Aug27

Epson Artisan 1430

Posted by admin on 08/27/14  ~  Posted in: Uncategorized  ~  Send feedback »

 Epson Artisan 1430 is a 6 color inkjet and according to Epson's website the Artisan 1430 takes photo printing to the next level of performance printing high quality "Ultra Hi-Definition borderless prints up to 13" x 19". In addition it claims that it's photos are smudge, scratch, water and fade resistant because it uses Claria® Hi-Definition Ink. It also boasts some impressive specs that as a photographer myself I find rather appealing and as you might expect so do other photographers. The following are the specs taken directly from Epson's website.

Printing Technology: 6-color advanced MicroPiezo inkjet technology optimized for photo printing

Minimum Ink Droplet Size: 1.5 picoliters

Maximum Print Resolution: 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi

ISO Print Speed:

  • Black: 2.8 ISO ppm1
  • Color: 2.8 ISO ppm1

Photo Print Speed: 

  • 4" x 6" borderless photo in as fast as 46 sec2
  • 8" x 10" borderless photo in as fast as 1 min 51 sec2
  • 11" x 14" borderless photo in as fast as 2 min 53 sec2
  • 13" x 19" borderless photo in as fast as 3 min2

CD / DVD Printing: Inkjet printable CDs and DVDs

 Paper Sizes: 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", A4 (8.3" x 11.7"), letter (8.5" x 11"), legal (8.5" x 14"), 11" x 14", 12" x 12", B (11" x 17"), A3 (11.7" x 16.5") and Super B (13" x 19")

 Maximum Paper Size: User definable up to 13" x 44"

 Borderless Sizes: Photo: 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", A4 (8.3" x 11.7"), letter (8.5" x 11"), 11" x 14", B (11" x 17"), 12" x 12" and Super B (13" x 19")

 Paper Types:

  • Plain paper
  • EPSON® Bright White Paper
  • Photo Paper Glossy
  • Premium Photo Paper Glossy
  • Ultra Premium Photo Paper Glossy
  • Premium Photo Paper Semi-gloss
  • Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster
  • Presentation Paper Matte
  • Premium Presentation Paper Matte
  • Ultra Premium Presentation Paper Matte
  • Ultra Premium Presentation Paper Matte Double-sided

Envelope Types: No. 10

Input Paper Tray Capacity:

  • 100 sheets (plain paper)
  • 20 sheets Premium Photo Paper Glossy

 Ink Palette: Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, and Light Magenta

 Ink Cartridge Configuration: 6 individual ink cartridges

Fade Resistance / Print Longevity:

  • Up to 98 years under glass
  • Up to 200 years album storage4

 Ink Yield Information:

 Epson provides ink cartridge yields based on the ISO / IEC 24711 standard for inkjet products, which excludes the first installed cartridges.

  • High-capacity Black (T079120): About 470 pages
  • High-capacity Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, Light Magenta (T079220, T079320, T079420, T079520, T079620): About 810 pages per color

In addition it boasts:

Interface:

  • Hi-Speed USB 2.0
  • Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11 (b/g/n)6
  • Epson Connect™8: Epson iPrint™ Mobile App
Epson_1430 epson1430


I give this printer high marks for ease of setup. Even the wireless setup was simple, just connect via USB, use the appropriate disc supplied and follow the onscreen instructions for entering your local network setup info. It searches for all available LAN's, then choose your LAN and enter password or phrase. Of course if you have your router setup, as you should, to restrict access by MAC address then you will have had to enter the mac address of the printer to your access list. How do you find out the MAC address you might ask? Well I could not find it until I tried to access the network without it and then low and behold there are the screen is a warning that I may have to enter this info - the MAC address is right there infront of you. Of course giving you this info from the get-go would be way too easy. For me this whole process took less than 10 minutes in my case, so no problem here.

The 1430 has a front USB port to be able to print directly from a camera via USB. I'm not sure exactly why you would want to do this but it can be done and it does work.

Print quality with the standard Epson inks is OK however I did experience quite a bit of banding in my prints and in addition this thing really chugs ink so if you do a lot of printing you will need to have lots of extra ink on hand. On the bright side though, there are many manufacturers like InkXpro out there that offer a CIS (Continuous Ink System) for this printer so you can buy ink in bulk. I purchased a CIS kit for my Artisan and it's a pretty easy setup. If you are looking for a fast printer the 1430 is not your printer. It is probably one of the slowest printers I have owned in a long time but while you are waiting for your print job to finally come to an end and your printer is gulping down ink you will not be bothered with excessive noise because while it is slow it is also extremely quiet.

