A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Home > Equipment > Large Format Printer Buyer's guide

Featured Equipment Deals

Intro to Manual Photography (Video Tutorial) Read More

Intro to Manual Photography (Video Tutorial)

Want to break out of automatic modes on your camera but overwhelmed with choices in manual mode? This brief video tutorial breaks down shutter speed, aperture, and ISO sensitivity to help give you...

Latest Equipment Articles

The Week in Photography News Read More

The Week in Photography News

November 15-21, 2014: Hear the latest goings-on in the photography world, from product releases to event and campaign announcements and more.

Latest Learning Articles

Introduction to Creating an Album in Lightroom - Part I (Video Tutorial) Read More

Introduction to Creating an Album in Lightroom - Part I (Video Tutorial)

Learn to create an album in the Book Tab of Lightroom that you can publish and present to clients.


Large Format Printer Buyer's guide

by Andrew Darlow, August 2011 (updated September 2011)


Large format digital printing was once a luxury few photographers could afford. But times have changed. Starting at about $1,000 for a 17-inch-wide pigment ink printer, you can produce jaw-dropping, long-lasting prints in your home, studio or office on a wide range of papers, canvas and other materials.

In this article, Photo.net examines large format photo printers from 17 to 44 inches wide from three of the major players who cater to photographers: Canon, Epson and HP. Though many other companies exist in the space, these three have made very high quality large format printing affordable for many advanced amateurs and pros. Each manufacturer also approaches color management, maintenance, ink cartridge issues (number of cartridges and quantity of ink per cartridge) and other items in different ways.

Below is a general overview of about a dozen large format inkjet printers. Many define “large format printers” as any printer over 24 inches in width, but we’ve included 17-inch-wide printers as well because most photographers consider 17×22 or 17×30 inch prints to be large (especially when compared with traditional 8×10 or 11×14 prints). Stay tuned for more buyer’s guides on small format printers. We define those as printers that can make prints up to 13 inches in width.

Large Format Printers

Below the printer list, you will see some important points to consider when choosing a large format printer. For a deeper overview of factors to consider before buying a large format printer, see this Photo.net article on the subject:

http://photo.net/learn/printing/guide-to-buying-a-printer/large-printers/

Canon imagePROGRAF iPF5100

Canon iPF5100
Price as low as $1976.18 from 1 retailers
$1976.18

Canon ImagePROGRAF ipf5100, (compare prices). Overview: The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF5100 is a 17-inch-wide pigment-ink printer. It uses dual thermal print heads and has four media feed options, including a roll holder for paper, canvas or other material. The printer’s black and grey inks have been reformulated for better scratch resistance, less bronzing and less gloss differential.

Selected features:

  • 12 LUCIA-branded pigment inks – eight color inks and four gray/black inks, with a very wide color gamut and expected print longevity of 100 years or longer.* Printer comes with starter cartridges that hold 90 ml, and replacement cartridges hold 130 ml each.
  • Ability to print on matte and gloss papers without having to swap black ink cartridges internally or manually (no wasted ink or time due to switching).
  • Auto calibration and head alignment for more consistent and better overall color.
  • Very fast output (about five minutes for a 16×20-inch print, even at high quality settings.)
  • A special monochrome photo mode helps to optimize the quality of black-and-white images.
  • Two standard connectivity options: USB 2.0 and Ethernet.
  • Four media handling options include: a front-loading cassette for up to 250 pre-cut sheets; a top-loading manual feed tray; a front straight-path manual feed for media up to 1.5 ml. thick; and a standard roll feed (necessary for borderless printing).
  • Two print plug-ins are supplied for printing high-bit files directly from Adobe Photoshop or Canon’s DPP (Digital Photo Professional).

Recommendations/Concerns: I would recommend this printer to someone who wants a quality pigment-ink printer for moderate- to high-volume printing. This is a large and heavy printer (about 100 lbs.), so consider that if you are planning to move it from one location to another on a frequent basis. One item that can be frustrating if you plan to use a variety of different paper sizes is the need to specify the printer’s paper type on the printer’s LCD display. The Print Plug-in for Photoshop simplifies the printing process, and is a feature not available for any of the Epson or HP printers covered in this guide.

Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6300

Canon iPF6300

Canon ImagePROGRAF iPF6300, (compare prices). Overview: The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6300 is a 24-inch-wide pigment-ink printer. It uses dual thermal print heads and has three media feed options. The printer’s color, black and grey inks have been reformulated for better scratch resistance, less bronzing and less gloss differential.

Selected features:

  • 12 LUCIA EX-branded pigment inks – eight color inks and four gray/black inks, with a very wide color gamut and expected print longevity of 100 years or longer.* Printer comes with starter cartridges that hold 90 ml each, and replacement cartridges hold 130 ml each.
  • Ability to print on matte and gloss papers without having to swap black ink cartridges internally or manually (no wasted ink or time due to switching).
  • Auto calibration and head alignment for more consistent and better overall color.
  • Very fast output (about five minutes for a 16×20-inch print, even at high quality settings.)
  • A special monochrome photo mode helps to optimize the quality of black-and-white images.
  • Two standard connectivity options: USB 2.0 and Ethernet.
  • Three media handling options: a roll holder for paper, canvas or other material, a top-loading manual feed for materials up to .8mm (about the thickness of most 2-ply mat boards), and a front loading manual feed for materials up to 1.5mm thick (about the thickness of most 4-ply mat boards)
  • Three print plug-ins are supplied for printing high-bit files directly from Adobe Photoshop, Canon’s DPP (Digital Photo Professional), or Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint – Windows only).

Recommendations/Concerns: I would recommend this printer to someone who wants a 24-inch-wide workhorse printer for moderate- to high-volume printing. Like with the imagePROGRAF iPF5100, the Print Plug-in for Photoshop simplifies the printing process, and is a feature not available for any of the Epson or HP printers covered in this guide. Also supplied with the printer is a Print Plug-In for Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) and Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint – Windows only).
.

Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6350

Canon iPF6350

Canon ImagePROGRAF iPF6350, (compare prices). Overview: The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6350 is identical to the imagePROGRAF iPF6300 except for the fact that it contains an on-board 80 GB hard drive for job storage and retrieval, resulting in faster job spooling whether you use a workstation or web browser. The system also meets U.S. Department of Defense requirements (DoD5220-22M) for erasure of disk media.

Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8300

Canon iPF8300
Price as low as $2990.00 from 1 retailers
PinnacleMicro $2990.00

Canon ImagePROGRAF iPF8300, (compare prices). Overview: The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8300 is a 44-inch-wide pigment-ink printer. Like the iPF6300, it uses dual thermal print heads and has three media feed options: a roll holder for paper, canvas or other material, a top-loading manual feed for materials up to .8mm, and a front loading manual feed for materials up to 1.5mm thick. Like the iPF6300. it contains an on-board 80 GB hard drive for job storage and retrieval. The printer’s color, black and grey inks have been reformulated for better scratch resistance, less bronzing and less gloss differential.

Selected features:

  • 12 LUCIA EX-branded pigment inks – eight color inks and four gray/black inks, with a very wide color gamut and expected print longevity of 100 years or longer.* Printer comes with starter cartridges that hold 90 ml each, and replacement cartridges hold 130 ml each.
  • Ability to print on matte and gloss papers without having to swap black ink cartridges internally or manually (no wasted ink or time due to switching).
  • Auto calibration and head alignment for more consistent and better overall color.
  • Very fast output (about five minutes for a 16×20-inch print, even at high quality settings).
  • A special monochrome photo mode helps to optimize the quality of black-and-white images.
  • Two standard connectivity options: USB 2.0 and Ethernet.
  • Two media handling options include: roll feed and front-loading manual sheet feed (both can handle media up to .8 mm).
  • Three print plug-ins are supplied for printing high-bit (or non-high bit) files directly from Adobe Photoshop, Canon’s DPP (Digital Photo Professional), or Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint – Windows only).
  • Two new driver print options for better quality print output.

