Need new printer

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    Topic: Need new printer Read 87 Times
  • Ronny Nilsen
    Ronny Nilsen
    Participant
    Posts: 8
    Epson Printers
    on: June 19, 2022 at 3:17 pm
    I need a new printer, as my Epson 3880 stopped working today. I bought it in January 2012, and its been working perfect the whole time with no nozzle clogging! Until today when it stoppen printing PK-ink. There might be ways to get it going again, but I am not going to try that, I will let the printer go to rest with my memories of more than 10 years of perfect service with no hassels.
    So since I am happy about Epson, I guess the natural next step is to buy a new Epson SC-P900 to replace the 3880. A local dealer have a good deal that include Mirage 4 software to make printing easier (I got Mirage 2 with my 3880, and really like to use that to print).
    My question is how good are paper profiles these days? I had an i1 that I used to make profiles for all the papers I used in the 3880, but the old software will not run on my newer mac anymore, so I will have to buy something new to profile a printer. Only have a new profiler for my screens (i1 Display Pro). But do I need to make my own profiles anymore? Or are the Epson profiles good enough? And is the profiles provided from other paper manufacturer also good enough?
    And if I should want to make my own profiles again, what is the differences between the xrite i1Publish Pro 3 and i1Publish Pro 3 plus etc. packages on sale? Been a while since I shoppes for stuff like this since the 3880 was so stable and reliable.
    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 625
    Re: Need new printer
    Reply #1 on: June 19, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    Paper profiles can be very good these days whether they come from Epson or the better paper suppliers, but that doesn’t answer your question, because only you can judge the adequacy of any particular profiling option once you see the results for your own photos printed on the papers of your choosing in your computing environment. You essentially have three choices:

    (1) Epson’s profiles for Epson’s papers that come bundled with the P900 once you also load the Media Installer.

    (2) If you think you need Mirage and you buy it, it comes equipped with its own profiles for numerous papers.

    (3) Custom profiling.

    There was a time when (3) was always preferable to (1), but the printer and paper manufacturers have significantly improved their game over the years to the point that using their generic profiles can be satisfactory depending on your set-up, the papers you use and your judgment.

    I have done a substantial amount of comparative work between generic profiles and custom profiles for the printers and papers I have reviewed, which you will find in priority on this website, but also for the stuff predating 2019 on Luminous-Landscape.com. You may wish to review some of that material if looking at things by the numbers “speaks” to you. [For some people this is meaningful, for others not so much.]

    All that said, the most practical advice I can give you is to go at this incrementally and experimentally. Once you buy your 900, which I highly recommend as a replacement for the 3880 (see my review on this website), make prints using the Epson driver, Epson papers and the profiles Epson supplies. I highly recommend that you work with Epson Legacy papers if you live in North America and have access to them (they are not available elsewhere). Otherwise use other of the better Epson papers for which their profiles are available in the Media library that you would have loaded when you set-up the printer with the Media Installer software they provide. If you are happy with what you are getting, and you may well be, you won’t need to spend money on Mirage or custom profiling.

    If you are not happy, then do a trial with Mirage and see whether their profiles make you happier. But once we are talking about using RIPs, you would owe it to yourself to also try ImagePrint, because they put a huge effort into profiling just about everything under the sun and I understand from what people I trust say that their profiles are fine, but again, they are also generic profiles. I have not tried or reviewed ImagePrint so the only guidance I can provide here is that based on all I’ve heard, it is worth your while to try it if you think you need a different kind of printing solution from what the Epson driver can do for you.

    Finally, for custom profiling, if in the final analysis you think you will need some, you have two choices: (1) Buy a high quality profiling package and make them in-house, or select the two or three papers you will use most often and have them made by a serious professional profiler maker, usually for less than $100 each at my latest understanding (could have changed with inflation); Andrew Rodney provides such a service (Digitaldog.net).

