What do they say about printers in discussion groups?

Cartridge Correct resolution when printing ? Specific Questions PrintHeads and Clogging Running costs Which printer to buy?

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What is the correct resolution to use when printing?

red bullet gif imageadrijanus@juno.com had May 02, 2002 the following comment regarding 240dpi vs 300 dpi at www.luminous-landscape.com1
There seem to be one thing that I never hear anyone talk about, and that is:

Too many people seem too concerned about what a print looks up close with the naked eye, or perhaps after going over it with a loupe!

If a print is framed, and hangs on the wall, are you going to put your nose to the glass to see the image?

I have printed 13x19 size images on my Epson 3000 printer, which is certainly not as good as the latest offerigns from Epson, and had a 35mm slide test scanned at only 1000ppi, and yet, the results viewed from a distance were quite acceptable. I never heard a negative word from anyone about the print, and yet, many people saw it! I even sold a number of pritns from that same scan. True, when you look closely, you see problems.

I have since scanned that same slide at higher res, and the print is better, but still... the differences were not as great as I had expected. Up close: oh yes, but from a distance: not that much.

Another example: before I got my own scanner I had a 6x17cm image test scanned on a Umax scanner at only 1000ppi. I then made a print on my Epson 3000 at around 200dpi. Up close, the image is not totally perfect and the printer's "dots" are somewhat visible. But again, when viewed from the proper viewing distance, of at least 2 yards, it looks just great, and it looks sharp too.

Epson gave me a panoramic poster printed on a Pro 10000. Same story: up close not quite perfect; from a distance: fantastic.

Duke Ellington once said: if it sounds good, it is good (put a speaking emphasis on both "sound" and "is").

I would like to paraphrase the great Duke:

"If it looks good, it is good."

(only other option: become a total slave to technology; technology we need, and better technology is great, but be always beware of the overkill and the nervous hype that seems often the order of the day, especially on some chat groups, hopefully current forum excepted).
My 2 cents worth.

' red bullet gif image Richard on Thursday, May 02, 2002 made following comments
I found some more information on file resolution at the following web address: http://www.pictorico.com

Set the resolution to 360 dpi. If the file is not big enough for the size of the print you want at 360 dpi, decrease the dpi to increase the size in inches. However, the minimum setting we have found for good results is 240 dpi. Anything over 360 dpi increases the time it takes to print the file but does not provide extra detail. It is best to keep to numbers that divide evenly into the printer resolution of 1440 dpi, such as 360 dpi, 288 dpi or 240 dpi.
Also, read the tutorial on Luminous-Landscape "Understanding Resolution".

red bullet gif image Craig Norris (Craignorris) on Thursday, May 02 made this last comments ?
Above numbers would work for an Epson printer. Canon users should set numbers which divide nicely into 1200, so that interpolation is avoided in the printer. For that reason, I don't think 288 is a good number for an Epson printer. I get best results at 360 for "arms length" prints. 240 works well for "two metres away on a wall" prints. I avoid any number in between 240 and 360 because those numbers require the printer to interpolate, and I can see the resulting degradation. 720 is Epson's base resolution, not 1440. 288 doesn't go evenly into 720.

I also agree with Adri's very pragmatic comments above about viewing distance.

red bullet gif imageBarry Pearson at http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/photography/ gives the following answer February 18 Year 2001
Keep totally separate in your mind the concept of "pixels per inch" (ppi) and "dots per inch" (dpi). I suspect that some of your confusion arises from thinking that they are similar.

Photoshop is a pixel-manipulation package - your image is all about pixels. You simply have a rectangular array of pixels. It is not a dot manipulation package, and on the whole doesn't care about them.

When you want to print, you need perhaps 200 to 300 of those pixels for every inch on the paper. (Some say 150 minimum, some say go even higher if you can - that is not the point here).

Now those pixels that you print with are turned - by some types of printer - into several ink dots per pixel. The printer spec may talk about (say) 1400 x 700 dpi - but those are dots, NOT pixels. But typically you simply don't need to know this! I suspect you could go through life without even thinking about dots " dots per inch" dpi if you wanted to. You could let Photoshop or presumably the printer driver worries about this.

Now re-examine your text above - I think that sometimes when you mention "dpi" you are actually talking about pixels ppi, and sometimes really about dots dpi.

I would urge you think pixels while working in Photoshop or preparing for a screen, think inches (or centimetres) when preparing to print, try to avoid working in ppi (except as a check that you have enough pixels), and see if you can avoid thinking of dots dpi (and elephants ...).

red bullet gif image Lars ekdahl gives the following commen :
Good point Barry.

What you are saying is also illustrated at http://www.imaging-resource.com/TIPS/PRINT1/PRINT1A.HTM

red bullet gif image DarkCraft (dc@blobcorp.com) answer February 18 Year 2002 :
Not only that in fact - an inkjet printer uses four colour inks to simulate every pixel's worth of colour in the image. A single pixels worth of a particular pink, i.e. 1 dot of 300 per inch in your digitally designed image, might actually physically need several combined dots of CMYK within the theoretical dot area to get the final colour. The higher resolution your printer, 2400 for example, the closer you can scruitinise the final printed result without seeing the individual pinpricks of C M Y and K.

If you screw the resolution of your image up to 600, this simply means an individual pixel will occupy less area on the printed output of your inkjet, and thus each pixel will recieve fewer pinpricks of ink. This is where the windows driver limitation kicks in. Although in theory things could be so scalable that a single inkjet pinprick represents one pixel (result quality notwithstanding), in fact this is not supported.

