Thinking of moving from Epson to Canon... any suggestions

Kaylene

Member
I currently have two Epson Stylus Pro 9900s and an Epson Stylus Pro 7800. One of the 9900s is 13 years old and needs at least one new printhead. So I need to buy another large format (44"). I'm debating about switching over to the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4100. I see that you can change out the printheads yourself, it has a built-in harddrive, and I can add a second roll of paper. I have checked the ink cost and it is pricier than Epson (about $245 vs. $315 each), but I believe it can use all the same paper media. The hard drive sounds great, but I wonder really how much I'd use it anyway. So, if I stay with Epson, it looks as if there are maybe two contenders (not sure what the difference is). There is the SureColor P9000 Commercial and the P9570. I work at a college and print many posters, indoor banners, and photographic artwork. Can anyone give me advice or any experiences they've had with these printers to help me decide which to go with?

I also hear a lot of talk about using a RIP or Fiery, but I've never used one and have no idea if it'd be any benefit to me. I am a graphic designer that has built up this design/print shop on my own for the past 20 years. It seems to be working fine, but I've had to learn it all on my own as no one else on the campus has any experience. So if you have any suggestions, that'd be welcomed too.
 

SoggyWinter

Well-known member
You might look into an eco solvent printer. They are much a faster and typically use just four colors. The media is significantly less expensive too. I have Epson pigment and eco-solvent printers in my fleet, and for signage and posters I would recommend an S40600 from a cost effectiveness standpoint. The Epson solvent printers ship with Onyx RIP. You can get 30 day demos through your dealer or directly from the vendor of any wide format RIP product to take for a spin. Airmark and Nazdar are good Epson dealers to work with. Grimco's Briteline 9mm poster paper and banner media are fantastic with my Epson S40600.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
We have two 9900s and a S40600. The speed and cost of printing on the S40600 is MUCH, MUCH better. The ONLY advantage the 9900s have is very high quality photo printing and they are great for running 20 lb bond maps and plans. Our S40600 is used daily for posters, banners and decals. Our 9900 is used occasionally for photos and maps for a specific customer. The other one is still in the box it came in and has never been used. We got it free and if our first 9900 ever breaks, we will use it.
 

Kaylene

Member
Thank you for your assistance. I am posting this on signs101.com as well. At this time I want to stick with an aqueous printer and not move into solvent printers. If I do spend $20K on a printer, it would be a latex printer; but I don't have that much to spend currently. I was hoping that someone might have some experience with the new Canon printer.
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Kaylene,

First off, you can't use a solvent, or eco-solvent, or any kind of signage-type printer, latex included. None of them are capable of producing your photographic artwork at the quality levels you've come to expect from your aqueous machines.

And you've also narrowed down to the two viable choices you've got. Epson and Canon are the only real players. And also both of them are fantastic machines. You wouldn't buy either one and be unhappy with the decision.

Myself, I've been a Canon guy for years. In fact, I still maintain that the iPF x400 series is about the best printer ever made. But that said, I had a client in much the same situation as you recently, and I suggested, and he bought, an Epson.

And the main reason is I think the new Canon series is a step backward from the iPF x400 series, mainly because they took away a light black, and gave that channel to gloss varnish (which they call "Chroma Enhancer.")

Which is useless on anything except photo gloss or photo luster materials. And I am a huge fan of light blacks, the more the better.

But it's a real close call. Also you might want to consider the Epson P10000. It has three light blacks -- which I love -- but non of the non-CMYK colors the others have such as Orange, Green or Violet. The question with those colors though is how much you print that will ever even use them. If you do photographic-type work, particularly black and white, you might be better off with an extra light black channel. These are all very large gamut printers even without extra colors.

Bottom line is all these printers print extremely well, so well that the main difference between them will come down to the profiles you use to print with. And for that reason, I'd definitely recommend a RIP. In the case of any machine you chose, I'd recommend Onyx.

Setting up large-format inkjet workflows is what I do for for a living, if I can be of help, please feel free to drop me a line.


Mike Adams
Correct Color
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
Just wish I could find a narrower latex ROLL printer - 24" - 36"
Not the Xante which has limited length.
 

sveibl

Well-known member
As a user & installer of canon larger format printers I can attest cannon's reliability. Most have over 100,000 feet 0f output and last 8-10 years. Canon support is excellent should you ever need it. Truck vs porche. Btw. I'm selling my personal 4000s 44" lightly used printer Resting in Florida. Pm me
 

Kaylene

Member
Kaylene,

First off, you can't use a solvent, or eco-solvent, or any kind of signage-type printer, latex included. None of them are capable of producing your photographic artwork at the quality levels you've come to expect from your aqueous machines.

And you've also narrowed down to the two viable choices you've got. Epson and Canon are the only real players. And also both of them are fantastic machines. You wouldn't buy either one and be unhappy with the decision.

Myself, I've been a Canon guy for years. In fact, I still maintain that the iPF x400 series is about the best printer ever made. But that said, I had a client in much the same situation as you recently, and I suggested, and he bought, an Epson.

