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Photography Printers
Old 05-01-2015, 11:59 AM   #1
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Photography Printers

Forgive me if this has been covered but a search did 't reveal what I was looking for.

Many years ago I had a Lexmark printer that did a pretty decent job of printing photographs. It turned out to be a PIA and the quality of prints suffered no matter what I did to improve them. I just wonder if todays technology is better and if many here print there own photos ? Would appreciate any and all feedback and even some recommendations on a good printer. I would like to stay around or under the $500 price point if possible. Also am interested in hearing how many photos one gets without having to purchase additional cartridges.

Thanks in advance for any and all comments.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:19 PM   #2
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I have a Canon Pixma PRO-100 that I'm happy with although of course the cartridges (8 of them) are a bit pricy. That's pretty much universal though. But I think the prints are great! The downside, if that matters to you, is that the maximum print size is 13x19. I would have preferred 16x20 but to get that I have to go to an Epson 3880 or similar and those are over a grand.

BTW, the Canon is not a lightweight printer, you will need a sturdy desk or table but according to the reviews I read it will do gallery-quality prints, just not very quickly. I haven't found print speed to be an issue for me but I usually only print one or two prints at a time anyway.

I was lucky, I stumbled across it when they had a $300 rebate on a $400 printer after lightning took out the HP photo printer I had been using. Apparently there is another rebate going on with it now: http://www.adorama.com/ICAPRO100.html
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:40 PM   #3
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No great knowledge here, but I have an Epson Artisan 837 that has worked very well for me for the last couple of years.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:49 PM   #4
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I don't print many pictures anymore, so I don't have a dedicated photo printer. I just use a photo printing service when I need to get a print.
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Old 05-01-2015, 03:40 PM   #5
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I have a chance to pick up a new Canon Pixma PRO-100 for $125 and am seriously considering it. I looked at the specs and it is a beast at 40# and 27" in width. Just trying to figure out where I might put the thing.
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frayne View Post
I just wonder if todays technology is better and if many here print there own photos ? Would appreciate any and all feedback and even some recommendations on a good printer. I would like to stay around or under the $500 price point if possible. Also am interested in hearing how many photos one gets without having to purchase additional cartridges.
.
The quality of today's inkjet printers is just awesome and even better IMO than photographic paper. Plus you have instant feedback so you can tweak your prints.

Cost wise, on my HP with the big cartridges I was running under $1 per sq ft (ink only). Smaller cartridges would be more and I wouldn't be surprised if it was double.



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Old 05-01-2015, 04:08 PM   #7
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I have a chance to pick up a new Canon Pixma PRO-100 for $125 and am seriously considering up. I looked at the specs and it is a beast at 40# and 27" in width. Just trying to figure out where I might put the thing.
At that price you'll be happy with the print quality but as you note it is a beast. I have a largish L-shape corner desk that holds the display, the photo printer, and a color laser printer we use for everyday stuff.

Maybe a used TV stand or something similar to hold it?
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:25 AM   #8
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I print all of my images... I don't yet fully trust digital storage. I do this using a custom 3x3 Contact Sheet Preset using Lightroom's Print module. I print on Red River Paper's double sided Polar Luster paper with an Epson Stylus Pro 3880 printer. These sheets are then bound with a Ibico/GBC system into 2" "books."

I also use the same printer to print the "special" images in various sizes up to 17" x 22".

(FWIW, I have no problem with Epson Photo Paper... other than the cost.)
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:46 PM   #9
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I don't print many pictures anymore, so I don't have a dedicated photo printer. I just use a photo printing service when I need to get a print.

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Old 05-02-2015, 05:14 PM   #10
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Most photo printers these days do a decent job - initially. The question is whether the ink will fade with time and exposure to light. I've found that most dye based inks will eventually fade. Maybe OK if you leave the photo in a drawer for occasional viewing, but unacceptable if you're displaying it on a wall.

The alternative is pigment based inks, which don't tend to fade, but in many cases seem to show a greater tendency to clog the ink jets unless you use and maintain the printer regularly. Maybe this has improved recently, but this was the choice a couple of years ago when I last looked into it.

