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Ink Jet Printers

We have experience with the HP 970Cse, Canon S800 and Epson 2000p.

HP 970Cse

We like the prints from the HP, but they are not archival. In fact the color prints are beautiful. Among photographers on the internet, HP does not have as good a reputation as the latest Epson. The 4 color system with this printer makes very smooth prints and tends to cover grain a bit. I wish it was a 6 color system. It makes pretty good duotone prints.

Canon S800

We like the Canon S800 because of 20+ year archival prints, 6 colors in individual containers. However this printer has a problem with banding that is often visible. The latest printer driver downloaded Canon seems to have minimized the banding. It makes terrible duotones, but the straight B&W are ok once I figured out a callibration that solved the problem of the prints being darker than the screen.

I almost took the Canon back to the dealer in preference to a Epson 890 because of the banding, but still have it after downloading the new driver. The reason I did not get the Epson in the first place is its difficulty with ozone sensitivity. This may also be a problem with the Canon.

Epson 2000P

The Epson 2000P makes 100 year archival prints of high quality. However it can not do B&W. It has a green and or red cast (called metamerism). I have some sepia quad-tone examples that are as green as a dollar bill.

B & W Printing

I have ordered a printer and special inks for B&W. Maybe it will satisfy me in making B&W. The printer is a new-old stok Epson 1160 and the special inks are from John Cone. I want to hang 13x19 B&W prints on the wall.


Epson has the best reputation from people who make color prints. Because of the ozone problem you may or may not be happy. Get the best paper available, starting with that from the manufacturer. This stuff can be a $1/sheet in small quantities. Buy the printer from a local store with return privilages. Get the latest drivers from the manufacturer before sending the thing back in discust. Treat the work you get from it as good proofs. These printers are not commercial quality, although much better than I was able to get from an enlarger many years ago - but I don't claim to have been a printer.

The HP is underrated by the internet community. I like the results from it better than the Canon.

The good news is that I can make an acceptable color print suitable to hang in my house in minutes with these machines. Amazing and great fun.

The bad news starts when you pick up a loop and get real close to your results, or when you want to do better than drug store prints in fade resistance.

Last modified: Tue, 04-Sep-01 06:46:39 PDT