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Thread: Advice on new 24" printer

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Advice on new 24" printer

    My venerable (actually I'm being nice, it has always been a bit of a PITA) Canon iPF6300 shows signs of multiple organ failure. I had an HP Z3200 before that - loved its self profiling and self-maintenance regimes.

    I mainly print for proofing and personal use, because for fine art sales increasingly the prints are of a size that I cannot realistically do myself.

    I'm quite out of touch with what's new (and more importantly, what's good!) in this realm of gear. What I really need is something that gives results very similar to what I'd get at a very high end print shop, the sort that does gallery prints for serious shows. The Canon was pretty capable of this. I just wonder of anyone knows of anything else that's come along since I last looked into all this and can suggest something reliable and excellent. Now LuLa has been taken over in some slightly odd putsch, this sort of advice seems to have gone from there!

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by tashley; 25th February 2019 at 11:25.

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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    I think I'd buy another Z3200. They're great, don't clog and can be had now for 2,000 from B&H. I wouldn't touch an Epson

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    I think I'd buy another Z3200. They're great, don't clog and can be had now for 2,000 from B&H. I wouldn't touch an Epson
    Thanks Doug - I really liked my Z3200 and that's a tempting idea. Also the Canon 2000 sounds pretty good.

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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    I think I'd buy another Z3200. They're great, don't clog and can be had now for 2,000 from B&H. I wouldn't touch an Epson
    Ive had an Epson 7880 for about six years and have never had a clog
    Stanley

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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    The latest generation of Epson P Surecolor printers are exceptional. I've been running a P9000 for about three years now. Zero problems with clogging or any issues other than doing a simple nozzle check. I swap inks frequently and print on both photographic, canvas, and matte papers. No issues. And I know that other P series owners have noted the same---much less issues in terms of clogging than prior generations. I've had 4800, 7800, 9800, 9890, 9900, and the P9000. Latest generation is easily the best in terms of interface, quality of print, speed, and trouble-free usage. Even sheet feeding is noticeably better, though I use rolls 95% of the time. Custom ICC profiles naturally.

    If you had a Canon previously----you may feel more at home simply upgrading to the latest Canon.

    Epson, Canon, and HP----will all fill the bill.
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    The latest generation of Epson P Surecolor printers are exceptional. I've been running a P9000 for about three years now. Zero problems with clogging or any issues other than doing a simple nozzle check. I swap inks frequently and print on both photographic, canvas, and matte papers. No issues. And I know that other P series owners have noted the same---much less issues in terms of clogging than prior generations. I've had 4800, 7800, 9800, 9890, 9900, and the P9000. Latest generation is easily the best in terms of interface, quality of print, speed, and trouble-free usage. Even sheet feeding is noticeably better, though I use rolls 95% of the time. Custom ICC profiles naturally.

    If you had a Canon previously----you may feel more at home simply upgrading to the latest Canon.

    Epson, Canon, and HP----will all fill the bill.
    I've always avoided Epson printers because of the ink change rigmarole when switching from glass to matt papers, which I do a lot... doesn't it irritate you?

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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    The switch between Pk and Mk inks on a P series printer is rather quick and easy.

    If there is any complaint I have----it is the use of proprietary "chips" on the ink cartridges and on the maintenance tanks. This is an effort by Epson to force you to use only their inks. It is a rather ingenious business model. The printer really is almost a free commodity in the scheme of things. Add up the cost of ELEVEN 700ml ink cartridges---and you understand the business model. I just don't understand the chip on the $38 maintenance tank----which now prevents recycling. It's not that I wouldn't use only Epson inks, but it really hurts artistic endeavors by folks like Jon Cone and B&W piezography printing. He has recently overcome this hurdle for the P Series, so I may well pick up another printer for Piezography in the future.

    Otherwise----the Epson Surecolor P series has been an exceptional workhorse.

    ken
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    I think this practice has been outlawed in EU countries since 2006 ... thank gawd.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    I think this practice has been outlawed in EU countries since 2006 ... thank gawd.
    ???

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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    I think you should skip the 24" and get the 44" since you now own an IQ4150.

    OR, just sell some firewood and the upgrade to 44" is paid for.
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    ???
    Sorry, should have been clearer. It's the smart chips - like the ones on the US P800 - that effectively lock out the use of 3rd party carts that are banned. Inkjetmall have had to go down the road of using a separate control board to allow the use of their carts in the P800, but if you have an EU model, you don't need it.

    The EU printer carts still have chips, but these can easily be reset or cloned by 3rd party manufacturers.

    It's all to do with reducing environmental waste.
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    I think you should skip the 24" and get the 44" since you now own an IQ4150.

    OR, just sell some firewood and the upgrade to 44" is paid for.

    I had thought of it but here in the UK the bottleneck is not 'who can print large' but 'how do I get a print that size mounted and framed the way I like? Because the people who do the mounting and framing the way I like won't do it on prints they didn't make. So for me, the 24' printer is increasingly just for proofing and personal use. The stuff I sell is trending larger...

