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10/18/2002 12:50:59 AM · #1
I want to buy a photo printer. I've read a few reviews and will read more, but I'd like advice here too, if anyone has comments.

I need a printer that is built primarily for printing photographs, that will print above 8x10s, that won't need a second mortgage. Any thoughts?
10/18/2002 01:24:03 AM · #2
I like Epson. Mine prints up to 8 x 10, but does a nice job. For larger sizes I have our local print shop print them for me---it's actually less expensive to have them do it---but I don't like their paper on everything. There's an Epson Stylus Photo 1280 13" x 19" Epson advertises at 499.00. Stylus Photo 1520 15 x 22 (didn't see a price on it). Epson 2200 13 x 19 699.00. Shop around, they're probably available for less.
10/18/2002 02:08:35 AM · #3
Thanks. The Epson 2000 is top of my list right now, but I'd like to hear about more.
10/18/2002 02:11:18 AM · #4
Originally posted by Jak:
Thanks. The Epson 2000 is top of my list right now, but I'd like to hear about more.


The people at Inkjet art probably
know more than you could ever want to know about inkjet printing. They
were quite helpful when I asked questions too.

I use an Epson photo 780 and am really pleased with the results - more
important than the printer is getting the right paper really.

6 colour printers do better for tonal ranges than 4 colour printers,
all other things being equal.

My Epson printer cost $50 on the home shopping network...

At the same time I use an HP Deskjet 932C as my 'workhorse' printer,
but it doesn't do as good a job as the Epson on photos - it is better
for everything else though.

Some thoughts and comparisons that I wrote.

* This message has been edited by the author on 10/18/2002 9:05:02 AM.
10/18/2002 02:32:13 AM · #5
Buy HP, everything else is not good...........ooops, maybe I took the "working for HP" thing too far....

I have a 2 year old deskjet which works pretty well.

I have a lot of great things about Epson! Whatever you do, you should definately go 6-ink.

The most important thing is to look for the manufacturer who's ahead of the rest in terms of color rendition and "print longevity" if you're concerned with the prints being around for a long time.

We just released an internal article about the fact that our new super-duper HP paper with our regular inkjets has a lifespan of 33 years, supposedly better than regular photo processing. The paper costs a buck a piece though if I'm not mistaken.

I assume that Epson & co. have a similar position though...unfortunately I'm not much of a printer expert yet.

Also, try to figure out the cost of supplies, because you'll put 1000s into this, so what the printer costs is really a secondary question (especially these days when one can get loans on everthing).

Good luck!

Jakob
10/18/2002 03:42:52 AM · #6
I'm very happy with my Epson 1280. Excellent prints. And I love the large format!
For me, it's a lot less expensive printing here than at the lab. PLUS, the lab never seems to get the colors correctly.

Martin
10/18/2002 05:16:20 AM · #7
Originally posted by Jak:
I want to buy a photo printer. I've read a few reviews and will read more, but I'd like advice here too, if anyone has comments.

I need a printer that is built primarily for printing photographs, that will print above 8x10s, that won't need a second mortgage. Any thoughts?


Look for Canon S 9000! Good luck!
10/18/2002 07:27:56 AM · #8
about 2 weeks ago I purchased an HP7150. I'm really loving it too. It does remarkably well. I got it at Circuit City for like $150, so you can't beat the price. Everywhere else they are about $180 so I think that was part of the reason why I got it. I was looking at an HP5550 which actually does the same quality. I probably would've eventually bought that one. The thing that I liked about the 7150 was the little door on the catch tray where you can load up 4x6 paper. When you want to use it, just slide the little handle up and it's in place to print. I haven't found anything about it that I don't like yet. Except of course for the price of the ink. Black and tri-color is about $35, and the photo cartridges are $25.

I have heard the Epsons do pretty well. The knock I keep hearing about them is that they aren't terribly durable. I like the HP's, and probably will continue to keep buying them.

I printed out a few copies of my F&V challenge pic because of the bright colors, and no one can tell it was printed on a printer, which is what I've been looking for.

Your paper choice may have just as much bearing on them as the printer choice. HP makes good paper, but I prefer Kodak premium glossy. But that's just me.
10/18/2002 08:22:58 AM · #9
Originally posted by Jak:
I want to buy a photo printer. I've read a few reviews and will read more, but I'd like advice here too, if anyone has comments.

I need a printer that is built primarily for printing photographs, that will print above 8x10s, that won't need a second mortgage. Any thoughts?


