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Ohhh YEEaHHH!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
The 7600 is going to be one amazing piece of printing technology compared to what they've been offering at the 24" print range. And under $3k? I'm all over it...once I get the $2k+.


<a href="http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/0205/01.epson.php#threads" target="_blank">http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/0205/01.epson.php#threads</a>
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post #2 of 17
Looks great for those with the Ca$h. Can U recommend a good archival quality photo printer in the $1,000 range?

And here's a philosophical question: Would you rather have a new G4 Tower with a basic printer or a Kick A$$ printer with a new iMac.

Just something to keep you busy.
post #3 of 17
[quote]Originally posted by AugustWest:
<strong>Looks great for those with the Ca$h. Can U recommend a good archival quality photo printer in the $1,000 range?

And here's a philosophical question: Would you rather have a new G4 Tower with a basic printer or a Kick A$$ printer with a new iMac.

Just something to keep you busy. </strong><hr></blockquote>

We just bought the PM-4000PX from Epson for our office in Japan. This is an A3, full bleed printer using the pigment inks described in the article. We are just starting to get familiar with it. One thing is that you need different papers than worked with the older inks. According to Epson these new inks encapsulate the pigment in little transparent spheres providing for more uniform size and shape of the particles. The sample prints I've seen are stunning and they have a much better feel to them.
Unofficial AppleScript Studio Lobbyist
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post #4 of 17
I've enjoyed my Epson 2000P over the past 18 months, although it is finicky about color profiling and, due to metamerism (color shifting under different light), useless for monochrome prints.

Epson is replacing the 2000P in July with a new model, the 2200, that uses a new pigment ink set, separate ink tanks for all seven colors (light and dark black, magenta and cyan, plus light yellow), and prints at three times the speed of the 2000P, and is $200 cheaper ($699 list versus $899). The only catch is the projected life of the ink (40 to 75 years depending on the paper as opposed to slightly more than double those numbers on the 2000P). From what I've seen on the ink structure it looks to me like they may have made MAJOR progress on the metamerism -- certainly, Epson is promoting it as being able to do GOOD monochrome prints, as well as provide improved color saturation. I'm seriously considering selling my 2000P for the new printer. Check <a href="http://www.luminous-landscape.com" target="_blank">www.luminous-landscape.com</a> and go to the "What's New" section and scroll down to where it talks about the new printer; some good links.

Like the 2000P, this is a pigment inkset, not a dye, so it should be immune from the short-term color shifting often seen with glossy paper on the dye-based 1200 and 1270 printers.

[ 05-01-2002: Message edited by: photoeditor ]

[ 05-01-2002: Message edited by: photoeditor ]</p>
post #5 of 17
And in regards to the hypothetical question on computers and printers, I'd go for, say, an LCD iMac and an Epson 2200 over a PowerMac G4 and a $149 junker printer from CompUSA, but I sell my photo prints and I need 13x19 support and pigment ink.

One other thing you need to consider if you're into photography, and that is display size; you must decide whether or not you're comfortable with 1024x768 in Photoshop. If you are, by all means go LCD iMac. If you need higher resolution, then you'll have to go PowerMac and also buy either an Apple 17 inch studio display LCD panel or a 19inch CRT monitor with a flat tube, in order to get 1152x864/1152x870 or 1280x960/1280x1024 (1280x1024 only on the LCD).

One other piece of advice; if you go PowerMac, make sure you get the Radeon 7500, especially if you get a CRT monitor; ATI video output to CRT is far better than Nvidia, as I've learned the hard way, and their 2D support is better and the only thing Nvidia GeForce 4MX does significantly better is Quake 3. The PowerMac 800 has the Radeon as standard; the more expensive models you have to build to order and downgrade but at least you save $100 that way.
post #6 of 17
Query. How do y'all think the upcoming Epson 7600 will rate compared to HP's 24" Designjet 800ps?

I work for an organization that will purchase a 24 inch plotter in the next eight months, and we had pretty much concluded that the HP would be our machine. Any thoughts on that?

-------------------------

Waiting in Nashvegas
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Syb: the 7600 will most likely trash the 800PS in terms of photographic quality. Epson just does photos better than HP - plain and simple.

The 800 is a good printer, but it is already bettered by Epson's existing technology (the 7000 and 7500). To be honest, the only area HP LF printers have the advantage is that they tend to be a little more durable than Epsons in some cases. They're more practical if you do a lot of printing, every day. Whereas if you only made say a couple dozen LF prints a week for your customers, the Epson would serve you better. Also, this may no longer be the case with this new generation of technology. Long story short, there's no way I'd spend a penny on existing HP technology with these new Epsons on the horizon. It just wouldn't make any sense.

