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Author Topic: Why EPSON is stuck with ink switching and inferior tech in their printers  (Read 8572 times)

Schewe

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No need to make this personal as my post is targeted directly to a printer company, and the various flaws that the company failed to address over the years.

Then address Farmer's comments rather than telling him to not get defensive...he wasn't getting defensive and if you had spent more than a few days here on LuLa  you might have realized that Farmer is pretty well acquainted with all types of printers and printing.

Also, you aren't addressing Epson here either...their reps wisely avoid contact :~)

You claim you want to learn? That's a different activity than teaching. You'll learn more by discussing rather than lecturing. And since you are posting by an anonymous screen name, I'm pretty sure I'm not making it personal. It's just we get some newbies come into LuLa and kinda take the wrong approach. Lecturing, until you've earned your credibility, isn't the best way to ingratiate yourself with the regulars...pay attention to post count and choose your battles wisely (I'm actually trying to do you a favor bud).
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Ethan Hansen

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I don't have a dog in this fight, having no religious preference for any printer brand. As pointed out multiple times before it comes down to comparative strengths of different ink technologies. Epson's print heads are more durable and allow using a wider variety of inks. Some papers simply won't work with Canon inks. On the flip side, the disposable print head and nozzle remapping help alleviate clogging. We could go on about minimum ink droplet size, dot pitch, dithering technologies, etc. No matter. Epson, Canon, and HP machines all are capable of printing better than most photographers can shoot.

Suffice it to say that Epson printers are not for folks who do not print frequently.

Our largest client for printer profiles maintains a fleet of approximately 500 Epson printers (x890 models for the past few years, x880 prior). We measure the output at intervals around six months for each printer. With this sample size we have uncovered wearout , preventative maintenance, and setup issues that have been bumped back upstream to Fuji (provider of the print drivers and front-line support) and to Epson.

Nevertheless nozzle clogging remains a persistent problem. Looking at our data, my suspicion is that the incidence of clogging roughly correlates to the print volume. We do not have customer usage data from our client, but as all the printer profiles are hosted on our web site, we can tell how many thousands of times a particular profile is downloaded each year. Labs with the most downloads overall have the fewest problems with nozzle clogs.

Our customer also has over 100 Fuji and Noritsu Dry Lab printers. These are $30K small format, rebranded Epson printers with driver software and job management software written by companies with far more experience than Epson. These machines bang out thousands of prints, seven days a week with breaks only for a few holidays a year. I looked through our problematic print database and saw absolutely no entries for nozzle clogging on any of the hundreds of times we have profiled these printers.

Wayne Fox

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The heads in Epson printers are far more challenging/expensive to make and are much more delicate than those in other printers.  As such, adding a full channel to accommodate both MK and PK adds to the expense.

The vast majority of these printers are not purchased by photographers such as those that frequent these forums, and most of these shops run multiple printers and dedicate printers to either one black or the other.  The vast majority of Epson printers never get switched. This is actually problematic in that if there is both mk/pk then both blacks need to be used frequently, or that channel will have issues.  The high production machines Epson makes (p10000 and p20000) offer both blacks because their throughput can out perform even a pair of 9000 printers. 

For those that have to switch frequently, it's certainly an issue that might weigh in their decision.  For some of us, the cost of switching ink is so negligible in the overall price of the work we don't really pay attention to it.  For those printing work at wholesale for other photographers, it certainly may be a concern and a factor to be considered.
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texshooter

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My local photo store gave a free demo of their Canon 24" Pro 2000 printer recently. I asked if it were easier to manually clean Canon head clogs than Epson clogs.  I was told that, unlike Epson printers, Canon's never clog because they systematically check for ink build up and clean themselves before clogs get a chance to take hold. True?
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Mark D Segal

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The user would seldom experience clogging with this line of printers because of all the under-the-hood maintenance that takes place to apprehend them.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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texshooter

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The user would seldom experience clogging with this line of printers because of all the under-the-hood maintenance that takes place to apprehend them.

So how much extra ink for automatic maintenance is that going to cost me? 10%?  30%?
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Mark D Segal

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Hard to generalize about this - it depends on a number of factors that would differ between users. This circumstance applies for both Canon and Epson professional printers.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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texshooter

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Hard to generalize about this - it depends on a number of factors that would differ between users. This circumstance applies for both Canon and Epson professional printers.

Spending a little more on ink is worth the peace of mind.  Once you've dealt with chronic clogs, you simply lose the will to fight.
 Canon will be my replacement printer.  Nice know'n ya Epson. 
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Farmer

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The Canons remap when they detect variances beyond a certain threshold.  It's not that they don't clog or deflect or fail, they just deal with it differently.  Users should choose the system that best suits their requirements overall.  None of them will give you bad results - indeed, we are spoilt for choice of magnificent machines across the major vendors.
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Phil Brown

texshooter

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 This promo claims Canon uses 37-49% less ink than Epson.  And the ink costs less, too.

https://youtu.be/5p25vhclF4Y


« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 02:51:39 am by texshooter »
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Farmer

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Could be - it'd be interesting to see numbers averaged over a few prints and also to compare speed at comparable quality settings.  Not sure about the US - in Australia the Canon is about 20% more expensive, so if you're getting features you want that's not bad.  An SC-P10000 (10070 in Australia) would be more similar in terms of price and is a lot faster.  It used to be pretty easy to stack one model against another but now the ranges from all of them are more diverse and more specialised and you don't always get a 1:1 match (which can actually help to choose a model that more precisely matches your own needs, actually).

