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  #16  
Old 7th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

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Originally Posted by stevewestern View Post
Thanks John - I've just got a reply to an email I sent Fotospeed. Tim there suggests I look at the Epson SC600 with their inkflow system, and I'm very tempted.
Got some thinking to do, but again, thanks for your help !
I use the Epson SC-P600, but stuck with Epson inks. I've no doubt Fotospeed's system would be cheaper to run, I hesitate to take the plunge because I print fairly low volume and felt I may as well keep things simple. Fotospeed are good for technical support, if you ring them you can usually quickly get to speak to someone who knows something, and if it is beyond them they will pass you on to their gurus.

The comment about Epson print heads causing problems seems quite common. I ran an R2400 (two generations before the SC-P600) for about 10 years. It needed a mid-life refurb - it had some absorbent pads that soak up excess ink and they had filled up and needed replacing - and in the end the heads did indeed pack up. I thought that was quite reasonable after 10 years, albeit low volume, use.

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Old 7th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

I have an Epson 3800 A2 printer which recently suffered its first ever head clog after about ten years somewhat occasional use. After running a few cleaning cycles I've let it sit for a couple of weeks, and now it's back to normal with a perfect nozzle check. The smaller Epsons do seem to suffer badly with clogs though, I've had 1160s, a 2100 and more recently an R800 all of which have been troublesome. The 3800 uses a different cartridge technology I believe and you can even change a cartridge mid-print with no visible effect on the print. I recently changed the light cyan cartridge and was surprised to find its best before date was 2012 - still worked perfectly! I have an Eye-one profiling device which cost an arm and a leg but which does the job very well.
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Old 7th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

I use an Epson SC-400. It prints A3+ and 13" roll paper - so is good for panoramas.
Having experienced the head block problem on my last printer I have now got into the habit of printing a 5"x7" image every 4 days or so (I've set a repeating reminder on my phone, lest I forget)!

As mentioned further up this thread, if you think your hobby justifies spending several thousand s on camera & lenses, then it's also worth buying(spending) sensible money on a display + printer and colour calibrating them both.
I use a Colormunki Photo which produces profiles for both screen and paper, and hence use a variety of PermaJet papers with consistent results.
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Old 7th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

I have a Canon Pro 10 and use genuine Canon ink, big weighty machine, but churns out a lovely A3 print.
Tried quite a few different papers, Canon Pro Luster came highly recommended, but ended up with good old Permajet Oyster.
The standard profile worked well for me, but did make the effort to get the personalised one done.
Use the print module on Lightroom for all my adjustments although the Canon software is very good too.

No way is it economical, but something satisfying to see a print roll off the machine. Keep the printer upstairs and connected via WiFi using the wps button.
The printer has an agitator mechanism that stirs the inks to prevent clogging, they are actually pigment which are supposed to be better.
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  #20  
Old 7th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

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Originally Posted by Gwyver View Post
I use a Colormunki Photo which produces profiles for both screen and paper, and hence use a variety of PermaJet papers with consistent results.
I use the same device, but have never been satisfied with the results. I've carefully calibrated and re calibrated, but the prints always seem to be a bit 'out'.

Jim
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Old 7th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

Seem to do alright using a Spyder 5 Pro and Displaycal software with a Permajet personalised profile.

Always surprised just how much the brightness needs turning down, overbright monitors are a major cause of dark prihts
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  #22  
Old 10th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

Been meaning to put my two penneth in on this one for a day or so. Here goes with comments, in random order, some of which are picking up on good input from others.

1) Economics - A totally objective view would say use a commercial printer if the decision was based purely on cost per print. However, as a photographic enthusiast who sells the odd print, a lot more cards, enters club competitions, exhibitions and is slowly working through PAGB and RPS distinctions I enjoy the act of printing as part of the image making process. I also find mounting and, where appropriate, framing immensely satisfying and completes the whole process. I love the control it gives which for things such as RPS distinctions is important as prints are scrutinised in minute detail from a nose length away. So you pays yer money and yer takes yer choice on economics v quality/satisfaction. As someone else has correctly said we spend a large amount of money on bodies, lenses, bags etc. so why scrimp on the final act of image production.


