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Allan Bell

Printing photos at home or in the office

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I am wondering how many contributors to Alamy have a printer at home or in their office and actually print off photos themselves for whatever use, the reasons are not important. Also what is the frequency of use?

 

If you would like to advise on the make and model of printer.

Whether it is inkjet or dye printing.

Also the size you would normally print and what size the machine will go up to.

Would you recommend your printer to a good friend for their own use, and if not why not.

Are you wanting to replace it with another model or would you replace it with the same model again if you had to.

 

?????

 

Allan

 

 

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Epson 7600 that I bought in 2004. Still works good and prints beautiful prints. No need for an upgrade until this one gives up the ghost.

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I've been printing at home for some years now. I do mainly greetings cards and prints for exhibition up to A3. I use an Epson R1800 which I've had for at least 10 years. It produces excellent prints and I can't fault the quality. I use Marrutt bulk inks because they're cheaper than Epson and seem to be just as good, and Tecco paper because I tried lots and found that one suited my work best. There are printer profiles for it which work well in Photoshop.

 

I only have two gripes. Firstly, it doesn't seem to be possible to get a continuous feed system for the R1800. Apparently there used to be one but the printer proved unreliable with it. Secondly, because I print in bursts every couple of months I waste a lot of ink cleaning the heads each time. However, I believe the latter would apply to any printer so it's entirely my own fault for not printing more often.

 

Alan

 

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Hi Allan, 

 

I’ve had several Epson and Canon specific ink jet photo printers. All were good enough for client pics and CD photo disks.

 

I currently use a Epson 1500 W A3+ photo printer. I’ve been using it for just over a year now and I’m really pleased with what it produces. It’s an ink jet and uses five colour cartridges and two black cartridges. It’s as economical as any other I’ve owned and currently retails for £429 on amazon. I’d happily replace it with another if a better alternative hasn’t arrived on the market since I purchased this one.

 

I normally print at 6x4 or A3+ and tend to use the five star Epson papers. I print occasionally these days. Using Photoshop to set the printer settings and an Eizo ColorEdge calibrated monitor it produces excellent prints. 

 

Steve

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I have a Canon i9950 A3 printer which is fine but  the cost of cartridges is such that I now never use it, rather I get my prints done at a local lab, order online and pick up from their place. Great quality and competitively priced. I think that you need to have external tanks if printing at home in quantity, and, for me, that's not worth the investment/hassle.

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I had an Epson R800 and it just drove me crazy. You print an A3 picture and two inches before the finish one of the colours runs out. And then you have to recalibrate. And then another colour's gone. Oh! I'm a very patient person, but I just couldn't take it any more. In the end I threw the printer out. I now got rid off all inkjet printers and I just have a laser printer which is good enough to print the occasional ticket or letter ... 

 

When I need prints, I order copies with online printers. Keeps me sane. Although some people might doubt that I ever was in the first place ... 

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5 minutes ago, vpics said:

. In the end I threw the printer out. I now got rid off all inkjet printers and I just have a laser printer which is good enough to print the occasional ticket or letter ... 

 

 

I have yet to throw inkjet out, but have to endorse the personal (monochrome) laser printer, cheap to run and as fast as a fast thing. Not at all expensive these days.

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3 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

I am wondering how many contributors to Alamy have a printer at home or in their office and actually print off photos themselves for whatever use, the reasons are not important. Also what is the frequency of use?

 

If you would like to advise on the make and model of printer.

Whether it is inkjet or dye printing.

Also the size you would normally print and what size the machine will go up to.

Would you recommend your printer to a good friend for their own use, and if not why not.

Are you wanting to replace it with another model or would you replace it with the same model again if you had to.

 

?????

 

Allan

 

 

For really top quality inkjet printing, the Epson SC-P600 (around £500) and related printers (ultrachrome inks) are in a class of their own. Superb quality prints suitable for professional purposes if used in a proper colour-managed workflow. Better than pro-lab prints on real photographic paper (i.e. wet chemistry).  I've had mine for 3 years and I would replace it with the same unless Epson brought out something even better. I've had Canon and Epson printers and I prefer Epson.

 

Dye sub printers are great if you want speed so used by event photographers to sell on the spot but not the thing to buy for "fine art" printing - sacrifice quality and print lifetime. 

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2 hours ago, Bryan said:

I have a Canon i9950 A3 printer which is fine but  the cost of cartridges is such that I now never use it, rather I get my prints done at a local lab, order online and pick up from their place. Great quality and competitively priced. I think that you need to have external tanks if printing at home in quantity, and, for me, that's not worth the investment/hassle.

