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View Full Version : Looking for a large format color printer


ShyMAc
May 7, 2004, 11:21 AM
Any suggestions for a large format color printer? I work on a Dual GHz G5 running OS 10.3.3 and currently use an Epson Stylus Color 3000 and would like to upgrade. I can print up 16.4"x23.4" now and would like to continue to do so. Is there anything in the same quality/price range you might suggest? I mostly use it for proofing purposes and giving printouts to vendors.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Sherry

Jo-Kun
May 7, 2004, 02:39 PM
Hi I have a question for you...

a friend has allso an Epson Stylus Color 3000 and a G5 2X2Ghz 3GB ram etc. but for the moment he still uses his old beige G3 to make prints on it...
how did you connect the non-usb printer to your G5? we will try with a keyspan serial adapto later next week... but since you got it working, please help us ;-)

and another one has a large format HP printer with proofing software... I should check wich type he has... but that's allso something I can only do on monday...

Jo-Kun
May 7, 2004, 02:44 PM
I just checked the HP website:
he has the A1+ designjet 120 and the A3+ designjet 50ps

I don't know wich proofing software he uses, but its from a belgian company

grts

J

ShyMAc
May 11, 2004, 01:55 PM
I was actually surprised that it worked. I choose "generic color printer" in the print dialog box. It usually does OK. Not as good as when I use the G4. Printing has been a real issue for me since upgrading to 10.

Sherry

brap
Sep 26, 2004, 05:03 PM
I'd like to resurrect this thread and ask again, as I'm now in the market for a large format (A2, perhaps A1+) photo printer. I've been looking at the HP DesignJet 130 (base model), and it seems just about right for what I want. I need really good colour reproduction and ink economy; print speed is no issue.

I know there are quite a few designers and such here, so can anyone help me wander the right direction? Any firsthand experiences?

Thanks.

Blue Velvet
Sep 26, 2004, 05:16 PM
We absolutely HATE our HP DesignJet 20ps...

What's worse is, I was the one who picked it.

:o :mad:

It shreds every 2nd piece of paper that goes through it even though the whole base unit has been replaced by HP. They're not making them any more, surprise-surprise...

When it picks up the paper from the tray, it sounds like it's about to explode into thousands of tiny bits of plastic.

Definitely not a smooth operator...

brap
Sep 26, 2004, 05:42 PM
...Definitely not a smooth operator...
Yeah, read that about the Designjet 100, too. Not on my shortlist... thanks for the warning. Going to have to spend some serious cash to get a decent one I guess :rolleyes:

rfenik
Sep 26, 2004, 06:02 PM
I've got two Epson 7600's, one with pigment ink and the other with dye, and an Epson 10600 with dye.

Both are fantastic printers, excellent in every way. The 7600's go to 22" wide and the 10600 goes 44".

For most uses, I use the pigment 7600. It prints on sheets and rolls, and has a huge gamut. The inks last a long time. It's about $100 a color for a cartridge of ink, but the last months...

You can get the 7600's for about $3000 and the 10600 is about $7000. Unless you NEED the wide size, a pigment based 7600 may be your best bet. It prints on ANYTHING: paper, coated paper, photo paper, canvas, vinyl, you name it.

On Ebay there are plenty of Epson 7600's for under $3000....

I highly recommend.

brap
Sep 27, 2004, 03:42 AM
I've got two Epson 7600's, one with pigment ink and the other with dye, and an Epson 10600 with dye...
Thanks for that, I've taken a serious look at Epson's stuff and unlike their budget printers these seem to be really, really good - although sadly the 7600 is out of my price range (I am in the UK, and therefore will pay more, ugh). The Pro 4000, though, does look very tempting even bearing in mind the A2 size limit - having a cutter inbuilt is a great option! 75 year life is also good... and Firewire connectivity would come in very handy.

- so, has anyone anything they can add regarding these? rfenik, what software do you use for your prints?

