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Author Topic: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?  (Read 29795 times)

aaronchan

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2015, 02:19:58 pm »

Epson is going to annouce a new 64" pigment printer before the end of this year with a brand new inkset. More than what P800 is offering now.

One more thing, the production of 11880 has been stopped for almost a year now.

dwswager

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2015, 09:51:50 pm »

So it seems that Epson has not released a new large-format printer in the fine art category for at least 5 years. Before that, they were putting them out every 2 or 3 years for a decade. This makes me wonder if Epson is giving up on this market OR if the technology has simply matured enough that there is not much else to improve.

What do you guys think about this situation? Are these printers just so good there is nothing to improve, is this a category Epson does not see profitable, or is it something else?

Diminishing returns.  I just bought a 3880 about 6 months ago even though the P800 was around the corner.  It was cheaper and there only a few specific types of prints on specific papers that would benefit from the differences in this new printer.  So for half the money, I got a printer that prints at an overall quality that almost nobody would be able to tell apart from the new printer.

Until there are significant technology changes or a some new functional capabilities, there is no need.  Introducing a new printer disrupts the chain and if people aren't going to buy it in numbers necessary to produce a return, it just pisses people off. 
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BAB

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2015, 12:36:28 am »

I believe the company that makes the Epson printers makes other brand name printers, also I don't think enough people print large anymore I also don't think many people print period anymore. Print services print for many occasional users (photographers) why bother to keep a printer going? For a 1000.00 you can have a big screen running your prints 24/7.
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Schewe

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2015, 12:58:16 am »

I believe the company that makes the Epson printers makes other brand name printers....

Actually, that's not true...Epson only makes Epson printers. Epson does OEM print heads to other printer manufactures but not complete printers.

And actually Epson is making big inroads into solvent printers (close to being good enough for fine art printers) as well as fabric printers. But Epson still is one of the best fine art printers along with Canon. Sadly, HP is pretty much out of the biz.
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deanwork

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2015, 05:52:47 pm »

The Hp Vivera MK ink that was developed about 8 years ago has a dmax of about 1.8, so what Epson has done with a "blacker" black isn't even catching up to the innovations HP figured out almost a decade ago.

Their color inks won't come close to the longevity of the Vivera pigments either, but might be improved and close to Canon.

What will be interesting is the new 11880 replacement that as Aaron mentioned might be great ( if it doesn't waste ink and have the vacuum problems they have now. The rumor is Epson will add one more gray to that printer ( but not the 44" machine?) making it a truly evenly spaced quad inkset, with all the color inks needed for any toning. That would in my opinion be in the category of an innovation.  If it didn't clog I'd buy one. There haven't been any significant innovations from Epson in a long time. The MK to PK ink waste and hassle switching is just an embarrassment at this point in time. The world has moved on from all that crap.

As for Hp being out of the printing biz, that is hardly the case yet. They are out of the photo amateur biz and never produced a usable desktop model, but as far as large format models go they have had several new systems released in the past few years that seem to be selling well.

The fact is HP, Canon, and Epson are going to be fighting over the design and display market, where Roland will probably be wiped out completely, and that is sad because they are the only company besides Mimaki, that makes a truly professional inkjet printer for the high resolution photo market.  The design world is where the money is, not in "fine art photo" media and inks, at least for big printers. These days fine art is anything you can put on a wall that will last six months. I'm afraid the days of the Zone System and Paul Caponigro subtlety is ancient history for 99% of  photo artists working now. The people doing that kind of work are getting older and older.

I keep hearing these ads on the radio that Epson is doing, promoting their dye-sublimation printers that cater to the fashion industry. Print your own textile designs from home, be your own designer. You don't hear ads on the radio from Epson or Canon talking about printing your own high-longevity photographs for galleries and museums, collections, and portfolios, that's old fashioned, like many of us old timers.

I don't see why HP can't continue to made and sell the Z3200 or a slight modification of as it's photo printer. It uses most all the same parts, and many of the inks as it's design printers. It has not been eclipsed by anything Epson or Canon has come up with in the last 7 years or so, and it uses far less ink, that lasts at least twice as long as the other two brands...... However, if they are trying to market this machine to artists they certainly are doing a pathetic job of it. Like the news, it's all a matter of ratings you know.
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MHMG

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2015, 07:34:33 pm »


Their color inks won't come close to the longevity of the Vivera pigments either, but might be improved and close to Canon.


I have no clue where the new Epson HD ink set will rank in comparison to the Canon Lucia and Hp Vivera pigment ink sets in terms of light fade resistance. Hard to say from what Epson and WIR have published on the subject so far as to how the rankings between the big three will now stack up.  My own tests of the new Epson HD inks are just in the early stages, so nothing to write about just yet.