 

Permajet have quite recently brought out refillable cartridges for a few Epson printers, including the SC-P600 I mention above, rather than the external tank thing and the inks cost far less than Epson own. I've not tried them as yet as I have a lot of Epson ink to use and I have a calibtrated workflow where I don't want to be spending time re-calibrating. I might give them a go at some point if my print volume goes up any further. As far as I know, Permajet claim the same longevity as Epson own (I think about 80 years)

Edited by MDM

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I have a Mitsubishi D70 event printer.  It's awesome!  Not only do I use it for events, but I print at home for family, friends and clients.  I can do 6x4, 7x5, 8x6 and 9x6.  Media is cheap, mounts are cheap, mark up is insane!  :P

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I hardly print anything anymore, mainly due to frustration. 

My ink printers always end up having dried ink in their print heads/cartridges, with the print quality greatly reduced. 

Buying ink is really pricey as I kept throwing away dried cartridges and if I calculated over the number of prints done. 

 

Now I think about buying a color laser, believing the dried ink problem should then be gone. 

At the rate I do printing, even the small initial cartridge should last me a couple of years. 

 

At the moment  I go a local print shop, that does do great prints up to B0 or my phooshop, when we need normal size pictures.

In my case this is much more cost effective than keeping replacing print cartridges, because they dried out.  

 

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2 hours ago, hdh said:

I hardly print anything anymore, mainly due to frustration. 

My ink printers always end up having dried ink in their print heads/cartridges, with the print quality greatly reduced. 

Buying ink is really pricey as I kept throwing away dried cartridges and if I calculated over the number of prints done.

 

Now I think about buying a color laser, believing the dried ink problem should then be gone. 

At the rate I do printing, even the small initial cartridge should last me a couple of years. 

 

At the moment  I go a local print shop, that does do great prints up to B0 or my phooshop, when we need normal size pictures.

In my case this is much more cost effective than keeping replacing print cartridges, because they dried out.  

 

I had similar problems. So six months ago I chucked my old A4 printer and bought a new HP Envy 4527 printer (currently £60 with 4 months of free ink) with their instant ink contract. So far it's been excellent. The ink is cheap, I pay £1.99/month. The printer orders it's own ink before it runs out, and it comes quickly and fits through my letterbox. The ink cartridges (HP302) include the print nozzles giving me a new print head every time I change ink. I'm pleased with the quality of the printing, including photos on gloss photo paper. It does have a couple of limitations though

  1. the ink is just CMY + regular black without a special photo-black, so the pictures aren't as rich as those from a 5 or 8 ink printer, but for the money and convenience, I'm happy. 
  2. it hasn't got a flat sheet feed option so can't handle heavier weight photo paper or card (normal glossy photo paper <250GSM has been fine).

Overall I'm very happy with it. But if I wanted a top spec large print I'd still use a lab.

 

Mark

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I've got a Canon Pixma Pro, which is very expensive to run, but does great prints. I still make a profit from cards though. I run an Epson Eco Tank A4 for office use,  which uses Epsons own refillable bottles. The one I have isn't great quality, but for letters, invoices etc, it's great.  They do now have photo quality ones, which I would be intrigued to see how the quality is - I've read mixed reviews.

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I rarely print photos these days, but when I do I use the A3+ Canon Pixma Pro 9000 Mk2. Always with genuine Canon inks as I have found third party inks to block the print nozzles. Also use an old Canon A4 i560 for general documents. I usually print photos at A3 or A3+. Haven't had the drying problem.

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I use an Epson Sylus Photo R2000 (8-colour inkjet, A3+ sheet size) which replaced an Epson R1800 a couple of years ago after it finally, and after long and faithful service, gave up the ghost. Genuine cartidges for this one are not quite as pricey as the equivalent became for the 1800, and hold slightly more ink. I don't do a lot of printing, but I use it to do 16x12 (ish) prints on an A3+ sheet, normally Epson premium semi-gloss.  Occasionally I'll also do prints for a couple of artist friends from digital images of their paintings; this on Epson  Archive Matte media.

 

It produces really stunning results but its not a cheap printer to operate, so I don't do greetings cards, holiday snaps etc - loads of releatively cheap on-line places where these can be done. I send people to these places and tell them that if they've got something really special, and want a large top quality print, they can get one from me.

