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Thread: Giclee Printing on Epson Stylus Pro 3880

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    Haystack is offline Junior Member
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    Default Giclee Printing on Epson Stylus Pro 3880

    I'm looking at buying an Epson Stylus Pro 3880 to create fine art reproductions. These would range from famous art pieces printed from high-res source files to plates scanned directly from antiquarian books. It's important to me that these be of acceptable quality for the consumer market.

    I have a fairly solid grounding on the software side (Photoshop, etc), but I'm not very experienced with digital printing. I expect a learning curve, but what concerns me isn't what I know I don't know, as much as what I don't know that I don't know--so I thought I'd ask. Where are the likely stumbling blocks? If I get the 3880, will I have what I need, or are there other major investments involved in order to do this properly? Can anyone recommend a book that would help me get the best results?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
    I'm looking at buying an Epson Stylus Pro 3880 to create fine art reproductions. These would range from famous art pieces printed from high-res source files to plates scanned directly from antiquarian books. It's important to me that these be of acceptable quality for the consumer market.

    I have a fairly solid grounding on the software side (Photoshop, etc), but I'm not very experienced with digital printing. I expect a learning curve, but what concerns me isn't what I know I don't know, as much as what I don't know that I don't know--so I thought I'd ask. Where are the likely stumbling blocks? If I get the 3880, will I have what I need, or are there other major investments involved in order to do this properly? Can anyone recommend a book that would help me get the best results?
    You've dealt with the business issues? Copyright, target market, distribution? Etc.
    That helps to determine the technical issues. E.g. If you're the publisher there is potentially a wider tolerance for color accuracy than if you are printing to please a customer. The "consumer" market is a very broad category. Are you thinking Walmart or a gallery row boutique?

    Gordo
    Last edited by gordo; 11-18-2012 at 12:18 AM.

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    Haystack is offline Junior Member
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    More like eBay. I deal in books/ephemera, and through that have become aware of various illustrators/maps/graphic styles that collectors are always after. It would be a much better return on investment for me if, instead of just reselling that stuff, I were also to digitize it and have reproduction prints permanently in stock thereafter. This would all be public domain; though I am interested in what the process is like for licensing copyrighted material, and whether it would be cost effective for me. So, better than Walmart (I want to say "fine art print," not "poster"), but not necessarily boutique.

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    gordo is offline Senior Member
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    The only issue that comes to mind is that, if you are scanning printed materials you may have to deal with moire introduced by the scanner.

    Best gordo

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    Haystack is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for your help.

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    Alienjones is offline Junior Member
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    Not sure if this is going to get you in time but the 3880 is expensive to run. they have fairly small ink tanks. The 4880 Pro Epson uses the same tanks as the 60" printer does. They are much cheaper than buying small tanks for a desktop printer and you get up to 17" wide printing from them. Almost twice the price sounds like a heap of difference but by the time you've used 100 ink tanks from the 3880 and discovered you are still only halfway through full size tanks with a 4880, you'll discover just how cheap the more expensive printer really is.
    Good luck whichever way you go.

    AJ

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    Haystack is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alienjones View Post
    Not sure if this is going to get you in time but the 3880 is expensive to run. they have fairly small ink tanks. The 4880 Pro Epson uses the same tanks as the 60" printer does. They are much cheaper than buying small tanks for a desktop printer and you get up to 17" wide printing from them. Almost twice the price sounds like a heap of difference but by the time you've used 100 ink tanks from the 3880 and discovered you are still only halfway through full size tanks with a 4880, you'll discover just how cheap the more expensive printer really is.
    Good luck whichever way you go.

    AJ
    Thanks. I picked up a 3880 just this week and am pretty happy with it so far, but yeah--my ink levels are down 10% just from charging the printer.

    What is the consensus on refill kits? I've heard stories of people ruining their consumer-grade printers with cheap refill kits, so I'm rather wary.

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    You are looking to do giclee printing with 3rd party cheap inks?! Not even worth considering in my opinion. Stick to the quality - thats what the giclee market wants

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    Haystack is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsands View Post
    You are looking to do giclee printing with 3rd party cheap inks?! Not even worth considering in my opinion. Stick to the quality - thats what the giclee market wants
    Are the inks lousy? I'll stick to the Epson then, thanks.

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    Alienjones is offline Junior Member
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    One of Australia's most renown fine art printers who has four or five Canon 60" printers and a few Epson's only ever uses non-genuine ink in his Epson printers. It should be notable that he only used Genuine Canon ink as do I, in his iPF printers. I'm not sure if it's kama to mention sources for inks here so I'll refrain but if you look around for the original creator of alternative Epson ink, you'll find what you are looking for.

    Its true that a lot of Chinese ink supplied as "compatible" inks is pure unadulterated snake oil. Its also true that German ink in after market tanks is every bit as good as the original. So good, I can use the same profiles for both Genuine and German ink and get identical results. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? 3M are supposed to be the manufacturers of Epson inks.

    The instructions I give all my students who use bulk ink tanks is to print a page a day of the color matching picture you can get from the ink supplier. Unless you intend to print 10 or more 8x10 prints a day, you are better off getting refill tanks and refilling them. Epson ink is more expensive than Gold. I agree that some alternatives are rubbish but I know some alternatives are every bit as good as the genuine stuff and 20% of the cost.

    Any advice you decide to take from what I've said may have been accurate for me but may not work for you. Buyer beware applies to every ink seller who has not been in business for more than 12 years at the same address using the same business name. My reasoning is if they last that long, they at least have stood the test of time.

    AJ


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