4900 vs 3880


I have been testing Piezography Digital Neg on my old 2400 and like the results, however my 2400 is old and temperamental. I have a 3880 also, but use it for color. I am looking at buying either an additional 3880 or 4900 to devote to B&W only. I know the 4900 has the necessary number of carts to do digital neg, glossy, and matte Piezography, however I imagine I will primarily use it for digital neg with occasional matte and glossy work.

Which would you recommend? The print head issues with the 4900 concern me. I have loved the 3880 because the print head rarely needs a cleaning cycle.

Btw, I am not a heavy printer, in fact my printer has, at times, sat unused for extended periods of time.


Based on your printing needs, I would recommend you get a R2880 to have a good quality Piezography printer that you can easily maintain and store with PiezoFlush when sitting unused. The R2880 uses cartridges that install directly into the print head, so you can easily change cartridges if you wish to print both Digital Negatives and regular Piezography K7, and install a set of flush carts to flush the print head for safe storage when the printer won’t be used for a while.
If you get a pro model printer with internal ink lines and dampers, such as the 3880 or 4900, you will not be able to change inks or flush the printer as easily, and will waste a lot of ink each time you want flush/store the printer or resume printing. Regular use is good to keep any printer working well, but I’d say even more important with a pro model printer, because lack of use can cause issues in the lines and dampers, as well as the print head.

The 4900/7900/9900 models are fantastic because with 11 cartridge slots, you can print both matte and glossy with regular Piezography K7, as well as Digital Negatives with one printer by just selecting the correct curve for the ink and media you wish to use. The drawback to these models are the quirky mechanics, and there is a uncomfortably high amount of problem reports due to de-laminating print heads, failing sensors and other mechanical issues- so if you get a x900 printer, we STRONGLY recommend you get the extended warranty to protect yourself for the high chance of problems you may experience with these models.

I hope this helps you choose which printer model to purchase, please let me know if you have questions or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:


The problem with the 2880 is it doesn’t do 17". I really want the larger capability. Given that, it sounds like 3880 would be great as a dig neg/matte printer using K6 without needing to switch. But it sounds like weekly printing is needed. I can always run at least one per week. I could forgo the glossy printing.


Ok, then yes- to be able to print up to 17" wide paper, I recommend the 3880. With an 8-color printer such as the 3880, you can set it up to print Piezography K6 matte and digital negative without changing inks. To do this, you must use “P2” matte curves to print regular Piezography with this custom ink setup, and “v3” PZDN-Meth 3 curves, with ink shades installed in the following order:

Matte Black= Neutral shade #1
Cyan= shade #2
Light Cyan= shade #3
Magenta= shade #4
Light Magenta= shade #5
Light Black= shade #6
Yellow= shade #2.5 (PZDN)
Light Light Black= shade #4.5 (PZDN)

*I attached the “v3” and some “P2” matte curves to use with this ink setup.

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:

PZDNv3 + P2-SEL Matte.zip (35.6 KB)