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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Karen Gifford

member since: 6/3/2006
 

Worth Investing in a Good Printer?


I'm an amateur, but I'm thinking about trying to sell some of my greeting cards and larger prints at local gift shops etc. I'm thinking of making the investment and wondered about others' opinion of the Epson Stylus Photo R2400 Printer and if it's worth it for an amateur.

2/16/2008 9:57:20 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  Karen, your competition is the Canon 9500 printer (which I've seen bundled with a Spyder2 calibrator). here is a review Epson vs Canon vs HP for you.

You MUST buy a monitor calibrator as well to insure accuracy and the type of paper DOES matter.

http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/printers/Pigs/page_1.html

2/16/2008 10:50:33 AM

 
Karen Gifford

member since: 6/3/2006
  Wow, this is excellent stuff! thank you!

2/16/2008 10:59:48 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  No problem...just send me Beer.
cheers

2/16/2008 11:03:51 AM

 
Karen Gifford

member since: 6/3/2006
  HAHA!! I'll get right on that!

2/16/2008 11:07:57 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  While the convenience of having a printer on hand might be alluring, you may want to consider the alternatives: printing with a service. As Oliver says, I don't know that I'd print at home without proper calibration, and that is the beginning of the additional, hidden expense. Then there are the paper and ink expenses, plus paper cutter, mounting, etc., and the place to put all that extra stuff. Outsourcing may not be satisfying to a need for immediacy, but without it you have a whole additional dimension riding on your back...YOU are responsible for equipment maintenance, flubbed prints, materials and more.

Just the price of a printer like that will set you back what would be at least 100 8x10s on equipment printed on printers you would likely not afford for the home (I believe the printer I get most of my prints from was about $60,000 -- not that price alone makes for good prints). But you retain fewer options, and less access to other tangent services. I don't have a printer hooked up to my system, and I used to work in pre-press. My point: it has proven more convenient and less expensive to print via a service.

You still have to manage things on your end as far as good color practices, image correction and setup, but keeping up on printer maintenance, technology, upgrades, stock and more are all taken out of your hands when you outsource. It may be a consideration.

Richard Lynch

2/16/2008 12:15:18 PM

 
Karen Gifford

member since: 6/3/2006
  Very good point, and I thank you for pointing it out to me! Can I ask what service you use to have your photos done?
I started thinking about printing my own photos because I've only used some local places like Walmart, and I wasn't happy with the results. In fact, I thought my little HP all in one printer did a better job than Walmart!
Anyway, do you have other places I should try? (Kodak maybe?? I really don't know!!).
Thanks again!!

2/16/2008 1:30:30 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  I use a local place that I know...they happen to have online services:

color-tech.com

However, there may be services in your area that will provide you personal service and that you can visit to get your fix of that smell of developer ;-)

Richard Lynch

2/16/2008 2:16:30 PM

 
Donald R. Curry
BetterPhoto Member
wildlifetrailphotography.com

member since: 3/2/2006
  Karen,
I am an amateur as well, but routinely sell some of my photos. I have been using an Epson 2400 for about a year. I am very pleased with the quality of the prints. I calibrate my monitor with a Spyder II. If you plan on printing large volumes you should consider going to a printing service. I don't print large volumes and I like the convenience of being able to print at home. I also like the ability to fix any small problem I might see after printing. Small problems that are not noticeable on the monitor tend to jump out at you when printed at 13 x 19. I would hate to find that after I had spent the money at a printing service.

2/16/2008 8:37:12 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  Karen, just got back from CompUSA and they're closing their doors. The Epson 2400 & Canon 9500 are both on sale for $509 with inks $9.00.

2/18/2008 12:37:39 PM

 
Karen Gifford

member since: 6/3/2006
  Wow, you're kidding! That seems like a good deal, even if I'm not sure what to do yet!!!
Thanks! I looked online but I don't know if they have the same specials...

2/18/2008 2:13:23 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/9/2005
  Hello Karen,

I have to agree with Richard on this one.
All my work be it commercial or personal is sent to a pro lab AND via the internet. What could be easier?

The better labs will offer more than one ICC color profile, so there's never a question of color accuracy.

Printing one or two 8x10's per month is ok I suppose with a home printer, but I don't even do that. If all I need is a quickie print with little regard to quality or paper, I go to the local drug store.

Photo printer eat ink like a starving junk yard dog.


all the best,

Pete

2/19/2008 5:57:19 AM

 
Katherine Hunt

member since: 11/7/2005
  I am very much an amature but do sell some prints. Have also been published and have wone a few contests. I have a HP with Vivera inks and get much better than I ever did with any 4 color printer also the paper makes a huge difference. You will have to experiment but paper quality makes a bigger difference than printer at times. My HP does much better with HP paper and in general I like the quality I get with HP paper better than Epson, Cannon or generic.

