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Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

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  • Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

    Having recently purchased this printer I thought I would share what I thought.

    Firstly not really related to the printer itself, Ive been after an A3 printer for a long time, looking on ebay, reading review's.
    I would say that the cost, running cost and space to put it, are all major factors before jumping in and sploshing your dosh on the counter or should I say swiping your plastic.

    Im a sucker for a bargain, so having browsed around staples in my lunch hour noticed the epson b1100, looked ok, then I saw the price must be wrong, 145, after collaring a 14 year old with a staples shirt on and quizing him about the price, he promised me it was correct, so then I proceeded to the checkout with a grin on my face, then you get the usual, 'do you want extra care with that' no thanks, 'you do no it does not come with ink', erm well actually it does,'yes but they will only be enough to charge the printer, ok well see, was my reply, the only thing extra I purchased was a ream of 100gm a3 paper which was 20 quid! Sorted and that was 2 months ago

    Ok now to the printer itself, having just piped it up tonight to the mac, pretty straight forward.
    Stuck the ink carts in, and charging began, bit noisey while charging, 5 mins it took, and the carts looked smaller than my r300, was there going to be any ink left?
    Charging done and all tanks registered full result.

    Ok first print off do you risk it and go for a full a3 or do you do a test smaller? I was so excited I just stuck an a3 sheet of cheap photo paper in did not alter anything and whacked print It was a test print of Emily.

    I did not actually time it but I would say it took between 5 & 10 minutes, but thats the thing, Im not really bothered about speed I just want it to look good! Pretty quiete when printing too.
    I kept trying to peek by lifting the main lid up but printing stopped and couldnt see much anyway.
    I was very impressed with the outcome, sharp, good tone and very well matched to what was on the monitor, although in the light I could see the pinch roller tracks down the paper this was not good.
    Not being too miffed I thought ok its only the first go, so then I loaded a sheet of the 100 gm paper I purchased at the same time. Felt really thin compared to the photo paper, so I did not hold much hope. The only setting different I altered was the paper type to matt photo paper, it does not seem to have a standard paper type setting which is strange.
    5 minutes later a gem of a print started to emerge
    Bearing in mind this was just 100gm paper, there was no sagging or saturation and no bleed through, and no print roller tracks, it seemed to have put just the right amount of ink onto the paper, yipee result! Its up on the wall mounted and framed
    And if you still have not fallen asleep reading, after 2 full size a3 prints the cartridge monitor still registered full for all inks!
    I will have to keep testing with photo paper when I can get some decent stuff, but as for the printout on 100gm, amazed at the quality.
    I hope you have found this useful.
    Ash.
    http://www.ftmphotography.co.uk

  • #2
    Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

    Hi Ash, thanks for this. The Epson B1100 is not pitched at photographers; the 'B' is for 'Business' - it's an office printer and uses Durabrite pigmented inks which are optimised for printing onto plain paper.

    So it's interesting to see how you get on with it from a photographic perspective.

    Ian
    Founder/editor
    Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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    • #3
      Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

      Originally posted by Ian View Post
      Hi Ash, thanks for this. The Epson B1100 is not pitched at photographers; the 'B' is for 'Business' - it's an office printer and uses Durabrite pigmented inks which are optimised for printing onto plain paper.

      So it's interesting to see how you get on with it from a photographic perspective.

      Ian
      No problem, Ive printed the Sunset Fun pic onto 100gm and it looks very good, I am using the epson software to print and ticked the vivid and clear box, it does seem to have put more ink onto the paper so it did come out slightly rippled but I hope this will flatten out when dry. I was printing b&w last night and it did not come out rippled at all.
      I would say at the moment that the b&w print looks marginally better than the colour on this paper upto yet.

      I should point out that its important to have the sheet feeder fully extended and all the way back as far as it will go as they are big bits of fairly thin paper, I did not do this to start with and the paper started catching on one of the guides on one corner

      The paper is mondi color copy laser paper and is very smooth to touch, 20 for 500 sheets.

      Macro is actually doing this printer for an unbeleivable 119 plus vat.
      I suppose this together with 20 for the 100gm is a very reasonable price to get into printing your work big.

