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Epson launches new A3+ six-colour photo printer - Stylus Photo 1400

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  • #16
    Re: Epson launches new A3+ six-colour photo printer - Stylus Photo 1400

    Originally posted by JSR View Post
    And before Epson abandoned ColorLife, you could have a half-decent fade resistant dye print.
    Well, you still can. Ilford Gallerie Classic Pearl is virtually the same and a lot cheaper.

    John

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    • #17
      Re: Epson launches new A3+ six-colour photo printer - Stylus Photo 1400

      Originally posted by John Houghton View Post
      Well, you still can. Ilford Gallerie Classic Pearl is virtually the same and a lot cheaper.

      John
      Good point, John. Swellable polymer papers are excellent for non-glossy applications where fade resistant with dyes are important and the prints won't be handled excessively.

      Interestingly, Kodak has dumped its swellable polymer 'Ultima' papers altogether now in favour of quick-dry microporous papers (branded 'Ultra').

      One source of surprisingly good quality swellable surface paper is Lexmark's own brand - well worth a try if you can find it and it is quite inexpensive too.

      Ian
      Founder/editor
      Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
      Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
      Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
      Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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      • #18
        Re: Epson launches new A3+ six-colour photo printer - Stylus Photo 1400

        I can't spend all evening picking on the inconsistencies in your arguments as it's the missus' birthday and we're off for a meal out in a minute, but, (gasps for breath...!):

        Originally posted by JSR View Post
        I just say it as I see it. Maybe you're too close to have noticed. There was a period when you couldn't find an Epson dye printer because they'd gone Durabrite for consumers, Ultrachrome for pros, and the only real dye printer was the 1290 that was weathering the storm. Now that Epson are putting the spin on Claria, Durabrite is being dumped. It seems fairly obvious from where I'm sitting.
        Codswallop, Epson's printer range has consistently had a balanced range of business pigment (Durabrite), dye and photo pigment printers in the last 2-3 years.

        I've already explained the HP scenario. Not being able to compete with Epson pigment, they pushed ahead with Vivera-dye saying that you didn't need pigment for long-life because dye would do it just as well. That was until they had their own pigment, at which time the message changed.

        You call it cynicism, I call it realism.
        Only if it's based on fact. The fact is that dye-based inks were wanting a few years back. You simply can't criticise the manufacturers for wanting to improve their dye ink technology.

        Check out this document: http://www.epson.co.jp/e/newsroom/te...0611single.pdf. One paragraph says "Claria has raised the bar for what a dye
        ink can achieve." and another says "Claria ink is much more resistant to light and ozone thanks to its tightly clustered pigment molecules." They swing between pigment and dye so much that they can't even agree on what Claria is.
        The dividing line behind 'dyes' in the traditional sense and 'pigments' is not like night and day. In molecular terms, the difference between a dye molecule and a pigment particle is can be considered primarily be one of size and both vary to the point that some dye molecules behave like pigment particles in certain ways.

        What other consumer printer, particularly from Epson, has lasted for 6 or 7 years without being replaced? I'm not talking about a "series" of printers, I'm talking about a specific single printer.
        I didn't say 'consumer' - in fact I specifically said Epson changes their consumer models as frequently as anyone else, but some of the smaller business/graphic models have lasted a long time.

        Epson, like other manufacturers, have a habit (I'll refrain from using the word "policy") of obsoleting older printers purely to capitalise on new style ink cartridges and so make more money out of the punters. This is the reason for the revolving-door model of A4 printers - what you buy today won't be around tomorrow. The fact that the 1290 wasn't replaced so readily was because it didn't need to be. Likewise, if Epson were truly always supportive of dye inks, they would have remained with the 1290's dye ink in their A4 range until Claria. If it was good enough for the 1290 for 6 years, it would have been good enough for A4 equivalents.
        The 1290 is a niche model, it sells in small but steady numbers. The R1400 is a revision of the R1800 and R2400 chassis, so not too expensive to reengineer into the R1400.

