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Wednesday, 22 April 2020


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Recently I switched from Epson to a Canon printer and I'm very happy I did. Where I live, the Epson representative is a total disaster. They had the P800 since its inception but nobody buys it. After the first 100 to 200 units they sold, people learned that sometimes they must wait 3, 4 or 5 months to get ink cartridges. Many printers clog during the wait, making owners very unhappy. Worse yet, Epson worldwide does not allow you to buy (import) your ink or even your (Epson) printing paper, to protect their local business. I order my photo stuff from B&H and Amazon, and as soon as I put any Epson item on my cart, it rejects it saying, this item does not ship to your country. They got me to stay away from Epson entirely. I got the Canon imagePrograf Pro-1000 instead. I use it with Imageprint Black from Colorbyte Software and the results are the best I have seen so far in digital printing.

Like you I have a p600. There is one interesting fact about the p800: its cartridges hold three times as much ink as a p600 but only cost twice as much as a p600 cartridge.

Not sure who designated the Epson P600 and P800 as class-leading? Maybe Epson? I used Epson photo inkjets for many years, including a lengthy stint with the P600. It worked fine when it wasn't clogged, but that wasn't a very high percentage of the time. Maybe you have had better luck with it. [Nope, mine currently needs a new printhead because it's hopelessly clogged. I blame, and hate, myself. --Mike] I finally gave up when it became apparent mine would never respond after many rounds of cleaning. I got the Canon Pixma-Pro 10 which is the 13" wide competition for the P600 and now P700. Although it has been around for quite a while the PRO-10 still produces beautiful prints with no clogging so far. I wonder if Canon will ever do a refresh? In any case, the Canon has a replaceable head so it can be replaced if ever completely clogged, unlike Epson which forces you to buy a new printer. The Canon also has 10 inks, including red, as well as a grey and a chroma optimizer which fills in where no other ink is deposited, avoiding the dreaded bronzing effect. There is also no switching required between photo and matte black. Don't know whether Epson has solved the clogging problem with the new printers but there is an alternative if not.

"New P900 is the same size as the outgoing P600"

Don't you mean the outgoing P800? [Nope, "The new P900 is the same size as the current P600"--direct quote from Epson's Sales Reference Guide --Mike]

I have a P600. It has slots for both PK and MK black cartridges, so having both "mounted" on the carrier is not new. What would be new is if each had it's own dedicated plumbing, so that when you switch, it doesn't have to purge (read, "waste") the ink you're leaving in order to use the one you're going to. Takes both time and (expensive) ink.

I'm interested in the Carbon Black mode. I've been doing mostly B&W printing lately, so a greater tonal range would be lovely.

Time and testing (can't wait to see what Mark Segal thinks of them) will tell but I am worried that the new printers will not be able to be used with QTR, my favorite black and white printing RIP. The extra inks and the black switching will make our friend Roy Harrington work extra hard. I am genuinely excited by the black ink switching improvement though, which Canon did some time ago. If only QTR worked with Canon printers (it does not), I'd likely own a Canon. There are so many times I've made a matte print that I like but would LOVE to see on glossy paper or vice versa but don't want to waste the time and/or ink switching. This will be a bonanza for me if it really works well. An Epson fellow just did a video with Kevin Raber on the PhotoPXL website. While it's clearly a modified advertisement, it's worth the watch.

I'm still using my Epson R3000 and I've been very happy with the results. I mainly print B&W and I always print photos on high rag content matte finish paper for that velvety look. Using only one type of paper means I never have to switch the black cartridges.

I print a lot so I don't have many problems keeping the heads clear but the R3000 has had a lot of miles put on it and I've had it running since it was first introduced. It's good to see Epson keeps improving their products. My wife would probably like the inclusion of violet inks. She has a thing about flowers, chrysanthemums and violet irises included.

No geraniums is a deal breaker for me.

A caveat you've touched on in previous posts is one the bears repeating: don't buy an inkjet printer unless you plan to print frequently; and by "frequently," I mean a few times a week. If you don't, the print head is likely to clog, especially if it's in an Epson inkjet printer. If you can't unclog it, you'll then discover that the print head is non-user replaceable and that shipping the printer to Epson for a print head replacement will cost more than the printer is worth. If you do plan to print frequently, then you would be wise to factor in the monthly cost of replacing Epson ink cartridges and buying print paper, both of which are significant.

Don't get me wrong: owning and using an inkjet printer can be a wonderful thing, as long as you understand that the level of commitment is more like a marriage than a casual affair.

Yeah!... Except, Bah!

