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View Full Version : HELP! Printers..Advice


blu-by-u
11th October 2016, 04:33 AM
Think I have been seeing too much of these printers advertisements..And I have been con by Epson on their ink tank system. My 2nd printer died just 6 months after the warranty.

When Epson launched their Ink Tank series some time ago, I bought the L200. Thinking that with an original tank system, I can print without having to turn to 3rd party cheaper ink..How wrong was I. just 2 months after warranty expired, the head got stuck, then I replaced the printhead and was working for a few months and it just refuse to power on.

Since I still had 2 sets of ink, I bought the L210 as a replacement in January of 2015..And guess what, that printer failed again and with the same power board problem. I am beginning to think that these printers are not built to last.

What I don't like about this particular model and it's ink, the pictures fade. I think it's because it's not pigment but just dye. Ink replacement is cheap but you get what you pay for. ( and that lousy power board)

I took the printer to the authorized service center and on my way in, I see heaps of discarded printers. :eek: That go me to think..Is it worth while to buy expensive or just get those throw away printers?

I have used HP's, Brother, Epson, Xerox (Laser), Canon (Laser)..what would you advice? What should I be looking out for if I want to print in color photographs? Would it be better to just get those throw away cartridges type or get a unit and install those ink supply systems? or just send them out for prints?

Bikie John
11th October 2016, 08:46 AM
My view - if you want to do quality printing you need a decent printer. Pigment inks are just part of the story. I had an Epson R2400 that ran quite happily for 10 years or so, with a service after about 8, before eventually failing beyond economic repair. I liked the results and in particular it did good black & white, which is important to me and many more basic printers don't do it very well.

Last year I replaced it with another Epson, the SC-P600. So far I am very pleased with it. One small good thing is that the ink cartridges are bigger - on the 2400 the "ink low" light was almost always on because the cartridges are so small and there was nearly always one that was nearly empty.

As for the economics - I don't think there is any point in using a good printer and putting cheap 3rd party ink in it. If you want cheap, buy a cheap printer, don't expect good photo quality, and dump it when it goes wrong.

Overall I doubt that you save much money by doing your own printing - it is an expensive process to get good results, and many commercial labs can match on price and probably quality. However, it is very rewarding to produce your own prints, and DIY makes it much easier to try stuff out and tweak the results.

Hope this helps ... John

AMc
11th October 2016, 09:18 AM
I gave up home photo printing a long time ago as I was sick of expensive inks, clogged heads and slow printing. I found it cheaper and quicker to upload to photobox et al and order prints online, the upload was unattended and the prints arrived in a day or so vs. sitting babysitting my HP for several minutes per photo.
I bought a Brother mono laser for utility printing, then upgraded to a colour LED Brother a couple of years ago.
The colour laser doesn't make great photo prints but it's good enough for my 13yo school homework and it prints pages in seconds.
I've recently discovered there is such a thing as laser photo paper so I've bought a box to see how it performs. I'm not expecting miracles but it might be fun.

I'm sure if you have the money for a good quality printer and the time and inclination to work out how to get the best from it, it's very satisfying to get exactly the image you want but I don't print enough to make it worth the investment.

Ian
11th October 2016, 11:02 AM
i haven't used Epson L-series printers but it doesn't look like they are aimed primarily at photographers. As John has pointed out Epson do some excellent photo printers with fade-resistant pigmented inks. Even their Durabrite ink (pigmented ink but fewer colours) all-round printer/printer scanner models produce reasonable photos on the correct paper. Our Epson WorkForce printer has printed several tens of thousands of plain paper sheets and hundreds of photos and is still going strong after 5 year.

Ian

Otto
11th October 2016, 01:01 PM
My Epson Stylus Pro 3800 hasn't missed a beat in the several years I've owned it, and prints I made that have been on display are as good as the day they were made. I've owned a few smaller Epsons though over the years and had clogging problems with them - in fact a terminally clogged 2100 was the reason I bought the 3800. Yes, it's a big (A2) and heavy machine and the cartridges cost 45 or so each, but they last for ages and it's a lot cheaper to run than the smaller ones - especially as I hardly ever have to run a head clean even when the machine has lain unused for a couple of weeks. I've never used any but Epson carts, I'm not even sure if third party inks are available for the 3800 but even if they were I wouldn't use them. Another advantage of the 3800 is that a cart can be changed part-way through a print without any adverse effects. I believe the ink delivery system is pressurised somehow so I imagine that reduces the possibility of clogs.

Ian
11th October 2016, 08:31 PM
My Epson Stylus Pro 3800 hasn't missed a beat in the several years I've owned it, and prints I made that have been on display are as good as the day they were made. I've owned a few smaller Epsons though over the years and had clogging problems with them - in fact a terminally clogged 2100 was the reason I bought the 3800. Yes, it's a big (A2) and heavy machine and the cartridges cost 45 or so each, but they last for ages and it's a lot cheaper to run than the smaller ones - especially as I hardly ever have to run a head clean even when the machine has lain unused for a couple of weeks. I've never used any but Epson carts, I'm not even sure if third party inks are available for the 3800 but even if they were I wouldn't use them. Another advantage of the 3800 is that a cart can be changed part-way through a print without any adverse effects. I believe the ink delivery system is pressurised somehow so I imagine that reduces the possibility of clogs.

I have a 3800 and I love it - the maintenance cartridge needs replacing though; must order one!

Ian

blu-by-u
12th October 2016, 02:57 AM
WOW..so many good things on the Epson Printers. Thanks.

