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photo printer recommendations

Discussion in 'Printers, Monitors, and Color Management' started by bcampodallorto, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. I am in the market for a printer. Capability to do larger than 8 1/2 x 11 would be nice. Any suggestions?
  2. HP B9180 or the newer 8850. The B9180 can be connected either USB or Ethernet, prints up to 13x19. Next step up Epson 3800 perhaps, or the Z series HP's. Some of the newer Canon's in that size range are very good as well.

    I have had my B9180 for a couple of years now, still happy.
  3. asaya

    asaya Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    Tony Saya
    Epson R1900 is an excellent printer
  4. HP Z3200 is hard to beat.
  5. Thanks for the suggestions. I will research those printers mentioned. I think I will limit my paper size as A3(13x19) maximum. As an amateur, I don't think I would need anything more.
  6. do be aware that you are unlikely to save any money by printing yourself and there is a steep learning curve to understand the process well enough to get results to match a good print lab. consider calibration tools in your budget along with the printer.

    I am using a Canon iPF5100 which performs fabulously and comes with excellent drivers to control it. I calibrate it with a Spyder3 studio kit.

    I had a HP B9180 which was a total disaster and was replaced and then bought back by HP. both units had multiple different manufacturing defects and output was never good enough. I would not recommend this printer for anyone/any purpose unless they did something terrible to the world and needed punishment.

    I put together print set up to have complete control over the print process from media selection to when I can make them and I was ready to put in significant time to use all the equipment effectively.
  7. web52


    May 9, 2008
    houston tx
    I have an epson r1900 and even though I get some usable prints from it, I regret buying it. Epson refuses to allow Photoshop to control colors, and it's bloody few profiles they put into their drivers.
    I much preferred Canon printers.
  8. What kind of problems are you having getting the app to control the colors?

    I use both Photoshop LR and Photoshop CS3 with my Epson 1400 and have no issues with the application controlling the printer. There are profiles for all the Epson branded papers and you can get profiles for quite a few others. I've even found some "suitable substitutes" for oddball papers like some low end Staples extra heavy photo paper that I use for greeting cards.
  9. My B9180 lasted about 18 months, now it won't print. I got an Epson 2200 to tide me over, though I'm considering the 4800 next.

  10. web52


    May 9, 2008
    houston tx
    Epson vs Photoshop color management

    My biggest problem is that Epson will not allow Photoshop to control the colors. The closest is to have PS send out aRGB and tell the printer it's aRGB. Choices of paper profiles are severely limited. I can NOT preview in PS what the eventual colors will be.

    Maybe I'm a control freak (I guess most aerospace engineers are somewhat that), but I don't like the arrogance of Epson - a) telling me the ink is dry when I can look in the cartridge and see it's only 1/2 down, and b)telling me that I can use only their 6 or 7 paper profiles when I can get dozens more from the PS community.

    If PS can control the profiles, I can fix a bad profile (or get it fixed), but nobody can get in to the printer firmware to tweak it.
  11. mvnsnd


    Jul 12, 2008
    Western NY
    I just purchased a Canon Pixma Pro 9000 MKII from Newegg, with Bing double cashback and $100 Canon rebate, I think I did fairly well. I already have a canon S900 that is quite old and just like the Canon prints. It claims 13 x 19 prints. I should get it later this week, but I don't have paper that size, just 8.5 x 11.
  12. Bill:

    I don't own your exact Epson model; however, I have owned many Epson printers over the years and in each case I've been able to print from PS allowing the application to manage colors. I can easily preview the image in PS too.

    Depending on the popularity of the printer and paper type, the number of available free profiles may be large or small, but the option always exists to have custom profiles made for your particular printer/paper combination.

    Are you certain that your particular printer somehow won't allow application managed printing?
  13. web52


    May 9, 2008
    houston tx
    epson vs ps

    In Photoshop I would get the colors where I wanted them (paper/printer etc.) then in the Epson printer I would tell it to NOT change ANYTHING. The "photo" quality would come out barely usable, and the "best" quality would be nearly black.

    Contacted epson for technical help and they said to send out Adobe RGB to the printer and then tell the printer to interpret the file _as_ aRGB, and within the printer driver choose the paper. They told me there was no way for the Photoshop to control the colors in this printer.
    :Curved::Angry: And then there's the little bit about throwing away color cartridges that are only about half full!

    Like I've said often since then: When Canon gets the color stability issue fixed, Epson will probably lose market share really fast, and I'm going to be one of them.
  14. It's hard to say for sure without going into your situation in more detail, but I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut that you were "double profiling"; i.e. telling both PS and your printer to manage the colors.

    Unfortunately you are not likely to solve complicated color management problems with a phone call to an Epson (or any other brand) tech rep.

    Color management can be tricky and one simple solution, especially from the point of view of a printer tech guy, is to say, "Let the printer manage the colors". That is, of course, not the whole story of color management.

    "Telling the printer not to change ANYTHING" is often not as simple as one might wish. Photoshop and print management programs like Qimage have check boxes which say something like "Let the printer manage colors". But you can't blame printer manufacturers for not having a similar box which might say, "Let the application manage colors" if for no other reason other than the tech support nightmare such a menu selection would generate.

    In other words, turning off color management by the printer is NOT as easy as it could be. This sad fact often is at the heart of horrible print quality.

    Any popular printer on the market today should be able to make nice prints using either the printer or the application (but not both) to manage colors. Unfortunately , making that happen may not be straightforward.

    In addition, producing "great" prints may not be all that easy either because color management can be such a complex issue.:smile:

  15. After sorting through color management on an HP printer and a Canon printer along with monitor calibration and printer profiling, I would see your experience as reinforcement to the notion that making good prints is not as easy as it seems rather than anything about one particular brand of printer.

    what color stability issue does Canon have anyways?
  16. Right now the Epson 3800 has a $300 rebate and $138 in free paper. It prints 17" wide.
    I just ordered one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2009
  17. Rob T

    Rob T

    Aug 27, 2008
    Where did you order it from?

    I don't see anything about this promotion at Amazon.
  18. I bought it locally, HERE

    You can log in as a guest and see a price of $1199. With the rebate it's $899, the paper ends up being free and is worth $138.

    I had to pay 6% PA. sales tax but shipping was free.
  19. B&H also shows both rebates. Because of the free shipping my deal was $110 less.
  20. Rob T

    Rob T

    Aug 27, 2008
    Thanks Greg.

    Realistically, what kind of quality do you think this printer will give for B&W prints (I prefer to not have two printers for B&W and Color anymore)?
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