Epson L800 Experience

Ink stained Fingers

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I'm running an Epson L800 printer since some months, a model with a ITS - integrated tank system - the first generation of an Epson CISS. The unit is actually a P50 A4 6 color photo printer which Epson upmodelled with their ITS CISS system. I have printed about 1000 A4 photos so far, with the Fujilfim DL dye inks. It's just a no frills photo printer, like the discontinued P50 - no special features - no WLAN, smartphone connectivity etc. The printer is not sold everywhere by Epson, not in Western Europe, or the US to my knowledge, but in Eastern Europe, South America, South East Asia, Korea . I got my printer from a Polish distributor without hassle. The main and great benefit of this L800 is the Epson CISS, the convenience, no hazzle with cartridges, refilling, firmware updates and rejected cartridges, frequent interruptions of print jobs for refills - that makes a pretty big difference when you run a job of 50 double sided A4 prints for an album - it runs unattended - except one turn of the paper pile. This just would be impossible like that with a P50, or a R265 with frequent refill stops, pages printed just half, problems of reprinting those and maintaining the print sequence for the double sided print. I'm running as well a R265 with a CISS with pigment inks, I have a direct comparison, the CISS does not eliminate the cartridge empty stops in between.
So after a while of usage I can say that I'm happy with the L800, and even the premium price is acceptable for me with the mentioned benefits. There are no other smaller or bigger problems with the L800 so far - no clogged printhead, no funny noise, no other strange behaviour whatever.

The ink bottles are coded , and the user is supposed to enter such unique bottle code into the driver whenever the firmware reports that an ink container is supposedly empty. You can continue for a few pages ignoring the ink empty warning, but that interrupts the print flow. There are listings of such ink codes on the internet, but even easier the WICReset utility let you reset the ink bottle counters to 100% for free, without ink bottle codes, so there is no limitation for refill with any ink with this L800 printer.
 
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The Hat

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My Grandson is still thinking of the getting the L800, but cant bring himself to pay out for Quote “Just a stupid printer” the price is killing him at over €400, I wouldn’t mind but his Da will be the one that’s paying.

Epson have been selling these CISS printer here for the past six months and despite me recommending the printer to him, he’s still very reluctant because he’s very hard on printers and would receive the wrath of Khan if he FUBAR it in six months, he still has another 3 years left in college.

I gave him my Samsung 1650 laser printer and a Canon 7250 inkjet but ignorance and stupidity killed both of them and now he’s around to me every couple of day wanting me to print something out for him.

@Ink stained Fingers, thank you for providing this information because it’s as I suspected a no frills printer that just keeps on working, and I reckon even he might have found it hard to destroy this straight forward printer..

But then again I’ve been known to be wrong before.. :hu
 

Ink stained Fingers

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I don't know how much the L800 is protected against misuse and negligence, running an ink dry, refilling too late, feeding too much paper etc.
And I forgot to mention another benefit of the tank system, since there no cartridges replaced anymore all the related cleaning cycles don't happen and thus the waste ink container fills up much slower.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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the L800 is a photo printer only, there is as well a L850/855 printer/scanner combo available. I'm running as well an L300 as a 4 color general purpose printer - internet , fade test targets etc
 

Ionlab

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I am almost ready to pull the trigger on an Epson ink tank system printer. I know that they use dye inks that do not last long but my RX520 printer also used dye inks (I think) and i was satisfied with the print quality and longevity of the prints in an album.
All L series printers come with 3 year warranty extension for free

The L130 is 115EUR 4 inks (CMYK 180 nozzles black 60 nozzles color 3pl min droplet)

The other candidate is the L805 at 330EUR and this comes with 6 inks (CMYK + light CM 90 nozzles all print heads 1,5pl min droplet)

Do you think the price difference is justified by the print quality of 4 vs 6 ink system?

As i said the prints coming from the RX520 (CMYK) were satisfactory by my tastes. Vibrant colors (just a little darker than what i prefer)

PS. I also have tried printing on a WF3540 (CMYK DURABrite inks 384 nozzles black 128 nozzles color 2 pl min droplet) but the colors are VERY muted and do not know how they can be more vibrant....(at least bumping up vibrancy or brightness did not accomplish anything).

I would appreciate if you could comment on the photo print quality between the L800 and the L300 that you own that are essentially the same as the printers I am considering....

Do you have to print daily/weekly/bi-weekly in order for the printheads to remain unclogged on these ITS printers?

And finally how long can a custom paper size be with these printers?

I know too many questions but you are the first person that has access to both printers and can comment on them and I would appreciate your input
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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you are addressing lots of questions, good questions showing that you want the best. There are diferent areas you are addressing - one is the comparison of an L800 type model to other models - L130 and similar. Epson has removed on all those L models except the L800/1800 type units any borderless print capability although the units the L models are based on supported that. I think this alone makes it difficult to use them for serious picture printing, Epson intentionally has limited the range of use for those models. Don't look for the L1xx models at all - they are pretty slow - they print but veeery slow for pictures.
You are asking for a comparison between the L300 and L800, if you use the same type of ink you get about the same size of the gamut, the acheivable color space. The L300 is slower , does not use light colors, does not print borderless, and has slightly bigger ink droplets. I'm creating color profiles for all my printers, papers and inks, pictures printed with either one look the same. If you really go very close into lighter color areas you may see a little bit more coarseness of the prints from the bigger droplets, that really separates the L800 as a real photo printer from the other models.

