To Epson 4000 or not to Epson 4000?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by nobody, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. nobody

    nobody Guest

    What are the pros and cons of the Epson 4000? I think about it mostly
    because of the print size. In particular, I am doing medium format, and,
    believe it or not, I like the square format (which is no crime, I hope).
    This means that on an A3 printer I am losing about 4 inches or so in each
    direction, which makes a difference. Thanks in advance for your comments,
    in particular to Bill, who I know is the proud owner a 4000 (and, what's
    more, he actually uses it).
    nobody, Mar 14, 2005
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  2. The print speed is lovely. The size is lovely. The price, well;
    nothing's perfect.

    There is no crime in liking square pictures. Some photos really want
    to be square, which annoys me with my 35mm equipment :).

    The one thing about the 4000 that might bite you is that the Epson ink
    cartridges say they should be used within 6 months of opening. How
    much printing do you do? The 4000 can take two sizes of cartridges,
    but even the small is more than 5 times bigger than the ones for the
    little printers. (The ink's a lot cheaper in those big cartridges,
    too; unless it expires on you.) I also haven't experimented with my
    smaller printers with what happens if it does get that old. I'm sure
    it doesn't instantly curdle on the 180th day or anything. And if you
    do enough printing this may not be a consideration at all.

    You can feed roll paper on the 2200, can't you? That would let you
    print square pictures without wasting paper, at some additional
    David Dyer-Bennet, Mar 14, 2005
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  3. nobody

    Douglas Guest

    I have a designjet 130 and I couldn't be happier. There are actually two
    models. In line with the vow of poverty I took when taking up Photography, I
    made the mistake of buying the cheaper one with no roll feed. I print almost
    exclusively on rolls now! Figure that one.

    Anyway... I had a very serious look at the Epson before ordering the HP
    sight unseen. I print on Canvas, satin and gloss paper. The HP is no faster
    than the Epson but it sure as hell beats Epson hands down for ink cost and
    versitility. I ended up making a roll holder from timber and now I have a
    printer every bit as good as the Epson with the ability to make vivid prints
    on canvas as well as permenant dye ink prints on paper.

    These HPs have about half the running cost of an Epson, the inks don't go
    off and the print heads are replacable for very little more than the cost of
    fresh ink. A friend of mine with a 4000 is on his second set of heads and
    has decided to buy a HP when the latest heads need replacing. That must say
    something about the HP, surely? If you buy the roll feeder option there is
    not a lot of difference in the cost of the two printers but the HP will save
    you bucks in ink costs.
    Douglas, Mar 14, 2005
  4. nobody

    nobody Guest

    Thanks, but how do the HP printers you refer to compare to the Epson 4000 in
    terms of image or print quality?
    nobody, Mar 15, 2005
  5. nobody

    nobody Guest

    Thank you for the information, but have you compared the results from the HP
    130 and the Epson 4000 in terms of image or print quality? How do they
    nobody, Mar 15, 2005
  6. nobody

    Douglas Guest

    Rafe just told you. On gloss or satin the HP is brighter, clearer and just
    as long lasting. On Archival matte there is not enough difference to pick
    which is which.
    Douglas, Mar 15, 2005
  7. What's your evidence for just as long-lasting? The Wilhelm Research
    Institute numbers show it lasting less than half as long.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Mar 15, 2005
  8. Epson Ultrachrome in the Epson R800, as per Wilhelm research at
    <>, says greater than
    150 years as I read it. What condition are you choosing, though?

    The figure comparable to that one for the HP 8750 is 108 years, so the
    Epson is being rated for *considerably* longer life (I'm using "framed
    under glass" here; for "dark storage" they get 185 years and >200).
    David Dyer-Bennet, Mar 16, 2005
  9. nobody

    rafe bustin Guest

    What Bill Hilton said.

