Let's talk about printers...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by andrew99, May 28, 2008.

  1. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    Who here prints their photos at home? I haven't owned a printer in many years -- the cost of ink and the low quality turned me off, and I've been printing my photos at photo labs ever since. But I'm sure the printers have improved, and obviously it is more convenient to do it at home. I'd be interested in printing large sizes (12x14 or even larger). What are the real costs (paper, ink, etc)? Is it cost effective to buy a printer and do it yourself? How does the quality compare to the one hour photo labs? Please post your experiences!
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For the amount of pics that I print, I use a local lab and save the printer to print out letters and forms and invoices.

    Ink is still hellaciously expensive (more so if you use higher quality ink that will not fade 50 years down the road), and GOOD printers are not being given away yet either.

    For the cost of a nice setup, I have thousands of pics printed in a quality environment... and I don't have to bother with ink costs and cleaning and what not.

    Bottom line: It depends on what you want in terms of quality and how many you are going to print out.

    I still think it is more expensive to purchase the printer/ink/paper than send them out.
     
  3. oursfan

    oursfan TPF Noob!

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    I have not gotten into printing photos at home either for the simple reasons that you have described. When I did it in the past with other printers that have been labeled as "photo printers" I have not been to happy with the end result. It seems to me that after a while the prints that you print out at home start to fade quicker and lose their color.

    I like to order prints directly from Apple on my Mac through iPhoto and have them delivered to the house that way. The prices are pretty good I guess and they are pretty reliable. I would assume that you would still get better prints by going to a local print shop though.
     
  4. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys, you are confirming my way of thinking over the past few years. I saw some amazing printers at the Toronto Imaging and Photography show a few weeks ago, which got me thinking I might get a printer, but I have a feeling that the ink and paper will be outrageously expensive.
     
  5. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    I print everything at homeand feel it is extremely cost effective. I use a Epson R1800 which runs about $500. A full ink set will cost $110. The quality far surpasses and cheap photo lab. If you want prints of equal quality a 13x19 is going to cost you at least $20 if not much much more. To print a 13x19 on luster paper i estimate it costs me about 3 to 4 dollars tops. If you are going to frame it you can use enhanced matte paper thatlooks great behind glass and costs less than 50 Cents a page. The main advantage I like is baing able to control the color of the print and print photos on demand, no wait at all. If you do not print large photos a lot it will be cheaper to go to a lab but for me it is the only way to go. I print at least 5 to 10 prints a month sometimes more.
     

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