Recommends med range printer...

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by steve_mutchler, Aug 19, 2021.

  1. Newbie here....looking for suggestions...
    Friend of mine has an Epson P700 and uses Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag Paper to
    print b/w portraits.....the results are fantastic....

    I can't afford the P700 and the $400 replacement inks....so I'm looking for something...well..."less"....
    A midrange photo printer...say a round $3-500...uses hi grade inks...I may use the same Canson paper...
    My work is a combination of color and b/w....

    I use W10 and Photoshop....I have a Nikon DSLR....older one...shoots about a 4 Mb size....
    So the equipment I have is not top notch....but it is what I have....

    Any suggestions on printers to look at appreciated....
    And it seems like Epson or Canon are the 2 brands....
     
  2. Need more information, in particular:

    1. What's the largest you want to print?
    2. Do you need (or want) archival prints?

    The reason for #1 is obvious: cost goes up with size. The reason for #2 is that the primary reason for pigment inks is to produce prints more resistant to fading. If you intend to hang prints out of direct sunlight and expect to replace them every few years, there is no need for pigment ink, which is IMHO a pain in the rear because of the greater likelihood of clogging.

    Second, don't evaluate costs based on the price of ink cartridges because they differ in size. The two main factors in ink costs are cost per unit, say, per ml, and waste. Larger and hence more expensive cartridges are sometimes cheaper per unit. Red River Paper has print cost estimates on it's website that give you a good estimate of costs, excluding waste from cleaning the head. My impression is that my current pigment-ink printer uses FAR more ink to keep its head clean than my old dye-based printers did, but I never tried to quantify it.

    I don't know what Epson offers in the way of dye-based printers. Canon sells the Pixma Pro 200, which I expect is excellent; I printed for years with the earlier version, the Pro 100, and it produced stellar prints. It's a bit over your price range, but there are periodic specials. The pigment-ink competitor, the Prograf Pro 300, costs $300 more. Both are 13" printers.
     
  3. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    See if you can find an older Epson 3880 which will provide Epson Print Layout as well as Advanced B&W functionality in the standard print driver.
     
  4. I have had great service and quality from my Canon Pixma Pro-10, which has been supplanted by the Pro-200. Despite interludes of disuse, sometimes several weeks, It has always come to life when needed. I have owned several Epson printers which have failed due to clogged print heads. Epson print heads must be replaced by the factory, whereas Canon heads are easily replaced by the user. The Pro-10/200 uses pigment based inks, and there are 7 color cartridges with intermediate shades to produce finely-toned images. The 8th cartridge is a clear coat for sealing. A set of 11 ml cartridges costs about $150, but is cheaper per print than most general purpose printers.

    Canon Pro printers are large and heavy, even for a 13" capacity, about 50 lb. I put mine on a rolling cart, out of the way. I can actually put it in any room in the house, since it is connected by ethernet. It can also be used by any computer or smart phone as part of my WiFi network.
     
  5. Thanks guys...
    11" wide will do me....doubt I would print over 8x10 but 11" gives me the capacity to do so...
    I have an Epson XP-960....and while it gives me good photos...it's not the greatest...
    Or maybe I haven't found the right paper yet...
    Gonna take a look at the Canon Pro-200....

    Gents...maybe suggestions on paper you like...???
    Thanks again...
     
  6. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Paper suggestions: Too subjective.
    I prefer Epson papers for my Epson printer because:
    1. Very consistent behavior (good QC).
    2. There are always media settings for those papers.
     
  7. I use mostly Canon Luster paper in my Pro-10, but Epson paper left over works well too. In both cases, I use profiles created with an X-Rite spectrophotometer.
     
  8. I agree with Dog: too general a question about papers. it depends on the effect you want, how much you want to pay, and again, whether you want archival properties.

    For everyday, non-archival printing, I mostly use luster papers. That's just my taste. If you want a luster paper, there are lots of good ones, varying in how textured they are ("satin" usually means less textured than "luster", but not always) and how cold a white the paper is. My go-to is Moab Exhibition Luster, but Red River sells one that is extremely similar. I have some Canon luster paper, but I haven't used it enough to have a strong opinion.

    For archival printing on coated papers, I use baryta or baryta-style papers. That's what I mostly use when I exhibit or sell (more accurately, try to sell) prints.

    Re media settings: every major paper vendor I have used has media settings and ICC profiles for the Canon printers I've used. I assume they do for Epson printers as well.
     
  9. I use Canon Pro premium matte, Plus semi-gloss, and Plus Glossy II, depending on intended purpose (using Canon printer). I keep away from heavily textured rags and also lusters.
     

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