CISS printer choice

photog-art-printer

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Hi, I’m new to this forum and have joined to hopefully receive advice about ‘which used printer to purchase’.

My specs:
As far as I know, I’m a photography expert (40+ years experience) and know my way around a computer (first digital system in the world purchased in 1990 for $75,000).

I’ve a pile of Canon printers (some unused) that have produced excellent results using expensive pigment ink cartridges.

Art prints: This is almost certainly a difficult project, but I’ve no problem trying.

The plan (open to suggestions):
Best 50 photos, 200 prints of each, paper size 61x61cm (24” x 24”).

This calculates to 10,000 prints / 204 rolls of 61cm paper

Pigment ink only.

Paper size: 61cm (24 inch).

My opinion is: HP, Epson or possibly Canon.

Without knowledge, I’m guessing HP would be reliable due to user replaceable print-heads.

Epson apparently does not have this option. It’s possible the more expensive Epson models are built better than the throw away models.

Canon: As I’ve already stated, good results in the past, but I’m unwilling to pay for ink cartridges.

We pick research indicates Epson 3880 or 3800 may be OK for CISS.

I’ve no information about HP and Canon regarding CISS.

CISS would be best if reliable and easy to fit. Size and space is unimportant.

What pigment ink?
Does anyone have experience with different types/companies/manufacturers?

My fear is I print 10,000 units … and then discover I’ve been somehow tricked and sold a product that fades, is mixed with ordinary dye ink, or another deception.

Would prefer to spend 500 Euro, 1000 is also fine. If a more expensive option is suitable… please let me know.

Again: my question boils down to:
Best printer for 61x61cm photo prints.
 

The Hat

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By the sound of things your all over the place with your thinking..

For starters large format printers whether they be HP Canon or Epson are all good reliable printers, and you shouldn’t go on the perception of changeable heads, because reliability is reliability and they are in this model range..

Now as far as CISS is concerned, you’re talking nonsense, the printers you mentioned already come with built in-CISS and most if not all of them come with pigment inks, you chose the model that suites you, whether it’s Dye/Pigment inks.

When it comes to 3rd party pigment inks, the chose is yours, buy cheap and yes the pigment quality is usually very poor, like everything else if you go for quality you have to pay the premium price, but on these large printers you’d be better off sticking with OEM inks every time..

Lastly as far as prices are concerned, forget about your €500 to €1000 price tag, its more in the region of €2000 plus, so in my estimation you have a lot of soul searching to do.. You need a complete rethink of your whole future printer setup.. Sorry for being so blunt..
 

Ink stained Fingers

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You are looking for an 24" printer , the Epson 3380 runs 17" paper.
You are addressing the use of a CISS or alternate inks - you are planning to go into a kind of print production mode, I would not recommend any modifications to the printers - any - in this case - other inks - CISS hardware modifications etc - this might require quite some additional effeort to get it and to keep it working - e.g. new icc- profiles etc.
You mention replaceable printheads as a bonus for HP or Canon printers - printheads for thermal printing have a rather long but technically limited lifetime which makes replacement necessary after some usage - Epson printheads are not subject to these effects with their piezo-driven printmode. But all this is not a sign that Canon or Epson printers are better just by these differences - you need to look to the complete printer -quality - speed - roll paper handling - usability - connectivity and more

And go with the type of pigment inks as they come with the printer

The real low end 24" printers are the Epson T2100/3100 or the Canon TA20 , but you would need to test if these printers would meet your print quality expectations and handling - these are primarily roll paper printers - the sheet feeding capability is limited.

Epson and Canon have printer models like the SC-P7900 or the Canon Prograph 2000, I'm not familiar with HP printers.

You may study printer reviews by Keith Cooper who has tested a variety of such printers

https://www.northlight-images.co.uk/do-you-need-a-large-printer/

https://www.northlight-images.co.uk/category/articles-and-reviews/printing/
 
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photog-art-printer

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By the sound of things your all over the place with your thinking..

