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Old August 3rd, 2003, 12:34 PM   #1
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Wide Carriage Printers?

Now that I've got my Canon 10d, I want to get a good wide-carriage printer to go with it. I'm considering:

Epson 2200
Epson 1280
Canon i9100

I understand that the 2200 doesn't do well on glossy paper stock, and is god-awful slow (30 minutes for a 13 x 19).

The 1280 is older technology, and is reported to be less sharp than the 2200.

The i9100 seems like it may be the clear winner -- fast printing and good results on glossy -- but I can find few reviews, and have yet to see one in the flesh.

Any recommendations?
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 01:50 PM   #2
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There are various issues to consider in choosing a printer. If speed is of the utmost importance, then the Canon i9100 is a great choice.

Speed is a consideration for me, but not the highest. I also look at archival properties, resolution, choice of papers and choice of inks. My needs require that I print on a variety of papers and I also like the economy of bulk inks (Epson and Lyson). The Epson 2200 was the only printer to meet most of my requirements. But it is slower than I would like.

If speed were more of an issue for me, the savings in ink would pay for a second 2200 in no time.
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 02:17 PM   #3
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Actually, speed is one of the least concerns for me. Print quality is all that I really care about. My 10D + printer is replacing a lifetime of film photography experience. I do my own color darkroom work, and routinely print 16 x 20s. Everything went on eBay yesterday, in anticipation of getting the printer. The 10D is certainly up to producing 13 x 19 inch prints that are close enough in size to the 16 x 20s that I did in the darkroom to justify moving into the digital realm. I just have to find the best printer in terms of quality.

I like glossy prints, so I have serious reservations about the Epson 2200 because of its tendency to bronze. I've heard that spraying the finished prints with UV protectant eliminates bronzing, but I want to see it before I believe it. I never print color on matte or semigloss papers (I didn't in my chemical darkroom either). If it can't do a good job on glossy papers, it's probably not the printer for me. The fact that the 2200 can do archival means nothing to me -- I don't care whether prints I make last 10 years or 100. I won't be around for the latter, and I can always reprint the former if I like.

I very much like the quality of the Canon i950 -- if Canon made it in a wide-carriage version, it would be an easy choice. The i9100 is supposed to be "similar," but the i950 is capable of 2 picoliter ink flow, whereas the i9100 can only do 4 picoliters. I'm going to be in NYC soon, so I'm planning a field trip to B&H and, perhaps, J&R to look at printers. Hopefully, I'll be able to see samples.
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 04:00 PM   #4
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I have an Epson 1280 at home and work, and had a 1200 before that. I don't really know what you're expecting however. For my type of work it's fine. Most of what I print is actually color renderings of 3d models however, and not photos. So there really isn't a way to compare my prints to the "real" thing as there might be with photo. I often feel that the blues are not as rich as compared to the screen images. I use colorsync and have an Apple 21" (trinitron crt) studio display, which is supposed to be self-calibrating.

I think for the money it's a good value, and the quality is pretty much the same as you'd get from the less expensive 6-color epson letter sized printers. A big improvement of the 1280 over the 1200 is a reduction in the noise level. The 1200 was really loud, you can hardly hear the 1280 over the sound of the computer and HD fans. And yes, it is slow when printing 13x19 at high quality!
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 04:20 PM   #5
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Paul,

You might be interested in these two reviews, Canon S9000 and Epson 2200.
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 04:41 PM   #6
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Paul, I can tell you for a fact that the i9100 has the exact same print engine as the excellent i950. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with it. Hope this helps,
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 04:48 PM   #7
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Jeff. thanks, I've read both reviews, which was where I got my information (and my concerns) about the 2200. I know that the i9100 improves on the S9000, but I've seen very few objective reviews of the newer printer.

Chris, the engine may be the same, but the droplet size isn't. Even on the Canon website, the i950 is described simply as having 4800 dpi resolution, whereas the i9100 has an asterisk next to the resolutions which footnotes some weird explanation about being capable of laying down drops as small as 1/4800th of an inch. I've also seen the 2 picoliter vs. 4 picoliter distinction mentioned in a lot of reviews. I think they're the same, but different. ;)

I'm still leaning towards the i9100 or, if I decide I don't like the output, I may get an i950 (they're pretty cheap, actually), and just wait for the next round of wide-carriage printers to hit the market.
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 10:07 PM   #8
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I was looking forward to the i9100, I know it's not a huge deal, but I was hoping for firewire or at least usb2.0 on it. On the 2200 I heard the magenta cast was caused by a driver issue and is supposed to be corrected with the latest driver. For the price and quality I was looking to go with the 1280 with MIS VM Quadtone inks. Depending on when you were looking to buy I would be happy to offer my experience with it, I should be getting next week.

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Old August 3rd, 2003, 10:12 PM   #9
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Matt, I'd be very interested to hear how you like the 1280 (or the 2200 if that's what you wind up with). I'm surprised i9100 doesn't have, at least, USB 2.0, but I don't think that will be too much of an issue, as the time to make a print will always exceed the time to transfer the data to the printer.
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 10:28 PM   #10
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I have used the 2200 since they came out. The school where I teach bought a couple of them and they are very nice. We've never had a magenta issue, but i know some photographers that have. It could have a number of causes, drivers, paper, ink, head clog or misalignment and color sync.

I bought the 2200 about a month ago and have been quite pleased. I'm also using a Lyson Continuous Ink System. The CIS has helped keep the costs in line and allows me to use either the Lyson or Epson inks. The bulk inks are about 1/3 of the cost of buying the Epson inks in the cartridge. The CIS was one of the major factors why I choose Epson over Canon.

I've printed using both the USB and FireWire ports. I don't notice a big improvement in speed using FireWire. Maybe I do some tests when school starts backup next month.
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 10:31 PM   #11
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Jeff, I'm going to guess that you turn out a considerable volume of prints. Do you have any sense of how the 2200 would perform on a more casual basis, e.g. a couple of pritns once every couple of weeks, with a big "push" of many dozens two or three times a year? I'm also concerned about clogging issues when the printer is only given irregular use.

Thanks.

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Old August 3rd, 2003, 10:58 PM   #12
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I've not seen clogging problems with the new Ultrachrome inks. The school had problems with a 2000P, kept clogging. I've had partial cartridges out for 2 or 3 months (kept in a zip lock) and not have any problems.

I get between 600 and 1000 square inches of printing out of the Epson cartridges.
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 11:02 PM   #13
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Does that mean you can only get three 16 x 20 prints from each set of cartridges?
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 11:25 PM   #14
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We generally get four 13X19's out of a set of inks. This is printing at 2880 dpi. This is what the school averages, the students waste some prints. Some inks are used faster than others. The students seem to use a lot more yellow and magenta (skin tones, I'm guessing). The cyan's last longest. But when I averaging out the ink cost for a quarter and paper costs. I get the figures I quoted.
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 11:28 PM   #15
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Wow! That puts digital printing at more than 500% of chemical photography. I've heard that the 2200 uses a lot of ink, but I didn't really it was that much. I think I may be leaning back to the i9100 which I understand to be considerably more frugal with ink.
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