    It is worth investing in a high-end profiling solution if you think you will be using many different papers, or getting into print making situations that will result in the need to reprofile your papers frequently enough to make the investment worthwhile. X-Rite discontinued the i1Photo Pro purchase option, so for highest quality printer/paper profiling you would need their i1Pro 3 Publish version which costs close to US3000, or the current version of the Konica-Minolta MYIRO-1 & MYIROTools package which does basic printer profiling; the pricing is not on their website – you need to contact one of their resellers; but beware you need both the hardware and the software and they are sold separately. Be careful about buying much lower cost entry level profiling materials, because while “good enough” for many people, once you think your requirements move well beyond the quality offered by the generic profiles discussed abnove, you may well be a candidate for a higher-end solution.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 283
    Re: Need new printer
    Reply #2 on: June 19, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    If you have the tools yes, you want to build your own profiles. For RGB profiles, any of the X-rite packages you mention will do that job.

    What do you have that wouldn’t work on a modern OS and would you consider an old computer to run the older product if that were your only option? You have an i1 what?

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Ronny Nilsen
    Ronny Nilsen
    Participant
    Posts: 8
    Re: Need new printer
    Reply #3 on: June 19, 2022 at 5:48 pm

    Paper profiles can be very good these days whether they come from Epson or the better paper suppliers, but that doesn’t answer your question, because only you can judge the adequacy of any particular profiling option once you see the results for your own photos printed on the papers of your choosing in your computing environment. You essentially have three choices:

    (1) Epson’s profiles for Epson’s papers that come bundled with the P900 once you also load the Media Installer.

    (2) If you think you need Mirage and you buy it, it comes equipped with its own profiles for numerous papers.

    (3) Custom profiling.

    There was a time when (3) was always preferable to (1), but the printer and paper manufacturers have significantly improved their game over the years to the point that using their generic profiles can be satisfactory depending on your set-up, the papers you use and your judgment.

    I have done a substantial amount of comparative work between generic profiles and custom profiles for the printers and papers I have reviewed, which you will find in priority on this website, but also for the stuff predating 2019 on Luminous-Landscape.com. You may wish to review some of that material if looking at things by the numbers “speaks” to you. [For some people this is meaningful, for others not so much.]

    All that said, the most practical advice I can give you is to go at this incrementally and experimentally. Once you buy your 900, which I highly recommend as a replacement for the 3880 (see my review on this website), make prints using the Epson driver, Epson papers and the profiles Epson supplies. I highly recommend that you work with Epson Legacy papers if you live in North America and have access to them (they are not available elsewhere). Otherwise use other of the better Epson papers for which their profiles are available in the Media library that you would have loaded when you set-up the printer with the Media Installer software they provide. If you are happy with what you are getting, and you may well be, you won’t need to spend money on Mirage or custom profiling.

    If you are not happy, then do a trial with Mirage and see whether their profiles make you happier. But once we are talking about using RIPs, you would owe it to yourself to also try ImagePrint, because they put a huge effort into profiling just about everything under the sun and I understand from what people I trust say that their profiles are fine, but again, they are also generic profiles. I have not tried or reviewed ImagePrint so the only guidance I can provide here is that based on all I’ve heard, it is worth your while to try it if you think you need a different kind of printing solution from what the Epson driver can do for you.

    Finally, for custom profiling, if in the final analysis you think you will need some, you have two choices: (1) Buy a high quality profiling package and make them in-house, or select the two or three papers you will use most often and have them made by a serious professional profiler maker, usually for less than $100 each at my latest understanding (could have changed with inflation); Andrew Rodney provides such a service (Digitaldog.net).

    It is worth investing in a high-end profiling solution if you think you will be using many different papers, or getting into print making situations that will result in the need to reprofile your papers frequently enough to make the investment worthwhile. X-Rite discontinued the i1Photo Pro purchase option, so for highest quality printer/paper profiling you would need their i1Pro 3 Publish version which costs close to US3000, or the current version of the Konica-Minolta MYIRO-1 & MYIROTools package which does basic printer profiling; the pricing is not on their website – you need to contact one of their resellers; but beware you need both the hardware and the software and they are sold separately. Be careful about buying much lower cost entry level profiling materials, because while “good enough” for many people, once you think your requirements move well beyond the quality offered by the generic profiles discussed abnove, you may well be a candidate for a higher-end solution.

