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Epson Stylus Photo 890/1280

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  • Epson Stylus Photo 890/1280

    I print up alot of digital photos from home on very old Epson printer (epson 640C). I have been told to purchase a printer that is suitable for photos. What is your thoughts on the Epson Stylus Photo 890 which is valued at around $550.00 your responses would be greatly appreciated. As I have 120 photos to print and I would like them to look exactly as if I had them professionaly printed from a photo lab. Thanks again in advance.

  • #2
    Hi Leerod,

    I'm having the same dilema as you. I recently bought an Epson C80 to replace my Canon 3000. The Canon was doing an appalling job of photos and I hoped that the Epson C80 would be better. I was happy with the C80 until I saw the output from the Epson 1280 (which runs about $750 CDN)

    I want to get serious about retouching photos so I am going to get the Epson 1280. There is nothing more disappointing than to work for hours getting a photo "just right" only to have the colors all wrong on the print.



    • #3
      Hi Margaret,

      Thanks for your reply. I agree printers can definitely be the main problem after all your hard work.

      The Epson 1280 that you mentioned, is that a photo printer? You see my problem is not so much colour matching but the DPI (Iguess) because when I print a photo there are little dots all over the place and as much as I play with the resolution etc nothing seems to work, therefore I figure it is the printer.


      • #4
        Hi again Leerod,

        Yes, the 1280 is a photo printer and several people on this forum have recommended it. I found this article that compares the 1280 with the 890 and other Epson printers:

        I like the paper roll idea of the 1280.

        I'll likely keep my C80 for printing text etc.



        • #5
          I've been using an Epson 760, while it give acceptable images I've been worried about the lightfastness of the finished photos so I've invested in an Epson 2000p (yet to arrive) which they say gives over 100 years light fastness. I know this is an expensive printer,$1700au, but there is no way I want my photos fading in just a couple of years. I've done a fade test myself (with the 760) printing a photo out and putting it in the sun. The fading started after only 5 days of exposure, it's now 3 weeks and there is a marked difference. that's what led me to spend the extra cash on the 2000p.


          • #6
            Why not a lab?

            I agree with Sanda--while I have an Epson 1280 for printing proofs, etc., I send my finished work to a lab for printing on a Fuji Pictograph XXXX. It's archival (at least as archival as the original prints were...) and the quality if simply beautiful. Plus, I have great guys whom I trust at the lab, so I know I'll get great prints.

            Just can't see selling someone a finished portrait and telling them "keep it in a box--don't display it--if the color shifts, that's normal."

            My $.02 worth.


            • #7
              My problem with a lab is .... there doesn't seem to be one where I live. The one place I was referred to used a 1280 to produce my prints and spent the time it took to print abusing me - amateur was the nicest thing he said to me LOL

              He seemed offended that someone besides him would presume to undertake the resoration/retouching/enhancement of photos.

              I did approach another store that told me all I needed to do was bring the images in as JPG's on a CD. However, when I got there with my CD in hand, they claimed they could only print from Kodak Photo CD's. In other words, they didn't want to be bothered.

              I intend to keep searching for a reliable lab, but most of them seem to want to do the whole package, not just printing.



              • #8
                You might want to look into one of the online printing labs. You upload digital files and they print them with photographic processing. I remember at least one thread in these forums about the online labs.
                I don't know if they ship to Canada or not, but it's worth a try.


                • #9
                  Margaret, First dont let the response of "the competition" get you down. Your work is great and thats all you need be concerned about. As to the printing, I do all mine in house on an Epson 1270 using the Epson Heavyweight Matte paper and have yet to have any customer complain about fading. In tests I have done which consisted of exposing both traditional photos and prints made on the 1270 with matte paper, to indirect lighting which is how photos should be displayed anyway, there is no difference in them over a 2 year period. Exposing any photo to direct sunlight for prolonged periods will accelerate fading, which is why its a good idea to advise customers to put the print in a frame under glass and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or strong flourescent light...the UV component of light is death on photos or photomechanical type prints. That being said, labs are worth considering. My own experience though, has been that by printing in house one has more control over the finished product, if you take the time to properly profile your printer to match your screen display, the results are very satisfactory. Tom


