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Epson wide format printer – 64 inch SP11880

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Epson Super wide format printer – 64 inch SP11880

64″ Stylus Pro 11880 large format printer with UltraChrome K3 ink with Vivid Magenta


Information about Epson’s 64″ width large format printer.

Includes pre-release large format print rumours from before official release.

11880 front view

Printer information

2010 July 

30th Epson are announcing three new professional printers at Photokina this year.

Look for the HDR ink set to appear in a 17″ printer and maybe an update for the 11880.

2008 May 29th The 7900 and 9900 will have X-Rite spectrophotometers in them. This would be the option we had several comments about at the time of the 11880 – looks like a 11900 later this year, although the original rumour suggested the spectro as a factory option fit.

April 29th Amidst rumours of replacements for the 9880/7880 (9900/7900) there is an announcement of a $3000 rebate, if you want to buy an 11880. Available (US) from all Epson ProGraphic dealers. Expires June 30th.

It is also retrospectively dated to April the first, so if you have a 11880, then time to claim…

Could this mean that an 11900 will be on the way using the suspected 10 colour lineup of the 7900/9900?

March 2008 Epson are going to release a 64″ ‘eco-solvent’ printer (the GS6000) for signage work

November 2007 People are actually getting their 11880 printers…

There’s a very full and interesting overview at JH, where he points some of the resons you can’t use the new inks in older printers

“New ‘ink repelling coating technology’ on the surface [of the new head design] to reduce head clogging and cleaning hassles, especially with linty or dusty papers (fine art papers of some kinds) and to make the new, more demanding inkset work. The heads are much the same as those in the Stylus Pro 3800, but with this ink repelling coating added, in order to prevent the new inks from causing serious trouble. The new inks cannot safely be used in the earlier printer models. The Vivid Magenta is said to be especially problematic for heads without the ink repelling coating, and to completely ruin such a head within about six months of use.”

“The two vivid magenta inks are again, unfortunately not compatible with any of the prior printer models, because they would ruin the print heads of older printer within six months. The only pigment that got replaced is the magenta (used in both magenta inks). No other changes were made to the inkset for these three new machines, and cartridges sold for them other than the two VM ones are labelled as being for use in the 9800 family as well as the 9880 family. On photo papers, the new magenta inks yield a considerable increase in gamut in the blue-to-magenta range (up to 22% more chroma), with a little spillover gain in the blue-to-cyan and magenta-to-red ranges, and the Dmax and the gamut of colors near Dmax has improved considerably.”

There’s also the suggestion that the 11880 uses a different inkset to that found in the 4880/7880/9880

“Apparently, none of the inks, except for the two Vivid Magentas, used in the SP11880 are precisely identical to those in the other new machines, however, they are very close, and use the same pigments. The pigment loading of the 11880 inkset seems to have been increased substantially, because all of the six primary colors in the raw state of the printer are much darker and generally richer looking on photo paper than they were from the 9800, or it could be the driver putting more ink down by default, or it could be a change to the encapsulation technology used in this version of the VM inkset, or both, or something else, or any of the above, but this difference is striking.”

October Versions of the new inks are to be found in the latest A3+ Stylus Pro R1900 (replaces the R1800 and includes a gloss optimiser)

September An article about using the 11880, and its performance at DPP

11880 print take up spoolAugust Some additional info about the new printers, in that Mac OS X 10.5 ‘Leopard’ (due in October) will feature a 16 bit printing subsystem.

The new x880 series printers will have drivers that can take advantage of this feature. The normal print driver (say with Photoshop or Lightroom) can send a 16 bit data stream to the printer.

It also looks as if the rumour of a spectro option we heard was just that – but that’s rumours for you…

The new inks now reach process colours such as Rhodamine Red and Reflex Blue that were previously out of gamut for ink jet prints

vivid magenta - improved gamutJuly 25th We’ve added the official announcement from Epson Australia below.

The picture to the right shows the take-up spool, which should make it a bit easier handling those huge prints

They also added this additional info, not mentioned in the original UK release we saw.

“Epson’s new Ink Repelling Coating for the printhead and automatic nozzle check combine to eliminate down time by minimising and detecting nozzle clogging before it becomes serious, and to eliminate paper waste during the cleaning process. It uses a sensor near the print head that counts the electrical charges on the ink droplets as they are fired. A lower than expected electrical charge means insufficient ink was fired, so the print head cleaning process automatically starts”

Different Epson subsidiaries decide what to put into their own PR, so it’s often worth looking a several to get a better picture of the product (until we can actually look at one)

18th Is there a built in spectro option from Epson? – note the last sentence in the mention of this printer at LL

“As to whether it’s worth upgrading from a 4800, 7800, 9800 to a 4880, 7880, 9880, I’d have to say no. And as for what’s coming next from Epson, I will respect the NDA that I’ve signed and will have more to say on that next month.”