Professional printing works entirely differently (at least conventional printing) - a physical process that rolls the ink on to the page using halftoning and screens for its colour blends. Obviously there would be no point in using tiny pinpricks of each ink because of the potential inaccuracies, smearing, and lack of ink pickup.

Definitely, the highest useful resolution when creating any image is 300dpi, above that it's not useful for professional printing, and your results wont improve either.

Hope this helps. :)
-- E: dc@blobcorp.com

red bullet gif image Barry Pearson (news@childsupportanalysis.co.uk) answer March 7 Year 2002 The question:
What is the maximum ppi that different printers+drivers can exploit?
-There appear to be 2 separate things on the paper coming out of the 2000P, neither of which precisely corresponds to what the pixels were in the original image:

- There are 1440 x 720 dots per inch of paper. Each dot is an attempt to print a colour resembling the corresponding position in the digital image. However, the printer is incapable of printing an individual dot in all the colours that an image can have (dots have a "small gamut"), so each dot is likely to be in error. Therefore, adjacent dots have the errors in different directions, so that to the eye the errors cancel out. (Collections of dots have the "full gamut" that the printer is capable of).

- There are several ink blobs per dot. So a dot is built up from ink blobs comprising black, yellow, magenta, cyan, light magenta, and light cyan. (I don't yet know how many ink blobs there are per dot - that is one of the missing pieces).

How do dots correspond to the pixels in the image? Well, the image is held by the printer driver as 720 pixels per inch to be printed, so the very last stage of handling the image is to resample it (if necessary) from whatever it is in Photoshop (or whatever is attempting to print it) to 720 ppi x 720 ppi. Everyone of these represents a tiny square of the paper, and each square will become 2 dots, and each dot will have several blobs of ink.

Let me add that a blob is also called a droplet.
You would like numbers for the Epson 2000P, but I only have a Canon S800. So I will give you some numbers for the Canon and let you guess how they might relate to the Epson.

The Canon ink cartridge (BCI-6) is marked as containing 13 ml of ink. I printed 45 pages before the photo magenta ran out. I will assume that I used the full 13 ml although there was still some in the sponge. The Canon blob size is 4 pl, so there are 3,250,000,000 blobs per tank. When the photo magenta ran out I looked at the other tanks and estimated I had used a total of 39 ml of all inks combined. My ink usage since then agrees with that. So remember that my total ink usage is three time the photo magenta. We will use that number later. The number of photo magenta blobs per page is 3,250,000,000/45 = 72,000,000. And per square inch is 72,000,000/80 = 900,000. And per Canon square is 900,000/(600 x 600) = 2.5.

So my prints averaged 2.5 blobs of photo magenta per square. And 3 x 2.5 = 7.5 total blobs of ink per square. My prints are not real dark or saturated and they are not real light. I would guess that the paper could hold about twice as much ink as I have been printing. So I would guess it could hold about 15 blobs per square. The Canon has 8 dot positions per square [(1200 x 2400) / (600 x 600)], so that means that it can print 2 blobs of different colors in one dot position.

I would be interested in hearing the numbers for the Epson.

red bullet gif image From a document found at http://www.signschool.co.kr I qoute:
What's the difference between true resolution, addressable resolution, and apparent resolution?
The true resolution of inkjet printers is measured in dots-per-inch (dpi). A 600-dpi printer means that each dot is 1/600th of an inch in size, placed in a 600-space/in. x 600- space/in. grid. A 300-dpi printer, means that each dot is 1/300th of an inch in size, placed in a grid with 300 x 300 spaces/ sq in.

An addressable resolution of 600 dpi means that dots larger than 1/600th of an inch (e.g., 1/300th of an inch) are placed in a 600 dots-per-inch grid.

Apparent resolution isn't a mathematical measurement, but rather describes how images are perceived by the human eye. Resolution is the smallest contributer in high quality photo prints vs. number of colors used and dot size. "Smaller dots like those in the Epson PM-950C 7-color, 2 picolitre inkjet. A picoliter is a millionth of a millionth of a liter. Depending on the resolution of the printer, inkjet drop sizes range from three or four picoliters to more than 25 picoliters."

But there's much more to image quality than resolution. In theory, smaller dot sizes will produce finer details, sharper text, and smoother curves. But if the dots aren't shaped properly or placed precisely where they need to be, resolution really doesn't matter. In actuality, some 300-dpi printers are capable of producing output that looks better than images output at 1440 dpi. You have to look and judge for yourself.

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Specific questions!

240 vs 360 dpi output...is this because of hex vs quad?
red bullet gif image When printing, 240 or 360ppi seems to be the recommended file resolution for output from 1440dpi inkjet printers. Is this because of the number of ink heads used, i.e., 6 vs 4 ? In other words, 240 is OK with a hextone printer (1440/6=240) and 360 for a quadtone printer (1440/4=360) for a specific-sized print? Would 2 prints of identical print dimensions appear equal in quality at these settings from the respective printers (assuming everything else equal), or am I missing something here?

