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Author Topic: Epson new printer to replace 4900  (Read 7959 times)

JRSmit

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2013, 04:45:25 am »

+1 on the remarks of mark. I have mine now 2 years and do not regret it. Before that i had a hp and to be honest the 4900 is simply more reliable, requires less frequent calibration, better print quality, less operator effort. If i have a channel clogged, it is like mark says. It just prints and prints and prints.
The hp did some action every 24hrs to prevent clogging. Nevertheless i had channel dropouts during printing, requiring reprint and operator time. Never had that thusfar with the 4900.
So all in all the ink usage to prevent or resolve clogging was worse on the hp.


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BobDavid

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2013, 08:33:14 am »

My advice on any of the Epson X900/X89 printers is to run at least a nozzle check every day. A buddy was telling me that if there is a drop out from one of the nozzles, he prints a page of that particular color on premium luster paper. That seems to unclog the head or allow an air bubble to pass though the line. He's kept his printer clog free for months.

My 9900 lasted exactly 4 years and three months. Then the head died. I sold it for parts for $125.
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chez

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2013, 09:43:27 am »

I have two HP Z3100 printers and they are truly a joy to use. I leave them on all the time, they have a self cleaning cycle they run through every so often, use extremely small amounts of ink during these cycles. I travel away from home for a month at a time. I used to check each printer by printing a nozzle check upon return...stopped doing this as the nozzle checks were always perfect. I would highly recommend an HP printer if you only print sporadically. I'd never jump through the Epson song, dance and a prayer in keeping their printers functional...especially when you have them sit idle for any time.
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digitaldog

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2013, 10:48:44 am »

The question I would put to Andrew, however, is whether his 3880 delivers visibly the same print quality as his 4900 when it works correctly. I am asking this question with no particular motive in mind - it is simply to know the answer, just in case he has done such comparisons.

I haven't done through comparisons but can next week after running some side by side tests. I don't recall seem much difference but that's hardly scientific. Even if the 4900 with it's larger gamut and other inks was a tad better, I'd use (and do use) the 3880 because the 4900 is such a nightmare for someone like me who may turn the printer(s) on once every few months.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2013, 10:50:11 am »

Thanks Andrew, makes sense.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2013, 06:08:41 pm »

Wow - I sure am glad I asked my question on this forum.  What a nightmare it sounds like the 4900 has been for so many.  I will steer clear of that and the 7900 which I gather has the same issues.  I am not daily user nor do I want to be.  I some times go months without using the 3800 and never seem to have issues with dropout/clogging - only now do I realize how fortunate I have been.

I will start exploring Canon printers.  Thanks all!


 
I've had a 4900 for about 18 months, have sold a bunch of them, and no one has ever complained or felt it was a nightmare.   Mine suffered from some channel losses early on, a call to Epson and a replaced pump cap assembly a few days later and not much issue since.  My cost of ink consumption to maintain nozzles is no where near the price of the heads on the  Canons when I used a 5000 and later a 6100.  Don't be mislead, a canon is not clog free, you just don't know when they occur, but eventually clogs will consume the head(s) (which cost almost $500 each, and there are 2).

  When I'm going to use my 4900 I'll fire it up, and start doing checks and if necessary cleans while I'm getting ready to print, I rarely am ready to print first thing.  So the advantage of not having to waste time cleaning the printer to me isn't a big deal - to others it may be a big advantage(while a head dying would because there are no local dealers tha carry one, which means I would have to buy one in advance).

Certainly you should investigate the Canon's, but don't be misled, both need care and attention, both will cost money to keep running, especially in low humid and or dirty environments and under low usage. The epson a little at a time frequently, the canon a big cost all at once at some point in the future.

I guess to me I just don't see the ink costs as significant.  I don't buy a printer to save money ... if you factor in all the costs of ownership, material and time, the math rarely works out for someone just wanting to do their own printing.  I do it for convenience and control.  The cost of paper and ink to produce a piece is really pretty negligible to the overall price of a finished piece.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2013, 07:24:16 pm »

I agree with all of this Wayne, except that for the most part I do not make prints to sell; they are mostly for our private collection and enjoyment; even so I look upon the unit cost (taking everything you mention into account) as being reasonable for the extent of control and quality enabled by doing my own work with first-class software and my Epson 4900.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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drray3001

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2013, 12:19:02 am »

From a newbie who just posted his first question - what I pleasure to read your thoughtful responses.  Its been a long while since I have seen this kind of intelligent discussion in a forum, with differing opinions expressed and no flaming.  It helps me by getting me to think about the issues I ought to focusing on in making a decision.   Thanks again for your feedback.
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digitaldog

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2013, 10:19:37 am »

IF only the 4900 acted like the 3880 a few feet away, in terms of clogging, I'd love it, not hate it. To me, the 4900 was a step backwards due to this issue. IF you don't need roll support, the 3880 is a winner.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2013, 10:45:48 am »

IF only the 4900 acted like the 3880 a few feet away, in terms of clogging, I'd love it, not hate it. To me, the 4900 was a step backwards due to this issue. IF you don't need roll support, the 3880 is a winner.