It seems that in the US, people who were shown the new printer a while ago, were not expecting to be able to talk about the printers until Aug 13th. We heard quite a strong rumour before the press release that the 11880 would have an optional post delivery installed spectrophotometer option – time will see…

A press release slips out…

Epson Stylus Pro 11180 64" width printerWhile we were out at the pub, a few examples of an Epson UK press release have appeared – not to the biggest fanfare this

The Sylus Pro 11880 features Epson’s UltraChrome K3 ink with Vivid Magenta, Micro Piezo TFP printhead, Gigabit Ethernet and Super Halftone technology (a new screening algorithm). The Epson 11880 will cost £9995 excluding VAT, and will be available in September 2007.

Look at the 9880 info for comparison – no mention of black ink switching there. This is the one with the 360dpi nozzle…

More info from Epson’s German site
And from Epson Australia…

11880 – 64″ width printer

Key Specs (from Epson):

  • Delivers a colour gamut equivalent to conventional 12 colour ink sets
  • 64”
  • Micro Piezo TFP Print Head Technology
  • UltraChrome K3 Ink with Vivid Magenta Ink
  • Advanced Image Processing Technology
  • 9 x loaded individual 700ml ink cartridges
  • Advanced Image Processing Technology
  • A.I.D Technology
  • Active Matte and Photo Black Inks
  • Barcode Media Tracking System
  • 360 nozzles per colour (Stylus Pro 800 series = 180per colour)
  • 700ml ink cartridge capacity
  • 2880 x 1440dpi maximum print resolution
  • Automatic Take-Up Reel Standard
  • Accepts up to 1.5mm thick media
  • Borderless – 8”, 10”, 300mm, 13”, 16”, B2, A1, 24”, B1, 36”, 44”, 1200mm, 50, 54
  • Large 2.5” Backlight LCD Control Panel
  • Pressurised Ink Cartridge Technology
  • Standard USB2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet

But unfortunately no mention of a built in spectro… (see update above)

Here’s a pic of the new print head (from the German site)

new epson 360 print head

Note the 9 lines of jets, so the printer could become a 10 ink version without too much trouble, although I’ve not seen the ink tank layout


Epson Press release (long version)

Epson’s new 64 inch Stylus Pro 11880 large format printer with UltraChrome K3 ink with Vivid Magenta sets a benchmark for outstanding print quality combined with fast print speeds for colour critical printing applications such as retail point-of-sale displays, contract and imposition proofing, photography, limited edition fine art print making and detailed colour maps.

pro 11880Several new productivity enhancing features make the Stylus Pro 11880 one of the fastest and easiest to use photo quality large format printers on the market. These include the new MicroPiezo TFP (Thin Film Piezo) print head with 360 nozzles for each of the nine ink cartridges, active Photo and Matte black inks, high capacity 700 ml ink cartridges, professional media handling capabilities from A4 to 64 inch wide rolls, automatic nozzle check technology, and improved image processing algorithms.

The Stylus Pro 11880 is the first Epson printer to have the new MicroPiezo TFP (Thin Film Piezo) print head with 360 nozzles per inch for each of the nine active ink cartridges. It has been finely tuned with the new Epson UltraChrome K3 ink with Vivid Magenta to precisely control dot shape, size and placement for the highest image quality possible.

Epson’s UltraChrome K3 ink with Vivid Magenta is an outstanding eight colour pigment ink with Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta that has colour gamut advantages over conventional 12 colour ink sets on gloss, matte and fine art media. And by using only eight colours Epson maintains a simplified colour management process providing easier colour control. Through the use of high density pigments UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink produces high quality prints with excellent short and long term colour stability, and virtually no metameric effects.

Epson’s new Ink Repelling Coating for the printhead and automatic nozzle check combine to eliminate down time by minimising and detecting nozzle clogging before it becomes serious, and to eliminate paper waste used during the cleaning process. It uses a sensor near the print head that counts the electrical charges on the ink droplets as they are fired. A lower than expected electrical charge means insufficient ink was fired, so the print head cleaning process automatically starts.

Because both Photo and Matte black inks are mounted and active on the Stylus Pro 11880 users save time and money as the printer immediately and automatically switches between the two black ink modes as required. Each of the eight UltraChrome K3 colours (including photo and matte black) has its own individual 360 dpi nozzle set on the printhead so the Stylus Pro 11880 does not need time to switch between photo and matte black. High capacity 700 ml ink cartridges ensure the printer can run unattended to complete long print jobs.

In line with its commitment to increase productivity while improving print quality across a range of applications, the Stylus Pro 11880 has professional media handling capabilities accepting roll or cut-sheet paper from A4 up to 64 inches wide and up to 1.5mm thick poster board. It has a built in automatic media cutting system and an automatic take-up reel system as standard.

The Stylus Pro 11880 can print a barcode and text on partially used paper rolls to record how much paper is left and what type of media it is, allowing users to confidently switch between paper types and rolls for different jobs.

To enhance productivity even further and minimise paper use the Stylus Pro 11880 can also print many Borderfree sizes on media from 8 x 10 inch through to 54 inch.

To complement the enhancements introduced by UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta, the Stylus Pro 11880 uses Epson’s new Image Processing Technology, a new image half toning algorithm that improves print speed and produces more stable half tones and an even better print quality in both high and low resolution print modes. Clearer half tones are readily visible in the details of higher color saturation patches.

