Opinions on Epson R3000

Started Mar 25, 2012 | Discussions
O5iris
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Opinions on Epson R3000
Mar 25, 2012

I'm beginning to think about finaly buying an A3 printer.

Generaly speaking, my feeling is that Epson seems to have the edge so I was thinking about the R3000.

What do you guys think about it? I want it to provide no less than state of the art beautiful color and b&w prints.

Most important is the cost/print ratio. Can you give me a rough estimate of how many prints can the ink cartriges last in a max quality, A3 color and bw?
What about ease of use, profiles, etc?
Are there any obvious alternatives?
Let me stress that I know almost nothing about printing so please be gentle

Thanks in advance

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Howard Moftich
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to O5iris, Mar 25, 2012

if you want to maximize your cost/print ratio, look at the 3880 instead.

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O5iris
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000 (edited)
In reply to Howard Moftich, Mar 25, 2012

Thanks.
Isn't it an A2+ printer (16.5 x 23.4 in) ?

As much as I would love to grab an A2 printer, it's a 'bit' out of my budget :\ ..

Edit
Hmmm now that you've mentioned it I came accross these 2 links

http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3800/faq.html#swap_pk_mk (R3880 FAQ)

http://www.printerville.net/2008/12/09/the-stylus-pro-3800-still-the-king/ (comparison with the R2880)

and it seems the price of the R3880 keeps many at bay first but it can become a real bargain once you begin to think ahead of the initial price and study the cost/print more deeply...

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Tom-C
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000 (edited)
In reply to O5iris, Mar 25, 2012

From a recent post of mine:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1003&message=40817584

The 3880 costs $24 more than the R3000 with current pricing rebates, and included ink. That is in the U.S. The numbers may be different for your area.

But comparing the cost of ink, it won't take long to make up for that $24 (or whatever it works out to for you).

To compare ink costs see: http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html

As to print quality, I would expect the difference between the R3000 and the 3880 to be small.

I have an ancient R2400 that I still use, and a 2 year old 7900. The difference in print quality between them is not noticeable unless I study closely. But the ink cost is very different (dollars per square foot of print):

R2400: $1.65
R3000: $1.41
3880: $0.81
7900: $0.63

The R2400 and 7900 are my own measurements. The others are from Red River's ink cost report.

Tom

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victorian squid
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to O5iris, Mar 25, 2012

I love my epson R3000. Had it for a while now. I was actually toying with the idea of the SP4900 when it came out at it's insanely low introductory price + rebates.

But, I really don't have a need to print that size, and actually it was the size of the cartridges and the frequency of my printing that guided me to the R3000.

Mostly I print fine art reproductions, and in waves. So, the printer can go idle for weeks at a time. Since the cartridges do have a finite life, I figured the last thing I wanted to do was replace $1k worth of cartridges (SP4900) because they sat to long.

If you're printing a lot, then you'll need to do the math. The 3880 prints for about 60% if that of the cost of the R3000. A slightly more expensive printer makes sense.

The R3000 does do rolls, the R3880 doesn't, if that figures into your equation. As far as print quality, they're pretty much equals. And, I've found that even doing more switching between the two blacks than I would want there's not all that much waste. It seems pretty darned efficient considering the quality of prints.

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews/printer/epson_r3000.html

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O5iris
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000 (edited)
In reply to Tom-C, Mar 25, 2012

Thank you, your reply is most helpful!

Tom-C wrote:

From a recent post of mine:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1003&message=40817584

The 3880 costs $24 more than the R3000 with current pricing rebates, and included ink. That is in the U.S. The numbers may be different for your area.

'Unfortunately' I live in Portugal, I have to buy EU. The R3000 costs €530 while the R3880 jumps to €1050, roughly 2x. and those are as low as it gets.

I won't be printing much (maybe 4 or 5 prints a week) and certainly much more A4 than A3 or A2, so what do you think?

But comparing the cost of ink, it won't take long to make up for that $24 (or whatever it works out to for you).

To compare ink costs see: http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html

As to print quality, I would expect the difference between the R3000 and the 3880 to be small.

I have an ancient R2400 that I still use, and a 2 year old 7900. The difference in print quality between them is not noticeable unless I study closely. But the ink cost is very different (dollars per square foot of print):

R2400: $1.65
R3000: $1.41
3880: $0.81
7900: $0.63

The R2400 and 7900 are my own measurements. The others are from Red River's ink cost report.

This is very useful, thanks again.

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Howard Moftich
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000 (edited)
In reply to Tom-C, Mar 25, 2012

right. if you want the best output and reducing your ink costs, the 80mL carts on the 3880 are the way to go.

I think I heard that the R3000 carts are 25-30mL each for $30 (USD) so since the 80mL carts are $50, you can see if you're going to do some printing, you make back the unit cost very quickly.

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O5iris
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to victorian squid, Mar 25, 2012

Thanks!

Initially I haven't considered printing roll paper but now that that's come to attention it is indeed a nice feature to add. You can print huge and nice panoramas that way, right?

I definitely have some math to do... The R3880 seems the way to go but it costs double the R3000 here in Portugal (roughly €500 vs €1000).
Do these printers come with a full inker set?

