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Epson Stylus Photo 2200 Review

Francis Vale

There was a time, way back when, when people actually mucked around with smelly chemicals, small red lit rooms, big black and white timers, and a variety of other paraphernalia to turn mysterious looking negatives into glorious-looking photos.  Some people still do, god love "em. But for the rest of us, who have chucked film cameras into the 20th century waste bin of once good ideas and have now fully embraced a digitally recorded existence, say hello to the new millennium dark room, the Epson Stylus Photo 2200 printer.  This awesome device is no small and cutesy PictureMate, but instead a fulsome machine measuring 24.3" x 34.1" x 15.4" (L x W x H) that obviously demands a shelf load of elbowroom when doing its stuff.

The $699 Epson 2200 will also make other demands on you if you want the best it has to offer.  You will have to use Epson-only paper that is optimized for pigment-based ink sets for optimal results.  You must stay away from cheapo refills and all the papers made for dye-based printers, as they will most assuredly bite the hand that took the picture with various nasty results like banding and roller-track miseries

And you must be patient, as the 2200 takes its own sweet time in churning out the prints, especially at 2,880 dpi in SuperPhoto mode, which can take as much as thirteen plus minutes for a 8.5" x 11" semi-gloss print.  Meanwhile, a 13"x19" Super B print might be ready when you come back from your half hour skinny latte break.  Hey, if you want instant photo gratification, go on to eBay and find an old Polaroid. 

But if you are an artist, or an artiste, then you know that like with all great art some things just can't be rushed. Still, getting an 8.5" x 11" glossy photo in four or so minutes at a standard photo setting of 1440 dpi is not too shabby. And a 4" x 6" color print will zip through in about a minute.

If it's BIG prints you want, then go for Epson's 13" wide x 44" long paper. Otherwise, you can completely satisfy your yep-size-does-matter complex with prints up to 13" x 19".  The 2200 can make true borderless prints in six different paper sizes measuring as small as 3.5" x 5". There is also special media support for roll paper in various sizes, including 4" rolls (whose prints love to curl up no matter how big a cinder block you put on top of them), 8.3" rolls, and 13" rolls. A roll paper holder accessory is included in the package, as are an automatic paper cutter accessory and a roll paper output catch. There are three paper paths in the 2200, including one for the aforementioned roll paper, another for top loading, and a straight through feed for thicker papers than can be up to .05 inches thick.

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21st, The VXM Network, http://www.vxm.com

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