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11-17-2007, 03:32 AM   #1
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Which A3 Printer?

I know this might not be the usual place to post this question, but as you folks have such good taste as to choose the Pentax DSLR solution, your opinions on printers are likely to be equally valid.

I want an A3 printer at a budget price.

My current selections are:

1) Epson Stylus Photo R1800

2) HP Deskjet 1280

3) Canon - one of their pixima a3 printers

4) Anything else?

First thought was the Epson, but I hate how much ink it wastes when changing a cartridge or cleaning nozzles and the inks are SO expensive.

Also I have an ambition to print some large panoramics - which I think might favour the Epson as it takes paper rolls.

What do you think?

11-17-2007, 05:44 AM   #2
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Heh,Heh, this is like asking which brand of camera to buy. Ask 10 people and you will likely get 10 different answers. That being said, here is my opinion. I did not go with Epson for the same reason as you. The reputation for clogged nozzles if you don't use it on a daily basis and wasted ink in the clearing process.

I had an old Canon S820 for years, that I was very satisfied with. When it finally died, I ended up with a Canon Pro 9000. I really like the color output, especially on Ilford Smooth Pearl paper. It does very good B&W also, without having to change inks (although I do think the Epson with dedicated inks does a better job with B&W). I haven't seen any deterioration of colors on any prints hanging in my house. Of course, I've only had it for a year. Ask me in 25 years, and I'll tell you how they hold up. Seriously, there is no doubt that the Epson pigment inks will last longer. I'm just not worried about a print lasting 100 years.

I'm not familiar with the HP, so no comments there.
11-17-2007, 08:04 AM   #3
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I have the Canon Pixma iP5200. I think it is a very good printer. It has separate ink cartridges, cyan, magenta, yellow, and 2 black cartridges. It uses what Canon calls ChromaLife 100 ink which is supposed to last a long time on prints. I've used several brands of paper with good results from all. Very high resolution also 9600 horizontal, 2400 vertical.

11-17-2007, 09:12 AM   #4
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I have a designjet at work that I use and it is pretty good

I'm a bit biased because my cousin works at HP so I get some really good deals
Ink is something you should think about as it is your biggest expense as you will be buying a lot of it.

11-17-2007, 12:32 PM   #5
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If you can still find a NIB HP 8750, then you may have a budget bargain for A3 prints. Its one downside is that it doesn't have separate ink tanks. I have an 8450 which is the smaller format version of the 8750 and its been a very steady performer.

I've been looking at a Canon Pro9500 which uses pigment ink in separate tanks. The Canon Pro9000 uses dye based inks and is slightly cheaper.

I haven't used an Epson in at least 5 years so I can't say if Epson has improved on the print head clogging issue.
11-17-2007, 12:38 PM   #6
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Can you please give me the conversion for that? = inches?

11-17-2007, 12:51 PM   #7

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Paper size - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A3 paper is 11.7 16.5 inches.

I have a friend who was using a Canon printer that will produce this size of print. When he gets a new set of ink cartridges it costs him about 800 USD. This stuff is not cheap. I can have Costco print out an image at 12x18 inches on real photo paper (not an inkjet) for 2.99 USD and pick it up within a few hours.

I would, however, really like to update my old HP printer - but it just keeps working.

The Elitist - Formerly known as PDL
11-17-2007, 04:03 PM   #8
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Regardless of what you end up buying, I'd advise to get a in-store replacement warrantee as well. My last HP 9645 printer died a premature death after a little over 1 year because HP wouldn't sell a $1.00 print head drive belt to any repair facility. I won't be buying any more HP consumer products from now on.

11-17-2007, 04:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ukbluetooth Quote
First thought was the Epson, but I hate how much ink it wastes when changing a cartridge or cleaning nozzles and the inks are SO expensive.

What do you think?
I've got an Epson R1800. I am happy enough with the printer quality, but it is horrendously expensive on ink.

A lot of ink is wasted from all cartridges when you change just one cartridge, so to avoid getting into a loop of exhausting the cartridges one by one, I end up changing any cartridge that is at all low whenever any cartridge is changed. This does reduce wastage but means that I throw away a lot of (expensive) ink.

I am considering trying a Lyson Continuous Ink System in the R1800. Has anyone reading this, any experience of this in a R1800?.

11-17-2007, 04:21 PM   #10
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UKbluetooth, so there is no confusion, the printer I have (Pixma iP5200) is not an A3 printer. I just was trying to point out the the Pixma printers are good printers IMO.

11-18-2007, 01:18 AM   #11
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Epson definetly have the edge when it comes to ink technology, downside is its pretty expensive in the long run to maintain. Canons have excellent colour and are relatively cheap to top up, slight fading after even a year, they tend to soak the print so it pays not to skimp on the paper quality.
11-18-2007, 03:40 AM   #12
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Another vote for the Canon. I have had an Epson, HP and Canon printer, and the Canon has been the best, by far. It requires the least maintenance, has the cheapest ink, and produces good quality results.
11-18-2007, 07:14 AM   #13
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A more expensive printer could be cheaper. Entry level printers sell the printer to you at a very low price (maybe below their manufacturing price) then make the profit back on very expensive ink. Check out something like the Epson 2400 ink prices vs their new 1400 printer. Bet the 2400 carts hold more ink for same or less money. Moving to the 4400 is the same again. About half the price of 2400 ink. Kind of the you can pay me now or later deal. If you print a lot it can add up.
11-18-2007, 03:33 PM   #14
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I am no expert with printing photographs as I very rarely do that. However, when I bought my K100d recently at Wolf they had a "free printer" sale going on. I figured what the heck, I'd try it and if I saw no use for it I'd give it to my daughter. She gets a LOT of stuff that way! <g>

Anyway, I bought the printer and mailed in the rebates (ugh!) after installation. The printer is a HP Photosmart A516; I don't know if that is an A3 printer; sorry. But this little printer does a fine job printing out 4x6 inch photos. I've decided to keep it!

However, if I were looking at a photo printer today I think I'd check out Epson. I recently purchased ($130) an Epson 4490 Photo Scanner to digitize my 1000+ 35mm slides. This unit is amazing! I didn't even think such scanners existed until two weeks ago! The scanner does a very good job with my 30+ year old slides. One of the nicest things about the scanner is its software, which is by FAR the most capable and well designed software I've ever used. For that reason, the software, I'd consider an Epson printer.
11-19-2007, 03:56 AM   #15
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Thanks for your comments. Still confused. Like Epson but hate ink rip-off. Looking more like Canon at the moment. Will let you know when I eventually make up my mind.

Tracked a used Epson R1800 on eBay this weekend. Madly it went for over 300 ( over $600). Crazy - you can buy a new one with a year guarantee for 314 if you shop around. People must get blinded by a bidding frenzy.

Barondla - nice textures - and really loved your "far away"

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