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Petruska
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R3000 - cost of printing here....
In reply to O5iris, Mar 25, 2012
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victorian squid
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to O5iris, Mar 25, 2012

Yes, the printer comes with a proper set of inks, not a "starter set". Unfortunately it doesn't come with any sample papers

And yes again, you can print panoramas up to ridiculous lengths using the roll printer. I haven't tested the limits, but here's some info:

http://blog.redriverpaper.com/2011/06/epson-r3000-r2000-max-printing-length-information.html

At only 4-5 prints a week the R3000 might be worth a look, as it will take you a while to burn through the ink. 4-5 (or more) a day changes the ROI greatly!

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O5iris
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to victorian squid, Mar 25, 2012

After some grocery store math and following the links you guys provided, if I am correct I will be able to print around 150-165 A4 prints (roughly 180-200 8x10') with the R3000
using their test specifications...

The R3000 cartridges have a capacity of 26ml while the R3800's have 80ml (3.08x)

Now.. according to my calculations (which I myself am confused with already :D) I think it's possible to print at least 250 A4 prints with the R3880 and spend the same money.

Given my estimated workflow (say 4-5 A4 / week) on set of R3000 cartridges can last around 7,5 months... not bad...
The R3880 cartridges could last at least as long as 3 times that... wow...

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victorian squid
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to O5iris, Mar 25, 2012

Similar to what I came to when considering a larger printer, and what my real workload is.

Since the claimed life of a cartridge is 6 months after opened (I think that's a bit short, but let's take them at their word) then you'd need to anticipate more prints before the carts go bad.

Put another way, I've had mine for almost exactly 6 months, and haven't noticed any sort of degradation in print quality - still on original carts. I would guess that they can go a lot longer depending on environment. Mine is pretty stable and non-humid.

Did that confuse things more?

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O5iris
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to victorian squid, Mar 25, 2012

victorian squid wrote:

Similar to what I came to when considering a larger printer, and what my real workload is.

Since the claimed life of a cartridge is 6 months after opened (I think that's a bit short, but let's take them at their word) then you'd need to anticipate more prints before the carts go bad.

Put another way, I've had mine for almost exactly 6 months, and haven't noticed any sort of degradation in print quality - still on original carts. I would guess that they can go a lot longer depending on environment. Mine is pretty stable and non-humid.

Did that confuse things more?

Not really... I think I am leaning over to the side of the R3000, given my workflow...

I think the R3880 cartridges will dry up or the ink will go bad before I'll be able to spend them. If I increase my workflow to prevent that I'll maybe end up spending much more money, of course with many more prints but still... this is mainly a hobby, I won't be making much money from this, for sure...

On the R3880's side, surely the A2 size is tempting... the bigger the prints the better... damn...

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O5iris
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to victorian squid, Mar 25, 2012

The tests made on the R3000 were at 1440 x 720 dpi quality, High Speed printing turned on. I assume the same for the R3880.

In your experience what can you guys say about the print quality at these settings (assuming also 300ppi image)?

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Tom-C
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to O5iris, Mar 25, 2012

For the R3000:

Using the Red River test result of 0.00036 ink cartridges per square inch (CEU), and the size of an A4 in square inches (97.11) gives:

0.035 CEU / A4 print or 28.6 A4 per cartridge.

Since there are 8 cartridges, that gives 229 A4 prints per set of 8 cartridges.

Depending on the images you might have replaced some colors sooner than that but have lots of ink left in other colors. But the average will work out over a long enough period.

For the 3880:

They don't give CEU per square inch, so I calculated it from their test results of 7.23 ml for 10 8x10 prints to get: 0.000113 CEU per square inch.

Skipping to the end I got 729 A4 prints for a set of 8 ink cartridges.

I've had R2400 ink that lasted for 2 or 3 years after I opened it. So Epson's 6 month after opening specification is very conservative.

The R3000 will indeed do panorama prints on roll paper. The 3880 has a limit of about 1 meter while the R3000 limit is 3.27 meters. I've printed a lot of panoramas with my R2400, some of them close to 3 meters. When the 3800 came out I was interested in it until I found out it didn't support roll paper.

So if panorama prints longer than 1 meter are important to you, then the R3000 is the one to get.

Tom

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Howard Moftich
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to O5iris, Mar 25, 2012

many/most of us disregard the 6month 'expiration' date. No problem w/ 18+ months

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Tom-C
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to O5iris, Mar 25, 2012

Inkjet photo printing is so good these days that you won't notice much difference in print quality from any of the current high end photo printers, whether from Epson or Canon.

In most cases the decision should be made on the printer's features.

Tom

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O5iris
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Re: R3000 - cost of printing here....
In reply to Petruska, Mar 25, 2012

Thanks. It seems this is the reference site for you guys

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O5iris
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Re: Opinions on Epson R3000
In reply to Tom-C, Mar 25, 2012

Indeed the R3880 capacity is astounding...

The thing is, with the 500€ price diference between the R3000 and R3880 I can buy 2.5 sets of cartriges for the R3000 here in Portugal.

Since I'm not a 'heavy duty' printer maybe I'll be better off with the R3000... not counting the amazing A2 size :\

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O5iris
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Thank you all
In reply to O5iris, Mar 25, 2012

Guys, you have been most helpful; I am delighted at the friendliness in this forum!

I usually hang out at the Nikon and sometimes Canon forums and the atmosphere is VERY heavy, particularly since the D800/D4/5D MarkIII came out. Lots if immature animosity over there to be sure

Oh, and I think I'll definitely go with the R3000. I've come to the conclusion that'll be a bad deal only if I print a lot more than I expect. I suspect I will 'save' some money at least during the 1st two years, which makes a big difference in my wallet

Cheers!

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