In North America, Epson locked down the ink cartridges on the P800, which means you can't use third party inks or refillable cartridges without defeating their security somehow. None of the refillers figured out how to do that, except for Jon Cone at Inkjet Mall, who came up with a $395 add-on board (which also voids your warranty). The P600 was still unlocked, so you could use refillable cartridges. What makes me think that now the P700 is also locked down?

For people like me, this is a deal breaker. I need to be able use refillables so I can use my Eboni-VT black and white inks. The first thing I did when I bought my Epson 3880 is sell the entire set of unused colour inks so I could install my own inks. I can't do that anymore with the new printers.

When my trusty 3880 gives up the ghost, I'll probably switch over to a much used 7880, but those are getting older and scarcer too now.

Did I mention, Bah!

I too have a P600. It has been sitting in the closet since I replaced it with a Canon PRO-100. That's right, 100, not 1000. Dye inks, not pigmented.

Matt papers are incapable of producing solid blacks. Glossy papers with pigmented inks, while capable of good blacks, produce prints that are, to my taste, over-the-top shiny. The combination of a PRO-100 and Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta Satin paper gives me Goldilocks, i.e. just right, results. The prints won't last as long as those made on pigment-ink printers, but will outlast me. I'm not a well known photographer, have never sold a print (and don't intend to ever sell one), so the end result's aesthetic appeal is my primary criterion. Besides, I can make a few extra copies and store them in case any on display fade during my remaining "LE."

The P600 was a pain to use anyway, demanding babying when used with thicker media. Canon's product has been robust and reliable, never failing to work properly on first attempts.

I also have an Epson V850 scanner. It too is a poorly designed, poorly executed product that's made of static-prone plastic and offers no evidence any effort was made to counter the dust-attracting effect that has on its glass as well as film originals. While not yet moved to the closet where my P600 lives, or been "operated on" to incorporate the improvements it needs, it should be. Epson's reputation far exceeds its performance.

The head clotting is really an issue. May look into canon after reading two good posts about them.

As said the physical one may not last like us. But we have digital on somewhere. And if both be gone, let us zhuangzi-ish. Pretend you are just butterfly dreaming as a photographer and you wake up. Time to fly.

I had no idea the P800 was that old. I bought it less than a year ago, and it is so nice that printing is finally a real pleasure, easy peasy, no muss or fuss. I'm sure the several years of struggle with my other printer helped, but this one feels like cheating. If the P900 is even better, that's great. If mine ever kicks the ink bucket I will maybe buy it (or the P1000 by then).

It would be nice to hear from a happy Epson user, wouldn't it? Maybe I'm one, maybe I'm not. I've had a P600 for four and a half years. The prints look great, as far as I'm concerned -- I'm sure the better-schooled and more meticulous would quibble. But what a PITA the thing has been. About 32 seconds before the warranty ran out, one of the black heads crapped out. I got the claim in just in time and Epson sent me another. Note, not a new one. A refurbished one. That one had a similar problem, and back it went for another refurbished unit. That one wouldn't feed right, so back it went. The next one they sent is the one I still have. These replacements were all free, of course, and the Epson people I dealt with were first rate. The printer's heads get clogged with disuse and I have never managed to get it working over wifi, but I'm happy enough the print results. It only took me three years to learn the trick of feeding thick "art" paper into the thing from the front without seeming to run into a brick wall inside the thing, and the software (at least on Macs) remains opaque and frustrating. And about two minutes after buying it I realized I should have bought the P800 because of the ink cost savings. Well, far too late for that. Last week, in fact, I was considering buying a P800 for the ink price differential (and the rebate offer, $300 back after purchase). I'd read about the impending new models and thought it would be a good time to change. But I didn't pull the trigger. Now I'm curious about the cost of the P900 ink, since I noticed immediately the smaller capacity compared to the P800. The new black stuff sounds enticing. But do I really want to risk going through more warranty nonsense again? And in between there was (is) an Epson flatbed scanner which I had to exchange because of defects out of the box. And don't get me started on the delivery/pickup hassle with the defective P600 machines (not Epson's fault but they chose the vendor). Anybody know what the Canon equivalent of the P900 is or will be?

I started with a HP Z3100, then in 2015, I bought a used Epson 7900. Love it and hate it. Hate it because, well, you know, the clog. Right now, it has a green channel, still makes great prints, even for green, but waste a lot of ink cleaning every so often.

I am debating to junk it and get a Cannon. Sigh

The P800 is still on sale here, A$1596 = US$1,005. But a set of inks for these printers totals A$711. I guess professionals can recoup the cost, but it's out of the question for me.

