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Epson 1280 vs 2200

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  • Epson 1280 vs 2200

    I am somewhat confused about buying a new printer. The printer would be used for making archival prints for my own use and also to make prints of retouched photos for clients.

    I have heard good things about the Epson 2200 with its 7 ink system and the different "blacks" that are available for it. But I have also heard that a continuous ink system (CIS) would probably never be available for the 2200 and with a 1280 you can get a CIS and aftermarket inks that will give results equal to the 2200.

    the 1280 is about half the price of the 2200 and with the change I could purchase the CIS.

    I would be very interested in the opinions or experience of the members of this forum on this question.


  • #2
    Hi Ken, I hope I can clear up some of the questions you have about comparing the two printers. I have had an Epson Photo 870, the little brother to the Epson Photo 1270, for about 2 years and have been very pleased with what I was able to do with it. I was just printing images for my own use and didn't care about archival prints as much as I do now. I still use it now but not as much as I did before buying the Epson 2200.

    The Epson 1280 is a very good printer for photo printing. It is slower than the 2200 but not by a whole lot. The 2200 prints are a bit better than the 1280 but you would have to compare the prints side-by-side to really see the main differencies. If you compare them using only OEM inks the 2200 has the best print longivity Acording to Wilhelm , the archival quality of the 2200 is much better. Now if you go with a CIS system you should be able to achieve the same archival quality by using pigmented inks.

    I hear rumors that a CIS for the 2200 will be introduced this year. I am not sure of that but it sounds likely since it is currently the most popular high-end inkjet on the market right now. If my printing business becomes successful I may want to consider a CIS system because the OEM inks might get to be a bit expensive over time.

    You might put out your feelers and get in touch with current CIS owners to see what their experiencies are. There are quite a few Epson 1280 users with CIS systems. You might search the messages on the printing forum at I have heard mixed reviews on using these systems but I have no experience with this technology myself.


    • #3
      For the last three years I have been in the giclee reproduction business and have gone through quite a lot of printers. Most of my printing has been on large format printers such as the HP 2000 and 3000, then later Epson's 9000, 9500, 9600 and the 10000 stylus pro series. One of the first things I learned was the problems you can have with the Epson printers and third-party inks. One of my favorite ink suppliers was Lyson. Their product gave me the color and archivability I needed at the time. It also gave me nothing but problems. The heads were constantly clogging and, eventually, had to be replaced on two of the Epson machines (which, by the way, is very expensive). I recently ordered Epson's 2200. I needed a printer that would give me the longevity, but not the cost of my previous printers. I have colleagues who have used Epson's 2000 and 2200, and they all say that the 2200 is a great improvement over the 2000. The main improvement is individual cartridges for each color -- nine in all. There's a lot of paper companies, and wholesalers, where you can get your OEM inks and paper cheaper than ordering it through retail or from Epson. One company in particular is Red River. I've seen a lot of good things from them. One that's not been mentioned and that some might want to look into is Oce. It is the oldest paper coating company in the world and, in my opinion, they are the best. You can find them at The Epson 2200 printer I ordered two weeks ago and it is still on back order. I am also hearing that the ink is on back order. The excuse everyone is giving me is the dock strikes last year have put everyone behind by about a month. Hopefully, mine will be in soon. The only thing I want to reiterate is that you need to be very careful when ordering inks for the Epson line. Epson has in the past voided warranties, and I can testify to this personally. It cost me, at one point, $1,200.00 to get the Epson 9000 repaired. That's is with the lines flushed, new heads, inks, and serviceman who came in from out of twn. One more point, I belive the 2200 will also print on canvas, which is a plus over the 1280. Anyway, that is about all I have to say.



      • #4
        Hi Steve, thanks for the tip on the oceusa paper. I will look them up. I have learned that Epson has the best engineers in the business when it comes to printer design. But has the worst reputation on paper design on the market. I continually am finding problems with their papers. I have been testing papers for the 2200 from and and like almost everything they offer for the 2200. One important tip for the 2200 is that resin coated papers will not fully penetrate the coating and the ink will appear to sit on top of the paper causing the "bronzing effect". Ceramic coated papers do not have this problem.

        Here is an e-mail I just received from Some interesting information in this report.


