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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:08 am
by bigsarg7
Hey folks, just been looking around lately at printers at the Melbourne Expo and seeing as they had a massive Epson printing display I visited it and was quite impressed with the Epson Artisan 1430. I was quite impressed at the colours and the images it was producing. But on further review here at home I have began to find out that the 1430 really doesn't print black and white images well at all, and well seeing as i do a lot of black and white images as well as colour I don't know if it is suitable. I would like to purchase a printer for the sole reason of printing my images and images only for my clients. Especially now that i have moved into portraits as well and the ability to create a package here in my office and have it to my clients quickly. I really want to be able to print unto a3 and obviously in colour and black and white. The 1430 is a 6 colour printer but I had also had a look at the Epson R1800, which is an 8 colour printer but it costs a lot more and hasn't had the best reviews.

Reason for the post is for other users opinions and views on printers specifically for printing photos. This thread could be a great thread for those looking or thinking of stepping up and purchasing a printer. I am of the belief that a printer can make or break an image and well I want to make sure that what I invest my hard earned money into is worth it and will last the distance without costing a fortune in ink etc. As do a lot of other photographers out there.

lets open the thread up for discussion on what you have or what you envy and why you chose it or desire it. Lets not make it a brand fight but rather be open to all brands and models. I personally have no idea if a Canon printer would be best or Epson or any other brand for that matter, but I want to discuss the differences and the cost variances to each, not just the initial purchase but also the maintenance, lifespan and cost of colours etc. 4,6,8 or 10 cartridge limit.

Thanks for reading and I can't wait to see what everyone else will look to add to the thread!


Re: Printers

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:45 am
by Mr Darcy
Since you will be printing for clients, I don't think that a 6 colour print will be good enough. You should be looking at 8, or more colours. These extra colours will probably be blacks (grey) and are designed to improve B&W performance. My new printer is 16 bit and has a colour gamut approaching Adobe RGB. And yes even colour blind me notices the difference.

After that, consider the cost of ink. This is often the largest single expense when it comes to printers. With the smaller printers aimed for the domestic market, the cost will quickly become exorbitant. I printed a panorama that was 1800 x 325 on my old domestic grade printer. The cost of paper and ink for a single print was over $100 not including test prints. I reprinted it recently on my new printer. Paper and ink came to $32 again not including test prints.

Next consider longevity of the print. You do weddings. You will want your prints to outlast the marriage. Admittedly that may not be very hard for some marriages, but you have to always assume you will be invited to the golden anniversary & you will want to see YOUR print up on the wall in pride of place. This is the reason I replaced my old printer. The prints were only lasting a few years. Fine for a competition. Not for archival purposes. You need to look hard at the papers here, as well as the ink. If the papers contain optical brighteners the print will fade and yellow regardless of the ink you use. That fact puts me off the "own brand" papers and steers me towards the third party offerings. So ask the question "does brand X have a printer profile for this printer?" I use Canson papers. Others I know use Ilford or Hahnemulle. Epson and Canon are electronics companies. Canson is a centuries old paper manufacturer as is Hahnemulle. Ilford has been in the photography paper game about as long as there has been photography. How much electronics is there in a sheet of paper? How much paper? That said, I know Canon use rebranded Hahnemulle paper for at least some of their range.

Now consider the size of prints you want. If you only ever print 6"x4" then a small printer will be fine, but if you do the occasional 8x10 or bigger, you need to take this into account too. Remember you can always print multiple photos on a single large sheet. You CANNOT print a large photo on small paper. Not seamlessly anyways. In my case I periodically want to print panoramas. That seriously impacted my choice of printers. The one I ended up with prints a minimum of A4 and goes up to a 17" x 30m roll. It is a the bottom end of the commercial range and cost more than double what I had intended to pay. I don't regret the purchase for a minute.

Cost of ink per print is much less than my old printer, though to buy the cartridges I have to mortgage the house. So far I have only had to buy one (of ten) the next will probably run out in a month or two. Compare that to the old printer. That panorama went through a full set of cartridges in in one hit. It used 10ml of ink in the new printer (10x 200ml cartridges) so it was barely noticeable. Yes the new printer tells me how much ink I used on each print.

My new printer is an Epson 4900. They recommend printing at least once a week so the heads don't clog. I print about once a month, and so far have had no problems. But then I am not trying to sell me ink. I seem to recall that Canon & HP treat the heads as a consumable that you replace with the ink. This bothers me. Correct me if I am wrong.

You might like to check out this book by Uwe Steinmueller, Juergen Gulbins.It seems to cover everything you ever wanted to know about printing. I borrowed the old edition from the library. The new edition is only available electronically. The only thing that stops me buying it is that you have to buy with PayPal which I won't do.

