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What photo printer are you using?

Discussion in 'Printers, Monitors, and Color Management' started by reignmkr, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Looking into buying the best quality photo printer. I'll say within the $250-$400 range. I'm looking to producing photos as large as 11x14. DPI is important too.

    Looking into the Epson R1900 or R1400. Anyone have any of these? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    What would you recommend?
  2. Not sure this is the answer you were looking for, but I found that Costco does a better job than I was ever able to do at home using top of the line Epson and then Canon printers - at a fraction of the cost I might add.

    When you begin to compute what it will cost you to print at home, do not be fooled into thinking that the direct out of pocket cost to you will be only the cost of one sheet of 11x14 photo paper and the ink used to produce that print. (I am leaving out the issue of amortizing the cost of a $250 - 400 printer for the moment and just focusing (pun intended) on the consumables).

    I found that I seldom (if ever) got the print I wanted on the first try. In fact, most time, it took MANY tries to achieve the result I knew I could get from the local Costco.

    An 11x14 print at Costco is just a couple of dollars. Compare that to the cost of printing just one copy of a file at home yourself. If you happened to be lucky enough to live near one of these places.....you will not believe the quality of the Costco prints. They print in all sizes up to something larger than 11x14 (can't remember the exact dimension of the prints larger than 11x14) in either matte or glossy. And - if you are printing smaller (say 5x7 or 8x10) the prices there are almost ridiculously inexpensive. A 5x7 costs something like $.59 and 4x6 proofs are $.17.

    I used to use a pro lab to make prints for sale or display; now, with a properly calibrated monitor, I cannot do better than Costco. Oh - and if the inexpensive price and outstanding quality were not enough of an incentive, consider that the turn around time is seldom more than one hour - most times considerably less.

    I can upload an image to Costco, drive the 20 minutes to the store and have a finished print in my hands before I can run the multiple copies necessary to produce a saleable copy on my Epson 1260 in my office.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2008
  3. As for me, home printing is part of the photographic experience. I don't do as many but my HP PRO B9180 is always ready, never clogged in over two years, and the pigment inks lasts forvever and it uses a wide variety of papers. The maximum size is 13x19 inches and that's the only size I print for framing. For everyday shots (4x6) I go commercial.
    My personal experience with Epson printers has been plagued with clogged print heads. If that were to happen with the B9180, the print heads are user changeable.
  4. I have the Epson R1900 and find it superb!! No clogging and once you set up the profiles, I have found that 95% of the time the first print out is perfect.

  5. Epson 2200, looking towards the Epson 3800 follow-on which should be announced imminently.
  6. Thank you Rick! I have been using Costco and agree with their outstanding quality and turn around time. I do notice that on the back of the prints have the Costco name on them. I was thinking it would be tacky if I used them for Wedding Albums or giving prints to a paying customer. What do you think?

  7. Thanks Peter. What type of paper do you normally use?
  8. Thanks Nancy. Just the affirmation I was looking for.

  9. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    I think it would be tacky if you are selling them. I've been doing some testing with Adorama, as they have a wider range of (Kodak) papers and sizes than does Costco, yet their prices are still decent - and I've been very pleased with the results from them so far. Their metalic paper is the bomb for real saturated, lower contrast kind of images - almost a 3D feel. Adorama also allows some customization as to the text printed on the back of the print, which could be useful for job/customer tracking.

    I also own an Epson R1800 and gotten good results with it. I use a range of papers, depending on the content and what I'm aiming to accomplish. When I'm really picky, it's easier to finesse that out of my own printer.
  10. rsprouse


    Jan 25, 2006
    Encinitas CA
    I have been using an Epson R1800 for a couple of years now and it is terrific.

    -- Russ
  11. Pesto126


    Apr 13, 2006
    Northeast USA
    Everyone is going to have their favorite.. for me - it is my Canon Pro 9500 - little heard about this gem but certainly the prints are on par with the equiv from Epson and HP - you can't go wrong with any of the 3 major printer companies these days and it really comes down to your favorite brand. The HP 9180 is very well written about and has tons of hints/tricks out there on forums.. same for Epson R1800/R1900.. The canon isn't talked much about - I think Canon did a poor job marketing this printer and their timing wasn't that great because the HP 9180 had come out a few months earlier and stole all the thunder.. but for a wide carriage 13x11 pigment printer.. its a great piece of hardware. Good luck in your decision!
  12. Tomm101


    Apr 15, 2008
    Vermont, USA
    I have a Canon iPF5000 17 inch, great printer. The latest model the iPF5100 has been on sale for great prices a couple of times this year. Because of the large ink tanks you save money on inks on a per print basis. I don't have a printing co. I trust near where I live and the 5000 has fit the bill for color as well as b&w.

  13. rocketliv

    rocketliv Guest

    I have a small Epson, it just prints 4 by 6 size prints but it does a fantastic job so I highly recommend Epson! You can't beat the ease of having it ready 24/7 and I find the cost to be pretty comparative to printer costs.
  14. Epson 3800 love it what an incredible printer
  15. I don't shoot or print professionally, but have found an extremely cheap, but very high quality printing routine.

    I have an Epson R280. It uses Epsons's new Claria dye ink, which is a pigment/dye combo. According to Wilhelm(google if you will)testing, the longevity is right up there with pro pigment ink printers.

    Here is the catch. You really need a color managed work flow. And, I had a professional printing profile made for me by Eric Chan. You can find Eric on the dpreview printing forum.

    Here is his website:


    The prints I get from this little printer are nothing short of astonishing...and I am a picky son of a gun. I get brilliant color on Epson PGPP, with astonishing color match to my calibrated monitor...thanks to Eric's printing profile. I have spoken to owners of this printer rand the old R1800, and they have placed these prints in higher esteem than the R1800.

    FYI, the R280 uses the same ink as the Epson R1400.

  16. general


    Apr 30, 2005
    Epson 2200 and 3800

    I have an Epson 2200 and an Epson 3800. I will put my prints up against Costco any day of the week. Besides I get a great amount of pleasure in creating the final print.
  17. papa85

    papa85 Guest

    I got the Epson 1800 the first week that they came out and it has been nothing but perfect in every why. I hope this does not put a jinks on it.
  18. I use 3 Canon i9900's...

    Love em!

  19. jjdesanto1


    May 1, 2005
    Warwick, N.Y.
    John DeSanto
    Epson 2200 and it produces great prints
  20. green18


    Mar 4, 2008
    Canon Pixma Pro 9000 and MP610 The 9000 has been fantastic for quality and consistency with zero issues with clogging etc. and the MP610 is great for proofs and all other printing duties and they share the same cart's which is a plus.
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