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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After much research and thought, I ordered an Epson R2400 yesterday along with a Niagara (Media Street) IV Continuous Ink System, which will reduce ink costs by 89%. This is the only economical way to print your own photos. It won't arrive until next week, but I'll be sure to post a complete review once it gets here. It can print 13 x 19" and is capable of doing 13 x 124" panoramics. Of course, I ordered a good selection of fine art (velvet and satin) paper to go with it.

Since ink price is not as big of a factor with the Niagara, I may be offering some printing services in the near future if anyone would like high-quality, large prints made. It may not be significantly cheaper than the labs (or cheaper at all), it may be a little more convenient in terms of time and control of prints.

I'll be sure to share my opinions once it comes in.

Brett
 

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The Niagara II is what I orignally ordered and it was $335. A rep called me today and said they are phasing out the Niagara II for the Niagara IV and I could "upgrade" to the new system which only costs $130! Nothing beats ordering something, and then getting a call to upgrade to the newer better system while getting $205 credited back to my card!

I don't know if that is the standard price or some kind of promotional price since they haven't even posted this new system on their web site. She said it is a better design and will be replacing the Niagara II altogether. The only downside is that you have to fill and prime the cartriges yourself whereas the II came prefilled but that isn't a big deal to me.

The ink prices depend on what size bottles you get, but it stays proportional throughout the different sizes for the most part. I got a set of (8) 4oz inks for $164. That same amount of ink would have cost almost $1k if I bought the individual Epson cartriges. You do have to pay a little more to get set up, but the savings are almost instant. I chose this printer primarily for 8"x10", 11"x14", and 13"x19" prints so this decision was pretty much a no brainer.

You can buy the inks individually as well, so I will be able to watch the levels and restock as needed. I won't "recomend" this to anyone just yet, but I'm sure I will once I get to test it out thoroughly.

Of course this is a CMYK printer (actually 2 of each), so there is going to be some additional photoshop considerations to be made before printing. Print design is occasionally part of my day job, so I'm used to all the color/level considerations and conversions that go into CMYK printing.

I am brushing up on multi-pass noise reduction and sharpening in order to make the most out of the big print sizes. Primarily posting photos on the web has made me pretty lazy when it comes to that stuff! Sizing up to a 13x19" print at 300dpi is definitely going to take a little more effort that posting a 500px image on the web.

I'm very excited about this if you can't already tell! I'll be sure to post next week and let everyone know all about the printer once I get it set up and spitting out LARGE photos ;-)

Brett
 
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