No. There is no direct numeric correlation between pixel pitch (ppi) and the printer output resolution in dpi. It takes several dots from the inkjet printhead to represent the color and value data from image pixels. In practice, any image resolution higher than approximately 300ppi doesn't translate to any more visible detail on the print. And depending on the image file, I've gotten fine print results with as low as 180ppi image output resolution. Remember that the printer resolution is 1440 dpi (or 2880 in more recent printers) in one direction but only 720 dpi in the other. In addition, the actual dot size varies and the printer includes a stochiastic (random) dot pattern image interpreter that assures there will never be a direct correlation to image file pixels. Some people give out resolution recommendations as if they were cast in stone. Take these numbers as suggestions for inkjet printing and trust your own eyes to determine where pixellation is an issue for a given image at the desired output size.

red bullet gif image Chad Waldman (chad.waldman@mail.com) wrote January 22, 2002:
Pixel Resolution for 5x7's

I was wondering, what is a good resolution to convert jpegs to and still print nice 5x7's? I currently save as 1600x1200 but I think this is overkill. Is 1024x768 sufficient?
Appreciate the help.

One answer was:

There is no direct numeric correlation between pixel pitch (ppi) and the printer output resolution in dpi. It takes several dots from the inkjet printhead to represent the color and value data from image pixels. In practice, any image resolution higher than approximately 300ppi doesn't translate to any more visible detail on the print. And depending on the image file, You can probaly get fine print results with as low as 180ppi image output resolution. Remember that the printer resolution is 1440 dpi (or 2880 in more recent printers) in one direction but only 720 dpi in the other. In addition, the actual dot size varies and the printer includes a stochiastic (random) dot pattern image interpreter that assures there will never be a direct correlation to image file pixels. Some people give out resolution recommendations as if they were cast in stone. Take these numbers as suggestions for inkjet printing and trust your own eyes to determine where pixellation is an issue for a given image at the desired output size.

From http://www.luminous-landscape.com/sharpness.htm I quote" It's worth noting that a 6 colour 1440 dpi inkjet printer (like the Epson 1270 / 1280 / 2000P Photo printers) when fed a 360 dpi output file, is capable of about 16 pixel per millimeter. This translates to 8 lp/mm - right in the high-end of the ballpark for meeting the limits of human vision's ability to discern maximum sharpness.

This also explains why the latest generation of printers speced at 2880 dpi (like the Epson 1280/1290) don't make prints that look any sharper to the naked eye. Under a loupe, yes, but not unaided. The reason why, we can now appreciate is because at about 8 lp/mm we are already near the limits of the eye's ability to resolve fine detail. All we end up with is slower print speeds and greater ink usage."

"...Also be aware of that printers, such as the models 870/1270/2000P are (somewhat misleadingly) listed as 1440 dpi printers. This means that they are capable of laying down that many dots per inch. But, to create a colour image they need to use 6 different inks, so any particular pixel reproduced on a print will be composed of some dithered composite of coloured dots using some or all of these inks. That's why you need more dots from your printer than you have pixels in your image. If you divide 1440 by 6 you end up with 240. This is the true minimum resolution needed to get a high quality photo-realistic prints from a 1440 dpi Epson printer. Many user, myself included, believe that a 360 ppi output file can produce a somewhat better print. If my original scan is big enough to allow this I'll do so but I don't bother ressing up a file to more than 240 ppi when making large prints...."

Hope this clear the fog?

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PrintHead and Clogging
red bullet gif image
Gary asked in the luminous-landscape forum April 12 , 2003

Recently I purchased the epson 2200 printer and wondered if anyone has any good suggestions for reducing the possibility of the print heads from clogging. How often should the print heads be cleaned? I don't want to overdo anything but at the same time I want to make sure I am up on preventative maintenance.

Jonathan Ratzlaff answered April 12 , 2003
If it behaves the same as any other epson printer, keep it turned off when you are not using it. This caps the heads and keeps them from drying out. this is what I do with my other printers and have not had a problem with clogging. I expect by keeping my 2200 shut off when not using it this should keep this printer from clogging

´ Dale Cotton answered April 12 , 2003

Preventing head clogging is mainly about keeping the nozzles from drying out. In addition to Jonathan's valuable tip, here are a few other I've garnered.

- Keep the ambient humidity from going below 20% (or above 80%). That's the figure the manual gives, but I'd be nervous going that low, myself.

- Never take off a cartridge without putting another one in it's place. Exposing the nozzle to air is what causes clogs. A so-called empty cartridge still has a few ml of ink in it, so leave an empty cartridge in place until you can replace it.

- So far as I know, the head cleaning cycle is for clearing clogs and does not have any preventative value.

- Remember to shake a new cartridge before use.

- Keep partially-used cartridges in plastic bags so no grit gets on the ink outlet and from there into the nozzle.

- Use cartridges within 6 months, according to the packaging. My guess is that the pigment can settle out into clumps after that time.
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Ken Birks asked June 15, 2002
My Canon S800 has some clogged jets. The cleaning cycle doesn't clear them and I am thinking of trying more rigorous methods. Anyone any experience? I seem to be very unlucky. Most similar problems seem to present with Epsons and I've not seen complaints about Canons in this respect!

Gene S, genes@thegateway.net answered June 15, 2002
I've used "Windex" as well. It's the ammonia in the formula that softens the dried ink. I, still find that a well, alcohol saturated cotten ball does the job quicker and does not lint or damage the jets. I've done it many times without problem!

red bullet gif image
The primary cause of "clogging" of Epson inkjets is getting air-bubbles into the extremely precise fixed print heads. The easiest way to do this is to remove an ink-cartridge when the Epson driver says it is empty and then re-insert it because it still has some ink left in it.
Unfortunately the old Epson printers would then reset the ink-use counter and assume you had just inserted a brand-new one, and let you continue printing until the cartridge physically ran out of ink, and thus get air into the print heads.

