Information on printing shots?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jusmeig, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. jusmeig

    jusmeig TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    I recently bought a Nikon D90 and now want to start to get some of my shots printed. I would like to investigate how much it would cost to get a professional grade printer/paper, and how easy is it to do!!!

    What printer would u recommend, can really see myself printing bigger than 8 X 10 at the mo, but don't want to limit myself.

    If I print a small 7 X 5 print on an A4 printer, do I waste the paper? Do I have to cut the images off the paper?

    I guess my budget would be around €500 (Maybe less!)

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Have you also considered using a good lab to print your photos? After you figure in the cost of the printer, the cost of ink and good quality paper, it's probably pretty close to a good lab. And with a lab, it's their job to keep the printer cleaned and calibrated...with your own printer, that becomes your responsibility.

    That being said, there are great printers available. I would suggest looking at photo printers from Epson, HP or maybe Canon.
     
  3. suki

    suki TPF Noob!

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    We have a small epson that was given to us, only prints 4x6's but the quality is amazing. I'm thinking about buying a bigger epson soon since this one is so clear.

    What are the photos going to be used for? Home use? for sale, etc?? I just ordered some from Shutterfly and will soon find out how good of quality they are. Since i'm only printing for my own use (to put in photo albums, hang on walls, etc) i'm not too concerend on exceptional quality, but i'd like it to look nice.
     
  4. suki

    suki TPF Noob!

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    I forgot to mention that i've also heard that White House Custom Color does amazing prints, whcc.com.
     
  5. jusmeig

    jusmeig TPF Noob!

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    I guess I would like to have a quality that I could sell? Don't think my photo's are quite there yet in terms of quality, but I want to be able to print professional quality prints I could frame and sell.

    Dont like the idea of going to a lab. You incure their costs and again I like the idea that I can do it all myself (or can I)
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, but printing yourself has plenty of costs as well...which is the point I was trying to get across. First is the cost of the printer, which isn't much in the long run...but then you have to consider the cost of the ink. A good photo printer will have several tanks/cartridges and it might cost over $100 to replace them. If you are printing high quality images, you may only get 20-30 full pages out of a set of cartridges. (maybe less)
    Then you have to consider the ink that is used for cleaning and calibration/set up...which can sometimes be quite a bit. Plus the time you spend trying to set it up and figure out problems when it's not printing how you want it to.
    Now consider the cost of paper. Good quality photo paper may cost around $1 per letter sized sheet...or more.
    When you add that up, it's not much different than what a lab charges. And a good lab cleans and calibrates it's equipment very often...they make it their job to produce quality prints.

    It is certainly possible to get high quality prints at home...but if you are going to be super picky (which you should if you are going to sell them), then it might be a good idea to use a good lab.
     
  7. jusmeig

    jusmeig TPF Noob!

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    I guess the its down to sourcing a lab and getting some test prints from them. I still like the idea of doing it myself....I really do ;)
     
  8. suki

    suki TPF Noob!

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    lol, well if you buy a printer, DO NOT BUY KODAK AIO. waste of money! only worked for about a year, with actual photo printing usage of about 3 months, if even that much and the quality was absolutely horrible!
     
  9. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree w/ Big Mike. There is no way that you can do it at home as inexpensively as you can by ordering through Mpix or White house. The quality w/ Mpix is exceptional and about the same price as Walmart. You can print a lot of images by the time you figure in a quality printer, archival ink and paper.
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm guessing they will want something across the pond from Mpix or WHCC though ;)
     
  11. jusmeig

    jusmeig TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I live in Ireland, so cant really be ordering from there!
    If I did get a home setup, Would I need to cut the photos out with a scalpel etc?

    IE: If I print a 10X8 Will I have to trim off the excess paper? This could become tedious, and I do not have any space for a guillotine etc....

    I'm thinking sourcing a local printer would be far cheaper for me?
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You can sometimes buy photo paper that is pre cut and load that into your printer...but it's probably cheaper/easier to buy letter sized sheets and trim the extra paper. I have a rotary paper cutter...and it does take up space.
     

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