Who prints their own pictures - with their own printer?

Discussion in 'Printing' started by BBW, May 23, 2011.

  1. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    dorfinator mentioned printing his own pictures on another thread:
    Rather than continue to derail that Black and White Portraits thread, I've started this one.:wink:

    So tell me Dorf, do you print your own? How about the rest of you all? I've never considered it...which may be why I don't have so many prints, though I have foud Mpix to be very very good. But what about your own printers? Is it worth it, etc.?
     
  2. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    I do, but not often enough. I have my own printer so I can print at different sizes and on my own paper, and I can test print variations. It's the Epson 3880. I like it because I don't have to change ink cartridges for color and B&W.
     
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  3. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Real Name:
    Antonio
    I print my own and print fairly often. I use an Epson 3800 printer (predecessor to the 3880) which is wonderful. I hear the 3880 is even better.

    There is, however, a learning curve to printing at home if you are seeking consistent and competent results. Matching monitor to printer output requires a decent and well calibrated monitor. Plus, printing at home is no cheaper than having prints commercially made; quite the opposite in many cases.

    However, once you have it all dialed in, its great to be able to see your work in print and to control the process from beginning to end.

    Regards,

    Antonio
     
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  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    I use a Canon Pro 9000 Mk II. I've been a fan of Canon printers for years. I recently did a bit of BW on it and I was surprised at how well they turned out.
     
  5. Country Parson

    Country Parson SC Top Veteran

    682
    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Dan
    I have had ambitions to print my own, but there is a lot of trial and error, and I am not always patient with that. So sometimes I print my own, and sometimes I use a local lab that give consistently good results and is convenient to where I work.
     
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  6. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    I do.

    I have always enjoyed prints. I would also say that for me, even the very best photographs do not look anywhere near as good on a screen as they do in a well crafted print. It's also just so much nicer to look at a print on a wall, or held in your hand, than on a screen - so much more absorbing.

    If I did not print my own I would do so through a commercial service.

    To anyone who does not print much, I suggest choosing some photos you really enjoy and printing them reasonably large, assuming you have the resolution needed, say 11 x 17 or so. You will feel different about prints.
     
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  7. Rich M

    Rich M SC Regular

    162
    May 2, 2011
    Hawaii
    I'm with Antonio......I use the Epson 3800. It's a very nice printer and Eric Chan has written the definitive guide.

    Epson Stylus Pro 3800 Printer Notes and Resources

    R
     
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  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I have a normal printer and a large format business printer that can do 13x19 inch prints. The large format isn't a great photo printer but its not too bad. I have a few 11x14s around the house from it. The smaller one is a bit better quality but can only do 8x10 prints. If I want a print done really well, I send it out (I've only done this a couple of times). I've printed a few for friends and relatives on my gear - they think its just wonderful. I don't print a lot - but have done a couple of photo-books and will probably make at least an annual event of that. One end of year retrospective and individual books for any epic trips or events...

    -Ray
     
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  9. PeterB666

    PeterB666 SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    I print my own. I just upgraded my multi-fuction device thingie to a new Canon MG6150 which has 6 ink tanks (give or take a couple) including two blacks and a grey for optimised black and white printing. I have only printed a couple of test prints in colour and black and white and it is stunning (well at least compared to the old printer).

    One thing though, home printing is considerably more expensive than photo labs. I do very little printing so it doesn't matter that much so it is a convenience (and control) thing for me.
     
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  10. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    I like photo books, and have enjoyed how people become absorbed in the photographs. A really nice innovation.

    I would add a qualifier to that. Consumer grade printers can be very expensive to run, particularly impacted by the cost of ink. More pro printers, such as he Epson 3800 / 3880 can be much more economical due to the very much larger ink tanks and lower per ml cost.

    Another factor in the cost is the technical preparation and skill applied: errors cause re-printing. I know...:redface:
     
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  11. Country Parson

    Country Parson SC Top Veteran

    682
    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Dan
    B&W printing is something I have not tried in the past, but you folks are giving me encouragement. :clapping:
     
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  12. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    I'm thinking photo books is a good option for me for a number of pictures - especially the highlights from college years, not mine but our daughter's.

