Kyle, If you really want to save some money then find a 7600.
The newest Epsons are great but they really are too smart. the X600 line was the last of their dumb machines and they had a film setting that said I don't think you can print directly from the newest OS/CS on a x600 line.
I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever you get though.
Thanks for the input. You're right - that model is a helluva bargain, they appear to be available on ebay steadily for well under a grand, and I've previously read through just about everything I could find on the subject here on GP so I know people tend to love 'em.
Originally Posted by squeegeethree
What do you mean by "too smart"? I know they've got fancy features, but do you mean "too smart for their own good," like it becomes harder to use them or something? Definitely sensitive to that.
Saving money definitely isn't the priority — if I can save some getting what I want, great. I've been through so many printers at this point buying new (possibly refurb) is really attractive to me, especially with Epson touting this whole clog-free and self-cleaning head.
If I just wanted a film printer, I wouldn't even consider buying new given my business. But I do intend to take advantage of color printing—not a whole lot but not just anecdotally either.
Here's a wrinkle I didn't mention earlier. I have an Epson 9800. I traded for it (buncha screen printing ink I didn't really need from a massive craigslist score) knowing full well the heads would likely be fully clogged and they were. After trying some power cleanings and letting it sit for months, I finally had time to do some homework and learned how to use cleaning fluid to get them clear (by parking the head carriage on damp paper towel several times, jiggling, saturating the park-pad things, and flushing the lines with a syringe).
I put it back together, plugged it in, fired it up and sent a test print to it. To my total surprise it start printing clear as day (before I wouldn't anything at all; it would think it was printing but ink never made it to the paper).
Then, like The Shining, thick beads of dense magenta ink came streaming down the paper. I killed the job and opened it back up, cleaned as much as I could (it'd take a week) and found the source of the problem which is basically that I busted the connection of the magenta tube to the print head.
The upshot being that I should be able to fix that sucker for real now. But since it's a monster, bigger than I need, and I presume far more prone to wasting time and ink keeping clear, I think it makes more sense to fix it and sell than it does to fix it and use it.
By too smart I mean that it has dual optical sensors in it that lock out the printer from printing on weird substrates. THe #600 line will print on almost anything, #800 is also capable of printing on odd things. But the subsequent models are harder to trick. This can be a problem when trying to print film I'm told. The newest models are far superior for printing straight digital color jobs though. They have the hexachromic ink system which does a much better job of printing rich colors than the older models. They are also faster. As far as clogging and ink usage I imagine they are all pretty similar really. You have to use these printers daily to keep them working properly.
I've had no problems with my 7890, it's been great. A couple of the color lines clogged a little bit when I let it go about a month with just printing films and not printing anything full color....but that's normal and is my stupid fault for not printing a couple images off to keep things fresh. You can run cleaning cycles on specific pairs of colors, so I just figured out which ones weren't printing and ran a couple cycles on just those colors as opposed to a full cleaning cycle. Opened everything back up no problem. Now I just print off a couple small full color photos every week or two in between printing films. Luther (squeegeethree) recommended Lexjet to me, thats where I got mine. They were helpful and easy to work with. I bought when Epson was offering a pretty nice instant rebate on it. I can't remember exactly how much it was but it saved me a few hundred at least. The films it makes aren't as solid black as the Epson 1400 with dye based ink that I was using previously, but they definitely work just as well. This is the first large format professional level printer I've ever used, so I really can't compare or give any other advice besides "it works for me!"
*editted for redundancy
I haven't had any problems with mine recognizing the Fixxons film I use, but I have read on here somewhere that people have had that problem with other printers. Doesn't a direct light shining down on the printer sometimes mess with those sensors?
We've had good luck with our 13" HP printer. I forget what model, but it actually has settings for transparencies and lets you adjust how much ink you want to lay down along with turning just the black ink cartridge on. We are looking to upgrade to this soon. HP-Designjet-T120
Bought an Epson Stylus Pro 7900 today from Lexjet. Can't wait to get her all set up.
It was actually cheaper than the 7890 because of instant rebate by a hundo but by MSRP is listed $1.5K higher. Considering they're basically the same machine it seemed like a nobrainer investment-wise. I doubt the addition of the green and orange in the HDR ink set will make an appreciable difference for my purposes.
Thanks for your input Aaron and Luther, much appreciated. Now I'ma go order me a roll of this Fixxons film...
Congrats on your new printer. very exciting. I just found out that if you order 5 or more rolls of Chromeline Accublack from TW graphics you get a deep discount. I remember really liking Accublack at when I used to use it. $177 per roll at 44" x 100' seems like a pretty good deal.
I'm about to pull the trigger on a new 7890, as part of Crosshair's 2013 year-end capital improvement initiative...$2495 with instant rebate, from B&H.
Increased heart rate...
Dan you will not regret that decision. I got the 7900 (same printer plus green + orange inks) for the same price last spring. It is a godsend. It's also a lot bigger than you might realize btw.
Originally Posted by crosshair
The Chromaline films work great. You can also use both photo black and matte black: I've found that matte black gives slightly sharper results (less migration) but it gets on your hands kind of like toner whereas the photo black does not. Frankly they both have been great for all of my needs thus far and that includes the 340ppi dither you saw.
Also, methinks you'll be printing Giclées sooner than later. I was concerned that I'd have to print something in color every day, which is annoying when you leave it loaded up with film 90% of the time, but so far with the automatic cleaning I haven't had any clog issues even after a month of only printing black.