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Miraplacid Forum >> Virtual Printer Drivers >> Deep in thought about printers...Moderator:Cerberus

Author Topic:  Deep in thought about printers...

From: USA
posted 2003-05-02 06:34:08 Reply -Delete

So, here we are again. Oh, wait, I don't think I have ever actually been here before. This is kinda long and rambling and meaningless to most, so feel free to stop reading right here.

What I am thinking is this. I love to be able to print at up to 13x19", and while I am pretty happy with the image quality from my Epson 1270, I am just not happy with inkjet prints. I desire real photographic paper and feel and durability, and inkjet just can't deliver on that. I also want continuous tone, and while inkjets have gotten very near, they still aren't there. And mostly, I am tired of wasting half an ink cartridge cleaning the heads when they clog, and how much it costs to replace those cartridges (at least, to get good, realiable, quality cartridges). So all of this has led me to think about this.

Sell my Epson 1270. Not sure what it is worth, maybe a bit under $200? Take that $200 and buy an inexpensive laser printer. I found a few decent ones for around $250. Then splurge and buy the Olympus P-400 dye sub printer ($470).

Here's my logic (well...). I print two things, emails / letters, and photographs. Period. It is very, very rare that I print anything in between. I also tend to go long times without printing anything, hence all of my inkjet clogging cartridges drying up problems. The price of the dye sub is higher than most 8"x10" sized inkjets, but less than the 1280 or P2000/2200. Cost per print is similar, keeping in mind that I use high quality glossy photo paper 98% of the time I print (about 60 cents per sheet for glossy paper, and probably another 50 - 80 cents worth of ink (or more?) making roughly $1.40 per 8x10 print VS roughly $1.80 per print for the dye sub). The laser would fill the void for printing text, and from what I have seen, the $55-$80 (depending on what printer I get) toner yields from 2000-5000 prints. So while I have to pay for the laser to begin with, the cost to operate it is really low.

So if you have gotten this far, thanks! Now my question. Am I totally nuts? Ok, I am, but what about this route I am thinking about taking? And if any of you have the Olympus P-400, what do you think of it? Has the 7.6" width been a hinderance to you? I used to think not being able to get a true 8" wide print would suck, but then a lot of mattes have about a 7.5" opening, so it would still work (not to mention, 7.5"x10" means less cropping of my camera images).

Ok, that's all for this forum. Now on to the next forum with my other ponderings...


From: Italy
posted 2003-05-02 06:35:09 Reply -Delete

The Oly Dye-Sub will not print a true 8 x 10. That is what prevents me from doing the same thing.


From: USA
posted 2003-05-02 06:35:58 Reply -Delete

A CIS will take away the clogging and some other inkjet-related worries, such as inconsistent printing throughout a cartridge.

Won't solve your tone query though.


From: USA, Florida
posted 2003-05-02 06:36:21 Reply -Delete

I'm not sure if Laser prints are as good as inkjet prints. Anyone have evidence of this? I haven't seen Laser prints for about two years now, so I'm outta the loop with those babies as far as quality.

Printers just suck. This is the only area where I'm confused on what to get myself--and if it would be worth it. You're correct on the clogging of inkjet printers. You have to print a page or so every week it seems. Sounds easy enough, but there are times when you have an "enlightenment" and print 50 pages in a few days, and then there are times when you have a down period of three weeks.

Epson needs to make their printers with Air-Tight printer modules that only open up when it is actually printing. Who knows, they may have thought about it already, but decided not to do it because that would mean their ink cartridges would last longer.

I think Laser just might be the way to go. I need to do more research though. Arghhhh.


From: Italy
posted 2003-05-02 06:37:02 Reply -Delete

For what Matt wants, a laser is better than inkjet. He wants the laser for the letters, memos, etc.

He then mentioned the dye-sub printer for prints. The only problem I have with the Oly unit is that it does not produce 8 x 10 prints. They are slightly smaller than that.

I have settled on the Epson 820 and when I want something better I go to CostCo. In fact, for 4 x 6 prints, CostCo is cheaper than doing it at home. And the at home solution is only marginally better as far as price *IF* the first print is good.

I have my system calibrated for sRGB and can get good results from CostCo without having to print anything out before hand.

Good luck on the printer search.


From: USA
posted 2003-05-02 06:37:31 Reply -Delete

Thanks for the comments guys.

Jason, laser printers are better than inkjet for printing text. But that is the only place they are better. Printing graphics / images on a black and white laser is usually pretty poor, and printing them on a color laser has gotten a lot better, but is still not as good as an inkjet. And a good color laser printer still costs upwards of a couple grand, so that is out of the running.

I think I have pretty much convinced myself to get a laser for my text printing, I have found a couple decent units for about $200 that claim a cartridge life of about 3000 prints. But as has been pointed out here, the Oly dye sub does not do true 8x10 prints, and that is the only thing keeping me from buying it. So my plans for now are to wait a few weeks, and see if Oly or anyone else comes out with something new at Comdex. My only fear then is that some one will, but at twice what I am willing to pay...I don't particularly want to pay $400 for the Oly dye sub even if it did do full 8x10 prints - though I know it would be worth it.

On the Costco front, I have been doing just that. They do a great job, I do my color corrections and cropping, and have not had any problems with them. But figuring the math out, it costs about $2 a print from Costco, and about $1.80 per print from the Oly (and Kodak dye sub...but it costs $1000). This year alone, I have already had Costco make a couple hundred prints for me, not counting the inkjet prints I have made at home or work, so not much longer and I will be up to the price of the Oly printer. And besides, I just like to do it myself.

So, anybody interested in an Epson 1270?


From: Germany
posted 2003-05-02 06:37:58 Reply -Delete

I'm assuming Costco use's the Fuji Frontier system ?

I've heard lot's of good things about the Fuji, and I'm trying to figure out which one of my images I want to test it with, and then head on over to the local Wal Mart.

I too have the 1270, and so far, I'm extremely impressed and happy with it's results, but then I haven't (knock wood) had any clogging problems, but then I use mine almost daily.

All the prints I've sold have been from the 1270 as well. Both glossy and matte.


From: USA
posted 2003-05-02 06:38:17 Reply -Delete

Costco does use a Frontier, and it is a wonderful machine.

I am happy with the image quality from the 1270 (among other inkjets), and while the clogging is an issue, it goes well beyond that for me. For Matte and fine art papers, I think inkjets are great. But for glossy (which is what I print 99% of the time) I have never been happy with the paper feel, paper / ink durability, or longevity. The longevity is better, but still not as good as a dye sub (short of using this exact paper that I don't like to use with this exact printer that I don't own with these exact inks which are a bit flatter and less saturated than they should be - and at a very high price). I am even less comfortable with inkjet prints for selling, since they are not continuous tone, are easily damaged from scratches or even fingerprints, and while I don't mind laminating them it is a pain and can cause problems if not done right. I know a lot of people who have seen my prints and would probably have no problem with them being inkjet, but I would have a problem with it, and that is all it takes.

I have already decided to go this route...get a cheap laser for text, and a dye sub for prints. I am just waiting to see what comes out of Comdex next week, hopefully an 8x10 or larger version of the P-400, at a $500-700 price point. But I'm not holding my breathe either.

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