For starters large format printers whether they be HP Canon or Epson are all good reliable printers, and you shouldn’t go on the perception of changeable heads, because reliability is reliability and they are in this model range..

Now as far as CISS is concerned, you’re talking nonsense, the printers you mentioned already come with built in-CISS and most if not all of them come with pigment inks, you chose the model that suites you, whether it’s Dye/Pigment inks.

When it comes to 3rd party pigment inks, the chose is yours, buy cheap and yes the pigment quality is usually very poor, like everything else if you go for quality you have to pay the premium price, but on these large printers you’d be better off sticking with OEM inks every time..

Lastly as far as prices are concerned, forget about your €500 to €1000 price tag, its more in the region of €2000 plus, so in my estimation you have a lot of soul searching to do.. You need a complete rethink of your whole future printer setup.. Sorry for being so blunt..
Hi The Hat!
Thank you for taking the time to reply, and all information is absorbed, even the blunt stuff.



My response (admittedly from an inexperienced guy…. although I would like to mention my first printer was made by Kodak, cost $10,000, was supposed to be reliable and lasted one year. The price to repair was $3500. Therefore, $10,000 in the rubbish bin.



If I’m printing thousands of meters of photo paper, reliability is important, and that’s one of the reasons I’m here.



RE: “your all over the place with your thinking..”

I’m not a printing expert, otherwise I wouldn’t need to ask for help.

I’ve mentioned the specs: 61cm prints, pigment ink, 10,000 units, HP or Epson?

Not too complicated to answer, especially if you have a broken printer and are dissatisfied



RE: “are all good reliable printers”

Yes, I know all about manufacturers claims.



RE: “CISS is concerned, you’re talking nonsense”

Well, maybe I am, but it seems maybe you are.

When I write CISS, I’m referring to a bulk ink system whereas I can pour in … say 1 liter of pigment ink …. and let the printer do its thing (without me getting covered in ink whilst repairing things )



RE: “pigment inks, the chose is yours, buy cheap and yes the pigment quality is usually very poor,”

That’s why I’m asking, but I disagree with ‘buy cheap / poor quality’.

I’ve bought expensive with poor quality and cheap with good quality (with other things… such as tools).

As far as I know, there may be two factories producing all of the ink and marketing them as they seem fit.



RE: “forget about your €500 to €1000 price tag, its more in the region of €2000 plus, so in my estimation you have a lot of soul searching to “

Soul searching ;-)

Well, deep words when asking for printer advice.

I’ve just looked at eBay and the price for an Epson 3880 in excellent condition is about 850 Euro/$

Don’t understand ‘Soul searching’ or $2000.



My question is:

What printer to purchase that meets my requirements?

Searching for facts, don’t need to search for my soul.



(Soul: … the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal. … Emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, especially as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance).
By the sound of things your all over the place with your thinking..

For starters large format printers whether they be HP Canon or Epson are all good reliable printers, and you shouldn’t go on the perception of changeable heads, because reliability is reliability and they are in this model range..

Now as far as CISS is concerned, you’re talking nonsense, the printers you mentioned already come with built in-CISS and most if not all of them come with pigment inks, you chose the model that suites you, whether it’s Dye/Pigment inks.

When it comes to 3rd party pigment inks, the chose is yours, buy cheap and yes the pigment quality is usually very poor, like everything else if you go for quality you have to pay the premium price, but on these large printers you’d be better off sticking with OEM inks every time..

