Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Review

July 28, 2008 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 10 Comments | |

Epson Stylus Photo R2880The Epson Stylus Photo R2880 is a new professional A3+ photo printer. Replacing the older R2400 model, the R2880 uses advanced UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta pigment inks for a wider colour gamut with vibrant blues and pinks. It also employs a 3 black-ink system which promises true black and white output as well as outstanding grey balance. The Epson R2880 features a new advanced driver mode for true black and white printing and toning, and can print directly onto printable CDs and DVDs. Retailing for £570 / $800, is the Epson R2880 a worth successor to the popular R2400? Read Jon Canfield’s review to find out…

Website: Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Review

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#1 H J Ventura

This is one of a number of reviews of the Epson R2880 I looked at before deciding to order that printer. As reviews go, it is rather brief and non-quantitative. Although I have only used the printer for a few days, I don't think I am as sanguine about ink usage as this reviewer appears to be. After a couple of swaps of the black cartridge and after printing perhaps 3 13 x 19 and 3 8 x 10 prints, the black cartridge level is already alarmingly low. This is one of the fears I had about this printer, it seems to be a valid concern.
I am rather puzzled that no one has addressed what appers to me to be a major issue: What do you do with the ink cartridge you remove when you swap black inks? Epson does not mention anything in their User Manual nor, sadly, do they provide a storage cassette for the removed cartridge. Surely it will dry out unless somehow sealed.
I did try to print on a canvas roll and gave up, I just don't have enough experience yet with this printer to tackle that. I managed to get the printer to feed in the roll but then it just chugged and clucked and would not print. The manual really is terse to the point of being uninformative.
The colors on photo paper are rich, saturated and
dynamic. Like printing on cavas, I have not yet attempted B/W printing but look forward to that.
I am sure many of my initial problems are due to pilot error, but the printer does seem to have one or two glaring limitations. If Epson comes out with a replacement that has larger ink cartridges and removes the necessity for swapping blacks, many buyers of this model will feel downright hoodwinked.

2:34 am - Wednesday, May 20, 2009

#2 neil Scott

Beware! When you change the PK ink for MK (or vice versa) if your ink status monitor is showing around 33% or less in the one you are taking out, then you will not be able to use that cartridge again!
There must be over 33% before the printer will recognise the ink if it is the other black.
Epson admit this and more or less say "Hard Luck"
The only workaround (which Epson haven't thought of yet) is to have a full cartridge always to hand. So if you are going back to PK from MK and your PK cartridge is known to be around 33% or less, then put in the FULL PK one, which will be accepted, and will prime up OK. Then replce the FULL PK with the lower volume PK and it works. In the meantime, however, if ANY OTHER COLOUR is low, you have a problem.
I am going to get a Canon.

11:27 am - Sunday, August 30, 2009

#3 H J Ventura

After longer use of the Epson R 2880 I have discovered a problem that, had it been known to me, would have persuaded me NOT to buy the printer. The very first cartridge I had to replace (yellow) was not recognized by the printer. Calls to Epson provided another cartridge which worked. Then I discovered the problem that Mr. Scott found, that when black PK and MK cartridges are swapped, if one is close to empty the printer will not recognize it when re-installed. This is a design defect that cannot be tolerated, particularly given the price of the printer and the cartridges.
I am a hobbyist, I cannot imagine that a professional would put up with such nonsense.

5:57 pm - Thursday, September 3, 2009

#4 neil Scott

To add to HJ Ventura's comments, the replacing black cartridge does not have to be "close to empty". It can hold up to about one third of the total volume, i.e. around 4mls of the original 11mls and you still find that the printer will not recognise it. The ink is dear enough without having to throw a third of it away!
As I said before Epson knows about this and is doing nothing.
As far as storing the removed black cartridge is concerned, try wrapping the whole thing in clingfilm. That's what I do, and it seems to work.