One thing for sure... if the Epson HD ink set ends up matching or exceeding Canon Lucia OEM light fade resistance, then the weak link in all aqueous pigmented ink prints made with these top-of-the-line OEM pigmented ink sets is then going to depend to a large extent on the white point stability of the media used in the printmaking process.  Unfortunately, there's some popular papers out there today getting high print longevity scores that aren't justly deserved. They will undermine the performance of even the very best pigmented inks.

kind regards,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 08:08:30 pm by MHMG »
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printbreakr

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2015, 08:12:16 pm »

The fact is HP, Canon, and Epson are going to be fighting over the design and display market, where Roland will probably be wiped out completely, and that is sad because they are the only company besides Mimaki, that makes a truly professional inkjet printer for the high resolution photo market.  The design world is where the money is, not in "fine art photo" media and inks, at least for big printers. These days fine art is anything you can put on a wall that will last six months. I'm afraid the days of the Zone System and Paul Caponigro subtlety is ancient history for 99% of  photo artists working now. The people doing that kind of work are getting older and older.

It'd be nice if Roland competed in the fine art inkjet market. I own a Roland machine for vinyl and the thing is an absolute beast. It takes abuse all day, every day, and never has a hick-up. If they made a fine-art printer, I wouldn't even waste time looking at Epson's offerings.
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pedz

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2015, 08:34:15 pm »

I'd be interested in pointers to the various "confidential" manuals and threads that you have found useful in how to maintain the 9900.

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deanwork

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2015, 09:18:06 pm »

Roland  used to make great photo printers, really before anyone else, and the quality and reliability were awesome. They did things right. If you want to remove a head or a damper, or replace a board or anything, and put another one it, it took you a few minutes to change parts  out. They didn't have the clogging problems, even though they licensed their piezo heads from Epson. You could easily put in any kind of compatible ink you wanted, or blend your own inks without worrying about the carts being recognized, etc. Their on site service was truly professional. Epson completely knocked them out of the fine art market  by selling the printers for basically cost and making it back on the ink used, and service needed. Now that is happening to Roland in the dye sub market as well.

The problem was they cost about three or four times what an Epson or Canon printer cost and they just didn't have enough people willing to pay for it. People would rather pay less for disposable technology, and live under the illusion that each generation is an advancement, it's not.  Not only that but you could use Studio Print DaVici software for the greatest precision, linearization, and ink partitions ever made. Really you could print on just about anything. Few people these days have the patience to learn a great workflow like that. Like anything really good, there is a learning curve and a craft involved.

There is a guy selling two big 52" Rolands in Northern California, pick up only,  on the Piezo Pro Yahoo list now, with or without the SP software license. One is set up for Cone bw and the other color.
He's getting out of the print business. These units will last for decades. The question is will you be able to buy replacement heads for them now or in the future. They only print 1440 ppi but for someone specializing in matt media you don't need 2880 on a printer like that and I never felt like I needed if for gloss either. If I were in that area I'd probably buy them, providing you can get heads for them.




It'd be nice if Roland competed in the fine art inkjet market. I own a Roland machine for vinyl and the thing is an absolute beast. It takes abuse all day, every day, and never has a hick-up. If they made a fine-art printer, I wouldn't even waste time looking at Epson's offerings.
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printbreakr

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2015, 10:04:45 pm »

I'd be interested in pointers to the various "confidential" manuals and threads that you have found useful in how to maintain the 9900.

The manuals can be found via an Internet search engine: https://www.google.com/webhp?#q=filetype:pdf+roland+9900+service+manual

You'll have to search the forum yourself.
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mjcreedon

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2015, 10:08:52 pm »

I am in Northern California and your mention of these Roland printers is something I'm going to look into.  Thanks for the tip. I always enjoyed seeing work made on the Rolands.  The output seemed closest to the old 9000, 9600 and 9800 printers I've owned.  Mat black dmax upgrade from the 9600 to 9800 a big improvement.
Interesting that my 9800 and 4800 are now a decade old.  No service or major nozzle problems during that time.  Guess it matters that these printers are used regularly.  Seems the temperature and humidity in Larkspur, CA a good match for these printers.
Paper improvement over the years has taken a big leap forward along with canvas and silk substrates.  These older printers handle this work well.  Nice to have  friendly digital tools that are still working well a decade from purchase.  Can't say that about many other areas in the digital world.  No complaints since most digital purchases based on significant improvements to camera megapixel count these days from Sony and Canon.  A perfect match for those of us who regularly print 20x30 prints and larger.  I do enjoy my 30x40 prints but hate the thought of paying for framing them.  Framing the business to be in!
Michael
 
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Schewe

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2015, 10:09:39 pm »

The Hp Vivera MK ink that was developed about 8 years ago has a dmax of about 1.8, so what Epson has done with a "blacker" black isn't even catching up to the innovations HP figured out almost a decade ago.

1.8? or did you mean 2.8? 1.8 sounds like black on matt paper.
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Benny Profane

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2015, 10:39:22 pm »



I keep hearing these ads on the radio that Epson is doing, promoting their dye-sublimation printers that cater to the fashion industry. Print your own textile designs from home, be your own designer. You don't hear ads on the radio from Epson or Canon talking about printing your own high-longevity photographs for galleries and museums, collections, and portfolios, that's old fashioned, like many of us old timers.


