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Epson Stylus Pro 3800

Epson Stylus Pro 3800 continued:

Pros:  The Epson Stylus Pro 3800 has two main attractions: The obvious one - the ability to print at A2 - isn’t as big a deal as you would think, as the difference is only 13x19 versus 16.5x23.4 inches. The real plus is in the long term running costs. You really have to do the sums to understand this. An average A3 inkjet printer cartridge will contain roughly 10ml. The Epson Stylus Pro cartridges each hold 80ml, Eight times as much ink for about 3 times the cost !!!, so although they are expensive your ink costs will end up at least 50% less. It’s a huge difference.

Cons:  This is a BIG printer, needing at least 70 x 100cm. That’s a meter, or over 3 feet, back to front. At least. It’s also extremely heavy. My 3800 sits on a workbench, it’s way too big for my desk, so make sure you have room for it.

Conclusion:  The Epson Stylus Pro 3800 and I’m sure the 3880 which has now replaced it, are great printers for a small professional studio where ink costs with an A3+ printer can be extremely high. The 3800 does reduce that in the long run, but buying ink is no small matter. Local stores won’t keep them so like me you’ll end up ordering online, and although it won’t happen very often, 500 for a set of cartridges is still a lot of money. Surprisingly, for me anyway, is that what I bought as a matt paper printer, is at it’s best on glossy or lustre photo paper. I know lots of people who use only matt paper with their 3800, and they seem perfectly happy, so only a personal opinion, but where my old Epson Stylus Photo 2100 was terrible on glossy paper, the 3800 is excellent on glossy, lustre or matt.

Highly Recemmended

Ink change

Replacing the ink cartridges on the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 is easy and much cheaper in the long run than any A4 or A3+ photo printer. There’s also a maintainance cartridge to collect ink overflow from head cleaning, but it’ll last at least a year and isn’t expensive.

© David Gold
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