Recommendations/Concerns: I would recommend this printer to someone who wants a 44-inch-wide workhorse printer for moderate- to high-volume printing. Like with the imagePROGRAF iPF5100 and iPF6300, the Print Plug-in for Photoshop simplifies the printing process, and is a feature not available for any of the Epson or HP printers covered in this guide. Also supplied with the printer is a Print Plug-In for Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) or Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint – Windows only).

Epson Stylus Pro 3880

Epson 3880
Price as low as $1095.00 from 1 retailers
$1095.00

Epson Stylus Pro 3880, (compare prices). Overview: The Epson Stylus Pro 3880 is a 17-inch-wide pigment-ink printer with a size and weight (43.2 lbs.) considerably smaller than other 17-inch-wide models. At a price point of about $1000, it stands out as a high-quality affordable pro-level printer due to its large ink cartridges, overall build quality, print speed and black and white capabilities.

Selected features:

  • 9-color (8 channel) UltraChrome K3 w/ Vivid Magenta pigment inks in 80 ml pressurized carts, with a wide color gamut and expected print longevity of 100-200 years or longer.*
  • Automatic switching between Matte Black and Photo Black inks, with some ink usage during the switch (about 1.5 to 4.5 ml of ink is used when switching, depending upon whether the change is from Photo to Matte Black or vice-versa).
  • Monochrome printing with the Epson Advanced Black and White mode (and three black inks) produces very even-toned prints, with the ability to adjust toning in the driver.
  • A top-loading high capacity feeder can hold up to 120 sheets (depending on thickness), from 3.5×5 to 17×37.5 inches; a second top-loading manual sheet feeder is optimized for feeding single sheets of fine-art papers up to 17 inches in width; and a front straight-through manual sheet feeder allows for single sheet loading of media up to 16 inches in width, and up to 1.5 mm thick.
  • An optional RIP allows for longer print lengths and job management tools such as saved printer queues.
  • System for Roll media length tracking and identification with bar codes.
  • Two standard connectivity options: USB 2.0 and Ethernet.

Conclusion: I would recommend this printer to a photographer or other artist who wants a quality 17-inch-wide pigment-ink printer that operates more like a 13-inch-wide model. The large 80 ml cartridges, built-in Ethernet option and optional RIP are all valuable features. There is no roll-feed built-in or available (I prefer a closed paper tray like the one on the Epson Stylus Pro 4900). However, that would certainly add to the unit’s size and weight. The 16-inch-wide limitation for the front feed (designed for thick materials such as illustration boards) is a small drawback considering that all the other feed options accept media up to 17 inches in width.

Epson Stylus Pro 7890 (24 inches) and Epson Stylus Pro 9890 (44 inches)

Epson 7890

Epson Stylus Pro 7890, (compare prices).
Overview: The Epson Stylus Pro 7890 (24 inches wide) and Stylus Pro 9890 (44 inches wide are production-level pigment-based ink printers with virtually identical specs.) The printers produce extremely high quality output on matte and gloss papers, canvas or other substrates. The printer’s straight paper path makes loading convenient, and having the ability to use (and mix and match) cartridges of different sizes can save money for medium to high volume users. Three specific improvements over the printers they replace (Epson Stylus Photo 7880 and Stylus Photo 9880) are automated switching from matte to photo black ink (much less ink and time needed), the roll paper loading process, as well as overall speed improvements.

Selected features:

  • 9-color (8 channel) UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Inks have a very wide color gamut and expected print longevity of 100-200 years or longer.*
  • Front feed for cut sheets holds paper up to 1.5 mm thick. Both printers also have built-in roll paper holders that use the same paper path as sheets.
  • Monochrome printing with the Epson Advanced Black and White mode (and three black inks) produces very even-toned prints, with the ability to adjust toning in the driver.
  • Two standard connectivity options: USB 2.0 and Ethernet.
  • Optional SpectroProofer for calibrating one or more printers to a known standard so that they can be used more accurately for proofing or general printing. An optional RIP is also necessary to use the SpectroProofer.
  • Innovative rotary cutting system that cuts a wide variety of materials while reducing the amount of lint inside the machine.