        Dear Inkjet NEW & Tips Subscriber,


        As many of you know, we have been scrambling to keep light magenta,
        light cyan and light black in stock last month for the Epson 2200.
        We recently received this bulletin from Epson:

        "We anticipate that all SP2200 ink cartridges will be in short supply
        through January. Hardest hit will be the Light Cyan, Light Black and
        Light Magenta. Inventory Planning is working closely with
        manufacturing and we hope to update you with better information next


        The Epson 2200, 7600 and 9600 UltraChrome printers use a 7-ink
        system. Every person's ink usage is different, but we have noticed
        some trends over the past six months that may be useful to many of
        you in planning your ink purchases. Persons who print a lot of
        landscapes will see a heavy drain on the light cyan and light
        magenta, because these are the inks used most to produce sky and
        water colors in their images. Those printing "people" images will
        see heavy usage of the light magenta and yellow, because these are
        the inks used most to produce flesh tones. Additionally, the light
        black is used in considerable amounts to help produce many of the
        more neutral tones in your highlight and midtones (especially when
        reproducing b/w images). Matte Black is the least ORDERED ink --
        only because it is an alternate black ink, with more people using the
        Photo Black ink (but if you regularly use the Black Matte in place of
        the Photo Black, its true USAGE is identical to that of the Photo

        Here are the UltraChrome inks in order of usage, with the most used
        and ordered inks listed first. The "1.68 usage factor" is how many
        times more ink is ordered and used than the Photo Black ink cartridge
        -- it having a "1.00 usage factor":

        1.68 Light Magenta
        1.43 Light Cyan
        1.30 Light Black
        1.07 Yellow
        1.03 Magenta
        1.01 Cyan
        1.00 Photo Black (based on number of ORDERS, not actual USAGE)
        0.99 Matte Black (based on number of ORDERS, not actual USAGE)

        These figures are also illustrated in these graphs:

        NOTE: The Photo Black and Matte Black are anomalies in this chart.
        Because this chart is based on ORDERS for these cartridges, and not
        actual USAGE, the use of either black ink is actually much higher,
        because BOTH cartridges are ordered and used in the "black" position.
        The above chart reflects typical "color" ink purchases and usage in
        all Epson UltraChrome printers, however, users of the large-format
        printers (7600/9600), typically purchase about 1/2 of the number of
        Matte Black cartridges (about a factor of 0.5) as they do Photo
        Black. 2200 users purchase about an equal number of Photo Black and
        Matte Black cartridges (and switch back and forth), probably because
        the purge or "waste" factor is so much less expensive than with the
        larger printers (costing about $100 for each black ink switch, when
        purging the ink lines).


        As we mentioned in our December 20, 2002 newsletter, accelerated
        drying procedures are needed when framing Epson "Premium" papers (and
        all other RC type papers) behind glass to avoid out-gassing "fog" on
        the back of the frame's glass.

        Epson has issued a temporary, official bulletin on this potential
        problem. They've also listed all their current papers that have
        potential drying problems, which could lead to out-gassing "fog" that
        comes from slow drying glycol within the ink. They've also included
        a frequently asked questions and answers. (By the way, Epson calls
        the out-gassing fog, "gas ghosting".) Epson reminds us that the
        "ghosting" can come from any of their inks (not just the UltraChrome,
        as some have suspected), as well as from any other manufacturer's
        ink. (InkjetART would like to remind its customers, that ANY RC type
        inkjet paper we carry has the potential for producing a "ghost", if
        proper drying procedures are not followed before framing behind
        glass. This problem is NOT specific just to Epson papers.) A copy
        of Epson's PDF bulletin (converted to HTML) can be viewed at this

        For additional background information, go to:


        InkjetART's very popular (and inexpensive) "Micro Ceramic Luster" has
        been joined by a whole FAMILY of Micro Ceramic Gloss products --
        including an extra thick 12 mil gloss, and a 12 mil double-sided

        I have removed some sections from the above quote so as to remove some of the commercial advertising. It was not my intention to act as an advertisor for Inkjetart. I did think that most of this information was worth repeating.

        By the way I ordered a complete set of ink cartridges for my 2200 and also an extra light magenta, light cyan, and light black. So far I have been able to get them from ATLEX.COM with out any problems but I feel the availability may soon dry up.


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