for size--it would be a winner in my eyes. Ah, the new one is the 2880 with the newer magenta ink but 3 blacks. The 3800 does just wonderful black and whites look at Eric Chan's page on the 3800--lots of info on black and white printing. BTW--I am using baryta type papers primarily now--and do mostly b & w printing.

http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3800/index.html
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=63075040

I understand the HP small printer (don't know the model number) is also quite good--haven't heard as much about the Canons for b & w. Whatever you choose--make sure it has several black/grey inks--makes all the difference in the world.

Diane

The
 

cam

New member
thank you, Diane.

i know the 3800 is the bees knees, but we honestly don't have the physical space for it. the 2880 is the updated 2400 with K3 inks (and vivid magenta that i could care less about), but the ink cartridges are even smaller -- so Epson's got you by the balls....

a question to those that have an Epson with K3 inks or any of the others that have dedicated b/w (grey) inks. can you let the other colours run out and not have to bother replacing them if you never use them???
 

trisberg

New member
Cam,

I don't use a special RIP or printer drivers, I just print from LightRoom using the standard Epson driver. I do try to turn off any of the automatic adjustments in the driver.

I used the following settings (simply by trying to see what tweaks looked good, I'm sure these settings can be improved):

Print Settings:
Media Type: Photo Paper Glossy
Color: Color
Mode: Advanced
Print Quality: Photo RPM
Color Management/Advanced Settings:
Contrast: -10

I did buy a couple of B&W sample packs of paper from atlex.com which allowed me to compare prints of the same picture on five papers from different manufacturers.

-Thomas
 

Diane B

New member
thank you, Diane.

i know the 3800 is the bees knees, but we honestly don't have the physical space for it. the 2880 is the updated 2400 with K3 inks (and vivid magenta that i could care less about), but the ink cartridges are even smaller -- so Epson's got you by the balls....

a question to those that have an Epson with K3 inks or any of the others that have dedicated b/w (grey) inks. can you let the other colours run out and not have to bother replacing them if you never use them???
No, not to my knowledge. Why not look around for a 2400 that hasn't been sold yet--or a lightly used one. I don't care about the new magenta either--I'll keep the 3800 until it quits working. BTW--in 3 years (I think--bought it the month it came out) I haven't had the first clog--halleluja!!

Oh--but if you never use them--you won't run out of them LOL--so you'll just be replacing the greys/blacks.

Diane
 
The Epson R1800 could be worth consideration. Cost of operation is pretty high, but print quality is good, particularly on the glossy papers.
 

jonoslack

Active member
Hi Cam
it's really tough. I was trying to get a good quality A4 printer, and I simply gave up - they all seem only to exist to get you to use more ink! I just couldn't find a serious one.

have you got a window box you could put a 2880 on?
 

zonevt

New member
If your looking for one of the best monochrome printing solutions try Piezography Cone Editions and InkJet Mall (www.inkjetmall.com). They make several dedication solutions for Epson printers both small and pro models. they also offer color bulk ink solutions for several models.
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
The 2400 or the newer 2880 are good solutions. I use the 2400 in Florida mostly to print proof sheets and decks of 8 1/2 x 11. Its a lot more fun to show a dozen nice prints on rag paper than to show them on the screen . It forces you to get down to 8-10 images ..beyond most peoples attention span.

The ink is expensive but if you are working with black and white and only 8 1/2 x 11 paper its still pretty cheap. Its the larger print sizes that suck down the ink ...so for 13 x 19 ..I go to the 3800 we keep in Atlanta.
 

docmoore

Subscriber and Workshop Member
thank you, Thomas.

do you use a special RIP? i have the okay to totally cannibalize any printer to get optimum black and white (which is pretty much all i do). and i really appreciate your recommendation of ink/paper combination. it's all so confusing, especially when you need to order long distance.
Cam,

It seems that everyone will have a special fondness for the printer that they use. My preference is for Epson as I have moved from a small Epson to a 2200 now a 3800 and probably a 4880 in the near future.

If you run Mac you an place the printer anywhere that it will not freeze or cook. My is connected wirelessly via airport express and resides on another floor in the house. (Could be a closet for that matter.) I do have to climb the stairs when changing paper or when I use 17x22 0r 25 paper to feed it manually at the start of each print.

Read about Colorbyte ImagePrint at Luminous-landscape...I have used it since the 2200 and will continue to use it with the 4880. The newer Pro Imaging Epsons do well with their own profiles but IP allows a dead on accurate BW print using Epson inks. No metamerism issues and gorgeous BW on matte or Bayrta papers. It supports the 2880 via ethernet or USB.

If you enjoy photography...you need a printer that allows you to succeed at crafting your vision in a print. I think you will not find a smaller printer than the 2880 or HP/Canon versions of the same that will allow you to make a fine print. There is not a market nor many who will spend the funds for a product that can be profiled and has a fairly linear output which is stable over time.

Profiling monitor, ICC Printer profiles and a decent camera to print color workflow will allow you to produce what you envision...or at least let you define parameters that allow your vision to evolve with regard to output.

Most of us have recently made a transition from print to screen as technology has evolved, at least intellectually. Emotionally there is much to be said for handling prints that are a reflection of your artistic vision.

I do hope that you find a solution that will work.

Regards,

Bob
 

cam

New member
thank you all!

Thomas -- i appreciate the additional settings. all this is lovely to have in hand if that's the way we decide to go.

Diane -- 2400's seem scarce around here, but we're keeping an eye out for them.

Bill -- so you think the R1800 does good b/w? you mention glossy using a lot of ink, are you happy with the matte?

