I got my 2200 last week and have done a little printing with it. I'm generally quite pleased with the results and I'm optimistic for the longevity of prints. I'm still working out what driver settings to use, the 2200 produces a less saturated image than the 1270 using similar settings. I'll share more printing impressions as I get further into it.
However, there are some design details that are annoying. The power button is positioned at the top right corner of the printer (at the end of the row of control buttons). This is a poor location that is easily bumped accidentally compared to the low frontal location for power on the 12XX series. My office space is always tight, so I somtimes set things on any available surface. I'll have to train myself to avoid setting anything on the 2200.
The removable paper tray engineering seems Mickey Mouse. A least on mine, replacing the tray is requires some finessing since it wants to bind as I try to align the hing pins and lock. This isn't a huge problem, but the design could have been better.
The paper cutter will leave big roller marks on prints with dense ink coverage if the paper isn't ejected and cut right away. I discovered this while I was making a series of settings test images on roll paper with the cutter installed. Having a cutter is great, I just wish the controls were better explained in the manual.
The two-piece roll paper holders are delicate-looking and fussy to use compared to the single cylinder design for other Epsons. They may turn out to be fine over time. I really like having a separate feed path for roll paper and this path seems to be less fussy about roll paper curl during loading.
The printer requires a high quality IEEE 1394 cable if you choose to use that connection option. I went through two generic ones that wouldn't work and wasted hours of troubleshooting and driving back and forth to the computer store. The Belkin 14' cable I picked up for double the price works. I've found Epson printers to be very picky about cables in the past, so this isn't a surprise. Save yourself a headache when you buy a cable for your Epson (especially if it's a long cable) and get one that is high quality.
Cartridge loading is a little vague. There isn't a good tactile feeback to proper installation. It's nice to have separate cartridges even if installing a full set of 8 carts takes a while compared to the two for my 1270.
I have yet to find the control buttons explained in any of the product literature. By trial and error, I discovered that powering off the printer would cause the cutter to cut and eject the last print. That's good, because the driver has no control that allows you to manually make a cut. As far as I can tell, setting the driver for manual cut means not using the cutter at all as opposed to manually controlling the cutter. I can make reasonable guesses at the functions of the buttons, but I'm not impressed with the documentation. I'll read every page in the manual and see if the info is buried somewhere.
The reviews I've read for the 2100 haven't dealt much with the printer itself and the design shortcomings I've noted. The "out of box" experience for the 2200 wasn't what Epson should aspire to provide. I hope my experience will save you some hassle with your printer setup. My experience with several earlier models got me through it, I fear a new buyer might be forced to call tech support.
Stay tuned for more printing impressions. I can say that I haven't seen any metamerism yet and the print speed seems to be faster than my 1270 for similar driver settings.
#1. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 0AlanC Basic MemberWed 28-Aug-02 11:40 AM
Thanks for those initial impressions. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of the print quality since I'm very interested in this printer as a possible replacement for my 2000p.
One specific question when you've done more printing is could you try and estimate how long, on average, the ink cartridges will last? This is something that's been worrying me a bit since the colour cartridges are about £12 each, and the black about £10 - the thought of paying £82 for a full set makes me cringe.
#2. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 1Wed 28-Aug-02 11:21 PM
With my initial testing, I've almost used up almost all the light magenta and the light cyan is down to about 1/3 full. The light black is about half full. The full strength colors are all about 3/4 full.
I've made 13 5x13 prints on Luster and Premium Gloss, 8 6x9 prints on HW Matte, 4 5x7s on HWM, 2 4x6 prints on Luster, 1 8x9 Luster, 2 9x12 Lusters, and 1 13x34 panorama on Luster.
That seems pretty good considering that I'll only have the replace the light magenta right away. The full strength colors will last for a lot more prints if this rate of consumption holds.
I bought some spare carts and I'm buying two of each light color for each one full strength color. The ratio might be more like 3/1 or 4/1 long term. But I suppose that might change depending on the images I'm printing.
What this strongly suggests is that I've thrown out a lot of ink when the 4-color carts for my 1270 registered "empty". The separate carts will result in a lot less wasted ink so the economy might best your 2000P significantly. You'd certainly love the print speed and the paper cutter.
I'm extremely pleased with the print quality but I'm still playing with settings to boost ink density for my saturated images. The Ultrachrome doesn't have quite the punch for lush colors.