Next, should I get another Printer and scanner in one or should I get them separate?

Otto
12th October 2016, 08:06 AM
All-in-ones are always a compromise, and (I'm thinking) rarely include a photo-quality printer. That's from somebody who recently bought an all-in-one PC, mind ;).

Ian
12th October 2016, 08:27 AM
If you want exhibition quality prints and you will be using fine art papers then you should get a dedicated pigmented ink photo printer. If you just want 6x4s or even A4 prints that will be acceptable for family use, a 3-colour printer (like Epson Durabrite inks) will be good enough printing on glossy or seme-glossy paper. If you are doing a lot of palin paper printing (documents) and photo copying, then I highly recommend an Epson WorkForce printer. Ours can print and scan double-sided. It also has extra large ink tanks so print economy is really good.

Ian

Jim Ford
12th October 2016, 08:49 AM
If you just want 6x4s or even A4 prints that will be acceptable for family use, a 3-colour printer (like Epson Durabrite inks) will be good enough printing on glossy or seme-glossy paper

I'm using a Canon iP7250 with 7Dayshop ink cartridges and paper. The output is great.

Jim

blu-by-u
12th October 2016, 09:02 AM
It's a home user unit. It's for prints for my own enjoyment. I am really tempted by Otto's (Richard) A2 size printer but then Paper is going to cost a fortune.

Jim Ford
12th October 2016, 09:59 AM
It's a home user unit. It's for prints for my own enjoyment.

Same here.

I only print for myself and family photos for my wife and her relations. I've had no complaints with the results from my cheap set-up.

Jim

AMc
12th October 2016, 11:10 AM
FWIW we were discussing using colour laser printers here
https://www.avforums.com/threads/laser-printers-a-no-no.2055442/
I bought some HP Laser Photo Printing Paper to try. On balance it's good enough for homework but not good enough for putting in an album or on a wall.

There are example pictures in the thread which I can't host here in case you're interested - I hope I'm not committing a faux pas by linking to another forum - If I am please let me know and I'll delete the link.

blu-by-u
12th October 2016, 02:50 PM
I have the same problems and I did go the laser route. And as you have found out, Laser is no where near the output of the Ink jets. I am into my 2nd color laser as my kids needed it for course work. The earlier color laser was a xerox color C525. The unit lasted 5 years and 3 sets of toner change which is consider good as a house printer. That was replaced by a minolta which I returned after 1 week. There was just no way it could print any pictures:eek: After that, I replaced it with a Canon 5050. The prints for course work was acceptable but photographs reproduction is something else. Even a cheap 3 color ink jet would beat it.

Hence that L200 and L210. Wifey needed that scanner and I needed an almost acceptable photo printer. Think I have to settle on a dedicate scanner and a photo printer. :( there goes my savings for that panny 100-400.

Otto
13th October 2016, 08:46 AM
I am really tempted by Otto's (Richard) A2 size printer but then Paper is going to cost a fortune.

The 3800 works fine with any size paper from postcard to A2, you're not obliged to use only A2 paper. It has presets for metric and US sizes or you can use a custom size. The footprint of the 3800 isn't a lot bigger than the A3+ printers like the R2880.

blu-by-u
14th October 2016, 02:02 AM
Otto, you are poison :eek:

Was just informed by the service center that I need to change 2 boards and the printhead..it would make it more or almost the same price as a new unit. That gives me the option to buy a new printer :D ( Wifey cannot complain)

Bikie John
14th October 2016, 07:50 AM
I'm not certain but I think the 3800 may have been superseded. From the experience of one friend, it was in some ways "professional spec" but in order to keep the price attractive it had print heads from the "consumer" range. My pal's broke down and was uneconomic to repair because the heads were no longer available, even though printers from higher up in the same range were still perfectly serviceable.

(Disclaimer - I may have some of the details wrong but it could be worth checking)

My limited experience with cheap Epsons was awful, with all the problems that have already been mentioned - print heads clogging, prints fading etc. But the higher-end photo printers with pigment inks have been pretty good. And now they have more sensibly sized ink cartridges, which is a small bonus.

John

Otto
14th October 2016, 08:20 AM
Otto, you are poison :eek:


Nice to know I'm of use to somebody :D.

The 3880 superceded the 3800 but I think it was just a minor change to the inkset, the machine is basically the same afaik.

Jim Ford
14th October 2016, 08:20 AM
My limited experience with cheap Epsons was awful, with all the problems that have already been mentioned - print heads clogging

Same here - which is why I went to Canon and have had no clogging head problems.

Jim

blu-by-u
15th October 2016, 01:23 AM
......
My limited experience with cheap Epsons was awful,...
John

Same here - which is why I went to Canon and have had no clogging head problems.
Jim

That's what I am considering too.

Bikie John
15th October 2016, 08:45 AM
To clarify further - I have not had those problems with the higher-end Epsons, only the cheap ones.

I have come to the conclusion that:

1. If you want to print photos at good quality, you need a decent printer, decent paper and decent ink. And it won't be any good for anything else - it will be expensive to run, and inkjet inks tend to blur when printing on plain paper so it's no good for 100 copies of the flyer for the Sunday school fete.

2. It is only worth doing if you want to. Commercial print services are both good quality and good value. But if you like the flexibility and the sense of achievement of doing it yourself, using a good photo printer will provide that.

If you decide to take the plunge, as far as I can see the current choice is between Epson and Canon - it seems that HP have backed out of that market.

John