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Thread: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

  1. #1
    Workshop Member Joseph Ramos's Avatar
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    Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    I am having a hard time deciding between purchasing an Epson 9880 or a Canon IPF 8100. If anyone is using either of these printers I would love to get your insight.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    I'm a dedicated Epson man, love the printers, love the prints that come from them... So I'm probably too biased and not the right guy to ask
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    I hate Epson with the fiery passion of ten thousand suns, and love my new Canon printer more than I can express.

    How's that for point-counterpoint?

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    I'm going to have to go with Maggie on this one, as well. Although I now use HP's with excellent results, I still have an old Canon i560 that continues to perform when called upon.

    I hated my photo Epson because of the clogging. I will sometimes go weeks, or months, without printing, and the Epson just didn't like the downtime, and would clog the print heads for my reward. What a P.I.T.A. On the otherhand, I've owned a couple of Canon printers and never experienced those kinds of problems. The same goes for my HP's.

    Just another opinion, from my personal experience, and you know what they say about opinions.

    Good luck with your decision,
    Otto...

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    I hate Epson with the fiery passion of ten thousand suns, and love my new Canon printer more than I can express.
    I had an older Epson that "I hated with the fiery passion of ten thousand suns" but my NEW Epson 3800 is sweet. I think it really likes me, plus it's smarter than I am which is good.

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    I have a 2200 Epson which is stll as new bcause I never liked teh quality of print it made even with Imageprint RIP. But this printer is now old technology and I have only heard good things about newer series Epson printers except for the swapping blacks and purging inks issue which apparently has a workaround now. My experience with the 2200 was so bad it actually put me off printing for three years - a most frustratng time for me.

    I have the Canon 5000ip down at teh farm which makes great prints but has impossibly clunky software and I am waiting for Imageprint to come out with their RIP for it.

    I am looking to buy a 9 series size printer next - and am waiting for the Imageprint RIP to compare Canon versus Epson side by side before I make a decision. I take a lot of comfort from the fact that Jack prefers Epson - because Jack has been doing this for a few years.

    Also difficult to gauge opinios from users because what some people cl great prints - IMO nmake excellent bin liners...

  7. #7
    DougDolde
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Dittos on the 3800 comment.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    And I should have clarified my current Epson is the 3800. FWIW, I never liked the 4xxx series as they seemed prone to clogs, but always liked my 7/9xxx printers a lot too.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  9. #9
    workingcamera
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Best printer I have ever used is a homemade job. A traditional POP printing frame, french polished silky oak timber, with hinged back. Beautiful piece of gear and as sturdy as they come.

    The operating procedure is also very civilised

    1. load paper and negative into paper tray rebate (no roll paper option available) and close back

    2. set printer unit in sunny location depending on weather and print contrast desired.

    3. pour large glass of fine merlo (or other variety to taste)

    4. sit back and watch image develop.

    5. optional but recommended... when print image develops-out remove from printer and slosh around in chemicals containing expensive ingredients like gold or platinum before washing and hanging to dry.

    6. wind down the printing cycle by pouring more merlo for operator inducing a sense of self satisfaction and relaxation

    The only catch is the quantity of merlo fed to the operator… too much can introduce operator “software issues” resulting in print rip… before starting again


    I also run a more mordern system..

    Epson 4800 which does a decent job but I have to say the prints that come out of the POP printing frame are generally much nicer.

    Can’t comment further or make comparisons with Canon or HP as I’ve only used the Epsons and can say they do an admirable job with the minimum of fuss.

    Framed behind glass you will have a devil of a job telling an Epson print (even up to 11x14”) from a trad 35mm format enlarger made silver print presented the same way. And this is good enough for me.

  10. #10
    workingcamera
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Jack

    I’ve had the 4800 for over a year now, it gets intermittent use can go weeks without getting some exercise, and not experienced clogging problems YET.

  11. #11
    Workshop Member Joseph Ramos's Avatar
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Thanks everyone for the comments. I just sold my Epson 4800 because I own a Hasselblad H3D 31 and want to make larger prints than the 4800 was capable of. I was originally leaning towards the Canon but the Epson seems to have more support in the form of paper profiles. The Epson is also $1000.00 dollars less.

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Joseph,
    A bit late to the discussion....I have to weigh in on the side of Epson myself. Started with a 2200 that I still use a fair bit, added a 4000 and loved the ability to go photo or matte ink without any changes. Still use it, but it does clog more than I like. The trick is to use it more and then you have less clogging ;-) I added a 7800 for my larger work, and using the ImagePrint RIP with the Dual Black (Phatte Black) arrangement, I think it puts out some of the best looking prints I have ever seen. (Not bragging on my subject stuff, but they look good also.) The 7800 does not clog very much at all. Again, the key is to use these printers, as that is what they were designed for....not sitting around to make one print every couple of weeks or so.

