which printer?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by joshschutz, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. i'm in the market for a new printer. but for the past 6 years, printing is something that i have ignored. when i was in school i remember hearing that epson and canon were the best in the market. my price range is $200-400. what are some things that i should be looking for when trying to choose a new printer? i do a lot of fine black and white work, so i would like to get a printer that has the ability to make a fine print. i would also like one that is able to print more than an 8x10. any suggestions on specific printers or things i should be looking for (ink type, paper, etc)?
  2. i would also like the ability to print on different types of paper. not just epson or canon specific papers. the epson stylus 1400 seems to be close to my range. any other suggestions.
  3. An Epson 1400 is a good value but it's not a particularly good B&W printer. If you want really good B&W you'll need one of the printers that has multiple gray inks, like a 2880. Unfortunately the lowest price I see for that is $500 (buy from Newegg.com and look on Epson.com for a $200 mail in rebate) and the ink ends up costing more than for the 1400. Fortunately, most of the good 3rd party paper makers do provide ICC files for that printer.
  4. Josh,
    Here’s another vote for the 1400. I recently got one from the Epson Web site, which was (by a significant margin) the cheapest deal around at the time. I create my own profiles with a spectrophotometer, so I loaded the printer up with Lyson Fotonic ink (the Ink2Image Trio system, to be specific). It does exactly what I wanted it to do, which is all anybody can ask for.
    I would strongly caution, though, against using non-Epson ink and non-Epson paper unless you’re fully prepared to acquire suitable profiles. 1400 + Epson ink + Epson paper (or quality third-party paper that ships with profiles) = very good results. 1400 + whatever ink + whatever paper + custom profiles = (potentially) even better results. Anything else will lead to heartache and / or insanity. Point is, either factor the cost of Epson media into your calculations, or the cost of profiling, because you’ll need the one or the other.
    With a good profile, grays are suitably neutral for most work, but I wouldn’t consider it a black-and-white printer by any stretch of the imagination. That’s what my iPF8100 is for….
    P.S. It might be out of your budget, but consider the ColorMunki for profiling. I don’t have any experience with it, but it looks most promising. b&
  5. Ray House

    Ray House Ray House

    I would recommend saving a bit more and getting an Epson 2880. Then you can print 13" wide, very good black & white and color. If you decide on the 1400, be sure to give Quadtonerip a try. You can download for free to try.
  6. Ben, that's a good point you have. Has Epson stepped up their paper quality? The last time I printed anything out, they had glossy, semi-glossy, and matte. I really enjoy printing on some of the fine art papers.
    And as far as the B&W thing goes, I think I may be saving up a bit more for the 2880. The things that I would be printing are primarily B&W.
    Thanks All
  7. Josh, I use the Epson 2200, but am looking at upgrading to the 2880. I also use Ilford and Harmon papers; which I believe are the best going. But that's just me. Were I buying a printer today, I'd go for the Epson 2880. Cheers! Chris
  8. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    I also agree about the 2880. Better ink set, better B&W, very fast. Love mine.
  9. with the 2880 are you able to do color profiling? I remember doing profiles in photo school, and i was having a hard time with color shifts and what not. but that was 5 years ago. has profiling progressed in the past 5? i don't want to be printing out 5 prints to get one.
  10. All manufacturers supply profiles for their papers and current printers. In general the profiles are quite good. If you are inclined to do profiling you can get a ColorMunki that can be used for both that purpose as well as monitor calibration. You don't need profiles to do B&W work with the Epson 2880 printer as it has a dedicated print driver for that purpose. At a minimum that is the printer that you want from what you describe.

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