Oh and don't even think about using third party inks. They will give inferior results and cause problems for the printer and void the warranty. Don't think they won't know. My printer records details of ink used down to the serial number of each cartridge.

Re: Printers

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:00 am
by bigsarg7
Great reply there Greg, Found it very interesting to read. I had heard that the Epson R1800 when you select the paper type and brand your using in the printer settings menu that it will recognise that, that particular paper may have a cyan tinge or another colour tinge to it and adjusts accordingly. I have no idea if thats the case but I find it a but jubious that a printer will change the colouring of my image to suit the paper over the colours I select, however I do think it could be a good thing.

Paper is such an important selection when printing and I want to make sure I get the best so thanks for your details in regards to that. I am eager to hear more from other users as I think this is a topic we all need to know more about and discuss more as technology changes.

Re: Printers

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:17 pm
by bigsarg7
Just thought it would be worth a mention to other users that Teds have the Canon Pro9500 Mk II for $849 - Down from like $1298 (at JB HI Fi) so if you are after a 10 ink printer it might be worth a look, I googled and the reviews were actually quite good. I'm gonna go see my local stockist and see if they can do a sample print for me.

Re: Printers

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:09 pm
by Mr Darcy
bigsarg7 wrote:you select the paper type and brand your using in the printer settings menu

But you have already said the 1800 doesn't work well in B&W. And you want to print B&W. Why are you still considering it?

For paper profiles I would trust in decreasing order of confidence
1. A home made profile for this particular printer, ink and paper combination. I would go down to the specific batch (paper and ink) for really critical work.
2. A bought profile for my particular printer, ink and paper combination ( you download an image to print, print it and send it off for analysis. They send back a profile)
3. The paper manufacturers profile for the printer model you are using
4. The printer manufacturers profile for the paper you are using
5. The printer manufacturers "close but no cigar" profile e.g. Epson semigloss when you are actually printing to Ilford Gold. Yes I know people who do it. And no I wouldn't let them near my photos.

I am currently at 3. but hope to move to 1.

Re: Printers

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:43 pm
by bigsarg7
The R1800 isn't in my list any further due to its lack of performance in the B and W. I Have since made the Canon pro 9500 at the top of my list as it such high reviews in regards to the quality and long lasting prints it produces. It does have a downside and that is the time it takes to print, but in my situation time is not an issue in that whether it takes 4 minutes to print or 6 it simply won't bother me. Given its a 10 cartridge system at this stage its top of my list just want to preview a sample. I have however purchased it from teds to make sure i didn't miss out on getting one for that price, but I will be test printing in a store on Monday with my own image so I can see its quality before opening the one i've ordered. As if I am unhappy on monday i will re sell it as it will be unopened etc. But from all the reviews I don't think I will have any issues in keeping it. It being the Mk II has improved on the original pro9500 in time and quality. So yeah, but in regards to the R1800 it is off my list, I was only mentioning it as thats what I had heard about that particular printer at the Expo last weekend. Wasn't mentioning it to suggest I was still interested, rather for discussion.

Glad your getting your printer the way you desire it. No doubt your shots would look great. :up:

Re: Printers

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:13 pm
by CraigVTR
I have the epson R2400 which I bought a couple of years ago second hand. I have not done a lot of printing but it gives me great results with a couple of custom profiles that I had done by Image Science I have also dabbled with custom profiles from my Colour Munki. My problem is I know way too little about colour spaces, printing and all the accociated stuff to really make some informed decisions about how I handle my shots and prints. Learning more is always on the "to do" list so I have just bought the book that Greg recommended, thanks Greg. Good luck with the Cannon I hope it works out for you.

Re: Printers

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:31 pm
by Steffen
Looking at the price of printer ink (and the waste involved) I've often considered making etchings instead and laying them in with gold leaf… :shock:


Re: Printers

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:40 pm
by Mr Darcy
Congratulations on the printer. It looks like it should suit you well.
I did notice the cost of ink though. $25 for 14ml. And we complain about fuel prices :roll:
Mine are $160 for 200ml. better but I'd still rather be running it on Armagnac.

Re: Printers

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:34 pm
by Matt. K
Excellent reply Greg
I would comment that from my experience the Epson Matte papers are superb and well regarded by the Wilhelm institute in regards to their archival qualities. I use them and love them. I am, however, looking forward to seeing some of your prints from the 4900. I may soon be in the market for a new printer myself.

Re: Printers

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:08 pm
by Mr Darcy
Matt. K wrote:I am, however, looking forward to seeing some of your prints from the 4900.

I'll try to remember to bring a few on Friday.