Of course Epson did not like to advertise the fact that their ink-monitoring was so bad they had to issue the low-ink warning when there was still a good amount of ink left and force you to throw away an already expensive cartridge. This meant a lot of users who thought they were being economical mysteriously found themselves with terrible "clogging" problems caused by the air bubble.

The other easy way to get air in the heads is by either using a sloppy cartridge refilling method without creating the correct vacuum pressure.

Lastly, using the non-Epson papers, particularly cheap bond paper intended for photo-copiers could cause physical clogging if material from the uncoated surface got onto the heads.

However, the new 870, 875DC and 1270 use Epson's new Intellidge ink cartridge, which contains a smart chip that stores the precise amount of ink used and can stop the printer before it is in danger of getting air in the heads, which should greatly reduce the "clogging" problems. Again though, you will want to avoid using cheap non-Epson or non-coated paper.

You pays yer money, you takes yer pick....
-- Love and sloppy ones, Aunty Dan

red bullet gif imageDolmanx wrote March 15 Year 2000:
I have used my stylus color 800 for two years without a problem and the printing quality suddenly became terrible. The printer is printing stray marks all over the page. When I printed out the nozzel check one of the segments was out of alignment as shows:

It is not a clogged nozzel but this one segment out of alignment is killing the print quality. I have run the alignment utility 5 times and this segment never gets any better. I installed new chartridges and this has not helped either. I called Epson and they told me to bring it in for repair. Any idea what I can do to fix this problem short of a trip to the repair center? Is my printhead defective?

This not only will clean the heads but this will align the heads, it is a procedure I usefor both cleaning & head alignment. Compare the test prints as you go to see if you are making any progress.
Follow these closely
(1) while the printer is on hold down the button with the ink drop icons on it for 5 seconds. This will do a clean cycle by the printer. Do this a couple times.

(2) Now shut off the printer and while holding down the paper advance button turn on the printer (don't release the paper advance for at least 5 seconds) this will print a nozzle check pattern. If you have a clog or head out of line repeat the (1) procedure AT LEAST 3-4 times.
Then repeat(2). If the heads are REALLY BAD you may have to keep going more, as long as you can see that the heads are being moved with these cycles.

red bullet gif imageUgo Bellavance wrote March 16:
I think the heads on my epson printer are clogged. The yellow color doesn't go out anymore. Any help would be appreciated, Thanks
Al Anderson answered:
You can check the tips on my FAQ page and also in the article I wrote on Epsons:


My initial suggestion would be to do the following: Move the carriage assembly that holds the ink tanks to the center and remove the ink tanks.
Drip some isopropyl alcohol or windex (actually my cleaning solution is best) into the ink ports that penetrate the tanks. Let set for 30 minutes and then reinstall the ink tanks and do the following procedure as prescribed by Epson:

Head cleaning process for Epson:
If using the printer's cleaning buttons on the control panel does not clear the print head. The printer's cleaning utility program should be used which is a more intense method.

IMPORTANT! A head cleaning and nozzle check page must be performed as a cycle so subsequent cleanings will advance to a higher intensity cleaning cycle. This process ought to be repeated until the nozzle check prints correctly. When the nozzle check prints correctly the printer is ready to go. If you run more than 6 cleaning cycles and the nozzle check is still not printing correctly, the ink cartridge may need replacement or the printer may require service. First make sure your printer has fresh ink cartridges then do the following in Windows:

1. Click Start - Printer - Settings in Windows 95/98
or open Control Panel - Printers in Windows 3.1
2. Click on your Stylus printer model
3. Click on Properties
4. Click on Utilities
5. Run Nozzle Check

6. Check printout for missing black or color ink. If any lines are missing, that indicates a clogged ink nozzle(s)
7. Click on Head Cleaning
8. Run Nozzle Check
9. Repeat head cleaning/nozzle check 3 times
10. If no improvement, repeat cleaning/nozzle check sequence up to 6 times

Depending on the severity of the blockage, after going through this cycle up to 6 times (with fresh ink cartridges) some improvement should be noticed, if not totally cleared. If improvement is noticed, continue the cleaning/nozzle check cycles until the blockage is cleared. Slight improvement may be seen after each cycle. This could require many cleaning cycles in sets of 3 cleaning/nozzle checks but as long as improvement is continous it should solve the problem.

********************** Cheers & Happy Printing,

red bullet gif image BrenM whrote March 17:
Epson 1270/870 ink going to clog again? Did they fix the clogging issues with the new printers?

Dennis answered:
I use several different Epsons a 1200 Photo(averages over 50 8x10 full color prints on any given day) and 900 Stylus here at work as well as a P1100 HP Photosmart, and a BJC-7004 they are used by multiple users and everyone fights to use the 1200 over the rest for photo printers. The 6 color 1200 Photo has never given any trouble, second choice is the 7 color BJC 7004 and the 3 color P1200 HP is our last choice. I personally use a 750 Photo at home but just ordered the new 1270 Photo today. Everyone doesn't drive a Ford nor Chevrolet exclusively, people just have different experiences and choices in preferences. As for your header's question, not one day of trouble out of our company printers and mine has never missed a beat.

Teo, Singapore answered:
Yeah, I got one too. It's lying on a corner of my house. Epson Stylus 1500 color. They were doing the same thing. Banging printer head on the right side of the printer console. I have an urge to start a newsgroup to make sure these people at Epson or any other Printer manufacturer would wak up and look into these shortchanges they have come up with.

