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3880 still worth it?
  
 
RKnecht
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 3880 still worth it?


I've seen a few of these pop up used and have been wondering if they are still worth buying. To be honest, the price of ink refills has scared me off.


Aug 30, 2017 at 01:06 PM
chez
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 3880 still worth it?


I have one that I use for B&W and love it. Very good at not needing much maintenance.

If you cannot afford the ink...then printing is not for you. You'd be better going to Costco for your printing. For me, printing is the last step in my photography. I've spent upwards of $10,000 on gear, countless dollars traveling to take photos and less than a dollar of ink per print is not going to stop me from completing my visions.



Aug 30, 2017 at 03:25 PM
OntheRez
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 3880 still worth it?


RKnecht wrote:
I've seen a few of these pop up used and have been wondering if they are still worth buying. To be honest, the price of ink refills has scared me off.


I'm still using a 3880 probably weekly. Running its utilities (like nozzle check) occasionally keep it in tip top shape. I can't really beat it for price/performance.

As for ink, I've been using Jon Cone's inks for several years. inkjet.mall You have to buy new carts once, but from then on it's just ink. The price/benefit is excellent. Far cheaper than Epson's and more ink. I think the color is better than the official carts. Also, you aren't dumping more stuff in the landfill. (Every little bit helps.)

My highest recommendation - for what that's worth.

Robert



Aug 30, 2017 at 03:49 PM
veroman
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 3880 still worth it?


RKnecht wrote:
I've seen a few of these pop up used and have been wondering if they are still worth buying. To be honest, the price of ink refills has scared me off.


Ink refills are going to be costly no matter which printer you buy if you purchase OEM inks. If you purchase a refill system from a third party, such as Inkjet Mall, your cost will go down, but your printer warranty, if any, will be voided.

I went the 3rd party route several years ago (NOT Inkjet Mall) but was not at all happy with the results, which were dramatically different than when printing with Epson inks. I also experienced clogging and spattering issues that I'd not experienced before.

But back to your question: I've owned the Epson 4000, 3800 and 3880 and now use the P800. I think the P800 is the better printer compared to the 3880. Colors are better, printing is faster and ink usage is more efficient. It's quieter, too.

Like another poster here, printing is a major part of my photography process. I take the printing seriously to make sure I've printed exactly what I believe I've captured so that others can see it, too. Yes, printing is costly. The printers are costly, the inks are costly and top-notch paper is VERY costly. But the cost PER PRINT is almost negligible given the results.

I've never printed via Costco, and I tend to doubt they can match my own standards. That said, I will someday have to give them a try to see why so many rave about them!

- Steve



Aug 30, 2017 at 04:14 PM
rdeloe
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 3880 still worth it?


A good Epson 3880 is definitely worth it if you can get it in good working order. My usual advice to people is buy it only if you can watch the person making a clean nozzle check in front of you.

I like this printer so much that I bought a used second one and put it into storage!

One nice "feature" of the 3880 in comparison to the P800 is you can refill easily. If you won't refill then this is a non-issue. But if you do and you have a P800 know that Epson in North America has locked down the carts. 3880 refill carts are readily available because you can refill them endlessly (but you need a set of original Epson chips to run the carts).

I use mine exclusively for monochrome printing using Paul Roark's Eboni Variable Tone inkset (same idea as Piezography, but open source). I mix my own inks and can split tone for neutral-cool to warm tones in the same print. The price per print is extremely low because the ink is dirt cheap (I mix it myself from relatively inexpensive ingredients using Paul's formulation).




Aug 30, 2017 at 05:13 PM
RKnecht
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 3880 still worth it?


Thanks guys, what about the R3000? BTW, Bay Photo does all my printing now and I am very satisfied with them. It's just that I have always wanted to try printing myself.


Aug 30, 2017 at 07:14 PM
 

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chez
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 3880 still worth it?


RKnecht wrote:
Thanks guys, what about the R3000? BTW, Bay Photo does all my printing now and I am very satisfied with them. It's just that I have always wanted to try printing myself.


It takes a lot of effort to become proficient with printing. My feeling is either you totally commit to doing your own printing and learn the craft, or continue to outsource.



Aug 31, 2017 at 06:30 AM
Abbott Schindl
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 3880 still worth it?


R3000 is a very different critter than the 3880. I absolutely love my 3880 and I use only Epson inks, figuring that with the investment I've made in gear, getting the image, and paper and processing, it's worth getting Epson's inks (which have never failed me in 20 years of various Epson printers).

For starters:
R3000 only goes to 13x19, vs 17x22 for the 3880;
R3000 wastes more ink when you change a cartridge;
R3000 ink/page costs more than 3880, in part because of how the printers treat cartridge changing;
I believe the R3000 can take a roll, whereas the 3880 can't.

You should research both printers. The R3000 has a good reputation, but it's not a 3880 (3880 was billed as Epson's entry level pro printer, and I was impressed that each was individually calibrated at the factory and had some other characteristics than their non-pro printers).

But if you're happy with Bay Photo and aren't yet committed to printing, I'd suggest that you find someone with a printer and ask if you could try printing on their setup (not borrow their printer: use their setup at their place) and see if you even enjoy printing. For example, how do you feel about possibly tossing a few prints if they're not to your liking? How do you feel about keeping a paper inventory? How do you feel about experimenting with different papers to find which one(s) work with your images and taste? Printing photos well involves much more than simply pressing Alt-P (or Command-P on a Mac).



Aug 31, 2017 at 03:26 PM
grog13
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 3880 still worth it?


I've been using a 3880 for a couple years and am pretty happy with it. It does require a bit of attention - a nozzle check is a good idea before every priting session, especially in dry weather. As for the cost of ink, the price of cartridges seems pretty high if you're accustomed to smaller printers. I also have an R1900 ($12-15 for a cart), but the 3880 gets much better "mileage". I'm currently trying to decide myself about going the Cone refill route or sticking with Epson carts - I don't print a whole lot. At the time I started printing, there was nowhere locally for me to get large(ish) prints, but, like a couple others have said, it's just a part of the whole process for me now.


Sep 01, 2017 at 02:25 AM
sbeme
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 3880 still worth it?


Well, I have the 3800, a slightly earlier variation, and love it! Rare nozzle cleaning, and I use my printer intermittently, sometimes not touching for months, then a bunch of prints. Maintenance has been easy. Ink cost hurts.
The 3880 is better.
I agree that a big issue is committing to printing and the cost of learning the process (which includes learning which papers you prefer). You will probably never be able to come close to the cost of BayPhoto's prints, and I use them for anything bigger than the 17x22 or 17x25 prints I can make. I would not buy a printer that can't print at least that large.
Can't speak to the newer printers.

Scott



Sep 02, 2017 at 10:43 PM
itai195
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 3880 still worth it?


Printing yourself is not likely to be a high value proposition, compared to the cost of outsourcing. But it does mean that you get to print to your own standards, which may be higher than those of a drug store, and you get to iterate and perfect a print far more rapidly. It's amazing how many times I notice something in a print that I never noticed when viewing an image on my computer, and subsequently adjust and fine tune it in further prints. Printing is also a lot of fun and pretty easy to get started with inkjet. It definitely is not cheap, though.

The 3880 is a great printer. I was using one up until about a month ago when mine developed a leak that wasn't economical to repair. Now I have a P800, and while it's clearly superior to the 3880 in a few ways, if you can get a 3880 in good working order with a good amount of ink then that will serve you well. Keep in mind the P800 is regularly on rebate for something like $900, and it comes with 80% of a full ink set.



Sep 05, 2017 at 09:56 PM







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