i need to buy something for to print positives. i understand the epson 3000 has been an industry standard for a long time, but i'm worried about buying one used, and how long supplies will be available, and does it print 17 x 22? or some smaller image size (current ebay auctions say both 17 x 22 and 13 x 18 max image size)? i thought about buying a 1520 until someone told me both: they thought it was out of production, and it only prints 13 x 18. then i was going to buy a 1280 but they can't get one and they think IT's going out of production. i can't really afford a 7600, nor do i really have room for it, but if i have to go to the new 4000 to get a decent print size, maybe i should just drop the extra $1100 and get a 7600. epson is tearing me apart.
man i am in the market for something too. its hard to find a lot of good info on these printers as far as for making film. there is the epson 22oo that does 13" by 44" off a roll. i think its around 700.00 bucks. they sell it as a package deal on screenprinters.net too with rip software. i think the 4000 is the best bang for the buck. but it seesm like the 2200 is a good affordable solution. and they make some crazy bulk ink systems too. let me know what happens!
as far as rolls of film go the only printers that really do them with dead on registration (epson models at least) are the epson 7600 and 9000. The 3000 and lower models don't have a motor driven roll feed so the registration isn't so good on rolls.
with that said i know for a fact that the 3000 has pretty fucking great registration on the 17x22 film sheets. We ran at least 10,000 of those sheets through our Epson 3000 with very very few problems. we now run a 7600.
when we got our epson it was like a dream come true.
Other film...Posjet.com in the USA, get it from me in Canada. (squeegeeville.com click on products) Get in touch with David in Seattle and he will send you some sample sheets to try.
Epson 3000 is an old noisy thing but is a workhorse, you can use refills and a bulk feed, which you have problems with on the newer models (they want you to buy their cartridges) I print 8.5x11 up to 17x22 film.
I've got a local artist using a 7600 and he gets good results making film on Posjet and he also prints 'giclee' prints on archival paper.
i didn't think the posjet fim was all that good, the ink didn't dry very well on it, at least compared to what i'm getting now. It is priced right though.
I had the same complaint from a couple of customers regarding the US screen film, the inks wouldn't dry. they keep ordering the posjet. and seem to like it. I know the coating formulation got changed 2 years ago, it is much better now. What are you using Andy? - it seems like there is lots of treated film available now as more and more shops start using inkjet posis through their larger printers.
I think part of the issue is the density and consistancy of the ink lay, and part is the receptive coating on the film.
Whatever the printer and film, it is one of the best advances in screen printing technology in the last 10 years. I can't imagine paste-up and shooting with a stat camera anymore.