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Photography QnA: Digital Photo Printers & Supplies

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Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Digital Photo Printers & Supplies

Are you looking for professional digital photo printers? Wondering which supplies you will need to print out quality photos? Join this Q&A and get your answers.

Page 1 : 1 -10 of 19 questions

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Photography Question 
Don Blais

member since: 9/22/2005
  1 .  Archival Ink Jet Prints
I understand what the word archival means. Is an archival inkjet print versus a regular inkjet print achieved with the paper, the ink, the equipment, or a combination of them? Thanks!

3/5/2006 11:53:14 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  The ink and paper that's made to last longer.

3/5/2006 12:07:13 PM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/18/2005
  An inkjet print is considered "archival" when it will last at least 50 years without showing signs of visible fading. Inkjet printer manufacturers have found that the biggest problem that leads to premature fading and aging of prints is the breakdown of the dyes used in the inks due to exposure to UV light or pollution in the air (ozone).
Using special swellable papers and preservative coatings can give dye-based prints from Epson printers like R200/300 family longevity from 25 to 40 years or more (not in direct sunlight, prints framed).
The newer lines of archival printers from these companies tend to feature pigmented inks that can give print lifes of up to 100 years or more, and even longer if the prints are sprayed with preservative coatings and properly framed.

3/5/2006 12:16:34 PM

Don Blais

member since: 9/22/2005
  Thanks for the help, John. I appreciate it.

3/5/2006 12:57:03 PM

Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  Concerning inks, there are two basic types of inks available to the consumer - dye based and pigmented. Dye-based inks have long been more colorful and vibrant, but with a much shorter lifespan, and as such, have never been considered "archival." Pigmented inks ARE considered archival, but have long suffered in their lack of brilliance and vibrancy. This is changing, as newer developed pigmented inks (such as Epson's Ultrachromes) are now closely matching the brilliancy of dye-based inks, yet giving much longer lifespans.
Concerning papers, "fine art" papers are considered more "archival" than standard glossy, semi-gloss, and matte papers. Papers with the longest lifespans seem to be those fine art papers WITHOUT any whiteners or bleaches.

3/5/2006 8:11:01 PM

Anita Bower
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/3/2004
  These are helpful responses.
How do photos printed at a lab compare to archival quality printed on a home printer?

3/7/2006 5:28:11 AM

Paul Tobeck
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/19/2005
  Let's put some reality into this discussion. Everyone gets caught up in the term "archival" when it comes to inkjet prints. Many people have the preconceived notion that lab prints last longer than inkjet prints. Unless you are using a specialty lab or a "premium service" at your local lab, this is just not the case. The majority of the "everyday" prints that we get from our favorite labs are printed on either Kodak or Fuji paper, which are essentially dye-based and just as susceptible to fading as dye based inkjet prints (to a somewhat lesser extent). Have you ever opened a shoebox full of your parents prints from the 60's and 70's and seen those terrible green and magenta color shifts? That's an example of gas fading on "lab" prints that are only 30-40 years old. Of course the lab papers available today have improved, but not as much as you would think. Another thing to consider is that most film/paper manufacturers are moving their focus away from these chemical processes and focusing on digital technologies. Further improvements on these papers is unlikely. One exception is Fuji's Crystal Archive paper, generally only available as a "premium service". This paper I believe is rated more than 75 years, similar to most standard inkjet pigment prints on glossy paper. Go to wilhelmresearch.com and look up the lab paper that your favorite place uses, and compare it to prints made by the inkjet you're considering. We are talking about apples to apples after all.
The main thing you have to consider when deciding on a photo printer is your end use for the prints. If you want to make gallery class prints for display, or plan on selling fine art prints to the public, I would look hard at one of the pigment ink A3 (or larger)size printers from the various manufacturers. If most of your prints are for albums, portfolios and an occasional print for that frame on your desk, then a dye based printer will work just fine (plus the price per print is cheaper than pigment). Dye based prints on the swellable or micro ceramic papers available typically have a lifespan of more that 75 years in dark storage and about 25-30 years framed, right in line with most typical lab prints. Hope this helps!

3/8/2006 5:02:03 AM

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Photography Question 
Rafael Navarro

member since: 5/7/2005
  2 .  Printing Paper: What to Use?
Hi. I want to know what is the best paper for printing digital images. I'm looking for something like wedding shots in matte paper. I don't like glossy prints. Thanks.

5/7/2005 10:22:59 AM

Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  The "best" paper is that which serves your needs and desires. No one else can decide that for you but YOU. You've already defined your desire for matte paper (and a good choice for weddings). Buy some small packages from major brands and experiment. I would first try those matte papers that are made by whoever made your printer.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net

5/8/2005 7:57:31 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Pictorico. May have to buy it online.

5/9/2005 1:06:49 AM

John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/8/2001
  Every printer manufacturer recommends its own paper. While these may be OK, you're best advised to shop around.
A friend actually raves about the paper available at Staples; I've never tried it.
Adorama, Inc. offers its private label and offers sample packs for about $10. This is a really good option.
Kodak paper, especially Ultima, is good. But, you may be limited in size. At one point, they offered a legal-size glossy than enabled me to print an 8X12. I may have the last remaining 30 sheets in captivity. I love their matte finish (called Satin) when I try to make a B&W print. Check out Sam's Club for great prices.
Ilford is my paper of choice. I use the Galleria Pearl and try to stay away from high-gloss selections. Go to the Ilford Web site for descriptions of the available paper. It's available through all the major advertisers in photo magazines, Utrecht Art Supply Stores, etc.
I have a Canon S-800 printer; it's old, but I love it. Canon Photo-Pro Paper gives great results (hi-gloss) - but, to date, Canon doesn't offer a matte paper. And, I don't like Canon's standard glossy - it's too lightweight. I've used and hated HP paper; however, only HP provides a paper that you can print a picture on the "good side" and a calendar matrix (that you can write on in pencil or ball point pen) on the reverse side.
As Michael says, only you can decide the correct paper for YOU.

5/9/2005 7:26:48 AM

Jim Zimmerman

member since: 2/28/2004
  If I am printing, say, 8x10 wedding photos for the happy couple, you can bet they are paying a bit more for them than for a $2 __-Mart print. These are lifetime memories, so I owe it to them to provide only the very best possible print. That includes longevity. Now, even though there are no industry standards for measuring print longevity, I nevertheless have to have something to pin my hopes on, and that is the Wilhelm site. So it is my personal view that if I cannot find information on the Wilhelm site that gives me some indication that the ink and paper combination will last at least as long as a photo print, will not use it. Having seen inkjet photos begin fading in just a few years, I cannot expect my customers to pay for such a print. So while there are no doubt some fine papers out there, I stick to known ink and paper combinations.

Jim

5/10/2005 2:04:12 PM

  Most companies are glad to send you a sample pack that you can test. My favorite fine art paper, especially for black and white photos, is Legion Photo Matte. www.legionpaper.com.

5/10/2005 7:38:12 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  always fun to experiment

5/10/2005 8:13:33 PM

John D. Gretzinger

member since: 2/1/2005
  Actually Canon does make a matte photo paper in 4x6 8.5x11 and 13x19. I have an i9900 and have used various Canon papers and have been happy with them. I'm going to be running some Moab papers through to see how those work as I've heard good things about them as well.

5/13/2005 9:40:01 AM

Pamela K. 

member since: 12/28/2008
  I love Moab. IS there anything I can do to make my Canon i960 printer be less blue? I have gone throught lal the maitnenance requriements

12/28/2008 12:49:42 PM

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Photography Question 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  3 .  Printers for Digital Photos
I am looking to buy a printer for printing digital photos. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what to buy based on price and quality. Thanks!

3/21/2005 6:05:10 AM

John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/8/2001
  Generally speaking, most inkjet printers deliver acceptable prints. The issue remains the cost and quality of paper and ink.
But, you should go for a photo-grade printer and, based on my experience, go for a printer that will handle 13X19 paper. That is, don't get trapped with a printer that handles 8.5X11 as its largest size - you're then limited to 8X10 prints.
Also, go for a printer that uses individual ink cartridges. That way, you change only the cartridge that becomes exhausted, not a multiple-color cartridge that still has one or more colors not exhausted.
There will be many arguments on manufacturers. Like the Canon vs. Nikon debate with cameras, you'll have supporters of Epson, Canon, and HP. I have a Canon and love it; however, I have to say that most pros use Epsons. I'd stay away from HP.
To start, use the papers supplied by the printer manufacturer. You can always try other manufacturers (Kodak, Ilford, Fuji to name a few).
But, everything I've read says to stay with the inks from the manufacturer. Perhaps someone else has experience with aftermarket inks.
Hope this helps.

