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Author Topic: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations  (Read 3076 times)

halrits

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24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« on: March 28, 2014, 05:03:57 pm »

I am considering purchasing a wide format printer to print and sell graphic posters. I was set on the Epson Pro 7900, but am reading so many negative reviews about clogged print heads that I'm now reconsidering.

My intent is to print 24" x 36" posters on quality matte paper. No photographs, my designs are vector based graphic designs and include large areas of solid color. Quantity is unknown as this is a new venture, but for a baseline let's say 100 posters/month.

I know there any many, many factors why a buyer would choose one printer over another (price, quality, cost per page, speed, maintenance, etc.) But based on your personal experience and knowledge, what would you choose if you were purchasing a wide format printer for $4,000-ish or under? Obviously no right or wrong, I'm just looking for advice from those who have been down this road.

Thanks in advance for your help, it is truly appreciated!
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Some Guy

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2014, 05:17:20 pm »

Canon ipf6450 would be my choice of a 24" printer.

No way am I going to haul an Epson 500 miles to have a head changed out, much less pay some outrageous $1,500 fee to do it too.  Epson support - when you need it - generally sucks!   Local dealer has their Epson in for service for two months with a $2,200 estimate (Head, circuit board, and pump.), and just found out "Parts long longer available" as why it took so long.  Looks to be putting a Canon ipf8400 on a lease for $145 month (Which works out to be about $3K more than the printer when they are on sale too for the lease!).

Epson really needs to step up their game on the clogging and "authorized service only" issues.


SG
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I.T. Supplies

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2014, 05:32:50 pm »

Some Guy has a good option.  The Canon series use less ink during prints and still give out a great look as well as low ink usage during cleanings.  Depending if you will be doing a lot of prints where  the Hard Drive in the iPF6450 would be useful, you can always go with the iPF6400.  Everything is the same except the HDD in the x450.  The user replaceable heads are also nice to replace upfront instead of waiting for Epson to come out and change them.  If a print head has an issue within the year of the purchase date of the printer, Canon will send a replacement out free of charge.  This will also be the same if the head had issues within the year of the replacement.

Epson's cost out of warranty will be expensive for sure.  Even though the ink sizes will be smaller than Epson's, your cost will be lower per print anyway.  Another great option with Canon is their accounting software (Epson doesn't have this option, but something slightly close).  It will give you all the information for the print (ink used, sq/ft printed, etc).  Canon's 24" are also a bit cheaper on the printers which will help with funds.
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chez

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 09:10:33 pm »

I have an HP Z3100 24" printer that has been a dream to use. Very little maintenance required...don't even do clogging checks anymore. With my work schedule, I use the printer sporadically, sometimes going up to a month without printing, then printing steady for a week.

I can highly recommend this printer.
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halrits

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2014, 09:34:01 am »

Some Guy, Atlex, chez... thanks so much. The iPF6400 and the HP Z3100 both seem well reviewed and favored by owners. Not to mention paying half the price of the Epson 7900, plus maintenance savings over time, is very appealing!

I'm going to continue to do my research and will share my findings, and if anyone else has a recommendation I'll be sure to throw it in the mix. Thanks all.
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Shutterbug2006

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 01:56:50 am »

Like Chez, I have a z3100 and I am a very happy owner. Little maintenance required, it's built and works like a Sherman Tank.
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shadowblade

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 02:25:02 am »

Epsons are best used for third-party inks (most of which seem to clog less than the Epson OEM inks anyway).

If you're going to use OEM, HP or Canon are the way to go.
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PeterAit

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2014, 08:16:36 am »

Epsons are best used for third-party inks (most of which seem to clog less than the Epson OEM inks anyway).


What? In years of research and reading about printers I have NEVER heard this claim. In 3 years with a 4880 and 2 years with a 7900, maintenance required = zero (other than the standard cleaning).
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shadowblade

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2014, 08:58:44 am »

What? In years of research and reading about printers I have NEVER heard this claim. In 3 years with a 4880 and 2 years with a 7900, maintenance required = zero (other than the standard cleaning).

Do you print daily?

If you print daily (e.g. if you own a print shop or use it as a proofing unit for publications), the printer shouldn't clog anyway.

Clogging starts when you leave it for days or weeks between prints (e.g. landscape photography and fine art). Third-party inks, e.g. Cone or Inkjetfly, seem much less prone to clogging than Epson OEM inks, which can clog if you leave the printer off over the weekend. Also, Roland and Mimaki printers use Epson heads (the same ones used by Epson themselves) and don't have clogging problems, even if you leave them off for extended periods.
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dseelig

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2014, 09:49:46 am »

Another vote for HP if an hp head needs replacing it is 60 bucks or so canon over 300 and that is ebay and epson a fortune. I have and an hp z3100 for years when it dies will get the z 3200
David PS it seems the hp holds shadows better then the epson as well . I have a epson 3880 for a desktop printer small prints and paper work. David
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PeterAit

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2014, 10:57:34 am »

Do you print daily?

If you print daily (e.g. if you own a print shop or use it as a proofing unit for publications), the printer shouldn't clog anyway.

Clogging starts when you leave it for days or weeks between prints (e.g. landscape photography and fine art). Third-party inks, e.g. Cone or Inkjetfly, seem much less prone to clogging than Epson OEM inks, which can clog if you leave the printer off over the weekend. Also, Roland and Mimaki printers use Epson heads (the same ones used by Epson themselves) and don't have clogging problems, even if you leave them off for extended periods.

I do not print daily or even weekly. When I am home I run a nozzle check every few days. Last fall the 7900 was off for 3 weeks while we were away. On return, 2 normal cleanings and all was well.

I would like to know more about any benefits of 3rd party inks, and if you can provide some links I will be grateful. But, with all due respect, having one person claim something on a forum is not exactly convincing (even though you may be right).
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aaronchan

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2014, 02:02:20 pm »

Since you are doing poster print, I really don't see the point of using a 12 ink printer.
A good 8 ink printer would be very enough.
The Canon iPF6400S, which the S stands for speed can produce very nice poster for you needs already.
Even the Canon iPF6400SE which only has 6 ink, CMYK, MK, Red, can fulfill your demand as well. And it only cost 1999!

For the HP, Z2100 is a good option as well.

aaron

I.T. Supplies

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2014, 01:00:48 pm »

Another vote for HP if an hp head needs replacing it is 60 bucks or so canon over 300 and that is ebay and epson a fortune. I have and an hp z3100 for years when it dies will get the z 3200
David PS it seems the hp holds shadows better then the epson as well . I have a epson 3880 for a desktop printer small prints and paper work. David

HP print heads may be cheaper, but you're buying a head for every 2 colors which comes out to roughly the same price as Canon's.  Also, if you purchase a Canon and the heads go out within a year, Canon will send a replacement free of charge.  The same thing if the replacement heads go out within that year, talk to them and a free replacement.  This is part of their new program that has been going on for a little over a year and can save you money in the long run.

There are good and bads with every printer, it just depends on what your printing and how much you will be printing within a month to best determine which one to go with.
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Justan

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2014, 01:39:12 pm »

You might want to look at the DesignJet 130 as well.

dseelig

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Re: 24" Large Format Printer Recommendations
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2014, 11:26:09 pm »

the only head that has ever gone out is the black head and yes I have has the z 3100 for years now
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