2/19/2008 7:38:40 AM

 
Beverly S. Bogart
BetterPhoto Member
beverlybogartimages.com

member since: 8/27/2006
  I bought the Epson 2200 a few years ago and I have NEVER regretted it! I myself am looking at the 2400 but the 2200 works so well still that I can't justify upgrading just yet.

I have never been happy with sending my work out. I much rather do the work myself. If I find a little problem or something that needs correcting, I do it right then before printing a bunch out. I absolutely LOVE having my own photo printer.

I, myself, am working on doing my own cards at the moment. I'm not going to use the expensive peel and stick cards. I'm using a heavier matte paper and printing the photo on the paper then folding it. All I have to buy extra are the envelopes. I figure I can make these for about $.50 each and sell them much cheaper ($1-$2) than the other way $3-$4). People don't want to spend a lot for cards. I'd rather sell more cards at a cheaper price than fewer cards at a steeper price. Besides, stores want to see the merchandise move and not sit around.

2/19/2008 4:28:37 PM

 
Daniel O

member since: 5/30/2006
  Hi Karen,

Here's a take on your question I don't see here: What's the most fun for you?

I enjoy every part of the process, from shooting to hanging. I enjoy the PP, fine tuning the color; I calibrate my monitor and tune up the colors that print out if they don't suit me. Yes, I waste some paper and ink, and it takes more time, but the final print is exactly what I want. I like trying out new papers and talking to the guys at the local photo shop about them. I have 7 or 8 kinds right now; I pick out the paper I think will bring out the best in the photo I'm working on, sometimes print on 2 or 3 just to see the difference. And I like mounting, matting and framing them.

In short, I like the process and the results, and it's FUN. That's very high on the list of considerations for me.

Dan

2/20/2008 6:46:19 AM

 
Beverly S. Bogart
BetterPhoto Member
beverlybogartimages.com

member since: 8/27/2006
  I agree, Dan! Adding to what you said, Red River paper offers an inexpensive sampler package with different samples of their many papers all in different weights and styles. They are great for trying out different papers without the expense of buying a whole box of one kind of paper. But if you use them, don't forget to download the Red River paper profiles to get the best print.

2/20/2008 6:42:02 PM

 
Karen Gifford

member since: 6/3/2006
  Well I just wanted to respond to everyone who has been so kind to offer opinions and share experiences. I'm 'sort of' new here and I just can't say enough about the wealth of information I get from this site. Thank so much!!! Any and all information is really appreciated!!!
I have SO much to learn!!!!

2/20/2008 7:34:51 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Personally I really enjoy useing the Epson printers and bigger jobsor jobs with large orders send to Mpix, they do great work.
here is a link to the Epson sale coming up on friday 22nd, the 2400 is listed as 479.00:

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?oid=63057345&ref=r0302KKbzf


best of luck in your purchase,
Debby

2/21/2008 7:15:58 AM

 
Tareq M. Alhamrani
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/26/2006
  I just got my Epson Stylus Pro 3800 couples of weeks ago.

AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING.

2/26/2008 4:17:44 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
PhotoshopCS.com
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
  Beverly,
While it may be feasible for a home business, be sure that you are calculating in the cost of the printer, paper, ink, calibration & maintenance, paper cutter, card supplies, envelopes, and probably a few things I left out, as well as intangibles (space, peripherals, etc.). You may even get prints for .50...but I get them for .26 -- or less on volume. A $500 printer after 100 prints is still costing $5/print, it is not till after 1000 prints that you hit .50, and even then you are discounting costs of paper, ink, and etc. it isn't so much that I am pushing services as it is that I think people don't consider ceretain things costs and they will lose money over time.

If you've had trouble in the past with a service, it may be the service, or other color management issues...many people have these issues because they are not completely aware of how to make the best settings for their situation (my course, From Monitor to Print, looks at this).

Richard Lynch

2/26/2008 4:41:18 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  Hey Deb, that link says Refurbished and $599 is there another link??? I've got needs for either the Canon or Epson and just can't decide on the best one. I've just placed an order for 120 photos from MPIX all 10x13 and need to reprint my Portfolio again which is another 150-200 photos. Oh yeah just bought Spyder3Pro on sale for $149.

2/26/2008 9:47:16 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Here is a link for Epson Imaging:

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/ProImaging/ProImagingHome.do?BV_UseBVCookie=yes

2/27/2008 5:56:54 AM

 

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