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Old October 1st, 2003, 02:47 PM   #1
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photo printers

Since I'm real close to saying goodbye to 35mm film once and for all, I'm looking at photo quality printers.
Now my little Lexmark Z45 will print photos, but I'm not sure how well compared to something more expensive. Can you guys give me some suggestions as to better printers I should look at, as well as what type of paper I should get? I want to avoid the feel that my stuff was printed on a home printer at all costs.

Also, has anyone estimated what it costs to print a single picture on a home printer, taking into account the cost of paper and ink?
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Old October 1st, 2003, 03:56 PM   #2
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What will you be doing with the prints, selling online or in a gallery? How long do you want the prints to last? What paper surface do you prefer, glossy, matte or luster?
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Old October 1st, 2003, 04:38 PM   #3
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Aha!

I'd say 90% would be for gallery display (assuming my wall counts as a gallery too). Not sure about the rest.
I like a glossy finish, but have nothing against a matte finish. Not sure what a luster finish is, no one's ever asked me if I want it when I'm getting film developed.

I'm not sure how many years they last normally, so can I answer "as long as possible, without paying a fortune"?
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Old October 1st, 2003, 04:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Also, has anyone estimated what it costs to print a single picture on a home printer, taking into account the cost of paper and ink?
There's not a simple answer to that, as it depends on the quality of print and paper that you want to use. I just disposed of my chemical darkroom, and have gone all digital. I bought a Canon i9100 printer, which will make high-quality prints up to 13x19 inches. A set of ink cartridges costs about $70, and appears to be good for 25-40 13x19 prints. The paper itself runs about 75 cents to $1 a sheet This well under what I spent printing 16x20 color prints in my darkroom and, when you consider the costs saved by not having to reprint to compensate for poor exposure or chemical contamination, I'm way ahead. The quality of print that I get from this machine equals or betters what I could do in my darkroom.

The other high-quality wide-carriage printer commonly used for photo printing is the Epson 2200. The Epson uses pigment-based inks, instead of the dyes used by most other printer manufacturers. The advantage is they are less prone to fading --
Epson claims archival life up to 75 years. The disadvantage is, they are considerably more expensive. Also, the 2200 can only produce 15-20 13 x 19 inch prints from a set of cartridges. I also understand that Epson paper, while very high quality, tends to be more expensive as well.
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Old October 5th, 2003, 09:13 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tip on the printers Paul, that's pretty much what I'm looking for.
What's the lifespan on dye based inks from the Canon printer?

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Old October 5th, 2003, 09:24 AM   #6
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What's the lifespan on dye based inks from the Canon printer?
I've seen estimates anywhere from a couple of years to 25 or more. Frankly, archival quality isn't of any importance to me -- if the print fades, I'll just print another one. It's cheap and easy enough. For what it's worth, I've done a bunch of prints with my Canon i9100 and set them on a chair in my living room where they are hit with direct, albeit window-filtered, sunlight every day. They've been there for weeks and look as good as the day they were printed. Not much of a test, I know, but good enough for me.
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Old October 5th, 2003, 09:27 AM   #7
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HP has just come out with a new 8-color printer. I only caught a glimpse of it, but it seems the price is very reasonable...maybe too reasonable for professional quality printing. I'll check it out closer next time I'm at Bic Camera this week.
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Old October 5th, 2003, 09:11 PM   #8
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Here's a review of the 8-color printer I mentioned. Supposedly great image-quality, but only prints up to US legal size.
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Old October 5th, 2003, 09:31 PM   #9
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Thanks John. It's purdee....

The price seems reasonable, but I'm still tempted by the thoughts of making 13x19 prints.
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