And the main reason is I think the new Canon series is a step backward from the iPF x400 series, mainly because they took away a light black, and gave that channel to gloss varnish (which they call "Chroma Enhancer.")

Which is useless on anything except photo gloss or photo luster materials. And I am a huge fan of light blacks, the more the better.

But it's a real close call. Also you might want to consider the Epson P10000. It has three light blacks -- which I love -- but non of the non-CMYK colors the others have such as Orange, Green or Violet. The question with those colors though is how much you print that will ever even use them. If you do photographic-type work, particularly black and white, you might be better off with an extra light black channel. These are all very large gamut printers even without extra colors.

Bottom line is all these printers print extremely well, so well that the main difference between them will come down to the profiles you use to print with. And for that reason, I'd definitely recommend a RIP. In the case of any machine you chose, I'd recommend Onyx.

Setting up large-format inkjet workflows is what I do for for a living, if I can be of help, please feel free to drop me a line.


Mike Adams
Correct Color
Thank you! This is very helpful. Have been thinking about latex eventually for outdoor signage and window graphics (white ink), but the price is too steep currently. Most of the photographs I print are color. Our main school color is orange, but I'm not sure the orange ink is really needed. When one of my 9900s had a clogged green several years ago, I installed the printer driver for the Epson 9890 which bypassed the green and orange. I used the printer this way until the yellow clogged as well - and it being over 13 years old, I'm fine with replacing it. However - the orange in prints from that printer (bypassing the orange ink) still matched the other 9900 that was using the orange ink. Greens matched as well. So I'm not sure what benefit those cartridges are except to make you pay more money for ink. LOL I really like that I can get a second media roll holder for the Canon as we switch papers in and out regularly so this would help with that. I just don't like that the ink costs are more. How long are Canon warranties and service? I also like that I can change the printheads in the Canon instead of spending $1-2K each time one clogs on the Epson. I guess I'll have to compare everything, but I feel like a change, so Canon is in the lead at this point. I'll keep you posted.
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Kaylene,

If you ever decide to make the jump to a signage-grade machine for your other than fine-art quality work, please take my advice -- I see and profile all these machines in every conceivable configuration -- and forget latex.

Right now if I was buying a machine in that category I wouldn't even look at any other machine than the Epson S80600. It's a couple laps ahead of anything else out there. Every time I see one, I'm literally stunned by how well they print. They also do not smell, if that is a concern of yours. I have one client who has two in a very small area in a photo-lab environment, running canvas pretty continuously, and I cannot smell them at all. Also note that it is available with white ink.

Also I'd note that the new latex, the 800, the one with the white, has different printheads than the older generations, and a bigger dot. I assume this must be something to do with getting white ink through them, but as the older versions were already a pretty large dot compared to their competitors, I was stunned to see this. It is impossible to not print at least somewhat grainy images with this machine.

(BTW, myself, I wouldn't pay any attention to anything I read on Signs 101. If you ask me, that's a fountain of useless information. I mean, they banned me... So how smart can they be?)


Mike
 
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Kaylene

Member
Kaylene,

If you ever decide to make the jump to a signage-grade machine for your other than fine-art quality work, please take my advice -- I see and profile all these machines in every conceivable configuration -- and forget latex.

Right now if I was buying a machine in that category I wouldn't even look at any other machine than the Epson S80600. It's a couple laps ahead of anything else out there. Every time I see one, I'm literally stunned by how well they print. They also do not smell, if that is a concern of yours. I have one client who has two in a very small area in a photo-lab environment, running canvas pretty continuously, and I cannot smell them at all. Also note that it is available with white ink.

Also I'd note that the new latex, the 800, the one with the white, has different printheads than the older generations, and a bigger dot. I assume this must be something to do with getting white ink through them, but as the older versions were already a pretty large dot compared to their competitors, I was stunned to see this. It is impossible to not print at least somewhat grainy images with this machine.

(BTW, myself, I wouldn't pay any attention to anything I read on Signs 101. If you ask me, that's a fountain of useless information. I mean, they banned me... So how smart can they be?)


Mike
Okay - just talked to my Lexjet vendor about the Canon 4100. He's getting me a quote and I have to get an additional one to show my boss. Quick question about the maintenance tanks. The Epsons have two per printer (left and right). The left hardly ever gets used, the right says it's full when it's not even half full. I have a "resetter" I got on ebay that sets the counter back to empty so I can use the tank a second time. Two times is perfect - more than that and you're looking at ink spilling out all over the floor. How does the Canon maintenance tank compare to this?
Now - the chroma enhancer. Is this just a glossy coating for photos? Is it even used when other papers are printed on? If not, then I really wouldn't need to purchase this often, right? Also - how is the switch from matte to photo black? The 9900 easily switches back and forth without losing much ink (models before this lost quite a bit).

When you talk about a signage-grade machine - is this for more graphical printing rather than photographic? Since I started with an Epson, I really have no idea what a signage-grade machine technically is. Should I have one of these for less photographic prints? What type of $ are we talking?
 