Recommendations/Concerns: I would recommend either of these printers to a photographer or other artist who wants a high-end, yet affordable 24- or 44-inch-wide pigment-ink printer with a front-feed manual sheet feeder as well as a sophisticated, easy to use roll-feed system. Also, these printers are an ideal complement to the Epson Stylus Photo 3880 because they use the same exact inkset. With custom profiles, output can be closely matched between the two machines.

Epson Stylus Pro 4900

Epson 4900
Price as low as $1795.00 from 1 retailers
$1795.00

Epson Stylus Pro 4900, (compare prices).
Overview: The Epson Stylus Pro 4900 is a sturdy 17-inch-wide pigment-ink printer with many of the same benefits as another printer from Epson: the Stylus Pro 4880. Image quality on matte and gloss papers is outstanding, with a wide color range (gamut) on matte or semi-gloss. The well-constructed covered paper tray makes printing multiple jobs on the same paper “hands off” and more convenient. Replacement ink cartridges come in just one size: 200 ml. Another important item to know is that the weight of the printer is 115 lbs, which is something to consider if you plan to move it frequently. By comparison, the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 is a slender 43.2 lbs.

Selected features:

  • 11-color (10 channel) UltraChrome HDR pigment inks in 200 ml cartridges option, with a wide color gamut and expected print longevity of 100-200 years or longer.*
  • A high capacity paper tray can hold paper up to 17×22 inches. Other load options include front, top, and roll paper paths.
  • Monochrome printing with the Epson Advanced Black and White mode (and three black inks) produces very even-toned prints, with the ability to adjust ton- ing dramatically in the driver.
  • Designed to be used on a table like a smaller inkjet printer.
  • Two standard connectivity options: USB 2.0 and Ethernet.

Epson Stylus Pro 7900 (24 inches) and the Epson Stylus Pro 9900 (44 inches)

Epson 7900

Epson Stylus Pro 7900, (compare prices).
Overview: The Epson Stylus Pro 7900 (24 inches wide) and Stylus Pro 9900 (44 inches wide are very well-built pigment-based ink printers with virtually identical specs). The printers produce extremely high quality output on matte and gloss papers, canvas or other substrates. The printers’ straight paper path makes loading convenient, and having the ability to use (and mix and match) cartridges of different sizes can save money for medium to high volume users.

Selected features:

  • 11-color (10 channel) UltraChrome HDR Ink, with a wide color gamut and expected print longevity of 100-200 years or longer.*
  • Front feed for cut sheets holds paper up to 1.5 mm thick. Both printers also have built-in roll paper holders that use the same paper path as sheets.
  • Monochrome printing with the Epson Advanced Black and White mode (and three black inks) produces very even-toned prints, with the ability to adjust toning in the driver.
  • System for Roll media length tracking and identification with bar codes.
  • Two standard connectivity options: USB 2.0 and Ethernet.
  • Optional SpectroProofer for calibrating one or more printers to a known standard so that they can be used more accurately for proofing or general printing. An optional RIP is also necessary to use the SpectroProofer.
  • Innovative built-in rotary cutting system that cuts a wide variety of materials while reducing the amount of lint inside the machine.

Recommendations/Concerns: I would recommend either of these printers to a photographer or other artist who wants a fast, high-end, yet affordable 24- or 44-inch-wide pigment-ink printer with a front-feed manual sheet feeder as well as a sophisticated, easy to use roll-feed system.

HP Designjet Z3200 (24 and 44 inches)

HP Designjet Z3200
Price as low as $7216.02 from 1 retailers
PinnacleMicro $7216.02

HP Designjet Z3200, (compare prices).
Overview: The HP Designjet Z3200 is a 12-ink pigment-based inkjet printer, with 24- and 44-inch-wide versions. The Z3200 uses 11 HP Vivera pigment color inks (four of them black or gray), plus a twelfth Gloss Enhancer “ink” that provides better gloss uniformity and helps reduce metamerism and bronzing on gloss and semi-gloss papers. One of the primary differences between it and the printer it replaces (the Designjet Z3100) is the replacement of the red ink with a “Chromatic Red,” thus boosting the printer’s ability to achieve a wider gamet on most materiels. The printer also comes with four black or gray inks that help to make monochrome prints look smoother and more neutral.