3/21/2005 6:40:14 AM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Thanks John!! I was hoping to get a Canon since I am kind of partial to their cameras!! I will look into the Epson as well but it sounds like the Canon will suit my purposes for now.

Thanks again for your help!

3/21/2005 8:29:04 AM

Gregg 

member since: 11/10/2004
  Check out this lab. www.whcc.com
They are a professional lab and the prices are unbeatable. Should you need a personal printer, check out Kodaks thermo printers. They previouly sold an 8500 but now have a newer version at half the cost. 8x10 prints at $1.75

3/22/2005 5:49:28 PM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Thanks Gregg. I went to the website and I have a question. on the questionnaire it asks for the name of a studio. Do they do prints for just regular people or just photo studios?

3/22/2005 5:55:33 PM

Patricia A. Cale
BetterPhoto Member
photosbyphotobug.com

member since: 3/25/2002
  Tammy: I shoot with Canon cameras and had a Canon Printer, which did very well, but only printed up to 8x10's. When I was looking to upgrade the photo printer, I bought the Epson 2200 and I really love it. The prints come out better than I thought they would. One reason I went with Epson over Canon was the choice of papers. Epson has many more papers to choose from and each gives your image a very different, unique look. Their Lustre paper is fantastic. I did portraits of my 2 year old grandson and printed them on Lustre and they look like they came from a lab...only better!!

I saw the Epson Rep at my computer store over the weekend and she told me Epson is coming out with a new printer, the 1800, which will have a red and blue ink tank in addition to the other tanks. It will print up to 13x19 like the 2200, but will sell for about $500. This may be a printer you might want to check out.

Don't rush with your decision. Check out all your options, and make paper variety one of your options. Once you start printing images, you will want to experiment with all types of paper. Also, printers are made to print on their own paper.

I agree with John...don't get an HP printer. They are great for office setups (I use one at my office), but they just aren't up to Canon and Epson quality when printing photos. Also HP paper is not the greatest.

3/22/2005 6:30:10 PM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Thank you very much, Pat for your information. Sounds like the Epson would be better in the long run. The 2200 might be my best bet - right now, I would only use it to print out shots to hang on my walls or send to my family.

3/22/2005 6:37:56 PM

Jim Wilson

member since: 12/7/2003
  Tammy; I upgraded from a Canon i950 that would only 8x10's to a Canon i9900, and love it. It has 8 individual ink tanks including dedicated red and green.

As to paper, the Canon rep where I bought the printer told me to use Epson papers - larger selection than Canon - and in my humble opinion produce better results.

I use Canon ink in the i9900 which is reserved for printing photos (up to 13x19), and the i950 for "snapshot" printing and all other printer needs.

3/22/2005 7:16:35 PM

John D. Gretzinger

member since: 2/1/2005
  I have been looking for a good printer (inkjet) as well and have been going back and forth between the Epson 2200 and Canon i9900. I had been leaning toward the Epson, but finally purchased the Canon. My reason for the Epson leanings had to do with the longevity of the inks. Canon does not advertise their life and finding that information was difficult (I met a Canon factory printer rep who finally gave me the 75 year plus information).

I like the colors available from the Canon - the blacks are truer as well as a nice flat black.

Either the 2200 or the i9900 should give you great results until you can get a Sony UPD70XR Dye Sublimation printer, but at $7,700 for an 8x10 printer you really need a great excuse for buying one.

3/22/2005 11:57:12 PM

esta 

member since: 1/19/2005
  i too am looking for a printer but was told to buy a laser printer any comments?

3/23/2005 3:53:44 AM

Steve Parrott
LightAnon.com

member since: 9/4/2004
  You will never equal a PRO lab for the best results, but that has already been argured here, so that being said, I am satisfied with my Canon i9900 for personal use prints. I have use Epsons, and HPs. The Epsons are S-L-O-W compared to the Canon, and I personally do not think the Epson puts out a better photo than the Canon. I actually liked the results of my HP, but it would only give decent results with HP paper and inks, which are both VERY expensive. It also went through ink at a horribly fast rate. So, overall, the Canon is a good choice for *me*.

3/23/2005 8:52:02 AM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Thanks Jim, John, and Steve!!! It looks like a dead heat between Canon and Epson. I am partial to Canon because those are the only cameras I have ever owned. I think what I may do is try an online lab until I figure out exactly how many prints I will be requesting. If it turns out to be a lot, I will invest in a printer. Thank you all so much for your help and expertise on this subject!! It is tremendously appreciated!!!

3/23/2005 8:56:58 AM

Dick Maclauchlan

member since: 2/14/2005
  I have also been researching printers. I found help at FLAAR who prints reports on the printers they use. My research so far has me leaning toward the HP 130. This is a wide format (24') printer with "Archival" inks and sells for under $2,000.00. The problem with most home use printers (beside the small size) is that the stunning results fade very very fast. I am doing my own fade test now with prints from the HP130, the Epson 7600 and my home use Canon S800. My results also are pointing to the HP printer. You might also look to a company called Wilhelm for additional info on print longevity. Good luck and I like your photos.
Dick

3/23/2005 3:54:38 PM

Claudia Gathercole
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/14/2004
  Tammy, I have been using the Epson 2200 for all of my clients, for over a year and love it. I am my own lab and only use Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl Paper. I only use Epson inks though. I started with the Epson 1280 (which I still have and use for contact sheets). My cameras are Canon but my printers will always be Epson. Happy Shooting.

3/23/2005 4:00:24 PM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Thank you so much Dick and Claudia for your information! I really appreciate your taking the time to respond!!!

3/23/2005 4:14:55 PM

GARY FESPERMAN

member since: 9/27/2003
  Hi Tammy
I'M a Potographer and Instructor. I work at YPG in Yuma Arizona ( a testing center for the Army ) prior to this I was a Combat Photographer in the Marine Corps. And I also teach Photography/ Digital Photography at Arizaona Western College.
I have tried Canon, HP and Epson Printers. I use Epson printers, both personally and Professionally.
They are the BEST! The 2200 is a Great printer for prints up to 13 x 19.
I have also heard of Epsons new 1800 printer, 8 ink system. One is actually a Gloss Optimizer.I have not used one, at this point I also know of no who has
personally at this time. But Epson is claiming a 200 year print life with their Archival Matte prrint. Epson has the longest lasting prints and Great looking prints.I have used several of the Epson papers, Gloss, Semi Gloss, Matte, Water color, and last but the best I think is their Luster paper.
With the Epson 2200 its about 80 years
print life. I also use the 1280 Epson, and several other of their photo grade printers, including the Epson 300 & 320
which does 8 1/2 x 11 paper, uses 6 inks. Great results for a printer that cos aprox. $200.
Epson, Cannon, and HP all make prints that look Great, but they do not last as long as Epson prints.
If you are not a patient person the Canon 9900 is much faster than Epson or
HP. Also Epson has a wide variety of papers. I have also used Kodak, and Ilford papers with Epson printers.
I like the Kodak Satine, and their new PRO Luster papers. With Ilford I like their Smooth Pearl, and Smooth Gloos papers.
Many people like Glossy papers. But they also have the shortest life span.
These prints also scratch and finger print easier than some of the other paper surfaces.
Best of luck in your choice and printing.
Gary

3/24/2005 7:21:32 PM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Thank you very much for your expertise in this area, Gary!! I don't worry too much about speed - quality is always the better bet. Someone else mentioned the new Epson as well so I will have to take a look at it!!

Thanks Again!

3/25/2005 4:07:19 AM

Darlene K. Anderson

member since: 1/8/2005
  I have an Epson R800 and have loved it. I now have an Epson R1800 on order. Do you want to print more glossy or more matt pictures? Each printer seems to best at one type of printing. Darlene

3/25/2005 1:09:13 PM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Thanks Darlene! I went online today and looked at some Epson printers and there were a couple that I really liked!

