Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New printer

It's been a while since I had a color photo printer. I had an A2 Epson, but it was so durn big. I gave it to charity.
But I've had some ideas recently, so I bought an A3 printer (A3 is roughly 12x16 inches).

This time I bought Canon (a "Pro9000 Mark II"), because the last three photo printers I've had were Epsons, and I've had problems with all of them. Siiiiiiigh.... Not the least with clogged or leaking nozzles, on all of them. Siiiiiiigh...

Well, so far so good! I set it up in like 30 minutes without a hitch, and tested it with a file which I had just gotten in my email, this gorgeous drawing by my friend Umbra, which he did for my new site GoddessNudes.com (he's doing one for each of the four seasons). I must say this guy is getting better and better, I love it.

And the printer worked perfectly, at the very first try! You can see from my shocked expression that this is not something I was used to from the Epson printers (although they made great prints when they worked). (I might just have been unlucky with Epson printers, they are supposed to be good.)


The print is bigger than it looks in this picture (it's photographed with wide-angle). And it's pin-sharp and the colors are perfect. (And this is even the cheap paper. I also bought some fancy thick glossy photo paper.)

I also got to see one of the great features of OS X Snow Leopard in action: the OS saves several gigabytes of disk space by not having printer drivers for all the printers on Earth installed. Instead, as soon as I plugged in the printer, it asked me if I wanted to download the driver. I clicked yes, and three minutes later everything worked perfectly. (Contrast with the earlier OS and the Epson where you had to wander the maze of their web site trying to find the newest driver.)

I think, by the way, that inkjet prints for fine art is sadly under-used and under-respected. It's fully durable these days, and you can do so many things as an artist on a computer that you can't do directly on paper. (Admittedly it is not easy to learn the drawing applications, and you need a drawing tablet, preferably a drawing screen, not so durn affordable yet.)

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(Oh, and I see now that Blogger has finally changed the coding so big pictures will zoom to fit your browser window. Hurrah!)

The artist wrote:
Amazing print!
Tablets are extremely cheap now -two days ago I saw a bunch of them selling for 49 euros each at the hard-discount supermarket. And they have more pressure sensitivity than the A3 wacom I've been using for years.
Tablet screens-- well that's another matter entirely, and I had to buy a used one because I couldn't afford a new one.
Free or cheap painting software is available. The image you are holding was entirely drawn in a wonderful yet cheap (around 50 euros) program called Easy Paint Tool SAI.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, November 25, 2009   15 comments links to this post

15 Comments:

At 25 Nov 2009 17:49:00, Blogger Ganesha Games said...

Amazing print!
Tablets are extremely cheap now -two days ago I saw a bunch of them selling for 49 euros each at the hard-discount supermarket. And they have more pressure sensitivity than the A3 wacom I've been using for years.

Tablet screens-- well that's another matter entirely, and I had to buy a used one because I couldn't afford a new one.
Free or cheap painting software is available. The image you are holding was entirely drawn in a wonderful yet cheap (around 50 euros) program called Easy Paint Tool SAI (http://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/)

 
At 25 Nov 2009 21:39:00, Anonymous Kim Gammelgård said...

I got one as well a couple of months ago and it is definitely a very nice printer, very fast and not too thirsty - and it will print first time nicely even if it has not been used for a few weeks. Do try out all kinds of paper though! I have been very pleased with Matte paper and Art paper for different projects.

 
At 25 Nov 2009 21:43:00, Blogger eolake said...

Thank you very much.
Yes, my big A2 Epson made ugly splotches if it had not been used for a while.

What kind of art paper do you use?

 
At 26 Nov 2009 02:24:00, Anonymous JP said...

I've been using the Canon i9900 for a few years for prints up to 13"x19". They say the inks are archival quality and they look rich and accurate.

Canon sells a 20-pack with 4 different types, 5 sheets each:
Fine Art Paper "Museum Etching"
Fine Art Paper "Photo Rag"
Fine Art Paper "Premium Matte"
Photo Paper Plus "Semi-Gloss"

It's a good way to experiment.

I also like Ilford "Smooth Pearl". It dries immediately.

I used to have my prints made at a lab (very expensive), but this printer does it at a fraction of the price and every bit as good.

 
At 26 Nov 2009 04:23:00, Anonymous Patrick said...

Somehow I knew you'd be holding a photo of a naked woman. Regardless, sounds good, been wanting a printer myself...

 
At 26 Nov 2009 21:59:00, Anonymous dave nielsen said...

Where can you buy this printer? I am in the USA and looked on several sites (Best Buy, Future Shop, several camera stores) but can't find anyone who has it. Based on the reviews I've read, it sounds very good, and promises professional quality. Based also on your opinion here, it sounds like it turns out a good print.

 
At 26 Nov 2009 22:10:00, Blogger eolake said...

I always look at Amazon first, they have nearly anything, and often at a competitive price. It is here.

The Apple Store also has it, here.

... I wish you hadn't asked... it seems it has dropped around $300 in price since I bought it last week! @%$£!

 
At 26 Nov 2009 23:11:00, Anonymous dave nielsen said...

... I wish you hadn't asked... it seems it has dropped around $300 in price since I bought it last week! @%$£!

Dang! ;-) I wonder if they have an unwritten rule like stores that if it goes on sale within so long after you bought, you can get them to give you the difference back.

 
At 26 Nov 2009 23:41:00, Blogger eolake said...

Hmmm, ya, maybe I should try. Probably not the whole dif, but Amazon care a lot about the happiness of their customers in my experience, so maybe some kind of gift certificate.

 
At 27 Nov 2009 20:19:00, Anonymous dave nielsen said...

It's worth a shot. I've never before ordered anything like that from them before, just books and DVDs, so I don't know if they will play ball.

 
At 27 Nov 2009 20:44:00, Blogger eolake said...

I got a polite answer, saying that basically I'm out of luck since it was sold via a third-party seller. Fair enough.

 
At 28 Nov 2009 04:03:00, Anonymous hank jones said...

That's why you don't buy anything from Amazon except books. DVDs you can't return if they're opened (how can you tell if one is bad unless you try to play it?), and apparently if you buy anything else from them it's no good you're better to go to the third party direct.

 
At 28 Nov 2009 13:29:00, Anonymous dave nielsen said...

I got a polite answer, saying that basically I'm out of luck since it was sold via a third-party seller. Fair enough.

That's kind of a drag. I don't know if I'd call it fair, though.

 
At 29 Nov 2009 09:24:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Yeah, yeah, that's all very nice talking about printers and stuff, but now for the really important question: when or where can we hope to try printing these gorgeous drawings ourselves?

"The public has the right to know!"

 
At 29 Nov 2009 13:06:00, Blogger eolake said...

They'll come on goddessnudes when all four are done. (The autumn one is there now.)

A good-sized screen sized one for the public. The print-sized, at least for members, maaaaybe for public too, haven't decided.

 

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