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What is your opinion of the Epson R3000?


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38 replies to this topic

#21 simato73

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 11:25

A bit narky today are we?

 

Re-read your post.

That's what you get when you are being condescending.

If you insist on this style you may find yourself more at home at DPreview..

You know nothing of my needs or circumstances so don't suggest what "favours" I should do to myself.


Simone

#22 Lars Hansen

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 11:40

I've had the R3000 for almost a year now. I really like the output but I still have much to learn about printing.

 

I've never experienced clogging and I'm not printing much - it can be two months or more between printing.

 

I run a nozzle check regularly - about every two weeks. Cleaning cycles are rare and maybe the nozzle checks and a cool+not too dry indoor climate has something to do with that.

 

I bought the R3000 due to its b&w printing capabilities - if I didn't care about b&w printing I would probably have started with a much cheaper Epson Claria ink based A3 printer. 

 

I chose to ignore the aspect of ink costs etc. - I just wanted to be able to print myself after some disappointing experiences with lab prints and I'm happy with the results I can produce .. no regrets.


Edited by Lars Hansen, 17 November 2013 - 15:16 .


#23 bjornthun

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:31

What about black & white printing? Do you need special inks or paper for that? Is Epson good for this?
Bjørn T

#24 simato73

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:38

What about black & white printing? Do you need special inks or paper for that? Is Epson good for this?

 

Northlight-images.co.uk has extensive information on B&W printing with Epson printers.

Obviously different capabilities with different models, the more recent ones being generally the best.

But also one gets the impression that custom profiles for B&W printing can go a long way even with older printers.

Since reading their site I have tried some B&W printing and I have been happy with the results although I am sure experts and purists would sneer at my results.

 

One can also use special inks but the latest sets of Epson inks seem to be very good for B&W not just colour, in which case a dedicated printer for B&W is not needed.


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#25 afx

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:48

What about black & white printing? Do you need special inks or paper for that? Is Epson good for this?

This was the reason I got mine....

I wanted a specific image printed, and I had a specific Hahnemühle paper in mind that looked good in the Lumas galleries. But just before I sent my image to Whitewall, Chris Wahl offered to print this image on a paper selection (including the one Lumas uses) of his on his 2200.

That immediately made it clear, that the paper offered by Whitweall would not work with this image. And also, as his selection included a Museo textured rag that delivered the best results but which barely any print shop offers in Germany, that I will have to look into printing myself.
So far no regrets apart from an occasional lust for the 4900 since Chris upgraded ;-)
With a bit of practice you can easily match the average fine art print shop. A few select print makers will still be better, but those are the exception.
An on some days I grumble about the need to waste ink when swapping between Matte and Baryta papers.

Paper choice is very personal.
While I generally like the looks of Barytas, they do have a slightly glossy effect which depending on how light hits them, is annoying to me. That's why I typically prefer the Museo matte paper for BW.

cheers
afx
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#26 bjornthun

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:56

This was the reason I got mine....I wanted a specific image printed, and I had a specific Hahnemühle paper in mind that looked good in the Lumas galleries. But just before I sent my image to Whitewall, Chris Wahl offered to print this image on a paper selection (including the one Lumas uses) of his on his 2200.That immediately made it clear, that the paper offered by Whitweall would not work with this image. And also, as his selection included a Museo textured rag that delivered the best results but which barely any print shop offers in Germany, that I will have to look into printing myself.So far no regrets apart from an occasional lust for the 4900 since Chris upgraded ;-)With a bit of practice you can easily match the average fine art print shop. A few select print makers will still be better, but those are the exception.An on some days I grumble about the need to waste ink when swapping between Matte and Baryta papers.Paper choice is very personal.While I generally like the looks of Barytas, they do have a slightly glossy effect which depending on how light hits them, is annoying to me. That's why I typically prefer the Museo matte paper for BW.cheersafx

So you get Barytta for printers. I used to like that for printing from film in the analogue days.

You say you waste ink switching from Matte to Barytta. Why is that? Do you need special ink for Barytta?
Bjørn T

#27 afx

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 13:04

You say you waste ink switching from Matte to Barytta. Why is that? Do you need special ink for Barytta?

Not exactly...