        The 1290's ink formulation is inferior to Claria, so why would they want to stick with it

        The Picturemate models have clearly been replaced because Epson's original plan of going pigment-only has changed now that they have Claria. The Picturemate is a clear example of being replaced for the sake of being replaced, not necessarily being replaced by something better.
        Instant drying, high gloss, prints, which the pigment PictureMate prints are not, are much more suitable for the target market of the PictureMate.

        The Picturemate is the example of Epson being blindsided. They didn't expect the Picturemate to be such an economical runner. I'll just bet they've corrected that oversight with the new range, though.
        Hmmmm... you used only to get 100 sheets in a PictureMate Picture Pack, it's now 150.

        Look at the Epson PM100 that came along to rapidly replace the original Picturemate. This was before Claria came along and no one knows anything about its fade resistance or durability of print. The only reason it came along can only be because the previous PMs were cheap to run and the 100 corrected that error. What other reason can there be?
        Eh? You've lost me there...

        I'm not accusing anyone of anything, I'm just saying what I'm seeing. If the message is wrong, look in the horse's mouth, don't blame the reader of the book. Benefit of the doubt vanished when greed became policy.
        There is always a trade-off between progress and perceived value. But above all, companies like Epson need to react to the market in order to survive. It's a big struggle all the time to remain profitable, despite what you might think, in the ink jet printer business.

        Analysts have been predicting for some time that one of the big name ink-jet printer names will disappear eventually.

        Anyway - I'm off to enjoy the evening with my ageing wife

        Have a good one yourself!

        Ian
        Founder/editor
        Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
        Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
        Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
        Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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        • #19
          Re: Epson launches new A3+ six-colour photo printer - Stylus Photo 1400

          Not to go off at a tangent but where does the word "Codswallop" come from?

          Best Regards

          Josh
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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          • #20
            Re: Epson launches new A3+ six-colour photo printer - Stylus Photo 1400

            Originally posted by Ian View Post
            Codswallop, Epson's printer range has consistently had a balanced range of business pigment (Durabrite), dye and photo pigment printers in the last 2-3 years.
            News to me. Epson's consumer range had Durabrite, professional range had Ultrachrome. Both pigment. Dye all but vanished.

            Originally posted by Ian View Post
            Only if it's based on fact. The fact is that dye-based inks were wanting a few years back. You simply can't criticise the manufacturers for wanting to improve their dye ink technology.
            Ah, but Epson didn't have any improvement to their dye which is why they began switching to pigment (Durabrite) in their consumer printers. This didn't reach the A3 models which is why everyone and their dog wanted to believe that the R1800 was the 1290's replacement - which it wasn't. Only now have Epson got an improvement to their dye ink, with Claria. The only improvement before Claria was to use pigment and this is what they did. Except for the 1290.

            Originally posted by Ian View Post
            The dividing line behind 'dyes' in the traditional sense and 'pigments' is not like night and day. In molecular terms, the difference between a dye molecule and a pigment particle is can be considered primarily be one of size and both vary to the point that some dye molecules behave like pigment particles in certain ways.
            Sounds like muddying the waters to me. "Ok yes, dye and pigment are different, except they're not..." Clear as mud.

            Originally posted by Ian View Post
            The 1290 is a niche model, it sells in small but steady numbers. The R1400 is a revision of the R1800 and R2400 chassis, so not too expensive to reengineer into the R1400.
            I'd agree with that. It's pretty much what I said before - change for change's sake. It's cheaper for Epson to shoehorn a dye-printer into an existing chassis than to continue with the 1290 which uses a different chassis.

            Actually, if the 1290 sells in small but steady numbers to a niche market, it makes it even more of a surprise that Epson want to replace it with a new model. In my experience, particularly these days, the 1290 is used largely by people using third-party quad-black inksets and as dye-sublimation printers - it's a very popular printer in that market. Changing to a new model - the 1400 - might kill its sales completely. The dye-sublimation users have been slowly converting to the R1800, because it was believed that the R1800 would make the 1290 obsolete; and the quad-black users can pick and choose from other Epson and HP printers that already feature multiple blacks without setting up a whole new system afresh.