I did find more detailed (if very poorly written) printing instructions on the CD manual. I'm not sure how the documentation is handled for the 2100, but I hope the translator was better than the one that wrote this stuff:
"Adjusting the quantity of the ink
You can adjust the strength of Color Density. Use a value in the range of -50% to +20%. The default is 0. Drag the scroll bar with your mouse to the plus (+) direction to deepen the color of your printout or the minus (-) direction to lighten its color. You can also type a number (-50 to +20) in the box next to the slide bar. Use this function when you print the paper that is not EPSON special media.
Set the scroll bar to the 0 position when you use EPSON special media.
The color of the printout can not be deepened depends on the printing mode. "
BJ comment: The previous sentence is completely unintelligible to me...
Confirm if the paper that you use and the quantity of the ink fit before adjusting. "
BJ comment: Huh?...
"The printer rollers may leave the mark on the paper when you deepen the color, because the amount of the ink increases. If this occurs, set the waiting time for drying longer or adjust the quantity of the ink.
Adjusting the waiting time for drying the ink
You can adjust the time between the end of the printing and the feeding the paper. When you need to dry the printout enough or the printer rollers leave marks on the paper, adjust the Drying Time per Print Page. Use a value in the range of 0 to +20 (20sec). Drag the scroll bar to the right or left with your mouse to adjust the setting. You can also type a number (0 to +20) in the box next to the slide bar. "
I get better translations using Babelfish to translate a website!
#3. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 2Thu 29-Aug-02 12:49 AM
Thanks so much for posting your comments on the 2200. I have been setting here for the last hour debating on whether to go ahead and buy the printer tonight (B&H has it and all the ink colors) or wait until more people have played with it. BTW, some folks at www.naturephotographers.net have posted some info on profiles for the 2200 on their digital forum. Think I may just play with my new Markins Ball Head (I love it!!!!) for the next couple of days and think on the 2200 some more.
"From the Mtns of New Mexico"
#4. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 2AlanC Basic MemberThu 29-Aug-02 02:30 PM
Thanks for the information. I've long had suspicions that I've been throwing away substantial amounts of ink with the 2000P's "all in one" colour cartridge, but I'm surprised the ratios between the light and standard colours should be so great.
Unfortunately it looks like I'm going to have to wait if I want a 2100: a quick check round a couple of on-line dealers showed one saying "temporarily unavailable" and another giving lead times of 4 to 6 weeks....
#5. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 2Mon 02-Sep-02 08:58 PM
Is the intermediate photo hobbist like myself better off sinking their teeth into the 1280 at half the price of the 2200 right now and waiting for the more experienced photographers like yourself figure out how to take advantage of the 2200's capabilities?
"From the Mtns of New Mexico"
#6. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 5Tue 03-Sep-02 03:54 AM
A 1280 will deliver great prints, every bit as good looking as those from a 2200.
The key issue is how you can manage with the cyan fade problem that exists for dye-based 6-color inks. You should be able to get several years fade-free life from 1280 prints provided you protect the prints from airflow. Protection means displaying prints behind glass or acrylic or storing them in protective sleeves. I can verify that even the most stable paper that you can use with the 6-color inks, Epson Heavyweight Matte, will succumb to cyan fade if the print is exposed to airflow. The cyan ink oxidizes with air exposure. Humidity, local ozone concentration, the amount of airflow, and perhaps other variable affect the rate of fade. But air exposure will fade the cyan (and black that has cyan as a component) over time.
Other than the built-in cutter, the only substantial reason to step up to the 2200 is the greater stability of the pigment-based Ultrachrome inks. The inks are not only more stable chemically, the pigment particles are also encased in polymer spheres that protect the ink from reaction with the air. This resin is responsible for the shiny quality the ink has when printed on satin paper - the most significant drawback to the new ink technology.
The Ultrachrome archival 80-100 year fade-free lifespan estimates are from Epson and there is no guarantee that they haven't overlooked something in testing. But the cyan fade problem is well-documented and even protected prints aren't projected to last more than 5-20 years without fading depending on the paper used. If you plan to sell your prints or if you just want the comfort of a very long archival life expectancy for your prints, the 2100/2200 is the most practical option that will deliver the most vibrant color.
You can use aftermarket pigment inks in a 6-color printer, but doing so requires more maintenance and setup hassles and the color gamut is smaller than Ultrachrome inks. The Epson 2000P uses a pigment ink set, but it is slower, and more expensive than the 2200. Even if the price for the 2000P falls dramatically (as it should) the pigment inks for this printer have less color gamut and demonstrate metamerism (a color shift under various light sources). Metamerism in the Ultrachrome inks is minimal - I haven't seen it yet in my 2200 prints.
