Update me on printers and Inks

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Collin Brendemuehl, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Right now I print, minimally, with an old Epson Stylus 400.
    It does an ok job. But doing more digitally it does need upgraded.

    I'll be printing no more than 11 wide (11x14, or slightly smaller with
    the borders, as needed) so I don't need a really big printer.

    #1 So the first issue ...
    Which brand is best, esp. wrt
    (a) color accuracy
    (b) ink durability.

    #2 And for a specific comparison, the Epson 1200 & 1270 are going
    pretty reasonably these days. Are their inks on par with the newer
    inks?

    #3 Does paper make a difference in terms of durability/color accuracy?

    #4 Which if any of the refill or 3rd-party inks might bring a printer
    to current quality (durabiliy/color)?

    #5 Is there really that much difference wrt color accuracy between the
    pro and consumer printers, or is it all in the inks? (relates
    somewhat to #4)

    #6 Personally, I've always enjoyed my Epsons. But what are you pros
    and serious amateurs using? For smaller prints I'm hearing good
    things here in Ohio regarding some of the basic Canon models.
    Comparisions, anyone?
    Any online results comparisions that you can point me to?

    TIA,

    Collin
     
    Collin Brendemuehl, Nov 18, 2004
    #1
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  2. Collin Brendemuehl

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: (Collin Brendemuehl)

    >I'll be printing no more than 11 wide (11x14, or slightly smaller with
    >the borders, as needed) so I don't need a really big printer.


    There's a good write-up on the three top 13x19" printers at this link, scroll
    down to "Q: What are my choices for 13" wide photo inkjet printers, and which
    is best?"

    http://www.inkjetart.com/news/archive/IJN_04-18-04.html

    >#1 So the first issue ...
    >Which brand is best, esp. wrt
    >(a) color accuracy
    >(b) ink durability.


    Canon i9900 and Epson 1280 and Epson 2200 are all pretty accurate and make fine
    looking prints. 2200 prints should last much longer though since it uses
    pigment inks and the other two use dye inks.

    >#2 And for a specific comparison, the Epson 1200 & 1270 are going
    >pretty reasonably these days. Are their inks on par with the newer
    >inks?


    1200 inks had a max life of around 2 years and it's a very outdated printer.
    Epson 1270 uses the same inks as the 1280 mentioned above, max estimated print
    life around 25-30 years on only a couple of papers.

    >#3 Does paper make a difference in terms of durability/color accuracy?


    Yes.
     
    Bill Hilton, Nov 18, 2004
    #2
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  3. Collin Brendemuehl

    Clyde Guest

    Embedded answers - short, but may be all you need:

    Collin Brendemuehl wrote:
    > Right now I print, minimally, with an old Epson Stylus 400.
    > It does an ok job. But doing more digitally it does need upgraded.
    >
    > I'll be printing no more than 11 wide (11x14, or slightly smaller with
    > the borders, as needed) so I don't need a really big printer.
    >
    > #1 So the first issue ...
    > Which brand is best, esp. wrt
    > (a) color accuracy
    > (b) ink durability.


    You will get great photo quality pictures from any of the top photo
    printers of Epson, Canon, or HP. The color accuracy is very good when
    you calibrate your monitor and the printer with the paper. It can be
    uneven if things aren't calibrated.

    There are differences in color, saturation, intensity, etc. Don't let
    anyone fool you, the differences are damn slight. In side-by-side
    comparisons, looking close you can see differences, but it's pretty
    slight. Really it's more of a style issue than anything. Not seen
    side-by-side, they all look great and you probably couldn't tell what
    printer it came from.

    Epson is currently winning the durability (longevity) battle. Their
    permanent inks will last longer than you do and probably your children
    too. The right paper will give you an image for 80, 100, or more years.

    HP isn't far behind. It's dye inks have got up into the 70 year range.
    That's pretty good. Canon isn't quite up there yet, but getting better -
    and probably more than good enough for most people.

    BTW, all of this depends mightily on the paper you print on. Printing
    the best ink on the wrong paper will only give you months of longevity.

    >
    > #2 And for a specific comparison, the Epson 1200 & 1270 are going
    > pretty reasonably these days. Are their inks on par with the newer
    > inks?


    The reason they are cheap is that they are old technology. The color is
    still pretty good, but the longevity really isn't there. They look
    tempting, but a couple years from now you will really wish you had
    bought current technology. So, do it now.

    >
    > #3 Does paper make a difference in terms of durability/color accuracy?


    Tremendously!!! And you can't tell by looking. You have to follow
    Willhelm Research's testing to know what will last. Well, OK... Most pro
    level papers will be better lasting than the lessor expensive ones.

    >
    > #4 Which if any of the refill or 3rd-party inks might bring a printer
    > to current quality (durabiliy/color)?


    Don't bother. I've never found any of these worth anything. The ones
    I've tried are so off color that they just have to be thrown away. I
    only buy Epson for my R800 now and won't waste my money on anything else.

    >
    > #5 Is there really that much difference wrt color accuracy between the
    > pro and consumer printers, or is it all in the inks? (relates
    > somewhat to #4)


    It's in the inks, drop size, and the drivers. The differences in the
    color control on the inks isn't an issue. The difference is the number
    of inks. My R800 prints very smooth colors for any color because it uses
    7 or 8 colors and puts them down in very small drops. I get the color
    accuracy because the drivers/ICM/ICC profiles are pretty finely tuned.
    It seems to me, but can't prove, that they do more fine tuning on their
    top printers.

    >
    > #6 Personally, I've always enjoyed my Epsons. But what are you pros
    > and serious amateurs using? For smaller prints I'm hearing good
    > things here in Ohio regarding some of the basic Canon models.
    > Comparisions, anyone?
    > Any online results comparisions that you can point me to?


    You will find more pros using Epson printers, but it's not that big of a
    deal. Pro photographers and graphic art shops tend to use a lot of them
    all. You are like to see 2 or all 3 of them.

    I buy a lot from InkJetArt. I think it does say something that they have
    focused almost exclusively on Epson. Their market is professionals in
    photography and graphic arts. I think there is a reason for that emphasis.

    >
    > TIA,
    >
    > Collin


    Clyde
     
    Clyde, Nov 19, 2004
    #3
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