2) Paper Manufacturers - I use mostly Fotospeed, partly as I get discount via a Fotospeed ambasador I know very well, and for some cards I use Pinnacle ( from Paper Spectrum) as a value option. Fotospeed are excellent but I know that many swear by Permajet. The reality is that there is probably little or nothing to choose between them. What I would suggest is that you stick with a small range of paper types from one supplier so that you learn what papers work with what images as that is part of the many skills you need to learn when home printing.

3) Nozzle clogging - I use an Epson R3000 and only had clogged heads once after a, very unusual, period of two months with no printing. Resolved by the use of j-cloth strips and Isopropyl alcohol. I leave the printer on, as that avoids the power up head cleaning which uses a lot of ink, and do a head check on plain paper before a printing session. That does a mini head clean and seems to work well.

4) Colour management - Simply essential. Use correct colour spaces from camera, through LR/PS and when printing. I use Adobe RGB all the way through so I know what I'm getting. Some suggest ProPhoto when processing but to me that seems counterintuitive as most printers we are discussing use Adobe RGB as their base. I calibrate my monitor regularly, I have a bonkersly expensive BenQ which displays 99% of Adobe RGB, and use custom ICC profiles specific to my physical printer/ink/paper combination. All the paper manufacturers that I use do this for free and are pretty quick so there is no good reason not to. Without this you are highly likely to get unpredictable results. The difference in "brightness" between screen and paper is a common problem most typically caused by having the screen too bright. This is often addressed via the screen calibration process but you will also probably need to make test prints to set the correct luminance levels. One surprisingly effective tip I picked up on the problem is to use a white background on screen for the final "soft proofing" to mimic viewing on paper as that way the eye is seeing the same contrast levels, which if you use a dark background on screen are substantially different.

5) Pixels - A little bit of a tangent but I find it interesting that there are still some people who think that you cannot print above A4 from m43. Utter tosh. I print up to A3+ on occasions and have no problems. If you crop heavily that will change, as it would for any camera, as you are reducing the information available in the image. However this idea, that is still around, that printing from M43 is difficult is total bovine excrement unless you are going very big such as A2 plus and even then you must take into account viewing distance.

6) Ink - I use Epson ink. I did look at some of the better third party inks/tank systems but decided that my initial capital expenditure to convert would take an awful long time to recover, if indeed I ever would, given my printing volumes.


Hope that is useful


Hec
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  #23  
Old 10th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy Hec View Post
Been meaning to put my two penneth in on this one for a day or so. Here goes with comments, in random order, some of which are picking up on good input from others.

1) Economics - A totally objective view would say use a commercial printer if the decision was based purely on cost per print. However, as a photographic enthusiast who sells the odd print, a lot more cards, enters club competitions, exhibitions and is slowly working through PAGB and RPS distinctions I enjoy the act of printing as part of the image making process. I also find mounting and, where appropriate, framing immensely satisfying and completes the whole process. I love the control it gives which for things such as RPS distinctions is important as prints are scrutinised in minute detail from a nose length away. So you pays yer money and yer takes yer choice on economics v quality/satisfaction. As someone else has correctly said we spend a large amount of money on bodies, lenses, bags etc. so why scrimp on the final act of image production.


2) Paper Manufacturers - I use mostly Fotospeed, partly as I get discount via a Fotospeed ambasador I know very well, and for some cards I use Pinnacle ( from Paper Spectrum) as a value option. Fotospeed are excellent but I know that many swear by Permajet. The reality is that there is probably little or nothing to choose between them. What I would suggest is that you stick with a small range of paper types from one supplier so that you learn what papers work with what images as that is part of the many skills you need to learn when home printing.

3) Nozzle clogging - I use an Epson R3000 and only had clogged heads once after a, very unusual, period of two months with no printing. Resolved by the use of j-cloth strips and Isopropyl alcohol. I leave the printer on, as that avoids the power up head cleaning which uses a lot of ink, and do a head check on plain paper before a printing session. That does a mini head clean and seems to work well.