Jono -- no window boxes here, other than the small one in the kitchen that regularly gets a dumping of water from our elderly upstairs neighbor. Epson doesn't weather-seal their printers, do they?

zonevt -- thank you. ink solutions are very welcome as i see that is a huge cost to consider...

Roger -- good to know it's passed your smell test. and, yes, that's precisely why i would like to make some prints... i ran into Frank Jackson at dealer show in L.A. when i asked to see some of his work (after everybody and their dog was fawning over him), he pulled out a small but elegant homemade book that had maybe 15 4X6 prints. it was absolutely perfect to show the majesty of his work! i am not saying i am anywhere near his league, but i loved the presentation. it allowed me to go in a quiet corner and look at my leisure. i got more from that viewing than i would have from larger images on the screen. photographs are tactile and should be shown as such.

Doc. Bob -- can i borrow one of your floors? this is Paris (think NYC in miniature). and our closets, LOL, stuffed to the gills! i am a girl and have already encroached too much on my fellow's bachelor pad. he had a perfectly lovely apartment -- and then i moved in :eek:

we run all macs and are wireless -savvy so that is a non-issue. Imageprint, as lovely as it is, would be a last resort as it seems to cost as much as the printer -- or more! if i get very into it all this, i may spring for it later, but would prefer to try it without first.

my monitor is profiled every week (or more), even if it only a 17" powerbook. again, space is an issue. and, yes, i do want to see and touch my photos -- i always work them in a way that i can see the print. i honestly care more for what it will look like in the printed medium rather than screen -- which is why i finally want to get a printer of my own, dinky as it may be compared to most of your standards.

****************************

my homework will continue for the next week as i am determined to have a printer by the end of that fair.... please keep suggestions coming and i love your input on ink and paper as i still don't really know what my preference is -- glossy, lustre, or whatnot.

which printer/ink is better for what? and which paper do you find yourself drawn to for b/w printing and why? all emotional and subjective, i know, but i would love your input.

all this stuff to consider makes choosing a camera to buy seem like a breeze!

sigh.
 

Diane B

New member
Cam-look for the 2800-- maybe a close out since the 2880 (with new magenta) is out. The R1800 was designed to deal primarily with glossy papers. It has an additional cartridge that applies a 'gloss optimizer' and only has 2 black carts instead of 3.
 

cam

New member
thanks, Diane.

i was just informed i'm on my own with this -- the only one in the house with a desire to print, it seems...

after playing with my little Canon Selphy ES (quite amazing for it's size, btw, but limited to printing on glossy postcards) just now, i realised that some sort of RIP might be important after all -- or at least something that works with my screen calibration. as much of a PITA as this all is, i really really want this!

there is definitely magic in seeing your photos in print!

(it also made me think i want something that prints well on a textured sort of paper, if that makes sense. i want to be able to touch the photograph with my eyes, much as you can do with paintings...)
 

TRSmith

Subscriber Member
Alas Cam, I am woefully ignorant of current printer technology. I bought one of the printers you begged us not to mention and haven't even considered anything else since it fits my modest needs so well. A small printer with similar quality? I bet it's out there and I'll bet you'll be the one to find it.

I can offer a suggestion on a paper however. I've been using the Epson Exhibition Fibre Paper for both B&W and color and really like it. It seems the closest thing to the old silver paper "F" surface that I used to print on. It might match your very "classic B&W look" images very nicely. But then, it doesn't have a texture to speak of. Just a nice air-dried surface look, not shiny, not matte.

And one other idea you might consider... printing a Blurb (or other online book printing service) book. You can design a collection of shots, include text if you like, and set the whole thing up in a format that's distinctly your own. They do a pretty nice job of it and the results would be hard to distinguish from a "real" book. It's a terrific way to collect and archive a set or series of shots. It does not however, hang very well in a frame on the wall.

I wish you success!
 

cmb_

Subscriber & Workshop Member
. . . this is Paris (think NYC in miniature). and our closets, LOL, stuffed to the gills! i am a girl and have already encroached too much on my fellow's bachelor pad. he had a perfectly lovely apartment -- and then i moved in :eek:
. . . ahhh! so you turned his apartment into a home!!! Good for you. :)

I live in an 800-900 sq. ft. NYC apartment (two people- wife and I) and we found room for the Epson 3800. I know Paris apartments can be cramped. Be creative. What is going to give you the results which you desire? If you really have no desire to print larger than 8.5 x 11 then you do not need a larger printer. However, will the smaller one really give you the quality you are after? Maybe, maybe not. Really check this out.

Paper: Harman Gloss FB Al
It has the look, but most importantly it has the smell!!! Just open the box and take out a sheet - it reeks of photography. :thumbup:

Happy Hunting!
 

cam

New member
thank you, Hot Stuff!

i will definitely look into that paper recommendation...

as for using a printing service, i'm not really interested. my images are so on the edge regarding tonalities, that i want total control. i know what i consider important and don't want another making that decision for me. that's kept me from using a service bureau around here -- though i'd consider going if i wanted a larger print, as long as i could supply them with my image of what it should be (i.e., printed properly, if smaller).

books are not my bag either, other than a small one to show a taste of what i do is all i want... i don't have a large enough body of work and, as i've been working on a web site gallery (mostly because i want to start blogging), i'm tearing my hair out at how really ugly my different styles work with each other. the different cameras just don't play nice with each other!

as for framing, that's not really a concern either. with two photographers in one house and limited wall space, that can get messy... i do, thankfully, have a few fans, however, that might enjoy a small framed print. it would be a thrill to see them somewhere.
 
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