    Epson's initial foray into pigment inks actually
    had substantially better longevity ratings than
    their current "Ultrachrome" inkset. About double,
    in fact. But it had other problems that almost
    everyone complained about, so the Ultrachromes
    traded some of that longevity for a reduction in
    the undesirable characteristics of the orignal set.

    I believe the "original" set are still standard on
    the Epson 10000 and 10600 but I'm not terribly
    familiar with either of those models. It was
    also standard on the 5500, 7500, and 9500.

    The current crop -- 4000, 7600, and 9600 --
    all use Ultrachomes.

    Of course the longevity will be influenced
    by the substrate, method of framing, exposure
    to air and light, etc.

    rafe b.
    rafe bustin, Mar 16, 2005
  10. nobody

    Douglas Guest

    We've been here before Bill... You keep suggesting an "institute" financed
    by a printer manufacturer to carry out testing which ignores the real source
    of degradation is somehow a viable source of information about products from
    rivals of that company. Hello...

    The Wilhelm institute is substantially funded by Epson and their estimates
    of print life are distorted towards Epson products without any evidence to
    suggest Epson are any better (or worse) than anyone else's. At my print
    centre we run a number of printers. One uses solvent inks for outdoor
    display and our own tests are in massive conflict with the estimation
    testing done by that institute.

    If you could stop the bullshit coming from their predictions and somehow
    explain how an estimate can become a statistic, there might be half a chance
    of discovering comparative lifespan. Why can we not compare an inkjet
    print's life to the life of a chemical print? Why too must we accept a
    totally different set of measurement in estimating the worth of paper and
    ink prints compared to real photographs? It wouldn't by any chance be
    because even today, the life of inkjet prints is fractional compared to
    chemical ones, would it?

    We know for example what to expect from traditional photographic prints by
    virtue of the fact they have real world history of how long they will and
    will not last under certain conditions. One of the most significant print
    life factors effecting ink prints is the environment a print will be stored
    in and this has nothing to do with fading from exposure to light. Under some
    conditions of simply leaving a print in the path of an airconditioner's
    airflow, it will show significant degradation in as little as a month.

    Storing prints in a draw which has formaldehyde glue used in it's
    construction will severely degrade some prints from some printers in a
    matter of weeks. Exposing a print to ordinary domestic kitchen odours can
    remove the colour from Canon prints in days.

    Wilhelm has somehow managed to create an opportunity to profit from the
    estimation of life that so many gamblers have sought to do for hundreds of
    years without success. If he had produced some evidence his results are not
    tainted by the source of his funds and his results came even close to what
    many people who rely on these things for a living have independently
    discovered, his predictions might not be in the same class as those from

    Douglas, Mar 16, 2005
  11. nobody

    RSD99 Guest

    So ... Douglas ... please point us in the direction of someone who is
    making print life tests that you agree with.
    RSD99, Mar 16, 2005
  12. nobody

    rafe bustin Guest

    So tell us more about "your print centre" and why it's less
    biased than Wilhelm's. Is it because you have no paying
    clients (yet?) Where are your test results posted?

    It is regrettable that we need to take so much on faith from
    Dr. Wilhelm. OTOH, one can set up informal testing of print
    longevity at reasonable cost. Harald Johnson explains how
    to do that in his book, "Mastering Digital Printing."

    Even in the Epson community, opinion is deeply divided about
    Wilhelm's credibility and the worth of his print-life estimates.
    A good deal of this aninmosity stems from the "orange-shift"
    fiasco with the original Epson 1270/1280.

    But like any good scientist -- Wilhelm revised and refined
    his testing regime and moved on.

    Aside from RIT and Wilhelm, who else is there that does any
    sort of standardized testing of print longevity?

    How do you get "objective" measurements of commercial products?

    The FDA can't (or won't) even do that on prescription drugs,
    where the results are far more critical.

    rafe b.
    rafe bustin, Mar 16, 2005
  13. Hi Bill
    Thanks for the excellent point-by-point
    canvas-slammin' takedowon of Douglas'

    Wilhelm is THE owner of this field. He's put in
    the sweat and the thought. He's an important scientific
    pioneer, an example of the best of that breed.