Selected features:

  • Independent testing of HP’s Vivera Pigment inks has yielded an estimated display life of over 200 years on a range of papers before noticeable fading.* The 44-inch-wide version comes with 12 full 130 ml cartridges, and the 24-inch version ships with 12 starter cartridges that hold 69 ml. Replacement cartridges hold 130 ml each.
  • Uses i1 Color Technology from X-Rite to automate calibration and profiling on virtually any media through a built-in spectrophotometer.
  • Can switch between Photo Black (for gloss/semi-gloss papers) and Matte Black (for matte and fine-art papers), without having to change ink car- tridges, and no ink is used while switching.
  • Grayscale files can be printed so that only the black (matte or photo black) and gray inks are used. On matte papers, four separate black/gray inks are used when this option is enabled, and on semi-gloss/gloss papers, three separate black/gray inks are employed. This produces prints with smoother tones and greater longevity compared with using a mix of black and color inks. A special driver setting allows users to control the color toning applied to black and white prints.
  • Built-in 80 GB hard drive for storing paper profiles, and for print spooling. Print spooling is when data is copied to memory (such as a hard drive), and in this case, spooling helps to free up your computer for other tasks when printing.
  • Two standard connectivity options: USB 2.0 and Ethernet. Uses an exclusive charged pigment technology known as EET, which helps resist pigment settling.
  • Contains a roll paper feed, a top feed for cut sheets, and a rear feed for heavy media up to .88 mm thick.

Recommendations/Concerns: I would recommend the HP Designjet Z3200 to a photographer or other artist who wants a very high quality pigment-ink based 24- or 44- inch-wide printer. Estimated longevity of the inkset on most papers is unmatched by its competition.* The built-in spectrophotometer makes profile-making and overall calibration easy for virtually any user. Unlike some other printers, it’s necessary to get behind the printer to load rolls or heavy individual sheets. Also, the maximum paper thickness it will accept is respectable, but less than that of some other printers in its class.

Know what you want to buy?

Photo.net’s partners have these printers available. Their prices are fair and you help support photo.net. Please click on one of the buying options above.

Factors to consider

Apart from the price tag and overall print quality (all the printers covered here produce outstanding photo-quality output), some of the main items to look for in large format printers include:

Size and Weight: Virtually all printers 17 inches wide and larger weigh over 100 pounds. That makes them difficult to move around a home or office, especially if a staircase or two are involved. In some cases, you may not even be able to get the shipping box through a door, so it’s a good idea to measure everything carefully and check the shipping size and weight (not just the product’s size and weight). The 17-inch wide Canon ImagePROGRAF iPF5100 and Epson Stylus Pro 4900 both weigh over 100 pounds. However, the 17-inch-wide Epson Stylus Pro 3880 is relatively compact, and weighs in at just 43 pounds. That makes it relatively easy for one person to move the printer within a home or office, or from a home to the back seat of a car.

Speed: Time is money, so print speed is an important consideration for most printmakers. Canon, Epson and HP have all made significant improvements in the area of print speed compared with printers made 3-5 years ago. Side-by-side comparisons between the three are a bit difficult to make because of the many different quality/speed options available. That being said, Canon’s iPF5100, iPF6300 and iPF8300 are the fastest in their class when comparing print speeds of all three manufacturers at their highest quality settings.

However, you may be surprised at the output quality of the printers we highlight when lower quality settings are used. For example, Epson’s printers run about three to four times faster when the driver is set to print at 1440 dpi in bi-directional mode (“High Speed” checked in the driver) compared with when the driver is set at 2880 with High Speed unchecked (the highest quality setting). Using HP’s “Normal” driver setting on the HP Designjet Z3200 (instead of choosing “Best” with “Maximum Detail” checked), also greatly increases print speeds while still producing high quality images. Finding the sweet spot between speed and quality is the key; a few print tests can determine which driver options to choose for different media and in different situations.