 

This model will also print photo-coated CDs, will take a roll of media (panoramic prints) and also has a separate front-loading thick media slot for photo boards (up to 1.5mm thick) so its pretty versatile. I've found that - unlike the R1800 - when replacing a cartridge, the "charging" process doesn't seem to drain large amounts from the other existing cartridges. A tip - once a week, just switch the printer on and let it get to a ready state. This circulates the ink within the system and helps to prevent the nozzles clogging. It also worth doing a nozzle print check if the printer hasn't been printing for a while.

 

 

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15 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

Alan,

 

Do you sell your greeting cards through shops or only at exhibitions? I have often wondered but never got myself organised.

 

Do you sell them to the shop and they add their mark-up, or do they sell on commission?

 

 

So far I've only done local cards, and when I started a few years ago I sold them through a local card shop and also on occasional market stalls organised by our local arts group. It's difficult to get an exact idea of cost when you're using bulk inks and only printing every now and then in bursts, but I reckoned it cost me about 50p to print a card and supply an envelope and plastic sleeve. The shop paid me £1.10 and sold them for £2.20. They sold very well on a regular basis for a while but then the owner decided to close the business and since then I've had too many other things on my plate to spend time finding another outlet, so currently I only sell them every month or so at the market.

 

I always intended to sell cards more widely via my website but there's just so much else to do that invariably takes priority. I do plan to produce them to tie in with any exhibitions that feature my photographs prominently (for example I have an ongoing project with a friend who is a poet to produce multi-disciplinary exhibitions and events based around his words and my pictures).

 

Alan

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I have just re-visited this thread and would like to thank you all for your extremely detailed input to your answers to my questions.

 

You have all given me a lot to study and think about. It would seem that Epson and particle inkjet is winning out over Canon and dye inks.

 

In my office I use a Epson Expression Home XP-335 inkjet printer, mainly for small prints and printing documents but have been thinking of buying an A3+ size machine for larger prints.

From what is available I had been veering to the Canon Pixma Pro-10S which, from reports, seems to be overall better than the Epson equivalent. They do say that the inks for this Canon printer are cheaper than the Epson inks. Also the prints will last up to 80 years, depending on light and location, as is the case with Epson prints too.

 

Has anyone had experience of the Canon Pixma Pro-10S printer?

 

Allan

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

They do say that the inks for this Canon printer are cheaper than the Epson inks. Also the prints will last up to 80 years, depending on light and location, as is the case with Epson prints too.

 

 

It's worth looking at Marrutt inks for Epson. They do refillable cartridges and the bigger the bottle you buy the more you save. They also have regular discount offers. IIRC the prints last 75 years.

 

Alan

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For about six years I owned an Epson 7900 and three or four Epson R3000 printers (they kept dying with clogged ink nozzles).  I live in a very dry climate in Colorado and actually installed a whole room humidifier in my studio in an effort to minimize the clogged Epson ink nozzles (very frequent with both printers). Very long story short when it was time to replace the two Epson printers I did a fair amount of research and went with Canons, a PRO-1000 (max 17x22") and PRO-2000 (24" wide roll paper).  The Canon printers, which are now about a year old, are absolutely fantastic.  I have never had a single clogged ink cartridge with either Canon printer.  All inkjet printers are happier when used on a regular basis and my printing on the PRO-2000 is just occasional.  Last November I was traveling for over a month and both printers sat, unused.  Upon return they both fired up and printed beautifully with no clogged nozzle issues.  Paper feeding with both Canons is superior to the Epsons.  Both printers, unlike their Epson counterparts, switch automatically between the black matte & black gloss inks; so there is no wasted inks purging the lines.  The PRO-2000 is designed such that when an ink cartridge gets extremely low you get an automated warning and you can actually change the empty cartridge while the printer is running (unless you ignore the warning and let it run dry).  The Canon inks are about the same cost as the Epson inks, maybe a tab more, but the cartridges seem to last longer than my old Epsons, though that is not a scientific measure. The ink heads in the Canon printers are user replaceable, unlike the Epsons which require a visit by a service tech to replace the very expensive print head.  I am so glad my dealer (Alex.com in midwest USA) convinced me to go with the Canon printers - the output is beautiful and I am extremely happy.

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20 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

I am wondering how many contributors to Alamy have a printer at home or in their office and actually print off photos themselves for whatever use, the reasons are not important. Also what is the frequency of use?

 

If you would like to advise on the make and model of printer.

Whether it is inkjet or dye printing.

Also the size you would normally print and what size the machine will go up to.

Would you recommend your printer to a good friend for their own use, and if not why not.

Are you wanting to replace it with another model or would you replace it with the same model again if you had to.

 

?????

