I am looking at possibly upgrading my photo printer. I have noticed that many people who do their own prints use an Epson 3800 or 4000. Is there any other printers that people out there have used with some success?
I have used the Epson 7600 and 9800 and they are great printers, but like Doug said they do go through ink. Also, I don't know about the newer Epsons but the ones I had required you to do an ink swap between photo black and matte black inks which wasted a lot of ink - read as $$$.
I now have the Canon iPF6100 and it is fantastic. The iPF5100 would fit your size requirements perfectly. And the Canon printers have both blacks on board at the same time and the proper ink is selected based on the paper type selected.
The Epson and Canon printers are both incredible printers but I am now leaning to the canon.
My studio has been using Epson's for about nine years - currently we're using an Epson 9600 44" with photo black inks. Although we have been extremely pleased with the quality of the prints, we have had print head / nozzle issues with ALL the Epson printers we have owned - particularly dried nozzles and deflected nozzles. The Epson's we have owned did not allow for individual print head cleanings, so if one print head needed cleaning then all print heads went thru a cleaning cycle which wastes A LOT of ink and fills up the maintenance tank (which collects wasted ink from print head cleanings). For example, our old Epson 1280 did not allow to replace the maintenance tank, when it was full the printer would not print properly and the printer needed to be replaced. We have had numerous mechanical issues with our 9600 and we were also not at all happy with the Epson Service Contract we purchased with the printer. We purchased a 3 yr contract and after 2 yrs we were informed that Epson was no longer honoring service contracts for that printer model. So, we will not be purchasing another Epson printer for our studio. I am currently looking into the HP Z3100 and similar models from HP.
Well, this has been our experience with Epson products
Shawn Young | Vulcania Graphics & Fine Art, LLC | www.vgafa.com
I've also had some similar issues with my epson printers - a 4000, 7600, 7800. The print head have a limited life, and when the one in my 7600 died, Epson wanted a huge amount of money to fix it. I ended up reselling it to a local dealer, who gave me $1500 off on an Epson 7800 for it.
I also share a large format 44" Canon with my cousin who is just down the road. As of yet, the only issue we've had with that is the cutter. It seems some of the stocks we're using - like Canvas - are a bit on the thick side. It's an easy fix though, we just use a knife to cut it ourselves. Otherwise, the machine has really worked well.
I'm not sure what my next machine will be, but I would take a serious look at both Canon and HPs offerings. It used to be that Epson was the on;y company offering printer profiles, and machine made for serious photographic work, but this is no longer true. With the advent of personal spectrophotometers like X-Rite's eye one, and the Colorvision Spider line, you can get great color from any of the three main brands.