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Thread: inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Los Angeles, California, USA

    inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?

    I am interested in some feedback, comments, insights on injet printers that I am looking into. I know there are computer forums, but I would like to get feedback from photographers, not computer nerds. I intend to do mainly color, mainly on glossy paper, relatively small (4x5 "contact" prints to possibly 8x10). I have the following set-up so far:

    At hand: Mac G5, LCD monitor, Nikon Coolscan 4000ED, Photoshop CS.
    In the mail: Epson 4990 Pro (with Monaco EZcolor 2.6) flatbed scanner.
    On the list: Monaco Optix spider plus transparency target.
    Agonizing: Epson R1800 (2400???), Canon i9900.

    I saw a very informative review on the R1800 vs others under but wonder about real life experience from other people. Second, I also wonder about i-ink system from inkrepublic. There are rumours about an Epson 2400 as a replacement for the 2200 with a new generation inkset.

    The pros and cons of the two printers seem to be:
    - Canon easier to use (If I'm willing to take the color management plunge, then I am willing to deal with a bit more intricate operation).
    - Canon dye (?) ink with more vivid colors, but less archival, vs tried-and-true durable ultrachrome pigment ink from Epson with a bit less punch.
    - More clogging problems with the Epson. True?
    - Epson is a mainstay in the printing world with many thrid party products (e.g., ink systems), vs. Canon being more peripherally in the printing business.
    - Canon has no black ink, no K cartridge: problems with "colored" blacks? Should be able to address that with color management.
    - Differences in resolution seem to be rather of engineering interest, but have little effect on the image under normal viewing condition.

    I think I am leaning a bit more towards the Epson R1800, but did I miss something?

    As always, thanks for your time and always informed opinions.

    Best wishes
    Daniel Geiger
    geiger at vetigastropoda dot com

  2. #2

    inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?


    First of all, the Canon does have a black ink. The 9900 has a larger color gamut than the Epson, however, longevity is an issue. For prints needing archival qualities, Ultrachrome is hard to beat. You can combat this to a great deal on Canon printers by using resin coated paper. Ilford sells their Galerie gloss & pearl in both classic & smooth. The smooth is quick drying nanoporous paper...but not very archival (about 3 to 8 years in good condition). The Classic is a resin coated paper and should give little trouble for you for between 14 and 18 years. The latest chromalife dye based inks extend lightfastness out past 30 years, and some tests have shown that using the proper paper combos, extend lightfastness out to approx 50 years. This should be satisfactory for most saleable requirements.

    I've never had a clog on anyof my Canon printers. Everyone of my Epsons has experienced clogging. And when my Epson 7600 clogs, it can take quite a bit of ink to clear it.

    You can find the Canon i960 fairly cheap. The i9900 is still a good deal as well, and gives you up to 13x19. Resolution between the Epson and Canon is identical to my eyes. I do find that the output is somewhat smoother on the Canon printers due to the smaller droplet size. This is more visible under a loupe than to the naked eye at normal viewing distance.

    I'd buy a Canon again for color work and an Epson for B&W.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?

    If you're not going over 8x10" why not get the smaller...cheaper Epson R800? Same inkset as the 1800 and still has the gloss optimizer overlay for those nice pretty glossy prints (with minimal gloss differential).

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2005

    inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?

    I don't have any experience with the Epson printer but I have been using the Canon i9900 for several months. I've never had any problem with the printer, nor have I had color management problems. I have printed beautiful pictures up to 13X19 from the first day. I think you would be happy with either unit and you do seem to be leaning toward the Epson.

    BTW, there is a black ink cartridge for the Canon. Personally, I have been leery of using third party inks but your mileage may vary. Before you make your decision about using non-manufacturer's ink, weigh in the money you invested on the printer, warranty may be voided if there is a problem, etc. Maybe other posters can address the ink issue.

    I recently looked at 25 y.o. Kodachrome slides that have started to fade and Canon inks are supposed to last 25+ years...that length of time is good enough for me. Epson inks have a stated 100 year archival quality...sounds good to me. If your aspiration is to become a world renowned photographer this is something to consider.

