BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Emily Godlewski

Inkjet Printers

I am planning to buy an Epson 1280 inkjet printer and have read many reviews on Epson printers. What I'm wondering is, are these printers just used for personal use or are the prints good enough for professionals to actually sell to clients? The stores I have been to are printing out photos on typing paper and so I am relying on reviews for my information. Also is the Epson 1280 a good choice? Thank you for any help you can offer!

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1/16/2003 9:25:46 AM

doug Nelson   I have the same printer, only the smaller size. I think they're more than adequate for personal use. People are amazed that they are inkjet prints. I would not hestitate to use them for a photo retouch business, but I would give the customer a CD with the printable file on it as well. For something like a portrait business, I'd be more cautious. Suppose these prints fade, even on Epson's best paper in 25 years, even if they're not hung in the sun?
Check out Epson's newer printers by checking back issues of Shutterbug. There have been some leaps forward in ink and paper quality. Unfortunately, we're looking at at least $500 for the printer; one goes for $900.
Another issue is that the colors you see on your monitor will hardly ever be exactly the same in a print. As a minimum, do the Adobe Gamma drill that comes with Photoshop, and also buy into one of these calibration set-ups as well. (I've been rather indecisive on this issue, and haven't tried one, so can't recommend one.) Even so, don't expect an exact color match every time. Selling inkjet prints to customers puts you on the cutting edge of the technology. It IS continually getting better and cheaper, but you may find yourself jumping through a lot of hoops trying to keep up. But then, you can write off the "hoops" on your taxes. I know a pro who does weddings and portraits. He's convinced that shooting film, and having a trustworthy lab do the printing is still the best way for him.

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1/16/2003 1:13:18 PM

Emily Godlewski   Doug, thank you for your quick response. I am a total novice at photography but was curious at just how good these printers are. They certainly get rave reviews. I was given an entry level scanner, Pacific Image, Prime Film 1800 for Christmas which has given me a better image to work with and wanted to upgrade my printer and read about the Epson's. I have read about the Epson 2200 and how good it is but don't know if it makes sense since my use is purely for myself, family etc.
Also, I have visited your web site and you have wonderful photographs and alot of very useful information. Maybe one day I'll have something good enough to share! Thanks for your help!

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1/16/2003 3:07:30 PM

George E. Givens Jr   Emily G.,
Go to this link
and read the first question. You might also like to go to the end of the entire message to learn how to subscribe.
Hope this helps

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2/11/2003 10:05:39 PM

Vincent Lowe   I'm using this printer (actually it's called the 1290 in the UK for some reason) but I'm using third-party 'archival' inks from Lyson and printing on their 'fine art' papers. This combination is reckoned to give fade-free prints with a life of 60-100 years. The results are stunning. You must use the correct ICC profile though, which means you are restricted to using Photoshop (though I think you could also use 'Elements'). If you intend to be doing a lot of printing I would recommend you convert to one of the CIS (Countinuous Inking Systems) and bulk inks. I've been using this on mine and it works a treat, as well as halving ink costs. There's a lot more info on these sites...

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2/12/2003 2:02:36 AM

Amie Kyte   Hi Emily, I thought I would share my printer experiences... I love my digital camera and also loved my Epson printer... the pictures are beautiful but I will tell you that I had a smaller version of the 1280 for about a year and then all at once the printer heads required cleaning 2 or 3 times a day!!! talk about using ink! To have the printer head replaced was expensive so I chose to go shopping for a new printer. I found sooo much help at different Yahoo groups. I just searched for printers and went from there. I ended up buying a Canon s900 and I have to say the photos look amazing. Maybe even better than my Epson prints. THE HUGE difference was the speed. The epson was very slow and the Canon just spits out a 4x6 print quicker than I ever expected. The other feature I love is that the print head can be replaced by the user eliminating the need to have it replaced professionally. So if this is a problem in the future I can order it and put it in myself. I really thing both printers are good but I did find lots of complaints about the same Epson problems I had when searching the web with info. I hope this helps.

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2/12/2003 8:59:47 AM

George E. Givens Jr   AmieK
I believe the printer you are referring to is the s9000?§ion=10214

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2/12/2003 9:42:04 AM

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