I could use some newbie printer advice

roscowgoroscowgo Major grinsPosts: 127Registered Users Major grins
edited July 31, 2013 in Digital Darkroom
Hello all, I'm considering getting a printer to print my photos.... but I'm clueless.

Could I trouble yall for some brands/models and what makes what good?:scratch

Comments

  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 22, 2013
    As usual, it all depends on what you are after.

    Printing can range from printing a few 8x10 or 3x5 to hang on the wall or give to grandma, to printing on archival papers with specialty inks for fine art sales.

    If you just want a few 3x5 shots to hand out to grandma, something like the Canon Selphy line are great little printers that look as well, and last as long as what you would get at Target, Walmart, drugstores, etc.

    If you want occasional prints for hanging, then look to Epson, Canon, HP brands that utilize multiple inks, generally the more the better. Epson seems to have an upper hand often.

    If you are thinking sales with fancy papers, or perhaps you want to use specialty inks, then higher end Epson and Canon printers are the way to go. Epson has several CISS printers (continuous ink), and there are plenty of adapter kits available, with lots of inks. Of course papers are equally unlimited.

    So, guide us with what you need:

    Who are the prints for?
    What sizes do you need?
    What other considerations (papers etc)?
  • paddler4paddler4 Major grins Posts: 976Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 24, 2013
    Also, before deciding on a specific printer, I would suggest that you choose between dye and pigment-based inks. Dye-based inks are vibrant, and they tend not to clog even if the printer is left unused for a long time, but they don't last as long as pigment-based inks. If you want archival qualities--say, prints that won't show appreciable fading for 50 or 100 years--pigment is the only way to go.

    I personally opted for dye because I change prints fairly often, don't sell them, and leave my printer unused for long periods.
  • CatOneCatOne A man, sans canal or plan Posts: 957Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 27, 2013
    roscowgo wrote: »
    Hello all, I'm considering getting a printer to print my photos.... but I'm clueless.

    Could I trouble yall for some brands/models and what makes what good?headscratch.gif

    My honest advice: Unless you're planning on printing 20 prints per month, every month, you should consider not printing your own photos and instead sending them to a photo lab. Bay Photo does GREAT work.

    I've gone through this, and the work to get the prints to match the screen takes effort, and if you're not doing it A LOT you'll end up making the same mistakes very often. Not to mention the ink will dry out and it will cost you $30+ each cleaning cycle in used ink to do it.

    Printing gives you more control, and is cheaper if you print a LOT of prints, and you print OFTEN. I honestly think the cutover is in the 15-20 prints/month range; if you print less than this, the consumables and the effort of printing at home are not worth it.
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,309Administrators moderator
    edited July 28, 2013
    CatOne wrote: »
    My honest advice: Unless you're planning on printing 20 prints per month, every month, you should consider not printing your own photos and instead sending them to a photo lab. Bay Photo does GREAT work.

    I have to agree with this. I have a Canon that it seems eats printer cartridges and the cost to make one print is much higher than if I were printing 8-10.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • EaracheEarache Unsharp and Oversaturated SO CALPosts: 3,533Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 28, 2013
    ian408 wrote: »
    I have a Canon that it seems eats printer cartridges...
    I have this same experience with my Canon Pro 9000 MkII. The consumption rate seems to exceed my expectations based on actual image output - especially with frequent on-off cycles.
    My best guess is that a lot of ink is wasted during the Auto Head Cleaning cycles that it likes to grind away at... Is it wrong of me to suspect that Canon might have a vested interest in rapid ink consumption?
    Eric ~ Smugmug
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,309Administrators moderator
    edited July 28, 2013
    It would have cost less to figure out how to clean the heads/nozzle with air-and for your printer, a complete set of inks is ~$100. Every time I go looking, it seems like the price has crept up a bit more too.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • joshhuntnmjoshhuntnm Las Cruces, NM Posts: 1,819Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 28, 2013
    I just send them to Walgreens. YOU can up load them online and pick them up i an hour.
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2013
    joshhuntnm wrote: »
    I just send them to Walgreens. YOU can up load them online and pick them up i an hour.

    Say it ain't so! A few years ago I did an experiment having various printers print a set of photos. Walgreens, and Costco were two of the bargain places I tried.

    To be kind they were not acceptable for anything other than snapshots of aunt Marry and uncle Bob.

    The best prints were done by me. clap.gifclapclap.gif Next to that came Bay Photo. I am sure theer other pro labs out theer that can deliver high quality consistent prints as well but my point is that for a little more one can get much better quality.

    Sam
  • roscowgoroscowgo Major grins Posts: 127Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2013
    Thanks for the advice.

    And to be honest I'm not sure how much I would want to use it. As it is I get to deal with printers every day and despise them like no other device I can think of.

    For use, I was thinking hanging in my house, as well as occasional gifts. I'm nowhere near good enough to think about selling anything. Yet or ever. I wouldn't want a picture I gave someone to turn sick baby turd green after a year or two though.

    I will definitely give the Bay Photo place a try, provided they have some sort of online store.

    The rational I'm going by is that a good photo printer isn't a substitute for the walgreens down the street, but a substitute for the bathroom turned darkroom.
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2013
    roscowgo wrote: »
    The rational I'm going by is that a good photo printer isn't a substitute for the walgreens down the street, but a substitute for the bathroom turned darkroom.


    Exactly. And like that darkroom, expect to spend lots of money on equipment, gadgets, chemicals, and perhaps even modifications to the bathroom (desk/workspace?).

    However, I will say this: just like black and white was perfect for a bathroom darkroom, and color was practically impossible, so too is color printing a significant challenge to get right consistently.
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2013
    Another suggestion: Costco

    If you have a Costco membership, you can send color corrected and managed images to their printers, turning off the autocolor settings. This allows you control of the final print. Very similar to Bay and other places, but its Costco (ie. cheap). I have had very good success, and use their printer profile with PS/Lightroom. It gives you creative control like you get with a home printer, but without the hassle.

    Go to http://www.drycreekphoto.com to get the printer profile for your Costco, along with instructions.
  • roscowgoroscowgo Major grins Posts: 127Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2013
    No costcos near here. I did order a few prints from bay today.
  • VacuBlasterVacuBlaster Beginner grinner Posts: 6Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited July 30, 2013
    Read This Before Deciding on your Printer
    Do you really want to print at home, I do and I love it but you have to bear this in mind, printer ink is the most expensive liquid in the world by far:

    Petrol $1.45 Ltr
    Beer $4.60 Ltr
    Champagne $284 Litre
    Chanel No 5 Perfume $3,180 Ltr
    Printer Ink Black $5,544 based on $24.95 for 4.5 mls
    Printer Ink Colour $5,654 based on $36.75 for 6.5 mls

    Are you sure you still want to print at home?

    Info from http://visual.ly/printer-ink-most-expensive-liquid-world

    VB
  • roscowgoroscowgo Major grins Posts: 127Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 31, 2013
    Well, I Want to, I would love to be able to run off a print of something that really strikes me then and there.

    But certain? That's a good question. Certainly worth pondering to it's fullest though.
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