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Old May 17th, 2005, 03:57 PM   #1
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Best Photo Printer (2005)

Been a while since we've had this discussion!
I'm looking for a wide format (13"x18" or bigger) photo printer and considering the Canon i9900 or Epson 2100/2200 as top contenders. My price range is under $800. Quality is the most important factor, as I am giving prints to clients. I've seen some prints from the i9900 in an electronics store, and wasn't that impressed. It might have been done at a lower resolution, but I could see banding in solid colours (sky). I haven't seen any real world prints from the Epson. Despite that, I'm leaning towards the Canon because reviews say it is a little more idiot proof.

Does anyone have any advice? I know there are a few forum members using both of these printers, and they are both well liked.
Are there any new models of these, or anything else I should be looking at as well?
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Old May 17th, 2005, 08:17 PM   #2
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Dylan - I'm a still photographer and print with an Epson 4000, a larger version of the 2200 you're considering. The Epson printers are the best I've tried, and many photo studios use the large models (9600, 10600) for big prints. If you have a nice print on your 2200, you can be assured it will look the same on the 4000/7600/9600, since they use the same inks.

Anyway, they are terrific, especially on matte papers (which I prefer), but Epson has come out with new models that sound even better. If I were you, I'd strongly consider the new 2400. See:
http://luminous-landscape.com/review...-Preview.shtml
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Old May 17th, 2005, 09:19 PM   #3
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Thanks Brian!
Checking them out now.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 12:47 AM   #4
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I second Brian's suggestion. I have an Epson 2200 and think it's a terrific printer. I drive mine with Colorbyte's ImagePrint RIP (raster image processor) rather than with the standard printer drivers.

I also agree that you should strongly consider waiting for the upcoming Epson printers, such as the 2400, if possible. They feature a new UltraChromeK3 ink formulation that will offer some added quality and archival values. B&W printing, for example, will become far more accurate with the new printers' native drivers.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 12:00 PM   #5
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Well, the 2400 is supposed to be out at the end of the month, I suppose I can wait!

On a quality printer like the 2200, do you ever see examples of banding in prints? It's one of my big pet peeves.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 02:15 PM   #6
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The short answer is no, I've never experienced any banding on my 2200. The 7-ink Ultrachrome system really serves to reproduce even the subtlest of color transitions smoothly.

However, having said that, I must also point out that banding is often a result of things that happened to an image before it landed on the printer. The usual suspects are over-compression and inappropriate color space, but there are many others.

The "trick" to getting good prints with any printer is to use a careful color management from the screen to the paper. It requires a somewhat more elaborate (and generally more expensive) process than the conventional color calibration you might perform for video work. But it's essential for you to be confident that the image you see on the computer screen is what you'll get on paper.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 06:09 PM   #7
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There are a lot of people selling their Epson printers because Epson recently anounced their newer printers. I've seen a lot of good deals on the used market, but I'm saving my penies for the 4800 or maybe (Big Maybe)
the 7800.
They anticipate that the new prices on these printers will be on par with the printers they will replace.
Good luck.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 08:21 AM   #8
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Banding can also happen due to humidity.

At my home studio, we recently replaced an EPSON 850ne
(lots of banding issues) with their low priced RS300 ( I think that's the model number).
This thing ROCKS! AMAZING quality for less than $150!!! When we
took a printed page of artwork to a professional merchandise house that
does all kinds of T-shirts, posters etc. the impressed owner asked where we
did the print. When we told him the 'deal', his jaw dropped!
(And I bet he started to sweat!)
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 10:14 PM   #9
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Drying times are unexceptable with any pro/consumer inkjet printer in my opinion (I own the epson 4000).

IF you have four weeks to wait for the print to dry then it's a great investment.

Even if you put paper over the print to help speed the drying time, it will still ghost under glass.........unexceptable for commercail use. They have an epson mini lab for around 48k.....drys and seals instantly when the print comes out :-)

I don't see why you would use an inkjet when online labs are about the same $$$ cost wise and better quality(esp kodaks real b&w paper).

John
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 10:18 PM   #10
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http://www.mpix.com/

http://www.prolabexpress.com/


3.5x5 $0.49
4x5 $0.49
4x6 $0.51
4x12 $1.25
5x5 $0.85
5x7 $0.99
5x10 $2.35
5x14 $3.50
5x15 $4.95
5x20 $7.90
5x30 $10.75
6x24 $8.60
6x30 $12.50
8x8 $1.99
8x10 $1.95
8x12 $2.20
8x16 $10.24
8.5x11 $2.48
10x10 $2.48
10x13 $3.30
10x15 $3.90
10x20 $8.15
10x30 $14.55
11x14 $5.50
11x16 $7.75
12x12 $5.80
12x24 $13.05
14x18 $11.15
15x15 $9.75
16x16 $10.25
16x20 $12.60
16x24 $17.25
20x20 $18.50
20x24 $19.10
20x30 $22.35
24x24 $20.55
24x30 $26.80
24x36 $37.00
30x30 $38.00
30x40 $41.95
30x45 $44.95
32x40 $42.51
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:49 AM   #11
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Sure, at 8.5"x11" it is still worth printing online (unless you need it noooow) but as soon as you go up to the 13"x18" like the printers mentionned above, it jumps to $11. I've got to believe that printing off your own printer at home costs less than that in ink and paper. Or at least I hope so... :)
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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:48 AM   #12
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Dylan, its about 5 bucks for a 16x24 on the 4000 cost wise(not counting test prints and printer depreciation). If your not putting it under glass right away, its a great investment.

John
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #13
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Printing on real canvas is the latest thing now(see link below). It looks like a real oil painting if you do it just right(soft focus/eco shield). No glass, it gets treated like a real oil painting.


http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/P...aper+%26+Media
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