Printers - Arrrggh!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by P-Worm, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. P-Worm macrumors 68020


    Jul 16, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT
    My family has the worst luck with printers. I am looking for a printer that can make some nice photo prints, but most of all IT MUST BE RELIABLE.

    We've had in the past, a few Epson printers (every one broke down) and just lately, our hp Photosmart 7150 has been doing weird things. Whenever it needs to print black (like bure black, not partial black like grey) it will print a neon green instead. Needless to say, we get some really weird looking pictures.

    By the way, the trouble isn't with the ink, we tried changing the cartridges.

    So what are some suggestions that could possibly end our head ache?

  2. slughead macrumors 68030


    Apr 28, 2004
    With printers, you need 2 things:
    1. Low priced ink.
    2. High quality prints.

    Here is a list of some printer manufacturers in order by LEAST expensive ink:
    1. Cannon (least expensive)
    2. Epson
    3. Lexmark
    4. HP (most expensive)

    Low cost ink pays for itself quickly (depending on your current printer-make).

    This is why I'd recommend just straight up switching to the cannon i960 ($200) or the cannon i560 ($100) ASAP.

    The i960 also comes with a cartridge that holds 5x7 photopaper which is nice for home use.

    I've had very bad luck with epson as far as reliability, lexmark is a joke, and HP is just not worth it.

    The manufacturers practically give away printers to make you buy their proprietary ink later. Buying a cannon now will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run.
  3. P-Worm thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jul 16, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Thank you, I'm going to go check out those printers right now.

  4. Mustafa macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2003
    Shenfield, Essex, UK
    In two words.......

    ......Canon i560.

    Amazingly cheap right now, very simple to set up and use, and even though it uses only four inks, many users find it difficult to tell the photo results from much more expensive printers (see DPReview Printers and Printing forum).

    I've had mine six months now, and have never had a jam, a clog or any sign of banding.

    It's also very fast and quiet, and great on general printing, too. Hey, I should be writing copy for Canon! (I have no connection).
  5. Nspace macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    Another vote for the i960. I purchased this printer in November to print photos and work off for my portfolio. The quality is outstanding and it has been relatively cheap to maintain with the think tank system.

    I showed some of black and white 5 x 7's to a couple photographers and at first glance they thought they were from film.

    So far it has been really reliable so i would definately recommend it. The 6 colours relly adds alot od definition and intensity to your photos.
  6. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    The Canon line, as mentioned, is top notch. I've got an i850 which I love. My mom has an i860 and it's just the same. I can only assume the newer models mentioned here are just as good. Canon has good Mac support too, which is a plus.

    Epsons seem okay. I really haven't had much experience with them. HPs are okay. Good enough quality but ink is expensive and they pissed me off by not releasing an OS X driver for a scanner for 3 years. That ended our relationship. Lexmarks are just plain crap and they have the most expensive ink.
  7. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Have you done the printer utility that came with the HP. It has a utility to troubleshoot and clean print heads, etc.

    I assume by your comment you have already tried changing all print cartridges with a new one. Printers, especially photo ones do weird things with printing black. I don't know much about it but some printers use colors to print black I think. Also, some things that look black online might not be pure black and it might be that the thing you are printing is a very very dark or misrepresented color and it is using color inks *which might be running our or clogged) to print that dark color. I have had werid things happen lately with printing certain web pages. Some things that look black in fact are dark blue or grey and print weirt or not at all since I don't replace my color cartridge on my current printer.

    Just some ideas.

    doing a test print through that utility or by holding down one of the buttons on the front of the printer can tell you if it is priting ok. It also might be some setting in software that is doing it. sometimes it can be checked on a weird photo setting, greyscale or black and white, etc and screw all kinds of things up.

    good luck

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