I've never used a lab for inkjet printing so I have no experience in that. I have a neighbor who shows in galleries and she uses a lab The quality is good to excellent. I used an epson r1800 until it died. I really liked the prints but there was a lot of waste (time,ink) keeping it up. Now I have a pixma pro-1. I keep it plugged into a battery back up so it is always on and I've not had any clogging issues in the year I've had it. Basically, they pretty much give away the printers and charge for the ink. I haven't done a cost comparison however I doubt it saves $. I like printing for myself. I also have a wet lab because I like to print. If it isn't a financial burden and you think you would like it, by all means, give it a try. Good luck.