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Author Topic: Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?  (Read 554 times)

MarkFarber

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Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?
« on: November 06, 2018, 10:01:52 PM »

I know so much has been written about the Canon Pro-1000, Epson P800, and Epson P5000, but Iím stuck again.

I have used the 3880 happily for over 5 years, and itís still humming flawlessly as a backup printer in my second location.  When I needed a second 17Ē printer, I got the Pro-1000 for its presumed reliability, easy of use particularly paper handling, and lack of ink switching.

After 14 months, Iím ready to give away the Pro-1000.

The Pro-1000 is UNRELIABLE.  For the second time in a month, the printer seemingly turned off yellow mid-print.  I got a sharp line on a 17x25 when it switched Ė like someone went crazy with the white balance slider for the last third of the image.  The first time, one cleaning fixed it.  It did the same thing today, and Ė after three cleanings, a deep clean, printing a big solid block of yellow, then two more cleanings Ė the nozzle check print is getting worse, not better.  And the maintenance tank is 20% fuller.  (My 3880 needed single head cleanings 3 times in 5 years.)

And thereís the INK CONSUMPTION that everyone complains about.  Hereís my latest stat: 3880 uses 1 maintenance cartridge per 24 ink cartridges; 1000 uses 1 per 7.  I swap MK/PK about once a week, but Iíll never complain about Epson ink swaps again.

And the Pro-1000 is SLOW.  Same speed as 3880 while itís printing, but prints per hour is half the 3880 because of all its whirring, clicking, and spitting into the spittoon.  Printing 20 4x6s is painfully slow, because it seems to contemplate and spit after every print.

BUT Iím leery of the P800 because of the delicate and imprecise hassle of loading large fine art media.  My final prints are generally 17x25 (cut from rolls) Epson Hot Press Bright or Ilford Gold Fibre Silk.  Even reading Mark Segalís and othersí work-arounds, printing 20 17x25s on fine art paper sounds painful.  Even a slightly skewed print or a blunted edge ruins a print in my practice.

AND Iím leery of the P-5000 because I may not print enough Ė a few times a week, but a half dozen periods per year of several weeks of inactivity.  And, most importantly, I print dozens of 4x6 test prints per month (the new contact sheets), and the P-5000 canít do that.  And large fine art sheets sound as painful on the 5000 as the 800.

My most common print tasks are: 4x6 tests on Canon glossy (75 per month); 13x19 and 17x25 on Epson HPB or Ilford GFS (5-15 per month); double-sided portfolios on Moab Lasal Matte (30 per month); and 10-50 per month draft prints of various sizes.

Oh wise ones, what should I do?  CAMERA CHOICE isnít like this: there are so many excellent tools that can do the job, and theyíre always getting better.  Why do I long for the retired 3880?  Is there no printer that can do my job?  Reliable, mix of 17x25 fine art and 4x6 test glossies, and affordable ink use?
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Panagiotis

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Re: Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2018, 01:33:24 AM »

I know so much has been written about the Canon Pro-1000, Epson P800, and Epson P5000, but Iím stuck again.

I have used the 3880 happily for over 5 years, and itís still humming flawlessly as a backup printer in my second location.  When I needed a second 17Ē printer, I got the Pro-1000 for its presumed reliability, easy of use particularly paper handling, and lack of ink switching.

After 14 months, Iím ready to give away the Pro-1000.

The Pro-1000 is UNRELIABLE.  For the second time in a month, the printer seemingly turned off yellow mid-print.  I got a sharp line on a 17x25 when it switched Ė like someone went crazy with the white balance slider for the last third of the image.  The first time, one cleaning fixed it.  It did the same thing today, and Ė after three cleanings, a deep clean, printing a big solid block of yellow, then two more cleanings Ė the nozzle check print is getting worse, not better.  And the maintenance tank is 20% fuller.  (My 3880 needed single head cleanings 3 times in 5 years.)

And thereís the INK CONSUMPTION that everyone complains about.  Hereís my latest stat: 3880 uses 1 maintenance cartridge per 24 ink cartridges; 1000 uses 1 per 7.  I swap MK/PK about once a week, but Iíll never complain about Epson ink swaps again.

And the Pro-1000 is SLOW.  Same speed as 3880 while itís printing, but prints per hour is half the 3880 because of all its whirring, clicking, and spitting into the spittoon.  Printing 20 4x6s is painfully slow, because it seems to contemplate and spit after every print.

BUT Iím leery of the P800 because of the delicate and imprecise hassle of loading large fine art media.  My final prints are generally 17x25 (cut from rolls) Epson Hot Press Bright or Ilford Gold Fibre Silk.  Even reading Mark Segalís and othersí work-arounds, printing 20 17x25s on fine art paper sounds painful.  Even a slightly skewed print or a blunted edge ruins a print in my practice.

AND Iím leery of the P-5000 because I may not print enough Ė a few times a week, but a half dozen periods per year of several weeks of inactivity.  And, most importantly, I print dozens of 4x6 test prints per month (the new contact sheets), and the P-5000 canít do that.  And large fine art sheets sound as painful on the 5000 as the 800.

My most common print tasks are: 4x6 tests on Canon glossy (75 per month); 13x19 and 17x25 on Epson HPB or Ilford GFS (5-15 per month); double-sided portfolios on Moab Lasal Matte (30 per month); and 10-50 per month draft prints of various sizes.