Ink Cartridge Size and Number of Cartridges: Inks are the lifeblood of any inkjet printer, and there are many things to consider with regard to ink. Let’s start with the number of ink cartridges. Most of today’s photo-quality printers have at least six inks on-board. In the world of high-end large-format printing, that number averages about nine. Why so many? More inks generally means more gray inks will be present for better black and white printing, and in some cases (for example, the Epson Stylus Pro 7900/9900), extra vibrant inks like Orange and Green will be added to the mix to help achieve a wider gamut, which means that more possible colors can be printed.

Cartridge size varies greatly between manufacturers, and in some cases, you can mix and match different size cartridges in the same printer. The Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 have three ink cartridge size options:150, 350 and 700 ml. And in all cases, as you go higher in ink capacity, cost per milliliter falls. The HP Designjet Z3200 and Z3200ps (24- or 44-inches wide) use just one size cartridge:130 ml. Canon’s imagePROGRAF iPF6300/iPF6500 printers take 130 ml cartridges, and the Canon iPF8300 has two ink cartridge sizes available: 330 ml and 700 ml.

You should think about how much you plan to print before investing in a printer; it’s not a good idea to install inks and let them sit for years without being used and replenished. For example, the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 ships with and uses 80 ml cartridges, and the Epson Stylus Pro 4900 ships with 80 ml cartridges, but all replacement ink cartridges are 200 ml. If you only plan to print an average of five 13×19 prints each week, the Stylus Pro 3880 may be a better choice because you’ll probably use a full set of inks in about 10-18 months.

There is also the issue of ink switching between the photo black and matte black inks. All of the printer models we cover have on-board photo back and matte black inks, however, the Canon ImagePROGRAF and HP Z-series printers have their matte black and photo black inks installed at all times; no ink is wasted when switching from printing on matte papers to glossy or semi-gloss papers. All of the Epson printers we cover do require a few minutes of time and use about 2-4 ml of ink depending upon the model when changing between the matte and photo black inks. The good news is that it is done in the background with just the press of a button or two, unlike the manual way that was required with some previous models.

Paper Feed Options: Depending upon what you are planning to print, one printer may stand out due to its paper feed options. All of the printers we cover in this guide have roll feed options, except the Epson Stylus Pro 3880. And two printers stand out due to their feed tray options: the 17-inch-wide Epson Stylus Pro 4900 and the 17-inch-wide Canon ImagePROGRAF iPF5100. Having a “bulk-feed” tray for cut sheets is significant, especially when you compare it to single-sheet manual feeding on virtually all 24 to 44-inch-wide printers, which can be time consuming. If you are printing books or very large quantities of prints, the cassette can really save time and reduce the chances of skewed or misfed prints. One important item to note is that according to its specs, the cassette feed in Epson’s new Stylus Pro 4900 tops out at about 250 gsm (.27 mm thickness), and the cassette feed limit for Canon’s ImagePROGRAF iPF5100 is about 300 gsm (.3 mm thickness).

All the 24- and 44 inch-wide Canon and Epson printers we cover have their roll holders conveniently located in the front of the machine. HP’s roll holder is located in the back of the machine, which makes loading and using rolls a bit more challenging. On all of the 24- and 44-inch Epson models covered here, Epson takes roll loading a step further by providing new roll media adapters that accept either 2- or 3-inch media cores, as well as a convenient loading bay that looks as though it was designed by NASA!

