I've run CIS since 1999 (Conetech's Piezography B&W back then, on an Epson 1100), and then installed a colour CIS on my R2400 soon after I bought it about four years ago.
Sure it saved in ink costs (and in the day there was no real alternative to the Piezography system), but in both cases the ink blockages that increased in frequency and stubbornness with age became a hassle not worth the effort.
The 1100 eventually expired with a complete failure of the electronics, but the R2400 was rendered useless when the LLK head blocked up. No amount of cleaning with every forced cleaning method I can find has been able to free up the head, with at least 50% of the nozzles permanently blocked.
My Epson 7800 meanwhile, bought a few months after the R2400, has never had anything more than temporary blockages in one or two of the M, C, and LK heads, always cleared by a single clean and a few hours rest. Only genuine Epson inks have gone through this printer, and it has had at least as much if not more use than the R2400.
The Epson ink in the large cartridges in the wide format printer range is only marginally dearer than the CIS bulk inks for the smaller printers, so perhaps the best answer is to buy a larger format printer for an admittedly higher initial cost, but with similar running costs with genuine ink as a small printer has with CIS and non-genuine inks.
You may well be right on that score and only time will tell how this works out in the long run but so far its been smooth sailing and I read an awful lot of reviews and spoke to several experts before I opted for this combination. Regarding the big beasts like the 7800 I just wouldn't have the space in my office to keep one.
On a good note, my rebate card for the R1900 came today. The printer is
working very well. The prints look great. The ink carts don't last all
that long and I'm really using up the black but much of what I do has a
pure black background. I really like the printer wish it had bigger ink
>The Epson ink in the large cartridges in the wide format printer range is only marginally dearer than the CIS bulk inks for the smaller printers, so perhaps the best answer is to buy a larger format printer for an admittedly higher initial cost
>Regarding the big beasts like the 7800 I just wouldn't have the space in my office to keep one.
Space is also an issue for me, but the SP3800 provides a reasonable footprint at reasonable price and takes all kinds of sheet fed paper up to A2/17x22.
>I did some research and bought a used R1800 rather than the new R1900... Then I did some more research and decided to get a pigment ink CIS... The prints with this set up knock spots off anything I could achieve with my previous printers such as the Canon i9100, Epson 1290 or the Epson 2100.
I don't know about the i9100 but the 1290 and 2100 are legacy printers. Out-printing them is a given. Comparing to the R1900 or SP3800 would be the meaningful comparisons. In my Epson experience (1200, 1270, 1280, 2200, 3800) each new model has printed better than the last, the step from 12xx to 2200 being really huge.
>...save roughly 90% in ink costs which is the single biggest cost on printers.
I would be interested in seeing the raw cost data over a long period of time, including time spent maintaining the CIS system vs. a printer like the SP3800. Also how many prints per day are involved. E.g. in my case a few years ago I literally print constantly but not as much today. My guess is that there is a daily volume break point where CIS becomes long term cost effective.
I work from home and my office area is basically a converted bedroom which has all my computer stuff on one long desk but then I also have some big shelf wall units that are laden with paperwork, lighting equipment, camera gear and all the rest. Its fine but I have to stay organised and there really wouldn't be space for anything bigger than a large A3 printer here on the desk.
The i9100 produced fairly decent colours but it was plagued by micro banding and it was a dye ink printer so the prints never lasted any kind of reasonable period unless they were mounted behind glass. The old Epson 2100 I had printed images as flat as a pancake and this put me off the pigment printers for quite a while even though I really wanted the longer life prints. I remember the 2100 also seemed to suffer from all sorts of other problems like ink leakage and an inability to feed paper properly which eventually became really annoying since I was spending a small fortune in Epson inks. The new set up I have seems to combine the best of all worlds so far and its a much more refined machine in every way.
Yes I really need to measure the costs here over an extended period but after the cost of the initial CIS you'll generally find that 1 Epson cartridge costs roughly the same as one CIS colour refill but the CIS refill will contain 100ml of ink. As far as maintenance goes there has been none at all so far.
I do switch on the printer once every couple of days if its not being used just to stop the heads from blocking up but I had to do the same thing with the Epson or Canon cartridges and the R1800 always seems to print a perfect or near perfect nozzle check with no additional cleaning required. This particular system has auto resetting chips, so you never lose that big chunk of ink which normally occurs when you change a single cartridge and it goes through a big cleaning cycle for all the colours. Like everything I think the better CIS systems have improved a lot over the years.