Epson’s new Image Processing Technology further improves Epson’s outstanding grey scale stability – the core requirement for accurate colour printing – by reducing colour twist, which brings out greater detail in shadows and supports stable shadow gradation across all tones.

And as would be expected from the leaders in ink technology, Epson’s UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink retains Epson’s renowned superior print permanence capabilities on genuine Epson media.

As a result of Epson’s technology innovations in the Stylus Pro 11880 this printer is up to 2.6 times faster than previous printers. For many production environments where time is a valuable commodity, this dramatic reduction delivers substantial time savings and greater revenue opportunities.

The Stylus Pro 11880 comes with USB2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet as standard interfaces.

The Stylus Pro 11880 will be available in October with a recommended price of: $22995 Ex GST.

There was a shorter version of the PR as well – we’ve included it for completeness

Epson Australia Press release (shorter version)
Epson’s new Stylus Pro 880 series Thursday, 19 July 2007

Epson today announced four new Stylus Pro 880 series large format printers and Epson’s new UltraChrome K3 ink with Vivid Magenta for colour critical printing applications such as retail point-of-sale displays, contract and imposition proofing, photography, limited edition fine art print making and detailed colour maps.

The Epson Stylus Pro 4880, Stylus Pro 7880, Stylus Pro 9880 and Stylus Pro 11880 provide the most advanced print durability, colour accuracy and colour consistency across a wide range of media in print widths from 17 to 64 inches.

To extend its leadership in the high quality large format print market, Epson has also announced eight colour UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta in this new printer range, the most advanced fourth generation pigment ink available, delivering a colour gamut equivalent to conventional 12 colour ink sets.

As the name suggests eight colour UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta expands UltraChrome’s already large colour gamut for highly accurate colour reproduction of more vivid reds and blues and smoother tonal gradation in proofs, photographs and fine art prints.

A breakthrough new pigment ink chemistry developed by Seiko Epson allowed the creation of a higher density form of magenta pigments. Epson then worked with some of the world’ leading professional photographers and print companies to fine tune the printer driver, ink and print head to produce prints with expanded gamut in blues and reds without losing any of UltraChrome’ brilliance and colour depth in other colours of the spectrum.

The result is an outstanding eight colour pigment ink with Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta that has colour gamut advantages over conventional 12 colour ink sets on gloss, matte and fine art media. By using only eight colours Epson maintains a simplified colour management process providing easier colour control. And with high density pigments UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink reproduces high quality prints with excellent short and long term colour stability, and virtually no metameric effects.

To complement the enhancements introduced by UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta, the 880 series printers use Epson¹s new Image Processing Technology, a new image half toning algorithm that produces smoother tones and more detail for even better print quality in both high and low resolution print modes. Epson¹s Image Processing Technology further minimises print quality differences between print modes, resulting in greater colour consistency. Smoother colour gradations further improve the accuracy of colour reproduction across all media.

The new Image Processing Technology also further improves Epson’s outstanding grey scale stability – the core requirement for accurate colour printing – and reduces the amount of coloured ink needed in colour prints, resulting in greater detail in both highlight and shadow areas.

And as would be expected from the leaders in ink technology, Epson’s UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta retains Epson’ renowned superior print permanence capabilities on a range of genuine Epson media up to 1.5 mm thick.

The Stylus Pro 4880, Stylus Pro 7880, and Stylus Pro 9880 have USB2.0 and Ethernet as standard interfaces. The Stylus Pro 4880, Stylus Pro 7880, and Stylus Pro 9880 can use either 110 or 220ml ink cartridges, while the Stylus Pro 11880 uses high capacity 700ml ink cartridges.

The Stylus Pro 880 series printers will be available in October with recommended prices of: Stylus Pro 4880 – $2995, Stylus Pro 7880 – $5395, Stylus Pro 9880 – $10895, Stylus Pro 11880 – $22995 Ex GST.

Epson Australia www.epson.com.au

Epson UK Press Release

Epson launches the world’s first 64” printer to feature a Micro Piezo TFP printhead and new UltraChrome K3 inkset

The 64” Stylus Pro 11880 is the world’s first large format printer to feature Epson’s latest printhead technology and UltraChrome K3 ink with Vivid Magenta. It is designed for professionals in the photography, fine art and proofing markets.

17 July 2007 – The Stylus Pro 11880 is the first 64” large format printer from Epson. It includes the latest Micro Piezo Thin Film Piezo (TFP) printhead for superior printing performance and is optimised for pigment ink technology. The eight-colour inkset features a new formulation of UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta, widening the colour gamut and further strengthening Epson’s award winning UltraChrome K3 ink as the choice of professionals. The Stylus Pro 11880 incorporates nine 700ml high capacity individual ink cartridges, with automatic switching between Photo & Matte Black inks, and also ink status LED’s for each cartridge. The new Gigabit Ethernet interface delivers fast data transfer speeds, coupled with the on-board data processing module. Epson Super Halftone technology, a new screening algorithm, further improves image tone and definition. The combination of features and inkset make the Stylus Pro 11880 the most advanced digital large format printer on the market.

