I would not get too spooked about rants that have increasingly emerged about Epson printer problems now the IPF Canons have come onto the market. The Epsons are superb printers. The 800 series with the K3 inkset do not clog nearly as often as the previous models using the Ultrachrome (K2) inks . Mark's excellent analysis highlights this and my experience with the Epson 4000 and the 9800 says the same thing. Problems are minimal if printers are turned off once a day , directions to Power Clean are ignored, and a couple of 50% grey (or substitute ) sheets are printed whenever small gaps appear in the tests. Most clogging under average user conditions occurs because loose crap has collided with the printing head. Dust covers will reduce this, as will electrostatic dust removers in the studio. The worst culprits are the fine art papers with loose surfaces and particularly fibres at the ends of rolls or the edges of sheets. These can be reduced by careful vacuuming when the material is first unpacked, and in the case of some manufacturers products , the vacuuming of each sheet or roll section to be printed, just prior to printing.
Of course any ink application technology that reduces these tedious measures is most welcome.
The ink swop problem is a real pain for which Epson deserve a rap over the knuckles. It was only a matter of time before someone did it , and Canon has stepped in.
There is a tendency to leap onto new offerings and turn against the old love.
With market pressure, particularly from company bean counters, many new products are prematurely released.
This may not be the case with the new Canon printers, but indicates that caution is sensible.
We must be assured that colour output is consistent before moving to these printers.
If we have to wait a week for inks to stabilise, then no one in a production environment will touch these things. The much more rapid stabilisation of the K3 inkset over the K2 was a major reason to upgrade to the latest Epson printers. No one would move backwards for a marginal increase in printing speed (at highest quality) and a small increase, perhaps purity in blues (offset by less red gamut) and dubious advantages of 12 bit data flow. Any other reasons for colour inconsistency , if firmly established, are more serious.
The black swop problem has to be , and I believe will be, addressed by Epson.
Both companies should be searching for a better matte black. Eboni ink indicates this is possible.
Mark's caution is wise.