Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon

Started Apr 20, 2013 | Discussions
bravozulu
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Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
Apr 20, 2013

After speaking with the folks at two camera stores and attending a seminar on Canon, I'm poised to buy a printer. Either the Epson 2100 or Canon Pro-10. Both sell for the same price -- $500+.

I've been told that Epson has larger share of the DSLR market. Which of them is known to use less ink? And which brand sells the inks at a lesser price?

Bear in mind that I won't be doing a lot of printing. But I will be making some 11x14 or 11x17 prints.

I'm shooting with a 16mp Nikon.

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Tom-C
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to bravozulu, Apr 20, 2013

Do you mean the Epson R2000? I'm not aware that Epson has a current 2100 model.

See the printing cost reports at:

http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html

Their tests show a cost of $1.29 to print 11x14 with the Epson R2000 and $2.16 for the Canon Pro-10.

Tom

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bravozulu
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to Tom-C, Apr 20, 2013

You're right about the Epson model number. The 2000. Those are some startling numbers.

This 2-hour demonstration by a Canon representative ended with a question period. I asked if periods of no use would cause the nozzles or inks to dry up. The answer was no.

Someone else asked what the relative cost was for a home printer versus going to a digital print shop. The rep said a home printer cost (per print) was about 25% that of a pro shop print.

Does that square up with your experience?

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Tom-C
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to bravozulu, Apr 20, 2013

bravozulu wrote:

Someone else asked what the relative cost was for a home printer versus going to a digital print shop. The rep said a home printer cost (per print) was about 25% that of a pro shop print.

Does that square up with your experience?

My experience is that small prints cost more when printed at home but large prints cost less.

Adorama Pix is a good quality reputable outfit. They currently have 11x14 prints on sale for $2.00. Their regular cost for 11x14 is $3.99.

Note that the Red River costs are just for ink.  Paper costs are easy to determine, and therefore don't need any testing.

Looking at Red River's costs for 11x14, you'll see a range from 50 cents per sheet to over $2 per sheet.

At 50 cents, the ink cost is an important part of the overall print cost. With $2 paper, the ink cost difference is less important.

The only time I would expect to make a print at 25% of the cost of having it done would be for a very large print, and using a printer that has large ink tanks for a lower ink cost.

For example, my tests for 2 printers I have, and one I used to have show these ink costs for an 11x14 print:

R2400: $1.76  (Red River reports $1.75)

3880:  $1.07

7900:  $0.68

These are based on ink purchased from Atlex. Retail Epson ink prices are higher.

Tom

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macfred
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to bravozulu, Apr 20, 2013

Love my Epson R2000!  Makes beautiful 13x19 inch prints.  As far as ink costs go, be aware that you can buy new complete OEM inks sets for the R2000 on ebay and even Amazon for the $20-$30 range.  This is because T-Shirt printers strip-out the Epson R2000 printer heads and surplus out the rest of the printer for very little.  The ink sets princes on ebay are all over the place, but they all are really the same Epson inks.  At the current ink cartridge prices, it is not worth going to refills.

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bravozulu
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to macfred, Apr 20, 2013

Let me shift the question slightly. Say I want to print black & white images primarily. Both the Epson and Canon have multiple black and grey ink tanks. I understand that you can replace one or two of the color cartridges with additional greys to get even better tonal rendition.

Does that still tilt the cost balance in favor of Epson? And would the per-print cost be about the same as for color images?

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jrkliny
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to bravozulu, Apr 20, 2013

bravozulu wrote:

.......

Bear in mind that I won't be doing a lot of printing. But I will be making some 11x14 or 11x17 prints.............

I guess this is relative.  If you are not going to print a lot then don't worry about the ink costs.  If ink costs really are important, then consider a different printer.  Paying more for a printer can substantially lower ink costs.

What do you mean by some?  For me that might be 10/month and ink costs would be important.  In fact I plan on doing substantially larger prints such as 12x18 or 16x24.

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jtoolman
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to bravozulu, Apr 21, 2013

bravozulu wrote:

Let me shift the question slightly. Say I want to print black & white images primarily. Both the Epson and Canon have multiple black and grey ink tanks. I understand that you can replace one or two of the color cartridges with additional greys to get even better tonal rendition.

