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Photography Question 

Printing your Own Vs. Purchasing

I'm thinking of getting an Epson R1800. The inks are fairly pricey.

Is it cheaper to print my own photos or to just order them online somewhere?

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12/2/2006 7:06:33 AM

W.    Indeed, Matthew, the inks are EXTREMELY pricey! Also, inkjet printer inks are highly carcinogenic (CANCER!) and EXTREMELY poisonous to the environment.

Printing photos is waaay cheaper if you outsource it. Much, much safer too.

Yes, I've got an inkjet printer. But I only use it for printing photos when absolutely neccessary/unavoidable.

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12/2/2006 10:05:42 AM

Bob Fately   The other aspect of costliness when it comes to having your own inkjet printer is the potential of the cartridges drying out if not used regularly. That is, after spending all that money on inks, to have a few of them not work after a few weeks of standing idle (depending on how humid your area is) can translate into doubling the cost of any actual prints you might make.

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12/2/2006 11:53:47 AM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  If you're going to make many, many 4X6 prints, it is probably much cheaper to have someone else make them.

But, generally, the beauty of digital [in my opinion] is that us amateurs and advanced amateurs really only need make prints of our winners. And, since these would generally tend be larger than 4X6, now we start to see economies in printing at home.

Sure, I've seen some prices offered that are very low [especially from advertisers in Photoshop Magazine;] once again the prices drop when the quantity ordered goes up. No mention of paper being used, however.

Adorama has a special this week - 8X10's for $1.99 a piece. That's almost what it costs me to make a 13X19 with my i9900.

As to toxicity, it's not the inks, it's the dosage that poisons [kills] you. I've been using Canon color printers for almost 10 years; I can't remember any minute exposure to the inks. [Oh, I spent 35 years as a corporate environmental/safety officer for major chemical companies - I think I do know what chemical "exposures" are all about.]

When I got my i9900 last Christmas, my S-800 sat idle for almost eight months [until I gave it to a friend.] He started using it after purchasing a new computer. Without any cartridge changes, the printer produced the same great quality prints [even after months sitting idle.]

I think Bob is correct, some ink cartridges will fail. My Canon BC-6's didn't, however.

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12/2/2006 2:11:45 PM

Alan N. Marcus   I too had the added duty to be an environmental officer for two major companies. I studied and monitored all relevant chemicals utilized in the photographic process. While some have toxicity, these traits have proven to be harmless under normal conditions of use. As to the danger of cancer from inkjet inks: We who use them are more likely to die on the 4th of July at high noon after being stepped upon by a dancing elephant. Rumors of dangers are always present. Good science is harder to find.

Alan Marcus

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12/2/2006 5:02:34 PM

W.    Our responsibilities with regard to toxicological carcinogen agents don't end with appropriate use and protecting ourselves and our loved ones. That would be rather egotistical and anti-social. Stupid too. Our responsibilities extend to appropriate disposal and protecting the whole environment. Mother Earth.

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12/2/2006 5:21:40 PM

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