4) Colour management - Simply essential. Use correct colour spaces from camera, through LR/PS and when printing. I use Adobe RGB all the way through so I know what I'm getting. Some suggest ProPhoto when processing but to me that seems counterintuitive as most printers we are discussing use Adobe RGB as their base. I calibrate my monitor regularly, I have a bonkersly expensive BenQ which displays 99% of Adobe RGB, and use custom ICC profiles specific to my physical printer/ink/paper combination. All the paper manufacturers that I use do this for free and are pretty quick so there is no good reason not to. Without this you are highly likely to get unpredictable results. The difference in "brightness" between screen and paper is a common problem most typically caused by having the screen too bright. This is often addressed via the screen calibration process but you will also probably need to make test prints to set the correct luminance levels. One surprisingly effective tip I picked up on the problem is to use a white background on screen for the final "soft proofing" to mimic viewing on paper as that way the eye is seeing the same contrast levels, which if you use a dark background on screen are substantially different.

5) Pixels - A little bit of a tangent but I find it interesting that there are still some people who think that you cannot print above A4 from m43. Utter tosh. I print up to A3+ on occasions and have no problems. If you crop heavily that will change, as it would for any camera, as you are reducing the information available in the image. However this idea, that is still around, that printing from M43 is difficult is total bovine excrement unless you are going very big such as A2 plus and even then you must take into account viewing distance.

6) Ink - I use Epson ink. I did look at some of the better third party inks/tank systems but decided that my initial capital expenditure to convert would take an awful long time to recover, if indeed I ever would, given my printing volumes.


Hope that is useful


Hec

It is indeed helpful, thanks Hec.
I'm still wavering - The Epson SC P600 comes highly recommended, but the fear of clogging worries me, as I am often working away from home, and even when home I am more of a binge photographer/editor/and possibly printer.
I am now leaning back towards the Canon IP8750 - Permajet sell a continuous ink system for it, and for both the cost is 340, which is far easier to swallow at this stage.
I have now managed to get a fairly decent print from my current Canon TS8150 multi function printer and figure the IP8750 is going to be fairly similar as it has pretty much the same software.

I'm going to get Permajet to do a profile for my current printer and if I can print a few decent prints on a pack of their paper then I'll place an order. A few A4 prints left lying around the house will make a big parcel a lot easier to explain to my long suffering wife !
At least, that's how I'm feeling at present...
Many thanks to everyone for your help so far..!
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  #24  
Old 10th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

Hey,

I spent a while with the local printer I use and he would provide up to A2 off the images I took to him without question, he had no idea (at the time) what camera I was using, so there was no gear snobbery.

I only print very low volumes or big runs (cards etc) both of which have steered me towards the local guy rather than DIY, but I can see exactly what you mean about the satisfaction of doing the complete job yourself all the way through to the frame.

I haven't done anything to calibrate my monitor other than by eye, as to me the mechanics of what you're doing with a monitor vs a print make it worth doing a small local print first to compare... I found that the outside light made more difference to what I saw on the monitor than its calibration, so it looks like I need to try a calibration and see what the difference is!
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Old 11th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

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Originally Posted by stevewestern View Post
I am now leaning back towards the Canon IP8750 - Permajet sell a continuous ink system for it, and for both the cost is 340, which is far easier to swallow at this stage.
Thanks for that - I don't think PermaJet were offering that CIS system when I bought my iP8750. It sounds less clunky than the other one I mentioned and the price with printer is excellent. I paid around 300 for just the printer a few years ago.

I haven't found any reviews of the CIS system yet but I will definitely research this as an option.
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Old 11th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

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Originally Posted by raichea View Post
Thanks for that - I don't think PermaJet were offering that CIS system when I bought my iP8750. It sounds less clunky than the other one I mentioned and the price with printer is excellent. I paid around 300 for just the printer a few years ago.

I haven't found any reviews of the CIS system yet but I will definitely research this as an option.
Part of my dilemma is that I've never seen a side by side comparison, so have no idea how much 'better' a pigment printer is, but certainly the cost of an IP8750 with ink system would give me some spare to go towards a new monitor, which is also on my list of needs.
I am also developing a phobia about clogging - it seems wrong that a product that costs 500 upwards has to be used every few days or there is a (big ?) risk of it needing repair, and from what I know the only Canon printer at a reasonable price that has an ink system is the IP8750.
I've not heard of any of the bigger canons, which use pigment ink having problems, so why can't Epson sort this out ?
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Old 11th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