Lastly as far as prices are concerned, forget about your €500 to €1000 price tag, its more in the region of €2000 plus, so in my estimation you have a lot of soul searching to do.. You need a complete rethink of your whole future printer setup.. Sorry for being so blunt..
 

photog-art-printer

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You are looking for an 24" printer , the Epson 3380 runs 17" paper.
You are addressing the use of a CISS or alternate inks - you are planning to go into a kind of print production mode, I would not recommend any modifications to the printers - any - in this case - other inks - CISS hardware modifications etc - this might require quite some additional effeort to get it and to keep it working - e.g. new icc- profiles etc.
You mention replaceable printheads as a bonus for HP or Canon printers - printheads for thermal printing have a rather long but technically limited lifetime which makes replacement necessary after some usage - Epson printheads are not subject to these effects with their piezo-driven printmode. But all this is not a sign that Canon or Epson printers are better just by these differences - you need to look to the complete printer -quality - speed - roll paper handling - usability - connectivity and more

And go with the type of pigment inks as they come with the printer

The real low end 24" printers are the Epson T2100/3100 or the Canon TA20 , but you would need to test if these printers would meet your print quality expectations and handling - these are primarily roll paper printers - the sheet feeding capability is limited.

Epson and Canon have printer models like the SC-P7900 or the Canon Prograph 2000, I'm not familiar with HP printers.

You may study printer reviews by Keith Cooper who has tested a variety of such printers

https://www.northlight-images.co.uk/do-you-need-a-large-printer/

https://www.northlight-images.co.uk/category/articles-and-reviews/printing/
Hi Ink stained Fingers!

This is a nice forum. Fast replies from experts. Great.



RE: “for an 24" printer , the Epson 3380 runs 17" paper.”

You are correct, and I am flexible.

17” x 24” is fine.



RE: “you are planning to go into a kind of print production mode”

Yes, a little factory for a while to deal with one project, then I’m not interested.

I’m expecting trouble along the way, whatever printer/s are chosen.



Factory inks, unadulterated would be most convenient and reliable. I

Because I’m not willing to pay … say $10,000 for real ink, I’m interested in opinions regarding pitfalls and problems associated with bulk pigment ink.

It seems I’m at the right place.



Note: if I were printing one print for exhibition (or to display at home), I would certainly use the manufacturer ink and ignore the expense.



RE: “would not recommend any modifications to the printers - any - in this case - other inks - CISS hardware modifications etc - this might require quite some additional effeort “



Agree, but I’m not willing to pay $10,000 for genuine ink, and will therefore have to fight a CISS …. If this forum provides a workable solution



RE: “printheads for thermal printing have a rather long but technically limited lifetime which makes replacement necessary after some usage”



From memory …. I believe my 1990s Kodak printer was thermal. It used rolls of colored plastic and melted them onto the paper. Each roll cost $300. The printer lasted for 3 boxes of paper before permanent failure.



RE: “low end 24" printers are the Epson T2100/3100 or the Canon TA20 , but you would need to test if these printers would meet your print quality expectations”



Thanks. I’ll take a look. My print expectations are probably lower than most experts on this forum.

The reason for this is mainly because the original photographs were shot as news images, rather than for their artistic value.

In other words, the photographic quality is ‘junk’, but luckily, that did not previously affect price. The argument is ‘subject matter’ versus quality.

In my humble opinion, medium quality is sufficient.



If the printers you mentioned (T2100/3100 or the Canon TA20) are newish (recent), this may equate to ‘tricky to use with CISS’.



RE: “roll paper printers”

I’m intending to use rolls of paper (probably 204 rolls @ 30 meters each …. maybe less if I’m printing 17” on one side instead of 24”).

An automatic cutter would be useful.



Again, thank you for taking the time to write.
 

The Hat

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I am glad you’re not put off by my bluntness…:eek:

Firstly the 3880 is as old as the hills, so wouldn’t be a very good purchase, and is not a 61 cm printer either !..

Regardless of Claims, these printers are very reliable, so all 3 manufactures can boast about that, and I can’t say one way or the other which one is better than the other, because I have only used one brand.. Canon !..

Now back to the CISS again, these large format printer don’t use that kind of CISS, they use large replaceable ink tank for refilling so you never get your hand dirty..

The problem with purchasing 3rd pigment inks are that manufactures use organic colourants (powder), but the OEM’s use chemical formulas to achieve their colours, like the new LEDs lights of today, the old LED’s could only make RED, now with the right frequency they can make any colour.. It’s very hard to get premium quality pigment inks anyway..