August: the 7600 has a smaller cousin that will be released this summer also - the 2200. It will print full bleed 13x19, at the same resolution as the 7600, using the same inks (color space), but costs about $600. Basically it's a replacement for the afore-mentioned 2000P.

[ 05-02-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #8 of 17
Moogs,

Thanks so much for the advice. We'll definitely wait for the new printers.

-Syb
post #9 of 17
So does this mean that there is no viable alternative in between the 2200 (nicely priced, but lacking in archival longevity) and the 7600 (sounds great, but out of my budget).
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
August: the 2200 should have the same archival capabilities as the 7600 and 9600, assuming the premium paper type is the same. That is, all three use the same 7-color "chrome" process, which supposedly produces more durable and consistent prints than the previous processes.

I don't remember exactly, but depending on which paper type you use, I think the longevity ratings are bewtween 20 and 60 years. Personally, as long as I can be guaranteed that a print I sell to today, won't fade for 15 years under normal in-home lighting conditions, that's all I care about. Half the people I sell to won't be alive in another 20 years anyway. Beyond that, tastes change over time, and I don't have any delusions that my work will be as timeless as that of Adams, Cartier-Bresson, Sudek or any of the other masters. :-)

[ 05-02-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #11 of 17
The projected archival of the 2200 -- and this is quoting from information given by Epson UK -- is 45 to 75 years depending on paper grade. Re-read my earlier post, which has the relevant information except for a minor 5-year typo on the archival specification. The hyperlink I also posted will get you to that information. For a more direct route, try <a href="http://www.photo-i.co.uk" target="_blank">www.photo-i.co.uk</a> which is also referenced off the luminous landscape site I mentioned. I have no idea where the 20-60 thing comes in.

Note that -- as luminous landscape points out -- the UK name for the 2200 is the Epson 2100; this should help if you're looking around for any previews or early reviews from the other side of the pond, because the UK is getting these printers a month before we are.

As pointed out by Moogs, the wide carriage printers will share the same ink as the narrow ones. However, note that this means that you don't get the 100-200 year durability suggested by the 2000P. Again, <a href="http://www.luminous-landscape.com" target="_blank">www.luminous-landscape.com</a> has more detailed information. So, the new printers are going to have inferior archival quality to the current ones -- but still, they will be competitive with the best chemical color process out there, Fuji Crystal Archive.

The big difference, then, between the desktop models and the bigger printers is the bigger ones have wider format printing and a more durable print engine, so they support higher volume use.

The new photos posted on the photo-i site indicate quality on the new Epson printers that is better -- much better -- than any currently available OEM solution.

[ 05-03-2002: Message edited by: photoeditor ]

[ 05-03-2002: Message edited by: photoeditor ]</p>
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
You may be right on the lightfastness rating PhotoEditor; I'll track to track down where I read the 20-60 thing. Can't remember if it was from one of the photo sites or from Epson or what....

I don't know about the larger format models having inferior ligthfastness given they will use a very similar print engine, the same inks, and the same papers. To me that spells the same archival capabilities, but I'll check out the link you posted and try to post a few of my own in a bit.

[time passes]

OK. HERES THE DEAL:

Epson is marketing the same printer hardware under two different marketing names. That is, you can buy two different versions of the 7600 (and 9600). The difference between them is the inks they use.

The version that uses the "UltraChrome Inks" (the 7 color process that has a gamut very close to their best dye-based inks, but better archival capabilities and the ability to print B&W images because of the 7th, "light black" cartridge) WILL, on the 24" and 44" printers, produce archival (lightfastness) ratings of between 30 and 100 years, depending on paper type. "Enhanced Matte" produces the least lightfast prints, "Fine Art Papers" and "Premium Glossy" the most.

So clearly, there isn't a difference between the 7600 and the 2200 when the chrome ink process is used and the same papers are used.

The versions of the 7600 and 9600 that use their "Photographic Dye" inks (6 color process - no B&W), produce archival ratings not beyond 26 years (I think this was the one I read about somewhere), but only when encased under glass. The only advantage of these inks are a slightly wider color gamut than the above-noted chrome inks. In my mind though, theres really no advantage at all because I'm willing to bet 99 out of 100 photo buyers won't be able to tell the difference if the same photo was printed on both processes at the same size.

The Chrome inks B&W process have a black DMax up to 2.0, so I'm wondering how this will translate to fine gradations of grey and grain vs. silver halide prints.

Hope this helps some.

