Love and hate with my Epson P600
Old 10-30-2017   #1
robert blu
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Love and hate with my Epson P600

Since a few months I use an Epson P600 printer, which substituted my old HP9180B.

I love this printer for the quality of the prints, both B&W and color. No doubt about it!

But I sometimes hate this printer...as others Epson printer depending on which paper you use (matt or gloss) you have to select the appropriate Black Ink (Matt or Photo). When you do this you have to let the printer to clean the head which "cost" you a certain amount of ink which is wasted.

This is normal, I knew this when I bough it. On principle it should be not a problem for me because I print 90% on matt papers so the changing is very rare.

What makes me mad is that since a few weeks the printer decides itself to change the Black Ink even if it is not necessary, even if I want to make multiple prints on the same paper the printer suddenly instead to print the next copy decides to change the Black Ink. So it wastes ink to change from Matt to Photo and than I have to change again from Photo Ink to Matt to continue my work!

I'm contacting Epson Customer Service to know what to do to avoid this undesired waste of ink and related cost (money and time).

robert
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Old 11-30-2017   #2
defconfunk
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Odd, I've never had that problem with my P800.
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Old 11-30-2017   #3
robert blu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defconfunk View Post
Odd, I've never had that problem with my P800.
Lucky man! Maybe the 600 has a simplified firmware, it would be enough a small addition in the firmware asking do you really want to change the black ink, yes or no! Or the possibility to stop the changing when started !

A part of this the print quality is outstanding !
Thanks for your reply

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Old 12-11-2018   #4
Tom Diaz
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I have just tuned in on the Digital Printing forum, so I am sorry if I'm raising a topic that's been up here a thousand times:

I also have a love/hate relationship with the P600.

However, the whole industry seems to be in the horse latitudes. Is there a better digital printer for those of us who are printing our own stuff. For instance (at about twice the price) is the P800 any better?

I had a Canon Pro-100 for a while (the P600 replaced it). It had some quirks I didn't like, but it was OK. (It was damaged by accident, and I decided to try the Epson instead.)

I used a pretty nice HP printer for a lot of years, but they got out of this business.

Any advice is welcome. If my P600 should die (which seemed like it might happen a couple of days ago), what should I do?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 12-11-2018   #5
Bob Michaels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
..... What makes me mad is that since a few weeks the printer decides itself to change the Black Ink even if it is not necessary, even if I want to make multiple prints on the same paper the printer suddenly instead to print the next copy decides to change the Black Ink. .....
My P600 has never done this. I suspect you have something in your settings that need changing to keep this from happening.Do you have "BK Ink Auto Change" set to Off on the printer? That is a setting through the touchscreen.
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Old 12-11-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
My P600 has never done this. I suspect you have something in your settings that need changing to keep this from happening.Do you have "BK Ink Auto Change" set to Off on the printer? That is a setting through the touchscreen.
I was about to say the same thing. I have mine set such that it will ONLY change ink when I tell it to explicitly, not based on what the driver tries to toggle.

The P600 replaced my ancient R2400 a couple of years ago. It is a wonderful printer, but all printers come from the second level of Hell if you know what I mean.
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Old 12-11-2018   #7
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Robert, it is not supposed to do that. Send it back to Epson for service.
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Old 12-11-2018   #8
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My relation with Epson printers is more leaned toward hate.
Three of them of the A3+ class (the last is the R3000) I had to throw away because they started staining the paper with ink.
The P800 has a tank for excess ink with disposable cartridge.
I look forward to buy a P800 and cross my fingers. Meanwhile I am accumulating files ready for printing.
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Old 12-13-2018   #9
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Thanks you all for the suggestion, I'll check it when possible...now it's not possible because the printer is for repairing

Beginning november suddenly when switching on a message "error 53" appeared and I had to bring it to assistance. It came out it was a problem with the feeding mechanism but also one of the head had to be replaced: the total cost was around 600 EUR which is more than 80% of the cost of the printer.

I wrote a mail to Epson Customer Service explaining that if only 2 months after the warranty was expired I had to spend that amount of money to have it repaired I had preferred to add something and buy a new printer but from different company.

To make it shorter Customer Service called me and after a few phone conversations considering the warranty was just expired they offered me a compensation and the cost dropped to around 140 EUR included one year of extended warranty which I accepted.

I guess they are interested to go on selling their inks which is where they make the profit!
Printer should be ready in a couple of days.

Now my thinking also related to the post by Tom Diaz is that Epson has all the technology to make a good reliable A3 printer but is somehow victim of the marketing department for which an A3 printer has to go on the market at a certain price level to be competitive therefore all the components are thought and made at the lower limit of technology to stay in the price range.

This is wrong in my opinion I would prefer to pay 100 EUR more and have a more reliable product.

Is the P800 a "better" or more reliable machine? I do not know but I noticed later that in the Epson website the P600 is listed as consumer where the P800 is mentioned as professional machine. Is it just a label or not? Cannot say because I do not know anyone who has the P800. That time I selected the P600 because I mainly print small but probably today I would go for the 800.

Last comment I have is that my old HP 9180B lasted for around 10 years without problems but HP left that market because too competitive and was not possible to make a profit in it.