The new Micro Piezo TFP printhead fulfils all the requirements of a professional printer – quality, durability and speed. The nozzle density has increased from 180 to 360 dpi for each colour, the world’s highest for an inkjet printhead using piezoelectric technology. Epson has doubled the number of nozzles on the printhead, while maintaining the same size of ink droplet and accelerated print speeds. Despite the microscopic size of its elements, this next-generation Micro Piezo head retains all the advantages of the current printhead, including Variable-sized Droplet Technology. Meniscus control helps to produce perfectly spherical dots and manages the degree of droplet impact. It also improves the speed of jetting, further enhancing the print speed.

UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta further expands the already wide colour gamut of UltraChrome K3 and is a breakthrough in pigment chemistry. The full inkset includes nine ink cartridges: photo black, matte black, light black, light light black, cyan, light cyan, yellow, vivid magenta and vivid light magenta. The two magenta inks use new high-density pigments that create more vibrant colour, especially blues and magenta, for example those found in seascapes or landscapes. Both photo black and matte black cartridges are installed at the same time so there is no need to exchange. The most suitable black ink is automatically chosen depending on the media type used.

The UltraChrome K3 ink with Vivid Magenta, enables superb grey balance and precise colour without any colour cast. It also maintains the superior features of the UltraChrome K3 ink such as great colour accuracy of neutral and dark colours, excellent short-term colour stability and smooth tonal gradation from shadow to light. Metamerism is virtually eliminated with this new inkset. The permanent Epson Micro Piezo printhead also offers unrivalled consistency in each print. Every print will be the same as the first, even if the artwork is printed months apart, making it ideal for studios producing limited edition print runs.

The Stylus Pro 11880 is compatible with a wide range of Epson media up to 1.5mm in thickness, including glossy paper, matte paper, matte board, fine art paper and plain paper. It features an automatic take-up reel to support heavy-duty production for improved usability. It will also support flexible paper handling for cut sheet printing from A3 up to 64”. The optional paper basket stores prints cleanly and securely.

Epson is also launching MyEpsonprinter.eu. The new online portal allows Epson Stylus Pro owners to retrieve up-to-the-minute technical information and monitor the performance of each printer. The secure website allows users to view print job activity, hardware information and historical data, and tracks key performance indicators such as cost of ownership and cost per print. MyEpsonprinter.eu can also be accessed remotely by service contractors to quickly identify the cause and scope of any queries, which saves time and unnecessary call-out fees.

Martin Johns, Business Manager Pro Graphics, Epson UK, says, “Epson’s leading research and development into pigment chemistry has long set its professional printers apart, and along with its high-quality output, Epson has become widely known as the choice of professionals. The launch of our new 64” inch printer means that as well as going larger with Epson, quality and productivity is also further enhanced for truly vibrant, first-class output.”

Epson Stylus Pro 11880 key features summary:

Professional paper handling up to 64” wide
Consistent output with Epson Micro Piezo TFP Printhead Technology
High-density Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink Technology
Standard USB 2.0, and Gigabit Ethernet interface
Flexible paper handling with roll or cut-sheet media from A3 / tabloid up to 64” wide. BorderFree roll printing from 10” up to 64” wide
Accepts media up to 1.5 mm thick poster board
Productive printing with built-in automatic media cutting system and take-up reel system
Record information about paper with media bar code tracking and identification system
Superior image processing with Epson Super Halftone Screening Technology
Easy to use and maintain with Auto Ink Droplet Detection System
High-quality printing with maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi
Nine individual high-capacity ink cartridges – 700 ml
Automatic change from photo black to matte black
Pressurised ink cartridge technology
High-performance print engine speeds
Large 2.5” back lit LCD control panel
Ink status LED system
MyEpson Printer network compatible
Stylus Pro 11880 RRP excluding VAT from £9995 – available September 2007

Info below this point is from our original Epson super wide format rumour page – we’ve left it in for archive purposes


July 17th We’ve not seen anything about new stuff (yet), so in best rumours tradition we’ll fall back to a date of 27th September that I’ve seen mentioned – or maybe this Thursday since it was on that SCP ‘release’.

14th In a recent comment I received, it seems that full Pk/Mk ink switching is -only- featured in the 11880. Details aren’t clear, but if Epson really has decided to stick with swapping cartridges for the 4880/7880/9880, then I think they could expect some serious flak over the decision.

Epson 11880The ‘11880’ image taken from that SCP press release.

Actually this is a stretched image of the 44″ 10600 that they used, which has been round a long time – we’ll put a real image in once we find one :-)

However, the power of Google has found the full text of the SCP release :-)

“Rather before the delivery of the new Epson Stylus Pro Inkjet models 4450/7450/9450 as well as 4880/7880/9880/11880 in September, SCP already works on developing the corresponding printer drivers for its large format print, copy and scan solutions.

