Best Large Format Printer?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by EskWIRED@spamblock.panix.com, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. Guest

    I'm a newbie here, waltzing in without the briefest look at the archives.
    Allow me to apologize up front if this has been (re)hashed to death
    already.

    I'm looking for a kickass printer which will print out beautiful large
    format prints of my .tiff files. Image quality is my primary concern,
    with availability at a local chain store being second in line.

    Can anybody recommend what I should look at?

    --
    ....I'm an air-conditioned gypsy...

    - The Who
     
    , Sep 6, 2003
    #1
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  2. Tom Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:bjcn3q$dqj$...
    > I'm a newbie here, waltzing in without the briefest look at the archives.
    > Allow me to apologize up front if this has been (re)hashed to death
    > already.
    >
    > I'm looking for a kickass printer which will print out beautiful large
    > format prints of my .tiff files. Image quality is my primary concern,
    > with availability at a local chain store being second in line.
    >
    > Can anybody recommend what I should look at?
    >
    > --
    > ...I'm an air-conditioned gypsy...
    >
    > - The Who



    There are a bunch of good ones out there now. This is indeed the golden age
    of large format printers.

    Take a look at an Epson 7600 or 9600, Mimaki JV-4, HP 5000, 5000ps or 5500
    (which are faster than the Epsons and with better blacks), or one of the
    machines by Roland or Mutoh .

    Be sure to bring your checkbook. :)

    Tom
     
    Tom, Sep 6, 2003
    #2
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  3. Bill Hilton Guest

    >From:

    >I'm looking for a kickass printer which will print out beautiful large
    >format prints of my .tiff files. Image quality is my primary concern


    Epson 7600 is 24" wide for $3,000
    Epson 9600 is 44" wide for $5,000

    Archival pigment inks with excellent print quality. Many pros have switched
    from LightJet 5000 prints to these Epsons, especially using Bill Atkinson's
    custom ICC profiles.

    >with availability at a local chain store being second in line.


    Forget about this ... here's a site with free shipping though ...

    http://www.inkjetart.com/pro/7600_9600/

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Sep 6, 2003
    #3
  4. Savidge4 Guest

    >I'm looking for a kickass printer which will print out beautiful large
    >format prints of my .tiff files. Image quality is my primary concern,
    >with availability at a local chain store being second in line.
    >
    >Can anybody recommend what I should look at?


    If you have not stumbled across the multitude of FLAAR report websites yet in
    your search for information, below is a link to one of thier main linking pages
    to helps you out. I would suggest getting some of thier reports/reviews for a
    better "real world" understanding of the models you are interested in.

    http://wide-format-printers.org/wide_format_inket_printer_links/wide-forma
    t_inkjet_printer.html

    One of the questions I would ask right out of the box would be; what do you
    consider to be large format? Are these images for your own personal use? (if
    the answer is yes, then maybe the Epson 2200 at home is a good place to start)


    I personally use a 42 inch HP 500 for my "perishable" work, and a 60 inch HP
    5000UV for my "non perishable" work, with the use of PosterJet RIP (
    http://www.posterjet.de ) to help manage color and production for both units.

    hope that helps!
     
    Savidge4, Sep 6, 2003
    #4
  5. Rafe B. Guest

    On 06 Sep 2003 17:52:12 GMT, (Savidge4) wrote:

    >>I'm looking for a kickass printer which will print out beautiful large
    >>format prints of my .tiff files. Image quality is my primary concern,
    >>with availability at a local chain store being second in line.
    >>
    >>Can anybody recommend what I should look at?