    For me, unless I got a lot of practice on a friend's printer, the cost of printing for me would be too much. I've gotten great results from Mpix but still need and want to figure out the border issue... I think of borders as an easy way out of a mat.:wink:
     
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  13. LisaO

    LisaO SC Regular S.C. Charter Member

    123
    Jul 11, 2010
    I do sometimes but since I do infrequently it is often cheaper to order prints than to buy new carts for my Epson 3800. I also have a little Epson Artisan that seems to keep ink ok (not drying up) for a while. I used to like printing 4x6's for friends and relatives with a Canon 960 (I think) until it started dropping out little gears and the ink prices went up.

    I read somewhere that the average printer ink cost $6000 a gallon, what a scam.
     
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  14. PeterB666

    PeterB666 SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    I would like to add another qualifier to that. The Epson 3800 has a recommended selling price of $2195 in Australia making it some 11 times more expensive than the printer I bought (I paid $198).

    While the cost per page may (or may not) be more expensive, you would need to do a lot more printing that I do to recover that cost. I spend about $400 to $500 a year on ink including that for general purpose printing and keep a printer for around 4 to 5 years before upgrading. The 9 ink cartidges for the 3800 cost $99 each in Australia so unless the ink in the Epson was free for the life of the machine, it isn't going to make sense for me.

    I would dealy love an A2 printer but then I recall the two A3 printers that I did have and I probably printed less than 10 prints larger than A4 when I did have them. Should I want a poster sized print or anything bigger than A4, I take it to a photo lab and save $2000.

    The bottom line is you buy something that suits your needs including the volume of printing you do.
     
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  15. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf SC Top Veteran

    868
    Apr 25, 2011
    Western NC
    Yea I'm the guilty party on this thread! I just placed an order thru Mpix for one of the B&W shots I just posted to see how they do. I only ordered an 8x10 on there standout frame option.

    I have a hallway that I'd like to hang some of my better shots and keep the framing the same.

    So the Mpix will be a good comparison on the costs compares to buying my own printer and doing my own framing.

    When the print arrives I will post some shots.
     
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  16. andrewh973

    andrewh973 SC Regular

    132
    Mar 13, 2011
    NYC metro are
    I use a recently purchased Epson R2880. The one downside I've noticed, thus far, is that goes through ink very quickly.
     
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  17. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    The volume of printing certainly can make a difference.

    The Canadian price for the 3880 is C$1149.00 (occasionally less) and a full set of ink is C$569.00: the printer comes with a full set, so you could calculate that the printer is priced at C$580.00 or so.

    If you print enough, and enjoy doing it, this can compare reasonably with a commercial printer.

    The ink prices are crazy, but they are crazy regardless of who does the printing.

    At the risk of being controversial, I do wonder at the push from some photographers for ever better IQ if they are not printing. Once you have resolution that can show the details you want to show on screen, and all the other parameters you value (say, for example, high ISO capability), then I don't see the advantage of increased resolution etc. Unless you are a camera manufacturer, or a hard drive manufacturer, or a computer manufacturer, and benefit from the ever larger files...
     
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  18. photogfollett

    photogfollett SC Regular Subscribing Member

    194
    Feb 7, 2012
    Roseburg, Oregon
    Real Name:
    John
    I've been printing my own prints, mostly b/w, for a number of years on a Canon iPF5100. It was a substantial investment but since I can use it for clients work as well as my own it has paid for itself in no time. It has 12 ink cartridges, 2 black, 2 grey, and 8 color and does an amazing job printing my scanned prints. Since it can print from a 17" wide roll paper or individual sheets I can do almost any size print. The only downsize is that when it's time to replace the ink cartridges they cost about $80 a piece. :eek:
    Now I'm in the market for a new scanner for my medium format negs....any suggestions?
     
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  19. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sue
    I used to print a lot at A4 size, for posting on the wall at work, which was a boring and bare cubicle. I no longer work (not by choice, but I'm calling it retirement) and I no longer go to camera club either (mind you, there's a general expectation of at least A3 there. One person goes A3 and its not long before everyone else follows)... so really, unless I do something *really* stunning, I don't print. I even went so far as to replace my perfectly good Canon iP4600 with an Epson wireless scanner/printer (I needed the scanner and there are no drivers to let the old LiDE50 work with Lion). I occasionally print out text stuff and one day I might replace some of the shots I have hanging round the house, but if I want something printed really well, it has to go to a lab. I'm just not that good at getting the colours right.
     
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  20. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    You know, I bet some of your stuff will stun you when printed, in a way it can't while on a screen. just a thought.
     
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