7:56 pm - Thursday, September 3, 2009

#5 Joe Riehl

I have just spent most of a day on the phone with Epson. The printer I have will not print a full borderless 19x17. It stops printing about an inch from the end. So far the suggestions have been:

1. Unplug the printer from the power strip and plug directly into the wall. Fail.

2. Unplug the printer from the usb port, re plug. Fail.

3. Delete the driver and reinstall. Fail.

4. Download new driver from interned and install. Initial fail. Installation hangs.

Each step is taking valuable time and is costly in ink and paper. I estimate 6 hours and approsimately $100 in ink.

BEWARE this printer!

12:36 am - Friday, October 16, 2009

#6 Stuart

Like most of the other people commenting here, I too have found the ink cartridge size and the way the printer uses ink to be a huge problem. I have a couple of Epson large format printer which I use for fine-art prints up to 44" and have been very happy with them.

On that basis, I bought this to replace an elderly R220 printer that used to do light office duty with the intention that the R2880 could also double up as a decent small format printer for quality output when I needed it.

In terms of print quality I have nothing to complain about, the R2880 turns out results as good in quality as my 9900. The problems are the ink capacity and cost and the paper feed.

The printer drinks ink and the cartridges are tiny and expensive. I'm sure a CISS would sort this out but I'm reluctant to put one in a brand new printer.

Worse than this though is the paper feed. When using anything heavier than about 80 or 100GSM paper, you pust feed it through the special rear paper feed one sheet at at time. To make this worse, 7 out of 10 times this feed jams requireing a reload, (not speculation, empirical research as a result of standing over the wretched thing for nearly a whole day). I recently tried to print 20 A4 sheets using art paper and it took almost a whole day of me standing over the printer feeding, pushing buttons re-feeding, cursing, etc.

If you want a great quality printer on which you can print the occasional A3+ page, then this should do you. for anything more, forget it.

11:26 am - Wednesday, December 2, 2009

#7 r4 dsi

I have owned this printer for only a few days. In that time I have printed over 200 prints. I have printed both 8.5 by 11 and 13 by 19 inch prints without any difficulty. I have also replaced the ink cartridges without any problem.

6:56 am - Friday, January 1, 2010

#8 Tim Woodcock

Paper feed problems - Reading through the comments above it strikes me that some examples of the R2880 must be better made than others. My R2880 feeds paper from 80-200gsm just fine in sizes A5 to A3+.

Ink cartridges - the photo black cartridge swapping is a pain but ink waste from throwing away part full cartridges can be cured with a 9 cartridge bulk ink system (CIS) such as Lyson. Plus ink cost savings mean it'll pay for itself very quickly.

Photo paper menus greyed out - the menu is context sensitive and is set by the black ink cartridge installed (matte or gloss).

Epson manual and on-line help - in a word 'useless'.

12:42 pm - Wednesday, January 27, 2010

#9 Paul

Roll paper feed problems makes this printer not worth the money. When you can get it to print the pics are great. I concur with the difficulty re the ink issues above. Would not have bought the printer had i known this upfront.:-(

2:42 pm - Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#10 Karla

I have only had this printer a few days and have spent most of that time wrestling with it. Normal A4 and A3 prints seem to print fairly painlessly and are of fantastic quality. Canvas on the other hand is a whole different ball game. Sheets of canvas just don't ever seem to be accepted by the printer and even the roll of canvas seems to be a complete hit or a miss! It finally printed onto canvas but when I tried to recall the excess canvas after printing, it seemed to do the opposite and decided to start spitting out the rest of the canvas roll. I have previously used an HP Photosmart B9180. It recently stopped working which was why I replaced with the Epson. HP's customer service is terrible but I would happily have my Photosmart over the Epson any day. The Photosmart just printed all media with ease. The Epson really does print brilliant colours and quality but the whole interface drastically needs reviewed. Not a user-friendly printer at all.

12:25 am - Thursday, February 17, 2011