View Full Version : Epson 2200 to 4800 - practicle for hobbiest?
I'm quite tempted to upgrade my epson 2200 to a 4800 to use for color landscape prints. I like the idea of blacker blacks, the printers consistancy in using profiles, and of course the ability to make occational 16x20's. Before I make a rash decision to chase the newest technology, I want to think of the hidden cost. If I start printing more 13x19 / 16x20 sized prints, I will spend more on ink, paper, and large mats. Then again this machine is supposed to be quite econimical in respect to ink usage? I'm curious to hear from others who have made the transition to a larger printer to hear how much of a financial hit it has been compared to what you used before. Of course if I were selling 10 prints a week this would not be an issue.
Well, I jumped all the way to a 7800. A friend reminded me that "life isn't a rehearsal... eat dessert first!" So I did. The printer is very economical on ink usage, except for initial startup and if you switch from matte black to photo black. I am, of course, spending more money on ink, paper and mats. I am loving it but I can't say there is much practical about it. It would be much cheaper to send the stuff off to West Coast Imaging... but I feel like I have found the art again. I am able to make the prints I envision.
Something to consider are the new Canon Pixma Pro9500 (http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=117&modelid=12414) and the Imageprograph iPF5000 (http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=170&modelid=13098).
The new inks test out about like the Ultrachromes for longevity, have considerably bigger gamut, and you don't need to change the black inks out for matte and glossy papers. Oh, yes, they are three times faster (that's 3x!) than the Epsons. But the biggie is, it looks like the ink is going to be much cheaper than Epson's ink. Epson will of course lower their ink prices, but probably not to match.
If I were getting ready to buy a printer this size, I'd wait a couple of weeks until these babies hit the shelves and scope out actual street pricing for printers and inks. Might give you more choices. Of course, YMMV.
I'm doing exactly what you suggest at the moment... biding my time. Do you have any sources for information on the Canon printers at the moment? There's precious little information to spare right now; apparently Canon has not even released demo printers to anyone yet.
I'd love to see any info you have on the printers.
I second the advice that if you are looking at the 4800, consider the 7800. It's not that much more but it goes all the way, baby. The biggest difference is that you will probably spend most of your time printing on roll paper rather than sheets. With the new Museo Silver Rag the print curl is not an issue at all and the results are really sensational. If you are shooting LF I think the 7800 is almost a no-brainer.
I bought an R2400 a while back and wish I had gone for the 4800 instead. The R2400 seems like it's always running on fumes. In fact it totally stopped due to an empty light magenta cartridge. Now I'm waiting for UPS to deliver more. The 4800 should be a lot more economical and won't run out of ink so often.
Of course now I want a bigger one, question is 7800 or 9800. If you buy the best (or biggest) then you can never regret getting a lesser one. Still $5K is a lot to spend on a printer. I'm using WC I for now for big prints but it would be a lot of fun to do my own.
I agree with the ink usage thing. I also have a 2200 which is pretty much always flashing one ink position or another as about to run out or totally run out. When you buy the 7800 you have to budget another $1000 for the second set of ink carts which will be required *very* soon after the ones that ship with the printer are used up... but at that point the ink usage is a blessed relief in comparison with the insatiable appetite of the smaller printers.
I agree with others about the ink usage issue. I have a 2200. I love the print quality but the thing drinks ink like I used to drink beer.
I have a couple of 2200s and use ink from the 4000 (colour 2200, CIS for six inks, spongeless refillable cartridges for MK and PK) or 4800 (B&W 2200, CIS). I reckon that the ink costs are about half of what they would be if I used 2200 carts, and I get to use K3 inks in a 2200.
naive questions from a naive hobbyist: trying to make the point on printers quality (I would like to do it with scanners too), I find that, when reviewed, printers are usually compared to alike models, but how would they rank on an absolute value scale? how does this R2400 (or 4800) compare to an enlarger print? and to a shop’s digital minilab? and to a Lambda or Lightjet print?
The R2400 review at photo-i (http://tinyurl.com/s9fqe) concludes “The EPSON Stylus Photo R2400 doesn't compete with traditional wet chemistry photographs - it doesn't need to as it is streets ahead of anything I have seen produced in a darkroom”: should I take this?
Thanks to all those who’d take the time to answer,
I don't know how anyone could make an absolute comparison. A comparison needs criteria, and each of us have different criteria. We have different skills, preferences and expectations. Five or six years ago I read posts from people saying that an Epson 3000 with Piezography inks was the equal of silver gelatin. My first thought was that their darkroom skills must have been pretty bad, but maybe they had a different idea from me of what made a print 'good'.
If your idea of print quality is based solely on numerical D-max and usable density range for example, then the R2400 could nudge ahead of silver gelatin or C-type prints, but it is far more important how that density range is used. The resolution of the R2400 is pretty good as well. If printing on an R2400 doesn't appeal to you, but printing in a darkroom does, then the R2400 may not even be in the running.
The question is not so much whether an ideal inkjet print is better than an ideal silver gelatin print, but if YOUR inkjet print is going to be better than YOUR silver gelatin print.
I am no slouch in the darkroom but my inkjet prints surpassed my darkroom prints in most respects a long time ago, around 2000-2001. No, they didn't have the same Dmax but in most other respects they were far better because I could iteratively improve them in a reliable fashion.
Now with the advent of the new (eg Museo Silver Rag) papers there are basically no metrics on which MY darkroom prints would be better than MY inkjet prints. That's not to say that someone else couldn't whup my ass with a darkroom print, or indeed an inkjet print.
So I would argue that any comparison of darkroom vs. inkjet in the abstract is utterly meaningless, but once you start to take into account your own predelictions, habits, and prejudice, a clear winner usually emerges. Of course only you know which one it is.
Get the HP 130 instead. 24" wide, less than 1/2 the price, and the service agreement is peanuts - 300 for three years, I think the 7800 is several hundred a year. The HP satin paper gives great DMAX, it does not use much ink, and the ink is pretty cheap.
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