Recommend a good Printer for oversized A3.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by thefunkymunky, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. thefunkymunky macrumors 65816

    Feb 24, 2005

    I'm looking to replace our ageing Epson Stylus 1520 in our graphics dept with something new and shiny. A few things we deffo need is;

    A3+ printing.

    Good colour and black/white reproduction.

    Fast print times with colour and black/white.

    PC/Mac compatible.

    CD/DVD printing.

    Ability to process PS (Postscript) files. E.g. .eps format files.

    Networking capability for connecting up to four machines to one printer. (A USB2 or FireWire interface will do as I can then get a cheapo print server for networking).

    Individual ink cartridges.

    Ability to process lots of data quickly. (Mainly print catalogues with lots of photos etc.)

    Not cost more than around £600 - £650.

    Can anyone recommend a good printer with all of the above. Any ideas.


    Nick. :D
  2. wcj912 macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2004
    Perth, Western Australia
    Have a look at the Canon i9950 - although it only prints upto A3, it has pretty fast print times and the quality is very good.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    For that kind of price, you'll probably need to run a software RIP on a dedicated print server as you've said. Our print server is a dedicated 733mhz G4 QuickSilver which does the job very well and is connected to the printer by USB.

    Epson have a good reputation for pro-level printers, HP less so. I'm not impressed at all with the HP DesignJet we have in the office particularly with its paper-handling. Too many jams and failures — the printer's base has been replaced once already under manufacturer's warranty.

    Slightly off-topic: If you're using QuarkXpress 6.x then you must install and activate your entire font library onto the print server as Quark does not send font postscript info to a shared printer leading to a hideous outbreak of Courier every time you go to print something. FontBook is adequate for this task as the fonts shouldn't need constant re/activation. On the other hand, all Adobe apps are fine with this aspect...
  4. thefunkymunky thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 24, 2005
    Hi guys, thanks for your replies.

    The Canon i9950 only does A3 you have said, but really need A3+ printing. Print a lot of proofs/visual which need cutting etc. for mockup.

    With regard to a software RIP. This is the main thing I am trying to avoid as thats what we use now. I really don't want to have a Mac sitting in corner just for printing. I would prefer a hardware RIP. Not sure I will find one at this price point.

    Our company are moving to new premises at the end of the year and the graphics dept is getting a major upgrade in the process. Really want to keep things simple without lots of machines about the place. Just the workstations and a printer will do.

    I have been looking these printers;

    HP Business Inkjet 2800dtn Printer,
    HP Deskjet 9800d Printer,
    Epson Stylus Photo R1800,
    Epson Stylus Photo R2400.

    I'm liking the HP2800 but as I have never used an HP I am a bit causious. Always used Epsons in the past.

    The Quark 6 issue? Didn't know about that. We are currently using Quark 5 in Classic (believe it or I have been unimpressed with the Quark upgrades lately but was going to take the plunge when Quark 7 ships. Do you think they would have fixed that issue with Quark 7. I was thinking about moving to InDesign as I have used it before and quite like it. Since we send PDF to our printers. Don't think it matters what software we decide on.

    Anyway. Anymore info on the printers would be great.


  5. chucknorris macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2005
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    I believe there was a large-format printer comparison review in Macworld last month, but am not entirely sure.

    Anybody who is, please post a link.
  6. thefunkymunky thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 24, 2005
    Yeah, if anyone has a link, please post. May be worth a read. :D
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Who knows? You would have thought so but hard information on Quark 7 is scarce — lots of promised eye-catching features but that's always the way with Quark. No mention of the practical realities and pitfalls...

    Let me assure you that this problem was very real and took a lot of troubleshooting to pin down exactly what was going on, confirmed by some reports on

    If it was me, I'd go with an Epson. If you need to run a software RIP, a second-hand G4 works OK, a refurb low-end Mini would also be cool and wouldn't take up too much space.
  8. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I'd say get either an Epson R1800 or R2400.

    I have had an Epson 2200 for just about 2 years now. The R2400 is it's replacement and the R1800 is similar.

    One thig to watch for is some inkjet inks are not water resistant. Epson Ultrachrome and Durabrite ink is. Last time I checked, HP inks weren't. Otehr inks you'll have to check for yourself.
  9. thefunkymunky thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 24, 2005
    Anyone know if the Epson R1800 or R2400 has Postscript support directly or do I have to bother with a software or hardware RIP. Would prefer a hardware RIP if possible. Do Epson have one?
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    R2400 — PostScript Support: No


    Proper PostScript costs £££s and is essential, software RIPs can work fine.
    Have a look...

    Edit: Epson do make a software RIP
    Epson Stylus RIP Professional = about £500

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