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Opinions Wanted best smaller printers...


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I'm not looking to add in house printing services and I have a fabulous cooperative barter relationship with a professional photographer that prints for me...

that said..
I would like to offer up to 11x17's in house as they tend to more what I would handle and have her do those that require "a larger" format or a roll of paper, i.e. a 12x36....

in addition, this printer size can easily be where my day-to-day printer and scanner are located.

so a cannon, hp, epson??? thoughts???



PFG, Picture Framing God
Well... based on my years of owning Epson large format printers, when my last one had a stroke and died, I bought a 44" Canon printer and amazed at the difference!

The quality is as good if not better, it doesn't screw up the printing with banding and clogging like the Epsons were prone to and I'm not doing anywhere near as much color correcting to get a match of the original.
Seems my Epsons were messing up the color output and not giving me what I was telling it while the Canon does.

As for which model at your size, no idea.

PS: Both Epson and Canon pigment inks withstand heat mounting.

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
In my experience, another advantage of Canon printers is that they do not clog and require multiple cleaning cycles, even if not used frequently. Epsons like to be used regularly, or they get banding and clogging, as Framah described.
:cool: Rick


Angry Badger
I guess it depends on what you are used to. I have a large format Epson (9880), and other than a paper jam it has performed well for the 11 years I have owned it. We print only on one kind of paper (Moab Entrada Natural), and don't let it sit idle for more than a week.
Alternately, I have been buying some art from Europe and the one photographer who does his own printing and has for 20+ years uses HP technology. I can't argue with the results.
Canon seems to be the current darling of the printers, and, if I were looking, I would probably check them out. I know I would not get a large format again. 85% of the things I print are on 8.5 X 11 cut paper, and few are over 16 X 20.


Staff member
Check out the cost of ink. Smaller the printer the higher the cost per ml for ink. How long the lnk can be stored before use is another issue.


Grumbler in Training
I can think of two smaller printers: Canon Pro-100 and the Epson P600 for printing up to 13x19 sheets (the P600 can do paper roll). Here's a bunch of loosely structured comments:

  • The Canon Pro-100 is a dye printer with smaller sized ink cartridges. This means that as a dye printer, it's light-fastness is not equal to the longevity of pigment inks (which you know, but I have to say it), and the smaller size means the total cost of ink is higher (which was already noted). You can get 3rd party inks, but they are even less resistant to fading.
  • However, the Pro-100 is frequently on sale, and really produces terrific prints. I own both a Pro-100 and an Epson P800.
  • The Pro-100 can be left alone for months and start printing without any head clogging incidents.
  • The Pro-100 printhead can be replaced.
  • The Pro-100 can't print on just any paper, because it's dye ink. So, the range of choices will be slightly less.

  • The Epson P600 is a great pigment ink printer for 13x19 images.
  • As far as I know, it's also the least expensive pigment printer than can print panoramas. The lower cost Canon's are terrific, but they can't take roll paper, only sheet. As far as I'm concerned, the advantage of being able to output a horizontal or vertical print places the P600 above anything else in it's price range.
  • A tremendous range of papers supported with vendor profiles.

Daniel Smith

True Grumbler
Have and use an Epson P600. Works well. The B&W output is better than the pro Canon printer I had before - I do a lot of B&W printing.
Individual ink tanks make it easy to deal with. Bigger printers cost less overall for ink but you need to print a lot to make much of it.
Have few clogging problems. Much better than earlier Epson printers I have used for photo work.
Using high quality fine art papers - the results are excellent. Choosing papers tested for longevity with the Epson inks give a bit of confidence the prints should last awhile.