[ 05-04-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]

[ 05-04-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #13 of 17
OK -- that information about the Photographic Dye ink for the 7600 is key -- that is a dye ink and therefore not a pigment, hence the "not more than 26 years" qualifier. The higher rating I had from photo-i, quoting Epson UK, assumes the new ultrachrome pigment ink.

If this is the case it looks like users will have the option to choose between dye and pigment based inks in the pro-line printers. That's an interesting question that I would like an answer to. Until now they've been designed for one or the other with OEM product; for example, if you bought an Epson 9000, Epson only supplied die; if you wanted pigment you had to go with third party ink. Likewise, the Epson 9500 could only be used, if I remember correctly, with Epson's pigment ink.

Incidentally, it looks to me like they're giving up some durability (45-75 down from 100-200) perhaps because of, according to the information on photo-i, reducing the size of the particles, but there is a benefit from significantly increased color gamut. It is difficult -- not totally impossible -- to get a good clean black out of the 2000P in the Epson driver (you use PhotoEnhance Vivid, which is what I've been doing ever since a couple of months after getting the printer) and I haven't yet succeeded at all with ColorSync.

If, as Epson UK seems to be promising, they have a pigment with improved gamut -- both at the same time and not a choice between the current pigment and an improved dye -- they'll have a very strong product.
post #14 of 17
You guys are awesome. Mac people know about graphics, who would have thunk it? (Read: Sarcasm). I know we've probably pushed this discussion beyond the "future hardware" scene, but I just have to ask this:

With a Nikon 4000 slide/film scanner and the upcomming Epson 2200 printer, will it be possible to shoot film-based photography, scan the negatives/slides, and then output them at 13x19 in high-quality (read "sellable") format? Also, if I plan to print b&w images, is the pigment based system a better choice (I've yet to see good solution to b&w printing, other than the old smelly darkroom, and the fumes are killing the few brain cells I have left). Finally, is it necessary to have a fractals program if printing up to 13x19, or is that only necessary for larger prints?

Thanks for all the help. :cool:
post #15 of 17
In a word to the previous question -- YES!

I have already been selling 13x19 prints quite successfully with a Polaroid SprintScan 4000 (the revision A model that is SCSI-only and 36 bit, not the current model that is FireWire and 42 bit) and an Epson 2000P. Your proposed combination has the same resolution, probably better edge definition (Nikon's LED is probably better than Polaroid's cold cathode lamp for scanners using the same resolution), definitely better color bit depth (42 vs 36), and a printer with a better color gamut, deeper blacks, and (hopefully) less metamerism. The only slightly worrying thing is the reduction in archival durability, but it is still directly competitive with the best photographic processes. Sounds to me like a winning combination.

I feel like the bit depth is particularly important with black and white. Remember, if you're talking grey, the difference between 16 and 24 bit color is the difference between 256 shades and 4096 shades -- just to take an example.

[EDIT]

No personal experience with fractals, but luminous landscape, the site I hyperlinked in one of my earlier posts, addresses this, and, in short, it buys you about an extra 30 to 50 percent in dimensions on a print (so a 6 megapixel digital camera that might give you 12 inches horizontally on a 35mm original with 240 dpi for the output might stretch up to 17 inches or so with fractals but not more than that; a 4000 dpi slide scanner that might give you 22 inches or so at the same resolution could concievably be coaxed up to 30, though in practice I stick with 300 dpi output from my Polaroid). My second post below addresses black and white.

[ 05-07-2002: Message edited by: photoeditor ]</p>
post #16 of 17
OH -- and one qualification to my previous statement. The suitability of the Epson 2200 for black and white will, obviously, be open to interpretation until we actually see some results. But going to seven-color by including a black and a grey ink is definitely progress in this department, as is dealing with the 2000P's issue with metamerism. The sample black and white shots on photo-i look promising, but I'm holding my breath until I see something in real life.

Still, my gut tells me that the best solution for black and white inkjet is Cone Editions' Piezography, which again I have depended on web images but I have seen bigger blowups and technically the process is much more coherent than any OEM process so far. It involves four color (black/dark grey/mid grey/light grey) pigment inks that substitute for the color ones in Epson four-color printers, in addition to a driver that increases the effective horizontal resolution of the printer from 1440 to 2160 dpi. The combination all but replicates the continuous tone seen in darkroom black and white prints and even in large blowups clearly eliminates the traditional inkjet dot pattern. Pity Epson discontinued the 1160, which was just tailor made for this process. But Epson still have a couple other printers in production that would suffice.

A word of warning -- Piezography is expensive. If Epson's new inkset for the 2200 proves to be adequate, it will at least force Cone to lower their prices.
post #17 of 17
Cone is state of the art.Does anyone know if Lysonic has an inkset for the 7600?
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