      My a4 prints look so small now

      Ill keep ya posted.
      Ash.
      http://www.ftmphotography.co.uk

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      • #4
        Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

        An interesting discovery yesterday, I was printing onto the 100gm laser paper b&w images and left the paper setting on glossy, it gave a slight blue overtone to the image, whereas set on matt, gives a very good b&w print with no colour toning at all.
        Incidently this b1100 will print b&w more accurately than my r300.
        http://www.ftmphotography.co.uk

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        • #5
          Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

          I've been looking at this printer as potential for third-party inks.

          The cartridges are, as you've noticed, pretty tiny. They hold 11.1ml of ink which is par for the course with Epson these days - about the same as the 11.4ml in the R1900 (only more expensive) and the 11ml of the 1400 (about the same price). They call it "high capacity", but that's only because they sell tiny 5.5ml cartridges for their A4 printers and renamed them "standard".

          It's a bit of a joke to call these "business" printers when their cartridges are so tiny. You know they're tiny when you can only buy the black cartridge in a twin-pack because it's so small - you need two by default.

          A real "business" printer is like our HP Officejet K550DTN - superfast, and you can get 59ml of ink for 25 in the black (42p/ml) and that's on an A4 printer, compared to the B1100 which'll cost you 19 for 2x11ml black (86p/ml) on an A3. An A3 printer should have *larger* tanks, not smaller ones!. (These are OEM prices from Misco.)

          We don't think twice about using the HP, but we're practically scared to death of printing anything from our Epsons for fear of going bankrupt. My R1800 hasn't printed anything for about two years now (neither has my Epson colour laser C1100) while, in the meantime, HP get all of our money for the K550 simply because it's better value. Epson need to wise up.

          I sometimes think Epson are on a different planet. Cartridge prices go up as capacities go down, they put thimble sized ink in a large-width printer and call it "business" class. I used to be a huge supporter of Epson, but not any more.

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          • #6
            Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

            Just a little update if anyone is interested, Ive tried a colour borderless print onto the 100gm a3 paper and the combination of the paper being so thin and it dumping alot more ink onto the very edge of the paper than a b&w print, the paper curls over and gets caught on the guides along the bottom of the feeder after its put the ink on.
            Ive tried borderless as ive got some a3 clip frames.
            So borderless colour prints with standard paper is a NO NO
            http://www.ftmphotography.co.uk

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            • #7
              Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

              Originally posted by ash View Post
              Just a little update if anyone is interested, Ive tried a colour borderless print onto the 100gm a3 paper and the combination of the paper being so thin and it dumping alot more ink onto the very edge of the paper than a b&w print, the paper curls over and gets caught on the guides along the bottom of the feeder after its put the ink on.
              Ive tried borderless as ive got some a3 clip frames.
              So borderless colour prints with standard paper is a NO NO
              Ash, I feel you really need to try a premium photo paper of at least 250gsm. 100gsm paper is too light for the sort of thing you are trying to do, frankly its no more than notepaper or letterhead paper. I'd suggest you buy a small pack of A4 first, it isn't cheap, though somewhere like 7dayshop.com is good value.
              Stephen

              sigpic

              Check out my BLOG too


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              • #8
                Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

                I agree with Stephen - I never print on less than 255 gsm - 280 preferably. It does make a difference
                sigpic

                www.imagenary.co.uk
                www.lujos.co.uk

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                • #9
                  Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

                  I'm coming to the conclusion that you can't really buy a "bad" printer these days.

                  I've just bought a new office printer - the Brother MFC-5890CN, which is about the same price (a little cheaper) as the B1100. It prints A3 but includes an A4 scanner with 50sheet ADF, Fax, network, 3.3" colour screen, USB/card slots etc. Oh, and it comes with full high-capacity ink cartridges in the box (unlike some printers) - which accounts for 45-78 worth of the initial unit cost depending on where you buy the inks from.