If you do not plan on doing a lot of printing and by that I mean printing every day, then you are in for some problems. Mainly this printer's print heads clog way too easily, which means you then have to do a lot of head cleanings which of course uses tons of ink and then.......the worst thing of all happens and this will absolutely ruin your day and if you are a photographer relying on it to make money selling prints this is really important. This printer has a built-in meter that calculates how much ink has been used and may have accumulated in the waste ink pad which is hidden in the bowles of the machine. When it comes close to the limit it warns you that the waste ink pad is close to being full and will need to be replaced then just click ok and your good. When it reaches this end limit however which in my case was after only about 4 months, the printer just stops in the middle of everything and the red lights start flashing and there is nothing you can do about it. After some research I found that Epson does offer on it's website a waste ink reset tool but it's only available for Windows and it does not reset the counter back to zero. If your 1430 is set up on a Mac you are out of luck. In my case I set up the printer on two computers one of which is a PC so but I chose to not use Epson's reset tool and to purchase reset keys from 2manuals.com. Each key can only be used once but you can buy more than one and 5 keys is only $34.95. But once again this is only available for Windows and if you have a Mac sorry. Epson's website says that the only real way to properly reset the counter and replace the waste ink pad is to ship the printer back to Epson for them to service it. I think the real question is why does Epson think it's a good idea to have a printer that just dies after a period of time without a convenient way to reset and clean or replace the ink pad if it is truly full which in most cases btw is not? Epson should be ashamed of themselves. There simply is just no excuse for this to happen. In my case I lost an entire week of production researching and trying to decide what to do.

I also tried to set up this printer to print sublimation transfers using sublimation inks and if your reason for considering the Artisan 1430 is for this purpose, Don't Do It. This printers' ink nozzles are just not made for that in my opinion no matter what sublimation ink you use. Even if you use Sawgrass SubliJet inks you will have problems and given the ludicrous cost of SubliJet inks and the rate of ink usage of the 1430 you'll go broke just feeding it ink. The ink cost situation is made worse when you consider that the 1430 is a 6 color printer, so combined with the print head clogs, endless cleanings and WIC reset situation it is a recipe for disaster.

My overall rating on this printer from 0 - poor to 10 - excellent is 3. Mainly due to the WIC reset and the print head clogs.

I am at present waiting for a Ricoh SG 7100DN to arrive which I will be using it to print 13 x 19" transfers for tee-shirt printing for CamisetaModa. The Ricoh is a 4 color printer which is a much cheaper solution for t-shirt printing.

Jul05

Wacom Intuos Pro Pen & Touch Large

Posted by admin on 07/05/14  ~  Posted in: Uncategorized  ~  Send feedback »

A few months ago I broke down and finally bought a Wacom Intuos tablet and I am begining to wonder how I ever managed without it, but I am not one of those people who have found that they no longer need their mouse. I chose the Intuos Pro Pen & Touch Large. Having never used one before I thought that since I hookup my laptop to an external monitor in dual screen mode that I would need the extra room on the pad. However in use it is just a bit too clumsy and cumbersome for what I needed it for. First it takes up a huge amount of desktop real estate. Real estate which I do not have especially given the fact that in order to properly use it it should be placed in front of the monitor and not off to the side. With my setup I have the external monitor behind and above the laptop which leaves no room at all for this monster pad.

I tried all different ways of configuring the workspace to accomodate it so that I did not have to move it around too much but nothing worked. I even thought ok it's a drawing pad why not put it in my lap and rest it against the desk. This was completely awkeward and unuseable and besides it's freakin heavy. So for me it is a matter of pushing my laptop aside and just use the large screen for Photoshop or Illustrator when I need to use the Intuos. Not the best situation but workable.

Useable   Not Practical

 Features of the Pro model:

  • 8 programable buttons
  • Wireless or USB
  • 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Gesture use on multi-touch surface
  • tilt recognition
  • two button battery-less pen
 Pen and Holder  Holder contains pen tips and tip changer tool

So what is it like? First let me say that I do like it but it has taken some time to get used to. The thing that stands out the most when it comes to getting used to it is the fact that its' positioning is absolute unlike a mouse which uses relative positioning. With a mouse, if you go too far to the edge of your mousepad you just pick it up and move it back to where you want it to be but the curser stays in the same place. Not so with the Wacom tablet. The active area of the pad takes on the entire area of your monitor or even both monitors together. When you pickup your pen up from the pad by even 3/4 " the curser still moves. So if the part of an image you want to edit with the pen is in the upper right hand corner of the monitor screen you will have to move your hand and pen to the upper right hand corner of the pad to accomplish the task. Actually I am still not used to this.

I have found the tablet to be most useful when making color corrections, removing unwanted marks from a photo, fine tuning a selection using a mask in Photoshop or just drawing in either Illustrator or Photoshop designing t-shirts for CamisetaModa. When drawing, having a pressure sensitive pen is indispensible. The Pen also has an eraser which is very convenient and makes going back to the tool bar completely unnecessary and the same is true for the programable buttons on the Pen and Tablet.

Now...could I get along without this incredible Intuos Tablet? Yes of course, I got along just fine without it for years but it now makes my work flow....just simply flow and that makes my life easier. Use it for things that it was now designed for and you could make your life more difficult but use it for the things that it was meant to do and you will find it indespensable...just don't get one too big or your arm will get tired moving from one end to the other.