            All arguing aside, I wonder if the 1400 is going to find the same "niche" as the 1290. I suspect that the 1400's niche will be a lot smaller because the R1800 is already here. I honestly can't see who's going to buy the 1400 - leastwise not until third party users have converted to it, if they ever will.

            Originally posted by Ian View Post
            The 1290's ink formulation is inferior to Claria, so why would they want to stick with it
            That's not the point I was making. While consumer models have changed more frequently than Epson change their collective socks, the 1290 has not changed. Therefore it didn't need changing, and if it didn't why did all the others?

            Originally posted by Ian View Post
            Instant drying, high gloss, prints, which the pigment PictureMate prints are not, are much more suitable for the target market of the PictureMate.
            Funny, prints from my Picturemate (original pigment) are instant drying, high gloss.

            Originally posted by Ian View Post
            Hmmmm... you used only to get 100 sheets in a PictureMate Picture Pack, it's now 150.
            That indicates that you've bought into the sales talk. The original PictureMate Picture Packs come with 135 sheets and you actually need more sheets than that to use all the ink. The new picturepack is nothing to write home about. Unless, of course, it actually enables you to print 200 prints instead of the quoted 150 in the way that the original PM can print 150 prints instead of the initially quoted 100?

            Originally posted by Ian View Post
            Eh? You've lost me there...
            I don't see why. Do you have any explanation for the Picturemate 100? A dye-based picturemate before Claria came along? What was the point, except to make prints more expensive.

            Originally posted by Ian View Post
            Anyway - I'm off to enjoy the evening with my ageing wife
            Hope you have a good time.

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            • #21
              Re: Epson launches new A3+ six-colour photo printer - Stylus Photo 1400

              Originally posted by Josh Bear View Post
              Not to go off at a tangent but where does the word "Codswallop" come from?

              Best Regards

              Josh
              I don't think anyone really knows: [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codswallop[/ame]



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              • #22

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                • #23
                  Re: Epson launches new A3+ six-colour photo printer - Stylus Photo 1400

                  Follow up -

                  I had a go at panorama printing on the 1400 but have had to give up. I cut a sheet approximately 30" long from my roll paper - using a guillotine to get a straight edge and rolling the edge back to help it feed through the printer.

                  Every single time the printer just ejected the paper. I ended up manhandling it several times but still it wouldn't take it. Eventually it took it wrong and screwed it up, so I ended up throwing away 30" of 13" wide worth of decent paper. Even if it had taken it, there would be so many finger marks and scuff marks on the paper from the number of times the printer ejected it that it just wouldn't have been worth it.

                  Added to this, the lack of proper support for roll paper means that you can't print 13" wide (full-bleed) on custom-length paper. You can print full-bleed on 13" paper on both the 1290/S and the R1800 but not the 1400, so even if you can get the printer to take the paper you can't print 13" wide.

                  So I've come to the conclusion that Epson's removal of roll paper support is a massive backwards step. I've never had an issue putting roll paper into either the R1800 or the 1290 (or 1290S). For panoramic printing, I cannot recommend the 1400 at all as a replacement for the 1290S. It's, by far and away, a crippled replacement for its predecessor.

                  Back to my R1800 for panos, then.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Epson launches new A3+ six-colour photo printer - Stylus Photo 1400

                    When feeding a sheet cut from a roll, I have found it helps a lot to de-curl it by rolling it up the wrong way round on a cardboard tube and leave it for an hour or two. If the end is cut correctly, as you are doing, and it is flat, then there is no reason for the printer to treat it any differently to any other sheet of paper. I have a 1290 and 2100 and have used both of them without the supplied roll paper supports for years. The paper needs de-curling at some stage, so it might as well be before printing as after.

                    For testing the feasibity of long prints, particularly over 44 inches, I have used sheets of plain paper joined together with masking tape. Cutting A4 sheets in half lengthwise enables long sheets to be made economically. Make the image to be printed mostly white, and practically no ink will be wasted either. CS2 prints over 44 inches without any problems.

                    John

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