I have both an Epson 780 and 785 EPX. Both work extremely well and are capable of printing up to 2880 dpi. They will not print larger than 8 1/2 x 11. The paper is key. I have tried them all, and Kodak Premium, is fantastic and works better for me than the Epson paper.
10/18/2002 10:39:40 AM · #10
I also have an Epson 785EPX that cost $149 and prints beautiful photos, 6 ink, and I agree paper is the key.
10/18/2002 11:17:35 AM · #11
If you want some pretty good reviews on the web, the geeks all head over to www.tomshardware.com.
You'll have to wade through articles on CPUs and stuff but if you go to the Peripherals & Consumer Electronics section there are some reviews of HP, Canon and other printers that may help you in your quest.
10/18/2002 11:18:24 AM · #12
Thank you all for your suggestions, they have been very helpful.
10/18/2002 02:25:35 PM · #13
Jak, I would avoid the 2000 for most photo needs, the inks are not as bright as the 1280. The only advantage to the 2000 series is that the inks last a little longer (archival wise). There is also an 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper version of the 1280 I think it is the 820
Originally posted by Jak:
Thanks. The Epson 2000 is top of my list right now, but I'd like to hear about more.


10/18/2002 03:38:53 PM · #14
I'm using the Epson Stylus C80 and I am pretty happy with it. It uses Epson's Durabright archival inks which are pretty amazing. Even though it using only 4 cartridges it still prints incredible photos. It's a little clunky and makes some funny sounds sometimes but it prints nicely. I really like the fact that it uses seperate inks that are exactly monitored practically to the drop. It doesn't seem to be that big of a deal to run down to my local Staples and pay $11 for another ink cartridge once in a while.

T
10/18/2002 03:57:47 PM · #15
I think I'm gonna post my first "anti" thread... *grin*

I'm moving away from desktop printers altogether. I'm discovering that I can have all my digital files printed much cheaper using real, honest to goodness, chemical process on real, honest to goodness, photo paper for a fraction of what it costs me to buy ink and paper and print at home.

If I want to save money and have the time to wait, I use an online service. ($5 for an 11x14 print, plus about $5-10 for shipping -- a cost that amortizes with the number of prints you order.) If I'm in a hurry, I take it to a local photo shop. ($25 for an 11x14 -- 25% discount if you buy one of their memberships.)

Of course, you have to find a photo shop in your area with the technology to print, but I was surprised to see them take my flash card, plug it into a computer, and send my files to the same machine they use to print from negatives. I expected to get some fancy dye sublimation print from a Kodak kiosk, and was pleasantly surprised to see this happen instead.

Something to consider instead of laying out the cash for a printer and then purchasing reams of paper and gallons of ink... cleaning clogged nozzles... prints that fade after 5 years... etc etc etc
10/18/2002 04:02:29 PM · #16
Espons archival inks will last about as long as a regular photo print, and it does not cost me anywhere near $25 for a print at home.

I would like to see if there is a quality difference though.

* This message has been edited by the author on 10/18/2002 4:05:22 PM.
10/18/2002 04:12:21 PM · #17
Zeiss,

They THINK that the archival inks will last as long as a print. They don't really know since none have been around that long, they just estimate based on their stress tests.

Second, as for costs, how much does a set of ink cartridges cost? How many prints, with a wide variety of colors, can you get from those cartridges? How much does a pack of 11x14 paper cost? (50 11x14 sheets for $25 of Epson matte -- first price I found.) How many prints do yoou go through before you get the color printed to match the color on your screen....

For that matter there's the initial outlay for the printer. The bigger you want to print, with more quality, the more expensive it starts getting.

Finally, like I said, I tend to use the online service -- $5 for the 11x14 print, $20 for a 20x30, plus shipping.... LOT cheaper than the local shop, I just have to wait a couple of days.

It may be a little more expensive, but I think, if you start working it out, it's not that much more so.


* This message has been edited by the author on 10/18/2002 4:16:52 PM.
10/18/2002 04:27:48 PM · #18
I should have mentioned that I too, usually use an online photo service for my prints. I use Dotphoto which has excellent prices and will print up to 12x18 and I also use Sony's Imagestation which also has excellent prices and will print up to 20x30 for 20 dollars. These are also silver based prints on quality photo paper. I usually choose the mat paper because it looks beautiful and is less prone to finger prints. With a good printer at home I have all me bases covered.

One side note. Every time I order a larger sized print I save the boxes which are great for storing other prints or artwork.