My Stylus Photo R2880 is still going and will have to see me out, I think, as long as I can still get the inks. Even those cost me about A$250 a set. It's an expensive business, really too expensive for a home enthusiast.

I was one of the last HP B9180 hold outs that I loved but had stripped down twice and had one carriage stall too many. I gave it away and now am in the market for a new printer.

Had set my heart on the Canon Pro 1000 but now may need to await the interweb reaction to the P900. I prefer Canon's attitude towards sharing ICC profiles and third party paper but if the P900 is substantially better, choice will be hard.

Hopefully wise people like Keith at Northlight Images will get test samples soonest.

My Epson R3000 has worked well since 2013 when I stopped using non-Epson ink. However, a week before Epson announced the new P700 it started distributing large blopps of black ink on both sides of the paper it was printing on. I was disappointed that this happened, but the timing of the announcement of the new 700 was good, I had not yet bought a new printer.

I have not treated my printer well. It has had to travel 1200 kilometers twice a year, and sometimes I have not used it for a month or more.

Epson has said that deliveries of the 700 will start in April. I have checked av availability regularly since it was announced, but so far with no result. But April still has a few days left.

What I like about the 700 is that it ha separate plumbing for glossy and matte ink and that it is significantly smaller than the R3000. I do not like that the ink has gotten more expensive.
I hope wifi will work as well as it does with the R3000.

And, yes I have decided to print weekly on the new 700. Perhaps just a small postcard, but weekly.

And, I have had no problems with r3000 prints fading, as far as I can see. I cannot say that for my analogue prints, some of which I must have washed insufficiently.

I was totally satisfied with my old Epson 2200. I used the QTR for B&W and I was fine. The kids moved back in for a bit,like 3 year bit, the printer got packed up (lost my room) and when it came out Apple and Epson OS's had grown apart. I haven't printed in 8 years now and I would have LOVED to have been printing during my C19 break. Epson? Canon? Nothing but complaints or praises.
I have during my C19 break been going through many many boxes of prints. It ain't a photo till it's a print. I gotta print. Me, not a lab, me.
Are they all junk?

I thought I read somewhere that the 50ml carts are for the P700, and the P900 takes 100ml carts?

[Afraid not. According to the Epson Sales Reference Guide, "Large 25 mL (SC-P700)/ High Capacity 50 mL (SC-P900) ink cartridges." That's a cut-and-paste. --Mike]

Those smallish cartridges are bad news indeed. In my opinion, bigger cartridges and a replaceable maintenance cartridge are the only reason to buy these 17'' printers over the smaller models. Printing on A2 is not an option anyway, since at least on my 3880 the paper feed mechanism isn't able to reliably position these big sheets with sufficient accuracy. Time to check out Canon printers when my 3880 dies.

I'm waiting for color laser printers with photo quality to become available. Duplex printing on thin paper (< 200 gsm) with inkjet printers is a pain - random magenta ink stains, black smear on paper edges, warped paper, you name it.

Best, Thomas

I just did a search, but could not find a P-900 locally, did find a P-800. I saw the cost of ink for that printer and then I flashed back to why I lost interest in digital printing. I have been priced out of a lot of the things I used to do.

It was so much cheaper back in the film and darkroom days. But of course that can be said about a lot of things.

Each time a new printer is announced, I think seriously about getting one. And then I don't. I am still using my Epson 2880 which I bought many years back, not sure exactly when. I don't do a huge amount of printing, so it sometimes sits for up to months on end without being used, and then I will crank out a hundred or so prints. I have never experienced a clog – ever. I am not sure if my experience is exceptional, or if this is another case of the happy users being quiet, but it has put me off upgrading.

It is not perfect. I have yet to figure out how to front feed heavier paper stock, the ink tanks are too small and cost too much, and it won't work over wi-fi for some reason. I would love to upgrade to something that did away with these problems. Will need to see what the internet decides.

I would get either a Canon Pro 10 or Pro 100. I love my Canon Pro 100, the best printer I've had by far. Always works, never clogs. Obtainable at a give away price. Great quality. Inks are pricey, but aren't they always? You can leave it 3 months and it starts up and prints with no problems. When I think back at how my Epsons and HPs were constantly needing nozzle checks and wasteful cleaning, I shudder. I think you may have taken in a little too much of the Epson marketing spiel.

I am still going strong on the original Epson 3800. Reasons for purchasing at the time... Epson reputation for fine art printing,4000 series was too big and needed to be used more than I needed and the cost per mm of ink, via the 80ml refills. It was a good compromise. I may soon have to consider replacing my old 3800 friend, but if the size of the carts are reduced without a corresponding drop in the cost I will not be going back to Epson.