Anyway thank for suggestions, I'll let you know how it will go, crossing fingers!

robert
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Old 12-13-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
I guess they are interested to go on selling their inks which is where they make the profit!
..... that Epson has all the technology to make a good reliable A3 printer but is somehow victim of the marketing department for which an A3 printer has to go on the market at a certain price level to be competitive therefore all the components are thought and made at the lower limit of technology to stay in the price range.
.....
Is the P800 a "better" or more reliable machine? ......
Absolutely! All manufacturers of printers in that range use the old Gillette Razor blade business model where they essentially give you the product so they can make their profit on the consumables. Today one can buy a new P600 direct from Epson for $599. Replacement cost for the included ink is $288. Deduction tells you that you are paying $311 for the printer.

When buying my P600 I also looked at the P800. It seemed to me to be the same printer but with a wider carriage.
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Old 12-13-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
When buying my P600 I also looked at the P800. It seemed to me to be the same printer but with a wider carriage.
Not quite:
  • P600 has a smaller droplet size, higher specified resolution (5760x1440 vs 2880x1440). These numbers don't map directly to print resolution, but might nonetheless result in visible differences in some circumstances for some users, particularly if one is into making very small prints.
  • P800 uses larger cartridges, with lower per-ml ink cost.
  • P800 uses a replaceable maintenance tank to trap unused ink, P600 does not.

I ended up with a P800, mostly because of the second and third items.

My first photo printer was an HP B9180, which delivered great print quality for its time but was designed to fail in a messy, annoying and expensive way because of the way it (mis)handled waste ink. That experience has biased me toward printers that have a proper way to deal with the excess ink.

After that I had an Epson 3880. When that started to fail after a few years I took advantage of one of Epson's periodic rebate programs to get a P800 rather than pour money and time into the 3880.

I don't like the need to consume ink to change between matte black and photo black. But other than that I've been very satisfied with the Epsons. My P800 has been very reliable so far.
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Old 12-13-2018   #12
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I guess I got lucky. A fellow photo enthusiast was selling his P800 for a very good price. I bought it and I'm quite happy. I guess I narrowly escaped the frustrations of previous models (i.e., P600).


FWIW, the P800 has been great to use. No real complaints except I wish ink was cheaper...
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Old 12-13-2018   #13
robert blu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
Absolutely! All manufacturers of printers in that range use the old Gillette Razor blade business model where they essentially give you the product so they can make their profit on the consumables. ...
Yes, as an old Polaroid addict I know this story already ...

robert
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Old 12-13-2018   #14
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Get a Canon. You can get a Pro-10 (Pigment) for peanuts. ProCam has an instant $350 rebate on top of the mail in $250 rebate Canon offers. Do the math... PRO10 is the code for the instant rebate if it still works.

I'll never buy an Epson printer myself after years of dealing with lots of them. I think they took the lead only because back in the day the whole Piezography thing was centered around them. Canon and HP were a little late to the party so to speak. Once that got going photographers went with it and it took on a life of it's own. Market effects. Just the fact that those 3rd party RIPS were needed told the story of how bad Epson was. No one bothered to make RIPs for Canon or HP printers as far as I can remember (although I think there was a black and white RIP for Canon back a ways), so Epson was the big game in town. Doesn't make them better printers though. Like I said, I won't buy one. The only advantage Epson has is all of the third party availability, but the vast majority of people won't ever go that route because they won't have the knowledge or the time to make it work.

I think if you buy an Epson printer you are just throwing money down the drain, but what the heck do I know....
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Old 12-13-2018   #15
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The DNP dye sub printers, which are designed for high volume commercial use, are far better than any of the inkjets IMHO.

I have a little DNP-40 which does up to 6x8 in just a few seconds. If I need larger, I send it out to WHCC.

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Old 12-13-2018   #16
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I must say that a part from the problems I had the print quality is very good, both B&W and color!
robert
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Old 12-14-2018   #17
Tom Diaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
I must say that a part from the problems I had the print quality is very good, both B&W and color!
robert
Same here.

Thanks to you and others who addressed my general question.

Basically I think $500-$1000 is not enough to get a printer that is really reliable for me, and I will just have to live with that fact and hope that at least these two companies (Epson and Canon) stay in the business.

I am a particularly "bad" user because sometimes months go by before I warm up the P600 and make a new print, which invites those black cartridges to dry out (or whatever they do) in the New Mexico climate.

If the P600 dies I probably will go back and try the Canon stuff, which seemed more reliable but (in my recollection) did not do quite as good a job with black and white and had a few annoying functional limitations, like not doing borderless prints except on Canon brand paper. Or, if I feel richer than I am, maybe I will try the P800. I don't think I would replace a dead P600 with another P600. FWIW, the local service center for Epson described the P600 to me as a "lemon." He had a higher opinion of the P800. Maybe they would not want to be quoted. Tough.

Best wishes to all,
Tom
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Old 12-14-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
I must say that a part from the problems I had the print quality is very good, both B&W and color!
robert

Same here! But again, I have the P800 and I'm feeling pretty lucky about that.
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Old 12-21-2018   #19
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Printer is back home, time to work now! And this time I'm sure I set to change ink ONLY when I ask for it! Thanks for reminding me that point!

robert
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Old 12-21-2018   #20
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Have fun with it, Robert!
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