    -- stan
    Stanley Krute, Mar 16, 2005
  14. nobody

    Douglas Guest

    Somehow I get the idea that all you lot are doing is accepting flawed
    information from a source many working professionals dispute the reliability
    of, without any real world testing of your own. I always thought when you
    set yourself up in business, you had to understand the industry you are in
    and the materials you use. It seems from what most of you are saying it is
    quite OK to believe research paid for and defined by the firm with the most
    to gain from favourable results. What do you do then when your prints change
    colour before your eyes, so to speak?

    The faded pictures I have as examples for my customers of ink/paper
    combinations which are less than 3 years old - some as young as 9 months
    along with the paper which no longer has any image left on it but had
    vibrant colours in 1997 - some laminated too, only have any meaning to those
    who come to my shop for prints and question the life of my photographs.
    These tests may not be "scientific" in the Bill Hilton category but they are
    actual, real world usage tests under the circumstances most people will
    handle and use their prints.

    The people who purchased so called 'professional' output from Photographer's
    inkjet printers at fairs and baby shows and now seek to have those God awful
    prints recovered because they are the only quickly fading reminders they
    have, are the ones who had blind faith in the photographer's choice of
    method to print what they sold and just expected they were lasting

    The information those Photographers relied on when deciding to purchase
    inkjet printers came from the likes of Wilhelm and cost at least one
    Photographer I know of, his business after he purchased a Canon S9000
    printer and proceeded to sell his photographs on Canon paper printed with
    Canon inks only to get sued a year or so later when the wedding photos he
    made for one client turned to crap and the Archival CD, he provided the
    client, refused to give up it's images. I guess it's OK too, to believe CD
    data is permanent, is it? Yeah, just like the pig overhead.

    He based his research on the flawed information published by Canon and which
    I believe, originating from the Wilhelm Institute. It was later "explained"
    on Canon's web site with a statement that went something like: if you want
    to obtain the 25 year longevity we claim for our prints you will keep them
    in a dark, draught free place, away from the atmosphere.

    In an earlier time, if a company had made such outrageous claims and then
    tried to justify them this way, they would be dragged into court for false
    and misleading advertising. Seemingly now, it's OK to fudge the figures.
    Just shout down anyone who disputes them or better still, get an "Expert" to
    do some testing but only on the aspects that will show up favourable
    results. Bugger the cost, just pay him, he'll do what you want.

    It seems to me that one way to gain credibility in the marketplace is to
    find a researcher who will conduct tests based on criteria favourable to
    your product. Better still, get them to "estimate" the results but don't
    tell your customers that no colour inkjet print has ever survived for 25
    years so all the "estimates" of life past 10 years are really just guessed
    (Scientifically of course).

    No one knows if the "estimate" will materialise into fact and in any case,
    it won't matter because the researcher will be dead before his "estimate" is
    able to be converted into truth or lies. If he's lucky he'll have spent the
    money before he falls off the perch and no one can sue his estate. That's
    how it work, isn't it? In the mean time, the world loses millions of
    photographs a year and a whole generation of memories are lost forever.

    So in the case of Wilhelm, Epson gave him a large sum of money to conduct
    tests on their papers (THEY FUNDED HIS RESEARCH - hello, are you listening
    Bill?) which avoided the areas those products were most at risk of fading
    and colour shifting from ...and based on those tests, produce longevity
    results which are flawed and misleading. Bill Hilton seems to think
    publishing a biography of the bloke will somehow support his blind faith in
    the data he Scientifically obtained by guessing, some of which is now
    beginning to show up as total bullshit.

    Hs anyone got a colour print on gloss paper from an Epson Stylus Pro made
    about 1996 or 97 they can reference?

