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Gamerprinter
06-12-2008, 11:17 PM
Maybe nobody cares, except me, but I'm getting a new toy in next few days. My current large format inkjet printer I use to print maps for my Gamer Printshop and my daytime business has been slowly dying in the last six months. Now I've got banding issues (horizontal stripes caused by misfiring inkjet nozzles in at least one printhead leaving visible horizontal stripes on every print.) I have actually stopped printing maps until I get this resolved.

After a 6 month search on what I wanted to replace it, I found it this morning.

I'm getting a Canon IP8100 44" wide inkjet printer with 8 color inkjets which will let me print 16 bit color files, as well as standard 8 bit color (which is RGB 24 bit color, 8 bits per color vs. 48 bit at 16 bits per color). Colors are: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Red, Green, Blue, Photo Cyan and Photo Magenta.

Although not as well known as HP, EnCAD or even Epson for the inkjet market, the Canon is the preferred printer for many pro photographers.

At 720 x 720 dpi resolution, it will print a 24" x 36" map in 8 minutes - not the fastest but with a higher color gamut, than most and 100 year archival inks onto up to posterboard thick glossy and satin inkjet media. It can also print to canvas, transparent film, watercolor paper, adhesive vinyl, and much more media than I can handle now.

Although I'm sure I won't be doing many super hi-res prints, this printer is capable of 2880 x 2880 dpi print resolution.

Weirdest of all, most large format printers I've had in the past required a RIP, or Raster-Image-Processor to manage and economize the prints, fact is you couldn't use a standard printer driver. The Canon comes with a printer driver, but also a Photoshop Plug-in to allow you to export 16 bit color files to print processing. The plug-in looks more powerful than my existing RIP for my old printer.

New toys - Whee! :D

GP

RPMiller
06-13-2008, 01:17 AM
Very cool GP! My first real job was setting up and running a plotting department at a reprographics shop so I can definitely appreciate your enthusiasm. :lol: I ran an HP Inkjet plotter with only 2 cartridges, black and multicolor. Oh how far we've come. :lol:

torstan
06-13-2008, 03:37 AM
Good god - at high res that printer can print each of last months maps on less than a square inch. That's freaky, but very cool!

GlennZilla
06-13-2008, 11:58 AM
Maybe nobody cares, except me, but I'm getting a new toy in next few days.

I got about halfway through the post before the drool set it. Having worked with large format printers in the past, I envy the things you can create with that beast.

Redrobes
06-13-2008, 01:17 PM
I have a few questions about these things.

If your map is a raster map done in 24bpp is there any point to doing 48bpp in these situations. I can see how vector color gradients would be better but just for standard full color RPG map type bitmaps, is it useful ?

If I wanted to give you an image to be printed at 44 in by 72 or something, what dpi would you want it - 720 or more ? Thats about 4.5 Gb right - so a DVD is usual I guess ?

Do you need to have adobe style ICC color calibration embedded into an image that you want to print - if so is there any advantage to using sRGB, FOGRA or some other type ?

Do you prefer or can handle RGB such as a PNG or must it be CMYK tiff ?

Finally, do you send around the world and do you have a web based spec price guide for your services ?

I had terrible trouble getting most of the technical sort of info from the last commercial printer I used. His manner was basically - use Adobe or else I am clueless.

BTW. I have had a few different manufacturers of small office ink jets and my Canon is the best by far !

Gamerprinter
06-13-2008, 04:52 PM
The only real reason anyone would want to print 48 bpp, would be for high-end photographers that want me to print Canon RAW files at highest resolution and color gamut. Most clients fall outside this specific need. I'm only saying my new printer is capable of that, not that I expect many RAW files to print.

Ideally, I can still print a 300 dpi image at the 720 without significant issues, however, yes, if you want to output at 720 dpi - ship me a DVD with the file on it.

If you need a specific color range then an exact profile is something to consider, SRGB is a bit less in quality to FOGRA and other formats, but except for the highest color gamut files, the difference is barely noticeable. The printer is calibrated to both the monitor and the Photoshop plug-in. As long as the file is a proper resolution - the ICC profile issues fall on me, not the file creator.