Wow. What radio station do you listen to?
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aaronchan

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2015, 11:25:55 am »

Roland and Mimaki make really good printers.
Sorry for a bit off from the topic:
My friend who is a dealer for Epson and Mimaki has been selling both printers for quite some time.
He said the new Epson S-Series printer are really nice, but not the S30.
The S50 is fast, really fast, but compare the the S70, the S70 produce much better quality than the S50 because of the LcLmLk and Or ink setup.
But he also said, the new Mimaki JV300 can do the same thing as the S70 as well.
Yes, the mimaki is $7000 more than the Epson, but this company has been making these type of commercial printer much longer than Epson with greater durability and capability. There must be still a good place for these types of Brand like Roland and Mimaki.

Back to the topic:
Epson will not give up the 64" pigment machine, at least for now.
The S70675 might be able to create a huge color gamut that close to the 9900 (I haven't done any test, this is just my guess)
But there are a lot of uses for pigment printers such as fine art pritning and proofing. (so far i haven't seen anyone uses a solvant printer to make proofs for press printing).

Just one last thing, UV-curable ink and Latex ink are much more advnaced technology compare to solvant. Solvant printer has been around for decades and I really don't understand why would Epson get into this market. (Mimaki and Roland are working on Latex and small format UV)
I would expect they might come up something like Latex ink or a UV printer (either flatbed or not), but so far, nothing.

aaron

Mark D Segal

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2015, 11:34:33 am »

I assume readers know the Roland and Mimaki printers are equipped with Epson print heads. Of course there is more to a printer than the head, but it's rather key. Reading the experience reports is very interesting.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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printbreakr

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2015, 02:58:27 pm »

Crazy question: Is there any chance running pigment ink through a solvent printer would work well, reliably, for a long time?
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aaronchan

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2015, 11:22:47 pm »

Crazy question: Is there any chance running pigment ink through a solvent printer would work well, reliably, for a long time?

Yes, you can do that.
Piezo printhead is tough and it's reliable.
Basically you can feed in anything and it will print.
Unlike the Bubblejet (Thermal printhead) which will burn up so quickly.

aaron

deanwork

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2015, 10:01:14 am »

Yes, Roland used the same print heads as my old Epson 10K, only they had two of them installed giving you 12 inks and that was like 15 years ago. These heads never clogged or wasted ink. Never though about screwing with the cap station or the dampers.

 After about 6 years of color use I switched out to Piezography k6 inks in it driving it with Studio Print, and that required flushing a lot of ink out for large jobs. The waste tank never filled up after 10 years of weekly use for these large prints. Those were amazing print heads and really built to last. Yea they were 1440 but that's all I needed. They were pressurized but it just worked. On the Rolands it was much easier to remove and replace them if you ever needed to.


This guy turned an 11880 into a very cool flatbed printer. Jon Cone did a similar thing many years ago with his Roland where he prints on super thick custom made kozo papers.

http://www.factum-arte.com/pag/16/Printer-design

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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2015, 04:00:14 pm »

Yes, you can do that.
Piezo printhead is tough and it's reliable.
Basically you can feed in anything and it will print.
Unlike the Bubblejet (Thermal printhead) which will burn up so quickly.

aaron

I think it is not that easy to switch a machine to water based inks if that printer already used (eco)solvent inks. The other way around at least has an ink medium with more aggressive solvents so will dissolve remains of the water based inks. The first wide format Roland water based ink printers were actually the base for the early ecosolvent models and that development was done by third parties, Roland went along after that with factory made models.

I do not think that Roland, Mimaki and Mutoh are still using Epson heads throughout their total range of wide format printers. Many more inkjet head manufacturers, Ricoh, Hitachi, Konica-Minolta, Xaar, Spectra, etc. UV curing inks are more easily pumped with other types of Pizo heads.

Flatbed models were made of many Epson models, that could print on corrugated carton for packaging proofs and way more for T-shirt printing.

When HP announced its wide format Latex printer, Drupa 2006 I think, I expected pizo heads instead of thermal heads. They use thermal heads though, ink is thicker but with the ink heated up it can be done with thermal heads.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots



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Some Guy

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Re: Has Epson Stopped Developing Large-format Printers?
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2015, 05:16:09 pm »

Yes, you can do that.
Piezo printhead is tough and it's reliable.
Basically you can feed in anything and it will print.
Unlike the Bubblejet (Thermal printhead) which will burn up so quickly.

aaron

Check item #2 here on that:  http://www.freestylephoto.biz/canon-printers-versus-epson-printers

Quote:  "2. Canon thermal head tends not to clog. Epson printer heads tends TO clog. Canon heads will self-clean if it does clog. Epson's heads do not. Canon's thermal technology (heat) tends to keep the nozzles cleaner than the piezo-electric."

Freestyle in Los Angeles, CA used to be a big time seller of Epson on the West Coast but has since moved to Canon which lessened the "Plugged head complaints" from their Epson customers.  They still sell Epson paper and inks, but they push Canon now.

SG
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