T
10/18/2002 05:46:29 PM · #19
I use several printers. I own an:

· Epson Photo EX which is nice for larger images (11 x 17, or longer) and panoramic stuff from my X-pan,
· A HP Smart 100 for smaller 4 x 6 or there about,
· And, an Olympus P400 for 10 x 7.64. The Olympus is a dye sublimation printer and is rather remarkable.

At a recent local photography show, I saw the new Kodak dye sublimation printer that was just introduced at Photokina. It also looked very impressive and yielded a larger print size then the Olympus in the 8 x 10 range. However, I can easily recommend the Olympus to you. The pricing has recently dropped and the output is very impressive, if you have the appetite for the capital cost and the operating costs (I estimate about $2.50 to $3.00 Canadian, so if you are in the USA, it should be slightly less after the foreign exchange consideration).

There are so many excellent printers available to you today; it is a challenge to decide. You will likely need to define your needs a little tighter with regards to the image size (as you already stated), cost of the printer, cost of ink and paper, print speed, resolution, colourimetry, etc. Good luck with your selection.
10/18/2002 05:55:07 PM · #20
<double post -- see below>

* This message has been edited by the author on 10/18/2002 5:53:20 PM.
10/18/2002 05:55:17 PM · #21
This is clearly a difficult decision. I have just sent some files to a well-regarded local shop and I will see what their quality is like. they have a two to three day turnaround. They charge $9.35 Canadian (about US6.25) for an 8x10, and less than a dollar for 4x6.

If their quality is as good as I hope, at those prices I will probably stick with this method for fine prints and get a lower-end printer for down-and-dirty test prints.

I have enjoyed this research and all your participation. Thank you.


* This message has been edited by the author on 10/18/2002 5:53:56 PM.
10/18/2002 06:12:55 PM · #22
$5 buck is not bad. But do you get the image the way you want it? I really like the control of printing at home.

With my HP, I can usually get the print I want on the first shot. If I print something difficult, I do a small test print first, I can usually get 6-9 images per page on the test print.


I have two problems with the on-line service.

1. I am afraid of what the results would be (we all know that different systems are calibrated differently). I tend to like my photos contrasty.
2. I do not have a high-speed connection.

If you are talking about large format printing only, I agree with you that oursourcing is a very good option, as I do not have many picture I would want at 11x14 or larger. And thus, the printer is a hugh expense.

Originally posted by Patella:
Zeiss,

They THINK that the archival inks will last as long as a print. They don't really know since none have been around that long, they just estimate based on their stress tests.

Second, as for costs, how much does a set of ink cartridges cost? How many prints, with a wide variety of colors, can you get from those cartridges? How much does a pack of 11x14 paper cost? (50 11x14 sheets for $25 of Epson matte -- first price I found.) How many prints do yoou go through before you get the color printed to match the color on your screen....

For that matter there's the initial outlay for the printer. The bigger you want to print, with more quality, the more expensive it starts getting.

Finally, like I said, I tend to use the online service -- $5 for the 11x14 print, $20 for a 20x30, plus shipping.... LOT cheaper than the local shop, I just have to wait a couple of days.

It may be a little more expensive, but I think, if you start working it out, it's not that much more so.


10/18/2002 06:23:04 PM · #23
Originally posted by Jak:
This is clearly a difficult decision. I have just sent some files to a well-regarded local shop and I will see what their quality is like. they have a two to three day turnaround. They charge $9.35 Canadian (about US6.25) for an 8x10, and less than a dollar for 4x6...


Guess I'm a bit late to get in on this thread, but thought my 2 cents might be worthwhile to someone. I use an Epson 780 and get very good results with Epson papers. Do note that for accurate color you must print using an ICC profile for the paper and resolution that you are printing with. I particularly like the ColorFast paper, which also has a very professional finish and no printing on the backside. With the 780's inks, ColorFast is rated at about 25 years of non-fading color life. However, I find it much cheaper to get prints at Costco, Wal-Mart, or Printroom.com. There are a plethora of others out there that are probably just as good. It's really hard to beat Costco's 20 cents per print (17 cents of over 100). They also do a 12x18 for $3.
10/18/2002 07:08:14 PM · #24
Originally posted by Gene L.:
Guess I'm a bit late to get in on this thread, but thought my 2 cents might be worthwhile to someone.

All information is welcome! And this will be an on-going thought process for me until I finally settle on a decision. I am even more sure that this info and discussion is valuable to many others besides myself.

I have had much informative information from imaging-resource, especially in their forums where much of the chat is WAY above my head. (I am sure Gordon would love it!)
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