Image Permanence: One of the primary reasons for the success of high-end photo printers has been due to the excellent fade resistance of many pigment-based inksets. All of the printers in this guide are capable of producing prints estimated to last 100 years or more before noticeable fading or changes in color balance on specific papers or canvas (when framed under glass or UV-filtered acrylic).*

Differences do exist between printers with regard to anticipated fading and/or color shifts of their inks over time. HP’s Vivera Pigment inks hold the permanence lead for color as well as black and white output, with an expected life before noticeable fading or color shift of over 250 years for color and over 300 years for black and white when paired with many different papers or canvas. That being said, certain ink and paper combinations from Canon and Epson also reach 200-300 years before expected fading or color shift, so it’s best to read the data yourself to make decisions about permanence and paper or canvas choices. The following two websites contain a lot of information on the topic:

For a deeper overview of factors to consider before buying a large format printer, see this Photo.net article on the subject:

http://photo.net/learn/printing/guide-to-buying-a-printer/large-printers/


Text © 2011 Andrew Darlow

Article revised September 2011.

Readers' Comments


Add a comment



Steven Snyder , August 18, 2011; 12:10 P.M.

I own the Canon IPF 8300 and there are only two methods of loading papers (not three as stated above)...roll (from the bottom) and sheet (from the front).  I wish it had top loading for sheets. My old Epson 10000 was much easier to load both sheets and rolls.

Print quality and speed is great. I imagine the 6300 also only has the 2 loading methods, not three as stated.

Andrew Darlow , August 18, 2011; 12:47 P.M.

Hi Steven:

Thank you for catching that. You are correct. That line applied to the iPF5100. If it hasn't been corrected yet, it will soon read: "Two media handling options include: a roll feed and a front-loading manual sheet feed (both can handle media up to .8 mm).

The iPF6300 and iPF6350 do in fact have three media handling options, as stated.

All the best,

Andrew

Freelance writer, Photo.net
http://www.andrewdarlow.com 

Tudor ApMadoc , September 26, 2011; 09:43 A.M.

I purchased my Z3200ps 24" about 2 years ago for 2 reasons.....

1. The fact that there was no switching of the inks, and hence, no wasting ink when you switched cartridges

2. The built in spectrophotometer. I've tried other calibration methods where you print out a sample then use a device to measure every swatch - talk about tedious, boring, and prone to error.

After a year of using the printer, the only complaints that I have

1. HP took forever to get support for Windows 7

2. The printer tends to hang once in awhile and I have to reboot it.

3. Paper loading is not as easy as some printers

If I had to do it over again, what would I do? I would still get the Z3200ps, but this time, I would get the 44" version.

Robert Hall , December 12, 2011; 07:25 A.M.

Buyer's beware... Consider these issues before buying a large format printer.  I have an Epson Pro4000 which I bought just as the 4800 was introduced.  I use it occasionally, perhaps once a month at most.  The ink gets clogged in the system.   I have to consume a great deal of ink cleaning the tubes (using the print utilities).  Then I had to replace the print head at a cost of over $1000.  Now I have a new "Service Required" error.  This is a "small" printer by large format standards and is difficult to transport.  It arrived on its own pallet.  I don't know if the ink-clog problem has been solved by Epson, but it is something any prospective buyer must understand.   Getting service is the second factor. 

Tudor ApMadoc , July 11, 2012; 06:20 A.M.

I had problems in the past with an Epson printer clogging up.   With the Z3200 l leave the printer turned on, it comes out of a sleep mode once every 24hours to do a self clean operation.  In 3 years I havent had a clogged head

Andrew Darlow , July 20, 2012; 12:06 P.M.

Hi Robert:

Re: Your Epson Stylus Pro 4000, that model was definitely more prone to clogging than the models that have followed from Epson, but you can get clogs with any printer (though Canon and HP Pro models tend to clog less in part due to pre-set cleaning schedules as someone noted below). Usually, a few cleaning cycles are all that's needed if the printer is not used for a while. Higher humidity levels also helps, and if you are in a low humidity area, you can cover your printer with a plastic dropcloth (don't shrink-wrap it!) and you can put a Tupperware-type of container on the output tray with distilled water in it, and some holes punched in the top. It helps to increase the humidity level inside.

Andrew Darlow

Freelance Writer, Photo.net

Editor, ImagingBuffet.com


Add a comment



Notify me of comments