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Hi all,

So my plan was to buy an Epson 1500w (1430) for printing positives; this seems to be a gold standard as far as this forum goes.

Unfortunately, it seems that the 1500w has been discontinued! Even if I could get my hands on one, discontinued support for the unit would surely follow.

As a bit of a side question, could anyone suggest the next/newest best thing. I have been doing a lot or research but your suggestions may give me a better direction to go in.

Which leads me to my main topic. I have been looking at Epson printers that could possibly replace the 1500w or the newer model and came across Epson's Ecotank range. This seems to be a OEM Continuous Ink System that does away with cartridges and just the like other continuous ink systems, utilises bulk refill bottle of dye based ink to refill the tanks.

The ecotank model I gravitated to was the ET-14000. It had the physical appearance and basic functionality of the w1500. An a3+ Epson printer with an OEM CISS utilising epson dye based ink!.. I was excited.

If the goal is to find the 1500w's successor though, you have to look under the hood and a side by side comparison is needed. On casual inspection, it seems that the ET-14000 is a superior machine, but what I found disappointing was a minimum 3 pl, With Variable-Sized Droplet Technology.

I'm no printer head expert, but I know that the lower the pl, the sharper the image. The 1500w (1430) has a pl of 1.5.

What I would like to know is how important and valuable is the 1.5 pl in relation to printing positives? With the 1500w being a gold standard, I feel its the specifications that make it so.

What is the minimum pl of your own printer (for those not using 1500w) and has anyone had the opportunity to compare 1.5 pl and 3 pl+?

Update: If my research is correct, pl is irrelevant in regards to printing solid colours and the lower pl is more for seamless tonal blending/transitioning; as film postives are all black (solid spot colour) there are no benefits gained from a lower pl. My original concern was regarding half tone positives and half tone dots. I was comparing size of a half tone dot to the size of picoliter dot thinking that a 1.5 pl would produce a smaller halftone dot but these are two very different things. Considering a picoliter dot cannot be seen by the naked eye, a halftone dot would never be used that size and wouldn't likely burn onto a screen. I've also heard that print heads that produce 1.5 pl are more susceptible to clogging so the small increase to 3 pl maybe just what is needed.. with all thing considered, the ET14000 seems like a brilliant choice for printing film postives especially with the built in dye bases CISS and 2 black ink channels. I understand that a massive argument against it will be the price - (just under £580 in UK) but the OEM refill ink bottles are really cheap compared to buying cartridges and like other CISS's, i'm sure you can put whatever ink you choose in the tanks.

Rant over..

Thanks.
 
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