Matte and regular papers need different blacks. In Epson Lingo this is matte black (MK) and photo black (PK). The heads of the smaller Epsons can not handle both at the same time. Every time you switch, the amount of ink in the pipeline is discarded (the big advantage of a 3000 vs. older models is that you don't have to physically switch cartridges, but you still loose some pricey ink)

Baryta as well as the typical Lustre, Pearl or glossy papers all need the PK ink vs. the matte papers that use the MK ink.
Looks like the ink absorption characteristics of the matte papers make that necessary to achieve a deep black.

cheers
afx
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#28 Tersn

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 13:05

Probably a religious topic ;-)

HP and Canon also make good printers.
But when I was looking, the rumor mills was indicating that HP was loosing focus in this area. And I am not really a fan of Canon.
Epsons seem to be those that clog most (so far no issues on my rarely used R3000) and all but the large models waste more or less ink switching between matte and regular black.
I suggest having a close look at the other two brands before deciding.

cheers
afx

Thanks, I will look around for a while.


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#29 bjornthun

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 13:56

Simone and Andreas, thanks for sharing knowledge with me. Really appreciated! :)

Now I know more what to look for. I really want to do b&w printing again.

Edited by bjornthun, 17 November 2013 - 13:58 .

Bjørn T

#30 Ian

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 20:43

To AFX as Moderator:  For the record I consider Mr. Tomasi’s response to my first post in this thread to be inappropriate. His second response is beyond acceptable. If he does not value the comments to his question then the proper response is to ignore them.

 

 

To AFX as contributor to this thread, thanks for the thought about relative pricing between the R3000 and the R3880, but I wonder how powerful an argument that is and whether it can lead us further.

 

Product prices vary markedly around the globe so we should just look at premiums for one over the other. In the UK it looks like the 3880 costs about 80% more than the 3000. In Canada the same premium is about 70%, and in the US it is 50%.

 

Although that may well have an impact on choice, the 3880 costs about UKPounds 1,000 which is the cost of a good lens but still considerably less than any of Nikon’s best, and I put it to you that the printer has far more impact on the appearance of an image than does a lens or body.

 

You ask:

So you have endless wall space?
Or like stacking A2 sheets or bigger?

 

Well, I sell them! Last year I put close to 1 kilometre of paper/canvas through my printer. That does not mean much when compared to commercial shops, but it probably puts me ahead of 90% of the people who frequent this site, so I have a little knowledge of the subject.

About 1/3 of this is short runs of 100-200 prints for sports organizations showing winning teams. These are typically shot by sports pros and I get to see what many different cameras can really do. These prints are usually A2 or A3, with the latter being printed 4-up.

 

However I also sell my own work in a variety of ways with the most profitable being “wide” work of 1.2metres. I make more money from one wide piece than 4 A2s.

 

I did a comparison a few years ago which was posted on this site comparing an A2 print from a D300 with a D700, and a D3X. It was very hard to see any difference between them and any one of them could have been sold to a customer. The same is true when printing the sports pics. The 5D gives very similar print results to the 1DX given good lighting and static subjects.

 

So I will turn the question around  --- given that this site is fascinated with hardware, what do you all do with your images ??

 

The Pros shoot for a specific market and their needs can be separated from that of the amateur. So what do the amateurs do with all the images that come from their objects of camera lust??  Do they keep them in digital form to be peered at on a monitor, or do they print on a low cost printer in small sizes, where you cannot appreciate the power of the image?

 

These days I use a D800 and the holy trinity for two reasons. Firstly the ability to print very large and secondly the ability to crop deeply. The combo has other benefits but these are the main ones.

 

What do other people do with their images ??

 

To Tersn regarding printer choice .. the important things in choosing a printer revolve around output size, roll or sheet input, and ink type. Water based inks have short lives when exposed to sunlight and no professional printer of fine art work would use anything but pigment inks. I use an HP z3100 but my next machine will be a Canon Prograf.



#31 simato73

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 22:25

To AFX as Moderator:  For the record I consider Mr. Tomasi’s response to my first post in this thread to be inappropriate. His second response is beyond acceptable. If he does not value the comments to his question then the proper response is to ignore them.

 

 

So I will turn the question around  --- given that this site is fascinated with hardware, what do you all do with your images ??

 

The Pros shoot for a specific market and their needs can be separated from that of the amateur. So what do the amateurs do with all the images that come from their objects of camera lust??  Do they keep them in digital form to be peered at on a monitor, or do they print on a low cost printer in small sizes, where you cannot appreciate the power of the image?

 

These days I use a D800 and the holy trinity for two reasons. Firstly the ability to print very large and secondly the ability to crop deeply. The combo has other benefits but these are the main ones.

 

What do other people do with their images ??

 

I will leave the controversy aside since it is leading nowhere. Everybody knows where I stand (it is all written) and if the moderators wish to discuss the matters further we can take this offline.

