Photo Printers

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by mrsid99, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Well my Canon S900 has degenerated to the point where it's not worth fixing so I'm looking for a replacement.
    It will mostly be used for 4x6's with the occasional 8x10 but if it was capable of larger prints it would be nice.
    Upfront cost is not as important as cost per pic. i.e. ink, paper etc. and of course picture quality has to be there so........suggestions?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm going through my own research for a new printer as well. I've gone through HPs, Canons, and Epson printers. Over the years, Epson has impressed me the most as far as ink jets go. I'm currently printing with an 825 that has never failed me and produces really nice quality prints. My printer has been replaced by the r200 and probably would serve you nicely for at around $100 bucks. I did not see an improvement in the r300 and r320 to justify the added cost over the r200.

    I'm hoping to do larger than 8x10 prints and longevity of the print is also a concern. From what I've read, the Epson R1800 might fit my needs at around a high price of 500-550. The Epson R1800 and its narrower ( 8x10 ) cousin, R800, use Epson's ultrachrome ink that has a good archival life. This is the same ink that was used in previous Epson Professional photo ink jets and it seems to have proven itself. I'm currently working on a deal to get an epson 2200 used in good condition for $400 which was the high end printer of last year using the same ultrachrome ink.

    I'm not ruling out Canon 9900i nor the HP photosmart offerings just yet. I have a personal problem with HP but the Vivera inks that they use has peeked my interest. I've had Canon printers let me down in the past.

    When i think cameras... I think Canon... When I think ink jets.. I think Epson.

    two links I found very useful.

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/
    http://www.wilhelm-research.com/


    Now if your looking for great professional at home prints with good long life, you can also look into the dye-subs. Dye subs that print 8x10s used to be a bit pricey but good ol'competition has brought them down. Kodak has the 1400 for about 450-500 that is impressive. Now you must be thinking... that's not too expensive.. afterall I'm looking at epson ink jets that cost more. Just remember, with dye-subs its the consumables that get yah. From what I've been told, you are looking at around $1.50 to $2.00 per print. I haven't ruled out the kodak yet but if I want a really nice print, I can always take it to my local photo lab which I still visit quite frequently.

    good luck and please share whatever info you might find.
     
  3. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Thanks for your input Usayit....much appreciated!
    Anyone else want to point me at their favorite printer?
     
  4. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I used to have one... A Lexmark Z65n. But it died on me so I bought an Epson 200R from Sam's Club for about $80 and had a rebate for $20 mailed in. If you're interested in the printer's rebate here it is:

    Rebate

    If that doesn't work, just PM me with your e-mail and I'll attach the 2 page .pdf file with the rebate.

    BTW, I am very happy with the Epson. Seems to be more economical on ink as well since it has six cartridges (black plus five color), hence you replace only what you need.
     
  5. vixenta

    vixenta Hands Off Me Haggis!

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  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well the deal for the used 2200 for 400 fell through. No worry... I am actually lucky that the deal did not happen.

    From what I've read, I would probably be happy with any of the following:
    HP8745, Epson 2200, Epson R1800 and the Canon 9900i. It seems that Epson still leads in the market for higher end consumer printers ( pro printers starting at 1,800 was not considered ). Both the HP and Epson have welhelm results published on the Welhelm website. No Canon results? There was nothing I read about the HP to convince me, an Epson user for years, to convert to an HP printer. So it came to either the R1800 or 2200. ( R2400 sounded extremely nice but 800+ was a bit too much for me ).

    On my way home yesterday, I stopped by the CompUSA that I recall had one remaining 2200's in stock and a couple R1800s. Just my luck, an Epson representative was there doing their typical marketing stuff. Not expecting much more than marketing fluff, I asked him the same questions I've been searching for on the internet. To my surprise, his answers were very similar those on the internet and seemed knowledgable. To sum up everything....
    1) Will Epson continue to supply consumables for the 2200?
    Yes.. Epson still supplies ink for printers well over 5 years old. This is especially true for the popular 2200 printer. At some point, it might be difficult to find them locally but you can still order them from Epson.
    2) Glossy, R1800 or 2200?
    R1800. Gloss finisher is available on the R1800 but not on the 2200. From our discussion, I feel the R1800 is still focused as a consumer line printer. Most consumers will print on glossy photo paper and the ink set formula of the R1800 is geared towards that fact hence the addition of the gloss finisher. They also incorporated two blacks to avoid the hassel of switching out ink cartridges for matt and glossy prints. The ink formula was reformulated as well: yellow, magenta, cyan, matte black, photo black, red blue, gloss. This was different from the 2200's ink set of Matt or photo black, light black, cyan, light cyan, magenta, light magenta, yellow. Note the R1800 has 8 ink cartridges but really only prints with 6 at any given time.
    3) Fine art papers and B&W. R1800 or 2200?
    The rep recommended the 2200. This is a true 7 color printer. The black is interchangable between photo black and matt black cartridges. For B&W, the 2200 inches out ahead with its combo matt black and light black inks.
    4) Picoliter?
    R1800 is 1.5 and the 2200 is 4. In the rep's opinion, this shouldn't be the deciding factor between the two printers.

    After talking a few more minutes, the rep did his best to market the R2400. This is the printer that he feels replaced the 2200. From what I've read, the R2400 is a truely exceptional printer except for the hefty price tag. I headed over to the manager of CompUsa and did some haggling. I did well and scored! Price for the 2200 started at 600 and I was able to haggle them down to 450 + 50 for an extended 2 year warranty. Thats 50 bucks cheaper than what they were selling the R1800. Can't wait to try out some prints after work today.
     
  8. amoki

    amoki TPF Noob!

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    usayit, your posts here are some of the most useful around... at least regarding printers :) . I'm looking for a printer atm and have been staring at Epson for quite a while now, but never made a decision to pick which printer. Tell me, is the R2400 great at handling tones accurately?
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    glad you found the info posted useful. I'm tend to do a lot of research before buying anything... my wife says its just my nature that I enjoy researching my toys and bargaining.

    I have only seen one demonstration of the R2400. Since I do not have exclusive access to the R2400 my input will be very limited. This printer might be sold in a local computer store chain alongside with the epson consumer line but you can tell that it was aimed at those looking for high quality professional prints. There's a lot in the R2400 that came from epson's pro line, for example the ultrachrome k3 inkset. From the one demonstration using matte black ink on matte paper, the colors were very accurate ( accurate profiles are important ). This was just me visually looking at the picture. Nothing next to it to compare except the computer screen. From the websites, the R2400 is a true 8 ink printer ( light-light black, light black, black, light-magenta, magenta, cyan, light-cyan, yellow ). Very similar to the 2200 but with an additional light-light black cartridge and improved ink. Epson claims the improved ink has better archival qualities and color gamut. Can't comment on the gamut but wilhelm-research has a report on their tests of the Ultrachrome K3 ink set.

    Unlike the R1800 the R2400 does not have a gloss finisher cartridge. So just like the 2200 printer, the R1800 might produce better glossy prints but thats just a guess on my part.
     

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