Davis Israel answered:
I've had 3 Epsons with no problems.... have recommended them to several people with whom I've worked.... no problems there. Maybe you're the exception the proves the rule.... the reason for

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Running costs

red bullet gif image Pete Premock asked January 16, 2002:
How many prints from Epson 880 cartridge?

Derick Miller" (change@consultant.com) answered January 16 :
We have tested both the Epson 600 & 880 compatible cartridges and get 44 to 52 8 X 10 pictures from both. We also tested the HP 78 OEM color cartridge (19ml) and got 67 8X10 pictures. We refill our HP 78 cartridges with 42 ml and get 104 8 x 10 pictures.
I am compiling a chart on the weight and number of copies we get from various cartridges Epson, Lexmark and HP. Compatible & OEM. If you would like a copy, let me know and I will send it to you.

Since we have printed thousands of pictures I can also inform you on what paper we use after trying just about every thing that is on the market. If you are paying more than .10 for either matt or glossy paper, you are paying too much
red bullet gif image Ken Morrison asked :
Modest variations on purchase price are irrelevant, but does anyone have any ideas on comparative operating costs. The HP 930 or 950 look nice, but how do they compare to the Canons with the multiple ink cartridges?

Bob Headrick answered March 30 :
Although it might seem that the costs would follow being more expensive with cartridges with integrated heads, this is not necessarily the case. There is a wide variation of cost per page between different models from a given manufacturer, as well as between manufacturers. See the following url's, and note that the HP DeskJet 895 has about the best cost per page of any of the major manufacturers, for both black and color printing. Having multiple cartridges, one per color, may or may not provide better economy, depending on the ink fill levels.
Look before you leap....
1. computer.cnet

red bullet gif image Grant Taylor wrote March 29:
Well, as you would expect, the Canons are cheaper to run. The "cost heirarchy" of the typical consumer designs from the big makers runs:
Lexmark: most expensive (cartridges with integrated heads)
HP: expensive (cartridges with integrated heads)
Canon: moderate (generally separate ink tanks w/ replacable heads)
Epson: cheapest (generally fixed heads w/ ink tanks)

Xerox, Samsung, and Compaq sell rebadged Lexmarks.

Epson's fixed heads are regarded in some circles as a design flaw. Clogged heads may be irreparable.

Generally for low-volume use in a household, printer operating costs get lost in the noise, even for "expensive"printers; a $40 cartridge every 3 months or so just isn't enough to lose sleep over. This changes based on print volumes and job types: 8x10 photos, for example, can cost over $2 on a Lexmark vs around $1 or less on an Epson.

If you refill your ink cartridges a few times pert cart, you can roughly half the non-paper print cost. I find this to be a big hassle, since the only worthwhile cartridges to refill are also the most trouble: the photo and color cartridges, which contribute to the cost of photo prints, each have three inks to refill. I generally don't bother.

Dennis wrote March 31:
The first generation Epson stylus color 600 printing a 4x6 print at 1400dpi with full color will average a little over 150 prints with a margin of 15+ prints depending if you have much black in the photos, then the more black used the more prints yet. 8x10 prints average around 60 full color with extra ink left easily.
If quality is a concern avoid second hand refills they are never the same color quality and require a little adjusting in advanced settings and then they still are "only close" to to but not the same quality as factory inks.

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Which printer should i buy?
red bullet gif image Epson vs Canon - color settings-which one?

In a newsgroup I read the following December 17, 2004.

Originally posted by Jonathan Wienke http://visual-vacations.com/ on Fred Miranda:

Regarding the topic at hand, I have a Canon S9000 and and Epson 7600, and used to own an Epson 2200. Here's my thoughts:

1. Custom profiles are a must to get the best quality out of any printer, regardless of brand. Sometimes you can get lucky with canned profiles, but don't count on it.

2. Canon printers are WAY faster than Epson. Like 2-4X faster.

3. Canon uses an optical sensor to "see" ink levels in the cartridges, Epsons use the chip system. Both leave some ink in the cartridge when there is an empty indication. Canon cartridges have a sponge that is still saturated with ink when the main reservoir is empty, Epson leaves a bit of ink in the cartridge as well. With Epson, make sure your printer has the latest firmware, and ink waste is minimal.

3. Canon does a good job with both glossy and matte paper. Epson matte prints are excellent; glossy is so-so due to bronzing and gloss differential issues. This can be solved by clearcoating, but that's extra hassle. The Epson R800 does this, but none of their large-format printers do.

4. Canon print longevity is "good enough" for many applications with quality paper and reasonable attention to how the print is displayed, but Epson has a definite edge in this area. If you're selling gallery prints that will be on display for many years, Epson has a definite edge. But that's not to say Canon prints will fade out in a matter of weeks. 20 years from now you will probably be able to see a difference. 2 years from now you probably won't.

5. Canon printers are slightly less expensive to operate than the comparable Epson models due to lower ink costs. But Epson's large-format printers like the 4000, 7600, and 9600 can use the 220ml cartridges that run about $85 at B&H. That's way cheaper than Canon's 11ml carts for ~$11. And buying 100 foot rolls of paper is much cheaper than the equivalent surface area of cut sheets. On the down side, changing black ink types on the big Epsons is an expensive PITA except for the 4000 which allows both types to be installed simultaneously. If you have a 7600 or 9600, you don't want to switch between matte black and photo black any more than absolutely necessary.

6. Both Canon and Epson are capable of good B&W prints if one has a good profile for the paper type. I haven't used a dedicated B&W setup with dedicated B&W inks, so I don't have a basis for comparison there. I don't doubt a dedicated B&W setup is better, though.

