Piezography K7 B&W kit available for Epson R2880

Jon Cone’s Inkjet Mall is now shipping the Piezography K7 continuous ink system (CIS) for Epson’s Stylus Photo R2880. The system, which is designed solely to print black-and-white images on matte-finish papers, comes in three distinct toning combinations—neutral, sepia and selenium—as well as a special edition mix, which produces “a gentle split-tone featuring crisp neutral highlights, melding into selenium, which melds into sepia shadows, and finally into black.”

The Piezography K7 inkset is optimized for Roy Harrington’s QuadTone RIP software, and comes with profiles for a number of papers from Epson, Innova, Hahnemuhle and more.

The kit is priced at $508, and includes everything you need to get started, including inks, cartridges and profiles. Inkjet Mall is offering $75 off through March 17 – use the code ‘BEST2880BW’ when checking out.

For those of you interested in a color-based CIS for the R2880, Cone isn’t yet offering a version of its ConeColor system; you can send an email requesting one on this page.


The Printerville review: Epson’s Stylus Photo R2880

Epson’s Stylus Photo R2880, an $800 large-format (13") printer, enters a vastly different printer market than that of its predecessor, the Stylus Photo R2400. When the R2400 debuted in 2005, Epson owned all aspects of the archival photo printer market, and the R2400’s only real competition was the model it replaced, the Stylus Photo 2200. The R2880, however, joins a market crowded by competitors from HP and Canon, as well as Epson itself: there are now five large-format, pigment-based photo printers priced between $500 and $1,000, and Epson’s competitors have done a superb job of catching up to their longtime rival’s print quality. There are many observers who believe that Epson still has the edge in quality, but there’s no disputing that HP and Canon have put themselves into the game, HP with the Photosmart Pro B8850 (and its older sibling, the B9180) and Canon with the Pixma Pro9500. How does the R2880 match up? Read on.

Stylus Photo R2880 specifications
Type B-size pigment-based inkjet
Price $800
Inks 9 UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta (8 printing)
Ink colors Photo Black, Matte Black, Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, Light Vivid Magenta, Light Black, Light Light Black
Ink cartridge cost $13.29 (replacement cost: $119.61 for all 9 inks)
Ink cost per ml (est.) $1.16
Maximum resolution 5760 by 1440 dpi
Minimum paper size 4" by 6"
Maximum paper size 13" by 44"
Thick paper support Yes
Straight path Yes, for media up to 1.3mm thick
Interfaces USB 2.0 (2); Pictbridge
Operating systems supported Windows XP, Vista; Mac OS X (10.3.9 and up)
Weight 26.9 lbs.
Dimensions 24.3" x 12.7" x 8.4"
Other features Roll support; CD printing tray; dual USB interfaces allow two computers to be connected to printer simultaneously

Measuring ink cartridge life in the real world

One of the things that caused some chatter on the Web in our first look last week at Epson’s Stylus Photo R2880 was the following statement:

“in our initial testing, we were able to print nearly twice as many photos using the same amount of ink on R2880 as we were able to do with the R2400.”

Our results — which were based on observations from our second round of installed ink cartridges — weren’t done with any specific methodology in place. It was based on our general performance testing, alongside standard print quality test prints that we generally use. Since then, our initial findings haven’t held up, and while we stand by what we saw in that specific round of printing, it was obvious that we needed to look at this issue a bit deeper.

In the past week, we have spent a fair amount time trying to come up with some type of test methodology to give a realistic sense of ink usage on the new printer. This week we ran some initial tests, and we’ve gotten some interesting data, but this is an issue bigger than the R2880. We wanted to share our results as a starting data point for a wider discussion of ink yield in photo printers.


Stylus Photo R2880 review: speed tests

We’re continuing to work on our full review of Epson’s new Stylus Photo R2880, which we hope to have online in the next week or so. In the interim, we have been able to finish our benchmarking of the new inkjet, comparing it with its predecessor, the Stylus Photo R2400, and the two semi-pro printers closest to the R2880 in fighting weight: HP’s Photosmart Pro B9180 and Canon’s Pixma Pro9500.

We know that speed is usually a secondary or even a tertiary consideration when looking at photo printers, but, with today’s increased competition, it can be a factor for some people when they’re choosing an inkjet. Below are two charts, noting the print speeds for six different print sizes, ranging from 4" by 6" to 12" by 18" on the R2880 and the other three printers.

First looks Reviews

First look: Epson’s new Stylus Photo R2880

Epson Stylus Photo R2880Epson today announced the Stylus Photo R2880, the long-awaited replacement to the Stylus Photo R2400. The $800 printer, slated to ship in June, is a B-size (13") inkjet that uses pigment-based inks, including two light-density black inks designed to produce optimal black-and-white prints on all types of media. And, while the R2880’s pedigree shows a clear link to the R2400, the new model takes advantage of Epson’s recent technology advancements from both the higher-end Stylus Professional printer line and the recently released Stylus Photo R1900.