Designed as color remote proofing systems and for fine art galleries and artists Epson’s inkjet series X880 comes with nine color pigmented inks (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, LightCyan, LightMagenta, LightBlack, UltralightBlack, PhotoBlack and MatteBlack) using Epson’s Micro Piezo drop-on-demand inkjet technology and 3.5 picolitres Variable-sized Droplet Technology. The four models mainly differ in the maximum media width, which is 17” for the Epson Stylus Pro 4880, 24” for the 7880, 44” for the 9880 and 64” for the Epson Stylus Pro 11880.

Wheras the series X450 with Epson’s vivid color ink technology using four color pigmented inks (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and MatteBlack) is specialized on high production. Just as the X880 series, the models 4450, 7450 and 9450 vary in the maximum media width ranging from 17”, 24” to 44”. ”

Note that the SCP ‘release’ pointed to ‘delivery’ in September. We’ve had another comment suggesting that the July 17th date mentioned back on May 30th should see some news. The current ‘loyalty’ cash back scheme runs in the US until the end of the month.

Also look the ‘release date’ for the SCP announcement 19th July (Thursday) — just what might be expected a few days after Epson’s announcement.

We’re told that the new Magenta ink is called ‘Vivid Magenta’ — several reports we’ve had say that it does indeed make a noticeable improvement in gamut.

No more info on the spectro option – is this one that Epson have been keeping out of more widespread beta testing?

A reminder of the ‘specs’ from last month for the extra wide printer:

  • 360 nozzles per ink, 9 lines on 1 inch wide head for nine inks, Minimum. drop size 3.5 pl.
  • Automatic nozzle check. Cleaning can be for one or two inks only.
  • Switch for high tension on roll spindle.
  • 700 ml carts, New magenta/LM ink – gives a better dark blue on glossy media.

That info doesn’t differentiate between a black switching technology like the 3800 or one with a set of nozzles for each black – I’d suspect the use of the phrase ‘9 lines’ suggests the 3800 approach, which is reasonable in that it has now been tested in real use for some time with the 3800.

13th We had an interesting suggestion that the x880 series will have the option of a built in spectrophotometer. This will be a technician installed option at ~$1500. (no news on whether this would include the smallest 4880)

Much like the HP Z3100 and its built in spectro, you would be able to generate icc profiles (and maybe fine tune ABW printing) and a whole host of other colour management options.

The interesting thing is that here (unlike the HP) you would get a choice … $1500 for a built in easy to use system, or your own existing spectro and profiling software.

Profiles produced by the Z3100 use around 500 patches. Interestingly enough, with the HP profiling solutions you can get an “Advanced Profiling Solution” (CMYK and RGB profiling), various sizes of profiling targets, including a ~1,000 patch target. You also get profile editing and an Eye One Display 2 for monitor calibration.

If you’re curious about scanning spectrophotometers – I’ve recently used the Eye One iSis for making some test profiles when reviewing the Epson 3800. There are some photos showing the iSis in action (with the cover open) in my iSis review.

We’ve also had confirmation of a reformulated K3 inkset – primarily aimed at increased gamut.

In a self referential twist, there is a comment in this LL thread from someone who has “seen some prints form the new Epson and they are stunning. Also seen some full colour B&W prints with no evidence whatsoever of bronzing or banding.”

11th Much more solid rumours in the form of a press release that was quickly pulled(?) … SCP announced details of support for all of Epson’s new printers due to be announced in September.

The original info at SCP is not there any more but there was this snippet at LFP

“Rather before the delivery of the new Epson Stylus Pro Inkjet models 4450/7450/9450 as well as 4880/7880/9880 and 11880 in September, SCP already works on developing the corresponding printer drivers for its large format print, copy and scan solutions. Designed as color remote proofing systems and for fine art galleries and artists Epson’s inkjet series X880 comes with nine color pigmented inks (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, LightCyan, LightMagenta, LightBlack, UltralightBlack, Ph…”

So it looks as if we will finally get combined Photo/Matte black capability in a big Epson printer (see our 3800 review for a look at this feature) A welcome feature in the the all new x880 series – unfortunately the info we’ve got doesn’t cover the expected new ink formulations. This could well be the K4 pigment inks, although it also could see Epson move into the Solvent and UV ink markets.

The 9450, 4450 and 7450 will presumably be the equivalents to the 4400 et al. which are aimed at the “Point of Sale (POS), Computer Aided Design (CAD), Geographic Information System (GIS) and corporate markets”

Note – we have no direct confirmation of this PR actually being on the SCP site – any further info or observations are welcome

If it’s true I look forward to trying out an SP 9880 or SP 11880 later in the year :-)

10th One week to go to the supposed launch of the extra wide printer. We had one mail recently, suggesting that it will be called the Stylus Pro 16000 -(no direct source for this however)

June 17th If you have a look back through some Epson News/PR info then you can see some of their development in Print Heads.

Includes such tid-bits as

  • “Industrial applications such as solvent ink, color filters, and UV ink are currently under development.”
  • “A conventional Micro Piezo print head’s nozzle density is 180 dpi (maximum) whereas a next-generation Micro Piezo print head’s is 360 dpi”

The doubling of density, suggests that a new approach to head clogging and perhaps another look at more archival Dye inks may be in the offing?