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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I had thought of it but here in the UK the bottleneck is not 'who can print large' but 'how do I get a print that size mounted and framed the way I like? Because the people who do the mounting and framing the way I like won't do it on prints they didn't make. So for me, the 24' printer is increasingly just for proofing and personal use. The stuff I sell is trending larger...
    So perhaps its time to find a new mounting/framing place.

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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    If it's just for proofing why not a 17" printer?

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    If it's just for proofing why not a 17" printer?
    Visitors to my studio might see it ;-)
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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I had thought of it but here in the UK the bottleneck is not 'who can print large' but 'how do I get a print that size mounted and framed the way I like? Because the people who do the mounting and framing the way I like won't do it on prints they didn't make. So for me, the 24' printer is increasingly just for proofing and personal use. The stuff I sell is trending larger...
    I've never seen one wider than 5'.

    BTW, since I moved from Epson 3880 to Canon Pro-1000, my percentage of wasted paper has dropped from 30% to 1%. More than half the time, a paper size change would get lost somewhere in the chain of Epson drivers (and OS X ... it might not have been Epson's fault). But the Canon printing software has never failed me.

    --Matt
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    I have also been very happy with my Epson P9000, but I do not think I would recommend the Epsons to casual users. The ink change issue and their fussiness about sitting for a long time...in general they seem to be more temperamental than what I have heard from Canon. If you are doing it for a living, then the advantages and quality they bring make for a good argument, but not so much if you are only using them a few times a month or less.
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Interested in this question for 17" printers, for BW and color, Canson Baryta.
    Have had reasonable success with a 4900, but its a bit complicated sometimes... But chugs along just fine when running...

    Due to lack of use for several weeks (ok...two months) now with a massive head clog. Not sure its fixable. The 5000 seems like a similar upgrade (like the 200ml cartridges!); for more intermittent use, some say the P800 is better; Canon folks say less clogs, but complaining about ink used all the time for ongoing maintenance. Anyone got any suggestions/recommendations? Oh, isn't there a simple solution for this?

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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Honestly, as a printer myself, I would say leave it to people like me to deal with. Many people want to do it themselves, which I completely understand. I guess not many printers will give you the kind of help I try to give to clients, so I can understand why people might not want to pay someone else to more or less press a button for them, especially if they are already technically minded and have a good color managed workflow. But I think it is a bit of a false economy, especially if you have someone printing for you who knows what they are doing and takes the time to learn your preferences, because he or she can often help steer you towards materials or techniques that might benefit your work. People look at the cost of the printers and see they are fairly low, and even when they look at the cost of materials, they tend to leave out the full costs...for example, the inevitable wasted paper at the beginning or end of the roll, missed prints and test prints, ink consumption not only for usage, but for cleaning, all the time spent solving problems, keeping the system up to date, dealing with repairs. For the larger printers there is the physical space associated with them, disposal of them at the end of their life etc. I wish I could say that in 2019 we were better off with all this than we were in 2005, but honestly we really aren't. The technical characteristics are better and some of the clog issues have improved, but printing is still nearly as annoying as it was years ago. Nothing has come to market that "just works" all the time, or at least not for everyone. My real advice is to find someone you like working with at a reasonable price and let them deal with all the headaches. Fix yourself up with a 17" printer for proofing and small prints, and write it off in 2-3 years. Unless you are working for others or really cranking out a number of prints a week, anything bigger is probably more of a headache than it is worth.
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Honestly, as a printer myself, I would say leave it to people like me to deal with. Many people want to do it themselves, which I completely understand. I guess not many printers will give you the kind of help I try to give to clients, so I can understand why people might not want to pay someone else to more or less press a button for them, especially if they are already technically minded and have a good color managed workflow. But I think it is a bit of a false economy, especially if you have someone printing for you who knows what they are doing and takes the time to learn your preferences, because he or she can often help steer you towards materials or techniques that might benefit your work. People look at the cost of the printers and see they are fairly low, and even when they look at the cost of materials, they tend to leave out the full costs...for example, the inevitable wasted paper at the beginning or end of the roll, missed prints and test prints, ink consumption not only for usage, but for cleaning, all the time spent solving problems, keeping the system up to date, dealing with repairs. For the larger printers there is the physical space associated with them, disposal of them at the end of their life etc. I wish I could say that in 2019 we were better off with all this than we were in 2005, but honestly we really aren't. The technical characteristics are better and some of the clog issues have improved, but printing is still nearly as annoying as it was years ago. Nothing has come to market that "just works" all the time, or at least not for everyone. My real advice is to find someone you like working with at a reasonable price and let them deal with all the headaches. Fix yourself up with a 17" printer for proofing and small prints, and write it off in 2-3 years. Unless you are working for others or really cranking out a number of prints a week, anything bigger is probably more of a headache than it is worth.
    Exactly why I do not do my own digital printing. It is a different story for darkroom printing.

    Jesse
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    Re: 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.

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    Senior Member JohnBrew's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    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.

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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new 24" printer

    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.

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