[Wlug] Linux Photo Printer recommendations

John Stoffel stoffel at lucent.com
Wed Sep 1 15:16:19 EDT 2004

>>>>> "Robert" == Robert L Krawitz <rlk at alum.mit.edu> writes:

Robert, thank you for your *very* informative post!

Robert> For Linux use, I would recommend the 2200 over the 960 hands
Robert> down, if you can use Gimp-Print 5.0 (which is currently in
Robert> beta).  I have both of them.  I consider myself qualified on
Robert> this subject, as the Gimp-Print project lead.

I'm very happy to use cutting edge software, I run a very upto date
Debian setup.  

Robert> These printers are not the same; the 2200 uses UltraChrome
Robert> inks (which are pigment-based) while the 960 uses conventional
Robert> dye-based inks.  Somewhat surprisingly, the 2200 has a wider
Robert> gamut than the 960 (usually pigment inks have narrow gamut).
Robert> However, it's not hard to get a good grayscale out of that
Robert> printer.

What other printers use these UltraChrome inks as well, which are
(possibly) cheaper than the 2200?  I don't think I need the bigger
size, I'm mostly looking for a dedicated photo printer for home use,
we already have the B&W laser for generic printing.  I'm not even
planning on using this new printer for color text prints.  

Robert> The 960, despite its tiny smallest drop size of 2 pl (vs. 4 pl
Robert> for the 2200) does not produce as good output in my opinion.
Robert> You really need to use the highest resolution (2880x1440) to
Robert> get smooth texture, since printing with the 960 requires use
Robert> of a lot of black ink.  The 2200 has a "light black" (gray)
Robert> ink that helps a lot, and in my experience you can get quite
Robert> good quality even at 720 DPI and seldom need to go above
Robert> 1440x720 DPI.  There's a big performance difference right
Robert> there!

Sounds like a big difference in costs too, since you'll be using less
ink.  How important is the paper?  Everything I've been reading says
that using the Epson paper is really the only way to go.  

Robert> The problem with the 2200 is that Gimp-Print 4.2 doesn't drive it
Robert> well, since the internal architecture doesn't cope very well with the
Robert> fact that the gray (and photo black) inks aren't neutral.  If you
Robert> really can't switch to Gimp-Print 5.0 yet, the 2200 isn't a good
Robert> choice; I'd recommend the R200 or the like.

How about the R800?  Is that the least expensive of the printers with
the UltraChrome inks?  

Thanks for your comments, a big help!  


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