Gosh, a lot of folks complaining about Epson printers and/or the difficulty of inkjet printing in general. I wonder how many of them experienced darkroom printing and all its required work and potential issues. Printing has never been ‘plug and play’; no more so than expecting a modern camera to produce great pictures without careful thought. A good eye and good decision making, along with some common sense, have always been key.

I had an Epson 3800, which I donated after 7 years (functioning well) to a local art college photography program. The P800 replacement is still going strong. It cranked right up yesterday when I finally got around to making a final print I had worked on 4 weeks earlier. I will say, however, that ImagePrint software makes workflow (and life) a lot easier by optimizing certain key variables. The P900 certainly looks interesting, but I’ll wait for reviews by a few trusted resources to understand real world experiences. And to see about those ink costs.

One more vote for dye-based printers. If you are an enthusiast who prints infrequently, they are the way to go. I only print for friends and family and have always used inexpensive dye-based Canon printers. Back in the day, I printed many 8x10’s and 5x7 cards on my little letter sized Canon printers and those 10 year old prints stored in ITOYA portfolios still look great.

Over time I’ve printed less and less and when I bought my 6D I picked up the PRO-100 from B&H for less than a hundred bucks as part of a package deal. The cameras 20MP sensor gives me uncropped 12x18 prints at 304PPI and I’ve been very happy with the printer. While it’s true the PRO-100’s cartridges are tiny and the ink expensive, the printer is indestructible. I’ve never worried about a clogged print head and the prints look great. I have 12x18 inch prints hanging on my walls that are 5 years old and still look great. While I have not seen any Wilhelm tests for my ChromaLife 100+ inks, I imagine the permanence of manufacturer ink and paper will make me happy for years to come. If you absolutely must have that high-end pigment option, you should probably listen to Gordon.

Another happy user here of the Canon Pixma Pro-10, which I've had for about 5 years. I use it to make 13x19 B&W prints, and I do so only twice a year (intentionally), about 15-20 prints each time. Yet I've rarely had any problems with clogging, and when I have, they were easily cleared up. I have had issues with getting the wireless connection to work properly, but that's about it.

Before getting the PRO-10 I had a home darkroom, which I used extensively. My Pro-10 prints easily match my darkroom prints, and in most cases are noticeably better -- even for the same image. If an amateur like me can get such satisfactory results, I'm really puzzled at all the complaints about how difficult digital printing is.

My experience of printing is now from some time ago. I only ever wanted to print B&W, a sort of darkroom replacement, so the colour printers were never really ideal. The main problem was that I used to print in batches, with sometimes months between those batches, which inevitably led to clogging and a waste of ink. I just never found the process of printing monochrome with colour inks at all satisfying, and the results were just ok.

I have often looked into the state of the art of printing with just permanent black inks, but my initial excitement when I begin to pore the forums soon wanes when the complexity of the kludges that very talented people have devised to perfect this art becomes clearer. That, and continued complaints about clogging heads, in the end defeats any initial enthusiasm and I retreat to using Whitewall.

I was paying attention sir - http://www.glirarium.org/bilch/literatur/doctor.html

One way to solve the ridiculous-price-of-branded-ink-problem is to make your own, at least for monochrome printing.

The cheapest available ink is DIY carbon pigment ink. It also happens to provide the highest quality printing in skilled hands and is the most archival ink available.

The only drawback is you have mix the inks yourself and fill reusable cartridges. For those who miss the old wet darkroom processes, that may even be home from home.

If you go the whole hog and mix your own dilution base from raw ingredients, the ink costs can be a low as 1% of typical colour inks.

I've been doing this for a couple of years and it comes with the bonus that you can use inexpensive Epson printers (such as Claria ink printers). I have a pair of XP960 printers, one for carbon mono, one for colour, which are 6 channel Claria HD all-in-ones. They have a neat trick of combining the footprint of an A4 printer with A3 capability from the rear feed and cost about 1/3rd of a P600 class printer.

The acknowledged expert on Carbon-6 open source ink is Paul Roark. You can read more than you could ever want on his site: https://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/

You can also read about my own experiences as a complete carbon pigment beginner here: http://whisperingcat.co.uk/wp/article/printing-bw-with-a-dedicated-printer-and-monochrome-inkset/

(Note to self: I really should update that article with pictures).



P-600 user here, satisfied with print quality but I had a few mechanical problems, feeding system broken twice in three years.

The smaller sizes of the two new prints is interesting to me assumed the print quality is the same or probably better because of the carbon black and new inks.

I'll give a deep look at the P-900 when it will be available in Europe.

I like to print :-) having all the process under my control is a great satisfaction.

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