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Setting up a Dye Sub printer [Archive] - Event Photographer Society Forum


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Helen T
02-03-2009, 07:34 AM
Hi all, :rofl:
Looking at buying a second hand Hi Ti 730ps as my first event printer. Are they easy to set up as I have never used one before ? Been asked to take photos at a local dinner dance.

Helen :D

gary evans
02-03-2009, 08:05 AM
I use a pair of these printers in tandem so I guess I am sort of qualified to comment.

They are dead simple to set up, simply connect the printer to you computer and you will be asked to install the driver disc (or download it from the web if you dont have one). Follow the on screen menu and after approx 5 minutes you will be ready to go.

You can print direct from a compact flash card (and a couple of other formats) if the need arises, you can even make basic adjustments using the printers hand controller, but be aware this is not the quickest of methods.

Be aware that a couple of my freelance photographers have not been able to install these printers on Vista operated computers, although this was last summer and this may no have been rectified.

One advantage of the Hi-Touch is that I have never known anyone need to profile one (though I'm sure that several people will now say that they have had to!) and they will give you accurate colours from day one.

You may get some feedback from photographers about the speed of these printers, but I have always found that the slowest part of your workflow will be getting a decision from your clients as to which one to print, not the printer itself. Oh, and the first print you make will almost certainly have dust marks on it and wont be saleable, so do a test print onsite before everyone arrives.


Mike Weeks
02-03-2009, 11:02 AM

have talked about events and event printers at Focus for 4 days last week one of the topics that came up regularly was moving on from a Hiti. Gary knows my personal feelings on them - it may be a cheap way of getting started but they do have their limitations, it is knowing what these limitations are and how to overcome them.
The biggest limiting factor that I forsee is the cost of media - standard prices are anywhere between 60p & 70p a shot and if you are constantly throwing the first away because of dust you can add another 2p per shot. Roll-fed media starts at about 27p per shot so if you calculate this out within about 1000-1200 prints the cost of media alone will have financed the difference between buying a new Hiti and a new roll-fed printer.
Gary has mentioned the speed issue and he is correct it is the customer choosing the picture that takes time however if a customer orders 3 prints from a single Hiti it will take about 210 seconds to print them whereas the fastest roll-feds will complete the job in 60-70 seconds - there is not the dust issue as the roll is enclosed and paper usually only needs changeing every 270-300 prints (9"x6").
There are 2 things that may take you away from a roll-fed, initial cost and weight - in the end it all comes down to what level of bussiness you expect to be able to do.
There is a further option and that is renting but you would need to compare the benefits yourself.
There is a further point that for me is important and that is printing full-frame as then the person at the sales point has to make no cropping decisions which is why I went for a 9" x 6" printer and not an 8" x 6" printer.
Whatever you decide to do keep asking the questions as there is plenty of experience here. Lastly what sort of price have you seen it for because there is anything up to about £90 price difference between dealers.


06-03-2009, 05:54 PM
There is a further point that for me is important and that is printing full-frame as then the person at the sales point has to make no cropping decisions which is why I went for a 9" x 6" printer and not an 8" x 6" printer.

Another point on this which may not be an issue at the moment but is good looking to the future is that, should you wish to invest in a larger format dye-sub as many of do, it will almost certainly be a 12 x 8" and this is the same ratio as 9 x 6", so your production team would not need to re-crop for either print size. Either or both print sizes may equally quickly be produced from the same image/crop.

Mark Amies
09-03-2009, 11:29 AM
The HiTi machines are a good 'toe in the water' machine, but as Mike has said , there are limitations.

Alot of the guys who started off with Hiti's have moved onto roll feed machines.

Helen T
14-03-2009, 09:52 AM
:phone: Gary, Mike,
Well thank you for your advice it has really been helpful. I did buy the 730PS as I looked into the price of Roll fed and a a bit expensive to start for me with lots of other thing to buy yet. Gary was right about the dust on the first print and being a bit slow but the weight is great to move around.

We made a start and did our first event last Saturday and it went great but I,ll place that on another thread.

Thank you all for being out there for help as I need lots.

Helen :)

Andy Starkey
15-03-2009, 03:02 PM

The 730's are a great starting ground for the event potographer, despite what some may say. They are not the fastes printers in the world but the quality is customers friendly and they are really easy to use and I personally prefer the cartridge systes they use for reloading onsite over the roll fed printers because it makes it pretty much idiot proof. Also should anyone be interested I have 2 730's and media going for sale shortly should anyone be interested before I out them on fleabay. They are both as new and are in perfect working order as you would expect. I'd have to review the media but I think I've got something like 3 packs of 6x4, 5x7 and 6x8 but don't hold me to that as I'd have to check the boxes.

PM me if you're interested.


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