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Opinions on Printer options

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Kevin Scott, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. Hi All,
    I'd like to get some opinions on printers that you all use for printing your photographs. I've done a lot of research but I'm worse than a kid in a candy store and can't make up my mind. The opinions of people on this forum I respect so I'd like to hear them. Here's what I'm looking at:

    1. Epson. I'm considering the R1800 or maybe even the 2200. Don't really see the need to spend the extra on the 2400. I like the fact that they're pigment based inks and archival quality for the prints. I also like the fact that I could print up to 13x19. Clogging print heads bothers me as I don't know that I would print daily (at least at this point). Cost per print isn't necessarily easy to determine.

    2. Kodak. I'm considering the 1400 dye-sub printer. Primarily the reason is that they seem to output the most photograph-like looking prints. The print longevity is good as well. I realize the max size of output is 8x10 but then I would be using this printer strictly for business (printing portraits in house). I could then always send out any larger prints I wanted for myself. Cost per print is very easy to determine.

    3. HP. Today I found info on the HP8750. It looks promising provided you use appropriate paper. It seems to be archival as well. I believe it also has the max print size of 13x19. I have an older HP and bought it because the ink cartridges contain heads so they're replaced new each time a new cartridge is added so the clogging is minimized. From what I've read, even though they use a 3-color ink cartridge, the inks are used up in a fairly even manner (somehow) so you typically don't have to discard the entire cartridge because one ink is used up.

    The primary purpose of the printer is to print portraits for clients, my assumption is typically not larger than 8x10. I already have a laser printer and numerous inkjets for other household printing. Going with dye-sub isn't an issue for larger prints as I could send larger ones to a lab for printing.

    So there's my dilemma. My biggest concern is print quality. I also think clients may misconstrue inkjet prints as being inferior to the photos they normally receive from school portrait packages. Are the new inkjets capable of producing the same kind of quality as what most people consider a photograph? Please share your experiences.

  2. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    I can't be specific, but my take on what I have read indicates that with the right paper, and using the right type of inks, the output of an inkjet printer will be much better than what has previously been available, and the results, while they probably cannot equal conventional photographs, do produce an acceptable alternative.

    Also, look at this thread: https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=7080
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  3. Kevin,

    The 2200 (selling one at the moment since I just upgraded to an Epson 4800) is the best of the bunch IF you're looking to do fine art matte printing (especially B&W) and prefer luster for your "gloss" look (I do since I find glossy too "wet" looking). Anything glossier than luster and you'll run into problems with gloss differential (not a big deal if you buy a RIP). This is where the 2400 comes in - it delivers better glossy performance (almost no gloss differential thanks to the K3 inks) and neutral B&W without the need for a RIP.

    Bottom line with the 2200 - a portrait on 300g fine art matte paper looks like a painting. It's a richer look that commands a higher sale price than anything on luster paper. That's why I've continued with Epson and bought a 4800. Bigger, faster and more consistent from the factory (no need for custom profiles on the 4800).

    BTW, I'm not sure I buy the HP theory that all inks are used evenly. After a year with the 2200 I can tell you without question, for example, photo magenta is used three times as fast as yellow. Any multi-color cart is wasting some ink when "empty".

    PS - don't hesitate to go inkjet. My typical feedback is that my prints look BETTER than traditional prints.

    Hope this helps.
  4. JamesMor


    Jun 28, 2005
    New York
    I am going to second that one about my question of how printers use ink. My experience has been that Light Cyan and Magenta run out 2x faster than the other inks. I BELIEVE that they all come with 10 ml cartridges.

    I love my Epson 2200, though I am also debating the 4800. It is a spectacular printer. The question on the Kodak is a good one though. It looks like a great printer and is super consistent for paper and cartridge costs. If it allowed 11x14, I would buy one in an instant.

  5. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    To me the 8750 looks ideal except for the lack of individual ink cartridges. About the colors running out together, I have a feeling that what's really happening is that the software that reports ink usage is telling you want you want to hear. At least, I hope that is the case because I would hate to think that the printer would shift ink usage based on consumption rate; seems to me that would make getting consistent results from a custom profile all but impossible.

    HP has apparently announced that some of their upcoming models are moving to individual ink tanks although a new 13" model wasn't mentioned. Hopefully there will be a replacement for the 8750 using individual tanks in the not-so-distant future.
  6. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Have you considered the Epson R800?

    I have both the Epson 2200 & R800, and can tell you, if you don't need to go larger than 8x10 in-house, the R800 can't be beat! It prints SO much faster than the 2200, and uses the same pigment based inks. I would say it prints probably 4 times faster than my 2200. That's the one thing that bugs the crap out of me with the 2200. It takes all day to get an 8x10 out of it, something like 8 or 9 minutes! If you're doing a 1/2 dozen or more at once, go have lunch then come back, they MIGHT be done by then! :roll: As for clogs, I've only experienced that phenom rarely. If you haven't done any photo prints for a while, just run the wiper/head cleaner utility on it, and it'll be fine.
  7. It's not that they get used up at the same time, it's that the page yield is comparable to the Epson because periodically Epson "primes" their heads to prevent them from clogging. I don't know about the ones mentioned here, but the consumer models do. That is the reason that Epson has such a large diaper (cotton pad) in their machines. If you never print anything and leave the machine on, in a month or two, the ink tanks will be empty. If you print a lot and turn the machine on each time you use it, you will run out of ink faster than leaving it on. Confusing, isn't it?

    Also, with the Epson that I had, when I changed a red tank, for example, the other tanks also "charged". I would lose 5% of my ink in the "full" tanks. So if they don't get used evenly, you are still wasting a lot of ink just by changing one cartridge.