Regarding CMYK files, no give me RGB, the CMYK is an issue at the printer, not the print file. Although I can technically open a CMYK file for proofing, my monitor is RGB as the CMYK view is only an emulation, the app has to convert to RGB for viewing anyway. Let me convert your RGB to CMYK optimized for my printer.

I do ship anywhere in the world, best price with US Postal service but not as fast as UPS (very expensive for worldwide shipping).

My website only has US prices, I don't have a currency converter on my site, though lots of client jobs are very individual in dimensions and such, that its better just to email me a request, I give you the price in US dollars and we go from there.

Oh and since my Ecommerce pretty much works through PayPal, I believe PayPal has some kind of currency converter so you can pay in pounds, and I get dollars in my account!

If its a digital graphics file, I can pretty much handle anything...8)

GP

Redrobes
06-13-2008, 05:22 PM
Thats cool - thanks. The last time I used a commercial print they took CMYK Tiffs only and I had to do all the ICC stuff myself. It wasn't as easy as I imagined basically because I don't have a full suite of Adobe products to do it with. I must be that 1 in a 1000 annoying guy who insists on doing it differently.

mathuwm
06-13-2008, 11:22 PM
here is a link to an image size calculater

http://www.colorspan.com/support/tools/filecalc.asp


it focuses on colorspan large format printers
but should be applicable to most large format printing

btw Gamerprinter did you ever look into the colorspan printers

they are really nice and there are even some models that will print on rigid substrate

Gamerprinter
06-14-2008, 02:30 AM
Yes, Mathuwm, I'ved looked at Colorspan. Actually my current printer can do rigid substrate printing now, but it never really gave me an advantage, over printing and later mounting, not really enough work to justify it with another rigid printer.

Basically budget has been the main thing to guide me towards the Canon, not to mention its excellent print quality.

The Colorspan and printers similar to it, are priced from $15K and up to $50K or more.

With special pricing, competitive trade-in, I'm paying alittle over $4K. The Canon was too good a product at such a low price, I couldn't pass it up! ;)

Despite the price, consider that a full set of inks is around $1200, (330 ml tanks feeding 8 carts), so this definitely falls out of most home users as a practical printer, unless you're a pro photographer, of course.

GP

mathuwm
06-14-2008, 11:21 AM
that is a great price

happy printing to you

delgondahntelius
06-14-2008, 07:10 PM
wow... ya ...that is a nice price... I didn't want to be nosy and ask... so I spent the better part of 4 hours looking at printers... I think i'm blind in one eye... but what i'm really looking for is a good flatbed scanner... the kind with no indentions so I can scan a large (18x24) into chunks and piece them back together in Photshop or Illustrator...

Any suggestions on something like that... (affordable) wouldn't hurt my feelings... (or my eyes)

:D

mathuwm
06-14-2008, 10:18 PM
epson scanners are inexpensive and do a nice job.

i use one at work.

a couple thoughts on scanners

photoshop can make up for an OK scanner

OCR is way better than it used to be

and descreening filters included with many scanner sw can do wonders when scanning artwork with halftone screens

Gamerprinter
06-15-2008, 06:20 AM
Last year I was looking at replacing my 11 x 17 scanner, and was searching for something bigger. The larger the area of a flatbed scanner, the exponentially becomes the cost. Very quickly a roll-fed 36" scanner becomes far more reasonable.

Standard Legal size (8.5" x 14") scanner can be found for less than $100, even less than $50.

An 11" x 17" scanner ranges from $150 to $1000 (depending on resolution and features).

I've got a 12" x 18" flatbed which I paid $1500 for - that was my replacement.

There are two 18" x 24" flatbed color scanners out there - both cost from $15K - $21K to purchase.

There actually exists a 24" x 36" flatbed scanner created for scanning museum pieces which costs $50K USD.

That was a year ago, though.

