Printer recommendations again

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 6,460
Not easy to reconcile your wants

Will I be happier with a new printer, or is this just the way it am?

My Canon Pixma Pro-100 is really great - except that:

a) It's always out of ink;

b) right now its print head needs cleaning - at least I think that's the issue causing lines in light blue areas on fine art paper but not glossy photo paper;

c) I want to be able to just hit Print without worrying that somefreakingthingorother is going to go wrong. There's a booth at the local mall that prints on transfer paper for t-shirts and coffee cups that has an 11X17 Canon printer they use all day long. I want that for fine art paper;

d) Ideally I could make prints larger than 13 x 19 without going up to those things with rolls that cost $2K to fill with ink. I'm pretty sure that other than that Canon Pixma thing that only prints a little bit larger (i.e. it would just be a lateral move) there isn't anything. Right?

I plan on selling prints, but I'm not on the commercial scale yet, if that makes any difference - like how far ahead to look if/when I invest. But for very large, poster-size prints I'm going to work with someone who specializes in that (actually someone who contacted me on this forum, I just don't have my act together for his services yet).

You complain that your Pro-100 is always out of ink--which is a function of its relatively small ink cartridges ($124 to fill with 104ml of ink, i.e. $1.19/ml) and ink use for self-cleanings--but you don't want a printer that "cost[s] $2K to fill with ink". The next step up to substantially larger ink cartridges would be an Epson P900 ($420 to fill with 500ml of ink, i.e. $0.84/ml) or a Canon Pro-1000 ($699 to fill with 960ml of ink, i.e. $0.73/ml). But the Pro-1000 reportedly uses proportionally more ink for self-cleanings that the Pro-100 does.

You complain that your Pro-100's print head needs cleaning, but the dye-ink Pro-100 is one of the most reliable, well-made printers there is. Both the P900 and the Pro-1000 are pigment-ink printers, and therefore in general and all else being equal more susceptible to clogs than the Pro-100. The P900 is likely more prone to clogging, and the only way the Pro-1000 remains clog-free is the aforementioned ink-guzzling self-cleanings--and AFAIK both the Pro-1000 and Pro-100 require you to actually print to initiate those clog-avoiding self-cleanings.

You complain that you can't "just hit Print without worrying that somefreakingthingorother is going to go wrong," but again, the Pro-100 is about as good as you're going to get for reliability, and any home photo printing operation takes some care and effort. There are more than a few complaints of issues with paper feeding in the P900. However, the Pro-1000 does have a vacuum paper system that is highly regarded, so in that specific area it may be an upgrade.

Fortunately you can make prints larger than 13x19 inches without going to a stand printer intended to be used with rolls. The aforementioned Canon Pro-1000 and Epson P900 give you the intermediate size of up to 17x25 inches. Your next step up from there is a roll-oriented printer that can print 24 inches wide (by 36 or whatever inches long).

You might well be happier with a Canon Pro-1000 or Epson P900. But neither is going to solve all of your problems, and either will introduce some new ones. IOW, consider your must-haves, your wants, and your budget carefully.

 NAwlins Contrarian's gear list:NAwlins Contrarian's gear list
Nikon Coolpix S30 Canon PowerShot S120 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +5 more
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