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Thread: Printer purchase advice

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Printer purchase advice

    I would greatly appreciate advice on which printer to purchase. I am considering the Epson 1800 and 4000.

    I wasn't planning on buying one this soon, but the current $300 rebate on the 4000 may be too good a deal to pass up. They are both great printers, but 16x20 would be nice, and with the rebate the 4000 is a great deal, since from what I have read it is in a different league than the 1800.

    I am leaning toward the 4000 but there are two issues that I am considering. Firstly, how much better is the color gamut of the 1800 inkset compared to that of the 4000? Secondly, since I will also do lots of b/w will one be better than the other at b/w (using the Quadtone RIP)?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Printer purchase advice

    You're much better off with the 4000 for B&W. There are numerous RIP options and 3rd party papers, inksets and general advice since the printer has been around a while. It will probably be a while before the r1800 will have any solid RIP support.

    I think color gamut is really irrelevant (IMO) since I've seen results from the 2200, the Canon printers and others that are almost lifelike in appearance. So I recommend the 4000 but it is noisy and large so make sure you can handle a big printer like this. I've also heard that it clogs without steady use but I have no knowledge of this. The 2200 should be an option for you as well although it is not as well-built as the 4000 but it is really a top notch pro printer and an industry standard (for good reasons).

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Printer purchase advice

    The best thing the 1800 has going for it is if you print glossy...

    the overcoat (on the 800 and 1800) really does a nice job of minimizing the gloss differential... that and it's price point is very attractive.

    The gamut is slightly different between the printers - but not as significant as the ability to use 3rd party rips with the 4000 (or even the 2200). I've had a hard time getting really good b&w prints from the I imagine the 1800 is the same.

    One thing to consider, is if you have a budget for the 4000 - getting an 1800 for color and glossy, and getting a second printer to customize for b&w...

    just a thought.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    Printer purchase advice

    $300 rebate.... you know what that means. A super 4000 is just about to be released.

  5. #5
    Beverly Hills, California
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Beverly Hills, CA

    Printer purchase advice

    You're much better with an enlarger for black and white.

  6. #6

    Printer purchase advice

    One thing to consider is that the 1800 uses little ink cartridges.

    The 4000 can use the great big 110ml ink cartridges used by the 7600 and 9600.

    The difference in cost for the ink is substantial. It's quite possible the difference in printer price could be made up in cost savings just in ink purchases, if you print even a reasonable number of prints per month.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 1999

    Printer purchase advice


    I just recently (before the rebate -- curses!) purchased a 4000. It is still very early of course, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the B&W prints I've produced (from scanned 6X7 and 4X5 negs), especially the larger ones. If you should decide to get one I'd be interested to remain current on your progress with the beast (it is big!). I will do the same with my own sojourn into the digital world. I'm a novice, after many years in the darkroom. For example, I still don't know what the acronym RIP refers to.

    Anyway, good luck with your decision and then with your printer, whichever you choose.

    RR, in San Diego

  8. #8

    Printer purchase advice

    Not sure if the rebate on the 4000 implies an update is coming. The 4000 has only been in the market for a year. I don't think Epson has ever updated a pro printer that quickly. Looking at their line, I expect the 2200, 7600 and 9600 to be replaced next, not the 4000. The 2200, 7600 and 9600 printers have been on the market for about 3 years and are due for replacement. The 4000 rebate may reflect a competitive response to the HP 130, which appears to be selling at least reasonably well. It offers 24" wide printing with dye inks they claim will last at least 82 years under glass, all for $1300. The printer doesn't handle paper well, but it's image quality is superb.

  9. #9

    Printer purchase advice

    I've been mentally debating R1800/2200/4000 for several weeks now and the only conclusion I have been able to reach is that the 4000 does not logically make sense for me, given that I don't foresee a high demand for 16x20's in my near future (and certainly not present day). That said, outsourcing to a pro in the area with a 4000/RIP is $50 a pop.

    I am almost ready to pull the trigger on getting the R1800, but the lack of RIP support was my most recent concern. According to Vincent Oliver of Photo-i, that may not be an issue (read his extensive R1800 review), as he was pleased with the black & white results.

    Moreover, by the same review, specifications (droplet size), and common sense (the 2200 is after all 3 years old), the technology in the R1800 is superior to the 2200--look at the review for side-by-side print comparisons and tell me which you think is better (at best, they seem on par).

    The real answer for me is probably going to be the replacement for the 2200, which the R1800 is supposedly not. However, the only reason why the R1800 is technically *not* the replacement for the 2200 is that the R1800 is not a 'professional' printer. I assume that means work load? But I am only printing a couple dozen prints a year, so maybe that means nothing to me.

    I will be interested to know what you decide. Good luck!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Brookings OR

    Printer purchase advice

    RIP=Raster Image Processor software. Converts image data into a pixel image. Getting "ripped" is something else entirely!

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