Choosing a printer...

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Samriel, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

    Nov 30, 2007
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    Fukuoka, Japan
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    I've been doing photography for about a year now, mostly digital, but also a bit of film photography recently. I've been printing (digital) mostly in standard photo shops, rarely in professional labs. While this has been quite cost efficient, recently I've found that the results, especially with B&W prints, are less then satisfactory in the standard shops, and that the professional labs costs too much in the long run. I tried using my EPSON RX700 after some calibration (both monitor and printer), but the results were also not what I had in mind, so I did some research about printers and papers, and got intrigued by the possibilities of trying printing on a "proper" printer with some fine art paper.

    At the moment I'm looking at the following three printers:

    • Canon PIXUS Pro9500 (I think it's PIXMA Pro9500 outside of Japan)
    • HP Photosmart Pro B9180
    • Epson PX-5600 (I think it's R2880 outside of Japan)
    They are in the same price class, and looking at reviews and specs, I'd say they are in the same performace class as well. The problem is, I cannot find any recent reviews for the Canon and HP, so I can't judge if certain problems have been fixed with recent ICC profile updates (the Canon is supposed to lack some depth in B&W fine print reproduction).

    First, I'd like to ask for opinions from people who have experience using any of these printers, especially those who use them to print B&W prints (neutral or toned) on fine art paper.

    Second, if you where to suggest a printer (out of the mentioned three) for B&W fine art printing, what would be your recommendation and why? As to my priorities:

    Quality (B&W Fine Art) --> Ink Cost --> Size --> Printing speed

    Third, if you where to recommend a paper along with the printer, what would be your suggestions? I've been looking at Hahnemühle papers, and many people seem to have good opinions about them (although they are comparatively expensive).


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