What do I need to know about printing?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dmw16, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. dmw16 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    #1
    The other day I purchased a Canon Pixma Pro-100. I hadn't started off planning to buy a photo printer, but at $98 I couldn't resist.

    I shoot a Nikon D7000 and use Aperture as my digital darkroom.

    I don't shoot or print professionally. My prints will be used to print pictures of our baby when he arrives in a few weeks up to printing shots of mine that I like to frame and hang on my wall. So it's far from fancy usage.

    So what do I need to know about printing? Should I just use a Canon provided color profile or actually buy a screen calibration device? Do I need software that sits between Aperture and the printer to get good results?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #2
    Start with using Canon paper and the built in profiles to see how the results come out. Make sure that you use the right paper type that you're printing to, and choose to let Aperture control printer profile and choose the right paper profile (this should all be in the printer's instruction manual).
     
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #3
    We have Pro-1 and Pro-100. We used to have 9500II. All of them are excellent A3+ size printers. Initially stick with Canon papers and the profiles in the driver. BTW, be sure to load all the latest drivers and software from the Canon site...NOT what is on the CD.

    Later you can branch out to other brands of paper like Moab, Red River, Ilford, and others. Personally I stick with Canon brand ink. I get it on ebay for 1/2 to 1/3 off what retail shops charge.

    Aperture should be able to print just fine...once you get the latest drivers. For Aperture you can get many of the plugins as are available for Lightroom. Some that come to mind are: Nik software bundle, Topaz Labs, OnOneSoftware, Pixelmator (poor man's Photoshop for $30).....etc.
     
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #4
    The advice above is spot on. I will add that if and when you start using non-Canon papers then you should read up on a colour management workflow. It is a very large area, and can get very complicated. For professional work you can spend a great deal of time learning how to do it properly.... in your case you can obviously not worry about it too much. Unless your screen is way way out of whack. An easy test is to take a photograph of something that is truly grey with no colour tinge to it at all. Old pavement and cement are two examples. Take the photo near noon on a bright and sunny day. Import the photo into Aperture and look to see if it still looks grey. If so, your calibration is probably close enough. If not, use the Advanced Calibration for the monitor option in the OS X Settings Panel. If you are careful this should get you close enough for what you want to do.

    Just as a fun exercise, find a grey piece of 'something' portable. A piece of card, a piece of cement. Lock the camera White Balance to 'Daylight' and take photos of the grey thing under clear daylight, sunrise light, inside under lightbulbs, etc etc and then compare how the 'grey' is not 'grey' under different light. You'll be 'enlightened'.... (sorry about that!) .... It is really good thing to understand about light. Then think about how the light in your office changes what you see on the screen, and how the different colours of light change how you look at the printed photo itself.

    Luck
     
  5. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #5
    I'm a little confused. Canon says this is a wide format 8 ink printer at a list of around $500, which is what I paid for my Epson 1200 6 ink, but I find them on Ebay for $50. If it's the wide carriage one, you got a great deal.

    The two extra colors are both grey inks and should give good shadow detail in photos. The main issue with inkjet printers is supply cost. A full set of 6 inks for my Epson is well over $100, so look into that for your printer. Check to see if the cartridges included are standard or extended ones. Sometimes they give you smaller capacity cartridges to get started with. My Epson wants all of it's inks and won't print in black only if the cyan is empty. I'm looking at a simple monotone laser for black only and using my Epson for color only.

    The Pixma Pro 100 is well reviewed.

    Dale
     
  6. dmw16 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    #6
    Thanks for the tips everyone! I ordered a sampler pack from Red River since I had a few bucks in my paypal account, but I'll probably stick with Canon to start with.

    I'll take a look at the various plug-ins that were mentioned. Some of them can get a bit pricey (like some of the Nik stuff). I'll have to see what fits my needs.

    And yes, it seemed like a great deal. It is well reviewed and I figured for $100 I'd have a new toy. Sure Mpix is cheaper, but I like the instant gratification of printing and I like toys. And I've wasted $100 on far stupid things :)

    I think it comes with starter tanks, and ink costs can get a little pricey, but since it's for home use I wasn't overly worried in that area.
     
  7. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #7
    I have both the Pro 1 & Pro 100 myself. Awesome printers, that take some learning to use. Great advice given so far. I have found a place to buy replacement ink for my printer called Precision Colors. I have been using their ink for some time now and have not noticed any difference in the quality from the Canon ink. Am in the printing industry, so am a little fussier about the ink I use in my printers.

    Will save you a small fortune if you plan on doing a lot of printing. I go through a fair bit as I do a lot of proofing for customers, as well run some smaller jobs. Would not recommend the ink for a professional photographer as they might notice a difference, but for your use, should work great.
     
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    If you watch ebay you can get a good deal on Canon printers and ink. I got our Pro-1 delivered to our house for $575; it routinely sells retail for $900+. I got two boxes of Canon ink for the Pro-1 for $100 less per box than online or retail stores.

    The best bargain was our Pro-100. We won it at a photo club raffle for $40 worth of tickets. :D
     

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