7. I've encountered some head clogging with both Canon and Epson. But it's not been more than a minor annoyance with either brand. Run a head clean, very rarely two, and everything is fine. I see no clear winner here.

red bullet gif image Phil Aynsly, paynsley@bigpond.com, answered 12/12/04
I'm a Canon fan!

I'm on my third now (i9950) and have had great service from them all.

The i9950 (which is the CD printing version of the i9900) produces absolutely fantastic prints and at a speed that leaves the comparable Epson way behind. In the Epson's favour is the greater print longevity due to the use of pigment, rather than dye, inks. But then again pigment inks aren't as vibrant as dye and can suffer from 'bronzing' and other "optical" problems.

Canon has released new BCI-7 inks (in Japan only at the moment) that promise a much longer print life, when used with Canon papers. Whether those inks will be able to be used in the i99xx printers is yet to be established. Fingers crossed.

Check out:
www.photo-i.co.uk/index.html and
www.steves-digicams.com/printers.html for excellent printer reviews.

red bullet gif image Canon i9900 vs Epson 2200? asked November 18, 2004, in the forum of pixelgenius.com

Gary Smith answered the sam day
I have both the Epson 2200 and the Canon i9100. I haven't used or profiled the Canon i9900.

I love both. I primarily use the Epson for my photography work because I desire the prints to be archival. I use the Canon for proofing. The Canon is much faster than the Epson 2200.

The big downside I have found with the Canon is the driver can't handle scans from negatives. For whatever reason the grain in the images from negs produces big moire on the prints. My ProofMaster RIP gets around that, and improves on the Canon driver in some other, smaller ways.

I just bought a second Canon i9100 and loaded it with Lyson Small Gamut inks. It rocks!

I am going to change my other i9100 and Epson to Lyson inks soon. I mention the Lyson inks because I see them as a possible way of breaking free of the OEM inkset shortcomings.

red bullet gif image Canon i9900 vs Epson 2200? asked by Steve Peters Tue Apr 13, 2004 in a forum

Eric Somers 11:26 answered May 8, 2004
I own a Canon i9900, an Epson 2200, and a Canon i9100 (which I will sell soon to a colleague). Here are some of my opinions:

1. In my experience the Canon i9900 produces significantly richer prints (wider dynamic and color range) than the i9100 though both are very good printers.

2. I like the Canon much better than the Epson on glossy papers because of the "bronzing" problem Steve mentions.

3. The Canon printers print MUCH faster than any Epson and clog their heads FAR LESS often. For giving prints to clients or match-prints to printers, the Canon's speed and C-Print looking quality is hard to beat.

4. Although Canon has said that their dye inks have a life roughly equivalent to C-prints (i.e. "wet" color prints done in a darkroom), I do not know if this has been confirmed by any testing lab. I joked to a wedding photographer that if I printed for her I could offer prints that last a lifetime (on the Epson 2200) or prints that last as long as the marriage (on a dye printer).

5. The Epson 2200 is great on matte papers and it takes matte papers to give Epson prints their greatest longevity. My favorite paper for the 2200 is Arches Infinity. This is the printer I use for "keepsake" images (wedding, portraits, images to sell in galleries), BUT I don't always use the Epson print driver. I also own the Colorbyte Imageprint RIP which extends the capabilities of the 2200 quite a bit (though it costs more than the printer if you add the Postscript option).

6. Using the Imageprint on the 2200 (it is not available for the Canon to the best of my knowledge) one can send a CMYK file to the printer to see how it will print in a magazine. The Epson driver converts a CMYK file back to RGB then back to CMYK with unpredictable results.

7. The Imageprint/Epson 2200 produces impressive shadow detail.

8. For most general photo printing for portfolios, prints for models, prints for advertising clients, etc. I think the Canon is faster, easier and produces images that seem more like darkroom-produced images. I use my Canon(s) far more than my Epson, though I am not willing to give up my Epson and, indeed, expect to buy an Epson 4000 before the year is out.

Both Canon and Epson make extremely fine products at reasonable prices. I think the only reason the Canon seems to have a much smaller market share of the professional photographer's market is that Epson "got their first."

Maybe all this helps, Steve, or maybe it confuses. In any case, it is my $0.02 worth
Eric Somers

red bullet gif image Best printer to replace Epson 1270 asked by BrianCassey 03/21/04 in Rob Galbraith´s forum
OK, my venerable Epson 1270 insists on spreading random lines of various colours across every page, is probably not worth the reapair shop...........so.......

What A3 printer should I replace it with ??

The Epson 2100 is expensive.........................someone recomended the Canon i6500 Anything else in the race ??

Advice appreciated
Brian Cassey

Chris Wesnofske answered 03/23/04
Take a good look at the soon to be released Canon i9900. It's very fast, has 8 inks for a large color gamut, individual ink tanks, and the best resolution yet for a dye printer. And the word is that their very latest Photo Paper Pro has been quietly updated to resist gas fading better. The Epson 1270/1280, as Ethan Hansen of Dry Creek Photo has pointed out, does not custom profile particularly well due to poor ink control by the driver in "no color adjustment" mode. The Canon's don't suffer from this issue

Paul_Caldwell answered 03/23/04
I can't address the Canon's having never used them.

However the 1290 (1280 in U.S. 1290 outside) would be a good choice, for a cheap solution. The ink cost in the U.S. varies, (note it uses the same ink as he 1270)

2100, would be the next Epson and it has gotten good reviews, it's only issue is tank size to cost.

