User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Easy set-up. Excellent, cost-effective results. Artists will be as happy as photographers.
Cons:Two compatible papers difficult to find, back-ordered. Instructions limited on advance features. Computer expertise ideal.
The Bottom Line: Excellent choice for users who need the best-quality archival results without the cost of service bureau set-up and reproduction fees or investment in a high end large format printer.
The cost of purchasing quality prints of my artwork was high and the results were uneven, varying from one order to another with the same scan or vector file. After searching for a new print supplier and failing, I took the advice of a photographer friend of mine who purchased this equipment nearly a year before. I had followed his results closely, knowing I had outgrown my all-in-one printer and under pressure to reduce cost-per-print and increase quality. I needed a proven archival ink without the large format printer price tag. This purchase has been the best technical and financial decision of my 30 year artistic career! Set-up instructions were concise and clear. After reading all of the materials I was printing within the hour. My work is heavily weighted dark, and both vivid colors and more monochromatic rich blacks are reproduced very well. The machine prints quietly and quickly, and then closes up neatly to minimize dust. It is instantly on and instantly off with a centered power button and a few other simple controls on a well marked panel. Ink cartridges are reasonably priced and when I saw my results I was REALLY thrilled with the price. My cost of production per piece is less than a quarter of what I was paying. Sheets load easily, although I was surprised I needed to load one sheet at a time in every case, which made sense once I realized it was preserving the integrity of the paper surface. I have had success with some papers outside of the Epson line, but my best results are with Epson papers. This Epson printer is designed for photographers and my work is not photography, produced mostly on matte surfaces with very detailed line work, and I need not have worried! There are two kinds of black ink cartridges that you interchange, one for matte surfaces and one for gloss, making a total of 8 ink colors, seven plus the interchangeable blacks. Attaching rolls of paper for printing is not as clearly outlined in the instructions as I would have liked and seemed like it might take three hands as each end of the roll has a separate piece to attach to the back of the printer. More use will make it more comfortable I am sure, and for now my needs are largely sheet size prints. The Adobe line of image-editing software doesn't pair with the printer software controls well. Multiple consultations with Adobe folks yielded no insights or fixes. I am trying other software, specifically Corel, and have much more image output control. To keep editing simple and on the fly I have had to continue to use the Adobe software, and with success, but it is like diving into a pool without knowing the depth and temperature of the water ~ and not Epson's fault. The software issue is an important for the artist and photographer to be aware of but I wouldn't let it keep me from purchasing this printer. If there is a way to override the photo-editing software controls and only use the printer software I have not found it. My results truly are best with Epson papers, which some might find a con as some less popular papers can be hard to find or back-ordered. To keep my cost low I still rough proof on my HP all-in-one, make any gross adjustments, then final print to the Epson, allowing each printed sheet to dry separately for a day before placing in sleeves or framing. I am overly cautious with this, but I have had few errors and NO smudges, ever. I tested the durability of the inks by printing my business cards on the Epson, the most rough use I could come up with to see image scratches or bleeds (treatment I would never subject other kinds of prints to) and since the cards so closely match my work my marketing recognition has improved. My studio and office space are a bit cramped and I can disconnect the USB and power cord and easily lift the neatly closed machine to another location or to use with another computer. I would recommend this product to all who want to keep their professional image output in-house for well under the several thousand dollars high-end printers cost. This is not the printer for a computer hardware, software, photography or design beginner but still accessible to novice users who are patient and willing to learn how to get the best result.
Recommend this product?
Amount Paid (US$): 559.99
Operating System: Windows