3/25/2005 1:38:24 PM

Julie Wall
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/19/2004
  Hi, All...

I just purchased an Epson Stylus Photo RX500 about a month ago. It does absolutely amazing 4x6 prints, and really good 8x10's.

It's one of those "Do it all" printers that will scan, copy, print photos, etc. I didn't spend an arm and a leg on it because I send anything larger than 8x10 out to a professional lab, but for the money I spent, I couldn't be happier with it.

3/25/2005 2:21:00 PM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Hey Julie!!! That is one that I looked at today and it looked like a very good deal!

3/25/2005 4:23:04 PM

Julie Wall
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/19/2004
  :) I picked mine up at Sam's Club and paid less for it than they had listed on the Epson site.

3/25/2005 4:25:59 PM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Really?!? We have a Sam's Club here and I am a member! Guess I know where I am going tomorrow!!!

3/25/2005 4:35:24 PM

Kathy D. Wilson

member since: 3/26/2005
  I was unhappy with local processing, so did my research and wound up with the Canon Pixma ip8500 ($349) and it's FABULOUS. The only thing it doesn't do well (and from what I've seen, no consumer printer does) is print b&w, and even there it's not *bad* just not as good as it could be. But other than that? It's flawless. Color is superb, easy to use, it has 8 separate ink tanks so you never "waste" ink in replacing colors. Photo cyan and photo magenta will run out first, but I printed nearly 300 images before this happened. (mainly 4x6, but also a dozen 8x10's, and about the same 5x7) It's also as quiet as you can possibly want. I *still* look over at it to make sure it's working! It doesn't take memory cards though - if you want the same print head/ink tanks etc, then go for the Pixma ip9900 for 150 more.

3/26/2005 12:43:37 AM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Thanks Kathy!! I am getting so much input that I am almost back to where I started!! :) I like the idea of having separate ink tanks and I have been told that photo printers have more colors which is a good thing as well. I guess what it will boil down to is what is the best one I can get at a reasonable price. Since I just purchased the Digital Canon Rebel, price will be one of my main concerns for right now - at least until I can find out if my shots are worth displaying somewhere other than on my living room walls! :)

3/26/2005 6:35:08 AM

Kathy D. Wilson

member since: 3/26/2005
  Tammy -- I should mention I'm also a Canon user (A95 for now, but that Rebel XT is tempting!) and use the Canon paper with the printer. The results - imo - are *better* than standard processing elsewhere, and not only because of the cropping issue. I think the colors are better, and the image as crisp/clear as when I took it. The ip8500 prints up to legal size - the 9900 prints larger than that. I tried Epson, HP, and Lexmark (*garbage* avoid Lexmark at all cost!) with my own pictures (don't trust what's in the machine!) and Canon -- *any* Canon - won hands down. Results were best using Canon paper, but quite good on some others as well. I don't see why everyone raves about Epson - I was unimpressed, and *hate* their paper.

3/26/2005 10:25:29 AM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  That was something I had thought about as well - wondering if it would be better to stick with Canon since that is the camera I have! Thanks for letting me know!

3/26/2005 11:59:12 AM

GARY FESPERMAN

member since: 9/27/2003
  Hi Tammy
It doesn't make any difference what your camera is - it's the printer -
GO EPSON - YOU want be sorry!!!
Gary

3/26/2005 12:23:50 PM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  I wish I could afford to just buy two printers then no matter what, I would have the right printer for the job! :) Maybe I will see if any of my friends here have both and see if they will let me do some printing.

3/26/2005 12:33:42 PM

Rob Martin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Ok Tammy Listen Here:
I was in your situation back in christmas, Trying to find that perfect printer. EPSON AND CANON are great, now, I took a picture and went to Best Buy and had it printed out on an epson Printer and a Canon Printer. It was a tough choice to make. Tney Both Look awesome.
Now Epson's Ink cartridges are a little pricier than Canon. That's a good difference there. I bought The Canon Pixma IP6000D. For $149.99 after mail in rebate or...$179.99 depending who sells it cheaper you will get an excellent printer that can give you excellent pictures and not put a hole in your wallet. the Epsons are pricier and their inks cost more. With the canon pixma ip6000d, it has an LCD display, memory card reader for CF and SD cards and is pictbridge capable.
So basically you can take this printer away from your computer and still be able to crop,enhance,and print wonderful pictures without a computer and even from your camera. I took it to Christmas eve party at my grandparent's and hey, I gave them all some awesome christmas pictures, not a single complain from anybody, They just loved the picture quality. So you get a printer that has amazing quality, actually prints 8.5x11 (Borderless...oh yeah.)5x7 and 4x6 . did I mention borderless? oh yeah. I bought the New Canon Rebel XT, and believe me, My god. you just have to see how wonderful the pictures look. I saw the Epsons. They are not bad, but you know.. for much less money you get a whole lot more.Money is tight with you right? it was with me, and I made a wise choice. Go for the Canon Pixmas..you won't regret it trust me, just go and print some demos and see for yourself.Remember the Model # IP6000D from Canon.
Hope this helps and doesn't get you back to square one in making a decision.
sincerely
Rafael

3/29/2005 6:43:54 AM

Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/10/2004
  Thank you so much, Rafael!!!! I think my decision has been made. Money is an issue and I guess I really to want to stick with Canon - at least for right now!! Thank you so much for your help!

3/29/2005 6:58:23 AM

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Photography Question 
Adam Krusz

member since: 4/26/2004
  4 .  Printing Papers
I just bought the Rebel 300D. LOVE the camera (little confusing but I'm learning ... slowly). My question is when I want to print the picture what type of paper works best for regular 4x6 pictures? I have an Epson photo printer, which works good. But when I go to get glossy paper there seems to be 4 or 5 "glossy" types to choose from. Will the plain "glossy photo" paper work fine, or can someone recommend a better type? I'm just looking to put my pictures in a photo album for now. Thanks for all the help!
P.S.: This site ROCKS!

6/11/2004 2:52:21 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  With some brands, a regular glossy isn't as thick as a premium glossy. And a premium may have a shinier gloss and may absorb ink and dry faster. You'll find some bigger differences between brands of paper. Try the Olympus Pictorico, Canon, or Epson.

6/11/2004 5:31:18 PM

  Adam, check out lexjet.com. They are an Epson representative company and have a wide variety of Epson and other fine art papers at the lowest prices. (They have the best prices on Epson ink cartridges, too.) Their 10 mil glossy is my favorite. It is heavy, and resists scratching.

6/15/2004 3:13:05 PM

Michael Kaplan

member since: 5/27/2003
  Adam,
Printers work best with papers that are matched to their inks. The drivers that come with the printers already know how best to print on those recommended papers.

That said, there are certainly other combinations that work. To check out what may or may not work, I suggest you check out forums like at dpreview.com's printer forum. Do a search there and you will find many alternative papers and inks that may work for your printer and which don't. Also some other brands of papers will have profiles available for your printer so that you will get the best quality that your printer/ink/paper combination can give you.

I personally have the Epson 1280 and stick to the better Epson papers like Premium Glossy Photo or Matt. If you look around, you can usually find sales on papers that make it cheaper. You just need to make sure that if you are trying another make of paper that you get one that is compatible with your kind of ink. In your case that would be dye based.

BTW, it also depends on what you are printing. For example, if I am printing a DVD jacket for a movie I made, I print on a plain thinner Glossy paper as that is all I need to produce a nice colored picture but when printing photographs, I always try to use the better stuff.

6/23/2004 4:48:59 AM

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Photography Question 
Michael T. Rehker

member since: 2/29/2004
  5 .  Longevity of Printer Inks
I was wondering if anyone knew how long normal ink lasted on a picture printed on Kodak paper. I've had a few prints made from a Lexmark printer on Kodak, before I bought my Epson and I'm wondering how long the prints will last and still look good? What is the typical longevity of normal inks? Thanks

3/9/2004 10:56:49 AM

Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Hi Michael,

You can usually find that information on the website of the printer manufacturer and/or the paper manufacturer.

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with Lexmark+Kodak combos. ^_^;;

My own personal experience:

Prints I've made from my earlier printers(dye based epson 760) held up well when printed on epson photo paper and various other glossy RC(resin coated) papers.

