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Which printer should I buy? [Archive] - Event Photographer Society Forum

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Graham Wiffen
13-12-2010, 08:40 PM
Which printer should I buy?

I am currently looking at 3 printers, all of which will allow me to print high quality, A3 prints on various media.

They offer 8 or 10 inks, high dpi printing and different media options; so what's to choose between them?

I am moving from enthusiastic amateur towards semi-professional and have recently started selling prints off my own website, which I currently get printed through an external agency, but I'd like to be able to do some of the smaller ones myself.

I'd also like to ensure that what I see on screen is what I get out of the printer; although my screen is calibrated with a Spyder 3 Elite, it still seems that when I get prints back from any printer, they're different, so having my own printer will help reduce that.

The three printers I have been looking at are :

Canon PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II @ £529
Canon PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II @ £349
Epson Stylus Photo R1900 @ £359

.... although there is currently an offer on the Canon printers offering £100 cashback, which on the 9000 is very attractive.

Please can give me some advice on which you feel may be more suitable for my own use?

chris nutt
14-12-2010, 08:01 AM
Hi Graham,

If you are looking at printing quite a number of prints, then it's worth looking at a printer that can can be fitted with a CIS (Continuous Inking System). Personally I use an Epson R2800, which gives fabulous exhibition quality B+W results (and colour too!) However the Epson ink carts can work out pretty expensive if you are making a lot of A3s so I use the Permajet Ecoflow system - it is another investment, but the bulk inks it comes with makes it a lot cheaper than just buying the new carts. And if you use Permajet paper (I think Fotospeed do the same now) you can download the profile patches, print them out and send them back to Permajet for a FREE custom printer profile. Using this set-up I get the prints to look the same as from a pro lab - first time. The new Permajet Ultra Pearl paper also looks like a chemical lustre print - and the "textured" surface finish makes it a b__gger for anyone to scan :-)
BTW I have no link to Permajet - I just use their stuff and like it...

and a second BTW - I use Pro-Am for my lab prints (When I'm doing bulk stuff I still send them away) - if you use their downloadable profile, the prints come out consistently - and the prices aren't too bad either.

Simon Wilson
14-12-2010, 08:27 AM
Hi Graham,

If you are looking at printing quite a number of prints, then it's worth looking at a printer that can can be fitted with a CIS (Continuous Inking System). Personally I use an Epson R2800, which gives fabulous exhibition quality B+W results (and colour too!) However the Epson ink carts can work out pretty expensive if you are making a lot of A3s so I use the Permajet Ecoflow system - it is another investment, but the bulk inks it comes with makes it a lot cheaper than just buying the new carts. And if you use Permajet paper (I think Fotospeed do the same now) you can download the profile patches, print them out and send them back to Permajet for a FREE custom printer profile. Using this set-up I get the prints to look the same as from a pro lab - first time. The new Permajet Ultra Pearl paper also looks like a chemical lustre print - and the "textured" surface finish makes it a b__gger for anyone to scan :-)
BTW I have no link to Permajet - I just use their stuff and like it...

and a second BTW - I use Pro-Am for my lab prints (When I'm doing bulk stuff I still send them away) - if you use their downloadable profile, the prints come out consistently - and the prices aren't too bad either.

Hi Chris/Graham,

I have 2 of the the Canon Pixma 9500 mk1's Which are a fantastic printers but a bit juicy on the ink usage...especially for A3 and A3+....Ink costs more than petrol to run them so the CISS should be a definitie consideration when purchasing.

Chris ....I hope all is well ?

How long have you been with Pro-Am?

Simon

Alan Warner
14-12-2010, 09:06 AM
Ink costs more than petrol to run them so the CISS should be a definitie consideration when purchasing.


Top Advise Simon,

Running Epson wide format printer using a Lyson CIS system that ones profiled produces stunning prints at a reasonable cost,

But if im honest Id steer clear of printing yourself unless you need to onsite, there are many processing outfits that are now doing at silly money & will post out to your customer direct...

Al'

Bill Allon_Camera Angles
14-12-2010, 11:25 AM
Iím with Alan on this one. I spent almost £2000 on an Epson 2000P and two Epson 2100 printers. None of these ever paid their way and were all scrapped due to the astronomical cost of servicing. The Lyson Continuous Ink system was great while it was working but a complete pain in the arse when it went wrong. My local lab will produce a large print of outstanding quality within 24 hours at a cost which is a fraction of the price for which I am selling the print and if you use someone like Pro am, who I have just tried and look very good, the price is unbelievably low. Do you really want to go to the trouble of producing your own prints to save a few pennies on an item where the profit margin can be 400% or more? I got a cheap Canon A3+ printer which I use with third party inks to run off posters etc. The photo printing is pretty good for this sort of thing and the ink doesnít cost a fortune.

My advice is to spend your money on something else.

Bryan Osborne
14-12-2010, 11:32 AM
Agree with Bill.

For Proofing I use an Epson 1400 when on site at sporty events and you have shutter dysentry...!

I bought into Lyson Bulk ink and a couple of sets of empty auto reset ink cartridges which I top up (two sets) prior to the event. A CIS is a permanent location fixture and any air or not level location will screw it all up!

I have found for A3 and A3+ it is sufficient to have some relevent examples onsite with you take the order and money and give a receipt plus say a 6x8 Print in a mount of another photo "complimentary!"

As Bill suggests large format prints to A2 can be done by conventional RA4 photo process at a fraction of the cost of Inkjet!

Graham Wiffen
14-12-2010, 04:23 PM
Thanks to everyone for their comments and wise words. I will review the entire subject I think, and look to someone like Pro Am to help me out.

Does anyone have any referals on external printing houses? I will look at Pro-Am (Newcastle?) and have tried Loxley, but they seem quite expensive for canvases.

Great feedback though. Thank you.

Bill Allon_Camera Angles
14-12-2010, 06:32 PM
Pro am are in Bradford. Colorworld, who I use are near Newcastle, I'm on their van route which is handy, and their MD lives round the corner, even handier. Colorworld will colour correct for you if you want them to, basically they make the flesh tones look nice which is ideal for wedding pics, which is what I mainly use them for. Pro am, whilst cheaper, only print what they get but they have profiling tools which you can download from their website. I've had a sample print and it was impressive and VERY cheap. Provided you get the pictures looking right on screen I think they would do an excellent job. The charge the same P & P for one print as for 50 and I can see that that may be a problem at times.