Thanks all for your comments so far :)

emw
Sep 27, 2004, 10:04 AM
Thanks for that, I've taken a serious look at Epson's stuff and unlike their budget printers these seem to be really, really good - although sadly the 7600 is out of my price range (I am in the UK, and therefore will pay more, ugh). The Pro 4000, though, does look very tempting even bearing in mind the A2 size limit - having a cutter inbuilt is a great option! 75 year life is also good... and Firewire connectivity would come in very handy.

- so, has anyone anything they can add regarding these? rfenik, what software do you use for your prints?

Thanks all for your comments so far :)

The Epson 4000, though I haven't used one in production, has tested very well by those that have. It uses the same ink set as the 7600, and can be either sheet or roll-fed. The color-accuracy, when properly maintained, should be comparable to the other Epson UltraChrome devices, which is quite good.

We use a third-party RIP that is fairly expensive from CGS out of Germany. The nice thing is that it will automatically match the proofer to any ICC target profile through an iterative matching sequence (you need a spectrophotometer to read the measurements though). The not-so-nice thing is that the entire setup, with the Epson 4000, software, and spectro, can run you about US$10,000. Ouch.

The nice thing about the HP 130 devices is that they have built-in calibration and the RIP that comes with the devices is fairly competent. I hadn't heard about the paper-shredding aspect, though, so I'll have to defer to others on that.

I would stay away from the Canon 2200, which is another desktop model similar in size to the 4000. The speed is significantly faster, but mainly because the internal resolution (of the head) is lower - 200dpi vs. 300dpi on the Epsons. Also, the ink set tends to be less stable and will yellow over a relatively short period of time.

rfenik
Sep 27, 2004, 06:40 PM
Sometimes those artsy designers give me garbage artwork that looks cool but is sort of - unprintable (no trapping, no profiles, clipping masks that complicate fixing thier mistakes, etc.). Sometimes people that don't know what they are doing send me compressed JPEGS and want them enlarged, expecting them to look good or something. Actually, one time someone sent me a fax and asked me to blow it up 300% and screen-print it. That part of the business sucks, but when I deal with people who know what they are doing it's a good way to make a living.

Typically, I use Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. Sometimes people give me Quark files, which I can't stand cause Quark is so clunky to use.

If I get an illustrator file I check the trapping and add it, if neccessary. If any elements are in Photoshop I open them to make sure they are ok. I do the imposition in InDesign (usually work is multiple up) and double check the trapping from there, and make sure the seperations look normal with the handy "output preview/seperations/ink limits" palette.

Then, if the printing is outsourced then I make a PDF x/1a out of it and send it away. If i'm printing it then I make seperations from InDesign and then create a postscript file.

The great thing about the Adobe workflow is that all ICC profiles are kept so you can move to program to program, to different computers, and assuming your monitors are all calibrated - they all look the same.

The RIP that I use is Wasatch, which is a very powerful program that allows you to do just about everything. If you do any screen printing it has an amazing "precision rosette" feature that works very well, giving you a stocastic yellow for no moire problems. It's compatible with just about every printer on the market, and is reasonably priced too. I highly reccomend. This is thier website:

http://www.wasatchinc.com/

Other software that I use in the process is Monico Profiler, which lets me create output profiles for the different printers and all of thier media, so I know whatever substrate I'm printing on it's going to look accurate and good. I do this whenever I'm printing on a new type of paper. I also use Monico Optix to get all my monitors looking the same. I also have a dye-sublimation printer, an old epson 3000, a dot-matrix that I keep around for some reason (but never use), and of course a table and lots of x-acto knives....

I have a system and it works very well... I know what it's going to look like before I print a thing.... It's a great feeling when it all works. Epsons are good printers, I'd go with them. HPs are pretty good too if they are more in your price range.

brap
Sep 28, 2004, 12:37 PM
Thankyou all for the in-depth replies, it is very much appreciated; from what I can see it's either the Epson pro 4000, or the HP 130. They both seem to have their pros and cons, the Epson being the one I'd have if money-were-not-an-option; the HP being slightly under specified and requiring more manual labour! Anything less won't suffice, I think it'll just come down to which has the best software package (RIP + extras) - I'll let you all know how it goes once I'm set up! ;)