 

Allan

 

 

2

 

I'm BIG into printing "at home" (which is also the office and studio). Wholeheartedly recommend the Canon Pixma Pro-10 (now they have evolved to Pixma Pro-10s, but no real difference to the "original" one) and would definitely buy it again. I might have considered the twice as much new Canon Pixma imagePROGRAF PRO 1000 which looks super sweet (A2 size, detailed reports for the cost of each print and just looks awesome). Had the Canon I-9900 for many many years - did a great job. 

 

So I started out feeling good about Canon after having the Canon I-9900 for many many years which performed really well and relatively hassle-free despite abuse. However, I did extensive research (I can get lost in details about "things" ahead of this purchase a few years back, researching both printers and papers, mainly taking into consideration quality of the printing, the longevity of prints, cost of printing and hassle-free printing for my "situation" i.e. for intermittent use with longer periods of no use. I wanted the ability to go up to A3 (my printer goes up to A3+). Landed on the Pixma Pro-10 with it's pigment based ink - stunning prints, both colour and b/w and combined with Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag paper with printer profiles for the absolutely best prints.

 

For paper I use;

1. Canson Infinity "Platine Fibre Rag" for fine-art type sold prints. Lovely feel to it, great surface and the "right" thickness.

2. Canon "Pro Platinum" for "modern" more glossy prints a la portraits etc. - so for some sold prints I use this. Also use this for the wife's "celebrity" autograph requests that are still being purchased (she was singer and model, thus a "little bit known" back in England and Scotland). 

3. Canon "Glossy Photo Paper (Everyday Use)" for pretty much everything else photograph related whether that be a birthday card, family photos for the wife's scrapbooking. Cheap, quite thin but looks great. Usually end up in a photoalbum or mounted.

4. Normal printer paper for all other various printing needs.

 

FYI - prints sold have mainly been A4 size and unframed, but mounted. The Canson paper really adds perceived value to the prints and gets commented on in a positive way, but it is expensive so that is to be expected. I use a "Logan" mat cutter system which makes the job a breeze and thumbs up for the "Pigma Micron 03" archival ink pens for signing. 3M Photo Mount spray glue has also been a good choice.

 

All "proper" prints are made through Canon's Print Studio Pro within Photoshop which works well. Normal printing through any programs - no problemo. Hope any of this helps a little bit.

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46 minutes ago, H Mark Weidman Photography said:

For about six years I owned an Epson 7900 and three or four Epson R3000 printers (they kept dying with clogged ink nozzles).  I live in a very dry climate in Colorado and actually installed a whole room humidifier in my studio in an effort to minimize the clogged Epson ink nozzles (very frequent with both printers). Very long story short when it was time to replace the two Epson printers I did a fair amount of research and went with Canons, a PRO-1000 (max 17x22") and PRO-2000 (24" wide roll paper).  The Canon printers, which are now about a year old, are absolutely fantastic.  I have never had a single clogged ink cartridge with either Canon printer.  All inkjet printers are happier when used on a regular basis and my printing on the PRO-2000 is just occasional.  Last November I was traveling for over a month and both printers sat, unused.  Upon return they both fired up and printed beautifully with no clogged nozzle issues.  Paper feeding with both Canons is superior to the Epsons.  Both printers, unlike their Epson counterparts, switch automatically between the black matte & black gloss inks; so there is no wasted inks purging the lines.  The PRO-2000 is designed such that when an ink cartridge gets extremely low you get an automated warning and you can actually change the empty cartridge while the printer is running (unless you ignore the warning and let it run dry).  The Canon inks are about the same cost as the Epson inks, maybe a tab more, but the cartridges seem to last longer than my old Epsons, though that is not a scientific measure. The ink heads in the Canon printers are user replaceable, unlike the Epsons which require a visit by a service tech to replace the very expensive print head.  I am so glad my dealer (Alex.com in midwest USA) convinced me to go with the Canon printers - the output is beautiful and I am extremely happy.

 

Thank you for describing your experiences with your printers. Unfortunately the Pro-1000 and 2000 are outside of my budget but I take your point about clogged or non-clogging heads between the two makes. Assuming the methodology transfers to the cheaper model I am interested in.

 

 

1 hour ago, Inchiquin said:

 

It's worth looking at Marrutt inks for Epson. They do refillable cartridges and the bigger the bottle you buy the more you save. They also have regular discount offers. IIRC the prints last 75 years.

 

Alan

 

Thank you Alan, if I finally decide on the larger Epson printer I will certainly look into the Marrut inks.