    As for Epson printers having a tendency to clog. If you print daily, or several times a week, this would not be a problem. I had an Epson 825 that clogged up if I didn't use it for 3 or more days. It was a waste of ink having to clean the jets each time. I've never had problems with the Canon ports plugging up, though I think the printer does it automatically each time I print anew???

    I have used Printasia, Ilford Gallerie, Kodak Professional, and Canon paper. The setting for third party paper is Photo Paper Plus Glossy, otherwise your pictures come out muddied. Subjectively, pictures do seem to come out more vivid on Canon's Photo Paper Pro. FYI, you can download profiles for the printer of your choice from the Ilford web site.

    Have you considered dyesub printers like the Olympus 440? I have the old 400 I got on sale. It's very nice but the colors are muted slightly...but it might that I have to do some color management.

    You have quite a digital studio so I don't think you're going to have a problem with whatever printer you choose.

    Hope this helps,


    Slightly Advanced Amateur,
    Nikon & Mamiya gear,
    Toshiba laptop, Celeron processor with 512 ram,
    Apple Powerbook G4,
    and a Gateway P4 something,
    PS 7 and PS Elements

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Orange, CA

    inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?

  6. #6

    inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?


    Particularly notworthy is the Designjet 130 for B&W work. Numerous well known printers have commented that the blacks they are getting from that printer are not only better than they achieve from the Epsons, they equal or exceed that of silver or platinum printing. I know some people on these forums take issue with this as it goes against what they "know" to be true rather than what they have actually tested, but my tests, among many others show this to be the case. However, if you're only interested in maybe 8x10, the Designjet would be overkill. If what you are interested in is the best color, you'll get it from the Canons. If it's B&W, either the Epson or the HP would do well for you.

    Good luck!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?

    Regarding Epson printers clogging: I understand that Epson has a inkjet-head "parking" system that caps the heads when the printer is turned off. This is supposed to reduce/prevent clogging. However, my practice has always been to simply leave the printer on until I needed it, rather than waiting to turn it on when I was printing; thus, until I learned about this "parking" idea I left my printers on all the time. It seems to have reduced clogging, although I confess I don't do a lot of inkjet printing of photos.

    Anyone else know if this issue is solved by Epson's parking technology?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Langley BC, near Vancouver

    inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?

    I have run an i9900 for six months and I am very satisfied. Canon is in a bind with the longevity issue, which is complicated marketingwise by the age of the BCI-6 ink technology. I agree with the comments on coated papers. Canon needs a new concept and has popped out with the BCI-7 ink set. Delivery to North America has been delayed. Notice that Canon itself has not said that BCI-6 has a longevity problem. My personal opinion is that it does not, but Canon has made the announcement that they are to be pals with Wilhelm and I betcha a couple of ink changes that we never see the BCI-6 tested, and that BCI-7 will be touted for 100-year life on the basis of Wilhelm tests. Probably at double the price too. Note that the i9900 will not take custom paper lengths over [I think] 22" if you need to do panoramas or banners. There does not appear to be a workaround for this either.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?

    I don't know about "new generation" inks with the 2400. The only information I've seen (from someone in the Yahoo digital black and white printing group) indicated that the inks in the 2400 were the same as the 2200 except that a "light light" black had been added to the 2400. Of course at this stage AFAIK everything about Epson's new line of printers is rumor, the only thing "official" that I've seen cited was in Russian.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  10. #10
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    inkjet recommendation (EpsonR1800 vs Canon i9900)?

    "However, my practice has always been to simply leave the printer on until I needed it" This generates a slight amount of heat which in my experience and Epsons makes clogging worse in dry climates.

    Clogging problems with the Epson 4000 in New Mexico have been solved with a couple of simple homemade humidifiers made from a 35mm slide box filled with a piece of wet sponge and with holes drilled in the top. Set them next to the head and cover the printer with plastic. Don't forget to remove them before you turn the machine on in the morning! Put a piece of tape over the on off button to remind yourself. I have not had a single clog since doing this.

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

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