PDA

View Full Version : Large format printers?



Chako
01-26-2009, 07:22 PM
I have a few questions, and am wondering if anyone here might have some information that might be of help.

I am tentively looking into upgrading my old printer. I currently have an old Canon I9900 dye based 13"x19" printer. I am looking for something that is pigment based for archival purposes. I know that my dye prints will fade 5 years down the road, as I have seen the end results on a few walls, even after proper framing.

Now, I am looking at either a 17" or 24" wide printer. I am thinking that I would like something that takes rolled paper for doing long panoramics. I don't want to go any bigger than 24" though. They get a little big and heavy even at 24".

So far I have tried to dig up materials on these printers:

Canon IPF 5100 17" printer.
Canon IPF 6100 24" printer.
Epson 3800 17" Printer.
Epson 4880 17" Printer.
Epson 7880 24" printer.
HP Z3200 24" printer.

From what I know, the Epson 3800 only does cut sheets. The 4880 has a paper roll feeder. However, unlike the 3800, you have to do an expensive black ink purge to change black inks for glossy or matte. The 7880 also has this issue. The Canons look good but suffer from less colour gamut compared to the Epson and HP models, not to mention their ink tanks are smaller and tend to be more expensive to run. They also have the worst paper profiles, making their printers hard to use with any paper other then Canon’s. The HP model has a built in colourimeter so that you can make ICC profiles for your paper.

Anyways, from what little I know, there is no perfect printer out there.

My question is this, are there any local dealers for these large format printers in town that I am not aware of? Whenever I check online at the manufacturer’s website, there are no local dealers. This single point makes me hesitate. It would be far more convenient if I could buy the media and inks locally, not to mention if anything goes wrong with the physical printer. With no local dealers, its making me hesitate.
I have checked at the local photography store, and they cannot get me any of these models. They only can get me smaller 13"x19" printers.

Out of curiosity, which of these printers would you get and why? I keep bouncing from Canon, to Epson, to HP and back again.

NewCasa
01-27-2009, 12:45 PM
I have a few questions, and am wondering if anyone here might have some information that might be of help.

I am tentively looking into upgrading my old printer. I currently have an old Canon I9900 dye based 13"x19" printer. I am looking for something that is pigment based for archival purposes. I know that my dye prints will fade 5 years down the road, as I have seen the end results on a few walls, even after proper framing.

Now, I am looking at either a 17" or 24" wide printer. I am thinking that I would like something that takes rolled paper for doing long panoramics. I don't want to go any bigger than 24" though. They get a little big and heavy even at 24".

So far I have tried to dig up materials on these printers:

Canon IPF 5100 17" printer.
Canon IPF 6100 24" printer.
Epson 3800 17" Printer.
Epson 4880 17" Printer.
Epson 7880 24" printer.
HP Z3200 24" printer.

From what I know, the Epson 3800 only does cut sheets. The 4880 has a paper roll feeder. However, unlike the 3800, you have to do an expensive black ink purge to change black inks for glossy or matte. The 7880 also has this issue. The Canons look good but suffer from less colour gamut compared to the Epson and HP models, not to mention their ink tanks are smaller and tend to be more expensive to run. They also have the worst paper profiles, making their printers hard to use with any paper other then Canonís. The HP model has a built in colourimeter so that you can make ICC profiles for your paper.

Anyways, from what little I know, there is no perfect printer out there.

My question is this, are there any local dealers for these large format printers in town that I am not aware of? Whenever I check online at the manufacturerís website, there are no local dealers. This single point makes me hesitate. It would be far more convenient if I could buy the media and inks locally, not to mention if anything goes wrong with the physical printer. With no local dealers, its making me hesitate.
I have checked at the local photography store, and they cannot get me any of these models. They only can get me smaller 13"x19" printers.

Out of curiosity, which of these printers would you get and why? I keep bouncing from Canon, to Epson, to HP and back again.

You might want to have a chat with Gary Dumanski at Compass Designs. He's into that sort of thing in a big way and has been for quite some time.

Chako
01-27-2009, 09:20 PM
I was not aware they were into that sort of business other then selling office furniture. I did take a look at their web site, and it seems they are in the business of making large signs and blueprints etc. I doubt they sell the printers, but it is worth a try. I shall contact them when I have time. Thanks for the heads up.

verotik66
01-27-2009, 09:34 PM
I had purchased large format HP printers through microage

NewCasa
01-27-2009, 10:41 PM
I was not aware they were into that sort of business other then selling office furniture. I did take a look at their web site, and it seems they are in the business of making large signs and blueprints etc. I doubt they sell the printers, but it is worth a try. I shall contact them when I have time. Thanks for the heads up.

No I'm pretty sure they don't sell them but I'm thinking Gary would be able to give you some very good opinions and evaluations to help you along. Once upon a time I sold photographic printers, but no more and my knowledge is no doubt FAR out of date.

Chako
01-27-2009, 10:44 PM
Hmmm. Thanks for the suggestion Verotik66, but…

Here is a story of why I won't be going there again. I was looking to purchase Lightroom2 software just recently. I went to a local photography store. They told me that a person at that computer store would be more than happy to take my order. I showed up in person, went to the back area where they have a sort of desk area and was confronted by a fellow I had never seen before. I asked for Jim (I was standing at the front desk where he last worked at after they closed their showroom), was promptly informed that my good friend no longer worked there. I asked for the contact that the photography store told me about, and he asked me if I had a business account with them. I told them that I didn't. I was then informed that they only did business with corporate accounts. I was then informed that they didn’t want my business. I guess they don't need walk-ins anymore. I don't know why my friend no longer works there either (I haven't talked to him since the Summer). I got the software from another local computer store. The fellow that confronted me was a little rude about the whole thing (I know he wasn’t the owner or his son). But hey, if they don't want my business...who am I to spend up to 4 grand on a large format printer there?

I know they did sell Epson large format papers in both cut and rolled form back in the day when they had a general public showroom. Looks like that source has dried up...just not sure why.

NewCasa
01-27-2009, 11:27 PM
They closed their retail operations. I think they must be under instructions from the franchise not to sell to the public. Sorry to hear about Jim - he's one of the good ones. Hope he found something better.

Chako
01-28-2009, 07:37 AM
Yeah I hear you.

Well I am taking my time digging up information. I guess I can post some of the links that I have found useful thus far in case anyone locally might be interested.

Canon large format printer wiki.
http://canonipf.wikispaces.com/

Luminous Landscapes review section on everything photography related it seems. Mostly have older printers, but it does give me an idea on the newer models.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/

HP Z3200 review.
http://www.printerville.net/2008/09/22/first-look-hp-designjet-z3200-photo/

Epson 7900 and HP Z3200 product reviews.
http://www.spectraflow.com/product-reviews.html

Canon IPF6100 diary.
http://www.outbackphoto.com/CONTENT_2007_01/section_output_printing/20070928_IPF6100/index.html

Canon IPF6100 Photography blog review.
http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews_canon_ipf6100.php

Epson 7880 Photography blog mini review.
http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews_epson_stylus_pro_7880.php


The more I read, the more I like the sound of the HP Z3200 (never thought I would say that I would like an HP ever again lol)

I know that NCIX sells these printers. I would like a local dealer though, but I am thinking there might be no such entity in the Sault. :(

Oh well, going to take my time in wringing everything that the net has to offer on large format printers before I leap.