Printer recommendation

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by teriklass, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. teriklass macrumors newbie

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    Apr 4, 2008
    #1
    The issue seems to be the changing printer market and the general inkjet printer vs. the inkjet photo printer. I currently have the hp deskjet 1220 which has had it's share of problems. I am confused by these responses regarding the postcript issue. Do I need a printer that has it or are all new printers capable of printing eps files from quark etc.?

    It seems the best choices are the canon pixma 9000 or 9500 (which is best for graphic design, text, some photos and illustrations) or the epson 1800 or 2400 (any knowledge about the type issues with the R2400?).

    Please recommend the best 13 x 19 printer.
     
  2. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    #2
    i print EPS files of logos, typography, etc. all the time off of my canon pixma pro9000 with no issues at all. i rarely use quark but EPS out of illustrator, indesign and photoshop are no issues. i should note that i do follow a color-managed workflow and use the canon provided color/paper profiles.
     
  3. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    #3
    Issues with printing eps files on PCL printers are from the earlier Mac operating systems. (OS9 etc...)
    Back then, I used an Epson 800 with Postscript licence for proofing.

    Current OSX-based Macs are significantly better in this regard, and there's really no need for a true postscript printer for proofing documents anymore.
    I currently use an old Canon i850 inkjet for color proofs, and when printed on Canon glossy paper, the proofs are virtually a perfect match to the commercially printed documents.
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #4
    Correction: PCL was not supported by MacOS 9.
     
  5. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

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    #5
    I own an Epson R1800, it Prints Blacks & rich blacks plenty dark.
    Prtints 13x19, and also prints on printable CD/DVD's
     
  6. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    #6
    Ink jet printers are not optimized for type. They can print from QuarkXpress and Illustrator directly but ignore postscript features. Rasterization is performed by the printer software.

    I often print from InDesign and Illustrator directly to my Canon iPF5000 with excellent results. These prints are usually mainly graphics that I use as color proofs.

    For brochure or document printing that is mainly text, I print to a Xerox Phaser 8550DP that is Postscript 3 compatible.
     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #7
    Actually, the Xerox Phaser 8550DP uses genuine PostScript 3 rather than a PostScript clone. This model has been superseded by the Phaser 8560. The printer is incredibly fast, built like an anvil, and with a list price of $899 USD, is relatively inexpensive. If your paycheck depends on quality printed documents, then your printer should be PostScript. It has the added benefit of ending your concerns about compatibility between your OS and printer. If your OS vendor supports PostScript 3, then you are set.
     
  8. perp macrumors newbie

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  9. bluesnoop85 macrumors member

    bluesnoop85

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    #9
    Hi,

    hope dont mind me taking over this thread, it was the closest i could find instend of starting a new thread.

    Im a graphic designer, occasionally working from home and get asked to design and print small jobs upto 150. More than often i have found that sending to a proper print shop tends to be expensive and i end up losing a client because its too expensive for them.

    My question what is a good printer for graphic design printing. Things like A6/A5 invitations & flyers, CD/DVD covers, just general things clients want a small run of. Requirements
    1. budget of £300
    2. A3+ size
    3. takes thick card upto 280gsm
    Any recommendations would be grateful. I have only had experience using Epson home A4 printers for home use...want to up my standards to pro:)

    So far research has led me towards HP Photosmart Pro B8800. There was the Canon Pixma 9000 or 9500 but i couldn't work what canon special media meant.


    Thanks in advance.

    Snoop

    --
     
  10. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

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    #10
    "Pro" inkjet printers generally come with a method of calibration, have pigment inks for longevity, include separate ink cartridges and support larger page formats. Network ports and PostScript may also be features desired by pros.

    I have many types of printers up to 60 inches wide. The last one I bought is the Canon Pixma Mx850. It's still in the box so I can't offer a full review. However, I purchased it to print some CD labels because it is highly regarded everywhere though it was released over a year ago. It has no pigment inks, calibration software or large output. However, as an all-in-one it offers a wealth of features including Ethernet and duplex for under $200 USD.

    Special media usually refers to glossy photo paper. This is the paper on which the manufacturer performs default calibration. If the printer has no controls for end-user calibration, results can vary considerably when using other papers. There are third-party photo papers you can try.
     
  11. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    Apr 2, 2008
    #11
    Laser Printers?...

    This may be off-topic...since I see inkjet in here.
    but I've been doing invitations on the side, and think it's about time to invest in a printer (as opposed to outsourcing it).

    I want a good color laser printer...anyone have experience or a fav?
     
  12. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #12
    Reread the earlier posts in this thread. There are many other threads asking for the best printer, best laser printer, etc. The answers will be the same every time the question is asked.
     