If there is a new 64″ printer with a new formulation of pigment inks then expect possible replacements for the 4800/7800/9800 to be announced in September.

Note that these printers were originally announced in May 2005

8th Not directly related but it seems Epson have announced a cashback programme in the US for buying ‘pro’ printers (until the end of July)

Buy any Stylus Pro printer (4800, 7800, or 9800) with a minimal amount of Epson paper and get cash back.

  • Epson 4800 + $200 paper = $300 rebate
  • Epson 7800 + $300 paper = $400 rebate (or $780 if you are a loyalty customer)
  • Epson 9800 + $400 paper = $500 rebate (or $980 if you are a loyalty customer)

A loyalty customer is one who currently owns a Pro series printer and from the claim coupon even the current 48/78/98 qualify as loyalty, not just prior models.

3rd From the EWF list I noticed a comment that one of the reasons Epson is finally moving to bigger than 44″ is that:

“Epson’s licenseing agreement with Mimaki and Roland has run out so they are now free to market this technology in the beyond 44″ wide format. People have been talking about that for a long time. You see in the past Roland and Mimaki, and probably Mutoch also used the same heads as Epson machines and paid Epson a fee for that usage since they held the patent. For instance the ultra wide Mimaki JV once had two Epson 10K heads in it. Same with Roland Hi Fi Jet.”

2nd The 64″ looks to be a real printer with this mention on the Yahoo digital fine art list

From… ‘Canon’s west coast wide format rep yesterday… He’d been to Nash Editions the day before, said they are beta testing the 64″ Epson in their shop at the moment.’

I’ve also been told more directly (thanks) that in print speed it’s well below the IPF9000 and “the reds are real nice”.

May 30th We’re told that the new Epson 64 inch wide format printer will be announced on Tuesday 17th July

  • 360 nozzles per ink.
  • 9 lines on 1 inch wide head for nine inks.
  • Minimum. drop size 3.5 pl.
  • Automatic nozzle check.
  • Cleaning can be for one or two inks only.
  • Switch for high tension on roll spindle.
  • 700 ml carts.
  • New magenta/LM ink – gives a better dark blue on glossy media.

If anyone has any further info, then please feel free to let us know

April 2007 29th A curious posting on the Yahoo Digital Fine Art forum – 64 inch print width?

“A friend of mine works in a hotel where I sell my work. He says he saw an Epson 64 inch printer in one of the conference rooms while a convention was there. The man setting it up said it prints 64 inches wide. When he asked the model number the tech said one was not yet assigned. Unfortunately I couldn’t view it as it was packed up and shipped before I got there. Wish I had more to share”

First actual mention of an extra wide format Epson I’ve seen for some time.

5th Nothing new from Epson, however…

60 and 42 inch wide format printers from HPSize: HP Z6100 42″ Wide Part #: Q6651A Price: HP List Price $11,625

Size: HP Z6100 60″ Wide Part #: Q6652A Price: HP List Price $17,995

The HP 60″ printers

More info

March 2007 – well nothing at PMA

Meanwhile, have a look at this for a potentially disruptive technology in all areas of printing http://memjet.com/media.aspx

Several people asked if it’s for real? — Look at the wide format video at the bottom of the page


We’ve seen some comments expecting new large printers at the PMA show in March 2007.

HP has raised the bar considerably with built in profiling and lots more inks, along with some interesting driver related developments. Canon now have a range that includes 60″ width

Compared to the 4800, the 3800 has better screening, faster print speeds, a little better paper handling and the inclusion of both matte and photo blacks inks. These features might be enough to update the current 98/78 range, but Epson has always kept such large printers in the market for some time.


Here’s some PR info on the Canon version at that size – does Epson want to compete in this market?

The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9000(60 inch) 12-Color Inkjet Printer with up to 2400×1200 dpi print resolution and simultaneous photo and matte black inks.The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9000 Printer takes large format color production to the next level. With the iPF9000, Canon delivers impressive 60″ full-bleed color output, strength in paper handling and speed in output-everything a professional needs to productively and efficiently create enhanced color materials. The iPF9000 printer is designed to fulfill the needs of any digital artist looking to create captivating images from capture to output. The 12-color pigment ink system was designed to expand the spectrum of color for environments from photography to design, to take advantage of within their output. The iPF9000 incorporates the new 12-color pigment ink system with LUCIA inks, and the new L-COA controller, which intelligently processes the data directing the rapid printing process. Combined with Canon’s dual print head design and the most ink nozzles per color in the industry (as of May 2006), the L-COA controller helps achieve print speeds of under three minutes for 16.5″ x 23.4″ (A2) size prints with 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution on a glossy photo paper. The iPF9000 has the tools that address the needs of the Graphic Arts market, focusing on the photographic, fine art, proofing and poster sign markets.