The R2000 does not have multiple blacks except for PK and MK which does not constitute multiple blacks as may be thought of on K3 ink systems.

How are you going to replace colored inks on the R2000 with grays? Only the CONE Piezography all black system will allow you to do that and you would have to replace ALL 8 colors with 7 blacks and grays and GLOP and them use a RIP to be able to linearize your tones.  Once you go that route, your printer will be dedicated to B&W and only B&W.

Now believe it or not, the R2000 by itself, with good ICC profiles does actually produce some very good B&W prints. SO there is not need to try to convert it to a multi black system.

Does that still tilt the cost balance in favor of Epson? And would the per-print cost be about the same as for color images?

No.

The Canon PRO-10 actually does have a black ink set for B&W printing.

If you go with the Canon, you are pretty much stuck to OEM as there is no reliable 3rd party ink system for it yet.

The R2000 uses OEM ink that is at this writing still available on ebay for about $30 a full set.

Joe

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Alpha Doug
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to jrkliny, Apr 22, 2013

Look to buy a re-furnished r2880 or r3000 from the Epson web site and save a lot.  Then get refillable cartridges from inkjet mall (Jon Cone).  Both printers use multiple black inks for superior B&WW prints.  Unless you want to scour Ebay for OEM Carts, refillable s cut your ink carts by a minimum of 4X.

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JulesJ
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to Tom-C, Apr 22, 2013

Tom-C wrote:

Do you mean the Epson R2000? I'm not aware that Epson has a current 2100 model.

See the printing cost reports at:

http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html

Their tests show a cost of $1.29 to print 11x14 with the Epson R2000 and $2.16 for the Canon Pro-10.

Tom

There was a 2100 in the UK, i think it was called the 2200 in the US. The trouble is with those sort of printers is that they only take tiny ink carts. Even the 3880 which is a good printer takes small carts and hence they are very expensive. If you can go bigger you will save money in the long run. and the bigger printers are not that much more expensive. my 7890 was £1600 ($2440 US)

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bravozulu
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to JulesJ, Apr 23, 2013

I'm not real quick with model numbers. But considering that Epson is cheaper on ink, I might be better off getting that better model  - the 2800 or 3000. If they came standard with multiple blacks and the output comes close to samples I saw at the Canon demo, then I can afford the $800 for th machine.

I wouldn't trust used equipment. This will all have to wait until I upgrade my computer to the new iMac.

Thanks for the tutorial.

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Sal Baker
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to JulesJ, Apr 23, 2013

JulesJ wrote:

Tom-C wrote:

Do you mean the Epson R2000? I'm not aware that Epson has a current 2100 model.

See the printing cost reports at:

http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html

Their tests show a cost of $1.29 to print 11x14 with the Epson R2000 and $2.16 for the Canon Pro-10.

Tom

There was a 2100 in the UK, i think it was called the 2200 in the US. The trouble is with those sort of printers is that they only take tiny ink carts. Even the 3880 which is a good printer takes small carts and hence they are very expensive. If you can go bigger you will save money in the long run. and the bigger printers are not that much more expensive. my 7890 was £1600 ($2440 US)

A printer the size of the 7890 might be major overkill for the OP who says he doesn't print often and only prints up to 11x17.  Even the 3880 would probably last 3 years on the original carts at that kind of low printing volume.

Sal

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Hugowolf
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to Sal Baker, Apr 23, 2013

Sal Baker wrote:

JulesJ wrote:

Tom-C wrote:

Do you mean the Epson R2000? I'm not aware that Epson has a current 2100 model.

See the printing cost reports at:

http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html

Their tests show a cost of $1.29 to print 11x14 with the Epson R2000 and $2.16 for the Canon Pro-10.

Tom

There was a 2100 in the UK, i think it was called the 2200 in the US. The trouble is with those sort of printers is that they only take tiny ink carts. Even the 3880 which is a good printer takes small carts and hence they are very expensive. If you can go bigger you will save money in the long run. and the bigger printers are not that much more expensive. my 7890 was £1600 ($2440 US)

A printer the size of the 7890 might be major overkill for the OP who says he doesn't print often and only prints up to 11x17.  Even the 3880 would probably last 3 years on the original carts at that kind of low printing volume.

