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printer advice needed

Discussion in 'Printers, Monitors, and Color Management' started by Terri French, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. I have been using a canon ip 6600D printer for general home use and occasional photo printing. It's expensive to operate, so I usually do my printing at Costco or Mpix.

    It has a broken page feeder. I can still feed paper through the cassette tray, but I am nearly out of ink and don't want to replace the cartridges on a broken machine.

    I am wondering if I decided to spend more on a printer and do more of my printing at home, can I buy one that is cost effecient to operate? I realize the convenience and control of the output is a big plus, but are there any that are close to the price of ordering prints to operate?

    What would you recommend?

    Thanks for advice. I have had experience with cheaper epson printers and found that the ink clogging issue was too frustrating. I've liked this canon printer but found the prints too expensive.
  2. What is the largest size you would want to print, Terri?
  3. I think that 11x14 would probably be the largest. Once in a while I might want something bigger, but I could have that sent out.
  4. Terri

    Just last week I ordered a Epson R1800 from their Outlet store. Cost was less than $400. So far, I am very impressed with the output and I've just barely begun to "play".

    Your question about "cost efficient" is difficult to answer. The ink tanks (there are 8 of them) retail for about $14 each, although I've seen some websites that have them as low as $12. Good to excellent quality papers look to be about a dollar or less per page. Without amortizing out everything to the last cent (i.e. the up front cost of the printer), I'm estimating that an 11x17 would probably come out to $2 or so each ... which I believe is less than most custom prints outside would cost. 4x6's are probably more than the $.20 or less that Costco or a local store charges.

    But, as you say, you have total control over what the image looks like. Which means, you may actually print several to get the desired image thus driving up the costs a bit. Hopefully, the learning process will reduce the number of copies that must be printed to get the desired outcome!

    Personally, I got mine more for the control ... that plus the "instant gratification" factor!!

    Again, I am impressed with the R1800 ... a lot of "professional" capabilities at more of a "consumer" price point.


  5. I'll be interested to know if you have clogging problems if the printer sits for a few days. Of course, right now it is probably in use often!:biggrin: Also, are the ink cartridges bigger for a printer like this, or all they small like the cheap ink jets.

    Thanks for any information you can give me. Have fun with your new toy!
  6. I have had no clogs yet ... but then it has been getting some exercise!!

    I have probably printed out a dozen or so full sheet 8.5X11 sheets and at least 15-20 4x6's, and so far the tanks still show full. Previously I had an HP 3210 and after this number of prints, the tanks would already be showing some loss. But, it's too early to tell.

    I have some 11x17 paper on order and am looking forward to seeing what those prints will look like.


  7. Thanks, Ken. I'll watch for future posts from you to see how you get along with the printer. I'm in no hurry right now so I have some time to do my research.
  8. general


    Apr 30, 2005
    Another view


    It may not be in your budget range but the Epson 3800 is amazing. I have owned/still do many different Epson printers and enjoy the quality prints they produce but the ink can get expensive. My 2200 is a good example. But the 3800 uses a much larger ink cartridge and they last forever it seems. The cost per print is a fraction of the 2200. Since I print sporadically my main worry is that the ink will exceed its effective life before I use it up. Just my input................
  9. Terri, I used to have a Epsom 1280. It was an excellent printer. I think they just discontinued it recently. If you can find a good used one, that might be the ticket. Never had a problem with clogging and the prints were beautiful. I own an Epson 3800 now, but the 1280 was VERY close in quality. Unfortunately, what I have found is ink is expensive no matter the printer unless you have a larger format printer like the 3800 that has larger cartridges.
  10. If you do some searching around, you can usually find an estimate paper/ink cost on the manufacturer's website. I'd also suggest you look for an archival printer (80+ years) because you don't want to see significant fade/color changes in your prints in a couple of years. Printing at home is one of the pleasures of photography. I had used many services before, and none of them can touch the quality I can produce at home. Overall, I think it's a bit more expensive to print at home, but not much, and it's well worth it for the quality and fun. I use the hp designjet 130 and B9180. Both are impressive and have never clogged.
  11. Epson 1280 refurb is on Epson site for sale

    Douglas suggested an Epson 1280 for you, and there are some for sale now on the Epson site as refurbished ones, for $225. I bought an Epson R1800 refurb as a backup to the new one that I purchased, and I cannot tell any difference between the two, and both have a 1 year warranty.

    and free ground shipping on that 1280 printer from the Epson store.

  12. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Terri, I have an Epson R1800 as well and it has worked flawlessly. I have yet to experience any clogged jet issues. I do wish that the cartridges were bigger, but that is only when I am doing alot of in-house printing. If you decide on this printer, Calumet Photographic regularly puts the cartridges on sale...all eight for $99.00, that's a huge savings.

    Additionally, I use Calumet's Brilliant line of photo paper, I prefer their premium lustre finish, let me know if you'd like to give some a try, I'll be happy to send you some sheets. You can download their paper profiles from their site.
  13. BubbaBob


    Feb 28, 2006
    If I had a dollar for every Epson 1280 head clog I've had to deal with, I'd be able to afford the new top-of-the-line Canon printer. I used 6 of the 1280's in my last job and every one got scrapped because of unclearable head clogs.
  14. Terri

    I have an Epson 2200, been using it for almost 5 years and can count on one hand how many times I have needed to run the head cleaner. Anyway, I think you are going to find that most home printers will rack up a higher cost per print than retail printers charge for 4x6s. You will save on 8x10s and larger. The 2200s cost per print for 4x6s is $.35 using semigloss and $.25 using Matte paper. I am curious how much it would cost with the 1800 or 2400 epson printers. My cost figures are based on atlex.com prices.
  15. Probably don't want to spend that much, but I bet it is a wonderful printer. Enjoy it!!!

    Thanks for the input. Sounds like there are some good deals out there right now. Enjoy that 3800!!
  16. David,
    I appreciate the suggestions. I'll certainly do some research on the ones you use. I think I would enjoy printing at home, too!
  17. Thanks, Debra. Well worth checking out. Do you like your R1800? It's good to know that your refurbished one is working out well.
  18. Thanks for the information, Frank. I'm reading up on the R1800. Sounds like it is a popular printer here on the cafe.

    How frustrating. We had an old Epson at work (I think it was the 1200, if I remember correctly.) It clogged all the time. I finally talked the boss into getting a color laser.

    Thank you for the great information. Nice to hear from someone who has priced it out in real world application.
  19. Terri, I use an R1800 and do like it. Last week ran a print A3+ through mine and the same file through an 3800 - I couldn't tell the difference, which surprised me. Also I have photographer colleague who is on his 3rd one, he wore the first two out and also has a 4800 now keeping his 1800 for gloss and the 4800 for matt which he uses mostly!!
  20. Wow, another endorsement for the R1800. I'm definitely researching it.
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