Epson Stylus Pro 10600 dye and Epson Stylus Pro 10600 arc replace the 10000
The Epson 10000 offered 1440dpi with variable droplet wide path printheads. The wider printheads mean its less slow than the Epson 9000 or Epson 9500. Internally and externally the model 10000 is improved in every respect over the earlier 9000 series. Word on the street was that the yellow was weak, so now Epson has an improved model, the 10600, which has a better color inkset.
The speed claims, as typical for all printer manufacturers, vary between unrealistic to imaginary. The output at those top claimed speeds is usually politely described as "junk mode" which is usually so awful that you could never sell it. The museum-quality prints you see in the ads were done at the slower modes. The slower the printer operates, the better the image. The faster you set the printer, the worse the image looks.
This holds true for thermal as well as for piezo printers. FLAAR editors have checked out the Epson 10600 printers at five trade shows in Germany and the USA. We did not see any banding on any Epson 10600 print at an Epson booth in the last several months. Overall we get the feeling that the Epson 10600 printer has better software today than when the earlier 10000 first appeared in Germany at CeBIT tradeshow in March 2001. So even though it's hardly a fast printer, many people say they prefer its attractive quality and don't mind that its not speedy. This is fine as long as you only need to print one or two copies of each image. In order to accomplish the same quality with your printer that you see in the ads or at the tradeshows, you will need several things that you might not previously have realized.
First, you may need some help in scanning or digital photography. Unless your TIF files are of professional quality, your own output will never look as good as what you see in the Epson ads. But if you have a good scanner and/or tri-linear digital scanning back, then you can produce excellent output. If you have a BetterLight digital scanning back or a Cruse digital camera-scanner, your artwork will actually probably look better than what you see at an Epson booth. Second, you definitely need training in color management. The learning curve is steep. If you buy your Epson printer off the Internet or from a mail-order catalog store, no one can help you with ICC color profiles or X-rite color tools.
So "saving" a few hundred dollars by buying low bid off the Internet, will end up causing headaches down the line. Our university found this out the hard way. They bought a used Epson 9000 from a company that was fast on the sale but rather insufficient with help after the invoice was paid. The faculty and students of the art department trek over to the FLAAR building to use the printers which FLAAR has in the College of Technology.
Every several years there is either a new Canon iPF printer or a new Epson or a new HP water-based printer that is made for giclee, decor, or fine art photography. It is hard to keep track of the advances in improved inks and color management features. FLAAR is keeping track by visiting giclee ateliers around the world that have these various brands. Each brand has its good points and a few issues and an occasional deficiency.
Since FLAAR itself does not sell printers, for you to find out information on prices and availability of each model that can print fine art giclee well, we suggest you contact a company that offers all three brands: Canon, HP, and Epson. This way they are not going to push just one brand because they offer all three. Plus you need a company that has plenty of experience with fine art photographs, photo labs, and giclee atelier.
The advantage of a place that offers both Epson, HP, and Canon is that they can provide some tips on the differences. If a store sells only one brand or the other, they will understandably push the brand they sell.
Last checked: Aug 6, 2012. Previous updates: Sept. 23, 2003. Jan. 15, 2003, Nov. 15, 2002, July 26, 2001.
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