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  1. #1
    Technician judgedredd's Avatar
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    General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier IYO?

    I have sometimes wondered about the constant churning out of new machines and models to feed the bottom line and am also aware that 'newer' doesn't always mean better.

    Have you ever come across a digital printer that was fantastic to use and created great copies and was ALSO easy to maintain but is no longer made? I am curious about this question as the only experience I have had with an office size printer is the Konica Minolta bizhub C253 with three paper draws, and a collating mechanism on the left.

    I purchased the used C253 because of a project I was doing. I was hand making 7 books (540 pages each) and I calculated that if I went to a Kinko Copy type place it would cost me much, much more than buying an office printer and doing it myself. The size of paper I was going to be using was 11" x 17". This printer was the one I purchased and I was amazed by the print quality, though I had not tested other printers. This was one of the least expensive in the place where I got it. But I did end up spending $350 within a of couple days on getting the manual tray rollers changed, since at that time I was not confident enough to fix the paper jam issue that caused me to get a technician out to service the machine. Having watched him do the service I was confident in doing any servicing in the future myself, which is what I did in the last few days when I changed the feed rollers for trays 1, 2 and 3.

    It would be interesting to see what responses I get, if any to this question.

    As a side note, one of the things I get distressed over (if that is the correct term) is the 'throwing away or discarding of' perfectly usable tech. There has been a lot of time and energy expended in making these products produce excellent results and they are built with intensity of purpose (which gets distilled into the material of the machine itself) and I believe it is so wrong to discard perfectly good working machines.

    So when companies stop manufacturing rollers for older machines they invariably get harder to fix due to lack of new parts and sources. My philosophy is why get rid of older tech just because the companies stopped 'supporting' them?

    I also find that new stuff is not built to the standards as 'older' tech is. Cheaper materials, cheaper factories (China, India, Vietnam, etc). My C253 is made in Japan, which I'm very pleased about.

    Anyway, please share what you can.

  2. #2
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts
    General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier IYO?

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    Re: General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier I

    The question cannot really be answered.
    Just like the question of what the best car is. Some people want to drive long distances in comfort, others want to transport a lot of things and others need to find a parking space in narrow city centers. Still others want to use the car off-road. So what is the best car? It depends on your personal requirements.

    It's the same with digital copiers and printers. Generally speaking, most office machines from the major manufacturers Xerox, Konica-Minolta, Canon, Ricoh, Kyocera, Sharp and Toshiba are not bad. Most models run better and more reliably than their predecessors. If you are used to the operation of the devices, you will have roughly the same functionality with all manufacturers.

  3. #3
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts
    General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier IYO?

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    Re: General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier I

    a lot of older copiers don't work well with the newer tech as in PCs, tablets, & phones. plus as time goes on certain parts become cheaper to make in the newer machines. something that blew my mind with lexmark copiers. newer ones are more efficient that they use less toner and yet produces a richer black. i saw this firsthand. i had a black and white original. put it on a brand new lexmark. and without changing any settings, the copy came out a richer black than what the original was. had you told me that happened i would have told you that's not possible. but since i was the one making the copy i was pleasantly surprised. i agree with the statement above basically to each his own. certain people have different needs and different copiers meet different needs. i have worked on kyocera, lexmark, ricoh, brother, and HP. i am trained on the first 4 of those. and on occasion i have worked on others that i haven't trained one. and i couldn't pick one that is better than the others. each has its pros and cons in my book.

  4. #4
    Technician judgedredd's Avatar
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    Re: General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier I

    Hi Saturn,

    You have a point which I hadn't thought of. Thanks for posting that.

    And daleweb74, I have been using a laptop from 2006, a Toshiba M70, with a 1.7GHz cpu, 2GB RAM, 2TB HD with Windows XP SP3 installed (due to knowing that all OSes from VISTA and above were basically surveillance tools). I have only recently started to use a Windows 10 machine because a company purchased it for me having purchased after I signed up to a Lifetime email service with them. Having signed up using my XP machine, the admin part of the site stopped working for my XP machine a year or so later. When I complained they sent me a brand new Lenovo!