  13. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    #13
    Lol I skimmed it looking specifically for the word laser...I see now. Thanks.
     
  14. bluesnoop85 macrumors member

    bluesnoop85

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    #14
    I need to find a printer that will accept thick card stock does that come under special media?
    I am not worried about network ports as i will be sole user at home, PS also not a biggie for me.
    I just want decent quality and good price for my clients. I also don't find if there is a good laser printer that will suit my needs so please suggest those if nessacery

    thanks
     
  15. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #15
    Epsons are pretty much the defacto standard for anything graphic related these days. If you're doing color critical work then you'd obviously want to check out the higher end Epson 3000-4000 series with built in RIP and pantone swatches. I use an Epson 1400/R380/R200 and I'm still amazed day to day at how great even the $80 R200 is at color.

    Bottom line is this HP is pretty much my dead last (a hair above lexmark/kodak) for any color/photography work and as much as I love my Canon SLR.. their printers (with maybe the exception of the iPF 5000 or so) come in second place. The higher end Epsons ~1800-2400 series have straight through paper paths for thick stock plus they dont do the craptastic little 180 turn for regular paper that HP's do.

    Laser printer wise unless you plan on buying 3-4k Xerox machines (for absolute quality though I hate Xerox reliability) I wouldnt look at any of the low end (aka $200-600) HP color laserjets. The colors are ok but mostly my complaint is the lack of registration from one color to the other its a hair off and any color graphics/text tend to look fuzzy (especially bright red/turquoise colors) . I can usually tell the HP color laserjet cheapies that realitors use due to the lack of crispness of colored elements like text/pie charts/etc.

    If you can find an older HP laserjet 4600 series for cheap by all means go for it as those are the bare minimum I'd do for color laser work if you're bent on going laser route.
     
  16. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #16
    Say what? I own two Xeroxes--a Phaser 8400DP and a Phaser 8550DP. They are as fast as lightening and built like anvils. At your $3k-$4k price point, I presume that you are considering only printers which can handle up to 12" x 18" paper. Which model Xeroxes gave you so much trouble and what problems did they have?
     
  17. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

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    #17
    Because these threads remain available for searching and referencing, I feel compelled to point out that these opinions regarding brands are quite subjective. Recently I went to a half-day seminar on the new large-format HP z3200, a full-day seminar on the newest Canons, researched and read reviews on Epsons. Additionally I own HP, Xerox, Canon, and Brother printers ranging in cost from a few hundred to several thousand dollars (up to 60").

    The conclusion I reach is that within the past year or so, the big three inkjet manufacturers have come to offer levels of quality that are indistinguishable from one another. With 12-ink systems, fine picoliter droplets, hybrid pigment inks and faster processors one can't make a blanket statement that one is excellent and others are bad. The differences boil down to preferences for calibration workflow, media handling, consumable cost and software.

    HP has led the large-format poster graphics business for many years because it has been faster. Epson has been a favorite for proofing photography because of its extremely high resolution at the sacrifice of print speed. Canon has been a distant third in sales volume. But the game is changing.

    FLAAR ReportsFor many years Epson held the top market share in printers for proofing, printers for photographers, printers for giclee. Then the Hewlett Packard Z2100 and HP Z3100 began to gain significant market share for photographers and giclee. Even the Canon iPF 9000 has taken over market share in giclee as well.

    If you print photographs frequently -- at least a few times per week to keep the printheads clear, Epson may be a good match. If you want to be able to leave your printer to go on vacation without returning to clogging issues, perhaps HP is a good fit. But honestly, if I were in the market for a printer right now, my money would very likely be on the Canon imagePROGRAF series.

    Attempts to bring this high-end technology below $1000 results in trade-offs. Unfortunately, that's the range where most people form opinions about brands. In my "opinion," HP can't make a decent printer under a grand and I am not fond of their color laser printers. Xerox can sure put together a great laser printer but the paper path is highly complex, requiring dozens of consumables; an extended service contract (within first 90 days of purchase) is highly recommended. Brother printers offer good hardware features but software is Windows-centric with Aqua buttons slapped on. With high-praise reviews still topping the Google search pages for the now 16-month old, sub-$200 Pixma MX850, Canon managed to prove it can offer quality on the low end.

    Still an interesting read for people in the market for printers is an article I wrote in December of 2007 entitled: "How Much Is that Printer in the Window?" with its sidebar on "Ink Price Per Gallon."

    Full-disclosure: I benefit from the sale of commercial products advertised on the linked website.
     
  18. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #18
    I use to run some Xerox Docucolor 12/242 with Fiery RIP servers (aka ~$20k) and various B&W docucentre copiers that broke down constantly here. Whether it'd be the web transfer units/fusers or just rollers leaving marks on output pages. I've had Xerox techs coming out quite a bit for stuff that seems to be little nuances regarding print quality.