When purchasing one of these printers, price should never come into it, because you need one that fits all the needs you have on your list, and todays printer come with a lot of bells and whistles, so you must choose wisely.

You have taken what I wrote very well, but you never mentioned the advice that @Ink stained Fingers has provided, it’s like good Cop, bad Cop, I do the shouting and he does the good technical jargon..



P.S. O’ no matter which printer you settle on, they won’t print thousands of metres of photo paper, only hundreds I’m afraid.. and I don’t need a soul, I use 3D printers..
 

photog-art-printer

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Hi Ink stained Fingers!

This is a nice forum. Fast replies from experts. Great.



RE: “for an 24" printer , the Epson 3380 runs 17" paper.”

You are correct, and I am flexible.

17” x 24” is fine.



RE: “you are planning to go into a kind of print production mode”

Yes, a little factory for a while to deal with one project, then I’m not interested.

I’m expecting trouble along the way, whatever printer/s are chosen.



Factory inks, unadulterated would be most convenient and reliable. I

Because I’m not willing to pay … say $10,000 for real ink, I’m interested in opinions regarding pitfalls and problems associated with bulk pigment ink.

It seems I’m at the right place.



Note: if I were printing one print for exhibition (or to display at home), I would certainly use the manufacturer ink and ignore the expense.



RE: “would not recommend any modifications to the printers - any - in this case - other inks - CISS hardware modifications etc - this might require quite some additional effeort “



Agree, but I’m not willing to pay $10,000 for genuine ink, and will therefore have to fight a CISS …. If this forum provides a workable solution



RE: “printheads for thermal printing have a rather long but technically limited lifetime which makes replacement necessary after some usage”



From memory …. I believe my 1990s Kodak printer was thermal. It used rolls of colored plastic and melted them onto the paper. Each roll cost $300. The printer lasted for 3 boxes of paper before permanent failure.



RE: “low end 24" printers are the Epson T2100/3100 or the Canon TA20 , but you would need to test if these printers would meet your print quality expectations”



Thanks. I’ll take a look. My print expectations are probably lower than most experts on this forum.

The reason for this is mainly because the original photographs were shot as news images, rather than for their artistic value.

In other words, the photographic quality is ‘junk’, but luckily, that did not previously affect price. The argument is ‘subject matter’ versus quality.

In my humble opinion, medium quality is sufficient.



If the printers you mentioned (T2100/3100 or the Canon TA20) are newish (recent), this may equate to ‘tricky to use with CISS’.



RE: “roll paper printers”

I’m intending to use rolls of paper (probably 204 rolls @ 30 meters each …. maybe less if I’m printing 17” on one side instead of 24”).

An automatic cutter would be useful.



Again, thank you for taking the time to write.
Add - Adding to my knowledge:
Thank you for pointing me towards ‘Epson T2100/3100 or the Canon TA20’.
These are new, and the price is similar to older/used printers.
It seems ‘Mr Hat’ is correct in this regard, and presumably, these modern plotter things do have a ‘built in CISS’ equivalent.
If this is correct, and I can just pour ink into a new machine, with factory warranty, great news …. and certainly worth visiting this forum.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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Firstly the 3880 is as old as the hills, so wouldn’t be a very good purchase, and is not a 61 cm printer either !..
and it does not have a cutter for roll paper - it's primarily a printer for sheet paper.

I'm not supporting the use of a CISS with large format printers unless they are equipped to do so by construction - you may find some larger Roland printers directly printing out of your bottles......

Let's forget these thermal transfer printers from the last millenium - some small niche products still exist today - some pocket type printers

Since you have such a hangup with a CISS - you may have a look to the Epson T3100 - this one uses 4 pigment inks - CMYK - in cartridges - the companion Ecotank version T3100x uses an Epson CISS built in - but comes with dye inks but you just can run it with the pigment inks of the orignal T3100 - or pigment inks of your choice as you very much tend to use 3rd party inks - both the T3100 and T3100x run on the same printing engine - and these printers come with a cutter and print 24".
Every pigment ink/paper combination creates its own look when printed - gloss - bronzing - gamut so it's your job to find the best combination for your plans and intentions.

