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Thread: Advice on Printer purchase for Dig Neg, w/out Pizza Wheels

  1. #1

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    Advice on Printer purchase for Dig Neg, w/out Pizza Wheels

    I am looking for a printer to produce digital negatives, that does not use “Pizza Wheels” for sheet advance. I am not looking for tips or tricks just advice on what printers give consistent clean digital negatives without the dreaded pizza wheels.

    I currently own a Epson 3880 and have tried every tip out there to get clean digital negatives to endless frustration and expense. It seems Epson didn’t change with the newer models i.e. P600, P800 from my investigation. How about the Epson P6000 or Canon, HP…? At this point I am willing to spend the money on the best machine, I want to print not chase my tail.

    Any advice to end my nightmare would be greatly appreciated!

    Many Thanks!
    Jimmy

  2. #2

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    Re: Advice on Printer purchase for Dig Neg, w/out Pizza Wheels

    There are several options for you to consider to avoid the nightmare of pizza wheel marks.

    1) With the 3880 and P800 there is a way to lift the star wheels so that they do not touch your digital negative substrate.

    https://jkschreiber.wordpress.com/20...an-epson-3880/

    2) You might also consider the 17" Epson P5000 with roll media and suction drive. Even with sheet feed the pizza wheels are not engaged until the end of a print.
    http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/r...p5000-printer/
    The earlier 17" Epson 4000, 4880, and 4900 used a combination of suction for roll media and star wheels for sheet media that allowed you to lift the bar up at the end of a print to avoid the pizza wheel marks.

    3) Finally, all of the professional Epson printers 24" or larger (7880, 7900, P6000, etc.) use only suction and do not have the star wheels at all. They are very convenient if you have the space.

    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 13-Sep-2019 at 17:02.
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
    [url]https://groups.io/g/carbon

  3. #3

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    Re: Advice on Printer purchase for Dig Neg, w/out Pizza Wheels

    Jimmy,

    I've heard about folks having issues with pizza wheel marks on their digital negatives, but of all the ones I've printed on my Epson R2880 I've never noticed any issues there. Just curious... Do you print a negative with very narrow borders? This would certainly explain why I've never experienced it because I always produce negatives much smaller than the substrate I'm printing on (Pictorico OHP, in my case.)

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    Re: Advice on Printer purchase for Dig Neg, w/out Pizza Wheels

    Hi Sandy, Thank you for the reply and great info/advice. I am totally serious about making the investment of the Epson P6000 in the near future. I got so frustrated at this road block I wanted to throw the printer out the 4th floor window (but I didn’t…) The pizza wheel issue was taking all the pleasure out of printing. Thank you again.

    All the Best
    Jimmy

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    Re: Advice on Printer purchase for Dig Neg, w/out Pizza Wheels

    Hi Alan, I as well use Pictorico OHP, I usually have at least 1/2” or more border…. Thank you for your reply.

    Cheers
    Jimmy

  6. #6

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    Re: Advice on Printer purchase for Dig Neg, w/out Pizza Wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Mathis View Post
    Hi Alan, I as well use Pictorico OHP, I usually have at least 1/2” or more border…. Thank you for your reply.

    Cheers
    Jimmy
    Yep, that explains it. I typically print out a 5x7 neg on 8.5 x 11 OHP. If I want to go 8x10 or slightly larger neg, I use 11x14 OHP. As such, I never have less than 1 - 1.5" borders.

  7. #7
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Printer purchase for Dig Neg, w/out Pizza Wheels

    Over the summer, I picked up a refurbished Epson P400. Up until now, I've used the 4000 (very happy until it died), and two 3800's. The magenta on one just refused to print. The other one never clogged but produced awful banding that I just could not cure. I've had the P400 for a couple of months and I couldn't be happier. It has smaller ink drops than my other printers. Tones are nice and smooth. No pizza wheel marks... an issue I've never experienced on previous printers either. The P400 can print up to 13 inch wide. You can use QTR with it by changing the name on the command button in the profile folder.

  8. #8

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    Re: Advice on Printer purchase for Dig Neg, w/out Pizza Wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew O'Neill View Post
    Over the summer, I picked up a refurbished Epson P400. Up until now, I've used the 4000 (very happy until it died), and two 3800's. The magenta on one just refused to print. The other one never clogged but produced awful banding that I just could not cure. I've had the P400 for a couple of months and I couldn't be happier. It has smaller ink drops than my other printers. Tones are nice and smooth. No pizza wheel marks... an issue I've never experienced on previous printers either. The P400 can print up to 13 inch wide. You can use QTR with it by changing the name on the command button in the profile folder.
    I also use a P400 for some of my work with digital negatives and as Andrew notes, the tones are very smooth and it is a very sharp printer. With a printer like the P400 that uses the star wheels to guide the film the key to avoiding pizza wheel marks is to use a combination of inks that produces the highest UV blocking for the amount of ink that is being deposited. For most people this is accomplished by using the QTR driver and creating a printing profile that only uses the PK and Y inks. By using third-party ink I have been able to get enough UV blocking for my carbon transfer printing with the PK, a second PK in the MK slot, and Y. The other inks are not used as they are essentially useless as they have little or no UV blocking.

    Many printing processes allow control of contrast in the printing stage. If the process you use is one of these you should be able to use a printer like the P400, in spite of the star wheels. On the other hand, if your process is one like albumen or POP palladium I think it will be very difficult to avoid pizza wheel marks with the the very high contrast negatives needed for these processes.

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
    [url]https://groups.io/g/carbon

  9. #9
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Printer purchase for Dig Neg, w/out Pizza Wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    I also use a P400 for some of my work with digital negatives and as Andrew notes, the tones are very smooth and it is a very sharp printer. With a printer like the P400 that uses the star wheels to guide the film the key to avoiding pizza wheel marks is to use a combination of inks that produces the highest UV blocking for the amount of ink that is being deposited. For most people this is accomplished by using the QTR driver and creating a printing profile that only uses the PK and Y inks. By using third-party ink I have been able to get enough UV blocking for my carbon transfer printing with the PK, a second PK in the MK slot, and Y. The other inks are not used as they are essentially useless as they have little or no UV blocking.

    Many printing processes allow control of contrast in the printing stage. If the process you use is one of these you should be able to use a printer like the P400, in spite of the star wheels. On the other hand, if your process is one like albumen or POP palladium I think it will be very difficult to avoid pizza wheel marks with the the very high contrast negatives needed for these processes.

    Sandy

    Thanks to Sandy, otherwise I would not have known about this printer. I purchased refillable cartridges, and will swap the MK ink (when it runs out) for PK. Currently, I'm mainly using MK, PK, and Y. The other colours are switched down to one (zero for that gloss one). They are doing a fine job blocking UV for carbon and the other processes I use.

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