What is your favourite photo printer?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by phrehdd, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68000

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #1
    With all the great threads on photography, it would be nice to know what people are using for printing their image files and why that particular printer. Also what might be your "ideal" printer or wish list printer.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #2
    I use an Epson 4900 for all of my printing. It has a maximum short side of 17" so if I want to go larger, I seek out something like an Epson 7900 or 9900.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Photoshopper

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    Midwest
    #3
    Epson Stylus Pro 3880. Beautiful color and b&w, detail as fine as the eye can distinguish, full bleed at 17 x 22.

    Would love one of the larger models (24 or 36" wide) with the additional green and orange pigments.
     
  4. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #4
    I am not a pro photographer but do graphic design and I use the Canon Pro 100.

    Will do a 13 x 19 size, has many icc profiles to work with. The 8-ink dye based ChromaLife gives you with an amazing colour gamut. It comes with a plugin called Print Studio Pro that works with most Adobe products for fine tuning what you need to print.

    I use it for proofing. So what I proof must look like the printed job down the road. So far no complaints. Inks are expensive. Have been using it a couple of months and so far it has done it all. The couple of personal photos I printed on high end photo paper were clean, vibrant and sharp.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #5
    I'm using the Epson 3800. A nice work-horse. Contemplating adding the 4900 (for the ability to load a roll of paper) or something with a wider format. The Epson 3800 is 17". I really like the quality of the prints, and it's easy to use.
     
  6. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the lens, UK
    #6
    I have the luxury of the following at work;

    Epson 4880
    Epson 4900
    Epson 9900
    Epson mini lab

    If I'm at home I slum it and have an all in one Canon Pixmar
     
  7. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #7
    Nice. We have 2 Epson GS6000 at work for proofing (printing industry). One is being removed this week and a new Epson Surecolor SCS70670HD is being installed. Changing to the new printer as we do giclee's and want a better quality. Man I can hardly wait to see what our proofing will look like now.

    Some nice printers being mentioned.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    Canon Pixma Pro 1
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68000

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    Seems that the Epson 3800 on up are more than popular for great printing as well as the Canon Pro 100 and Pro 1.

    Given they all do pretty impressive output, what foibles have you had with your printer(s)? Any issues of various paper stock feed issues, printer heads or nozzles clogging or .... how about volume size and cost of each ink?

    Given everyone has a particular favourite set of papers - what are you favourite presentation/art papers for colour and for b/w?

    (just trying to get a little conversation going on here about printing which is often over looked on these forums)
     
  10. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the lens, UK
    #10
    I use Tecco papers when I do the occasional print. I Like the PL285 Luster for my colour stuff. They do a really nice Iridium Silver gloss for B & W, but it is not a cheap paper. A friend of mine uses it and it looks great. I haven't really done much B & W yet.

    I agree with what you say about printing being overlooked. It's becoming a dying art these days. I look at loads of photos online, but hardly ever hold a printed photo. That said I think it makes them seam more special when you do.

    I think I'll print some off tomorrow for a change!
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    #11
    Canon MX897 !
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    Badrottie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    all of my photos are printed by many different Canon printers. :apple:
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #13
    Kelby Media did a Grid show pertaining to printing.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUfSBuPsSOs

    For this episode, Matt and RC are doing a live printing show. They'll be going over things like why you need to print (it's not the usual explanation), the state of printing today, online services, and choosing a print medium. Matt and RC also talk about papers and print live in the studio while sharing some tips and tricks on getting what you see on screen to look like what comes out of the printer. The Guys also answer some viewer questions on how to get a great print and even unbox some prints from their print lab (+Mpix).
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #14
    I just upload them to Profotonet. I don't want the printing mess in house.
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #15
    Epson R3000. Stunningly good output up to 13" wide.

    For larger than that, I use a pro service.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 68000

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #16
    avoiding more green ink $$$ for printer ink

    On some of the larger printers, you get larger volumes of ink per colour. How do you manage to keep your Epson from wasting ink or the print heads from clogging?

    Do any of you use 3rd party ink systems?
     
  17. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #17
    Manual Cleaning

    1. Check your printer's manual for the location of your print head.
    2. Remove the ink cartridges and dab hot water or isopropyl alcohol onto a cotton swab.
    3. Rub the swab against the print head to loosen dried ink.
    4. Run the printer's own cleaning program 2 times.

    Otherwise just run the printer's cleaning program.


    I use a third party for my inks, but it took me awhile to find someone with inks that were the same as the ones that came with the printer and were compatible. You have to be careful as some can damage your printer. You have to watch how the inks print. Sometimes they are not the same shades and can really play havoc with trying to print proper colours.