That's true, but I think it would also be fair to say that in terms of build quality the two printers are really meant to have different kinds of duty-service. The 4900 is built like a tank, so people who run a printer a lot would probably be better served over the long term with a 4900 - especially if they would make use of the roll holder, while for more casual printers the 3880 is ideal and should last a long time.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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tsjanik

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2013, 10:42:30 am »

FWIW: My experience with the 4900 has been good.  I purchased the printer in September 2011 and had some clogging problems within two months.  Epson sent me a new printer with new starter cartridges installed.  I have not had a clog in the replacement printer that a simple cleaning would not clear, despite very light use (I'm still using orange and green starter cartridges after two years).  
Clearly the x900 printers and their predecessors can have clogging problems, but many users have not had serious issues.  Luck of the draw or climate?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2013, 11:40:23 am by tsjanik »
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Splanky

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2014, 05:51:19 am »

Hi!

4900 is the best printer I've had. No problems at all. One important thing to remember is to keep the right humidity in the printer room. Often, the air is too dry when it's hot and stands printer off several weeks there could be trouble. A friend had a problem with it and put in a humidifier. It solved everything.
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Mike Guilbault

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2014, 11:16:46 am »

I firmly believe that my 4900 clogs are due to humidity levels.  Yesterday the humidity was 29% - about two hours north of Toronto.  The humidifier I have is just a small Home Depot model.  I need something better/bigger.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2014, 11:22:48 am »

I too think humidity is a big factor.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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digitaldog

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2014, 12:27:40 pm »

I too think humidity is a big factor.

It IS very dry here in Santa Fe. But what gets me upset is the humility isn't any different in the room that houses both the 3880, which never clogs and the 4900 which always clogs. I must have spent 45 minutes yesterday screwing with the 4900 to make one print. I turned on the 3880, didn't even do a head check and the print (and final test) was prefect.

So as to your question about 3880 vs 4900 on a print, just my first observation. First, I used my Printer Test File which is in a pretty small gamut (ColorMatch RGB). I used the canned Epson profiles for both printers using Luster so the outcome would be more typical of the end user who may not be making their own profiles. I used RelCol for output. At viewing distance under a GTI booth, both 8x10s look very similar. I find the 4900 does a slightly nicer job rendering reds. Just a tad less yellow. Reds have always been somewhat of a problem color. This benefit of the 4900 has to be due to color mixing. It's not gamut. And when I view the two converted images in ColorThink, it shows the largetst deltaE values in greens! I don't really see that on the print and that kind of illustrates how one has to view the differences in the two in different ways. I can figure out the actual dE values of red but that's only through the profile using this one ColorThink test! Ideally I'd print a target from both, then evaluate the dE of the red's going all the way from source color space to output measurements. But IF I had to guess what the differences are in the red balls between the two prints, I'd say it's no more than a dE 2000 of 1.5-2, some in Lstar but the rest in Bstar. IOW, it ain't much difference.

I need to send a higher gamut image through both printers assuming today, that damn 4900 doesn't require another 30 minutes of head cleaning. It is interesting to see how the color mixing is different between the two, albeit small, when the image is in such a small gamut. It also reinforces my fondness for the 3880.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2014, 12:32:39 pm »

It IS very dry here in Santa Fe. But what gets me upset is the humility isn't any different in the room that houses both the 3880, which never clogs and the 4900 which always clogs. I must have spent 45 minutes yesterday screwing with the 4900 to make one print. I turned on the 3880, didn't even do a head check and the print (and final test) was prefect.

