ABP MVP: Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Printer

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What: Epson Sylus Pro 3880 Printer

Why: I’m going to do my best to answer this in a fairly succinct package here. Full disclaimer: this is not an in-depth printer review. Why not? Simply put–I’m a photographer, not a master printmaker. There is a stark difference. I, like you, don’t have time to mess around with this, that or the other when it comes to churning out legit prints. Yes, I want it all. No I don’t want to spend hours on end and a bucket of ink trying to dial things in for a stunning, accurate print. Can you relate? I thought so.

Judging from the subconscious nod of agreement, I’m going to assume you aren’t a master printmaker either, which means you’re going to love my quick overview. It answers the basic questions that most of us photographer types want to know and leaves all the uber scientific data/proof/testimonials to the ones that actually know how to decipher that action. You want that goodness? It’s out there for sure. Get on the Google and bury yourself in minute comparisons, data analytics and everything else the printer geek in you could ever want. There’s no question this printer will pass with flying colors. For those wanting a no frills, to-the-point approach, you’ve come to the right place.

The down and dirty is that this printer prints the way you want it to print right out of the box, and it does it all exceptionally well. How do you want it to print? Well, you (and I) want it to print quietly, quickly and, most importantly,  accurately. Right? Right.  The simplest understanding of monitor calibration and printer profiles for the different papers you choose will leave you with wall-worthy, archival (dependent upon paper) prints that will have family, friends and clients smitten with satisfaction.

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Why am I such a fan of this printer? Firstly, it prints juuuust big enough for what I want to be printing myself. I don’t print enough to justify the expense of printer, ink and paper for anything larger than 13 x 19. I do get plenty of orders for larger prints, and I happily pass them along to my local lab, where my buddy Heath does an exceptional job. I use the 3880 for smaller print orders, personal projects, marketing materials and a host of other smaller jobs.

Secondly, this printer offers pro quality prints at a pro-sumer price. At a cost of $1,295.00, it doesn’t break the bank. Depending on how much you spend on camera gear, you’re either pulling your hair out in disgust, or giving me a virtual high five. Trust me when I tell you that $1,300 is peanuts compared against the time you’ll spend trying to get a lesser machine to do what you want it to do, right out of the box. Time is money, and yes–you do get what you pay for. Looks like there’s even a $200 rebate going on through August 31, 2014.

Thirdly–for the space-conscious, this printer won’t require a new addition to your cozy abode. It measures 27″x 15″ x 10″, and it sits on my desk along with my hard drive(s) and computer.

Fourthly–one of the cooler features of this printer is that it will automatically switch between matte or photo black ink depending on the paper profile you choose. I don’t print a whole lot on glossy papers, but it’s a nice option to have, especially knowing I don’t have to switch out the cartridge myself.

Finally, and I’m rehashing a bit here, but I’m amazed at the print quality that this relatively little machine churns out. My favorite papers are thick and meaty (recent favorite is Epson’s Cold Press Bright) , yielding exceptional texture, tonality, color and detail. With past printers, I have struggled with thicker papers, throwing away sheet after sheet of expensive paper due to a botched print for one reason or another. Knock on wood, but after nearly 24 mos. with this printer, I’ve yet to toss a print in the trash. Furthermore, I’ve yet to replace an ink cartridge after many, many prints. CAN I GET AN AMEN!?!?

So there you have it. The 3880 is a photographer’s printer. It has plug and play ease, all the while producing lab worthy prints from the comfort of your own desktop.

Where: I buy all my gear from Pictureline.com. You should too!

 

ABP MVP: Arc’teryx Thorium AR Hoody

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What: Arc’teryx Thorium AR Hoody

 

Why: Ooookeydokey–let’s be honest: there are more outwear brands on this planet than there are kitten pics on the interwebz. At very least, deciding on where to buy a new coat for this season’s colder exploits might involve a quizzical post on FB, and some prayerful consideration over a cup of whatever the hipsters happen to be drinking at the local coffee house.

Here. I’ll save you the time. Arc’teryx crushes it. They make the most bomber outwear known to human existence, and they continue to innovate each and every year. Arc’teryx released their new line of down jackets this year and, as expected, they do not disappoint.

They’ve managed to make a down jacket that includes everything you need, and excludes everything you don’t. Remember the last down coat you owned that left you feeling like a giant fluorescent marshmallow??? Mmmm…yeah–say adios to the billowy body brace…

My fave??? The Thorium AR Hoody. This jacket actually has a more fitted feel, and the wizards at Arc’teryx have actually placed synthetic insulation in areas prone to moisture (think along the hem, collar, sleeves and underarms). This means that the jacket still maintains its insulating properties, despite a bit of wetness here and there.

If you’ve never owned a down jacket, it’s time you did yer bad self a favor and picked this up. If you already have a million fluorescent marshmallows hanging in the closet, it’s time to get your Craig’s List on and step into the new millenium of downy goodness.

Wherehttp://www.arcteryx.com/product.aspx?language=EN&gender=mens&category=Jackets&subcat=Insulated_Shell&model=Thorium-AR-Hoody

ABP MVP: Howler Bros. Harkers Flannel

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We all have our MVP’s (most valuable products). Some are big, some small. Most bring simple pleasures at home, or bring the comforts of home to the road. All of them simply make life better. This is the first installment of my own MVP’s. Saddle up for many, many more…

What: Howler Bros. Harkers Flannel

Why: Psshhh…really??? Have you never worn a flannel shirt? It’s like wearing a bubble bath–it’s that comfy when done right. Only it’s not fru-fru, and you don’t have to wear it late at night when nobody will ever know. Think of it this way: fall without flannels would be like breakfast without bacon. Need I say more??? Howler Bros. nailed it with this one, and they are a smaller, grass roots brand founded by real people that care about their customers. We all need more bacon, and yes, every man could use more flannels. These are two truths that are extremely tough to argue…

Where: http://howlerbros.com/products/harkers-flannel-f2013