    I did install the driver software for the C253 onto the new laptop and everything worked perfectly, though I haven't tried scanning from this new laptop. On my old one, I can't scan using the USB cable, only doing it on the C253 itself.

    You also make an interesting point about the black being blacker than the original. That isn't heard of with older tech.

    Back in the 90s I walked into a Canon copy showroom in London, UK, and was given a demo of their new copier which was over 5 feet in length. The color copies were nowhere near as good as my C253 as I remember the colors being very bright and unnatural. That copier was over GBP15,000 in price. Yet my C253 made better copies and brand new it was around USD$10,000. I only paid about CDN$1,000 for it, used.

  5. #5
    Retired 10,000+ Posts
    General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier IYO?

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    Re: General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier I

    One other thing to remember is that most techs do not work on every make out there.They normally only work on 1 or 2 makes even if the company they work for sells more.

  6. #6
    Certified Konica Expert 2,500+ Posts
    General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier IYO?

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    Re: General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier I

    i may get groans for this but in my minolta-konicaminolta world the best color prints came from an old CF911 with a Fiery.
    We know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two.
    Also don't ask me for files without a contributor badge.

  7. #7
    RTFM!! 5,000+ Posts allan's Avatar
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    Re: General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier I

    The bizhub C360 stays my favorite machine due to the much lower running cost. The C252 was a tank of a machine worth a mention.
    Whatever

  8. #8
    Service Manager 5,000+ Posts
    General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier IYO?

    SalesServiceGuy's Avatar
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    Re: General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier I

    Like it or not, OEMs are not legally obliged to provide parts, consummables nor support for copiers that were discontinued more than seven years ago.

    None do.

    Whining about the "good ole days" falls on deaf ears.

  9. #9
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    Re: General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier I

    There have been several outstanding printers that are no longer in production but were highly regarded during their time. One example is the HP LaserJet 4 series, which was renowned for its durability and print quality. Another is the Xerox DocuColor series, which was beloved for its color accuracy and versatility in the graphic arts industry.

  10. #10
    Technician judgedredd's Avatar
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    Re: General question 2 all technicians or users - which was the best digital copier I

    SalesServiceGuy,

    I am not 'whining' about the good 'ole days. What I have an issue with is the fact that most companies try and get in on the 'Green' or 'sustainability' bandwagon and yet keep on churning out printers that use resources which is now becoming an issue (otherwise what's the 'sustainability' ruckus all about?). If there was a program to reclaim the materials in the older printers I wouldn't be bringing this up, but there isn't such a program (although HP I think had one way back when).

    With a little effort I got my printer working like it should. I have even ordered a castor wheel for the FS-519 finisher (one of them was bent when I got it). And is there a difference between the print quality of my old C253 compared to the new ones of today? I have no idea as I haven't been to a copier place to print a color copy of something on a more modern printer. I do have a desktop Brother HL-3170CDW color laser printer and the quality of the C253 still beat it. The blues were more natural (a picture of a back yard of someone's house which had half garden and half sky had been taken and I printed out the scene on both printers - the sky looked closer to the real thing in the C253 print).

    If printers were built in a modular fashion whereby one could swap out units when there were improvements to them - like the feed roller mechanisms with better rubber or mechanics or a better imaging unit - then that would be a great step in the right direction. One can upgrade and improve a Desktop PC to a degree except for the CPU and memory (though one can change these for a higher speed [CPU] or higher clock rate [memory]).

    A good example of tech making things worse is in the area of cars. Cars from the 60's and early 70's were easier to work on and fix than the electronic shit boxes of today. Even the materials used in cars today are poor choices - i.e. lots of plastic in the engine compartment. There is even a new metal called Aluminum 7068 that is as light as regular 6061 but as strong or stronger than the steel used in cars today. Yet no-one is using this new material to make car bodies.

    In the F1 world they use carbon fiber which is the incorrect material to use as its too brittle and very hard to dispose of. Kevlar would be the better material to use as its extremely durable and is more forgiving when under sudden impact shock.

    And the worst company out there for churning out products and making the older ones (last years models!) obsolete much more quickly? Apple - especially with their iPhones. And the only reason they do that is for Money. They are very greedy bastards.

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