    If you are wanting to take advantage of your H3D 31 images, the new 7880, or the larger (44") 9880 will not disappoint. Given the new K3 inks with the Vivid Magenta and some other slight formulation changes, the variable ink droplet sizes of the Epsons makes for much more detailed print appearances than I have seen on the HPs or Canons. All of the bigger printers are good, but from seeing lots of prints, the Epsons have the edge to me, with the added bonus of having a lot more paper profiles written and tuned for them than the others. Just my thoughts on this.

    LJ

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    Workshop Member ChrisDauer's Avatar
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I had an older Epson that "I hated with the fiery passion of ten thousand suns" but my NEW Epson 3800 is sweet. I think it really likes me, plus it's smarter than I am which is good.
    Ditto.

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Joseph,
    A bit late to the discussion....
    LJ -- it's never too late. there are those of us out here that are still deciding... i'm looking for a smaller printer (not ready to go huge yet) than most of you all and am primarily concerned with getting gorgeous black and whites. i seem to be leaning towards the Epsons because of the K3 ink capabilities, for richness and depth in B&W.... is this true? or just marketing hype...

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    i seem to be leaning towards the Epsons because of the K3 ink capabilities, for richness and depth in B&W.... is this true? or just marketing hype...
    I continue to be amazed at how well the K3 inks (3800) does with B&W. I showed some of my prints to a friend who is a traditional wet printer for B&W and no lie, he ran out and bought a 3800 and a bunch of Harman Glossy FB Ai.

    I even bought a Minolta 5400 film scanner -- on that same friend's recommendation -- as it is reputed to be excellent for scanning B&W film. I got it all hooked up yesterday and did a test scan of an old Tri-X negative. The scan itself blew me away, but I still need to print it...

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    thank you, Jack! i'll be interested to hear how it comes out....

    i'm looking more towards the 2400 because of my current budget and needs. i understand it uses the same technology as the 3800 as well as K3 inks (only the 2400 cartridges are smaller). i know others have outgrown it, but i understood it was more a size issue than quality, i think.

  17. #17
    DougDolde
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    The 2400 quality is about the same as the 3800. The big problem with the 2400 is the tiny ink carts. Buy a 3800 for the same price as a 2400, factoring in all the extra ink that comes with it. Not to mention the larger size (which is seeming smaller every day).

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    And I should have clarified my current Epson is the 3800. FWIW, I never liked the 4xxx series as they seemed prone to clogs, but always liked my 7/9xxx printers a lot too.

    Cheers,
    I must either be incredibly lucky or the clogging that some get with Epson's are not representative. I have had three 2200's (one of the world's worst printers) one 7600, one 7800 and now also a 3800 and all have been flawless with little clogging and very high reliability. Although I have the 7800 I still use the 7600 with K7 inks for B&W! Wonderful use of the printer.

    Hope your results are as good

    Woody Spedden

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    O.K., had to get a few feathers out of my mouth from eating a bit of crow ;-)

    Last evening I attended an Ed Pierce lighting seminar marketing event. Ed had a lot of his truly outstanding portraits on display throughout the display area. We are talking about stuff in the 20x30 and 30x40 inch sizes. He was not only showcasing his stuff, but because of sponsorships, he was showcasing some new media from Lexjet and the new Canon Image ProGraf iPF8100 printer. (That is Canon's big, 44" wide printer that uses the 12 Lucia inks, same as the 17" model 5100, the 24" model 6100, etc.) All images were taken with a Canon EOS 5D, 1DsMkII or 1DsMkIII and good "L" glass. Ed processed everything himself, and used his own printer profiles for a wide range of Lexjet's Sunset media, including canvas, gloss canvas, hot rag, fibre gloss, and their newest Fibre Elite, which is an air-dried high gloss fine art paper. The resulting prints were nothing short of stunning. Seriously. I was really impressed with the Canon printer output (he used 1200dpi at 12-pass) on the various Lexjet papers. (BTW, I think Lexjet's Sunset papers are made by Innova, so they are of very good quality.)

    The color gamut was sensational, with the faintest pastels holding well, even in shadows. These were truly outstanding prints. He had one black and white printed on the Sunset Fibre Elite paper that was as good or better than stuff I have seen from just about any printer. I pressed him a bit about prep, etc., and of course he has his own "tricks" in processing with Nik Color EFEX Pro 3.0, and other tools, but putting all of that aside, the actual ink on paper output was really excellent.

