Do you use an archival inkjet printer?












If you were starting over, would you stay with the one you have? Have you heard any particular pros or cons about Epson, HP, Canon, etc? Do you like the color quality? Is it straightforward to use, does it gobble ink, is it too heavy for one person to move? Any info you thhnk would be useful, I am all ears. Thanks!

UPDATE: after reading a bunch of reviews, I bit the bullet and decided on an HP B9180.
Here's another review.

Flickr pix and info. wish me luck!!

12 comments:

marcia Miner said...

FWIW-Do you mean a printer that uses a non acidic ink? In other words an ink with a neutral ph. I checked with the historical society and they have not heard of an archival printer. Rather than saving newspaper clippings, they copy important articles, for example, on archival PAPER, but the ink is not archival. The same would be true on a personal printer, laser or inkjet. I don't know it that helps. It's a shot. I am curious to see what others say.

Jen Bradford said...

Marcia and I had a phone chat - not ignoring her comment!

Olivia Jeffries wrote a wonderful email with lots of good info. She has an Epson R1800, and gives it good marks. Some difficulty getting good quality on images with lots of black, but overall it sounds consistent and straightforward to use.

I need to find the note I got from Julianna Swaney, of Oh My Cavalier! I can't remember what she uses...

Jen Bradford said...

Found it - Julianna uses an HP 4600 photo printer. She wrote: "The quality is great, esp on thicker high quality paper. The color quality is good as well because it has six colors of ink instead of just three, and it's archival. Also, something I really like about it is that you hardly ever have to change the inks, they last forever!"

Olivia said...

I just remembered - a good place to look is on Amazon as customers are able to leave reviews of equipment they have purchased - this is how I chose which printer to go for!

Jen Bradford said...

I have read a bunch, but am always amazed at how some people say one is a dream while for others it's a nightmare. I guess a lot depends on what you're trying to print, and what qualities matter most. I'm especially curious to hear from people who are reproducing artwork, versus printing photographs.

Camilla Engman said...

I'm following your printer story with curiousity.

Jen Bradford said...

Another update...
The printer arrived today, and I panicked some when I saw the box, which was HUGE. It's big, but not a terror to move. I have it set up on an old blanket box/chest - it definitely needs a sturdy support.

Set-up was a breeze. Directions are very clear, parts are labeled well... I managed to do it while half-watching Project Runway, to give you an idea. The test printing takes awhile (several pages), but you can install the software while it's printing. I've only made a few prints, but so far I'm really happy with the results (and relieved to have got it sorted on my own!)

Now I am very curious to try printing on heavier papers, etc. and experimenting!

sk8ordiehard said...

I know I'm late to the party, but for anyone else out there following this, I thought I'd add my 2 cents on Epson. I have the Photo Stylus 1400, spent $400 on it and the price went down $100 just after the return period expired. Now you can get it for $200. The prints are beautiful and the inks last 98 years under glass, but it doesn't take thick paper well, and it's a nightmare to find the inks. I can't find them in stores around here, so I have to have a backstock at all times.
Before that I had a Canon S9000 that gave nearly as nice prints and a whole lot less trouble, but I don't think the ink was as high quality.
Now I really wish I'd gotten the Epson R1800 or another Canon.

Thanks for writing your thoughts, it's a good conversation for artists to have!

Stabbed! said...

Thanks, I'm in the market for a low-priced, wide-format printer and would like to get one that works for archival inks, so I'm finding reading this blog very informative.

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Alynne said...

hi, have used a Canon PixmaPro9000 for 5 years. Fabulous. Photos, heavy cotton rag, all printed well. The print head has finally worn out. Prints have been stable for five years in SoCal sun, in Seattle now. Anyone have a lead on a replacement head? The new Canon Pixmas have a smaller ink cartridge, so twice the ink replacement cost. How long will the ink really last???HMMMM Alynne