Roland Fine Art Giclee Printer.

Actual information on Roland HiFi wide format inkjet printers. Whenever we get a series of indications of problems or headaches with a particular printer we do our best to find out whether these are coincidental or endemic. It's hard of course when we don't have the printer to test ourselves, but since we do our testing in Guatemala we understand that not every printer company is willing to send their equipment so far away. Thus we visit Roland users worldwide and ask they what they like about their printers as well as what glitches have their experienced.

So here is a series of 'readers' reports. In some cases we know the authors from previous correspondence. In other cases it seems that the writers are either allied with Roland or are otherwise upset that their favorite printer did not get top ratings. What Roland loyalists don't realize, is simply because out of 100 users, enough reported glitches that we unfurl the yellow flag.

Our goal is first to be fair to the end user, so he or she does not get stuck with an unreliable printer. We also feel that a review should be fair to the manufacturer as well (unless the company engages in systematic exaggerated claims in their woefully unrealistic ads). Roland is a reputable company and their ads have not yet triggered any complaints.

Here is a report from Roger, who we know via e-mail, so this is an actual report of a real situation. This is verbatim and not edited. The questions are from the FLAAR editor; the answers are from Roger.

I get so many mixed reviews of the Roland from end users. Some love them and are upset that I don't praise them to the sky, yet others have banding and find the color gamut limiting in the pigmented inks.

I find that on canvas there can be banding if it is not done at the 1440 dpi as far as the colors, I don't really have anything to compare to except some Giclee prints in a gallery done with a Iris by experts and the colors were superior to what I have done so far.

I am also curious about learning curve (printer and RIP), whether you had banding, and how you handle the speed vs dpi?

I learned the software in two days as to print what I was seeing on the monitor, you have to match the media type profile to the media, and set the dpi higher for canvas than others. As for speed again I have nothing to compare
to. At 1440 it is slow in my opinion, but it is awesome so I have no problem with it. I have a Camm Jet not a Hi Fi so I have a 540 dpi setting that is fast and does a good job too, it could be used easily for many projects including prints on film or photo paper.

Are you willing to wait the time it takes a 1440 print to go?


There is a nice ink available for the Roland, may have better gamut, such as DicoJet and Staedtler inks. Have you tried them?

I have checked out the ink from your site, it is very interesting, but I still have some ink so I am not in the market yet , but will be soon. I have found a machine (infrared dryer/Color Lock System) that uses a special vinyl to lock in the color from a inkjet printer. I will be using this vinyl and machine to do my signs and decals etc.....

I hope this helps a little. All in all, I would agree with the people who say why don't you praise the Roland more, I don't have much experience but I know a good machine when I see one, and my Camm Jet is one hell of a machine that amazes me every time I use it!

It is, however, worth reporting that one year later this Roland user is rather disappointed.

Another story from another incoming e-mail:

"Are there any serious setbacks that you know of to the Roland machines. We also have an office in San Francisco that already has one and they told me about a time when they let it run over night only to find in the morning that it had run out of paper but continued to print."

For additional information and for help making your decision, ask for the "FLAAR report on signs, posters, banners" (specify whether for indoor signs or outdoor signs in the rain and sun) or for the FLAAR report on "Piezo vs Thermal printheads, fact vs fiction, pros and cons of each kind of inkjet printhead." You can also ask for the report on "Media and Inks for Photo-Realistic and Fine Art Giclee," or "Media and Inks for Sign Printing with Large Format Inkjet."

If this will be your first printer, then we have a special report that holds your hand and leads you through all the basic questions that will assist a first-time buyer of a large format printer. Purchase the FLAAR report on "RIP + Help." This explains what RIP software is, why this is useful, and includes tips, warnings, information, and help for a wide range of matters for a newbie. Here you will really appreciate that FLAAR is based at a university; Professor Hellmuth has plenty of experience writing in a manner that explains what you need, and why.

Most recently updated August 02, 2001.