Well, We Did It!
It took a while, but we finally purchased a brand spanking new large format printer, the Epson 9900. Here it is, after being installed in our office today:
Bob Boyer, my very able assistant and master of all things tech, helped me over the past few months deciding on what printer to buy. We narrowed the choices to two excellent products, the Canon ipf8300 and the Epson 9900. Since the Epson was newer, with a tad more advanced technology, we went with it.
It took six men to carry it up the stairs to my office. The damn thing weighed 417 pounds coming off the truck and more than 300 pounds after we tok off all the packaging and component parts. But with the very first test print we were sold (again) and knew we made the right choice.
The printer is extremely user-friendly, with a display that is easy to read and understand. After we assembled the printer, inserted the 11 ink cartridges and revved it up, our first 8.5″ x 11″ print was right on the money. The second was a 40″ x 30″ monster that was spot on. Ah, love at first sight!
I took the picture of the print with my iPhone. The print was made on the el cheapo paper that comes with the printer for testing purposes. In the future I’ll take pictures with a better camera of images we print on high quality paper so you can judge the quality of the 9900 for yourself.
Up until today we had been using an HP B9180 that only allowed us to print at 13″ x 19″ maximum. All our large prints were sent out for processing. I find that a real pain, since I have to make sure that the lab’s color profiles match our own. That typically means two or three back-and-forth volleys with proofs and even then I was sometimes dissatisfied. Also, the labs sometimes did not offer our preferred archival photo papers, such as the exquisite Museo Silver Rag. Suddenly we are able to print 44″ wide and up to 100 feet long!!
The fact is that our HP was also extremely finicky, and that convinced us that we needed a better alternative. At the same time, I was selected to be the exclusive artist for Sinai Hospital’s (Baltimore) new wing, slated to open in October. We will need 75-100 large prints for that installation, so that launched us on a search for a large format printer. Having our own large format printer will also allow us to expand our Limited Edition prints and will allow me to personally guarantee that each and every print will be of the absolutely highest quality.
I will keep you posted as we put the Epson 9900 through its paces. Right now it is looking good.