    I am a died in the wool Epson guy myself, using 3-4 different printers, with and without ImagePrint's RIP, and I have yet to produce anything that looked quite as stunning as what I have seen from the new big Canon printers. I really am not trying to push them, nor do I have any affiliation, etc. I just do all of my own printing, and do print a lot, so I have some experience in what things can and do look like, and I do print on a lot of different media (matte, rag, luster, gloss, film, canvas, silk, etc.). My renewed advice at this point is for folks seeking to produce some truly outstanding prints to do a couple of things. One is to sit down and do some serious math about printer cost, ink cost and availability, ink utilization, RIP costs, profiling equipment and materials, etc. I also really encourage folks to go look at some really serious printer outputs. Not talking about the quick and dirty demo at a local camera store, but some high quality work done by a variety of folks. (I suggest attending some of these marketing seminars if they come through your town, going to PMA, PPA, and Imaging USA exhibitions, etc., as you will see some truly outstanding work. I suggest looking not only at the subject matter, as that is what usually draws us in, but at the actual print quality and try to get info on what they used.)

    As I say, I still love my Epsons, and do get very high quality prints from them, but I was really impressed with what I saw coming off of the new Canon Image ProGraf printers. With a good profile (Ed said the ones that shipped from Canon are really rather flat and uninspiring for what his work requires), you can really get some jaw-dropping results. As a result, I am presently thinking about a Canon iPF5100 to replace my aged Epson 4000, instead of going to the Epson 3800. The Epsons are a cheaper, for initial cost, and the new K3 inks with the Vivid Magenta formulation are quite good, but I have not yet seen any prints from them that compare to what I saw last night from the new Canon printers. Just my revamped thinking on some of this. Go look at good printing and make up your own minds, but be prepared to be impressed.....I sure was ;-)

    LJ
    Last edited by LJL; 29th January 2008 at 13:44.

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Here are some "round numbers" on the costs side of things. I do not have actual ink usage data for any of the Canon printers, but that also depends on what kind of stuff you are printing, so it may be all over the map for folks.

    The Epson 3800 goes for about US$1,300 or so. The ink carts for that printer are 80ml and those cost about $45-50 each on the street. You may be able to get some better deals, but that is a rough estimate. Epson profiles for this printer are markedly better than profiles from almost any earlier model printer, but you may want or need something beyond those, so factor in profiles or the cost of a RIP.

    The Canon iPF5100 goes for about $2k. It uses 12 carts of ink, each holding 130ml and going for about $75 each. As mentioned by another person, the profiles tend to be a bit lackluster, so you may want to consider adding in costs for specific profiles, or do them yourself with something like the EyeOne (Greytag MacBeth) spectrophotometer and associated software. It will take a bit of time and more paper and ink than you may think, but you will be able to get something that is exactly to your liking. Just be prepared to spend a bit of time and materials, depending on how many types of media you may use. Or, factor in a RIP, as I think there are some now supporting this line of printers.

    The Epson 78xx/98xx/118xx line of printers are able to use both 110ml and 220ml ink carts. I have been buying 220ml carts for my 7800 for about $85 for each of the 8 it holds. The ImagePrint RIP I use does an excellent job for me, easily having paid for itself for the variety of media I print, and it also seems to actually lay down a bit less ink than the Epson profiles, which impacts cost, and not quality.

    Joseph (OP) was asking about the iPF8100 from Canon. That is a $6K printer, which is comparable in price to the Epson 9880, which is about $1K cheaper. Add in whatever profiling you may think you need or want....the Colorbyte ImagePrint RIP for the large format Epson is about $2,500 unless you already have it and are just adding on a new license for about $1K. The X-Rite EyeOne Photo suite for doing your own calibration and color profiling runs about $1,500.

    These are all "ball-park" prices, and folks may find things cheaper or not in some cases. Again, not trying to sell or push anything, just offering up some thoughts on the overall costs and involvement to get working on a high end, best quality output printer for your images. I have not factored in any comparisons for HP printers, as while they produce some excellent results, my limited experience with them, and not really seeing much output from them anywhere, keeps me from really pursuing them. Not a put-down, but just suggesting folks go check things out themselves.

    Hope this is somewhat useful for those thinking about getting a new printer.

    LJ
    Last edited by LJL; 29th January 2008 at 14:07.

  21. #21
    Workshop Member Joseph Ramos's Avatar
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    As I write this my new Epson 9880 is printing away. Thank you everyone for all the input.

  22. #22
    workingcamera
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Cool!

    Hope it gives long and good service

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Hi Joseph:

    Great choice, I'm sure you will enjoy it immensely!

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Joseph,
    Congrats on the new printer! I am sure you are going to enjoy it and the prints it produces for you. Are you running it with a RIP, or just using supplied/available profiles for it?

    It was your post that got me interested in looking harder at the Canon printers, and I am glad that I did. My earlier posts have me gushing a bit over the new iPF8100, and I do think it is superb also, but my heart remains a bit closer to Epson for lots of reasons. If you can get the 9880 to sing the way you want it to sing, that is all that matters ;-)

    Enjoy the new beast, and make it pay for itself with stunning output ;-)

    LJ

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    Re: Help deciding between Epson or Canon

    Well I just bought an HP z 3100 after years of and epson 7600. So far I love it glossy or matte, ink a little cheaper then canon no swapping longest life of prints and great blacks.

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