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Printer Advice


Ann Arbor, US
340 posts

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Zevi Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Feb 2008
Tue 19-Apr-11 08:39 PM


I'm considering getting a good-quality printer that will be dedicated to photos (i.e., if I can keep my kids disciplined, it will not be used for daily printing tasks...), and I'd appreciate getting some feedback from the collective knowledge here...

Obviously, what is the "best" printer depends on my needs and intended usage. The problem is, that not having much experience with printing my own, I don't know a whole lot about what my needs will be -- I can only guesstimate at this point; I have a feeling that once I get a printer and start using it -- my usage will change significantly (so here's another thing I'd love to hear about from people who "started" to print...).

My current thinking:
1. I print for myself (not commercially)
2. Most of the prints will be 5x7 (maybe 250 per year? how realistic is that?)
3. Occasionally, I think I'll print 8x11 or double that size (maybe 50 per year? how realistic is that?)
4. Unless there's some compelling reason to exceed it, I'd like to stay under $500 for the printer.
5. Not sure about "art paper", but I'd like to have that option if reasonably-possible...
6. Would like to minimize the ink cost (yeah, good luck with that...) and to get some idea about what kind of cost to expect.

Any additional vital considerations I'm missing?

I read Ernesto's great reviews of some printers, and found them quite enlightening (thanks!). However, additional reading and some searches here, did not come up with any "buyer's guide" or other form of "reccommended printers" with pros-and-cons. Two models, however, caught my attention as reasonable candidates: Epson R1900 and Epson R2880. Any other models you reccommend for consideration?

Also, this is what I found elsewhere on these printes:

---- {start quote}

Epson R1900 or Epson R2880

Each family of printers has different specialization, caters to different types of prints (and hence different groups of users), has different ink formulation and excels in particular types of output.

  • R1900 is probably the best wide color gamut printer currently available. It excels in producing bright saturated color prints on gloss/semi-gloss paper and excellent skin tones. R1900 struggles with black & white prints and art paper.
  • R2880 is probably the best B&W printer on the market. It creates superb black & white prints and produces subtle art prints with extremely smooth gradations. The gloss printing is in line with industry standards, but clearly inferior to R1900.

The question “which printer is best” is meaningless – you cannot compare apples to oranges. The real question is “which printer is best for the kind of prints I am planning to do”. The rule of thumb is:
  • If you are primarily interested in high-gloss color printing – R1900 is for you
  • If you are primarily interested in B&W and art photography – you go for R2880
  • If you want to do both, consider which one is more important for you

The price difference between the two is misleading. R2880 is more expensive simply because it is more of a niche printer and has fewer users (not many people are doing B&W nowadays). R1900 is more mainstream, hence cheaper.

---- {end quote}

How accurate would you think this assessment is?

As usual, your input will be highly appreciated!


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