Its built-in features put the power to produce at your fingertips. Designed for reliability, simplicity, and above all quality, the iPF9000 is the professional’s answer for superior quality prints. Canon has created a way in which breathtaking large quality prints can be created right out-of-the-box, with software that is just as innovative as the printer itself, such as PosterArtist, Digital Photo Print Pro, and Print Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop.
Features:

* 12-Color Pigment Ink System – New LUCIA inks expand the range of color reproduction by providing a wide color gamut.
* Automatic Switching Between Black Inks – utilizes automatic switching between Regular Black and Matte Black Ink, helping to eliminate wasted ink and time of swapping out ink tanks.
* New Print Head System – dual print head system with a total of 30,720 nozzles.
* Efficiency & Speed – The iPF9000’s built-in 40 GB HDD processes jobs fast, and maintains productivity and enables easy unmanned printing.
* Borderless Printing – 4-sided edge to edge printing, only with roll media.
* Non-firing Detection and Compensation Function – when clogged or non-firing nozzles are detected; print head cleaning cycle is automatically executed. If the nozzle remains obstructed, the iPF9000 will automatically compensate by rerouting the ink to functioning nozzles.

LUCIA Pigment Ink Technology

The iPF9000 printer features a new 12-color pigment ink system featuring Red, Blue, Green, Gray, Photo Gray, Cyan, Photo Cyan, Magenta, Photo Magenta, Yellow, Regular Black, and Matte Black. The large color gamut provided by the 12 inks produces brilliant colors. The addition of gray and photo gray helps to create smooth gradations and less graininess, creating a crisp monotone output.
New Print Head – PF-01 – Dual print head system

Print Head (PF-01) –
Engineered for speed and advanced image production, the iPF9000 boasts Canon’s dual print head system to lay down ink with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Unlike conventional printers with a single print head, the iPF9000 uses two high-precision, high-density print heads with a total of 30,720 nozzles. It lays down precise 4pl ink droplets to produce sharp detail and excellent image quality.

The superfine 4pl droplets produce delicate color gradations and high-definition. The twin lines of nozzles on the new print heads enable the iPF9000 to minimize the number of printing passes and still maintain print quality. Each of the 2 print heads contain 6 colors, for a total of 12, each employing 2,560 nozzles for a grand total of 30,720 nozzles. This print head technology enables the iPF9000 to print at a true 1200 dot pitch with remarkable speed.
L-COA Controller – New Print Controller

The L-COA1 print controller intelligently processes the print data to implement high-speed processing in order to accurately lay ink down for optimal image quality. Combined with Canon’s dual print head design and the most ink nozzles per color in the industry, the L-COA controller helps achieve print speeds of under three minutes for 16.5″ x 23.4″ (A2) size prints, at 1200 x 1200 dpi on a glossy photo paper.

(*Print speeds noted here are bench-mark testing results conducted by Canon Inc. The testing conditions are as follows: The print time is measured from the start of printing until the image is exited out from the printer. These tests were conducted with a Pentium 4 3.2GHz CPU running Windows XP, 1GB RAM, USB 2.0, from Adobe Photoshop 7.0, ISO/JIS-SCID No.5 (bicycle chart) enlarged to 410mm x 512.5mm, using printer driver default setting.)

DPPP – Software application with professional editing tools and templates

This image editing and layout software is designed to easily edit and output large-format prints from images captured with a digital camera. For novice photo software users, DPPP simplifies advanced functions such as red-eye correction, dust removal, skin tone improvement and many other features. Furthermore, you can layout images in a variety of ways using the templates provided within the application. For Adobe Photoshop users, DPPP is capable of 2-way communication to enable the quick exchange of image files between the two programs. Avoid inaccurate prints by utilizing the Soft Proof function, which provides the ability to view the actual output colors in advance on the monitor, and the Real Preview function which confirms in advance how many images will be laid out on roll paper.
Print Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop – An export print module

This application was designed to enable direct printing of 16-bit RGB images directly from Adobe Photoshop 6, 7, CS and CS2. This plug-in is a true export module that bypasses the print driver on Windows and Macintosh computers. The module was designed to be an integral part of a photographer’s 16-bit workflow without compromising image quality. The plug-in facilitates the printing of 16-bit images by processing the data outside the conventional driver and sending the data directly from Photoshop to the printer, dramatically increasing gradations and as a result, overall image quality. The print history function enables the user to apply past color, profile and print settings to future jobs. The module allows for improved efficiency in color adjustment tasks and high-definition prints for Photoshop users.

Features

* Soft proof – preview window
* Print history function
* Advanced color and quality controls
* Easily apply custom ICC profiles
Printer Driver

The imagePROGRAF printer driver works with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems offering exceptional, high quality prints through easy usability and accurate color. The printer driver incorporates existing imagePROGRAF functions along with new, easy to use functions. The monochrome photo mode produces neutral, high quality monochrome images with the primary use of the black, gray and photo gray inks. This mode helps to ensure minimal shifts in color that are commonly caused by the use of color inks in black and white prints, thus outputting neutral tones with smooth gradation. Another easy to use feature is the free layout feature, which allows for custom nesting of separate images and documents.
PosterArtist – Software application with poster designing and printing capabilities

This template driven software was developed by Canon specifically to create large-format posters easily. PosterArtist helps users of all levels to create professional looking posters, banners and signage with extreme ease. This application offers a variety of templates, hi-res royalty-free images and clipart designed to target a wide array of markets such as food service, education, offices, retail and much more.