    Shout me down all you like but at the end of the day, you cannot obtain
    unbiased information from anyone who conducts research only in the specific
    area defined by a manufacturer who funds the research. Sort of like the
    Tobacco industry paying a research Institute to prove their cigarettes don't
    cause lung cancer. Now that doesn't happen, does it?

    Faced with the growing number of badly colour shifted and faded inkjet
    pictures I received for recovery, I did what every businessman in that
    business should do, I carried out my own testing and devised a process for
    grading the life of my prints. It's not public information. It's not rocket
    science either, it is what I make a living from and no different to what any
    printer should do as a matter of course. I'm mystified as to who no one else
    has done it. If you want to pay me, I'll publish the information. Otherwise,
    I'll use it in my business and hope you jokers are my rivals.

    Incidentally one quick and dirty test you can all do for yourself is to
    mount prints on a board and hang them in a draughty area, exposed to kitchen
    odours and normal everyday lighting (not direct sunlight) right beside a
    real photograph and see which one survives past a year without a colour
    shift or fading... Guaranteed not to be the one with Wilhelm's 120 year
    print life rating!

    Another wildly simple, totally unscientific test is to put some clear
    adhesive tape over a part of a print and leave it laying around for a month
    or two. Of course for people in the Bill Hilton for president fan club, such
    tests are frivolous and not to be compared with scientific guessing from a
    client funded research institute.

    Douglas, Mar 16, 2005
  15. nobody

    nobody Guest

    Thanks. I am probably going to go for the 130nr, which, presumably, has the
    roll feed. However, I saw an 130 in a shop placed on two large legs, not
    unlike the Epson 7600. Are the legs necessary for the roll feed? The HP
    130nr seems to be a desk top printer, judging by the pictures of it I saw on
    different websites, including B & H. Would I be able to use the roll feed
    without the Epson 7600-like legs? Any comments?
    nobody, Mar 17, 2005
  16. nobody

    nobody Guest

    What is the best photo paper to use with the 130 series? I looked up the HP
    website, and the choice is a little bewildering (I am about to take the
    plunge). Thanks for the past, and hopefully, future advice and/or comments.
    I am a little surprised that our Bill Hilton has not commented on the
    differences (if any) in image or print quality between the Epson 4000 and
    the HP 130nr. This would make 3 votes, instead of only 2... :)

    PS: All this talk about longevity of 82 or 185 years leaves me rather cold.
    Isn't image quality what is all about? Even a disgruntled client might be
    pacified if supplied with a new print - however, I am my own client, and
    unlikely to sue myself!
    nobody, Mar 17, 2005
  17. nobody

    nobody Guest

    Thank you very much Bill, I shall return the compliment by posting an
    article on the results of the test, once they are available. Clearly, to
    have a 24 inch printer for the price of a 17 inch one is a very attractive
    proposition, in particular for somebody who likes MF (and has a very good
    scanner, and I mean very good).
    nobody, Mar 18, 2005
  18. nobody

    nobody Guest

    Bill, it's me again. I live on the other side of the pond, and it seems
    next to impossible to get here anybody to do the tests you suggest. Would
    you please give me the e-mail address of a reputable company in US which I
    could trust, and which would do the tests for me. The idea would be to send
    them a CD with the relevant files, and pay for the paper and shipping of the
    results, etc. A little expensive, however, what else can I do? Thanks
    nobody, Mar 19, 2005
  19. nobody

    rafe bustin Guest

    No problem.

    Truth be known, I've been having some
    issues with color management on the HP
    lately. Something's out of kilter.

    The internal color calibration simply
    doesn't work on glossy paper, and
    hasn't since day one.

    There are rumors of inconsistencies
    between paper lots. I just haven't
    gotten to the bottom of it or re-
    profiled this last box. Annoying
    to have to do that.

    rafe b.
    rafe bustin, Mar 19, 2005
  20. nobody

    nobody Guest

    Thanks Bill.

    nobody, Mar 19, 2005
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