    >
    >If you have not stumbled across the multitude of FLAAR report websites yet in
    >your search for information, below is a link to one of thier main linking pages
    >to helps you out. I would suggest getting some of thier reports/reviews for a
    >better "real world" understanding of the models you are interested in.
    >
    >http://wide-format-printers.org/wide_format_inket_printer_links/wide-forma
    >t_inkjet_printer.html
    >
    >One of the questions I would ask right out of the box would be; what do you
    >consider to be large format? Are these images for your own personal use? (if
    >the answer is yes, then maybe the Epson 2200 at home is a good place to start)
    >
    >
    >I personally use a 42 inch HP 500 for my "perishable" work, and a 60 inch HP
    >5000UV for my "non perishable" work, with the use of PosterJet RIP (
    >http://www.posterjet.de ) to help manage color and production for both units.
    >
    >hope that helps!




    FLAAR rarely has good things to say about Epson printers.

    Which is odd, because (as far as I can tell) the Epson pro
    models (2200 and up, esp. 7600, 9600, etc) are the odds-
    on favorites of pro photographers.

    Canon has a model (W2750) that seems poised to compete
    with the Epson 7600, but I don't hear much about it.


    rafe b.
    http://www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Rafe B., Sep 7, 2003
    #5
  6. Savidge4 Guest

    >FLAAR rarely has good things to say about Epson printers.
    >
    >Which is odd, because (as far as I can tell) the Epson pro
    >models (2200 and up, esp. 7600, 9600, etc) are the odds-
    >on favorites of pro photographers.
    >
    >Canon has a model (W2750) that seems poised to compete
    >with the Epson 7600, but I don't hear much about it.



    I think overall why the Epson is the odds on favorite for pro photogs is the
    price. In order to get the Pigment ink in the HP line you are spending 2x the
    amount of money. The moment you go from photo here, photo there printing to
    even a small amount of production the table turns fast to the HP line.

    The overall speed even without RIP enhancement of the HP large format is mind
    boggling when compared to the Epson line. And this I am sure is a personal
    thing, but I prefer the overall color of the HP vs Epson.

    Another advantage that I see with the HP line is the available manufacturer
    substraights. Matching HP ink with HP paper is a good start to a good print.
    matching ink emultions to paper emultions is very critical in getting a decent
    dryng time as well as good coverage and color. I have almost always gotten
    into trouble straying away from HP certified papers. (this does include many
    products from 3M - that are HP certified)
     
    Savidge4, Sep 7, 2003
    #6
  7. Rafe B. Guest

    On 07 Sep 2003 11:35:05 GMT, (Savidge4) wrote:

    >>FLAAR rarely has good things to say about Epson printers.
    >>
    >>Which is odd, because (as far as I can tell) the Epson pro
    >>models (2200 and up, esp. 7600, 9600, etc) are the odds-
    >>on favorites of pro photographers.
    >>
    >>Canon has a model (W2750) that seems poised to compete
    >>with the Epson 7600, but I don't hear much about it.

    >
    >
    >I think overall why the Epson is the odds on favorite for pro photogs is the
    >price. In order to get the Pigment ink in the HP line you are spending 2x the
    >amount of money. The moment you go from photo here, photo there printing to
    >even a small amount of production the table turns fast to the HP line.
    >
    >The overall speed even without RIP enhancement of the HP large format is mind
    >boggling when compared to the Epson line. And this I am sure is a personal
    >thing, but I prefer the overall color of the HP vs Epson.
    >
    >Another advantage that I see with the HP line is the available manufacturer
    >substraights. Matching HP ink with HP paper is a good start to a good print.
    >matching ink emultions to paper emultions is very critical in getting a decent
    >dryng time as well as good coverage and color. I have almost always gotten
    >into trouble straying away from HP certified papers. (this does include many
    >products from 3M - that are HP certified)



    No real arguments with the above.

    Epsons are pretty slow; I know that now after using a Canon 9000
    for a year or so now.

    I ordered (and then returned) an HP Designjet 10 because of a
    concern about the longevity of the prints -- folks at HP were
    telling me, "it's a proofing printer." From the sample I got from
    HP, I could tell that the print quality was excellent.

    I understand the high end HP wide-format machines have
    pigment inks, but not sure about low or mid-range HPs that
    use pigments.