 

Allan

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

I'm BIG into printing "at home" (which is also the office and studio). Wholeheartedly recommend the Canon Pixma Pro-10 (now they have evolved to Pixma Pro-10s, but no real difference to the "original" one) and would definitely buy it again. I might have considered the twice as much new Canon Pixma imagePROGRAF PRO 1000 which looks super sweet (A2 size, detailed reports for the cost of each print and just looks awesome). Had the Canon I-9900 for many many years - did a great job. 

 

So I started out feeling good about Canon after having the Canon I-9900 for many many years which performed really well and relatively hassle-free despite abuse. However, I did extensive research (I can get lost in details about "things" ahead of this purchase a few years back, researching both printers and papers, mainly taking into consideration quality of the printing, the longevity of prints, cost of printing and hassle-free printing for my "situation" i.e. for intermittent use with longer periods of no use. I wanted the ability to go up to A3 (my printer goes up to A3+). Landed on the Pixma Pro-10 with it's pigment based ink - stunning prints, both colour and b/w and combined with Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag paper with printer profiles for the absolutely best prints.

 

For paper I use;

1. Canson Infinity "Platine Fibre Rag" for fine-art type sold prints. Lovely feel to it, great surface and the "right" thickness.

2. Canon "Pro Platinum" for "modern" more glossy prints a la portraits etc. - so for some sold prints I use this. Also use this for the wife's "celebrity" autograph requests that are still being purchased (she was singer and model, thus a "little bit known" back in England and Scotland). 

3. Canon "Glossy Photo Paper (Everyday Use)" for pretty much everything else photograph related whether that be a birthday card, family photos for the wife's scrapbooking. Cheap, quite thin but looks great. Usually end up in a photoalbum or mounted.

4. Normal printer paper for all other various printing needs.

 

FYI - prints sold have mainly been A4 size and unframed, but mounted. The Canson paper really adds perceived value to the prints and gets commented on in a positive way, but it is expensive so that is to be expected. I use a "Logan" mat cutter system which makes the job a breeze and thumbs up for the "Pigma Micron 03" archival ink pens for signing. 3M Photo Mount spray glue has also been a good choice.

 

All "proper" prints are made through Canon's Print Studio Pro within Photoshop which works well. Normal printing through any programs - no problemo. Hope any of this helps a little bit.

 

Thank you very much for your extremely detailed input, even with the details of papers used with the Canon printer.

 

I also tend to look into the details, quality/costs/longevity and printer tolerance of abuse, and spend so long that it is almost time for the next variant to hit the market.

 

At the moment the Pixma Pro-10S is going for £424 inc VAT and discounts until 5th May so there may be another new one coming soon.

 

Allan

 

 

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15 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Thank you very much for your extremely detailed input, even with the details of papers used with the Canon printer.

 

I also tend to look into the details, quality/costs/longevity and printer tolerance of abuse, and spend so long that it is almost time for the next variant to hit the market.

 

At the moment the Pixma Pro-10S is going for £424 inc VAT and discounts until 5th May so there may be another new one coming soon.

 

Allan

 

 

 

If there are any Pixma Pro-1 left one could go for that - probably can be found cheap. Even lower ink costs and tiny bit better quality, especially for B/W. It also has more nozzles (2000 compared to 1000?) so therefore even lesser chance of clogging and print-head replacement. But in essence - big thumbs up to the Pro-10. No problems, prints are beautiful and what is being soft-proofed on screen is what is coming out. Good Luck!

Edited by Martin Carlsson

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42 minutes ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

If there are any Pixma Pro-1 left one could go for that - probably can be found cheap. Even lower ink costs and tiny bit better quality, especially for B/W. It also has more nozzles (2000 compared to 1000?) so therefore even lesser chance of clogging and print-head replacement. But in essences - big thumbs up to the Pro-10. No problems, prints are beautiful and what is being soft-proofed on screen. Good Luck!

 

There does not appear to be any new Pro-1 printers still for sale. One or two secondhand but I would prefer new.

 

Thank you for the idea though.

 

Allan

 

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14 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

There does not appear to be any new Pro-1 printers still for sale. One or two secondhand but I would prefer new.

 

Thank you for the idea though.

 

Allan

 

Yes, definitely, no idea what kind of ink previous owner has run through it. I stick to OEM ink now-a-days. Did try high-end "alternative" ink on the Canon I-9900 which I in hindsight blame for it's demise. Especially when it comes to pigment inks.

 

Anyway, good luck and let us know how you get on - a lot of fun. Just to be able to physically hold and feel a proper print feels rare now-a-days, almost like a privilege in this digital day and age.

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