You won't go wrong with any of the major vendors.
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Phil Brown

unesco

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This promo claims Canon uses 37-49% less ink than Epson.  And the ink costs less, too.

https://youtu.be/5p25vhclF4Y
...less ink for printing, maintenance not included.
my observations of comparing 17s" from Canon and Epson (Pro-1000 and SC-P800) shows approx 10-20% ink usage difference in high quality printing which nearly equalizes when you count extensive use of Chroma Optimizer on Canon
on the other hand Epson cheats on cartridge capacity...
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Alan Goldhammer

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You won't go wrong with any of the major vendors.
I agree with Phil.  Until my Epson 3880 decides to not print anymore, I'm not interested in purchasing a new printer.  I've looked at the specifications and it's interesting that the Canon Pro 1000 weighs in at 32 kg compared to 19.5 kg for the Epson P800.  this is a factor for us senior citizens who might need to move the printer around on occasion.  I think the title of the thread "inferior tech" is wrong.  It's just different technology.
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Mark D Segal

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...less ink for printing, maintenance not included.
my observations of comparing 17s" from Canon and Epson (Pro-1000 and SC-P800) shows approx 10-20% ink usage difference in high quality printing which nearly equalizes when you count extensive use of Chroma Optimizer on Canon
on the other hand Epson cheats on cartridge capacity...

The Canon Pro-1000 has an Accounting Manager utility that allows us to see in great detail the amount of each ink and CO used to make each print. The Epson SC-P800 provides no such information, so I am curious to know how you determined the ink consumption per print for the Epson SC-P800.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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on the other hand Epson cheats on cartridge capacity...

Could you explain how you know this?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

unesco

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Could you explain how you know this?
topic mentioned number of times here on LuLa and in number of other places. weight difference of full and empty cartridge then taking into account fluid density goes to conclusion that there is ~15-20% less ink in ml than stated. I have checked it with P800 and 3880 (~64-66ml vs 80ml, regular cartridge, not the starter) , other people with 24"" and 44" Epson printers, same behaviour. The rest of ink remains in cartridge when the printer reports its is empty.
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Mark D Segal

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I've seen a lot of that stuff too, but I'm not convinced how accurate it is. I don't think in this day and age a company can get away with that kind of deception after all these years. The fact that some ink remains in the cartridge after it is declared "empty" is done on purpose to protect the lines and the print head from filling with air bubbles. The advice I've received is that the amount designated on the cartridge is the usable amount without taking this left-over into account. This of course is an old issue, so I may not be remembering correctly, but somewhere in the back of mind I seem to recall there having been a lawsuit over this issue, which didn't get anywhere. Am I right? Any one with better recollection?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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traderjay

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Good to see that this discussion is back on track devoid of any militant attitude when it comes to critiquing Epson flaws. Lets address some of the facts and issues here:

Piezo Head Need Frequent Use to Prevent Clogs - This means there is a fundamental design flaw that makes Epson unsuitable for the occasional users other than high volume print shop. Not building any automatic anti clog features into their lower end machine means users are stiffed and stuck with inferior or flawed design/feature sets unless they pony up for a large format printer in the mid four and low six figure range.

Piezo Head are more expensive to produce - Debatable since we do not know the actual cost of both units. The latest canon printhead cost about USD$700+ to replace so I doubt its that much cheaper than Epson. The Epson head might on paper last longer and be more durable but if it gives users a horrible user experience due to clogs and other issues then the durability factor is moot.

Epson cheats on ink - Epson has been sued and had to compensate users for this practice of leaving ink in "empty" cartridges. One might argue this is a design necessity to prevent air from entering the lines but had Epson spend more R&D solving this problem than on preventing ink refills, then this problem could be resolved without stiffing the users. Canon doesn't have the problem and the Pro series printer uses every single last drop of the ink in the tank.

Here is another kicker where the Epson 9900 requires cart replacement with 20% of ink remaining - https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/09/empty-epson-ink-cartridges-which-cost-2500-for-a-set-are-still-20-percent-full/




Build and Construction Quality - This is anecdotal from looking at Epson vs Canon side by side and you can see how flimsy certain Epson component is. For example in the Canon large format printers, the printhead carriage is made from high quality industrial chain like belt while Epson looks flimsy in comparison. Last but not least Canon printer weighs substantially more and that translates to internal build quality not visible on the outside. Manufacturers DO NOT increase weight of their product just for fun and marketing speak. Everything cost more when product weight increases from raw material usage to logistics.

Last but not least, the el-cheapo Pro 1000 is filled with features that we home users can only dream of in the past such as vacuum feed, skew sensor, built in spectrophotometer and a whole host of other goodies. Other than the lack of roll feed, the Pro 1000 is essentially their miniature LFP.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 03:30:06 pm by traderjay »
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Alan Goldhammer

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@traderjay - we get it already.  You can now tell Canon that they can release your check for doing your job in promoting their printer line.  Next time you start a thread do a little thinking about whether it is really contributing to the LuLa community.  This one is now officially over for me.
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traderjay

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@traderjay - we get it already.  You can now tell Canon that they can release your check for doing your job in promoting their printer line.  Next time you start a thread do a little thinking about whether it is really contributing to the LuLa community.  This one is now officially over for me.

I have zero affiliation with Canon whatsoever and I use the same handle name on DPreview, Redflagdeals, Anandtech.com etc. As someone with a product marketing background having launched some some of the world's most complex semiconductor products and am now in the robotics vision and automation world, I am very passionate when it comes to product design and quality. I've been through countless feature vs. cost debate with engineering teams and it is a fine balance. It can be done in a right way or a user detrimental way.
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