    Substrates are a non-issue -- there are so many alternate
    sources for these, and Epson is no slouch in this department
    either.

    I think one of the benefits of the Epsons is the piezo technology --
    the heads can squirt almost any kind of ink, and there are many
    alternate inks to choose from.


    rafe b.
    http://www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Rafe B., Sep 7, 2003
    #7
  8. Tom Monego Guest

    HP against the 7600 and 9600 is an apple and oranges comparison. The correct
    one is the 10600 vs HP. Baoth are good, fast printers in the $10K range. The HP
    is designed more as a poster, sign printer, it's one downfall for fine art
    printing is the right angle paper path, eliminating the use of heavier
    materials. This at least is how my dealer described it to me last week when I
    was asking about a replacement for my Epson 9000. He also felt the print
    quality was subjectivly better on the Epson 10600 and definitly better on the
    7600 and 9600. Print life is also better with the Epsons. He also commented
    that he sells more HP's than Epsons, his comment was "Just different printers".
    He also mentioned Mutoh and Mimaki, but both were significantly more $.
    Epson is also more forgiving on nonbrand papers, though Epson now has a good
    line of papers.
    For 11x17 printers I don't think there is a better one out their than the Epson
    2200, but inks on desk top printers are infuriatingly expensive.


    Tom

    >I think overall why the Epson is the odds on favorite for pro photogs is the
    >price. In order to get the Pigment ink in the HP line you are spending 2x the
    >amount of money. The moment you go from photo here, photo there printing to
    >even a small amount of production the table turns fast to the HP line.
    >
    >The overall speed even without RIP enhancement of the HP large format is mind
    >boggling when compared to the Epson line. And this I am sure is a personal
    >thing, but I prefer the overall color of the HP vs Epson.
    >
    >Another advantage that I see with the HP line is the available manufacturer
    >substraights. Matching HP ink with HP paper is a good start to a good print.
    >matching ink emultions to paper emultions is very critical in getting a decent
    >dryng time as well as good coverage and color. I have almost always gotten
    >into trouble straying away from HP certified papers. (this does include many
    >products from 3M - that are HP certified)
    >
    >
     
    Tom Monego, Sep 7, 2003
    #8
  9. Savidge4 Guest

    >No real arguments with the above.
    >
    >Epsons are pretty slow; I know that now after using a Canon 9000
    >for a year or so now.
    >
    >I ordered (and then returned) an HP Designjet 10 because of a
    >concern about the longevity of the prints -- folks at HP were
    >telling me, "it's a proofing printer." From the sample I got from
    >HP, I could tell that the print quality was excellent.
    >
    >I understand the high end HP wide-format machines have
    >pigment inks, but not sure about low or mid-range HPs that
    >use pigments.
    >
    >Substrates are a non-issue -- there are so many alternate
    >sources for these, and Epson is no slouch in this department
    >either.
    >
    >I think one of the benefits of the Epsons is the piezo technology --
    >the heads can squirt almost any kind of ink, and there are many
    >alternate inks to choose from.



    I personally think that substrates is a HUGE issue. You hear all the time in
    regular at home printers that you get the best prints from such and such a
    printer form Matte paper yada yada. That same thing is multiplied on large
    format.

    If you have an HP large format and print the exact same print with HP paper
    then a 3rd market paper you can SEE the difference. Let alone the ink pooling
    and or su-low ink dry time.

    Printing is more than putting ink to paper. in todays world it is more kin to
    chemistry than anything. when printing, the ink and paper form chemical bonds,
    and if you need A & B for the "perfect" bond and you are using A & C, well its
    not going to be its best and more than likely you will need to jump through
    some hoops to get things right.

    A good example of this would be Illford paper. they make specific ink/paper
    printer profiles. these profiles produce great results with the ink/paper
    relationship. using Illford ink on say Epson paper may or may not produce good
    results, but not the same quality that would be found with Illford paper.

