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Thread: New Printer Advice

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    New Printer Advice

    Its time to upgrade the digital darkroom before winter sets in . I use an R3000 in my winter location in Florida but I need a larger printer for the Atlanta digital darkroom . I would like to print 17x22 but expect that 13x19 will be my most use size . Everything is one off so no need for roll paper . I always seem to buy just as Epson is changing to newer technology .

    Size and cost aren t real factors as I expect to share it with my daughter and use it for probably three years or more . I have ample room to handle a heavy one .

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: New Printer Advice

    What pros and cons do you see with an Epson 3880?

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: New Printer Advice

    FYI, Epson has continued its rebates on its printers for Oct 2012

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: New Printer Advice

    Epson 3880:
    Pros - Best bang per cubic inch of any printer. Barely larger than a 13" wide printer, but prints 17"x25". Can print 4"x6" - Interestingly, my wife's biggest objection to the larger printers is that they can't print 4x6.
    Cons - Isn't a 9900. Can't print longer than 35". Can't print wider than 17". Can't do roll paper.
    I adore mine. Wish it could print larger, but it takes up no room in the office.
    --Matt
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  5. #5
    james247
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    Re: New Printer Advice

    I want to learn about printing, can any one please refer me any good information site related to printing.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: New Printer Advice

    Visiting the PhotoPlus Show in NYC this week was really helpful . Seeing the printer sizes ,better understanding the differences and looking a some great prints . Prices are excellent on the Epson printers ..they have show discounts that apply thru most web based retailers (BH for example ) .

    The 7900 is for example $2500 with free shipping after an instant rebate . Since this is less than the cost of a leica M lens ..cost differences are not a factor for me . Size and operation are important . Having used an Epson 4000,3800 and now an R3000 ...I can understand the distinctions in size , ink cartridges ,paper handling etc.

    I enjoy making contact sheets , 4x6 prints and finally 81/2x11 in proofs . This allows me to take a shoot of a few thousand photographs and live with my edits . I also find I get a better reaction in discussions when I have a small print . (love my iPad but holding a nice print is much more fun). The R3000 is fantastic for this function .

    So the real open point was how big do I want to print . I was sold on 17x22 which would have put me in the 3880 or 4900 size . But when I saw the prints displayed (at the Epson booth ) ..it was obvious that I would need 24 x 30 .

    Now I have to get comfortable with the giant size .

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: New Printer Advice

    My experience as well. Tis last weekend I did a show at an antique fair in Sacramento, had some 16x20 prints on the wall together with two 24x30 prints from Aspen Creek. The 16x20s looked big at home, but in a big room they are, well, tiny.

    If I was in the market for a 24" printer I would seriously consider the 44" variety instead - much more versatile and just a moderately larger investment.

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    Re: New Printer Advice

    Ditto what Lars said. In large environments prints smaller than 24-30" wide do look small. The majority of the prints I sell are in the 36-40" wide range and often wider. The superiority of MFD really starts to shine with large prints, on paper or canvas. With often available promotions combined with rebates, large format printers are extremely competitive with smaller printers.

    I can't speak with certainty regarding Epson or HP printers, but Canon large format printers come with a one year onsite warranty/repair service. Fortunately, I've only had to use that once, years ago. The large format printers really hit the sweet spot in terms of capability and cost-effectiveness. For occasional single prints in 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 sizes, I use relatively inexpensive Epson/Canon desktops.
    Last edited by Charles Wood; 3rd November 2012 at 06:53. Reason: Correction

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: New Printer Advice

    If you have any consideration of printing on canvas, then a 44" printer is the way to go. My first (and most expensive mistake) in choosing a printer was going too small the first time around. I bought a 7800 and ended up buying a 9800 within months.

    Sure the 9900 is big, but you get used to it. I've actually got two 44" printers...they just seem to multiply...

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    Re: New Printer Advice

    As someone who uses a 9900 practically every day, I would highly recommend it in terms of print quality and utility in a professional environment. I would run away at all costs from having it as an individual photographer, however, unless you are printing over 17" wide on at least a weekly basis.
    These printers like to run. If you do not use them all the time, they clog, they band, they drive you crazy. If you are not using the ink on printing, you are going to use it on cleaning. Also, the 9900 is enormous and takes up a lot of space. You will also need to find something to do with it once you decide to move on to the next thing. That's not necessarily easy with something that weighs 400lbs and is 7 feet long.

    I would definitely recommend a 3880 over a 7900 or 9900 unless you are making constant editions in larger sizes or run a print studio, and certainly not for one off prints below 50x60cm(20x24) Of course, I do think you need to do your own calculation based on how many large prints you expect to make, but make sure you take into account the costs of 11 150-700mL cartridges at up to 280US each retail, the size, weight and aggravation. If you decide it's in your favor, though, I would recommend the 9900 over the 7900. For not much more bulk or cost, you get much larger print size (you can use 44" on the short side, of course, so you can truly make wall sized prints.

    But again, if you are mostly interested in 17x22 and smaller, the 3880 is really hard to beat. They are simply better for small prints -- they can print below A4/US Letter, and have more accurate registration and borders than the larger printers. They can also take multiple sheets at once (not possible on the 9900), which is a real time saver if you are making several prints. The 9900 requires you load every single sheet individually, and on mine, at least 1 in 5 A4 sheets is skewed when using its auto-paper feed. You cannot easily line it up manually unless the sheet is 11x17 or larger. The 9900 is great for roll paper and a production environment with large sizes, but not for a casual user...
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