Ultrachrome inks are an advance, but you certainly can make great prints using the 6-color printers. If you can control the conditions for display and storage you can also get a good display life that is on-par with that of typical photographic paper prints.
#7. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 6Tue 03-Sep-02 08:18 AM
Thanks for the details. Good info. It touched on an important factor. It has been over 20 years since I sold a print as my career took a detour that steered me away from photography. A year or so ago I decided life was too short to ignore the little voice in my head that kept telling me to start seriously pursuing my early love again. Right now I am tying to regain skills that have dulled or evaporated over the last two decades. If by chance I am able to produce saleable prints again then I should provide the customer with a print that will last.
Still have a question about operations thought. As I struggle with learning photoshop I am dealing with a level of frustration that takes away from the fun of it all. Is there a big delta on the learning curve to producting consistantly good photos from the 1280 to the 2200 and are you experiencing the noticable Megenta cast a few others are seeing?
Thanks again for the time and effort you put into the responses you provide to all of us here on the forum.
"From the Mtns of New Mexico"
#8. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 7Tue 03-Sep-02 02:32 PM
Actually, I'm losing some magenta saturation on this image when it's printed on the 2200:
The 2200 print looks good, just a little unsaturated (especially in the yellows and reds of the foreground) and a little light on density. I know the printer can make a nearly identical print since I used this image to get a test print made from the 7600, a wide carriage Ultrachrome printer. I'll ask about the print settings used at inkjetart.com where I had the print made and see if they're different than those I'm using. I supplied a sample print, so if they tweaked the file to match the sample I don't consider that a reasonable workflow.
I'll do a scan of prints from both printers to demonstrate the differences I'm concerned with.
If you're starting out with an inkjet for the first time, the learning curve will be similar for each. The 2200 is new enough there isn't the extensive user knowledge base that there is for the 6-color printers, so you'll see more discussion on how to optimize the printing. The driver has new settings that aren't applicable to the earlier printers, so there are some variables that few, if any, people have tested and written about.
#9. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 8Tue 03-Sep-02 10:15 PM
Ahh...beautiful wide open spaces and sage advice. I will continue to work on my photoshop skills as the knowledge base on the 200 develops.
"From the Mtns of New Mexico"
#10. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 9danshep Charter MemberWed 04-Sep-02 02:08 AM
I have a question about setup.
I got mine today (YAY! The key is to backorder it).
I could go the firewire route, or I could go usb. I have run out of usb ports.
I have the firewire IEEE1394 card, which came with my Nikon 4000 film scanner.
So can I connect by way of an additional cable, to that card, or do I have to buy another firewire card?
If I go usb, can I just buy a usb hub and connect, or do I have to go with another card?
Thanks for any info.
"Today is the tomorrow that yesterday you spent money like there was no."
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#11. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 10gwprovost Registered since 18th Jul 2002Wed 04-Sep-02 06:47 AM
The firewire is a lot faster. I have my Epson 2200 and Coolscan 4000 connected to the same card and it works fine. I do suggest that you get a high-quality firewire cable as some of the cheaper ones may not give the same good results.
If you use a usb hub, connect some of your other peripherals to it and connect the printer to the computer directly for best results.
#13. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 11devenh Registered since 18th Feb 2002Tue 10-Sep-02 02:11 PM
While Firewire is technically faster than USB 1.1 (which most PCs currently have), I wouldn't think it would make any difference in print speed with the 2200 since the 2200 doesn't have much of a buffer. The limiting factor of the printer is the print head, and USB is always going to be faster than than.
If you have time, could you run a test using both?
#14. "RE: Epson 2200 first impressions..." | In response to Reply # 0
I wanted to update my first notes with my most recent tests for the Xpan panorama that was coming out with less saturation than I expected.
I ran the image on new stock Premium Semigloss and Premium Glossy photo papers. The results on these new papers were very accurate to my 6-color prints and calibrated display. I suspect that the rolls of Premium Glossy and Premium Luster I was using for my first test prints are not performing with the ink as well as the newest paper formulations. I'd advise you to use new Epson paper stocks. Unfortunately, Epson has reformulated paper a number of times, so you can end up with a different paper with the same product name if you have older stock or hand or end up buying older inventory.
If the results on the new paper are consistent (and I imagine they are), the 2200 is providing very consistent and predictable color results. The attached photo shows one of the lower saturation prints on PGPP above, the one I ran on a sheet from a new box of PGPP below. The flatbed scan of the prints isn't very true to the original image file or the prints themselves, but it does show the relative density, saturation and color variation between the two prints.
Attachment#1 (jpg file)