You are addressing the light fastness of dye inks , that has been discussed in detail in other threads, it is actually a rather complex subject , look here http://www.printerknowledge.com/threads/which-pigment-ink-for-epson-1500w.9323/page-9#post-89191

Let me give you a condensed view on this, most 3rd party refill inks are pretty poor in this respect, somewhat better are the Epson L300 inks, even better are the L800 inks , and the best are the Epson genuine Claria inks but they are not available in bottles but only in small cartridges. Inks coming close in this respect are by Fujifilm and Epson for their Surelab/Drylab photo finishing printers - as discussed as well in the above thread.

There are as well some issues and properties discussed of pigment inks - Durabrite inks are tuned to office type applications by Epson, most large scale Epson photo printers are using Ultrachrome pigment inks.
The combination of a pigment ink with a suitable photo paper is more tricky, not all work together very well, and you need to run such inks profiled with an icm-profile - that's a must for best possible printouts.

The custom paper length for both the L300 and L800 is 1.1 meter, that should make some great panorama prints.

You are addressing the printer pricing, it's all up to you to decide, it depends how much you want to print, the convenience of the printer handling etc. I'm printing quite a lot overall so I cannot really adress the clogging question but if you print something once a week or so you should be fine. But this as well depends on the environment for the printer, temperature and humidity.
 

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Wow ... thank you for such a detailed answer.....you obviously know your stuff !!!! So I guess it all boils down to the following.
1. If you want borderless you have to get the L800/1800. I did read somewhere that you really should not print borderless but instead trim the paper afterwards.
2. The reason my WF prints so dull compared to my RX520 is dye to the tuning/composition of the ink by EPSON. Is it possible to create a profile for the workForce in order to match the RX output or would I have to use refillable cartridges with 3rd party inks?

I thought that the L800 and the L1800 were the same printer different format. Yet the first is warrantied for 3000prints (A4) the other for 30.000 prints (A3 which is double the A4 area). Is there a difference in the construction/materials of the print head that you may have heard of?

I am not considering using pigment inks with these printers. I was wondering about the original ink longevity. I read that these dye based inks although they are not as good as pigment inks they provide more saturated colours and have good longevity. Meaning that a print in a room without direct sun (exposed without glass in front) I guess it would take years to fade instead of weeks. In an album I would like to have 5-6 years at least. My understanding is that although dye based these inks do provide quite some longevity (to meet my requirements).
My RX photos (in an album) still look extremely good without signs of "wear".

PS. How often do you have to print and what volume (eg just a printer test page is enough?) in order to not clog these printers?
 

Ionlab

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I just finished reading your longevity reports among other stuff in this forum. WOW...so i feel i should address some of my questions for anyone else stumbling along this thread.
Wilhelm reports and your testing shows significant differences between the lesser L and L800/1800 inks.
Secondly printing technology is the same as it was 7-8-10 years ago. The printheads are recycled among diferent models (and driver for newer OSes is added). As a result It seems i should expect at least 4times more accelarated wear compared to a "normal" dye photo printer (using Claria inks) as i get on my old rx520
In Photo paper the L800 is rated for about 15years. BUT UV/ozone is only 6months. According to WIR that is the unprotected life expectancy of a print on the wall, which seems to me abit low...
Is there no clear spray on coating like ones used in coal painting to seal the pores of the paper in order to increase resistance to fading?


PS It seems that the solution of getting the Epson 1500w + ciss system + L800 or fuji inks is almost equal to the cost of the L800 and 3/5 the cost of the L1800.
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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Please let me just give you some brief answers

- borderless vs. trimming - I'm not aware of such statements, whoever is of that opinion should provide some plausible explanations, you are printing over the edges, and if you print high volume with pigment inks you may have to have an eye on those areas in the print bed for residue build up.
- about all dye inks are good enough to last for years in an album, and I don't know which light conditions you have at your wall - indirect daylight, and/or an halogen spot, or neon/energy saving bulbs whatever or a mix of all that so an extrapolation to that situation is just not possible ....
- some, actually the majority of 3rd party dye inks start fading visibly within days in the outside with a pretty small amount of direct sun Spray, coating, lamination, glass can extend the useful life of a printout somewhat.
I don't really understand why you would want to buy an 1500 W and an L800, do you want to run different types of inks ?
The printheads of the L800 and L1800 are the same to my knowledge as it was with the 1400 and P50 A3 and A4 printers. If you want another printhead you need to look for the P400 or P600 models as the successors for the R2000/3000.

You test for yourself whether you print 1 small image every other day, or whether you can expand that idle period by a day, and another day etc...

I'm not really getting the issues with your Workforce model, Durabrite inks are not made for photo prints, Ultrachrome inks can give you about the same gamut as dye inks, and you can do refill for your Workforce as well and use dye inks for photos, and using a 2nd cartridge set with pigment inks for whatever else, or you use one cartridge set with the Fujifilm inks, another one with cheap dye inks - it's up to you, there are plenty options but separate from the L800 discussion.
 

Ionlab

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sorry for veering a bit off topic....and the multitude of printers mentioned :)
I do not intend to buy both an l800 and a 1500w. I just pointed out that the cost of buying a 1500w + buying a ciss system for the 1500 and use on this combo ink designed for the L800 you end up with an L1800 equivalent printer at 3/5 the cost (of the l1800).

I am just trying to figure out a cost effective solution to printing about 1500a4 photos and the l800 seemed like a good proposition. But finding this place is like letting a kid loose inside the candy store. I just do not know if the l800 is the most cost effective solution or if some other proposition is wiser. Once again my apologies for veering off topic and thank you for taking the time to help me with all my questions and for taking the time to post your experiences about those ITS systems
 
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