So as to your question about 3880 vs 4900 on a print, just my first observation. First, I used my Printer Test File which is in a pretty small gamut (ColorMatch RGB). I used the canned Epson profiles for both printers using Luster so the outcome would be more typical of the end user who may not be making their own profiles. I used RelCol for output. At viewing distance under a GTI booth, both 8x10s look very similar. I find the 4900 does a slightly nicer job rendering reds. Just a tad less yellow. Reds have always been somewhat of a problem color. This benefit of the 4900 has to be due to color mixing. It's not gamut. And when I view the two converted images in ColorThink, it shows the largetst deltaE values in greens! I don't really see that on the print and that kind of illustrates how one has to view the differences in the two in different ways. I can figure out the actual dE values of red but that's only through the profile using this one ColorThink test! Ideally I'd print a target from both, then evaluate the dE of the red's going all the way from source color space to output measurements. But IF I had to guess what the differences are in the red balls between the two prints, I'd say it's no more than a dE 2000 of 1.5-2, some in Lstar but the rest in Bstar. IOW, it ain't much difference.

I need to send a higher gamut image through both printers assuming today, that damn 4900 doesn't require another 30 minutes of head cleaning. It is interesting to see how the color mixing is different between the two, albeit small, when the image is in such a small gamut. It also reinforces my fondness for the 3880.

Well yes, what to say - the two technologies are quite different and if I got it right - the 4900 nozzles are half the size of those in the 3880. This may have something to do with it, but who knows.

I think your observations about the printing output are very interesting. In the final analysis, what matters most is not measurements from test charts but what people actually see and what differences they perceive using real-world photographs. For small dE differences, our eyes are not as capable at differentiating colour and tone values as our instruments are, even seeing the same file side by side from two different printers or applications.
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digitaldog

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #36 on: January 01, 2014, 12:47:30 pm »

Well yes, what to say - the two technologies are quite different and if I got it right - the 4900 nozzles are half the size of those in the 3880. This may have something to do with it, but who knows.

I think your observations about the printing output are very interesting. In the final analysis, what matters most is not measurements from test charts but what people actually see and what differences they perceive using real-world photographs. For small dE differences, our eyes are not as capable at differentiating colour and tone values as our instruments are, even seeing the same file side by side from two different printers or applications.

In this case, I don't know smaller is better... The 4900 is faster, once you get the thing to print! And have you ever tried getting an 8.5x11 sheet of plain paper to load to do a nozzle check? So picky and so slow. Nothing like the 3880. I know the 4900 is a bigger printer. I know it's supposed to be better built, the 3880 isn't chopped liver  ;D. I don't do a large amout of printing and when I do, it's often in spurts. I've only got only 233 total prints on the 4900 according to the panel however many were large sheets resulting in 6-8 rolls of canvas for profiling. That has nearly filled two Maintenance cart's.

The first test was interesting because by and large, source gamut was smaller than output. I need to send some Roman 16's through next.
The part measurement can be interesting because it can tell us about the entire path. You can tag a target or build one, send that through the profile(s), the driver, the entire enchilada, and that gives useful information you can compare to other parts of the process. If you built a target in a source color space and confined it to the gamut of the device, then feed that through and measured it, that's useful information. Doesn't tell us that the red ball in my test image looks better on the 4900. That's why reference images are kind of useful. The Roman 16's are thus far, the best group out there but pricey.
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digitaldog

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2014, 02:39:39 pm »

Ended up building custom profiles for both 3880 and 4900 on luster since the canned profiles appear to show things that don't make sense. Level the playing field. The Roman 16 colorful doesn't look much different now between the two. In this image, the differences are insignificant.

The difference in gamut volumes as reported by ColorThink Pro:

Gamut volume of 3880: 766,082
Gamut volume of 4900: 892,900

Video of the two gamut plots (interesting).
http://www.digitaldog.net/files/4900vs3880.mov

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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2014, 03:28:02 pm »

Your measurements look familiar to me in terms of ones I've done or seen some time back. And the plots show real differences of gamut shape between the printers, with the spectrum of green through yellow orange and red being larger in the 4900. I wonder what it adds-up to, however, in real world photographs. Your remark that differences are insignificant I am assume means visually, and I can relate to that. I guess the message one draws from all this is that in choosing between these printers usage considerations are primary concerns, while differences of print quality not something to obsess about. Would you agree? Or boiling it down to elemental simplicity - buy a 4900 if you are volume user operating it in somewhat controlled climatic conditions, otherwise buy a 3880.
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digitaldog

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Re: Epson new printer to replace 4900
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2014, 03:35:09 pm »

Insignificant with just one image that's got a boat load of colors. I'd prefer to see the other 15 Roman's plus a suite of synthetic's but I have no time (and media) for that <g>. The differences in the two canned profiles was much larger for whatever reason, much in density and I don't see that now.
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