Prints I made to some low cost glossy papers faded in about 6months to a year. By fade, I mean the various colors fade at different rates, so you get color cast shifts/etc.

How much sun/moisture the print is exposed to will also affect the longevity. I have a matte print made from my pigment based epson c80 on display in my office which is exposed to a flourscent light for about 8hours every day, framed and matted behind glass and it has not changed for about three years now.

Most epson printers of the pigment(durabrite/ultrachrome) variety will last at least 25-50 years if kept away from direct sunlight and displayed under glass/plastic. If using their archival papers and archivally matted/framed, will last 75+ years.

Their Dye based photo printers(760, 860, 960, 1270, 1280, etc) will last 25-50 years given the above same precautions. Dye based inks are more susceptible to fading when exposed to UV/sunlight.

As for the prints made on the lexmark+kodak paper, you could scan them and reprint on your epson system or you could just reprint from your original files.

The digital file I printed from is sort of the backup. Just as the negatives are the backup to the photograph print. If you lose the print, you always have the negatives/files to reproduce the image again.

But for consumer discount inkjet printers that are not specifically formulated to be long lifed, you can expect max life to be in the 2-5 years range. Much shorted if exposed to light, moisture, heat, and poor quality papers.

Check out epson's longevity site. They have a link to the research group that does longevity testing of various papers and inks. I don't have the link off the top of my head. ^_^;;

3/9/2004 11:22:56 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Charlyce Altom

member since: 8/21/2003
  6 .  Photo Printers
I'd love to have a photo printer, but don't know where to start, so I thought I'd go to my new-found friends at BetterPhoto and ask for your advice.

My daughter and I have a very enjoyable small business doing outdoor family pix, children's candids, family reunions, a few weddings, etc. We let the photo lab do the printing and enlargements that people request, but I'd like to dip my toe into some of the editing for photos of my family, landscapes, etc.

I'm not happy with most of the prints I get from my HP all-in-one. I'd like the prints to last, so do I need to have a printer that uses special archival inks and papers? Thanks for your help.

Here is what I have to work with: a 3 megapixel Olympus digital, a nice Minolta SLR--I order the prints on CD when I have my film processed, and Photoshop Elements 2--having fun learning this!

If you have suggestions, please include the brand, model number and price. Thanks.

10/6/2003 9:00:23 AM

  Hi Charlyce:

Hands down! My recommendation is the Epson 2200 for about $700. It may sound like a good piece of change, but if it's your business, no matter how small, quality, speed, ease of use, and maintenace should be of paramount importance. This printer has it all. Every pro I know has one.

Good luck!

10/6/2003 10:41:58 AM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/20/2001
  Tony, for those of us who can't afford to spend $700 on a printer right now, what Epson or other brand do you recommend? How about a list of printers in order of their 'greatness'!

Would you stick with Epson all the way, or do you think HP has one in there somewhere? I like the roll-paper feature of the 2200, but it's not my number one priority. Getting a professional color print is #1.

10/7/2003 9:21:42 AM

  Hi Piper,

A professional level printer, although quite inexpensive by conventional standards, costs some bucks to most people. The 2200 is what every pro, that I know of, uses.

You can also look for refurbished 1270 and 1280 Epson printers, which are outstanding. Try calling Epson to find out where refurbs are available.

Good luck!

10/7/2003 11:38:28 AM

Mary Binford
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/11/2003
  I have been using an Epson 890 for about 3 years. I think that the price has come down to about $300. It does beautiful borderless photos. It is the same as an Epson 1280 except that the max width is 8 1/2. It can accomodate roll paper, though I have not found a good way to uncurl this paper after printing. I buy 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 premium glossy photo paper from Epson online. There shipping is a flat $1.50 and there is no state sales tax to my area. Sorry if this sounds like a commercial, but I print many photos and like this printer. Another thought is that the key to good prints is the right paper that matches one of your driver settings. Hope this helps.

10/16/2003 6:41:04 AM

Holly Higbee-Jansen
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/10/2003
  I noticed the Epson 2200 only makes prints 13" x 44". What if you want to go bigger than the 13" size? Do you send out the work then? What lab do you recommend?

10/16/2003 6:55:46 AM

  I agree with Tony. If you can swing it at all, go with the Epson 2200. I'm so glad I did. The inks are lightfast up to 100 years, and you can purchase papers other than Epson, that work beautifully with this printer, and I've found the Epson ink cartridges at a great price online at www.galleryprint.com. I do a lot of fine art photography which is shown in galleries... this printer is fantastic.

10/16/2003 1:36:20 PM

Gregg Vieregge

member since: 11/10/2000
  Ink Jet lays on the surface of a piece of paper. Burn your images to a CD and go to a local lab, Target, or a pro lab and use emulsion paper that goes thru regular developing chemistry.

Protect your images with Shurgard lacquer spray by McDonalds. Ink is expensive on ink jet printers and the makers know that. You'll never re-coupe your investment in an expensive ink jet. Should you insist on a printer for your home use, consider the Kodak 8500. It uses a subligmation process that make a print that is virtually impossible to tear in half and the detail and color is fantastic ($1,000 and $1.75 average cost per 8X10 sheet).

Good Luck!

10/16/2003 3:00:14 PM

Gregg Vieregge

member since: 11/10/2000
  Ink Jet lays on the surface of a piece of paper. Burn your images to a CD and go to a local lab, Target, or a pro lab and use emulsion paper that goes thru regular developing chemistry.
Protect your images with Shurgard lacquer spray by McDonalds. Ink is expensive on ink jet printers and the makers know that. You'll never re-coupe your investment in an expensive ink jet. Should you insist on a printer for your home use, consider the Kodak 8500. It uses a subligmation process that make a print that is virtually impossible to tear in half and the detail and color is fantastic. ($1,000 and $1.75 average cost per 8X10 sheet)

Good Luck

10/16/2003 3:00:20 PM

Alan Kirkpatrick

member since: 1/7/2003
  Without trying to plug a specific seller: There are some mailorder outfits like mwave.com that sell the Epson 2200 for $589, and Epson 1280 for $380.

10/16/2003 4:28:20 PM

Peter A. Gonzalez

member since: 7/1/2003
  Hello:

Hopefully this information is found useful. I discussed questions and concerns about prints and printers with an Epson representative. I was told, that, the Epson inkjet 820 and the older 1270 have the same "guts" inside.

The down side is this printer can only print 8x10 size. However, it sells for approximately 80 dollars.

While I don't have the experience others have that have addressed this question, I've had nothing but great pics and results.

10/16/2003 5:32:48 PM

Betty Fleet

member since: 12/5/2001
  For those looking for "low-end" quality, I have been delighted with the performance of my Epson C82, especially using Epson double-sided Matte paper. It's far ahead of any other inkjet that I have owned. I am strictly an amateur, printing 8x10's, and smaller,ranging from closeups to landscapes. All print beautifully. I use a Pentax 330GS camera - nothing fancy.

10/21/2003 5:33:30 AM

Michael McCullough

member since: 6/11/2002
  Canon has a new model the 950 that looks good by the review I read in Shutterbug magazine also its quite resonable!!!

10/21/2003 9:15:40 AM

Charlyce Altom

member since: 8/21/2003
  Thanks, friends! It's great to know I have such a resource. I'm looking into all the printers mentioned, as well as the great suggestion to learn how to save to CD and have a lab do the printing. I'll keep you updated on my progress--maybe someone else can learn from my experiences. I really do appreciate you taking the time to respond to my question.

10/22/2003 9:35:43 AM

Ron DenHollander

member since: 8/27/2000
  I have an Epson 825 Stylus Photo paid $119.00 Canadian, has a 5780 X 720 resolution, makes excellent prints, has slot for all types (includes adaptor) of cards so you can use it without a computer, has slot for 2" LCD monitor, have printed off lots of pictures and amazed by quality. Also have a Canon unit that cost $400.00, the epson beats it hands down.

11/21/2003 6:42:10 PM

James Gregus

member since: 4/1/2003
  I have been looking at the new Canon printers. Canon has a new printer called i9100 that does a great job of printing 13x44" photo's. I talked to the factory rep yesterday and he said that thier paper last as long as the Epson. This printer cost around $500.00. It also prints alot faster than the others. And the ink is less money. So this is one to think about.

