Originally Posted by migtex
Give a try to HP9180B or the Epson R1800 B&W configuration.
I'm saving for the HP, I saw some real prints on Matte paper.. just WOW!
I have been using the "sister" printer (actually, slight older sister) to the HP B9180, the Photosmart 8750. Same format (13 x 19" max. print size), but with a twist: whereas the B9180 has one black and one grey ink in its setup, the 8750 uses one black and two grey inks in its set. There's been some debate about whether the 8750's additional grey ink gives it an edge in b/w printing, but I love the results I've been getting in the year an a half I've owned mine. Several B9180 owners have reported very good b/w results as well.
- The 8750's inks are dye-based, while the B9180's inks are pigment. Normally, you might think this gives the 9180 a big edge in terms of lightfastness, but it doesn't, at least according to the Wilhelm gang: both printers, used with HP's better papers (Premium or Premium Plus for the 8750; Advanced for the 9180), longevity figures go past the century mark, with the B9180 edging toward 200 years, depanding on the specific paper. The only disadvantgage the 8750 prints show is in terms of waterfastness: don't get those prints wet. (You ought not get any
inkjet print wet, for that matter, but some are more fragile than others). In either case, just treat your prints the way you'd treat any fine-art piece, and you'll be fine.
- One nice perk with the B9180 is the size of the ink tanks: big, at least for this format of printer (around 22-25ml or so...don't have the precise spec on hand). these tanks (there are eight) are mounted in a stationary compartment in the printer and connected via hoses to a set of combination cart/print heads, which are also user-replaceable. The 8750 has a more conventional trio of smaller three-ink carts (total of nine colors), each with built-in heads, meaning, effectively, that when you replace a cart, you're also replacing the print head...an idea I'm seriously sold on after nine years of using nothing but Epsons, my last one a 2200.
: Like Socke, I also had an older, four-color Epson – an 1160, in my case – loaded with Lyson Quad Black inks for b/w, which worked okay most of the time, but not ideally. Ultimately, I wanted to get truly good color and
b/w prints from a single printer, and now I have it.)
Both printers are Really Good, particularly with black-and-white. One might suit you better, depending.