You may try inks from Conecolor or precisioncolors or InkTec or China .................at your choice - and your risk.
(There are quitre some reports on this forum that users tested 3rd party inks - on Canon or Epson printers - with the essence that they turned back to OEM inks - which they tap from larger cartridges, and such inks are as well available at budget prices when you look for expired inks - so do don't need to pay $ 10 000 for OEM ink at all. )
It's all your decision judging print quality vs. pricing, you need to test and decide - you cannot rely on vendor statements like ' this ink is the best in the world - has the highest gamut - the lowest price etc'
 

photog-art-printer

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I am glad you’re not put off by my bluntness…:eek:

Firstly the 3880 is as old as the hills, so wouldn’t be a very good purchase, and is not a 61 cm printer either !..

Regardless of Claims, these printers are very reliable, so all 3 manufactures can boast about that, and I can’t say one way or the other which one is better than the other, because I have only used one brand.. Canon !..

Now back to the CISS again, these large format printer don’t use that kind of CISS, they use large replaceable ink tank for refilling so you never get your hand dirty..

The problem with purchasing 3rd pigment inks are that manufactures use organic colourants (powder), but the OEM’s use chemical formulas to achieve their colours, like the new LEDs lights of today, the old LED’s could only make RED, now with the right frequency they can make any colour.. It’s very hard to get premium quality pigment inks anyway..

When purchasing one of these printers, price should never come into it, because you need one that fits all the needs you have on your list, and todays printer come with a lot of bells and whistles, so you must choose wisely.

You have taken what I wrote very well, but you never mentioned the advice that @Ink stained Fingers has provided, it’s like good Cop, bad Cop, I do the shouting and he does the good technical jargon..



P.S. O’ no matter which printer you settle on, they won’t print thousands of metres of photo paper, only hundreds I’m afraid.. and I don’t need a soul, I use 3D printers..
Hello again ‘The Hat’!

Agree with you (shock) about the age of the 3880, and have just discovered the new low prices for plotter (?) type photo printers.



In other words, no need to go hunting for old printers when new units are available for almost the same price.



Note: Need to confirm I can pour cheap pigment into these things.



RE: “CISS again, these large format printer don’t use that kind of CISS, they use large replaceable ink tank for refilling so you never get your hand dirty..”



Yes. As you have pointed out, the additional CISS idea is redundant as the new plotters appear to allow bulk ink.



Question: Does that mean I can use any brand of pigment ink?



RE: “3rd pigment inks are that manufactures use organic colourants (powder), but the OEM’s use chemical formulas to achieve their colours,”



Yes. I’ve already pointed out… I’m afraid of tricks and lies concerning so called ‘pigment ink’.

It seems to me, the printer problem is solved …. buy a new plotter with built in bulk ink capability.



This forum solved the first issue in half an hour …. great stuff!



Next: Pigment ink.

Which brand (I’m in Europe at this time).

Has anyone tested the quality (as opposed to reading the claims)?



Note: I’m generally not a perfectionist, at least when it comes to printing. This is probably because I’m ignorant in this regard (and therefore in bliss).



Regarding colour profiles and that sort of thing, my way will be to print a dozen variations and choose the best photo (rather than dealing with ICC profiles … of which I know nothing).



RE: „3rd pigment inks are that manufactures use organic colourants (powder), but the OEM’s use chemical formulas to achieve their colours,“



Maybe someone has a reasonable solution. I’m sure a product exists that will do the job. It’s just a matter of sorting the wheat from the chaff (hopefully).



RE: „they won’t print thousands of metres of photo paper, only hundreds“



In that case, a new 24“ plotter for $1400 with warranty makes a lot of sense… as it seems i shall be destroying a few of them.
 

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