Consensus on small printers for dedicated B&W?

Hello: I’m new. My darkroom has become a storage room. I am unlikely to make large prints because I am old and previously spent large sums on trying to keep a large printer alive. Are there currently ongoing discussions about using this technology in a small printer capable of handling letter size paper? Will appreciate the help. JCB

I’m also interesting in getting info on low volume B&W printers. This doesn’t seem to be a great forum for that. Can anyone suggest a better place?

I am running both a 7880 and a P800 with Pro inks – two locations. Since i generally print smaller than 17x22 and often 11x13 or 8.5x11 or smaller custom sizes, the P800 has been outstanding.

I don’t know why the earlier post didn’t get a reply. Sometimes things get overlooked on a forum.

For low volume and letter / A4 size the two printers I’d consider are the 1430 and P400. Probably slightly different model numbers in some countries. These printers have smaller cartridges that sit on the print head, which has some advantages for low volume work. You can insert flush carts for periods of inactivity, in effect hibernating the printer. You can drain ink carts, re-agitate the ink and refill the carts, thereby dealing with pigment sedimentation fairly readily. That’s harder to do with the printers that David just commented on - you need to waste a lot of ink to deal with sedimentation and to hibernate them.

The other group where things like this are discussed is the support forum for QTR on IO groups. Although it is ostensibly a support forum for a piece of software, QTR is widely used for printing with B&W inks, and so a range of printing-related issues are discussed there. (I interpreted your comment as being about printing with B&W inksets, given you posted it here. If you’re proposing to print B&W with OEM or other colour inks then the choice of printer is less critical, except that the 1430 would not be a good idea as it has only one shade of black.)

1 Like

Not sure, either. Thanks for your comprehensive note. Trouble with connecting tonight , but hopefully will be able to reply tomorrow. In the lost time l have been infatuated w: 4 X 6. Would like to discuss that, too.


Thanks. I will try to reply tomorrow . The Grands are in town. Consuming time and energy.

One caveat to my reply. The small refillable cartridges used in the 1430 and P400 can be cantankerous and troublesome. It’s not guaranteed that that will be the case, as people’s experience varied a lot, but that’s the risk. That’s the price you pay for being able to hibernate the printer cheaply and to be able to easily reagitate the inks. The P800 was by all reports an excellent B&W printer, but IHMO you need to print fairly regularly to keep the inks moving through. But that printer is no longer available, and its successor the P900 is not supported at this stage, if ever.

Dear @JCB, your email was showing as spam in our system. I removed it from that list so your posts should now appear in everyone’s digest/feeds better. Sorry about that,


you can pick up reconditioned from Epson p800s, however.