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Thread: Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

  1. #1

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    Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

    I am looking for a priter to print digital negatives for kallitypes. As I bought recently some expensive photo gear I want to stay cheap. I am not going to print anything larger then 8x10 so I am thinking of Epson R260. I am very "green" about printers. My question is quite simple - is this printer good enough or I should go for more expensive models, (R800?)?
    Any advice highly appreciated,

    best wishes,

    Jan

  2. #2

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    Re: Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

    Jan,

    That's a pretty decent printer which should serve you fine for learning. More expensive 8x10" printers only have more cosmetic features, such as LCD screen and the likes.

    That being said, it is not the printer that will really cost you at this size, it's the inks. At $20 per cartridge, that's $120 per ink change.

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    Re: Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

    Marko,
    for how long one ink cartridge set would last?

    Jan

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    Re: Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

    Marko, there may be another issue here. I hope one of the alt-process experts will jump in and advise, but I think kallitypes are exposed via UV. I don't know whether the R260 inks will provide adequate opacity for that application.

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    Re: Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

    Oren:

    You are right, as usual - that's an aspect I am not familiar with, I was commenting on the printer itself and the fact that one set of ink costs as much as the printer itself. Ink, in general, is where the manufacturers make real money, especially on the lower end of the scale.

    Jan:

    I know you'll hate this answer, but there's no better one: It depends on the images you print. I have not personally used this printer - yet - because there is a wide-carriage version of that one just released, very reasonably priced too, and I am waiting for reviews before I buy.

    But here's Epson's specs for the two types of cartridges.

  6. #6

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    Re: Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

    Oren, thank you, I did not think of that and you are right - the ink opacity can be an issue. Now the question is if one can use third party inks which are known to work. I could find replacements for R800 and higher models but not for R260.

    Marko, thank you for the link. As Epson specifies about 400-500 test pages per cartridge set I would guess that it translates to 40-50 images, given how the test pages look like. For me this would be about half a year which sounds not too expensive. On the other hand in the longer run R800 might be cheaper. Is R800 essentially the same as R1800 except it takes smaller paper?

    Jan

  7. #7
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    Re: Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

    The R800 is exactly the same as the R1800 with the exception of the size paper it takes. The inks in these printers btw seem to provide good results for some for digital negatives. There seem to be general issues with Epson printers too; I'mnot an expert but I follow them for a printer review I am writing. In additionto the UV issues there is also one of banding and a number of folk report that many different Epson printers. This is a "venetian blind" effect whichis only visible in clear skies and fleshtones on Pictorico film.

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    Re: Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

    The "venetian blind" banding is not exclusive to Pictorico but has been obvserved on other substrates too - basically it seems to evolve from inconsistencies with the stepping mechanics of some printers over time which results in some banding issues which are visible in the gentle highlight tones of prints from digital negatives, particularly in large areas of continuous tone. Presumably this happens with conventional printing too, but the problem would almost certainly never be visible because on direct prints, it would occur in deep shadow areas. As far as I know, there are currently no known issues with venetian blinds and the R1800, but as I mentioned before, this kind of banding seems to take time to develop on printers....

    Sandy King just tested an R800 and found that it's inkset did not offer much in the way of UV blocking potential (certainly not enough to be ideal fro most Alt Process printers). So not ideal for making kallitypes if you were intending to use a process like PDN; but it could be usable with other methods...

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    Re: Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

    Thank you for advices, so what would be a budget printer/ink combo to print digital negatives for kallitypes up to 8x10?

    Jan

  10. #10

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    Re: Epson printer for digital negatives, is R260 enough?

    Consider this: New R260 printer with the the basic inkset (6 inks) included costs less than the same inkset if purchased alone! It makes it really painless to experiment, doesn't it?

    On the other hand, R800 and R1800 are 8-ink printers and the price differential between them is close to one ink cartridge set, given that Epson will ship R1800 for free.

    I am not recommending either of these, as I don't have first hand experience with them. I am simply trying to put a perspective on the decision.

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