11/21/2003 10:35:38 PM

Ron DenHollander

member since: 8/27/2000
  I have the canon that takes the individual tanks, 6, and the epson 2 tank 6 colour system, each canon tank is 21.95, and the epson is 29.95 for the colour, 36.95 for black and white, even though I can change the tanks in the canon individually the cost is much cheaper for the epson 66.00 vs 120.00+

11/22/2003 5:41:28 AM

Gene 

member since: 2/17/2002
  I totally agree with Gregg's anwser....Go to a pro lab and save yourself all the hassles of Color managment. I use a Pro Lab TPIPHOTO.COM
Download there FREE software, you just upload the images you want printed to there server you can crop and rotate and they ship back within 24 hrs.
PS the cost of an inkjet printer is nothing compaired to the cost of the inks and borderless 8x 10s use a ton of ink.Hope this helps Gene

11/23/2003 10:20:43 AM

  There is nothing like being in control of your own prints...unlike having a lab do them. Also, the Epson 2200 does prints up to borderless 13X44 inches. I get my inks thru www.galleryprint.com for $10.70 each cartridge. Yes, they're expensive, but no as much as buying thru Epson. They also sell the wonderful Legion photo papers for a great price.

11/23/2003 3:14:35 PM

  You may do better using http://lexjet.com for ink carts.

11/23/2003 4:16:03 PM

  Thank you, Tony. That's the best price I've seen on the Epson ink cartridges.

11/24/2003 12:54:15 PM

John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/8/2001
  It ain't the printer - it ain't the paper. If you read the reviews in various photo magazines, several things become apparent. Manufacturers are making their profits from the ink and paper, primarily, and all of them have a variety of units [albeit at various prices] that could "fill your bill."

But - it's really the paper that tells the tale in my experience. I have a Canon S800 [obsolete, immediately, after it's first use - as you'd expect from a computer or peripheral] but - it's great with Canon paper. But, I've recently found Ilford as an option, in various forms, primarily as a response to a question to this column.

Remember, however, it ain't the printer or the paper. It's the image and the photographer. Digital is a format, not a panacea!!! And, Photoshop can't salvage a bad picture!

11/25/2003 3:57:09 PM

Reid S. Mason

member since: 1/6/2004
  Hey, I don't know if you've already purchased a printer, but Costco.com has the Epson 2200 for $579! That's a screamin' deal!

1/9/2004 8:29:22 PM

Sheldon Lazovsky

member since: 2/15/2004
  I have the Epson 2200 as well, and I love it. But I would agree with John S. the the paper makes a world of difference. I use Ilford's Gallerie Smooth Pearl paper. It has a great weight and feel, and it absorbs the ink, rather than letting the ink sit on the paper. I can hold a just printed photo under running water, and the ink won't run or smear. You will get these results with any printe, too. ( I also print with an HP 'all in one' printer). People just ca't believe I'm showing them a digital print. Try it, you'll like it!

2/15/2004 7:22:27 PM

Justin 

member since: 2/23/2004
  I recently bought a Canon i865 photo printer and have been *extremely* impressed with the results.
The printer was $330 Australian, so about $200 US, cheap ink costs, and full page borderless colour printing.
With a good source image and quality photo paper, it takes a better eye than mine to distinguish this printers prints from developed prints.

I *highly* recommend it.

2/23/2004 8:09:05 PM

Loren Roque

member since: 2/3/2004
  I have an Epson R300 printer, which is certainly smaller than what you would be using for your business. But Epson has their printing technology DOWN, and I am certain an Epson 2200 or 4000 would be a good investment. One option though.....Costco does a booming business with professional photographers. I have TIFF files printed on their Noritsu QSS2901 printer (on FujiColor Crystal Archive paper) and they are beautiful......real photographs in every respect! And a 12"x18" or 11"x14" is $2.99 each, 8"x12" is $1.99.
Put a decent mark up on those prices and you should be doing well.
You can get the digital printer profiles at www.drycreekphoto.com, and what you see (on a properly calibrated moniter) is what the Noritsu will print.

Loren Roque

3/9/2004 12:51:32 PM

RoxAnne E. Franklin

member since: 6/26/2002
  I just ordered Ilford Pearl paper, sizes 11 x 17 and 8 1/2 x11. What paper settings do you all use on the Epson 2200 when using this paper? Premium Luster, Enhanced Matte? I thought I better ask so I dont waste any paper experimenting.
Thanks for your help

3/11/2004 10:07:48 AM

John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/8/2001
  The paper will arrive in a box that includes Ilford's recommendations. This is a starting point, you'll have top experiment. So what, it's not the cost of the paper, it's the cost of the ink!

3/11/2004 10:56:09 AM

Andy Middleton

member since: 1/11/2004
  Hi I was facing the same dilemma..which printer to buy.Looked around and could not find a printer that delivered better quality than the epson stylus 950.Not A3 but covers 90% of what I need for 300$.
Got it home , started it up and bingo..beautiful color,amazing reproduction of tones on epson photo glossy paper.
I have not seen anyone mention this printer but maybe you want to check it out....am

3/11/2004 1:40:14 PM


BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/28/2003
  I gotta totally disagree with Gregg V.

I have an Epson 2200 and I am happy to pay for the ink and paper. Do you know that I have saved thousands already by not having to go to my pro lab.

As an example, my pro lab charges $6.50 for a nice hand-made 5x7 color print.

Guess how much I can do it for...less than $1. And guess how many I had to do last week to show a client coming over the next day to view some stuff. I had to print about 30 images. All different sizes and shapes.

Had I had to go to a lab, not only would I be limited to 4x6, 4x5, or 5x7, or 8x10, but I would have had to pay alot of costs. And, I would have had to tell my client to schedule for later on that week. With my Epson 2200, I just printed out everything that night and was ready in the morning to present some fresh images.

Lets say I take those same 30 to a lab, that would have cost me 30x$6.50=$195.

I did it for about $20. And the client was very impressed with my work and although I don't know if I got the job yet, they have called to confirm other details and information.

Also, with the printer, I can print a list of thumbnails on a 8 1/2 x 11 several sheets of Semi-Gloss photo paper. The thumbs are small photos from the portfolio they saw. I always do this to give them something to walk away with. It seems to work pretty well.

Anyway, I can't disagree with you more about the cost. I save tons using this printer and I have freedom to crop, change color, etc. at will.

I agree that the final final product I produce will be from the lab and that that is the product that is ultimately for the client. But, the printer is a fantastic money saver on many levels.

I even gave a client some prints from it because I knew they didn't want to buy reprints from me. So, I did some sepia tones, etc (about 10) and really impressed them. They wound up placing a $600 reprint order with me because of what I showed them could be done with the regular old proofs they were holding.

Some times clients can't see past what they are looking at. So, it can be used to show them what a proof can turn into.

This printer produces fantastic results and hands-down is the ultimate.

It is worth every last penny I spend on it. And is not a waste.

I also plan to use it soon as a guide to show to my lab for certain situations.

Jerry

3/11/2004 4:43:08 PM

John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/8/2001
  Jerry -
In the grand scheme of this discussion, what have you said? I'm glad you saved money, but someone asked for advice about printers and paper.

3/11/2004 5:37:41 PM

Gene 

member since: 2/17/2002
  Jerry: I don't know what lab your using@6.50 for a 5x7...BUT my lab only charges me $1.65 and the prints coming back are Drop Dead Georgious.. Guaranteed 200 yrs by Kodak, Your ink supplier guarantee that??? They might be out of business in 200 days..I don't know HOW MUCH TIME you had in producing those prints...But I upload the images to my lab (takes about 5 MIN.)and I'm off making money doing other things. I let the lab worry about making sure the color and density are correct. There the ones with $100K invested in the equiptment. and 99% of the time they ship back within 24hrs...Why even bother trying to produce you own...Gene

3/11/2004 6:00:02 PM


BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/28/2003
  Thanks John. I think I got caught up.

Gene, I can get 5x7 prints for .99, but they are machine prints and not suitable for my clients.

Jerry

3/11/2004 7:31:30 PM

Gregg Vieregge

member since: 11/10/2000
  Let's take a deep breath here everyone.