Specifications:

• Print Head (PF-02) Technology: – FINE Full-lithography (Ink-jet NozzleEngineering)
• Print Head (PF-02) Configuration:
– 6 Colors per Print Head
– Dual Print Heads (Total 12 Colors)
– Print Head (L) Y/PC/C/PGY/GY/MBK
– Print Head (R) PM/M/BK/R/G/B
• Print Head (PF-02) Replacement: – End-User replaceable
• Number of Nozzles: 2,560 Nozzles per Color… 30,720 Nozzles Total
• Droplet Size: 4 Picoliter
• Nozzle Pitch (Head Resolution): 1200 dpi x 2
• Print Head Swath: 1.07″
• Print Resolution (Max.): 2400 x 1200 dpi
• Ink Type: LUCIA Ink (Pigment-Based)
• Ink Tank (PFI-701 or PFI-301)Colors: – Cyan, Photo Cyan, Magenta, Photo Magenta, Yellow, Black, Matte Black, Red, Green, Blue, Gray, Photo Gray
• Ink Tank Capacity*: 700ml (PFI-701) or 330ml (PFI-301)
• Ink Supply Method: Tubing System with Sub-Tanks for Continuous Ink Supply
• Nozzle Recovery System: Non-Firing Nozzle Detection and Compensation
• Printer Controller: L-COA Controller
• Printer Memory: 640MB
• Print Speed/A0 size**Photo Glossy Paper ***: – 5 minutes
• Built-in Hard Disk Capacity: 40GB
• Media Feed Roll Feed: – One Roll, Front Output
• Media Feed Cut Sheet: – One Sheet, Front 0utput
• Media Width: – 8″ – 60″ (Cut sheet), – 10″ – 60″ (Roll Feed)
• Minimum Media Length: – 8″ (203mm)
• Maximum Print Length: Manual Feed – 63″ (1.6 m), Roll – 59′ (18 m)†
• Borderless Printing Width (Roll Media Only): 10″, 14″, 16″, 24″, 36″, 42″, B2 (20.28″/515mm), A1 (23.38″/594mm), A0 (33.11″/841mm), B0 (40.55″/1030mm)
• Media Cutter: User-Replaceable Durable Rotary Blade (CT-06)
• Media Thickness: 0.07 – 0.8mm (2.8 – 31.4mil)
• Media Core Sizes: 2″ (3″ Core with Optional 3″Core Spool)
• Media Output: Automatically Winding Media Take-up
Reel (Standard), Basket (Optional)
• Printable Margins: Manual Feed (Top/Front) – Leading and Left/Right Edges: 0.20″ (5mm), Trailing Edge: 0.90″ (23mm)
• Printable Margins: Roll Feed – All Sides: 0.20″ (5mm) or 0″ for Borderless
• Maximum Media Roll Outer Diameter: – 5.9″ (150mm)
• Minimum Printable Line Weight: – 0.02mm
• Line Accuracy – +0.19%/-0.25%
• Bundled Software Printing Software: – Printer Driver 2006, Print Plug-in for Photoshop‡,Printer Driver Extra Kits (Free Layout, imageRUNNER Linking Function)
• Bundled Software: Applications – PosterArtist 2006ss, Digital Photo Print Pross
• Utilities – GARO Status Monitor, Media Configuration Tool, Remote UI
• Printer Language: GARO (Canon Proprietary)
• Operating System: Windows98SE/Me/2000/XP/2003 Server, Macintosh OS 9.1/X 10.2/ 10.3/10.4
• Interface Standard: – USB 2.0 High Speed, – 10/100Base-T/TX
• Optional: – IEEE1394 (FireWire)
• Acoustic Noise Operation: – 52dB or Less
• Acoustic Noise Standby: – 35dB or Less
• Acoustic Power (Operation and Standby): – 6.7 Bels or Less
• Power Supply: AC 100-240V (50-60Hz)
• Power Consumption Maximum: – 190W or Less
• Power Consumption Standby: – 5W or Less, (8W or Less when EB-05 is Installed)
• Power Off (Standby): – Less than 1W (Compliant with Executive Order)
• Certifications: UL, FCC Class B, ENERGY STAR
• Operational Environment: Temperature – 59 – 86 F° (15 – 30 C°)
• Operational Environment: Relative Humidity – 10 – 80% (No Condensation)
• Dimensions with Stand ( W x D x H ) 90.5″ x 31.6″ x 45.1″, (2299mm x 766mm x 1144mm)
• Weight with Stand and Take-up Reel: Approx. 365 lb. (165kg)
• Package Dimensions ( W x D x H ): 97.7″ x 41.4″ x 48.8″, (2480mm x 1050mm x 1238mm)
• Package Weight (Including Pallet): 552 lb. (250kg)
• User Replaceable Items: Ink Tank PFI-301/PFI-701, Print Head (PF-02), Maintenance Cartridge (MC-08), Durable Rotary Blade (CT-06)

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