    My thoughts on Piezo heads... sure they can squirt any kind of ink, and sure
    they are somewhat better up front as far as print quality. But the moment you
    start cleaning your print heads and doing the things that are required to get
    the best possible print quality you are degrading the overall effectiveness of
    of the Piezo print head.

    This is what ultimatly pushed me to HP, on my HP 500 for $30 a print head I
    can replace them. for $125 a print head on my 5000 i can replace them. I can
    control the quality of my printing over time. If i see degregation in print
    quality, i can in essence "fix" that problem. With the Epson products, well
    thats not possible.
    Seems to me that spending $3000 let alone $15,000 you want longevity in your
    investment. And I cant see how there would be an arguement that HP does not
    provide that longevity with the simple added feature of replacing the single
    most important element of printing, the print head itself.
     
    Savidge4, Sep 7, 2003
    #9
  10. Rafe B. Guest

    On 07 Sep 2003 20:49:15 GMT, (Savidge4) wrote:

    >>No real arguments with the above.
    >>
    >>Epsons are pretty slow; I know that now after using a Canon 9000
    >>for a year or so now.
    >>
    >>I ordered (and then returned) an HP Designjet 10 because of a
    >>concern about the longevity of the prints -- folks at HP were
    >>telling me, "it's a proofing printer." From the sample I got from
    >>HP, I could tell that the print quality was excellent.
    >>
    >>I understand the high end HP wide-format machines have
    >>pigment inks, but not sure about low or mid-range HPs that
    >>use pigments.
    >>
    >>Substrates are a non-issue -- there are so many alternate
    >>sources for these, and Epson is no slouch in this department
    >>either.
    >>
    >>I think one of the benefits of the Epsons is the piezo technology --
    >>the heads can squirt almost any kind of ink, and there are many
    >>alternate inks to choose from.

    >
    >
    >I personally think that substrates is a HUGE issue. You hear all the time in
    >regular at home printers that you get the best prints from such and such a
    >printer form Matte paper yada yada. That same thing is multiplied on large
    >format.
    >
    >If you have an HP large format and print the exact same print with HP paper
    >then a 3rd market paper you can SEE the difference. Let alone the ink pooling
    >and or su-low ink dry time.
    >
    >Printing is more than putting ink to paper. in todays world it is more kin to
    >chemistry than anything. when printing, the ink and paper form chemical bonds,
    >and if you need A & B for the "perfect" bond and you are using A & C, well its
    >not going to be its best and more than likely you will need to jump through
    >some hoops to get things right.
    >
    >A good example of this would be Illford paper. they make specific ink/paper
    >printer profiles. these profiles produce great results with the ink/paper
    >relationship. using Illford ink on say Epson paper may or may not produce good
    >results, but not the same quality that would be found with Illford paper.
    >
    >My thoughts on Piezo heads... sure they can squirt any kind of ink, and sure
    >they are somewhat better up front as far as print quality. But the moment you
    >start cleaning your print heads and doing the things that are required to get
    >the best possible print quality you are degrading the overall effectiveness of
    >of the Piezo print head.
    >
    >This is what ultimatly pushed me to HP, on my HP 500 for $30 a print head I
    >can replace them. for $125 a print head on my 5000 i can replace them. I can
    >control the quality of my printing over time. If i see degregation in print
    >quality, i can in essence "fix" that problem. With the Epson products, well
    >thats not possible.
    >Seems to me that spending $3000 let alone $15,000 you want longevity in your
    >investment. And I cant see how there would be an arguement that HP does not
    >provide that longevity with the simple added feature of replacing the single
    >most important element of printing, the print head itself.
    >



    First off, like I said -- Epson's own "branded" paper comes in a huge
    array of sizes and substrates. So many that it's really hard to keep
    track of them.

    Plus, there are any number of excellent sources of paper for inkjets
    now -- far too many to list here. Red River, Hawk Mountain, Legion,
    Hahnemuhle, Pictorico, Olmec, Canon, Fuji, Tetenal, Ilford... etc.
    etc.