Ink jet will look different 12 months down the road. Fading will happen. A Pro lab, (not an one hour) will look the same for many years to come. Pro labs are printing on equipment that cost $250,000+. How does a $200 ink jet compare to this? Pro labs charge on average of $.50 for a 4x5 or 4x6, $1.10 for a 5x7 and $2.20 for a 8x10 and $5.50 for a 11x14. There equipment is fully color corrected daily for quality. Spray a McDonald lacquer spray on the print and you can run the print under water with no damage. Someone tell me how to beat this with ink jet.

3/11/2004 7:54:30 PM

Gregg Vieregge

member since: 11/10/2000
  Hey, why are you giving clients anything to view but a CD slideshow which can not be stopped to copy. CD's are about $.20 at Office Max and clients can open them up and see a big image on their monitor. Go to www.autofx.com and get a great software program for under $

3/11/2004 8:03:37 PM


BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/28/2003
  Gregg V.,

I'm very slowly moving to that. But, I just haven't yet. You're right about the lab. I'm not suggesting the printer is a replacement for the lab. It just helps me get proofs and presentations together at a small fraction of the cost of using a lab. And, I can be more flexible and change things around on my own.

My friends have a point, that if I'd just get my marketing right the first time with a great portfolio that will last for years, I shouldn't need to change things constantly. But, I think I'm just too hyper for that. I always have new ideas and I like change.

I'm not at the CD slide show level yet, although I am looking into it.

Jerry

3/11/2004 9:00:39 PM

  Gregg, you must not be familiar with the Epson 2200. The inks will not fade for 75-100 years, not in 12 months. I make beautiful gallery-quality prints with mine, which I sell on a regular basis.

3/11/2004 9:16:19 PM

Gene 

member since: 2/17/2002
  Jerry: I don't understand where your coming from...YOU STATED, (I can get 5x7 prints for .99, but they are machine prints and not suitable for my clients.)
But in your previous post you said you had to pay $6.50 for your 5x7's ?? I said my lab produces Digital prints for $1.65 they also produce 5x7 proofs for $.75 ..There is no such thing as machine print quality or custom quality in the Digital Arena today, thats gone bye the way of optical printing. The only difference in todays world is the amount of time your lab spends correcting your files. There all produced on $200K dollar laser printers and color correcting software that costs $8000.00 per computer. How can you say inkjet prints produced on a $400.00 inkjet printer and a $600.00 photoshop program can even come close in comparison.
Sorry, I used some of Gregg's post but he's 100% correct.
You also never said how much TIME you invested in producing those prints on you inkjet??
I just find it hard to believe, if your clients are that fussy about quality that they would accept prints produced on a $400.00 inkjet over a $200K laser printer! I can see the quality difference between the two a mile away ( I also have very good vision ha,ha)
But seriously go on some wedding or senior forums and you'll see that 99% of the very successful photographers don't give their clients inkjet prints there always talking about there pro labs...Maybe thats why there so successful Gene

3/12/2004 5:40:11 PM


BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/28/2003
  Gene, you have totally and completely taken everything I have said 100% the wrong way. I've already said it, so I'll try hard to to repeat it.
I use my Epson 2200 prints for showing clients, as an example, what could be done. I do not sell my clients those ink jet prints, although I don't see anything wrong with doing so.

I think you may be mistaken about lab work. I do virtually no digital work. I am almost 100% a film photographer. Maybe we are talking apples and oranges. I get all my film scanned by the lab. I go into photoshop, make adjustments, then along with proofs from the lab, show them some photoshopped, Epson printed results, cropped, color corrected, and ready to go. This is a sales tactic I use. They are usually so impressed that they purchase reprints from the lab, not from my printer. Again, my printer is used to show examples of my work, but it is not my work. All my work IS hand done at the lab.

I know this because I talk to the guy. For my black and white he goes into a dark room and physically makes a print the old fashioned way.

Maybe where you are they don't do this anymore. But, where I am there are labs that better well damn do that. They say they do, and I believe them because they talk about how hard it is do dodge or burn or both on some of my prints. Dodging and burning, in my mind, refer to standing, or sitting, at an enlarger and actually doing the work. I know because I used to do this. No computers. Maybe I'm wrong and the terms are used on the computer...I don't know.

But, there are also many labs around that say they do great work, and the work is total crap. And they are all in the $1 for a 5x7 category. I'm not saying that is your case. I don't know what to tell you, but here, in Los Angeles, $6.50 for a hand-made 5x7 is competitive. I can, as I said, get a machine produced print from a color negative for $.99, but they do not look all that great. Sure, they look nice, but not great. I trust you are correct for your area. I hope you can trust that I am correct about my area.

Jerry

3/12/2004 6:01:08 PM

Gene 

member since: 2/17/2002
  Shirley: I would like to know how long you have been producing Beautiful Gallery Prints on your inkjet...1 month ?? 6 Months ??? 1 Year ???

3 years ago I printed a Inkjet,a dyesub,a silver halide from the same file and put them in a binder & put them on the shelf..Your welcome to come to my place and see for your self the noticable differences on how the inkjet and dyesub prints ard changing and the Good OLE silver halide is still the same as the day it was printed.
Call your ink manufacturer and tell them your prints are changing and watch the runaround you get from them, I CAN ALMOST GUARANTEE YOU if will be every one or thing imagenable will be falt but not theres.

What do you expect them to say, there inks may not last as long as silver halide, there marketing dept. would be in the unemployment line the next day.

It's a known fact if you buy enough ink to fill a gallon container you will have to invest $6000-$8000 dollars depending on the Mfg.

Silver halide printing has been around for approx, 100 Years and has been refined to make it better and better.
Inkjet technology has been popular under a decade...You do the math

Go visit some techi forums on the web and you'll find out that the verdict is still out on the longevity of inks.

If your still in business 5-10 years from now you may want to have some anwsers when your clients come calling and wanting to know what happened to there Gallery Prints..Hope you have some type of disclamer clause.

For your sake I hope I'm wrong...
we'll see

3/12/2004 6:25:01 PM

Derek Holyhead

member since: 12/26/2003
  Hi Gene,

What lab do you use? Thanks.

Regards,
Del

3/12/2004 6:28:03 PM

Gene 

member since: 2/17/2002
  Hi Del: Its TPI, tpiphotolab.com
I've been with them about 5 years now I'm not there biggest account but they sure treat me that way....Customer service is GREAT . Turnaround time is about this best I've found and I've tried a few. They also have this great Remote order entry system to FTP orders to them 24/7
You can go to their website I tried to give a link but I guess this form won't let you....Or maybe its me..
Hope this helps.................Gene

3/12/2004 7:59:48 PM

  Sorry, Gene, but I've been printing with my 2200's ultrachrome inks for over a year. I have framed prints all over my home, and in several galleries. They are still as beautiful as when they came out of the printer. There is a big difference in inkjet printers and their inks. My old Epson Stylus 3000 makes beautiful prints, but they do fade or change colors after a time. The length of time depends greatly on how they are stored or displayed. By the way, was the storage sleeve in your binder archival? If not, that also effects the life of your prints. Even with the cost of ink, which I get very reasonably from lexjet.com, I produce my own prints at a great savings from any lab I've ever tried.

Shirley

3/12/2004 8:21:30 PM

Loren Roque

member since: 2/3/2004
  Charlyce:

Clearly we are blessed with a very wide variety of options. A quality inkjet such as an Epson 2200 or 4000 makes for an excellent proof printer, although some may choose dye sub printers for proofing. Inkjet printing onto canvas media is a specialty option for some clients, despite ink longevity issues! And while automated equipment exists for image files processed on archival quality photographic paper, the key to exceptional print quality lies in the hands of a skilled craftsman in the darkroom of a color print processing lab.

Loren Roque

3/12/2004 8:27:02 PM

Loren Roque

member since: 2/3/2004
  Charlyce:

Clearly we are blessed with a very wide variety of options. A quality inkjet such as an Epson 2200 or 4000 makes for an excellent proof printer, although some may choose dye sub printers for proofing. Inkjet printing onto canvas media is a specialty option for some clients, despite ink longevity issues! And while automated equipment exists for image files processed on archival quality photographic paper, the key to exceptional print quality lies in the hands of a skilled craftsman in the darkroom of a color print processing lab.