                  • #10
                    I definately agree with Tom, inhouse printing is best, I like to know exactly how my prints are going to look.The heavyweight Matt paper is all I use, can't beat it for finish.
                    I just got a paranoid attack about fading that's why I tested my prints outside but with proper framing under glass there is no reason why inkjet prints won't last for years.The only reason I bought a 2000p is because I got a great deal and couldn't resist.
                    I had a similar expreience with the lab as you did Margret, I think they thought I was taking business from them and didn't want to help me do that. :-) I would love to try the online printers but being in Australia the shipping is a killer. I have considered having the prints delivered directly to my U.S. & Cannadian customers but I would rather see the print before I put my name to it.


                    • #11
                      Wow!!!!! what I great response I got from everyone. Margaret thanks for the link, but my understanding of the article was that Epson 1280 and 890 are very similar except for the paper????

                      After reading everyone's responses, should I just bight the bullet and spend the extra money to get the 1280????


                      • #12
                        It seems to me that the difference between the 890 and the 1280 is the paper size. The 1280 can print larger size paper and comes with the holder for roll paper. It looks like the 890 can handle rolls too, but it doesn't say if the roll holder comes with it (I think not)

                        I think I'm going to put the money into a 1280. I like to see how a print is turning out.

                        Thanks for the support regarding the compitition - I could have been a good customer of his, but now I am the compitition!!

                        And now the dreaded calibration topic has raised it's head - I suppose I also need tools to calibrate everything........?



                        • #13
                          The only things you need to calibrate are your eyes and a little isnt as hard or mysterious as it sounds, just a bit tedious...creating a custom profile, i.e., making adjustments in the printer software program and then saving them, isnt rocket science, despite what some may say. When you get ready to do it, just post...lots of folks here are willing and able to help.
                          Leerod...If you plan on doing some large prints ( and sooner or later the urge will strike) the 1280 or 2000 is the way to go. Longevity of prints is greater with the 2000 but at a steeper cost in both initial equipment and supplies. One of the major keys to longevity besides proven ink/paper combination is proper display methods and that cant be stressed enough. You just cant hang a photo on the refrigerator door unprotected or in direct sun/flourescent light and expect it to last...high humidity is a killer also but simply displaying in a frame under glass or in a protective sleeve in an album will help extend the life of any photomechanical print. Plus, as inks and papers continue to evolve, longevity becomes less and less a problem. Good luck!


                          • #14
                            $550 for an Epson inkjet!?

                            Other responses are right on. The 1270/1280 is a wide carriage version of the same printer and can print (I think!) up to 11x17. It does take bigger ink cartriges, which can be more economical, and some people buy the wide carriage version just for that reason.

                            But $550 for an 890 is ridiculously expensive. Three months ago I paid $94 for a new-in-box (ok, probably factory refurbished but it wasn't advertised that way) Epson 870 with which I have printed many a fantastic 8x10, absolutely no fading. This thing is absolute gold, and for less than a hundred bucks. The 890 is very nearly exactly the same machine. It's great, but don't spend that kind of money on it if you don't have to!

                            printer: bought from Amocool on eBay, it arrived promptly and I have had no complaints

                            ink: seems to be cheapest and they ship fast. Epson color cartridges at $14--they don't appear to carry the black one any more, but I have yet to change it and I'm on color #3. Do NOT bother to experiment with third party inks, they all suck and they will void your warranty.

                            paper: Epson Colorlife is a nice archival semi-gloss but it's very expensive ($10 for box of 20 sheets letter size). Epson Heavyweight Matte is a fantastic inexpensive paper ($8-12 for a box of 50 letter size) with a ceramic matte coating. There are glossy papers to be had if you really want them. Again, don't bother with third-party papers and/or inks.

                            I hope this helps!

                            Added a few minutes later:
                            I found the Epson 890 at for $258.95:

                            Last edited by kaulike; 03-20-2002, 10:51 PM.


                            • #15
                              Re: $550 for an Epson inkjet!?

                              Looks like Leerod is in Australia, so that $550 might be in Australian dollars - or it might be a hefty import tax (or both.) His location also limits his online purchase options to those sites which will ship to Australia. -Jeanie


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