TJPrinter

Well-known member
I also like that I can change the printheads in the Canon instead of spending $1-2K each time one clogs on the Epson
This is the best part of the Canon printers, the heads don't clog like the Epson. But both the Epson and Canon will give you outstanding prints. If you don't do high end fine prints did you consider the Canon 4100s? It's eight color instead of 11. The hp latex 115 is in the $8,000 range but it won't give you the same quality print as the Epson or Canon. I'm waiting for samples from HP to see if it can work for me.
 

Kaylene

Member
This is the best part of the Canon printers, the heads don't clog like the Epson. But both the Epson and Canon will give you outstanding prints. If you don't do high end fine prints did you consider the Canon 4100s? It's eight color instead of 11. The hp latex 115 is in the $8,000 range but it won't give you the same quality print as the Epson or Canon. I'm waiting for samples from HP to see if it can work for me.
There are times when I do print high-end graphics. I usually print for the senior students when they have their art exhibits as well as other art exhibits. I saw the 4100S, but it's the same cost as the 4100 - so I'd rather stick with that. I did find out that the printheads are about $700-800 each, but to have one on hand when needed is wonderful. I would lose days of work trying to unclog Epsons so I wouldn't have to call a tech guy in. I just requested a quote for the Canon 4100 - getting excited about it now - though with the printer, warranty, set of inks, multifunction roll kit, and maintenance tank - it's a pretty hefty amount.
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Kaylene,

Since I tend to set up workflows and profile machines when they are new, I'm not a real good source of information on maintenance trays. I do know that my personal iPF8400 has one, and when it says to change it I do. That's the extent of my maintenance tray knowledge.

Now - the chroma enhancer. Is this just a glossy coating for photos? Is it even used when other papers are printed on? If not, then I really wouldn't need to purchase this often, right? Also - how is the switch from matte to photo black?

Yes, that's what it is. No, it isn't used with other media. So no, I guess you wouldn't need to buy it that often, but to me it's a wasted slot.

Also - how is the switch from matte to photo black?

None of these machines have a "switch" per se. They all just have a photo black channel and a matte black channel. Either will fire depending on if it's called for by the profile (media) you're using. There's no intervention needed.

When you talk about a signage-grade machine - is this for more graphical printing rather than photographic? Since I started with an Epson, I really have no idea what a signage-grade machine technically is. Should I have one of these for less photographic prints? What type of $ are we talking?

There's a group of competitive machines out there in the 60 inch range, and you'll find one in just about every sign shop. They're all Solvent and Eco-Solvent, with the exception of course of the HP latex. The players are Roland, Mimaki, Oki, Epson, and of course HP.

I would note that all of these machines are very color consistent -- except the HP (which is decidedly color inconsistent for a variety of reasons.)

Myself, and for that reason -- among others -- I would never buy a latex machine.

Cost range is roughly in the 9-20 grand range.

The advantage of all these machines over aqueous is that they tend to be faster, their media costs less, and their product is more durable outside. They are used for the likes of point-of-purchase displays, banners, vehicle wraps, and general signage. Also they do very well on canvas, as canvas tends to be very forgiving regarding hiding graininess.

The disadvantage they have to aqueous is that they cannot match aqueous quality, with the exception in some cases of canvas. And that includes photo-type work as well as premium poster graphics. If you want 'okay' you can get by with a signage grade machine; if you want art quality, you have to use aqueous.

Also I'd note that the colors the Canon 4100S are missing are light cyan and light magenta. These colors are critical to reduce graininess at arm's length viewing distance even in small dot machines.

I'd steer clear.


Mike
 

mrserge

Member
When checking Epson water-based fleet, keep in mind that a lot of good machines are discontinued by Epson and you will not get propper support. P10000 is excellent printer, but it is now also discontinued.
 
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mulo_g

Well-known member
I had 2 epson 4000, 4800, canon ipf 5100. I shut that business. If I have to restart I wouldn't go for Canon. Difficult to maintain, expensive, poor support, very restrictive.
 

jfmeggitt

Member
If Canon vs Epson. As long as you don’t need the ILS, definitely go Canon.
ink is more expensive. However, you’ll get an average of 30% better yield from the ink.
mom not sure why the other gentleman is saying Canon is difficult to maintain and service is worse? I can only say the exact opposite. As I sell both. Canon will take your support call well past the expiration of your warranty. And without making you give them a credit card.
i find they are way more helpful. My 2¢
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Haha yep. Did you question their Orange Idol?
Hah...

No, a few years back when Fred owned it, I was a merchant member. Then whoever the guy is that owns it now bought it and made a bunch of changes, and if anyone questioned the changes, he got irate.

I forget what it was, but the old version had some functionality the new one lacked, so I asked him about it, and he proceeded to tell me if I was too dumb to use his wonderful new board, well... it must be a personal problem.

The next day, I got a bill to re-up my merchant membership... And the next day, on the board, he asked a general question to the effect of, "Well, the new board's been up and running for awhile, what are your thoughts?"

So I posted an answer, saying that I had some issues, that I had asked about them, been treated rudely, and the next day sent a bill. I suggested to him that a forum is its members, not the software it runs on, and I was very conflicted about continuing to support Signs 101 as a merchant member.

Five minutes later, he banned me.


Mike
 
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