Own Ink Printer, Printer Shops or your own Printing old style?
Just a question.
What do you think is best:
Using your own Ink Printer (obviously one with a minimum decent quality for the pixels), Printer Shops (mostly are automated!) or your own Old style Printing Dark-Room?
I never had a home-darkroom and never done any manual printing old style, but I can see there may be better result and possibly less expensive too?
I hope I have clearly formulated my query (I am not English language born, but naturalised and may use the wrong terms here!)
I am just enquiring and I have no intent to do anything at present, but I will in the future and I like to be prepared for it - get the knowledge first, as I am doing with my D7000 - great camera by the way!
The ball is to you, the expert Nikonians.
Thanks in advance for your help.
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#1. "RE: Own Ink Printer, Printer Shops or your own Printing old style?" | In response to Reply # 0esantos Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Thu 22-Mar-12 12:59 PM
I used to make prints in the wet lab many, many years ago. I never enjoyed the process - smelly, messy, takes up a lot of space, and expensive. I think today, with the advancements in inkjet technology it would be the least attractive option unless you needed to use the wet lab method for a specific set of reasons. Besides, if you are using a digital camera I'm not sure how you could easily incorporate a wet lab in the printing process. There is no physical negative to work with.
That leaves the other two options you mention. In my opinion if you really want to pursue the best quality and want to have the option of using a variety of papers and techniques then self printing is the only way to go. Costs are comparable with the commercial labs these days once you get over the initial expense of buying a printer.
esartprints.com Ernesto Santos Photography
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#2. "RE: Own Ink Printer, Printer Shops or your own Printing old style?" | In response to Reply # 1Nikonitosi Registered since 03rd Sep 2011Thu 22-Mar-12 01:30 PM
Thank you for your reply.
I completely agree and probably is a silly question of mine!
It is all on the initial printer costs and a decent photo-printer I believe starts at around 500 GBP /~ 800$.
The only problem would be that 'if' your printer breaks after the initial 1/2 year guarantee and it costs you about 40 GBP or ~65$ per month in the first 2 years, excluding Paper and Ink.
For the Ink there are some models that you can use the external tanks and save huge amount of money, although one has to try that Ink first and see if it is good enough.
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#3. "RE: Own Ink Printer, Printer Shops or your own Printing old style?" | In response to Reply # 2quenton8 Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Thu 22-Mar-12 05:33 PM
I have done both wet darkroom (B&W only) and my own inkjet printing.
I have avoided using wal-mart, cost-co etc etc.
I enjoyed the wet darkroom, but it took time and effort, which I had more of many years ago.
I really love the inkjet printing. I can manipulate faster in LR and CS than in the darkroom. I never compared costs, not sure I remember enough at this point -- but I produce many more inkjet prints than I did darkroom prints, so it might not be a fair comparison.
I bought an R2880 (Ernesto's recommendation) just before the R3000 came out. If I were doing it now, I would go for the R3000, its newer and uses the larger ink tanks.
I love the 2880 -- it cost me $699 less a $200 mail-in rebate, so $500 - and was well worth it.
Not only do I have more control than if I went out for printing, but I can get prints instantly! before other people do -- e.g. during a family get-together I can hand out prints before the party is over!
#4. "RE: Own Ink Printer, Printer Shops or your own Printing old style?" | In response to Reply # 0
The trade-offs between your operating your own printer and use of a service are probably more weighted to your time, patience, inclination to learn the hardware, software, and color calibration tools and then print media selection than to outlays of currency.
With each passing day the mode of casual image sharing/publishing becomes more inclined toward digital, with printing being relegated more to the production of fine art prints.
If you are comfortable with or eager to learn the technology of printing then I would highly recommend diving in to the field. On the other hand, if you want convenient quick prints an inexpensive desktop printer will do the job, but for the production of quality prints there is a learning curve.
#5. "RE: Own Ink Printer, Printer Shops or your own Printing old style?" | In response to Reply # 4quenton8 Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Thu 22-Mar-12 07:38 PM
I have never felt that photo printing was declining terribly.
I have family (all ages), and although some of the 20s to 30s will "say" they don't need prints -- let them see me hand some prints to someone else and suddenly they want prints.
I find the same thing at our Church. I handed our student priest 24 prints of his "ordination to priest" and said I could get him a DVD of them if he wanted. After a few weeks I asked and he said "forget it" but could he have some more prints.
So I did a little research. In 2010, there were 16.6 billion prints made in the U.S. This is down 10% from the previous year, but the industry predicts 15 billion (roughly) in 2015 -- not a huge decline!
#6. "RE: Own Ink Printer, Printer Shops or your own Printing old style?" | In response to Reply # 0
I agree with others, wet darkroom is pretty much out of the running nowadays.
On the question of printing yourself vs. having a lab do it: Depending on how many prints you make, it may be difficult to recoup the cost of owning your own printer, compared to having an inexpensive lab do prints.
On the other hand, as Ernesto says, if you want to have absolute control over the entire process, and have your choice of high-quality media, then printing at home is the only way to go. You will have additional start-up expense, and you will need to learn some skill in printing, but for most of us here, controlling the entire process is worth the cost. If you sell prints it doesn't take long to recoup the cost of a printer.
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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