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To print or not to print??

Discussion in 'Printers, Monitors, and Color Management' started by Huff09, May 19, 2007.

  1. Huff09


    Feb 25, 2007
    Carmichael, CA
    I have been reading the various printer threads and, combined with a lot of research, have been trying to make a decision as to which printer to buy.

    Now I have a new dilema. I am wondering why those of you who do your own printing made the decision to do so.

    Do you feel you get better quality than having them printed for you?

    Is it cheaper to print your own prints? From what I've read, this definitely doesn't seem to be the case.

    Is it just having the ability to produce a print on demand?

    Any help or thoughts would be great. My printer recently died and I need a new one. Before I drop cash on an expensive (or even semi-expensive) photo printer, I want to make sure it's a good move.

    I've never had issues with the quality I get from having prints done for me, however, I've also never owned a good quality photo printer so it may be a case of ignorance being bliss.

  2. jaymc

    jaymc Guest

    I've got an Epson 1280 printer that I use for the ocasional print, but the majority is brought to Costco while I do some shopping and are ready in one hour. It's hard to beat these prices (all usd):

    Prices for prints from your online photos are
    4x6" - 17¢ each
    5x7" - 39¢ each
    8x10" - $1.49 each
    8x12" - $1.49 each
    11x14" enlargements - $2.99 each
    12x18" enlargements - $2.99 each
    16x20" posters - $9.99 each
    20x30" posters - $9.99 each
    Sheet of 4 wallets (2x3) - 39¢

    - Jay
  3. Printing at home is one of the pleasures of photography for me. I love coming in from a shoot and printing out a beautiful image immediately. The prints I produce are head and shoulders above the ones I have gotten from various labs and online sites. I sell my work as well, so it's helpful to do my own printing. I'm using HP's DJ130 and B9180.
  4. Mike Z

    Mike Z

    May 30, 2005
    Northbrook, IL
    I print on my Canon i9900 usually at 13 x 19. The prints are beautiful but mostly I do it because I have the ability to do it on demand, which frequently is late at night.

  5. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I have a local lab do mine for the same prices as on line
    I think it is less expensive.
    Ink will run me to the poorer house than I'm already in
  6. BigPixel

    BigPixel Guest

    ditto David. I too have the DJ 130 and love printing a 24"x34" archival color print for around $8.00. (try costing that out with any online bureau or local lab!) Of course, this is just a materials cost (Ink & paper) and does not include the initial printer cost or monthly overhead. Just a way for you to compare basic per print pricing.

    Like David, there is no comparison in quality between what I can print myself to commercial lab work. Mine are significantly better, and I control everything. No faceless 19 year old minimum wage tech somewhere making critical decisions for me.....hehe
  7. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    What he said. :smile:
  8. BigPixel

    BigPixel Guest

    Charles,. David and any other fortunate fine art printer currently using an HP Designjet 90 or 130:

    You might be interested in hearing what I read recently in a similar thread over at DPR concerning the 130. The poster asked if the DJ 130 was still a viable choice now that there are so many pigmented printers on the market, was it still a contender.

    Neil Snape, who happens to be a paid consultant to HP on its Designjet printers, including the newest Z series pigmented printers, stated that he still loves both the quality and vibrancy his 130 gives him and in fact thinks the prints are better than (in his words) "any pigmented printer he has ever seen". A strong statement from a guy whose job is to help promote the new HP Z series pigmented printers. It should also be noted that he often praises other Canon and Epson printers for various reeasons, most notably B&W on fine art rag papers, etc.

    Just thought some would like to know that the DJ 90 & 130 dye based printers are still arguably the best bargain in inkjet printing going. Their only downside is limited choice of papers if you want archivability. You must use HP PP satin photo or gloss paper. Personally, I have no needs for exotic fine art papers and so remain quite happy and impressed with my satin photo output.
  9. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I like my DJ130 very much and don't see any need to change. My large prints go behind glass so the satin paper works fine for me. On my 2nd 50ft roll and I have only changed 1 cart. :smile:
  10. BigPixel

    BigPixel Guest

    ditto Charles. I've printed 10- 24"x50' rolls and have just started using my third set of carts. A very frugal printer indeed!
  11. Control! I know what I want my prints to look like and doing my own printing allows me to make sure they do. Printing is also, IMHO, where an image becomes a photograph. It's fun too.
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