Best ink-jet printer for *MATTE* prints?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 64hundred, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. 64hundred

    64hundred Guest

    I'm a design student and I've been with my old trusty Epson 1280 for
    years now and it's served me well... until it died last year. Warranty
    has been long gone and I don't think sending it away for repairs would
    be ideal for me (it's kinda too beat-up now and I'm better off getting
    a new printer). Nonetheless, I think it's time for an upgrade (or not,
    more on that later...) and I've narrowed it down to three: the Canon
    I9900, Epson R1800, or a new Epson 1280... again (yep, it's served me
    well afterall). I've been google'ing around looking for all sorts of
    opinions and reviews but none seem to address how they handle two
    particular things I'm looking for: type quality and how prints look on
    matte paper. The bulk of the discussion I come across deals with what's
    better at glossy prints (where the R1800 seems to excel) and what's
    better at retaining color over decades upon decades (R1800 again).
    While for purely typographic treatments I always use my laser printer,
    there are times when I'll be printing text along with graphics from
    Adobe Indesign/Illustrator; the way the 1280 rendered text was always
    acceptable for me on Epson matte paper heavyweight. So... to cut to the
    chase, should I just get a 1280 again or is the extra 200 dollars or so
    for an R1800/I9900 more than worth it? If so, should I go for the R1800
    or the I9900?
    64hundred, Nov 19, 2005
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  2. 64hundred

    tomm101 Guest

    Neither go for the Epson 2400 and get some good matte paper. Epson
    heavy weight matte is an OK paper but fine art stocks are better.

    tomm101, Nov 20, 2005
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  3. 64hundred

    Bill Hilton Guest

    (looking at) the Canon I9900, Epson R1800, or a new Epson
    All of them will do OK with type at 300 ppi or greater ... but for
    matte prints you should skip the dye ink 1280 and i9900 and look at the
    Epson pigment printers like the 1800 or 2200 or 2400. These have two
    black inks that are swappable, 'photo black' for glossy papers and
    'matte black' for matte and fine art papers, and with the 'matte black'
    ink you get a richer, deeper black on those papers than you can achieve
    with the 1280 class dye printers with a single flavor of black (I have
    a 1280, which is fine for glossy, and also a 2200, which is better for

    As a bonus the pigment inks have a projected print life about 4x longer
    than the dye inks of the 1280/i9900 type printers.

    Bill Hilton, Nov 20, 2005
  4. 64hundred

    64hundred Guest

    Wow, thanks! Very informative indeed. :)
    64hundred, Nov 20, 2005
  5. 64hundred

    frederick Guest

    I would agree if the OP specified B&W phhoto printing as a priority...
    The R1800 is better on matte than the 2100/2200 printer, which was
    "state of the art" until the 2400 with K3 (= "3 blacks") came out. The
    R2400 is more expensive, uses more ink, and requires a cartridge swap
    between matte and photo black cartridge.
    Epson Archival Matte is a much better paper for these printers than
    Matte Heavyweight. Matte Heavyweight is optimised for dye printers.

    With the pigment printers, the OP should be aware that although prints
    on matte paper are more water resistant than dye ink on the same paper,
    the prints are still easily marred - an accidental wipe with a
    fingernail or edge of paper will "polish" the surface. Prints on
    low-sheen photo papers are much more durable.
    frederick, Nov 20, 2005
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