I'm seriously considering making a huge leap up in printing, from a Canon i9100 to an Epson 7800. I've been using Ilford Galerie Pearl paper, and will most likely switch to Epson Enhanced Matte. I know I'll need to order a Matte Black cartridge with the printer, as it comes with Photo Black, and will most likely start with a 220 ml cartridge of that and upgrade the rest of the colors from 110 ml to 220 ml cartridges as they run out. I plan to use the included Epson profiles and driver with Windows 2000 and Photoshop CS2.
Some assumptions I'd like to get confirmed or refuted:
I can still print a 6x9 inch image centered on letter size (8.5 x 11 inch) paper, though I'll likely have to set custom borders in PhotoShop.
I can still print a 12x18 inch image centered on 13 x 19 inch paper, though I'll likely have to set custom borders in PhotoShop. That's only 1/2 inch margins all the way around, which I believe may be the limit on sheet paper in a 7800, at least at the trailing edge.
I can print a 16x24 inch image "borderless" across a 24" roll, with about an inch of white space above and below the 16" of roll for mounting.
I can print a 24x36 inch image "borderless" along a 24" roll, with about an inch of white space above and below the 36" of roll for mounting.
And some questions that still remain unanswered after a fair bit of research:
How much paper is "wasted" before and after the printed image with the automatic paper cutter? I'm not concerned about wasting a few inches of paper per large print (it's only $0.65 per foot USD), only that it will fit beneath a mat with 4" borders. As long as it's less than 4" it will fit under the mat and I won't have to re-cut it. If it's more than 4" I'll need either the manual paper cutter on the printer or a standalone cutter. If that's the case, does anyone recommend one versus the other? I'm considering a 36" RotaTrim for $453 (B&H) against the on-printer manual cutter for $340 (B&H), but I'm open to other suggestions, too.
I have considered the 9800 also, but I would have to put it in another, much more inconvenient room with a network connection, and I'm not a large commercial operation where the cost savings of grouping prints across a 44" roll would be a significant advantage. I also have no plans in the forseeable future to print larger than 24x36 or panoramas larger than 24" by about 80". I had some test prints done at a local shop on an Epson 9600 at 16x24, 20x30, and 24x36, so I'm fairly certain about that conclusion.
Thanks in advance!