Loren Roque

3/12/2004 8:33:14 PM

Gus 

member since: 3/25/2004
  Yes, the Epson 2200 is great. I need to be able to print to CDs, so I have the Epson R800 ($380). It's limited to 8.5x11. I know people who have the cheaper R300 and they are happy with the quality.

3/25/2004 7:55:49 PM

Marie Anti

member since: 4/23/2003
  Your own photo printer vs pro lab.............I have worked in Pro photo labs since I was 16 and retired at 40 (I'm now in my 50s). When using a lab you have to rely on the quality control and the "color corrector", etc. Not bad if the staff know what they are doing. I have seen more photos that would make your hair stand up (horrible quality) that was done at a pro lab.
I feel you have much better control of what "you" like personally and professionally when you do your own quality control through Photoshop and your own printing on a personal printer.
My own humble opinion. Now I'm in the market, as my previous question states, for a new printer. I was told the latest HP is very good at about $400.00 but I think I may be sold on the Epson 2200. I will probably never make photos larger than 8X12 though. May be a waste???
Marie
Oh, I appreciate all the knowlege on this site.

4/1/2004 1:38:24 PM

Gus 

member since: 3/25/2004
  Maybe a waste, though after I purchased the R800 with the 8.5" width limit I started wishing I could do bigger prints! :) However, I really like the R800's capability of direct CD/DVD printing, and the technology is newer. So, I'll never trade it for the 2200. If I need big prints, I guess I have to do Shutterfly.

4/1/2004 11:52:04 PM

Loren Roque

member since: 2/3/2004
  The Epson R300 is an excellent printer for $179.00. The print quality on Epson media is superb, and having CD/DVD media print capability is a MAJOR BONUS. I do not print on CD/DVD media yet, but when I start using printable disks I will do so. I think it is a fair trade-off to outsource the printing for 11"x14" and bigger to have CD/DVD printing capability.

4/3/2004 9:16:52 AM

Gus 

member since: 3/25/2004
  Marie, get the low-end R300 or high-end R800 but do not get the HP for photos. I have an HP inkjet a home and we use HP exclusive at work for all our color stuff except photos. They do great inkjet paper, but if you would like to do photos go with a company that has lots of photo paper and a printer with the smallest nozzle and highest ink tank count.

4/3/2004 11:38:39 AM

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Photography Question 
Lisamarie Busch

member since: 6/30/2003
  7 .  Matte or Glossy Paper
I want to print my photographs from my computer on to my ink jet printer but which paper should I use? Matte or glossy and why?

7/2/2003 8:14:27 AM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Use only your printer manufacturer's paper to begin. There may be some off brand that will work, but you'll burn up a lot of time and money trying to find one. The glossy is best for some subjects, while the matte is best for others. Keep a package of both handy. I use matte for old retouch portraits when I give the customer an inkjet print. I use glossy for family snapshots and some landscapes. For me, the glossy renders fine detail better.

7/3/2003 5:53:47 AM

Lisamarie Busch

member since: 6/30/2003
  Thank you so much Doug. That was very helpful.

7/3/2003 10:29:01 AM

Bonita A. Dubil

member since: 6/24/2003
  I use a Lexmark 5150, which is ink jet. After trying a number of brands, I have found the HP premium glossy to be the best for sharpness and color. I am sure there are others that also work well, but I have not come across any. I have not used the matte finish as yet, but the weight and quality of the hp premium is just like enlargements I have ordered in the past from photo shops. I agree with Doug about the glossy rendering fine detail.

7/13/2003 7:45:38 PM

Lisamarie Busch

member since: 6/30/2003
  Thanks Bonnie.
I was originally going to have someone print out my pics for me so I needed to know what kind of paper to use but I don't have a cd burner to give them a cd for their computer. So now I'm looking into a printer for myself. Thanks for the advice.

7/14/2003 2:53:58 PM

Bonita A. Dubil

member since: 6/24/2003
  Lisamaria, If you are looking at getting a photo printer, I would highly suggest the Lexmark 5150. It gives you studio like prints, and is also a scanner, and fax machine. All this for about $149 at Office Max. Sometimes they have sales, or rebates. I got mine for $20 off. I looked around before it bought it, and found out that this particular model has won a number of awards for it's performance. Good luck

7/14/2003 4:25:13 PM

louis 

member since: 7/9/2003
  Before I switched to digital, I had a complete darkroom set up in a spare bedroom that I did up to 16 x 24 inch B & W and color prints in. Now I use a Canon S900 printer and produce prints that in quality, I can't tell from those done in my darkroom. I'm soon getting the S9000 to be able to do larger prints.

7/15/2003 7:21:17 AM

Bonita A. Dubil

member since: 6/24/2003
  If my sales go well this year, I will be looking for a printer that does large prints 11X14 and up. Do you have any suggestions? Will the Cannon S9000 do these, and if so, about how much do they go for? Thanks so much Bonnie

7/15/2003 7:36:28 AM

louis 

member since: 7/9/2003
  Bonnie, The S9000 (and S9100) will do up to 13 x 19 inch prints. Check these links: http://www.usa.canon.com/html/conCprProductDetail.jsp?modelid=6616&item=6657§ion=10214 and http://www.usa.canon.com/html/conCprProductDetail.jsp?modelid=8738&item=8776§ion=10214
The street price is lower. In fact, my S900 list for $299.00 I believe, but I got it from Best Buy as an open box item for $70.00. I also use Atlascopy bulk ink for refiling my cartriges and it works great on all the papers I use.

7/15/2003 8:04:20 AM

Judith A. Clark

member since: 9/14/2002
  No one prints photos like epson, I have the epson 1280 (I'm going to update soon), it does 11x14 beautifuly. I personly don't like glossy for portrait work. I use Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl. It has a soft gloss, but not too bright. It is also instant dry with the epson printer. On some of my printers and paper combos (even when using the manufacter paper) my blacks would never dry. This is the combo I have come up with after alot of trial and error.

7/15/2003 8:22:19 AM

Hank Greenfield

member since: 10/30/2002
  Hi,
There are some excelent papers out there but you have to experiment. Many manufacturers will sell you a trial pack at a good price.
There is no reason to stick with the manufacturers product if you are willing to do the work to find a better one.
Point two - if you are serious about printing color photos, get a six color printer. Epson, Canon and even HP have one.
If you are more interested in saving money, go to COSCO or any mass retail warehouse store and see what kind of cartritges are on sale. Buying them here will save you more money then you can believe and the results are all good and very much the same.
If you are really serious, there are ink systems out there that are more color true, much more long lasting and far more cost effective (when baught in quantity) then the manufacturers offer (its the old give away the printer, and Xerox does this literaly, and sell the ink for ever).
I have had really bad experiences with the cartritges that are sold over the web via EMail that just shows up everyday.

There is no short cut for doing your homework, and this is a good start.

Hank Greenfield

7/16/2003 7:55:19 AM

Lisamarie Busch

member since: 6/30/2003
  thanks everyone for all ur help! im now insearch of a printer! :)
someday i'll ask u guys to critique my work but right now im too afraid to. lol. ive seen the work on here its beyond my wildest dream to shoot pictures like these.
thanks again for the answers
lisamarie

7/17/2003 7:57:38 PM

Sharon Landers

member since: 3/4/2003
  I recently purchased a hp2200 (i think off the top of my head lol it's late)it is a fax, scanner, copier, printer. I like the prints alot. If your using a digital camera this printer is awesome! You insert your camera card and it will print out an index, on the index you can pencil in the photo, size, quanity and if you want a border around it; you then place this on the scanner and it will print out your pics! I use hp glossy or kodak paper and they both have worked well for me. Someone in an above post mentioned staples which is the route I took. First call and order their catalog and you will get a few good coupons along with free shipping. If you have apply for a rewards card you will get a few staples bucks, great for some paper. Also hp usually offers some type of rebate. I did really well this way. I must admit I still get some printed when I take alot of shots and get lazy. I am wondering how many prints you get on average out of the cartridges and the cost of paper which is cheaper??

