wide format inkjet print of rollout of polychrome Mayan vase, rollout by Nicholas Hellmuth  Maya-archaeology

To get 24 inch enlargements (and larger) it is easier and more economical to use a wide-format ink jet printer such as the Encad Chroma 24. We tried the ENCAD; coupled with an EFI Fiery PostSript RIP server, it was quite a wonder. In 1996 color laser technology produced only letter size. By 1998 desktop color laser printers had reached 11x17 inch full bleed (11.7 x 17.7 inches).

If you wish to get 24 inch enlargements in black and white, try the QMS 2060. The QMS goes up to 13 x 26 inches at 1200 dpi. If you need a longer enlargement, try the GCC black-and-white laser printer. It can print over a Snapshot with Sony Mavica of a rollout enlargement by ENCAD.

The ENCAD Nova Jet Pro wide format ink jet printer arrived in January. By August we had still not used up even one bottle of any color ink.The ENCAD was churning out yard after yard of immense enlargements, usually each one 36 inches wide. After eight months we still had ample ink left in the reservoirs.

In this same period our Epson printers had practically bankrupted us. If yellow went empty then the Epson system forces you to throw all the other colors away just to buy a new multi-color ink cartridge.

More insidious, and the reason we filed a claim of false advertising, was that the model 1500 locked up the ink supply after about 28 copies, turned itself off, and demanded more ink. We tried three different models; two we threw away.

-Once we filed a case of false advertising against Epson until they returned our money.The other devious aspect of some Epson ink jet printer is that they require you to use super-expensive paper if you want photo-quality prints.An additional problem of Epson printers is that their printer drivers may not work as you expect; you may be required to spend lots of extra money and buy a RIP (something they don't warn you about in their slick adverting).

This is Epson's way to keep you from refilling their cartridges with some other company's more economical ink. Color laser is 12 cents a page. Epson is about 90 cents a page or $1 or more with good paper.Epson ink fades quickly; you lose all the nice color.

If you are stuck with an Epson printer, use VanSon or AmericanInkJet inks. Some models of Epson printers are the standing joke of graphics professionals. You get a cheap printer of plastic, wretched software, and promises of awesome color quality that are certainly hardly ever actually achieved. The glossy ads do not warn you of the excessive costs of paper, ink, nor do the ads appraise you of how long the lethargic printer takes to do a single print. Warning: avoid buying an Epson ink jet printer.

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