Black/White, Monochrome, Grayscale

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JHK49, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. JHK49 macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2018
    I need help from someone who is a lot more techy than I.

    My plan had been to replace my inkjet printer with messed-up print heads with an AIO laser color printer. I was planning on spending enough for one (under $400) that I could also use it to print a genealogy book that I am creating for my four kids and several siblings. The book would be under 200 pages and include some B/W photos. Also, with my wife being rather crafty, I would like to be able to print/copy some color photos/drawings that she uses in doing her crafting stuff.

    Anyway, my research seems to be telling me that laser printers do not do color photos well. With that, I am rethinking my color laser printer selection.

    I am now thinking that I really don't need to fax anymore but would like to print/scan/copy ..... And that black/white would be fine since most of genealogy photos are B/W anyway. So, my question is, do laser printers provide grayscale that I could then reproduce B/W photos adequately? And if so, do I need to look for something specific about a laser printer to insure that if can reproduce grayscale?

    Of course, on the other hand ..... have I researched this "color" issue too much and as long as I use the correct paper with the laser color printer I will get acceptable reproductions. I mean these are just family photos, I am not entering a photographic contest.

    One more item, my wife often uses cardstock for her crafting (85#) .... do I need to be concerned with paper-handling with this heavier paper? It works just find on my Epson Workforce inkjet printer.

    Any help with this would most certainly be appreciated.

    Leesburg, GA
  2. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
    Printers work by making dots, and the smaller the dot the better it will work. B/W lasers create only black dots, so to make grey it will make a mesh of dots. So for photos with small contrast changes or light colours it might not look great. You need photos with large contrast changes or things that are simple. You might need to edit photos to bring up the contrast for B/W. Colour laser is better, but photos are not not the strength of a laser printer. It really depends on what you see as good enough. Also solid blocks of colours in laser prints can be shiny, so a photo might look odd at an angle.

    I think you might need to go to a print shop and have them do a few prints so that you can see the results first. Some stores that sell printers offer sample prints as well. Colour laser will not be bad, just not the best.

    Laser is a dry power so it might have issues with non-smooth materials. Ink falls down and is absorbed so does better. Heavy card stock should work still work as long as it is smooth (something like coloured construction paper is a little rough and doesn't print well in a laser).

    Also see:

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