Oh wise ones, what should I do?  CAMERA CHOICE isnít like this: there are so many excellent tools that can do the job, and theyíre always getting better.  Why do I long for the retired 3880?  Is there no printer that can do my job?  Reliable, mix of 17x25 fine art and 4x6 test glossies, and affordable ink use?

Since you print sheets I would suggest to stick with the Canon.

My PRO-1000 exhibited the same "clogging" during print twice. The second time I requested advice from a local tech which suggested that maybe the cause was a faulty ink cartridge controller which failed to report that the a cartridge was empty which resulted in ink starvation in the particular channel. Was your yellow cartridge close to end of its life?
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MarkFarber

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Re: Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2018, 08:06:22 AM »

Yellow was close-ish empty.  I checked earlier in the day and it was showing around 20%.  That was before my cleaning streak.

What did you do about the faulty ink cartridge controller, and did it help?
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2018, 08:30:45 AM »

Mark,

The situation is not as dire as you make it out to be.

The paper loading workaround using Fine Art media in the SC-P800 - to load it from roll paper inlet is very reliable. While I still had the P800 I did this routinely and never had  problem with it. Far preferable to the fiddly business of loading it from the front FFA feed. You do everything as you would with the FFA feed, except to load it from the roll paper feed. Works like a charm and should have been the default. If by any chance there is a skew, the printer will tell you to reload, so you don't waste paper. It's a non-issue.

If you buy a printer that doesn't accommodate 4x6 inch paper, you can composite several on one US Letter sheet and print several at a time. Easier from LR than from PS, but doable from both.

I use my SC-P5000 several times a week and its performance in respect of clogging has been far better than it was with the older 4900. When it does show a broken pattern on a channel or two one Normal clean of the relevant channel pair, using extremely little ink, usually clears it, and it's quite fast. If you leave it for several weeks unused it will most likely require more extensive cleaning, but that happens with the Canon too; in the Canon case it all happens under the hood (all that whirring you mention) whereas with the Epson you can control the extent and depth of the process from the LED panel as warranted in each case. Many people not doing high volume production printing would find the SC-P800 a more practical option. I prefer the SC-P5000 because of its enhanced technical capabilities, faster printing and cheaper per ML ink. The choice between the two really depends on your working requirements.

Hope this helps.

 
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Panagiotis

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Re: Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2018, 11:18:53 AM »

Yellow was close-ish empty.  I checked earlier in the day and it was showing around 20%.  That was before my cleaning streak.

What did you do about the faulty ink cartridge controller, and did it help?

The controller I speak of is the chip that is on the cartridge. In my case was the MBK. When I encounter the problem the ink consumption from the previous MBK cartridge was 95ml (I keep detailed record for everything) which means that the printer consumed all of it's resources for the particular channel (80ml + internal ink reservoir + ink line contents). I replaced the cartridge but it required two deep cleanings to fill again the line to the printhead (at least that is my understanding of the problem). Now everything works normal.


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Rand47

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Re: Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 11:44:48 PM »

My SC P5000 is the best Epson printer Iíve owned to date.  I will often go a couple of weeks without printing and have had very few needs to do a pairs cleaning.  It seems to ask you to do a ďforceful cleaning from the admin menuĒ about every 6 months - for no ďapparentĒ reason.  Iím guessing this might be Epsonís way of keeping it working.  LOL  Pure speculation on my part.

It is a fabulous printer.  Super easy to use.  The manual top feed is simple and accurate and works well with all but the thickest standard papers.

From what you describe you probably print more than I do on a ďregular basis.Ē  My printing tends to be in spurts of very heavy use, then some down time.  If I know Iím not going to be doing much, I will print an 8.5x11Ē granger rainbow type image that exercises all the nozzles.  I keep a bunch of Epson UP Luster in the cassette for just this purpose.  Piece of cake.

Rand
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Rand Scott Adams

MarkFarber

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Re: Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 02:20:12 PM »

I tried Panagiotis' idea of switching out the yellow -- still no cigar.  Finally called Canon, who has offered to replace the machine under warranty.  So the return-to-Epson action is postponed or canceled.  Thank you all for your support.
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Stoic

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Re: Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 04:22:22 PM »

... who has offered to replace the machine under warranty.

That's great news! Please come back at some point and let us know if your new machine is more reliable  :-*
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MarkFarber

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Re: Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2018, 01:57:14 PM »

One more question on the P5000 for future use perhaps ...

Mark (or others): regarding your suggestion of cutting down larger sheets into small test prints, the Pro-1000 somewhat surprisingly allows me to print the attached 17" wide, 5.5" high sheet feeding the long edge.  My 3880 won't allow that.

Do you know whether the P5000 allows it?  Alternatively, would it work laying out (for example) a 17x22 contact sheet in LR, populating only the first 5.5" inches, and sending a 17x22 file to the printer while loading a 17x5.5?  Or would this work on 17" roll paper?  If not, your idea of using letter size would work.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Why isnít printer choice like camera choice?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2018, 02:05:07 PM »

You can definitely load a 17 inch width into the SC-P5000 printer, whether as a sheet or a roll. I have never tested a 5.5 inch length, however, so I can't be sure; but in principle I see no reason why not by defining a custom paper size in the printer driver, again be it for sheet or roll paper. Before buying this printer, unless someone else reading here has directly relevant experience, the thing to do would be to call Epson and ask.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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