Need advice on 13" printer purchase

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by lee_shively, May 5, 2012.

  1. My old HP printer has been needing an upgrade for some time but it's produced a lot of great looking prints over the years. But now, with the "improved" HP Premium Plus Photo Paper that looks like it's coated with Saran Wrap, I'm inspired to get on with it and dump HP completely. So I'm needing some input.
    Here's what I do and what I want and need:
    I don't print photos every week and I don't do a huge volume of prints. I'm not in the business of photography. Color is my primary interest but I do occasional B&W. I'm more interested in the quality of the print than the absolute archival permanence of the print--but longevity of the image when displayed under glass is also important. Wireless operation is not important. I don't care about exotic papers and finishes--I prefer glossy or a hard surface luster/pearl type finish for my photos. I want to print up to 13" wide borderless with most prints being about 11x14". I'm not interested in the technology, I want a simple operation after initial setup. I want something reliable and durable.
    While I'm retired now and my income is limited, I'm willing to spend $500+/- for the printer. It would be nice if the printer isn't an ink drinker but I can put up with a bit of wasted ink as long as the print quality is high. Here's what I've been looking at:
    Canon Pixma Pro 9000mkII and Pro 9500mkII (based on Canon's current $300 rebate only--otherwise, it's out of my price range). Epson Artisan 1430, Epson Sylus Photo R2000, Epson Stylus Photo R2880 and Epson Stylus Photo R3000 (this one is pushing my budget--it's only in the running due to current Epson rebates that get it down to a bit over $600).
    What say you? Thanks in advance.
  2. I have had three Epson printers starting with the 1280, then the 1800 and now the 2880. The 2880 is definitely the best so far. I too do not print very often.
    Print quality is great and there is a large variety of papers available from Epson. Their paper profiles are very good.
    I thought about getting the R3000, but I don't print often enough to get rid of this printer, which I've had for two years. I do like the idea of larger ink cartridges, though.
    You can also print on compatible CDs and DVDs. I have used that feature.
  3. I have the Epson 1400 and recently purchased the 2880. So far, I prefer the 1400 for printing color on luster paper. The pigmented inks of the 2880 seem to change the surface appearance of the paper more then I like. Colors are similar otherwise.
    As far as B&W, the 2880 does a better job. Much closer to what I used to get years ago in the darkroom.
  4. I can only speak first hand of my ownership
    with the Epson 3880, bought a year or more
    before the release of the 3000. My
    main priority was replacement ink costs. The
    per-milliliter ink cost for Epson printers
    drops significantly when bought in larger
    containers. By that I mean the new 3000 has
    larger ink tanks than the 2xxx series printers.
    The 3880 larger than the 3000. And so on.
    So my thought to you is not only up front
    cost but also ink replacement costs.

    Also, take it for what it is worth (marketing),
    but I'd carefully review the Epson website for
    the technical information of the printers. I
    seem to remember the 3000 may have some
    nozzle design upgrades meant to help save
    ink, but I don't want to trust my memory that
    much, do some research to see if that is the

    That said, my vote would be for the Epson
  5. Thanks for the advice. This morning I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet so I ordered the Epson R3000 from B&H. Their price for the printer was less than from Epson direct and both have a $150 mail-in rebate good through the end of the month.
    After reading the reviews online and even though it's more expensive than I originally planned on, I decided this model will probably do everything I will need to do in the foreseeable future and may be a little cheaper to run than the other printers I was considering.
    Thanks again.

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