    I tested a few different third party inks before finding a good match. The ones I use are more expensive than most third parties, but still cheaper than buying directly from the manufacturer. Plus I can buy in bulk from my supplier.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #18
    Ok, I deleted my proposed rant about home printing. Here is the summation:

    It is hard to beat prints made on machines that cost more than most houses, managed by technicians whose career is printing.

    How much do know, or will ever know, about all those profiles and nerdy settings?

    Got ink? Got any money left? Enjoy feeding the ink pigs?

    Do you have to buy, and inevitably waste, expensive specialty papers in different sizes?

    No matter how nice your printer is, isn't there a bigger and better and newer one to lust after, using of course different and more and more ink cartridges?

    Do you intend to spend how many hours and dollars turning out any one perfect print?

    You can do all of this, if you insist. Just don't think this is the best choice for most people.

    I would suggest a cheap printer using the fewest and cheapest cartridges, or a laser, for the usual documents and quick and decent only small prints for grandma. She could care less about absolute technical quality.

    If you have that masterpiece photo, get it professionally printed on the paper and size that it deserves. Are you really going to print the thousands of large high-end prints that might, maybe, make home printing a reasonable solution?

    Yes, many will say they are just so much better than the labs...a few would be correct I'm sure. I will just say I come from a photographic background, a couple of famous ones actually. I have technical skills and retain at least an average amount of information. I work hard and don't give up easily. I gave up home ink printing and let the pros do it. Comes in the mail.
     
  19. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the lens, UK
    #19
    Keep the printer switched on at all times. When the head has an electrical charge you won't have a problem. Got this from our printer technician at work (you may need to go into your printer settings, to disable any Eco power down options).
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #20
    I agree with all of this. I have a pro-level 13" printer (Epson R3000), and it has been my experience that it takes quite a while to achieve prints that match my expectations. Printing, whether done with traditional optical methods, digital C-prints, or inkjet, is an art form unto itself.

    Having said all of that, after owning my printer for a while and making 100's of prints (which, admittedly, cost me a fair amount to make), I'm now in a position to routinely make colour and B&W prints that I'm very, very happy with. I rarely print over A3+, and thus the R3000 is perfect for me. I've settled on a few standard papers, and learned how they behave with different images.

    But unless you're willing to put in the time to really learn how to print, you're better off leaving it to a pro service.
     
  21. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the lens, UK
    #21
    Unless you just buy something like a ColorMunki Photo.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #22
    I have gotten great results and flawless printing with a Canon Pro9000 II.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #23
    Is it cheap to print at home? No.
    Is it cheaper than ordering prints? Yes.
    Is it difficult? Unless you are a complete computer illiterate, not by a long shot.

    I just bought a Canon Pixma Pro-100 a week ago. First printer in ages, let alone photo printer. Got some good quality fine-art paper from a top brand, downloaded the ICC profiles from their website for my printer/paper combo and installed them. Installed the drivers. Read and followed the setup instructions that came with the printer and performed a head alignment as per those instructions. Did 2 (two) test prints to make sure all printer driver and program settings were correct. Total amount of time, maybe two hours, including coffee time. Prints come out exactly the way they look on my (calibrated) screen. Easy-peazy.

    There's an art in making things look highly complicated and difficult, and you passed the test. ;)

    There is a lot of convenience to be able to print yourself. In practice for a lot of us, ordering prints is just too much hassle. First you have to export your files from whatever program you use. Then upload them and go through the entire ordering process (boring...) and then you have to wait a few days to get them. Oh wait, but in my case (being single), there is nobody home to take them so I have to wait till the weekend to go to the post office to pick up the package. Just too much trouble to go through every time.

    Now with a proper printer, for anything up to 19x13 size, I just load up a sheet of paper, go to the print module in Lightroom, select paper size and hit print. Two minutes later, I have a beautiful photo in my hands.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 68000

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #24
    There is truth that learning to print well can at first be expensive. Lots of trial and error for some and for others, they are meticulous to do testing to ensure matches with their screen view of images as well as knowing the limitations of their printer/inks.

    Questions for all (for fun) -

    What software/hardware do you use for calibration?
    Do you run any step tests for colour, black/white/grey, etc. to find the true value range of your printers?
    Do you have certain papers that you prefer that are based on subject, general appearance (matte, glossy, semi-gloss etc.)?
    Do you feel comfortable using papers with whiteners knowing that their life with respect to maintaining the same brightness diminishes over time?
    If you scan negatives or transparencies, do you like the results that come from your printer as far as fidelity or improvement?
    and
    Does anyone miss the old days of darkroom printing like I do? My forte' was gallery black and whites as well as Cibachrome for transparencies. Sadly, I don't have the eyes for it anymore. Again - the questions are to keep this thread going so we can all exchange our ideas and experiences. I am happy to see some Canon printer users step up and chime in along with the rest of the Epson users.
     

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