    Thank you for the advice, I think I will do as you suggest and try the canned profiles, and the profiles from the other papermakers (mostly Canson and Hahnemühle in my case) first, and then see what I should do. Live in Norway, so I don’t have easy access to Epson Legacy papers here.

    And I have read you review of the 900, which is one of the reasons I think that is the logical next printer for me. 🙂

    Ronny Nilsen
    Ronny Nilsen
    Participant
    Posts: 8
    Re: Need new printer
    Reply #4 on: June 19, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    If you have the tools yes, you want to build your own profiles. For RGB profiles, any of the X-rite packages you mention will do that job.

    What do you have that wouldn’t work on a modern OS and would you consider an old computer to run the older product if that were your only option? You have an i1 what?

    I have a GretagMacbeth’s Eye-One Photo that I bought som time in 2006, have served me well, but I think it’s time to buy a new instrument if I need to make more profiles again. I kept it going until a few years ago by running it on an old OS in a virtual machine, but it need recalibration at this point so I gave up as the cost would have been too much to justify.

    Erik Brammer
    Erik Brammer
    Participant
    Posts: 249
    Re: Need new printer
    Reply #5 on: June 20, 2022 at 5:16 am

    Living in Germany, I am also using primarily Hahnemühle paper (Photo Rag 308 and Photo Ra Baryta, potentially Photo Rag Ultra Smooth in the future), then Canson Infinity Baryta Photographique II Matt (thanks for your detailed report, Mark – I think the Canson profile is good enoug for my needs) and some Tecco from my initial P900 purchase. I am just using the paper suppliers’ profiles since I don’t own a spectrophotometer. I will look for reports Mark may have created for some of the other papers I am using on a regular basis.

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 625
    Re: Need new printer
    Reply #6 on: June 20, 2022 at 6:43 am

    If you have the tools yes, you want to build your own profiles. For RGB profiles, any of the X-rite packages you mention will do that job.

    What do you have that wouldn’t work on a modern OS and would you consider an old computer to run the older product if that were your only option? You have an i1 what?

    I have a GretagMacbeth’s Eye-One Photo that I bought som time in 2006, have served me well, but I think it’s time to buy a new instrument if I need to make more profiles again. I kept it going until a few years ago by running it on an old OS in a virtual machine, but it need recalibration at this point so I gave up as the cost would have been too much to justify.

    Ronny, I see I didn’t specifically address one of your questions on the differences between the X-Rite profiling options that are now on the market. This PDF from the X-Rite website should help with that: https://www.xrite.com/-/media/xrite/files/literature/l7/l7-700_l7-799/l7-713-i1pro3pro3pluspro2-comparison/l7-713_i1pro3plusi1pro3i1pro2-comparison_en.pdf. To boil it down, the i1Pro 2 is obsolete and not in production. The i1Basic Pro3 does not allow for profiling printers. The most important difference in respect of printer profiling between the i1Publish Pro3 and Pro3+ is that the latter allows for making profiles using the M3 measurement condition (polarized light). This can be useful in some respects and counter-productive in others. I have written about this in a couple of previous paper review articles. This package produces profiling targets with large patches which require printing and reading much more paper than the regular non+ version. For usual photographic purposes I would not recommend the added cost and nuisance of the “+” option.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Ronny Nilsen
    Ronny Nilsen
    Participant
    Posts: 8
    Re: Need new printer
    Reply #7 on: June 20, 2022 at 10:31 am

    Thank you Mark! That clarifies what I needed to know about the different options.

    Put in the order for the 900 today, but don’t know when I will get it yet, it was on backorder. But I got the Mirage 4 included at no extra cost. I like to print my images with a title and caption etc. so my normal workflow is to create an InDesign document and then export a PDF that I use for printing later. Setting up Mirage with profiles etc. makes it very easy to print later, placing PDF pages on larger sheets for cutting etc. And Mirage have plugins for PS and LR, so I don’t have to set up stuff mor than once. 🙂

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