My 1280 gets best case 7 13 x 19's out of a single color cart. I don't know what the 2100 will do here, but the cartridge cost is high at around 8.00 per cartridge (this again depends on the supplier).

However it's ultrachrome ink, not dye based and that's a big plus. There are many really good 3rd party profiles out for the 2100/2200, mainly for the standard Epson papers. Plus it does seem to profile better than the 1280/90.

The 2100 uses the same ink as the 7600/9600 but not the same head, so you can't use the 7600 profile on the 2100.

Some folks have figured out how to refill the 2100/2200 cartridges with ink from the 220ml 7600 cartridges and supposedly that saves a lot.

I still use 1280's for my 13x 19's but have moved to 7600 for the larger work. I print to Premium Luster or Premium Glossy (both from Epson) for all my work.

Also, one other note, the 2100/2200 will print black and white on matte paper better, than the 1280/1290.
Paul Caldwell

BrianCassey again answered 03/28/04
Thanks for all your help and comments guys !

My current thinking is to go for the Canon i9900.............although when that will reach Australias shores (and at what price) is anybodys guess.
cheers Brian

red bullet gif image
At www.robgalbraith.com forum following question was asked

I am thinking about buying an Epson 960 printer, does any one have comments about its ability to produce excellent prints?

I am using an epson 960, had it profiled by Ethan at Dry Creek, works like a charm. I moved from a 2200 to the 960 and have a hard time telling the difference. If you have no need for the larger format of the 2200 thats the printer I would go with.

LarryB answered 01/30/04
For what it's worth....
I've been using 3 Epson 960's on a regular basis for the last 6 months or so. I'm considering adding at least one more, perhaps two. I've printed thousands of 4x6's as well as a substantial number of 5x7 and 8x10 on these printers. I've never had a problem with any of them. And they get moved around a LOT!

I use OEM Epson inks and Epson paper exclusively (99% of the time Premium Glossy).

I print through QImage and get near perfect color match with the canned Epson PIM profiles.

I calibrate my monitor regularly with the ColorVision Spyder (Optical version).

......Yes, I actually sell the prints and I've had no complaints from my customers. The comment I hear most is "WOW...great pictures!!"

Hope this helps.

red bullet gif image
David Blumenfeld lardawg 2003-13-12
I'm looking for a color printer-I've read a lot of good things about the epson 2200 and wondering if its still the printer of choice for that price bracket? Is there a "new model" coming out soon that I should wait for? Thanks

Andrew Rodney answered 2003-12-13
For the price and capability, the 2200 can't be beat and I don't think we'll see anything replace it that soon. It's a printer with legs I suspect.
Andrew Rodney

Digishooter answered
I am seriously looking at getting 2 Epson R800's in February. It prints with pigmented ink, like the 2200, except uses 8 tanks, prints glossy, great sounding specs.

red bullet gif image Adam G (adamgood@bigpond.com) wrote in message 2003-06-28
I am looking for a good photo printer to use in a home office. It needs to be of high qualtity and also have low runing cost. I already have a laser for all my black and white printing needs, so this will be only used for photos. I have a Sony Digital camera 2 megapix. These will be the main photos that i need to print.

Wayne (wayne123@o2.pl)answered 2003-06-28
Probably Canon's i950 printer will best suit your needs. Cheap to run, low ink costs, extremly sharp and vivid output, 6-ink printing, doesn't clog, replaceable printhead, very fast. I don't know about those 2MP on your camera, perhaps the quality would be higher if you had a 3MP camera.

Epson 950/960. The quality is on par with Canon i950. It's also cheap to run, can print on wide variety of Epson papers, can print on a roll and then cut it so you will get 4x6" pics. The problem here is that it may seriously clog if you don't use it for 2-3 weeks. Another thing is the speed. It is sloooooooow when compared to Canon i950. You may wait even about 20 mins for highest quality A4 photo (2-3 mins on Canon).

Personally I recommend Canon i950 - you won't have to baby sit it like Epson and there are less problems with it (as mentioned: doesn't clog!).

Finally, the costs. Epson is more expensive than Canon and its inks run out a bit faster... But Epson has a wide variety of papers which are quite cheap. (Archival ratings almost the same).

Here's a link to compare Canon i950 and Epson 960(950) photo quality:
Well done Canon i950 review at www.photo-i.co.uk

litefrozen (litefrozen@removeantispam.earthlink.net) wrote in message 2003-04-15
Was looking a the epson photos which look good, so does the Canon. The Canon consumables look like they might be cheaper in the long run and the price is cheaper. Opinions?

Gary W. Holland (gwhmeh@rbnet.com) answered 2003-04-15

I vote for the Canon i850 which I just purchased yesterday. So far I'm very pleased with the output, both text and photos. The Canon is very quiet and fast. I used the Canon Photo Paper Pro 4x6 sample pack and got some outstanding prints for a 4 color printer! I just retired an Epson 780 Photo printer which was starting to fall prone to a clogging print head, a lot of banding. The Epson was very, very noisy and used those darn chipped carts. I will say that the Epson was a 6 color printer and did print some real nice photos though. Also if you are nearby a Sam's Club the Canon i850 can be had for $138.64, not too shabby!

Burt (buphc@taconic.net) wrote in message 2003-03-26

My HP Photosmart P1000 seems to be dying (making noise) after only two years. I may have to replace it. Thinking of the HP 7350 or perhaps the Epson 1280. Would appreciate feedback from users.
Thank you.

m.golner@attbi.com) answered 2003-03-26

I've been using the Canon S900 for several months now, and FWIW I think it's great. I believe the latest paper (Canon Photo Paper Pro, with the compatible ink, of course) is being marketed as a 25ish year system.