    Yes, I'm fully aware that ink + paper is the key -- not just ink and
    not just paper. But I sure don't see where HP's got anything over
    Epson in terms of dealing with the print longevity issue.

    For those who are concerned about this, there are a few alternatives.
    First, go with pigment inks. Read Wilhelm's reports (with as many
    grains of salt as required.) And finally, do your own longevity tests
    -- as described nicely in Harald Johnson's book on digital printing.

    Yes, I think it's great that both HP and Canon have replaceable heads.
    A shame that Epson hasn't caught on to this, at least not in their
    smaller machines. On the 76/96xx printers, heads are replaceable,
    though it takes a bit of technical savvy and some skill to realign the
    new head(s).



    rafe b.
    http://www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Rafe B., Sep 7, 2003
    #10
  11. Savidge4 Guest

    >>>No real arguments with the above.
    >>>
    >>>Epsons are pretty slow; I know that now after using a Canon 9000
    >>>for a year or so now.
    >>>
    >>>I ordered (and then returned) an HP Designjet 10 because of a
    >>>concern about the longevity of the prints -- folks at HP were
    >>>telling me, "it's a proofing printer." From the sample I got from
    >>>HP, I could tell that the print quality was excellent.
    >>>
    >>>I understand the high end HP wide-format machines have
    >>>pigment inks, but not sure about low or mid-range HPs that
    >>>use pigments.
    >>>
    >>>Substrates are a non-issue -- there are so many alternate
    >>>sources for these, and Epson is no slouch in this department
    >>>either.
    >>>
    >>>I think one of the benefits of the Epsons is the piezo technology --
    >>>the heads can squirt almost any kind of ink, and there are many
    >>>alternate inks to choose from.

    >>
    >>
    >>I personally think that substrates is a HUGE issue. You hear all the time

    >in
    >>regular at home printers that you get the best prints from such and such a
    >>printer form Matte paper yada yada. That same thing is multiplied on large
    >>format.
    >>
    >>If you have an HP large format and print the exact same print with HP paper
    >>then a 3rd market paper you can SEE the difference. Let alone the ink

    >pooling
    >>and or su-low ink dry time.
    >>
    >>Printing is more than putting ink to paper. in todays world it is more kin

    >to
    >>chemistry than anything. when printing, the ink and paper form chemical

    >bonds,
    >>and if you need A & B for the "perfect" bond and you are using A & C, well

    >its
    >>not going to be its best and more than likely you will need to jump through
    >>some hoops to get things right.
    >>
    >>A good example of this would be Illford paper. they make specific ink/paper
    >>printer profiles. these profiles produce great results with the ink/paper
    >>relationship. using Illford ink on say Epson paper may or may not produce

    >good
    >>results, but not the same quality that would be found with Illford paper.
    >>
    >>My thoughts on Piezo heads... sure they can squirt any kind of ink, and

    >sure
    >>they are somewhat better up front as far as print quality. But the moment

    >you
    >>start cleaning your print heads and doing the things that are required to

    >get
    >>the best possible print quality you are degrading the overall effectiveness

    >of
    >>of the Piezo print head.
    >>
    >>This is what ultimatly pushed me to HP, on my HP 500 for $30 a print head I
    >>can replace them. for $125 a print head on my 5000 i can replace them. I

    >can
    >>control the quality of my printing over time. If i see degregation in print
    >>quality, i can in essence "fix" that problem. With the Epson products, well
    >>thats not possible.
    >>Seems to me that spending $3000 let alone $15,000 you want longevity in

    >your
    >>investment. And I cant see how there would be an arguement that HP does not
    >>provide that longevity with the simple added feature of replacing the single
    >>most important element of printing, the print head itself.
    >>

