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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hi-Tech Studio: Wide-Format Printers

These 24-inch printers from Canon and Epson are in the sweet spot for making large, limited-edition prints in your studio


This Article Features Photo Zoom

Epson Stylus Pro 7900
We've said that we see 24-inch printers as being most important for making a few custom prints at a time. If you do find yourself in a situation where you're doing high volume on a tight timeline, you'll appreciate the imagePROGRAF iPF6450's built-in 250 GB hard drive. It also has a media configuration tool and Gallery Wrap feature for making popular canvas wraps.

The imagePROGRAF iPF6400 shares many of the same features as the imagePROGRAF iPF6450, but it doesn't have the 250 GB hard drive, which helps bring the cost down. Estimated Street Price: $3,550 (iPF6450); $2,900 (iPF6400).

Among the Epson 24-inch printer lineup, the Stylus Pro 7900 and the Stylus Pro 7890 are the models that make the most sense for most DPP readers. These printers are very similar, but each uses a different screening algorithm and ink configuration. The Stylus Pro 7890 uses UltraChrome HDR ink, and the Stylus Pro 7890 uses UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink.

The Epson Stylus Pro 7900 combines the MicroPiezo TFP print head with the UltraChrome HDR ink. This 10-color pigment ink technology includes new orange and green inks, and with this technology, the Stylus Pro 7900 can deliver the widest gamut ever from a Stylus Pro printer. Sharing technology with the Epson Stylus Pro 4900, the Stylus Pro 7900 has the AccuPhoto HDR screening technology, which contributes to its ability to create true-photographic reproduction.
 
It's not a coincidence that major photography galleries display so many large images in their very successful galleries. Big images certainly grab the attention of passersby, and the galleries are able to charge more for larger custom prints, too.
 
For black-and-white prints, the Stylus Pro 7900 has three-level black ink technology. Black, light black and light light black inks improve gray balance and help to eliminate color casts. Overall, well-processed black-and-white images exhibit a smooth tonal range, and the Epson driver is engineered to take full advantage of the black ink technology. Ink cartridges are available in 150 ml, 350 ml and 700 ml volumes. The cartridges are pressurized for reliable ink delivery, and you can use different volumes in the printer at anytime. That is, you can use any combination of 150 ml, 350 ml and 700 ml without problems.

The Epson Stylus Pro 7890 is quite similar to the Epson Stylus Pro 7900. The Stylus Pro 7890 has the MicroPiezo TFP print head and the eight-color UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta inks. The printer can switch back and forth from photo black to matte black inks.

The Stylus Pro 7890 uses Epson's AccuPhoto HD screening technology, producing prints with wide color gamut, contrast and excellent detail in highlights, as well as shadows. The Stylus Pro 7890 can produce a Dmax of 2.6 in the advanced black-and-white mode. The printer can handle a variety of media, both rolls and cut sheets. You can purchase the printer with an in-line spectrophotometer and the Designer Editions RIP if you're doing pre-press work.

Both the Stylus Pro 7900 and the Stylus Pro 7890 come with one-year warranties, and you can purchase optional warranties, which can extend out to a total of three years. Estimated Street Price: $3,995 (Stylus Pro 7900); $2,995 (Stylus Pro 7890).

 

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