Miguel

camisetamoda.com

Jul04

Life With The Eye-Fi Pro-X2

Posted by admin on 07/04/14  ~  Posted in: Uncategorized  ~  Send feedback »

Updated July 10, 2014

Shooting everyday and having all my usb ports tied up with other devices I found myself trying to come up with another means of getting the images from my SD card to my laptop. My camera, a Nikon D80 does not have built-in Wi-Fi so my options are limited to just getting a USB hub until I saw a tweet about a company called Eye-Fi. I thought to myself holy crap my life is about to become a whole lot easier. I did have some problems but about this I will explain.

First off Eye-Fi has four individual products however really there are only two main products. The two main products they offer are the Eye-Fi Mobi and the Eye-Fi Pro-X2. Based on my needs and my disinclination toward anything cloud related I decided that the Pro-X2 was the one I needed since all I really wanted to do was to transfer my photos from the Camera to the Laptop.

Now, of the Eye-Fi Mobi products there are three (hence the 4 in the 4 products mentioned earlier). There's the 32 GB, the 16 GB and the 8 GB. All of the products in this line accomplish the same task and the only difference is their storage cappacity and their task is one in which the card creates and maintains a Wi-Fi connection with an App on your movile device such as smart-phone or tablet which then connects to the cloud using your phones Internet connection assuming that  you have one. All three of these Eye-Fi Mobi products come with 90 days of free membership to the Cloud for which they are asking $99.99 for the 32 GB card $79.99 for the 16 GB card and $49.99 for the 8 GB card. As for the cost of the Cloud services beyond the 90 days, who knows, I could not figure that out based on anything I could find on their website. I do not have one of these three products so I do not know for sure how well they perform their tasks and do not feel confident to make assumptions based on the other product the Pro-X2 which is the one I am familiar with.

This the Pro-X2 is the product I have and am most comfortable speaking about. I started obviously with the setup of the Wi-Fi to connect the card to my local network and you do this very simply by downloading the software which walks you through some very simple steps to gain access to the network. You install the software Eye-Fi Center put the card into the supplied card reader and plug that into the computer that you wish to have your fotos transfered to. You choose the computer you are using and then choose the wireless network. Enter the appropriate login info for your network and you are done. You can also choose to share your fotos on Facebook, Flickr, Mobil-Me, Picasa, SmugMug and a whole crap load of others.

I started with a test to check it out and took a few shots just sitting at my desk. Oh and by the way you have to have the Wi-Fi-Center application open while shooting if you want them to transfer while you shoot. Nothing will transfer until you open this app. No keep in mind I shoot in jpg + raw which means that for every photo there are actually two fotos and they are each roughly 5 - 7 MB. It took a couple of minutes for anything to happen but once it did the files seemed to transfer rather quickly.

My next step was to just work as normal keeping in mind that my normal is probably not anyone elses normal. When I am shooting at home I work in a studio set up in my garage and shoot mainly shots of the t-shirts that I design for CamisetaModa and my laptop is in my office probably 25-30 feet away and all the network equipment is also in the office including the wireless router. 

Eye-Fi Pro-X2
 

This is where things started to go not according to plan. When I first started working in the studio away from the computer I noticed that some of the files had started to transfer but not all then when I brought the camera into the office near the computer they finished transfering. It certainly was not what I was hoping for but I could live with it or just bring the laptop into the studio so not a deal killer.
 
After living with that problem for a few weeks I then had a big problem. The files would appear to transfer but only the thumbnails would transfer. The files in Wi-Fi-Center appear to be loading still but never finish loading. A directory for that day's shoot in the images directory is never created and files are never tranfered. I contacted support and in fact just heard back while wrting this post.
 
I do have to say that their customer care guys are freaky fast in responding. He had me generate a log file. To do this he had me take 5 fotos and wait about 5 mintutes and even if they did not load into Eye-Fi Center take the card out of the camera and plug it into the computer using the Eye-Fi card reader, then select "Get Eyefi card Log..." from the Eye-Fi helper icon in the Apple menu bar and if you computer is in Spanish like mine that would be the "Ver registro de tarjeta Eye-Fi..." and save the file after it has been generated. I sent him the file and he then says "You are shooting RAW, correct? Center can't display thumbnails for RAW files (has no RAW processing)". Ummmmm well it did it just fine for almost a month and there is a Raw files option in the Eye-Fi card settings.
 

 
He wants now a Helper Log which I guess is more involved and he needs to know if I have a Mac or PC. Sent the info but I guess it's quitting for the day so I'll have to wait till tomorrow but tomorrow is July 4th so not sure about that. Wait and see but so far my experience with this product is less than wonderful.

 
Update to this story July 10, 2014:
They are going to replace the card because there are some errors in the logs. I think they really don't know what the problem is but are replacing the card "just to be sure" as is stated in their email. So we'll see what happens. I will update this post after receiving and using the new card.