The Epson 4900 is an excellent printer but whether it's the best option depends on your particular requirements. I presume you need A2 printing but do you also want to print long panoramas (how long?).
Hey there John, yes i want to do long pano's, i am checking out RIP software atm, never had a good printer before, will be a learning curve, seems like a good price for such high quality results, is there a better 17inch printer that does pano's?
Canon, Epson and HP all make excellent photo printers. I have worked for various companies that sell all three brands over the last 15 years, and have owned at least one of each. I currently have a 44" HP Z3100 and print mostly on Canon photo paper or Epson canvas.
For printing panos I would recommend that you plan for the future and at least *look* at the 24-inch roll-fed models. You'll likely find yourself limited by the 17" width pretty quickly. Also, you really shouldn't need a RIP for most applications - most of the pro-level photo printers can be properly color managed without one. Some of them have a spectrophotometer on board for creating paper profiles. If you buy one of those, or plan to use the printer vendor's media, or stick with media that has profiles for your printer available, printing out of Photoshop will give you excellent results. You can use the money you'd have spent for the RIP to get "more" printer.
When comparing similar printers, look at the cost and availability of supplies, then try to speak with people that own the one you're looking at.
Thanks Moleyh, i have read a few threads at luminous landscapes, the 4900 gets the best reviews, the canon 5100 is old tech and the black dots are a problem, i hope i do need to get a 44inch printer quickly but if that was the case i would need to rent different premises and use a different business model in which case the 4900 would be a handy backup and useful for cut sheet stuff, the 4900 has a spectroproofer option, not sure how useful that would be to me, i assume it is for working with agencies who have their own color requirements, good to hear i won't need to get a rip, the prices are huge for some, i can imagine a big time printer would save a lot using them though, thank's
Fair enough. I'm sure you will be happy with the 4900. You're correct that you don't need the spectroproofer option - that's more for folks with very tight color management requirements - matching printers across multiple sites, etc.