    Then you have the print head deal. When my down spout broke and the water dumped onto the ground, it made a large hole. Ink does the same thing flying through such a tiny hole. With the HP you get new print heads each time you replace the catridge. I believe that will yield a more consistent printout over time.

    I have a PowerPoint presentation of ink usage in Epson, HP, and Canon printers. If I can find it, I'll post it for you guys.

    I use an HP 8150. I also use the soft gloss (matte) paper. I think that it gives me wonderful print outs. If I need a lot of prints, I will use one of the online or local shops.
  8. Thanks guys for the great feedback! I need to digest some more of this but please feel free to continue to offer input.
  9. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Hey Kev,

    I am sorry not be able to offer more credible comparison information, but I just received an Epson R1800 from my family and it makes wonderful prints. I am thrilled with the speed that prints are made, it has eight ink cartridges, it's relatively quiet and I like that it makes thirteen inch prints. I was given the choice of which printer the family was going to purchase and the R1800 was so highly rated by some friends and Will Crocket from Shootsmarter. com, that I heeded their commendations. As far as your other choices...I am not familiar with them at all.
  10. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    I have the R1800 (and the R800 before that) and am delighted with it. Its output is stunning (most of my work is glossy) and it is very fast. The monochrome output is also excellent.
  11. Kevin,

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to rock the boat a little bit. :) 

    I have a Canon S9000, and have been very happy with the prints I get from it. It's got nice color and is faster than a lot of other printers I looked at when I bought it, although I suspect there's less of a speed difference now that most manufacturers have come out with new and improved models since I got it.

    More recently, however, I've changed my printing habits dramatically. I used to print everything on my own printer, regardless of size or quality considerations. At this point, I only print 8 x 10's or larger on my own printer, relegating all other prints to Costco (especially since you can upload the pics online now). When you compare costs for ink, paper, and time, there's no way I can print the smaller prints as cheaply as Costco can. I do like the colors better when I print my own, but not so much so that I'll take the time and effort on those smaller prints.

    If I were to do it all over again, I would probably get a nice wide-body printer (13x19 or better) and stay away from the smaller printers, just because I rarely can justify the bump in quality of home printing vs. the cost for 4x6 or 5x7 prints at a low-cost service bureau. Only when I go to the larger size does it start making more sense.

    Just my 2¢ worth...
  12. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    I purchased the Epson R1800 and have been very happy with it. We had a 2200 at my office and I didn't like it at all. It would clog up continuously with epson ink carts. and would take several prints for one to come out ok.

    Forum member birger petterson is an authority in my opinion on the epsons. He can offer many helpful suggestions and opinions.

    Like you I wanted to get the dye sub but am glad I went with the R1800. Its fast, doesn't clog (so far) and is excellent with glossy paper.

  13. general


    Apr 30, 2005
    Epson 2200

    I must disagree with some of the earlier comments on the 2200. I have found it to be an outstanding printer. I have never had to run a cleaning routine in over two years of operation. With the Epson profiles, I create beautiful color 13 X 19 prints. I have not tried black and white on it so can't comment.
  14. I'm very appreciative of all the responses to my request. Unfortunately, I haven't made up my mind. It seems everyone like their printers and each has preferences as to why.

    David, you didn't rock the boat. I was considering the i9900 previously and probably would've included it in my post had I not been distracted by stumbling on the HP. What I liked about the Canon was the speed.

    Greg, your ppt demo certainly drives the point home about ink waste!! :shock:

    So the only contingent I haven't heard from is the dye-sub group. Does no one here own one?

    My primary purpose of printing would be portraits. I haven't seen samples of the current inkjets to be able to discern their quality for this purpose. I think I'm leaning more towards matte prints and I know there are certain brands/models that seem to excel there.

    Again, I appreciate the feedback. If anyone else feels compelled to offer their 2 cents, I'm listening. I'm not planning on going out tomorrow to buy one but when I do I want to make sure I've made the right choice.
  15. twig


    May 23, 2005
    I tried a bunch of ink jets and they were all ap in the ***.
    Clogged heads, paper profiles, only using manuf. overpriced inks, bad prints tyring to color manage.

    Ink jet prints smell funny and are sticky, IMO they don;t remind me of real photos. PErhaps under glass this doesn;t matter.

    I have a hiti dye sub, fixes per print (though high) cost.
    MAybe if I was going to buy now I would get the Kodak 1400, which can print 8x12. I like dye sub better. PRints looks as good or better) and everything is fixed, inks, papers, and cost per print.

    Plus the photo looks and feels like a photo, says Kodak on the back I suspect, looks nice.

    Right now for me though ,I gave up on printing at home and send out to MPIX for important work. In the end for the quality the price is fine for me, I don't print a ton, mostly for clients only.

  16. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    This is certainly interesting but you have to take it with a huge grain of salt considering the source. For instance they may have chosen the specific models to further their point. Also they talk about volume of ink wasted but neglect to mention the fact that HP ink cartridges have much less ink in them depsite costing as much as or more than the competition.
  17. Appreciate the additional input! I spent some more time scouring the dpr printing forum threads and have drawn some conclusions (hopefully not too far off)

    1. If my primary interest is matte prints, go for Epson

    2. If my primary interest is glossy prints, go for one of the other printers though it was acknowledged that the newest Epson is better at non-bronzing than earlier models

    3. For the most realistic photographic results, go for dye-sub though the colors won't be quite as punchy as inkjet and there are size limitations

    Am I off base?
  18. I am a user of the Canon S9000 and in the two plus years I have used have never had a problem, as others have said it is fast as can be. I use Qimage to print to it and the final product looks fantastic
  19. I am a user of the Canon S9000 and in the two plus years I have used have never had a problem, as others have said it is fast as can be. I use Qimage to print to it and the final product looks fantastic
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