Exactly. The 80 ml cartridges of the 3880 may not be large by 44 inch printer standards, but they are much larger than those of any 13 inch printer, and like the long ink lines of the larger printers, the 3880 only uses about 16% of the inks on start up. In comparison, none of my 110 ml 9890 cartridges were more than 50% after start up, and LK was down to less than 20%.

Brian A

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williamio
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to bravozulu, Apr 23, 2013

bravozulu wrote:

I'm not real quick with model numbers. But considering that Epson is cheaper on ink, I might be better off getting that better model  - the 2800 or 3000. If they came standard with multiple blacks and the output comes close to samples I saw at the Canon demo, then I can afford the $800 for th machine.

I wouldn't trust used equipment. This will all have to wait until I upgrade my computer to the new iMac.

Thanks for the tutorial.

R3000 is the better choice. Also take a look at the 3rd party inks too. Both Inkrepublic.com and Cone inks are good for R3000.

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JulesJ
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to Sal Baker, Apr 23, 2013

Sal Baker wrote:

JulesJ wrote:

Tom-C wrote:

Do you mean the Epson R2000? I'm not aware that Epson has a current 2100 model.

See the printing cost reports at:

http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html

Their tests show a cost of $1.29 to print 11x14 with the Epson R2000 and $2.16 for the Canon Pro-10.

Tom

There was a 2100 in the UK, i think it was called the 2200 in the US. The trouble is with those sort of printers is that they only take tiny ink carts. Even the 3880 which is a good printer takes small carts and hence they are very expensive. If you can go bigger you will save money in the long run. and the bigger printers are not that much more expensive. my 7890 was £1600 ($2440 US)

A printer the size of the 7890 might be major overkill for the OP who says he doesn't print often and only prints up to 11x17.  Even the 3880 would probably last 3 years on the original carts at that kind of low printing volume.

Sal

Yes I do realise that the 7899 would be an overkill, let alone the physical size. I was just throwing out the benefits of ink costs on trag larger printers, plus the low cost of the printers relative to smaller ones.

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Tom-C
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to JulesJ, Apr 23, 2013

JulesJ wrote:

Tom-C wrote:

Do you mean the Epson R2000? I'm not aware that Epson has a current 2100 model.

See the printing cost reports at:

http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html

Their tests show a cost of $1.29 to print 11x14 with the Epson R2000 and $2.16 for the Canon Pro-10.

Tom

There was a 2100 in the UK, i think it was called the 2200 in the US.

I'm aware of the old 2100/2200 printers. That's why I said "current" 2100 model. I thought it unlikely that he was planning to buy a new 2100 that has been out of production for years.

Tom

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JulesJ
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to Tom-C, Apr 23, 2013

Tom-C wrote:

JulesJ wrote:

Tom-C wrote:

Do you mean the Epson R2000? I'm not aware that Epson has a current 2100 model.

See the printing cost reports at:

http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html

Their tests show a cost of $1.29 to print 11x14 with the Epson R2000 and $2.16 for the Canon Pro-10.

Tom

There was a 2100 in the UK, i think it was called the 2200 in the US.

I'm aware of the old 2100/2200 printers. That's why I said "current" 2100 model. I thought it unlikely that he was planning to buy a new 2100 that has been out of production for years.

Tom

Exactly. Mine died and I had to throw it away. It had bronzing too.

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Sal Baker
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Re: Which is more economical on inks? Epson/Canon
In reply to bravozulu, Apr 23, 2013

bravozulu wrote:

I'm not real quick with model numbers. But considering that Epson is cheaper on ink, I might be better off getting that better model  - the 2800 or 3000. If they came standard with multiple blacks and the output comes close to samples I saw at the Canon demo, then I can afford the $800 for th machine.

I wouldn't trust used equipment. This will all have to wait until I upgrade my computer to the new iMac.

Thanks for the tutorial.

If you're going to spend $800 you should certainly look at the 3880.  Until the end of the month B&H has it for $879 w/free shipping.  At the the rate you print the original inks will probably last 2 or 3 years.

Much of the overall cost of ink in Epson printers is the amount wasted cleaning head clogs.  The 3880 is famous for not clogging.  Mine hasn't had a clog in 3 years, even with long time spans between printing sessions.  Print quality is stellar, and the printer isn't much bigger than a 13-inch printer.

Sal

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