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You are here: Home Page » Cost of Inkjet Printing Epson 3800 / 3880

 

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Cost of Printing Report Epson 3800 / 3880

Report Summary

Unlike previous reports that depended on cartridge usage calculations and some assumptions, this report relies on the ink usage reporting provided by the Epson 3800.  We printed 10 full coverage 8”x10” image targets using three different media settings. The printer generates a report that details the amount in mililiters of each ink used for that job.

Cost of ink by print size for the Epson 3800


Media Setting Used Cost/SqInch Cost/SqFoot
Premium Luster $0.0062 $0.89
Enhanced Matte $0.0071 $1.03

Costs by Media Type / Size

4x6

5x7

8x10

11x14

13x19

Premium Luster

15¢

22 ¢

50 ¢

96 ¢

$1.53

Enhanced Matte

17 ¢

25 ¢

57 ¢

$1.09

$1.75

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of ink by print size for the Epson 3880


Media Setting Used Cost/SqInch Cost/SqFoot
Premium Luster $0.0066 $0.95
Enhanced Matte $0.0081 $1.16

Costs by Media Type / Size

4x6

5x7

8x10

11x14

13x19

Premium Luster

16 ¢

23 ¢

53 ¢

$1.02

$1.63

Enhanced Matte

20 ¢

28 ¢

65 ¢

$1.25

$2.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preface

The “true cost of inkjet printing” is a source of constant debate in the media and on web forums.  Luckily for wide format inkjet printer owners, the mystery is made clear by self reporting ink usage tools included with their printers.  This report looks at the cost of ink per square inch for two Epson printers.  The goal is to determine the cost for various popular print sizes, and to report those numbers.  We have been encouraged to pursue this report even by owners of the Epson 3800 and 3880 because they have expressed a) the desire to see the numbers presented in a clear manner, and b) because of Red River's reputation for honest and informative reporting.

Methodology

Ten 8" x 10" prints of the image at right were made using two different media settings: Premium Luster Photo Paper and Enhanced Matte Paper. All prints were made using 1440dpi print quality with high speed turned off. The Premium Luster setting utilizes the Photo Black ink while the other uses the Matte Black ink installed on the printer.

After each set of 10 prints (all one under one print job), we printed the Job Information report under the Test Print menu at the printer's control panel. The report details the amount in mililiters of each ink used for the job.


Bill Atkinson’s test image.
Used with permission.


Data and Calculations

Ink Cost Calculation

80ml Tank costs $54.99 (Red River Paper current price)

Ink cost = 68.7¢ per mL

Media Used

Each test used 10 sheets of 8.5x11.
Printed area was 8" x 10" for a total of 800 square inches printed per test

Calculations

mL ink used x Ink cost per mL = Cost of Ink Used

Cost of Ink Used / 10 = Cost of an individual 8x10

Cost of 8x10 / 80 sq.inches = Cost per square inch

Cost per square inch x 144 = Cost per square foot

Cost and Usage Data for Epson 3800

Printer 8x10 Prints mL Ink Used Cost Ink Used Cost / 8x10 Cost/SqInch Cost/SqFoot
Premium Luster 10 7.23 mL $4.97 $0.50 $0.0062 $0.89
Enhance Matte 10 8.32 mL $5.72 $0.57 $0.0071 $1.03

Cost and Usage Data for Epson 3880

Printer 8x10 Prints mL Ink Used Cost Ink Used Cost / 8x10 Cost/SqInch Cost/SqFoot
Premium Luster 10 7.7 mL $5.29 $0.53 $0.0066 $0.95
Enhance Matte 10 9.38 mL $6.44 $0.64 $0.0081 $1.16

Ink cartridge usage data

Epson 3800

Media Setting Black LK LLK C M LC LM Y
Premium Luster 0.36ml 1.61ml 1.87ml 0.23ml 0.44ml 0.93ml 0.93ml 0.86ml
Enhance Matte 0.76ml 1.77ml 0.50ml 0.58ml 0.66ml 1.00ml 1.65ml 1.40ml

Epson 3880

Media Setting Black LK LLK C M LC LM Y
Premium Luster 0.78ml 1.48ml 1.35ml 0.15ml 0.40ml 1.08ml 1.54ml 0.92ml
Enhance Matte 2.06ml 0.64ml 1.65ml 1.05ml 1.08ml 0.45ml 0.59ml 1.86ml

Sources of Error

We acknowledge that there are potential errors in testing and calculations.  They are listed below:

  • Inaccuracy of the printer reporting function – The accuracy of the job report could be called into question.  The numbers reported by the printer may not be exactly accurate.
  • “Real world” variables – The types of images printed can make a difference in the overall ink usage.  Also, how often a printer is used will change ink usage slightly.  Long periods of being left on, automatic cleaning, and manual cleaning cycles all play a role in overall ink usage.

Given possible sources of error, it is fair to attach a margin of error of +/- 10% to our results. 

About Red River Paper

Red River offers premium quality photo inkjet paper that is the same quality or better than the name brands at up to 40% less. Choose from glossy, satin, luster, matte, fine art, and specialty inkjet paper to Epson Canon and HP printers. ORDER A SAMPLE KIT TODAY - CLICK HERE




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