7/20/2003 10:11:05 PM

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Photography Question 
Nancy  E. Wike

member since: 6/10/2002
  8 .  Olympus P400 printer
 
  Looking Downtown Atlanta
Looking Downtown Atlanta
This picture captures a lot of Atlanta's feeling for me. Atlanta has incredibly interesting modern buildings, many of which have become icons. And there are a lot of sculptures. I tried to capture some of this feeling by putting a sculpture in the foreground and in the background the Peachtree Plaza hotel -- an icon of the Atlanta skyline and one of the early skyscrapers in Atlanta.
© Margaret Ann Chappell
 
  Sculpture
Sculpture
I could not get as crisp a reflection as I would have liked. The day was windy with scattered showers. The water was never still while I was there.
© Margaret Ann Chappell
 
  The Hotel Lobby
The Hotel Lobby
I took this looking down from the 11th floor. I'm not sure if circles are considered lines for this assignment, but I was struck by all the circles, particularly in the sculpture on the far right. Looking at it at lobby level, all I "saw" were metal rods. From above the circles were the most prominant feature to me.
© Margaret Ann Chappell
 
  Gull at the Beach
Gull at the Beach
This picutre is looking north towards New York City. The lone bird is a strack contrast to the activity that must be going on in city at the top of the picture.
© Margaret Ann Chappell
 
  Looking up the Building
Looking up the Building
The facade of a bank building. I think this might have been more effective in black and white. Or with some sky color other than grey/white.
© Margaret Ann Chappell
 
  no subject
no subject
Has a line on picture ...anyone experience this with the Olympus P400 dye sublimation printer?
© Nancy  E. Wike
 
I recently bought an Olympus P400 dye sublimation printer. Has been working great till yesterday. A thin white line appears on the right side of the picture. I checked the ribbon and paper and that's not the problem. Has anyone else experienced this problem with this printer. "help"
Nancy
missnancy@airmail.net

11/17/2002 9:47:44 PM

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Photography Question 
Nancy  E. Wike

member since: 6/10/2002
  9 .  Olympus P400 printer
 
I recently bought an Olympus P400 dye sublimation printer. Has been working great till yesterday. A thin white line appears on the right side of the picture. I checked the ribbon and paper and that's not the problem. Has anyone else experienced this problem with this printer. "help"
Nancy
missnancy@airmail.net

11/17/2002 9:46:35 PM

WILLIE E. MAGEE

member since: 7/4/2005
  yes I have the same problem. It started in the middle of a ribbon during an even I was. shooting . Wasted a lot of paper.

w

7/4/2005 12:06:20 PM

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Photography Question 
Daryl P. Parcher

member since: 10/23/2002
  10 .  Inkjet vs. Dye sub.....
I am considering taking the jump into dye sub printing. Can anybody give me the pros and cons of this consideration?? It seems that dye sub supplies are a bit hard to come by....
Any advice is welcome.

D.P.

10/23/2002 4:51:28 PM

Angela Garibay
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/13/2001
  Hi D.P. What I would like to know is what is "dye sub" to begin with. I came accross the term but have no idea what it is.. Thanks, and good luck to the both of us in finding all answers..

1/23/2006 5:55:59 PM

Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/13/2004
  Googled it!

Seems dye sub is the way to go, but also from reading, it sounds pretty pricey. Probably worth it though. If you have the dough, then go for it.

1/23/2006 6:12:26 PM

John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/8/2001
  There are basically three means of producing color "copies." These include: inkjet, dye sublimation and xerographic printers. [Yes, there is a real technology called xerography - its the technical tech used in the photocopying industry since "Xerox" joined the ranks of Formica, as term of art and therefore not able to be trademarked in all cases.

Generally, photographs are printed on inkjet and dyesubs. Most of the articles you'll see about photo printers describe inkjet printers because dyesubs are much more expensive [capital cost and supplies (dye.)]

Inkjets work by spraying droplets of ink onto the photo paper. The research into inks has focused on longevity [the issue of fading] and drying time. Certain papers are formulated to assist the drying of the inks. It's this issue the we have to be concerned about and, often, we've had to wait a hour or so before we could handle a print produced on our inkjets.

Dyesubs work by applying the dyes via a heat process of some kind. Since I worked for a while for a company that made toner for photocopiers, I have a little knowledge - but, not enough to expound fully. I've seen one used in a small consulting firm for very specific projects, primarilily due to the fragility of the printer and the high cost of dyes. For more general needs, inkjets were used.

I personally don't think photos printed on dyesubs look like those produced in the wet darkroom or with higher end inkjet printers. It's like comparing a thick oil painting with a watercolor or pastel.

Dyesubs have been around for a number of years [since long before 2001.] I don't think they'll replace inkjets for home and, even, for professional photography needs. And, frankly, that's why there hard to find.

There's one other type of photo printer I'm aware of, but I'm not sure of its technical "process." It's FUJI's Pictograph. Costs around $5,000.

Stick with inkjets.

1/25/2006 8:48:25 AM

Phillip Corcoran

member since: 12/10/2005
  Modern dye-subs can produce excellent photo-quality prints and, contrary to your comments, can often be superior to an inkjet -- though I agree running costs can be a little higher since the solid dye cartridge lays down a full-size film of cyan, magenta, and yellow at a fixed rate regardless of the actual colours in the image --- whereas an inkjet only uses an amount of ink which varies according to each image. However, I have to say that a dye-sub printer (which I use) produces much smoother tones like a darkroom photo since there's no 'dot pattern' or half-toning as there is with an inkjet. Downside is that you can only use one brand of paper and one brand of cartridge matched to a particular model of dye-sub (because of the technology used), so you need to check availability of media before getting one. Apart from quality easily equalling that of an inkjet, they also turn out very realistic colours which closely match the original image, without any hassle of setting up printer profiles. I should know - I've used both methods and the dye-sub (which I've only recently switched to) gets a big thumbs up from me every time.

1/25/2006 10:52:44 AM

Angela Garibay
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/13/2001
  Thanks to both of you: John and Phill, but from the information, I will stick with inkjets and for that matter, the more traditional way.... angela

1/25/2006 2:12:22 PM

  My faithful Epson R800 died.... Anyone have a suggestion about as to a new ink jet photo printer. Have seen some mixed reviews on the Epson 1400 and 1900.

12/10/2009 9:55:15 AM

Clayton T. Williams
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/16/2006
  Same question for me...What suggestions would anyone give for a great quality inkjet?

12/15/2009 3:08:47 AM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  A little insight into dye sublimation. Dye and pigment differ. Dye is a liquid whereby pigments are solid. As to longevity, pigment wins.

How dye sub works. Matter generally exist in one of three states. These are solid, liquid, and gas. When a solid is heated it gains energy and liquefies. Apply additional heat and a liquid changes to a gaseous state. Some bizarre substances, when heated skip the liquid state. As an example, dry ice, which is frozen carbon dioxide, warms and changes directly to a gas skipping the liquid stage. Hence the name dry ice. The process of changing directly from a solid to a gas and or skipping one state is called sublimation.

In the dye sub preprocess the colored substances are a sold. These are more durable colorants. Generally three solid colors are used. Cyan - Magenta - Yellow, these are known as the subtractive primaries. These colors each block or absorb one of the light primaries which are red - green - blue. Thus the subtractive primaries are used to modulate (control) the percentage of the primaries that will be reflect off the paper print to our eye. Cyan is a red blocker. Magenta is a green blocker. Yellow is a blue blocker.

Prints are generally viewed by reflected light. We illuminate them with white light. The white light consists of red - green - blue in nearly equal proportions. The subtractive primaries, each absorb one of these primaries based on their strength as applied to the paper. Thus they control the percentage of the three primaries that will reach our eye.

The subtractive primaries should yield a black when overlapped. Due to deficiencies involving the shade of the magenta and cyan, a degraded black always results.

This is sad because black is viewed as a key color, it is needed to kick off the contrast scale of the image. The cyan - magenta - yellow system (CMY) is bolstered by the addition of a black colorant. The 4 colorant system is called CMYK. The K for key or kicker.

The dye sublimation system resembles a dot matrix except the pins are heated. The colorant is a solid in a wax carrier ribbon. A hot needle strikes the wax paper ribbon. The wax vaporizes. It changes from a solid to a gas skipping the liquid state. The colorant, now a vapor penetrates and diffuses into a porous top coating of the paper. The vapor cools and returns directly to the solid state. Since the liquid state is skipped, the process is called dye sublimation.

12/16/2009 7:36:34 AM

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