Printers 101

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by lkWinnipesaukee, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. lkWinnipesaukee

    lkWinnipesaukee TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys,

    Just exploring the world of photo-quality printers. I'm starting to realize that a printer should probably be my next big purchase (riiiiiiiiiight after the motorcycle :mrgreen:).

    I am completely lost as to what to look for. Can somebody with a few minutes just give me the rundown on different types of printers pertaining to photography? I know there is inkjet, but what about laser printers? I've heard about pigments and dyes, and maximum DPI. A 13"x19" printer would be preferred. I won't be using it too much, so I would like to spend no more than $450 on it.

    Any suggestions on a professional or near-professional printer??


    Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I don't know all that much about printers. From what I can tell...you should decide the level of quality that you want first. You can buy a high quality printer...but you may have a heck of time calibrating it, in order to get the most out of it. It may be that you can get adequate quality out of a lower priced printer.

    I have a Canon Pixma 400 (or something like that). If I use good quality paper, the prints look outstanding.

    You should also weigh the cost of it (printer, ink, paper etc) against a lab. You can get great prints for pretty good prices and you never have to worry about buying paper or ink...or cleaning the heads or whatever.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I stopped doing my own prints long ago. It's just cheaper to take them to Costco and get them done on light sensitive photographic paper, not home printers that spit ink on the surface.
     
  4. Stretch Armstrong

    Stretch Armstrong TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Switch. I would rather spend the money on glass, etc. The cost per print is really high and can be a pain in the butt.
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are serious about this you may want to hold off on the motorcycle. You don't want dye but pigment based ink. There have been gains in archival quality in dye based ink but from what I can tell, pigment is still king. Canon is making a run at Epson and have very good printers but the pros that I know (that I know which printer that they have) are all still using Epson. They are only profitable if you print a Lot!

    As to which is best for you? Good luck. ;)

    mike
     
  6. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    Epson is definitely the king of photo printing with Canon very close behind as Mike_E said.

    If you want to go as large as 13x19 I would go with the Epson Sylus Photo R2400. They also have a model that will go as large as 16x20 with the 4800.

    All the reviews and everything I've read about the R2400 say that its pretty amazing. But I would hope so at around $800. I thought about getting a printer myself but just going somewhere or sending the pictures away is too easy and way cheaper.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    R2400 or 4800 Epson photo printers are pretty much the way to go. There is a cheaper R1800 but I don't like the fact that it sacrifices one cartridge in its ink set for the gloss finisher.

    I have the Epson 2000 and it does wonderful professional prints. I do only matte intended to be mounted behind glass. The R1800, R2400, and above (including the 2200) use pigmented based inks for archival qualities. I had an 825 photoprinter that used dye based inks which have degraded under 24/7/365 exposure to lights at work. Looking at my photos it is pretty obvious which ones were printed on dye versus pigmented.

    This group is THE reference/standard in regards to testing inkjet archival qualities:
    http://www.wilhelm-research.com/
     
  8. mark38c

    mark38c TPF Noob!

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    Are you guys having a problems with your Epson printers clogging or chip error messages with refillable cartridges, and aftermarket ink? Any suggestions for a printer-ink-paper set up for a fairly high production need? I read that canon heads don't clog like Epson's. What is better the refilable cartriges or the CIS system?
     

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