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Vermont Hardwoods solid wood picture frame molding

Opinions Wanted best smaller printers...

MnSue

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
1,722
I'm not looking to add in house printing services and I have a fabulous cooperative barter relationship with a professional photographer that prints for me...

that said..
I would like to offer up to 11x17's in house as they tend to more what I would handle and have her do those that require "a larger" format or a roll of paper, i.e. a 12x36....

in addition, this printer size can easily be where my day-to-day printer and scanner are located.

so a cannon, hp, epson??? thoughts???

thanks
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
8,812
Well... based on my years of owning Epson large format printers, when my last one had a stroke and died, I bought a 44" Canon printer and amazed at the difference!

The quality is as good if not better, it doesn't screw up the printing with banding and clogging like the Epsons were prone to and I'm not doing anywhere near as much color correcting to get a match of the original.
Seems my Epsons were messing up the color output and not giving me what I was telling it while the Canon does.

As for which model at your size, no idea.

PS: Both Epson and Canon pigment inks withstand heat mounting.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
18,940
In my experience, another advantage of Canon printers is that they do not clog and require multiple cleaning cycles, even if not used frequently. Epsons like to be used regularly, or they get banding and clogging, as Framah described.
:cool: Rick
 

wpfay

Angry Badger
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 1, 2000
Messages
10,769
I guess it depends on what you are used to. I have a large format Epson (9880), and other than a paper jam it has performed well for the 11 years I have owned it. We print only on one kind of paper (Moab Entrada Natural), and don't let it sit idle for more than a week.
Alternately, I have been buying some art from Europe and the one photographer who does his own printing and has for 20+ years uses HP technology. I can't argue with the results.
Canon seems to be the current darling of the printers, and, if I were looking, I would probably check them out. I know I would not get a large format again. 85% of the things I print are on 8.5 X 11 cut paper, and few are over 16 X 20.
 

UzZx32QU

Forum Founder
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 29, 1999
Messages
3,799
Check out the cost of ink. Smaller the printer the higher the cost per ml for ink. How long the lnk can be stored before use is another issue.
 
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KumsaJack

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
2
I can think of two smaller printers: Canon Pro-100 and the Epson P600 for printing up to 13x19 sheets (the P600 can do paper roll). Here's a bunch of loosely structured comments:

  • The Canon Pro-100 is a dye printer with smaller sized ink cartridges. This means that as a dye printer, it's light-fastness is not equal to the longevity of pigment inks (which you know, but I have to say it), and the smaller size means the total cost of ink is higher (which was already noted). You can get 3rd party inks, but they are even less resistant to fading.
  • However, the Pro-100 is frequently on sale, and really produces terrific prints. I own both a Pro-100 and an Epson P800.
  • The Pro-100 can be left alone for months and start printing without any head clogging incidents.
  • The Pro-100 printhead can be replaced.
  • The Pro-100 can't print on just any paper, because it's dye ink. So, the range of choices will be slightly less.

  • The Epson P600 is a great pigment ink printer for 13x19 images.
  • As far as I know, it's also the least expensive pigment printer than can print panoramas. The lower cost Canon's are terrific, but they can't take roll paper, only sheet. As far as I'm concerned, the advantage of being able to output a horizontal or vertical print places the P600 above anything else in it's price range.
  • A tremendous range of papers supported with vendor profiles.
 

Daniel Smith

True Grumbler
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
50
Have and use an Epson P600. Works well. The B&W output is better than the pro Canon printer I had before - I do a lot of B&W printing.
Individual ink tanks make it easy to deal with. Bigger printers cost less overall for ink but you need to print a lot to make much of it.
Have few clogging problems. Much better than earlier Epson printers I have used for photo work.
Using high quality fine art papers - the results are excellent. Choosing papers tested for longevity with the Epson inks give a bit of confidence the prints should last awhile.
 

Guenthergalley

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
1
Well... based on my years of owning Epson large format printers, when my last one had a stroke and died, I bought a 44" Canon printer and amazed at the difference!

The quality is as good if not better, it doesn't screw up the printing with banding and clogging like the Epsons were prone to and I'm not doing anywhere near as much color correcting to get a match of the original.
Seems my Epsons were messing up the color output and not giving me what I was telling it while the Canon does.

As for which model at your size, no idea.

PS: Both Epson and Canon pigment inks withstand heat mounting.
Totally agree with Canon. Been using them for over 15 years, 13x19, 24 inch, 44 inch. I print my own work and print for other artist who used Epson but switched to us once they saw the difference. Another plus is how little ink they use.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
4,659
Totally agree about Canon, and the Pro-100. One thing I really like is that you can pull the print head out and clean it with running water.
 

wvframer

Humble Picture Framer
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
1,841
Epson printers, as a rule, must be used frequently. There are even programs that will automatically start the printer to run a test pattern on a regular basis. Not running the printer will actually shorten its life as the print heads become clogged.

By all accounts Canon printers to not have this problem. For a small printer in a small shop, I would start with a Canon.

Both printers have their loyal followers and most photographers can tell the difference when they look at a print. But they grudgingly accept that the one they like less produces good prints. For most frame shop customers, either is going to be impressive.
 
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nikodeumus

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
580
I've been using an Epson Stylus Pro7880 24" printer for 10 years (and it wasn't new when I started working here).
The print quality is great. K3 Ultrachrome inks and Pro Lustre paper make a good long-lasting print.

Who are you like to be printing for?
I think your target demographic would ultimately guide your choices.
A professional photographer has a much higher demand for accuracy and print finish than grandma wanting an 8x10 of grandkids birthdays.
Research costs of paper selection for each brand, and compare ink types. Dye ink isn't the same as pigment ink.
There is a huge range of paper types. You don't have to stick to the brand of paper that is produced by your printer brand.
Fine art and specialty papers abound.

What volume of printing do you expect?
If not printing frequently, go for one that can sit idle for a long time like the Canon.
Do you expect to print single sheet feed only, or would a 13" roll be more useful to you?

As far as my Epson goes:
If not printing frequently, just turning on the machine will run a cycle to keep heads clear.
Yes, occasional head clogs, but have never had to replace the head.
I expect newer models have addressed some of these issues.
I found an easy and inexpensive way to de-clog heads without removing, so not a big deal for low volume printing.
I don't need to crank out dozens of prints a day, more like a couple a week or less.
I don't use it for anything smaller than 8x10 and have done as large as 24x72.

How does it compare to a Canon? Not sure, it does what I want pretty well.
My customers have been happy with the results of the Espon so don't see a need to change things up now.
I mostly print for the average person wanting their vacation or family photos enlarged.
I have one or two professional photographers on occasion, but I don't cater specifically to that demographic.
Photo printing is an add-on service, not my specialty.

When this printer gives up, maybe then I would research whether to switch to a different brand.
Online research is necessary, however, don't get bogged down by comparing strictly numbers.

Ultimately a print is a physical thing people connect to in the real world.
Try to get samples of actual prints from various brand printers, using various paper types.
Choose what looks and feels like a good photo to you, then go for it.
You will be better able to please your customers with a product you are happy with yourself.
 
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