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Thinking about a photo printer


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7 replies to this topic

#1
krag96

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One of my biggest concerns is, archival quality.  From what I've gathered, paper of course has a hand in this and there's apparently a spray that can be put on the prints to protect them from UV light. 

 

What about printer and ink type?  The one I'm looking at is an Epson Expression ET-7750 Eco Tank with refillable tanks, ( I hate cartridges!) from B&H.  Will prints stand the test of time with this type of printer?



#2
Merco_61

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If you want archival quality, stay away from dye-based inks. The ET-7750 uses pigment ink only for the blacks. All colours are dye-based.

 

I still use an Epson 4800 I bought when they became available on the Swedish market in August 2005. It has been ultra-reliable for these 15 years, partly because I only print on matte papers so I don't have to waste lots of expensive ink switching black inks. I have some prints that have hung on a wall in partial sunlight for over 10 years without fading. These hand-made by one craftsman large format printers are quite expensive, but the hassle-free operation has been worth it for me. With this experience, I would not buy an Epson that doesn't use K3 inks or later inks with similar qualities.

 

I mostly use Hahnemühle matt papers, either Photo Rag or Photo Matt Fibre. I know how they work and can usually calibrate a new batch using one sheet, cut into smaller sizes to keep time and cost for the calibration down.



#3
krag96

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Thanks for the reply, Peter.  Seems the Epson 4800 and it's brother the 4880 are large printers, and out of production.  Any used on the market are local pick up only, from across the country.

 

If I read the ads correctly, they're ink-jet printers?  I'll look through B&H to find something similar.



#4
Merco_61

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They are inkjets, but the K3 and later UltraChrome pigment inks are rated for 250 years, rather than the 98 years of the dye-based Claria inks.

 

I think the Epson SC-P700 A3+ printer would suit your needs as it is an A3 printer rather than large-format, uses UltraChrome inks and is well-built from what I have seen. It uses cartridges but at 25 ml, they are reasonably sized for an A3+ printer and as it is a 10-colour unit, you can switch between glossy and matt without losing any ink.



#5
krag96

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I thank you for the research, but doing some on my own that SC-P700 isn't for me.  The price of the unit I can live with, but it ships with only 15% ink in the tanks and a refill set is over $400.00.   They're nuts!



#6
Merco_61

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Do they still do that in the US? In Sweden, there was a lawsuit where the manufacturer lost and now they have to supply standard retail cartridges with new printers.



#7
Ron

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Here in the states the printer situation is still nuts. I no longer have a photo printer but I regularly pay nearly as much for replacement cartridges for my HP AIO Officejet printer as I paid for the original printer to begin with.

 

--Ron



#8
Musicman

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I use a Canon Pixma Pro 100.  You can certainly spend more money for a color printer but I think the Canon does a very good job.  Ink prices are what they are - I too wish ink wasn't so expensive (in my opinion.)  Of course the cost of ink is totally dependent on how much you print.