    I've heard the phaser/solid ink stuff seems to be pretty solid but after the experience with the docucolor stuff (and these machines are easily 3-4x the cost of a phaser) I'm really leary on Xerox reliability.. quality was great no complaints but just little things would break down or require a service call on.
     
  19. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #19
    I'll be forward in saying that for me IQ is the most important it comes before ink/paper costs it comes second to reliability and consistency.

    That's very true at levels of 12 inks 1.5 picoliter ink droplets its hard to distinguish between the different brands unless you tend to look very closely (which I'll admit I do). So for normal viewing distances and pinning up the top 3 brand prints done at 6+ colors you probably wont see a whole lot of differences and it still comes down to personal preference. I'll admit I never had great luck with HP (reliability/driver quality/photoRET vs normal) and print quality sub $1k) since their original photosmart printers (circa ~2000ish) and around that time the ancient Epson 870 printers (again circa ~2000ish) were EASILY running circles around HP in terms of sheer print quality on photo papers (though not print times). Its almost always been like this between HP and Epson and while I applaud HP for catching up certainly in the professional space but their consumer printers under $1k aren't all that great. HP's have died after a year, had drivers that simply refuse to install (where as Epson just worked on the same machine first try), the strange 180 degree reverse feed from under the machine, rollers have stopped gripping paper etc etc etc it keeps going on and on. So I'm glad to see we agree that sub $1k HP cant really make a great outstanding product (which seems akin to Linksys making great consumer products period) but really I'm asking for professional quality on a consumer budget and Epson/Canon seem to fill that void.

    The other thing is Epsons as I've found out have "personalities" how ever weird and obscure that is but most of my Epsons like being left on (870,785EPX,R220,R380,1400) as soon as I turn any off for a day as you've said they do clog. Now my old Epson 1280.. I turn off immediately after each print because guess what the same thing happens.. it clogs. In my eyes its really a mute point just leave your printer on, if it clogs constantly then change your behavior and turn it off or vice versa till it stops.


    As for Canon I've stated I love their cameras but their printers still come in at #2 I've tried some of the 9000 (though not the recent 9500) series and still could make out dot patterns (again I look too closely at prints) and they remind me of finer HP patterns (which is why its #2). The ImageGRAF 5000 is a sweet machine if I say so myself and quite possibly could be a great contender to some of the higher end Epson 3000-4000 series. For me personally Epson has never failed me from $80 6 color printers to the 9000+ series which runs ~$11k I've never been disappointed at all.

    Xerox is another grey area they're better in IQ I feel with their Phaser line vs any HP I've seen in the consumer space. But in dealing with Xerox DocuColor/DocuCenter machines day to day left horrible tastes in my mouth over consistency and reliability. The bottom bottom that I will go for color laser wise is the HP 4600.. is the IQ crap compared to the Xerox phasers? probably but it doesn't cost 3-4k + the added maintenance packs that Xerox sells.

    We can totally argue about all these machines my focus is more on the print quality in the consumer space. I am PICKY and Epson for the past 9 years that I've owned printers (870,785EPX,1280,R220,R380,R1400) has never fallen short of exciting me any time a photo popped out of the machine.
     
  20. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #20
    It is understandable that you are reluctant or opposed to giving a company your money for one product based your bad experiences with another product. However, departmental printers and desktop printers are fundamentally different from production printers.

    My own experience with Xerox is with their departmental printers. I could not be happier with my Xerox Phaser 8400DP and my Phaser 8550DP. Photographs printed on my 8400DP are gorgeous. Those printed on my 8550DP are almost as good.

    As for HP, there was a time when its departmental printers were nice. My major experience with its color printers was with a Color LaserJet 4500. It was big and noisy and slow. My experience with its newer color printers with with the LaserJet 2600N. It is smaller and slow. I also have an old Deskjet 1220C that I bought as a floor demonstrator from Office Depot. It is one of the last HP Deskjets that I had any confidence in at the time. Fantastic? No. Decent output? Yes. Reliable? Yes. My general experience is that HP printers took a major hit in quality when it outsourced their manufacture.

    If I am ever in the market for a production printer, then I may give the Xerox DocuPrint family a jaundiced eye. However, its Phaser family gets my enthusiastic recommendation.
     
  21. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #21
    Like I said Xerox production printers/copiers kinda suck (still want to find a copy place that uses a Canon just to compare output) their iGen presses I heard are amazing pieces of machine for on demand press jobs but thats $100k+. The phasers output I'd go for I've seen samples and I'm damn impressed for being wax based and 3-4k.
     

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