    >
    >
    >First off, like I said -- Epson's own "branded" paper comes in a huge
    >array of sizes and substrates. So many that it's really hard to keep
    >track of them.
    >
    >Plus, there are any number of excellent sources of paper for inkjets
    >now -- far too many to list here. Red River, Hawk Mountain, Legion,
    >Hahnemuhle, Pictorico, Olmec, Canon, Fuji, Tetenal, Ilford... etc.
    >etc.
    >
    >Yes, I'm fully aware that ink + paper is the key -- not just ink and
    >not just paper. But I sure don't see where HP's got anything over
    >Epson in terms of dealing with the print longevity issue.
    >
    >For those who are concerned about this, there are a few alternatives.
    >First, go with pigment inks. Read Wilhelm's reports (with as many
    >grains of salt as required.) And finally, do your own longevity tests
    >-- as described nicely in Harald Johnson's book on digital printing.
    >
    >Yes, I think it's great that both HP and Canon have replaceable heads.
    >A shame that Epson hasn't caught on to this, at least not in their
    >smaller machines. On the 76/96xx printers, heads are replaceable,
    >though it takes a bit of technical savvy and some skill to realign the
    >new head(s).


    In one sentence to say that you understand the relationship of paper to ink,
    and another to suggest that there is a list of paper producers to long to list
    here. That in itself is a contradiction in tems. in reality ALL of the
    successful print longevity testing has been done with same brand paper and
    inks. Again i will say that to suggest that the use of third party papers and
    or inks will produce the same results as same kind ink/paper combination is
    crazy.

    The HP substrate product line far exceeds Epsons line, not including the many
    3rd party HP partners such as 3m and the like that produce "HP Certified"
    substrates. HP with no question provides the most versatility with its (HP and
    HP certified partners) line of substrates.

    I am sure you have read some of the information published by the Wilhelm
    Imaging Research group. and in all cases it is very clearly stated what
    printer, ink, and paper combinations is used, let alone the light, humidity,
    air quality, temperature, and many other factors.

    Print longevity is a science, plain and simple. below I have left a link to
    HP's lightfastness whitepaper that details the many considerations as well as
    thier 73 year print life claim. I will note that again and again they note the
    use of Wilhelm Imaging Research group data as well as the same practices in
    HP's own testing.

    A interesting note to be seen in this whitesheet is the 73 year longevity is
    NOT given to the Pigmented ink, but given to the Dye-sub ink. This paper also
    goes on to suggest that there has been some possible errors in the reporting of
    Pigment ink longevity and that they have retracted all such claims.

    I know from personal use of these products the HP claim of 70 years with
    pigment is now a 5 year claim.

    With all of this being said, i will tell you that I personally use my HP 500
    (dye sub) for most all (size permitting) fine art prints. and my HP 5000
    strictly for use of projects that need protection from direct elements such as
    outdoor use.

    http://www.hp.com/sbso/product/supplies/lightfastness.html

    Paul Savidge
     
    Savidge4, Sep 8, 2003
    #11
  12. Rafe B. Guest

    On 07 Sep 2003 23:53:18 GMT, (Savidge4) wrote:


    >In one sentence to say that you understand the relationship of paper to ink,
    >and another to suggest that there is a list of paper producers to long to list
    >here. That in itself is a contradiction in tems. in reality ALL of the
    >successful print longevity testing has been done with same brand paper and
    >inks. Again i will say that to suggest that the use of third party papers and
    >or inks will produce the same results as same kind ink/paper combination is
    >crazy.


    <snip>

    So you are suggesting that the ONLY lightfast combinations
    are those officially sanctioned by HP or Henry Wilhelm,
    or those consisting of paper and ink from the same brand?

    Surely you can't be that naive.

    Hey, listen, I'm glad you're happy with your HP. There
    also happen to be quite a few professional photographers
    using Epson wide format printers these days. I know
    quite a few of them personally, and dozens more from
    my travels in the news groups, listservs, etc.

    Regardless of how you feel about your HP, there's
    really no need to disparage other printers or other
    ink/paper combinations.



    rafe b.
    http://www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Rafe B., Sep 8, 2003
    #12
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