BTW I regularly printed my own photos for several years, but like others here, have found that for occasional use online photo print services are of equal or greater quality and more cost effective.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:17 PM   #11
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The alternative is pigment based inks, which don't tend to fade, but in many cases seem to show a greater tendency to clog the ink jets unless you use and maintain the printer regularly.
That is still true. You cannot let a Pigment Ink printer lie idle for more than a month... with out a heavy cost in clearing the print heads.

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BTW I regularly printed my own photos for several years, but like others here, have found that for occasional use online photo print services are of equal or greater quality and more cost effective.
I have never used an "outside" printer but I fully support your advice. The printing of photographs by an "amateur," like many other things (video & high quality audio, for instance) is not something for the frugal-minded. In most cases, it is generally less expensive to farm out (like housework or lawn care... <chuckle>) such endeavors.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:34 PM   #12
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Which online photo services have others used that they would recommend.
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:01 PM   #13
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The alternative is pigment based inks, which don't tend to fade, but in many cases seem to show a greater tendency to clog the ink jets unless you use and maintain the printer regularly. Maybe this has improved recently, but this was the choice a couple of years ago when I last looked into it.
Epsons (with the exception of only one or two models like the 3880) are notorious for clogging. Clogging with my Epson 2200 completely turned me away from the brand. I then went to various HP printers and never had a clogging issue ever. This is largely due to their print head design (multiple nozzles which automatically switch over + cheap user repleacable heads). I think Canon uses a similar approach to HP but I don't have first hand experience with them.

Only problem with HP is that I feel like their fine art printing division has stagnated with not much new coming out.
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Old 05-03-2015, 04:27 PM   #14
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Only problem with HP is that I feel like their fine art printing division has stagnated with not much new coming out.
I noticed that too. Before I bought the Canon Pro-100 I was looking for an HP because that's what I had and I generally liked it. But anything they make for photos seems to be cheap ones for the home or high-end professional print shop with nothing in between. I went with the Canon because I wanted to go for a larger print size than 8x10.

For now it seems that Epson pretty much has the home/single user photo printer market locked up although Canon is nipping at their heels. No one else seems to be even trying but that is probably a small market share.

I looked at Epsons but as stepford noted there were a lot of complaints about clogging. Canon claims that the dye based ink they use as in the Pro-100 is good for 200 years if kept behind glass. That's still better than film prints from the '50's and earlier - I have some family B&W prints that are ~100 years old now and they show a lot of bronzing. But they weren't kept behind glass, either.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:13 AM   #15
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I'll print photos that I want to display, but otherwise I keep the images as original digital.
I'll use walmart/CVS for postcards and snapfish for larger sizes. Nothing good enough to do poster size yet

I make backup copies of my photo directory so even if a drive dies, I have multiple copies on other various drives and burned to dvd.

I have far too many images to print.
When I want to modify an image, I'll do the modifications on a copy of it.
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Old 05-12-2015, 03:25 AM   #16
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Epsons (with the exception of only one or two models like the 3880) are notorious for clogging. Clogging with my Epson 2200 completely turned me away from the brand. I then went to various HP printers and never had a clogging issue ever. This is largely due to their print head design (multiple nozzles which automatically switch over + cheap user repleacable heads). I think Canon uses a similar approach to HP but I don't have first hand experience with them.

Only problem with HP is that I feel like their fine art printing division has stagnated with not much new coming out.
Yeah, we have lived through clogged print head hell. We now have the Epson 3880.

DH is the one who loves to print his stuff. I'm happy just looking at my images on screen or projected to the big TV.

We've had tremendous luck with the Apple calendars. Their print quality and color fidelity is excellent. Not cheap though......
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:19 PM   #17
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DW likes hard copy prints, I'm more content to keep them digital unless I'm going to frame one. Just yesterday she wanted me to download/print some from Facebook of her grandnephew (we've asked the copyright holder, her niece, if that's okay and it is). On a 4x6 or 5x7 print they come out far better than I thought they would but DW isn't all that fussy about it. She just wants the hardcopy family photos. And of course I can tweak them a bit in LR or Photoshop.

BTW, I really like the print module in LR. You can set up for a specific printer/paper/size, save the settings and then after import into LR it is a one-click operation to make a print. I have heard of people buying LR just for the print module if they print a lot and I can see why.

It would probably be a bit cheaper to do CVS/Walmart but this way she gets them right away and there is value in that to her.
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