You can get a roll-fed scanner, a few available with a flat scanning path allowing rigid material scans (nothing too thick though) that cost around $8K to $15K8)

delgondahntelius
06-15-2008, 09:06 AM
ya.. see the part where you say ... "Less than $100" ... ;) I just can't find one that is actually 'flat' .. they all have lips on them so that scanning anything bigger than its designated scanning area means bending whatever medium you are trying to scan...

Is this actually possible? ..

Gamerprinter
06-15-2008, 01:34 PM
I just can't find one that is actually 'flat' .. they all have lips on them so that scanning anything bigger than its designated scanning area means bending whatever medium you are trying to scan...

Is this actually possible? ..

Yes, sort of. If you consider the best focal length is when a document is flat on the glass of the flatbed scanner, however I often scan documents that ar 24" x 36" on my 12" x 18" flatbed by scanning in quadrants and the join areas between the quadrants (6 scans) to capture the entire image. It's very slightly less quality than flat on the glass. I don't worry about the "Lip" or trying to fold it so document touching the glass. I scan it with 1/8" above the glass.

I place on flatbed - use light adhesive tape to hold it down straight. Then scan. Remove, move it over with a slight overlap of previously scanned area, until its all scanned.

Open your raster app, open all pieces of the document (map), create a blank document at same resolution of scans at the final size of the original document. Cut and paste originals onto new document. Some may require a slight rotation if you didn't scan straight.

Do not optimize, adjust colors or anything of the scanned pieces until document is completely put together, and flattened, then optimize, etc.

Yes, very much a pain in the ass. But am doing this at least once a week for customers desiring to scan large documents.

Sure I wish I could roll-feed or flatbed scan these documents in one shot - got $15K you give me?

Just to give you a procedure for what you ask. Remember the more pieces you are required to scan the tougher it is the keep all straight when putting Humpty-Dumpty back together again!

GP

PS: I've even scanned convex pressed old photos on a flatbed - weird old photos that actually is rounded oval. If you place flat on a surface. The edges of photo touch surface, while center is 2" above same surface - its truly convex. The center touches glass of flatbed, the edges are now 2" above the scanning surface. I throw a 3' x 3' square of black velvet over convex photo and scan without the cover on scanner...

The two inch focal loss at edges are both dark and blurry, but with a little practice you can compensate to some degree. I've done this over a dozen times - convex photo scans that is...

RobA
06-16-2008, 02:16 PM
ya.. see the part where you say ... "Less than $100" ... ;) I just can't find one that is actually 'flat' .. they all have lips on them so that scanning anything bigger than its designated scanning area means bending whatever medium you are trying to scan...

Is this actually possible? ..

Could you lay a piece of glass thicker than the lip on the scanner, and scan on to of that? (Or would it be out of focus?)...

-Rob A>

Gamerprinter
06-16-2008, 04:21 PM
Could you lay a piece of glass thicker than the lip on the scanner, and scan on to of that? (Or would it be out of focus?)...

-Rob A>

As long as the glass is perfectly flat, flawless and clear - it might work. However, I know from experience that you don't want to scan a photo still in its frame behind glass. Clients have brought photos in frames that have water damage and the photo is permanently stuck to the glass. I've tried to scan these, but they are dark and out of focus.

Really, if you lay rigid document that sits above the glass on the housing itself, it seems to scan fine, if a slight bit dark, just make color and contrast adjustments and you should have no problem.

Trying thicker glass is a worthwhile experiment, but no guarantee its going to work. 8)

GP

Redrobes
06-16-2008, 08:23 PM
Friend of mine has a scanner which if it has creases then its ok and scans them too. Mine on the other hand. One micron off the glass and it goes black. A real pain for real folded maps as all the creases go black. I think it very much depends on the scanner model and make. In general I have found that those scanners for which the sensor bar is positioned right behind the glass have short focal length and those that have a bit of a gap have longer focal length. Those that are longer seem less susceptible to focus issues for non flat pages. Putting a dirty big pile of books on the top of mine when scanning helps but it can flex the glass and the motor sticks giving juddering marks in the scan. I really should spend some cash and get a nice one but I am a notorious miser.

waldronate
06-16-2008, 09:45 PM
If you can afford it, there is the option to buy an inexpensive scanner and remove the plastic upper lip. That lip is usually just there to hold the glass in place. A little glue and/or careful work with a hot wire will give you an area that's most of the size of the scanner at the cost of the lid. For scanning maps and such I always use a black sheet behind the item to be scanned to reduce bleedthrough of the back side of the page so I don't normally have the lid attached anyhow.