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Originally Posted by stevewestern View Post
Part of my dilemma is that I've never seen a side by side comparison, so have no idea how much 'better' a pigment printer is, but certainly the cost of an IP8750 with ink system would give me some spare to go towards a new monitor, which is also on my list of needs.
I am also developing a phobia about clogging - it seems wrong that a product that costs 500 upwards has to be used every few days or there is a (big ?) risk of it needing repair, and from what I know the only Canon printer at a reasonable price that has an ink system is the IP8750.
I've not heard of any of the bigger canons, which use pigment ink having problems, so why can't Epson sort this out ?
Canon Pro series have an agitator process that gives the cartridges a shake up.
Not had any clogging problems, I only use genuine ink which is also supposed to help.
Prints can be had much more cheaply from a photo lab, quite expensive to dabble at home bigger than A4.
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  #28  
Old 12th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

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Originally Posted by stevewestern View Post
I am also developing a phobia about clogging - it seems wrong that a product that costs 500 upwards has to be used every few days or there is a (big ?) risk of it needing repair, and from what I know the only Canon printer at a reasonable price that has an ink system is the IP8750.
I've not heard of any of the bigger canons, which use pigment ink having problems, so why can't Epson sort this out ?
I would suggest that you do not need to develop such a phobia. I have, what is now becoming, a fairly elderly Epson R3000 which, according to urban legend, clogs up frequently.

Put simply it doesn't.

As I said in a previous post it did once when I did not print for two months. I do not consider that unreasonable. Like any tool some maintenance is required for best performance. You service your car regularly to keep it running. You sharpen chisels if you want them to perform. Two very random examples which I hope make the point.

It is genuinely not that bad. My routine is simply to do a nozzle check on bog standard printer paper before a print session and if that is not perfect then a quick head clean routine is run. However, the frequency of needing to run that cleaning routine is low. I would not class this a repair, it is simply appropriate maintenance as you need to do on a variety of tools and appliances.

Really hope that provides some level of reassurance as I would not wish to see you miss out on the joys of printing your work.

cheers

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  #29  
Old 19th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

I print up to A2 using a secondhand Epson 3880, previous history unknown but bought as 'little used'. It did need some ink and a new waste ink pad.

To get it going I got some compatible ink from a company in Manchester, at around 17 per cartridge (Epson are around 54) although the printer does complain as it detects non epson cartridges. Luckily it does not refuse to print like some models.

I have also bought a used 'colormunki' calibration device which I use to profile screen and paper. As seems normal, prints come out too dark so I have to up the brightness by +50 in PS to get them the same as on screen. If I try it the other way (adjust screen brightness) then my internet pages are quite dark.

Only thing I dislike about this printer is that panoramas are limited to around one meter total length and I would like to have longer ones off roll paper (say up to 3m, that would be really something).

Cost per print using fotospeed A3 is around 1.20. Which is probably comparable with using an online printshop.

Last edited by Dewi9; 19th January 2019 at 12:37 PM. Reason: line spacing comes out double
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Old 19th January 2019
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Re: Anyone print A3 ?

The Epson 3880 (and its predecessor the 3800 which I own) were cut-down versions of the 4800. This had a roll paper adaptor and cutter. I don't know what the maximum size it could print though, length-wise. I have tried roll paper on my 3800 (cutting a sheet first) and it was a nightmare to get the paper flat enough so that it didn't catch on any of the internals of the printer or even the print head itself which caused awful smudging. So I wouldn't recommend using paper rolls unless the printer is specifically designed to take them.

Continuous inking systems are not worth the bother unless you're making a lot of prints, in my opinion. I had one on an Epson 2100 and it seldom worked properly, and you needed to shake the ink bottles now and then because the ink can separate.

As for dye vs pigment inks, the latter are usually more fade-resistant but less suitable for true glossy paper (as opposed to semi-gloss). In an attempt to replicate a black and white silver print on fibre paper, I made an inkjet print on Permajet Fibre Royal, and mounted behind glass there was little to choose between it and a silver print on Agfa Multicontrast Classic. I tried soaking the inkjet print too to get the curly edges anyone who's used fibre-based photo paper will be familiar with! The ink did not either run, smudge, or wash off, so I think we can say that the life of a well made inkjet print is at least comparable to a silver-based print nowadays.

The biggest difference in my eyes between ink-jet and silver is that as illumination is increased, the contrast of a silver print increases whereas an inkjet print just gets lighter all over. This is similar to the difference between oil and watercolour paintings (and indeed between Cibachrome and standard RA4 colour prints).
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