 

I will go to Ian's question, which is interesting. I have thought about it before.

For me the final destination of a good image is on print.

I am not a pro, I shoot only what I want for my pleasure, have relatively limited skills and means, and even less space for the prints, but this fact remains the same.

I do like a good print and I like printing, so I do it - with moderation and with quite a few compromises.

 

I use a D700 (soon to be joined by an X-E1) and a few Nikkors, most of which cost me less than £400. I don't have any of the "holy trinity" lenses but I still can get pictures I like.

I do not crop, I try to challenge myself to visualise the shot, compose it optimally and minimise pixel wastage.

I print on an Epson 2200 up to 12" wide (to leave some white margin for mounting) and my longest pano was just over 1m long.

The best prints hang from the walls in my home - not a cavern but undoubtedly not an exposition venue, with smallish walls and most likely sub-optimal lighting.

I have also small prints for family albums, as I also value snapshots and family memories.

 

If somebody has good advice to give, it will be gladly received.

Unrequested advice is also accepted gracefully, if it is given respectfully.

But please don't tell me I have my disposable income spending choices all wrong.

 

Nemo me impune lacessit


Simone

#32 ilkka_nissila

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 08:43

Basically, the R3880 is highly favoured as one of the few Epson printers that does not clog itself to death with low volume usage. The R3000 is not really mentioned much as it is so small. Once you print 17” wide there is no going back, unless it is bigger !!

 

The Pro 3880 (not R3880) does have the limitation that it can't print on roll paper and so you can't do a very large panoramic print easily, whereas the R3000 (and on the other hand, the large format printers that stand on their own) can do that.

 

To me there is absolutely no point in buying the best lens and the best camera if you are only going to print in midget dimensions. A Box Brownie would be fine for a R3000. Well perhaps a slight exaggeration but not much.

 

When you shoot at very wide apertures, even a small print will show considerable differences in image quality between lenses. Also, very large prints are typically viewed at distance so the resolution requirement doesn't grow linearly with print size.

 

The smaller Epson printers (A4), in my experience, seem to position small sheets of paper more precisely so they can be better for proofing and for prints from events where the number of prints made may be quite large (though cost per print is higher). One of the most annoying things about the 3880 (and 3800 before it) is that it tends to tilt paper when it picks it up so the edges have to be cut again after printing. The A4 Epsons that I had didn't have this issue, but they did seem to clog more often (this was some years ago, 2006 and earlier; clogging may be less frequent now). The small printers (R800/R1800 at the time, now different products with different names) also made better glossy color prints than the 3800/3880.

 

Regarding the frequency of clogging, I think with the 3800/3880 I've had to clean ink heads maybe once a year due to slight clogging, but then normal operation would resume for quite some time. The R800/R1800 seemed to last about the first year without problems and then there would be quite serious clogging possibly terminal, but it is possible these problems have been reduced in newer models. The R3000, which I haven't yet used, should not have frequent clogging problems as it has the same inks and smallest droplet size as the larger models. I believe the issues with the R800/R1800 that I had back in the day were due to the very small nozzles, which let these printers make exquisitely detailed prints on glossy paper. Tradeoffs, tradeoffs ... :)  I do have to say that personally I would not go back to the 1.5pl droplet size printers, preferring the relatively trouble-free operation of the K3 (3.5pl if I recall correctly) printers even with their limitations regarding color printing on glossy paper.

 

For black and white printing any of the K3 (+ vivid magenta now) printers should be excellent. I like black and white printed on Epson's own Premium series of papers but you can experiment and find your own best solution. :)


Edited by ilkka_nissila, 19 November 2013 - 08:49 .


#33 schwett

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 02:39

there are some interesting points in this thread that I hadn't realized about the various Epson printers. in recent years I've had the r800, r1800, and r2000. the r800 was maddening re:clogging and cleaning, the r1800 better and the r2000 better still. not perfect - I have once had to clean it repeatedly for perhaps 15 minutes.

 

i print almost exclusively on various epson glossy papers and exclusively in color. no interest in b+w. i find the gloss optimizer and ultrachrome inks produce quality equal or better in color and feel to the best traditional prints.

 

other than reduced clogging and greater print width, is there any reason to consider replacing the 2000 with a 3880? do the larger droplets translate into lower effective resolution or more obvious dithering in the light areas of gradients? i would certainly enjoy not having to send out for prints larger than 13x19!


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#34 afx

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 06:25

other than reduced clogging and greater print width, is there any reason to consider replacing the 2000 with a 3880? do the larger droplets translate into lower effective resolution or more obvious dithering in the light areas of gradients? i would certainly enjoy not having to send out for prints larger than 13x19!