>Space is also an issue for me, but the SP3800 provides a reasonable footprint at reasonable price and takes all kinds of sheet fed paper up to A2/17x22.
Actually, you can print much longer than 22". The actual length limit is more like 37" (I don't have the computer that's hooked up to my 3800 fired up at the moment, so I'm not sure of the exact figure.) Of course, you won't likely find cut-sheets at that size, but you can certainly find 17" rolls of a variety of papers. Since the 3800 isn't really intended to be roll-fed, you'll need jury-rig a method of holding the tail-end of the paper before it goes into the printer, but that's not hard. I love my 3800.
I have to say I'm having trouble getting good prints with CS4 and my R1900. I've even tried the UK drivers mentioned above but the issues are the same as I was seeing with the US drivers. I'm getting a muddy darker image then what I see on screen. Yes, I use the ICC profiles, turn off color mgmnt in the print dialog, set the quality to best, turn off hi speed printing, use 16 bit, set EPSON premium glossy paper - all the things the manual says to do. My prints def. lack the punch and sharpness I get on screen. Also I am getting fantastic prints using iPhoto so I think this is an Adobe / CS4 issue. I'm running on an Intel MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo w/10.5.6. The image was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II in RAW2 mode. I used the Canon software to import the RAW and transfer it to photoshop where I preserved the original color space. Did my PP sharpening and it looks great on screen. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Thanks for the response. I checked and indeed it is set to Default Printer. I also looked at the Drivers tab and noticed it said EPSON SP R1900 (1) - I thought the (1) was odd so I manually searched for R1900 and only one driver was shown so I selected it. Now my driver tab has the EPSON SP R1900 driver without the (1). I wonder if this had something to do with installing the UK drivers. I did reboot after installing them but who knows.
The LCD has the default calibration/profile.
1.8 Standard Gamma
Native White Point (which works out to the same as D65)
Photoshop Color Management settings:
Document (Profile SPR1900 PrmGlsy BstPhto.icc)
Color Handling: Photoshop Manages Colors
Printer Profile: SPR1900 PrmGlsy BstPhto.icc
Rendering Intent: Relative Chromatic
Black Point Compensation: On
Thanks for the tips on the settings. I'll try these out and report back. One thing I am seeing now is that in the Print Dialog (after I made the driver selection change that I mentioned above) I not longer get a bunch of options in the Printer Features section of the Print dialog. Instead I am now seeing a smaller set of options, including some I have never had on this dialog before. They are:
Color Model: Color ( had this before)
Media Type: Premium Photo Paper Glossy (had this but the list was a little different)
Resolution: 720x720 dpi OR 180x180dpi (I never had this before)
Also I lost a bunch of options including the one to choose to turn off Color Management (or select EPSON Vivid etc.)
I am wondering if my driver is now borked after installing the UK driver and then making the switch in the drop down.
Also folks are suggesting using Adobe RGB for the document type but the Epson manual suggests using the Embedded Profile if there is a mismatch between that and Adobe RGB which in my case there is as my photos have sRGB v1.31 (Canon) embedded with them. Thoughts?
So I tried running the Uninstall option for the UK and then US drivers just to be safe. Both uninstallers said they ran successfully. I disconnected the printer and rebooted, then installed the US drivers and reconnected the printer. Now the driver in the drop down has the (1) back next to it AND my print dialog has gone back to having those extended options.
Ann, I tried changing the gamma to 2.2 but at least on the screen things got way to dark. I'm a bit uneasy to switching to that - esp. considering the success I've had with iPhoto under the original gamma settings.
If you are shooting JPEGs with embedded sRGB profiles in your images, then set your RGB working space to sRGB instead of AdobeRGB.
If you can shoot RAW and Convert to a wider space such as AdobeRGB or even to ProPhoto RGB, you will get even better color out of the R1900.
If your images look too dark at Gamma 2.2 that is because they probably ARE too dark as reflected in your dark prints and need to be corrected in either Photoshop or your RAW converter.
I have no experience with laptops but perhaps somebody who has could tell you how you can calibrate and profile the monitor on one.
(Does Apple's calibration work with lap tops or can you use a puck with them?)