                  I wasn't expecting good quality photos because I've had an A4 version of this AIO for a while (the blue nozzle blocked when I let the ink run dry, that's why it's being replaced) and that was reluctant to do even passable photos (they were grainy and had an obvious yellow/green colour cast).

                  However, the new model was supplied with photo paper so I thought I'd give it a try.

                  Now, it's not going to win any speed trials but the photo print quality is surprisingly good. I wasn't expecting much, but this came out and I actually said "wow". Whereas photo printing on the old model seemed to be a tacked-on afterthought, Brother seem to have put some thought into it on the new model. They've even released their own range of photo paper (up to 260gsm) to get the best out of the machine.

                  Better still, it prints okay on 320gsm A4 canvas as well (and I really didn't expect that!). It doesn't have profiles for that, but it did an acceptable job.

                  I feel the time has come that, for most people, you don't have to buy a dedicated photo printer. You can get by with an office printer and still print occasional photos to impress the relatives. I still have an R1800 here which has been sitting idle for well over a year because I can't afford the inks. That printer has clear and positive advantages for the dedicated photography enthusiast. However, now that I have the MFC, I've no desperate rush to line Epson's pockets for casual photo printing.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

                    Originally posted by Bear View Post
                    I agree with Stephen - I never print on less than 255 gsm - 280 preferably. It does make a difference
                    Still on my set of carts that came with the printer and Ive done a fair few a3 prints.
                    Guys this was never about requiring advice on what type of paper to use but trying to accertain the capabilities of the printer, hence the title mini review, but thanks anyway.
                    Ive tried to be honest giving the negatives aswell as positives and I will continue posting on this thread with any thing with the printer that I think could be useful aslong as I am using it.
                    Ash.
                    http://www.ftmphotography.co.uk

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                    • #11
                      Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

                      I have not been going mad with printing but ive only just had to change the magenta cart on the printer, not bad to say they said in the shop you dont get proper full cartridges, a bit of a sales ploy me thinks to get you to buy a set when you buy the printer
                      http://www.ftmphotography.co.uk

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                      • #12
                        Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

                        Originally posted by JSR View Post
                        We don't think twice about using the HP, but we're practically scared to death of printing anything from our Epsons for fear of going bankrupt. My R1800 hasn't printed anything for about two years now (neither has my Epson colour laser C1100) while, in the meantime, HP get all of our money for the K550 simply because it's better value. Epson need to wise up.

                        I sometimes think Epson are on a different planet. Cartridge prices go up as capacities go down, they put thimble sized ink in a large-width printer and call it "business" class. I used to be a huge supporter of Epson, but not any more.
                        I agree. I have a R1800 and, after many trial and tribulations with third party ink, now only use Epson but the cost is horrible and I use the printer as little as possible. Except when I have forgotten the club competition and need something instantly my printing is done commercially, in town for small jobs, Photobox for big ones.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

                          Originally posted by Cap'n Bill View Post
                          I agree. I have a R1800 and, after many trial and tribulations with third party ink, now only use Epson but the cost is horrible and I use the printer as little as possible. Except when I have forgotten the club competition and need something instantly my printing is done commercially, in town for small jobs, Photobox for big ones.
                          It's the same here. I really don't want to risk 3rd party inks in my R1800, but it's been sitting idle for so long because of Epson's prices that it'll probably be unusable when I finally do want to print from it again. I may as well have put cheap third party ones in it and got some use out of it.

                          At the moment, I'm using third-party inks in a cheap Brother printer. Someone's invented giant-sized cartridges for the printer that can hold 80-100ml of ink in each one (compare that to the 10-11ml of ink in an Epson cartridge). Okay, so it's not going to challenge the likes of the R1800 any time soon, but it indicates what can be done. Odd that only the OEMs fail to see the need for any common sense when it comes to ink.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Epson Stylus B1100 A3 Printer - mini review

                            There is nothing wrong with 3rd party inks, Ive been using them for years in an epson r300 and now in this b1100, aslong as you use quality epson paper, especially when trying to print b&w, its the photopaper that gives you the colour cast not the inks, if you use epson photopaper, you don't get the colour cast.
                            http://www.ftmphotography.co.uk

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