I don't have a direct comparison, but from what I read so far, the K3 inkset should give you slightly more vivid colors.

cheers
afx
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#35 ilkka_nissila

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 12:08

other than reduced clogging and greater print width, is there any reason to consider replacing the 2000 with a 3880? do the larger droplets translate into lower effective resolution or more obvious dithering in the light areas of gradients? i would certainly enjoy not having to send out for prints larger than 13x19!

 

I think the drawbacks of the K3 ink type printers (including 3880) are mainly that it doesn't work well for color on glossy paper; if you do this, the color shifts as you look at it from different angles. Semiglossy/luster/matte papers however don't show such issues and I enjoy the luster/semiglossy more than I ever did glossy. The resolution and tonality of the 3880 prints are excellent; it is easier to get neutral colors and good skin tones of the 3880 than it was using the R800/R1800. The K3 inks compensate for the larger minimum droplet size by having separate inks for lighter colors. There is light black, light light black, light vivid magenta and light cyan in addition to black, vivid magenta, cyan and yellow.

 

The 3880 has the advantage of much larger ink containers than the smaller printers, so the cost of ink per volume is lower (maybe 20-30%? I haven't checked recently). If you print a reasonable volume, you end up saving money (compared to R3000 and smaller printers) over the long term, and you don't have to replace the cartridges as frequently.  Of course, each cartridge costs more money since it's bigger but over the long term the printing cost is lower. The 3880 itself comes with a full set of cartridges ... it's like half the printer cost is ink that comes with it so in the end the A2 model is not more expensive than the A3+ R3000 and over the long term it gets cheaper.


Edited by ilkka_nissila, 20 November 2013 - 12:13 .


#36 dslater

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 14:09

What about the 4900 printer with 11 inks vs. 9 inks? Is that printer better for glossy prints, which I favor.

 

I've been considering getting a printer for a long time, I'd like at least 17" printer. My main concern has been ink clogging issues if I only use the printer intermittently.

 I'd be interested in any advice that could be offered.



#37 simato73

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 17:04

What about the 4900 printer with 11 inks vs. 9 inks? Is that printer better for glossy prints, which I favor.

 

I've been considering getting a printer for a long time, I'd like at least 17" printer. My main concern has been ink clogging issues if I only use the printer intermittently.

 I'd be interested in any advice that could be offered.

 

The 4900 is certainly the best printer for 17" prints and smaller, if size weight and cost are not a factor.

It handles all types of media and prints panos (the 3880 does not), it is incredibly robust and hard wearing, has all the latest inks, holds PK and MK and has a relatively waste free ink swap, big cartridges which are more economical for sustained use... the list goes on and on.

I believe the 4900's are sold each calibrated individually  - it is a proper commercial scale printer. It is also exceedingly heavy - too heavy for a normal table. You will need a very sturdy cabinet for it, and it also has a big footprint.

Economically the choice only makes sense if you have (very) large print volumes and possibly sell your prints. In terms of print quality there is no point choosing the 4900 over the 3000 if you are not printing bigger than 13" - I believe the ink technology is the same.

Ink swaps in the 3000 still waste less ink than the 4900 if I remember correctly.

All my knowledge comes from reading the pages at www.northlight-images.co.uk


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#38 Chris Wahl

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 15:11

Simone, I do own the 4900 and I couldn't agree more to the positive list you made up. I had the 3880 first and returned it due to the pizza wheel problem (as afx already wrote). I am happy each time I switch the 4900 on ...

 

For my eyes the printing results are a tiny bit better but that might well be my subjective enthusiasm :) I didn't own the 3880 long enough to really make a statement. It certainly is better than the results I achieved with the 2880 with which I started my printing efforts.

 

Ink clogging can happen if you don't print for a couple of weeks. I haven't had any problem with it when I did not print for 2-3 weeks but I needed one nozzle clean run after I had a 5 weeks break from printing.

 

The last time I checked, the 4900 is more expensive than the 3880 but not much more expensive. You certainly need some space for it and yes, you need a sturdy table/cabinet/whatever.

 

If you have any specific questions regarding the 4900 feel free to ask ..

 

Chris


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#39 borden1812

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 23:25

I had the 2200 for many years with no problems except the small ink cartridges.  Now have the R3000 with more expensive K3 cartridges which are slightly larger but seem to run-out just as frequently; maybe due to the seemingly endless wait when flushing after changing cartridges.  Great b/w images, easy to setup and so far, reliable.   






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