When I did the scans of the Forgotten Realms trail map for the FRIA globe program those many years ago I diced up the trail map. I had lots of little files that I ended up putting together in Photoshop but the end result was certainly good enough for production work. These days I would use the modified scanner and still have something other than a pile of pieces for that lovely map.

Gamerprinter
06-17-2008, 12:44 AM
My scanner is too expensive to do anything like that to it. If I had an old scanner laying around the shop I might give that a try.

Like I said, though, I scan documents too large for my scanner all the time. Because they are client documents, I cannot cut them into pieces to fit. So I scan a section of it and move the document to a new section, scan it and so on, until complete, then I piece it together in Photoshop. Pain in the ass? Yes, but I do it all the time. I get this kind of work at least once each week.

GP

mathuwm
06-17-2008, 06:32 PM
the question is how much do you charge

RobA
06-17-2008, 07:08 PM
I believe I have mentioned this before, but here is a tutorial for using hugin (http://hugin.sourceforge.net/tutorials/scans/en.shtml) (a free panorama stitcher) to autostitch flat scanned images. Beats manually doing it in photoshop or gimp.

-Rob A>

Gamerprinter
06-18-2008, 12:30 AM
I believe I have mentioned this before, but here is a tutorial for using hugin (http://hugin.sourceforge.net/tutorials/scans/en.shtml) (a free panorama stitcher) to autostitch flat scanned images. Beats manually doing it in photoshop or gimp.

-Rob A>

Thanks, RobA! I believe I got a free panorama stitcher with my last upgrade of Xara Xtreme, I haven't really checked it out - that could certainly make my scanning life easier.

Yeah, I don't have scanning services offered on my gamer-printshop site, but in my daytime business, I charge $3 for full color 12 x 18 scans, thus an 18 x 24 map is $6, and a 24" x 36" is $12 and so on. But physically shipping a map paid both ways add up to cost.

GP

Gamerprinter
06-18-2008, 01:16 PM
Hurray, my Canon IPF 8100 large format printer finally showed up - its sitting in a 500 lbs, 8 foot long box right now. They'll install it tomorrow.

When its all set up and I get my first map printed on it, I'll take digital camera pics for you all to check it out!

New Toys! Woot.

Oh, it looks I'm starting a trend with "toys at work!", even Arcana's getting into it! :P

GP

ravells
06-18-2008, 01:32 PM
I bought a new pencil today.....*sniff*

jfrazierjr
06-18-2008, 01:59 PM
I bought a new pencil today.....*sniff*

I downloaded Paint.NET last night for free...*sniff*

Joe

Anna
06-19-2008, 01:48 PM
Great news GM! :D

Good luck with the installation and hopefully there are lost of maps ordered for print.

Gamerprinter
06-19-2008, 04:33 PM
Hurray, my printer is all setup now. I thought it was 8 cartridges, no its a 12 cart machine - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Photo Cyan, Photo Magenta, Photo Black, Gray, Photo Gray, Red, Blue and Green.

Here's a photo of the unit, pardon the mess and dirty floor. :o

Behind the printer is my old printer, haven't moved it into the backroom yet.

And that's my Winterscape map, exiting out into the output tray - from my Mountaintops Thread under General Mapping WIPS forum.

GP

Canon IFP 8100 Large Format Color Inkjet Printer...

RPMiller
06-19-2008, 04:58 PM
That's a beaut! 12 cartridges!?! :shock: Let me guess the ones that came with it are all half full as well?

ravells
06-19-2008, 06:50 PM
Wow, looks fantastic - but to print a map that big at 200 dpi....yikes the file size must be huuuuge!