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Thread: Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

    I really liked my 24" Z3100 but it has always had an alarming call-out to print-out ratio and has now just died for what looks like the final time, with the 'formatter' giving up the ghost (it's a secondary motherboard I hear) and threatening to to cost over six hundred pounds to replace. Otherwise I've had marks all over baryta prints that the engineers couldn't fully dispel, problems with the printhead drop detectors that recur due to the use of 'dusty' papers like Hanny/HP Textured fine art, blah blah blah.

    And yet there's a lot to like: it cleans itself nicely every day so there's no clogging, I can print to it over Airport network using ethernet and best of all it profiles its own papers and manages the list of ICC profiles back from itself onto my computer pretty seamlessly.

    I'm not going to get an Epson, for all the usual reasons, but I do have my eye on the Canon 6300 which according to Lula has better inks and gamuts but then I will be thrown onto the mercy of individual paper makers and their ICC provisions.

    I print small volumes of fine art prints (by small volumes I mean on average four or five 24 x 36" prints a week) and so need something that is good at sitting idle. I don't have perfect colour vision so I profile everything in my workflow. And I want to be able to print from Lightroom without using a RIP.
    Cost is A but but not THE consideration: the Z3200 replacement uses the same inks ( I have several in stock) and earns a trade-in. It would therefore cost me a net 2,210 to go for a Z3200 and 2,672 to go for the Canon, excluding the value of retained inks. The rebate on the Z3100 is 315 and I might conceivably top that a little by offering it as trade-in on Ebay...

    So the real question is, has anyone any experience to show that the Canon is more reliable? Assuming most paper makers provide ICC profiles, will my results be in the same ballpark of colour accuracy on the Canon as with the Z3200...

    Tough decision! All and any experience and advice would be deeply appreciated!
    Thanks
    Tim

    ps this is a replication of a thread I started at DPReview just now too, sorry, but I need to spread the advice net as wide as possible!

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    Re: Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

    Not to be a downer, but are any of the large wide format inkjets reliable? I get the impression that they are all highly-tuned machines prone to millions of niggling faults. I use a 9900 and it has been fine so far other than requiring lots of ink running through it. It does not like to sit (at all). If it does sit, it will get tiny clogs...perhaps even just a 1mm gap in the nozzle pattern, but it's always something.

    I don't really have any advice other than to say you are probably damned if you do and damned if you don't. That said, if Canon really is more reliable than HP and Epson (why would we expect them to be?), it would be great to hear about it!
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    Re: Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

    I've been printing from my Canon iPF6100 for two years without a single problem (more than I can say about my former Epson 4000 - probably the worst printer ever made). The Canon is breath of fresh air and very reliable. Doesn't gobble ink or waste ink with frequent cleaning cycles. Color and B&W are both excellent. You don't need a RIP or special B&W mode (eg. Epson's ABW) to produce perfectly neutral or toned B&W - just use a high quality custom RGB icc profile for each paper. No nasty crossovers or unwanted color casts. No need to switch black inks for matte/photo papers either. I would not hesitate to buy another Canon printer.
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    Re: Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

    My Z3100 has been very reliable.
    I print small volumes of fine art prints, similar to you.
    I however take off for a couple or three weeks without the need
    to print. This caused problems with both Canon and Epson
    (clogging, cleaning, wasted ink)

    The Z3100 is the best printer I have owned.
    It does not need your attention, or daily use.
    You can go on a vacation and not pay someone to
    print pictures every other day.

    You might have found a lemon!

    If I printed every day. The Canon was a nice printer
    I liked the prints from it. However the ink cost was higher
    and it clogged on me. (lack of consistent use)

    I have owned a few cars that everyone liked but I
    found the bad one.

    Good Luck
    Ebe

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    I've been printing from my Canon iPF6100 for two years without a single problem (more than I can say about my former Epson 4000 - probably the worst printer ever made). The Canon is breath of fresh air and very reliable. Doesn't gobble ink or waste ink with frequent cleaning cycles. Color and B&W are both excellent. You don't need a RIP or special B&W mode (eg. Epson's ABW) to produce perfectly neutral or toned B&W - just use a high quality custom RGB icc profile for each paper. No nasty crossovers or unwanted color casts. No need to switch black inks for matte/photo papers either. I would not hesitate to buy another Canon printer.
    Carl thank you (and to everyone else too!)

    Critically important to me is to know how the canon handles a few days of inactivity, as my printer needs to be able to do without clogging. As others have observed the z3100 is really really good at this because it regularly performs self maintenance in a way that seems not to gobble ink...

    Thanks for any additional info you might have!

    Tim

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    Re: Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Carl thank you (and to everyone else too!)

    Critically important to me is to know how the canon handles a few days of inactivity, as my printer needs to be able to do without clogging. As others have observed the z3100 is really really good at this because it regularly performs self maintenance in a way that seems not to gobble ink...

    Thanks for any additional info you might have!

    Tim
    Tim,

    Canon iPF also does self maintenance. Leave it on in energy saving sleep mode and it will wake as necessary for brief checks and cleaning. I usually turn it off if I'm going to be away for extended periods, but even then it goes right back to printing flawlessly after restarting. I've never had a clog in two years of use and the iPF is very frugal with ink use.
    Carl
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    Tim,

    Canon iPF also does self maintenance. Leave it on in energy saving sleep mode and it will wake as necessary for brief checks and cleaning. I usually turn it off if I'm going to be away for extended periods, but even then it goes right back to printing flawlessly after restarting. I've never had a clog in two years of use and the iPF is very frugal with ink use.
    Thank you! I think that's my mind made up... Much appreciated advice, I'll be sure to report back!

    Best

    Tim

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

    The iPF 6300 arrived today and was a breeze to set up. It's printing now, a lot, and I think I like it, a lot... some early issues around printing from LR have been resolved and it's now chugging out test prints for a show I have coming up.

    It has the world's most powerful fan and since my desk is in the firing line I now have a gale force breeze.

    Nice.

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    Re: Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    The iPF 6300 arrived today and was a breeze to set up. It's printing now, a lot, and I think I like it, a lot... some early issues around printing from LR have been resolved and it's now chugging out test prints for a show I have coming up.

    It has the world's most powerful fan and since my desk is in the firing line I now have a gale force breeze.

    Nice.
    Tim,
    Congratulations for your new iPF6300. If you have any technical questions there are some very helpful folks that frequent the discussion forum over at the Canon iPF Wiki .
    Carl
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    Re: Unreliable Z3100 going, need reliable replacement: any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    Tim,
    Congratulations for your new iPF6300. If you have any technical questions there are some very helpful folks that frequent the discussion forum over at the Canon iPF Wiki .
    Wow! What a great resource! Thank you so much for pointing it out... teh setup was easy but the on-line documentation isn't linear or well designed so one can't just sit down and read it through to learn the ropes...

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