I haven't used other photo printers, but I'm sure many others are also fine, too. One of the things that sold me on the Canon was the large numbers of web reviews that recommended it, both for its quality and for its speed. I found it interesting that even though this is not one of the newest Canon models, it was consistently about the most highly rated.

Do a Google on 'photo printer review' and go nuts. And remember to have fun while you're searching.

moreinfo@att.net (moreinfo@att.net) answered 2003-03-27
I have an Epson Photo Stylus printer. It can produce very high quality photo prints. But here are the problems:

- You need to have color management in place, which can cost a bundle and many headaches.

- Epson supplies many profiles for Macs but not for PCs. They also have better websites overseas than in the US.

- Epson's printer driver has a wide range of features, but is not well documented. It took a lot of help online to realize that most the features are to be avoided.

Not sure if HP is any better in these regards.

Should I upgrade my 1440 dpi printer to a 2880 version?

From the review of the Epson Stylus Photo 1280 / 1290 in the The Luminous Landscape (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/1280.htm) I quote!

"The Conclusion : This is a case of theoretical and marketing specs Vs. the real world. To repeat, there is essentially no visible difference to the naked eye in resolution, clarity or dithering visibility between Epson 1270 and 1280 prints. There is a visible difference though when examining the prints under a 4X or higher magnification high-quality loupe.

My evaluation is that there is no advantage for anyone owning an Epson 1270 to upgrade to a 1280 (as there definitely was a year ago from the 1200 to the 1270). If you are in the market for a new printer then I can highly recommend the Epson 1280. It's an excellent printer — almost certainly the finest low-priced photo printer to date. Only the Epson 2000P offers it any competition, and then only in the area of print longevity.

As for the 2880dpi mode Vs. 1440 dpi, the slowdown in printing speed is considerable, and apparently so is the increase in ink usage. Many have called this capability marketing dpi, and I'm afraid that unless one spends ones days looking at prints under a Loup, I have to agree.

This is a modest upgrade to an already fine product. During the Spring of 2001 if you can find a 1270 at a good price — go for it. If you want the latest and greatest, and the 1270s are all gone, then by all means buy an Epson 1280. For the next year or so it's going to be king of the hill of photo-quality printers."

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Cartrige discussions!

red bullet gif imageHP 970: The only time the black cartridge is NOT used is when you select photo media - then only the color cartridge is used.This is because the black is a pigmented ink which is not designed for use with the photo papers.All other times, the black cartridge is used for text or black enhancement regardless whether there is a color graphic or not. Sometimes, the black is underlayed with color which is why some may have the impression that color is being mixed for the black.

red bullet gif imageMozz wrote in message March 15
Is there a way to use the color ink cartridge (HPC1823) to print black and white documents off the internet when I run out of black ink (HP 51645)? I tried using the "greyscale" setting, but that doesn't work.
This is the opposite of what most people seem to want to do, but you can print black text using the C1823 cartridge by selecting "photo paper" in the driver. You should select "normal" mode rather than best, and may want to move the ink slider toward the light settings. Compared to plain paper speed this will be rather slow.
Bob Headrick, not speaking for my employer HP

The HP black is used only when set to text/black. Any color logo on a stationary will cancel the use of the black pigment ink for text. I take 3 days off and when I get back the newsgroup is filled with this misinformation (well, at least 3 posts by at least 2 different people). FOR THE RECORD: except when printing with photo media selected in the driver, the HP DeskJet 970 uses the black cartridge to print black text. It does not matter if there is color on the page, IT STILL USES THE BLACK CARTRIDGE TO PRINT BLACK TEXT. Sorry for the shouting, but I'm getting tired of seeing this misinformation being presented as fact.
- Bob Headrick, not speaking for my employer HP

red bullet gif imageKen wrote in message February 16 2001
I just got a S600. There seem to be so many different types of ink cartridges out there. The cartridges that came with the printer are the BCI-3eX series. But I noticed that on the market, there are also the BCI-3X series and the BCI-3ePX series. What's the difference? The 3ePX series are labelled for photos. Can I use this in the S600? They are sold at the same price as the 3eX series so if the photo series is better, I would replace them.

Jeff H (jeff.hipson@ns.sympatico.ca_nospam) answered 2002-02-17:
The S500/520/600/630/750 all take the same four cartridges

They do not use any of the photo (BCI-3ePX) cartridges, these are used in the S400/450. While these cartridges might be the same as the non-photo carts you will get some strange effects when printing as the S500+ driver is designed for the non-photo BCI-3eX

Just to further clarify - while it appears that the S500/520/600/630 have taken a step backwards by not accepting the BCI-3eP Photo cartridges this is not the case. I have an S600 and it produces better photos using the 4 - 3e cartridges than my older S450 did using the 6 (BCI-3 + BCI-3P combo) cartridges.

For those not familiar with the older S450 it had 2 - semi- replacable printheads (1 black that housed a single black tank, and 1 color that housed individual CYM tanks - BCI-3x). The photo cartridge was optional and included a seperate semi-replacable printhead that housed induvidual photo black, light cyan, and light magenta ink tanks (BCI-3px). The standard color cartridge was always left installed and worked in conjunction with the black cartridge - for standard printing (3 colors + black) - or the photo cartridge - replaces the black and gave 6 colors (3 colors + 3 photo colors).
Jeff H

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