I am just getting back into photography (from about 10y break). I have purchased an F100, Nikkor 24-120, and a Coolscan 4000ED. So far I am impressed with the results. I have been able to pull out some amazing detail from some 35mm negs.
OK my point-- I don't have a printer. I am using Photoshop6 to manage the finnishing of the scans. What is a good printer in the 300$ price range?
...are good inexpensive choices that will print up to 8.5" wide. The 820 is under $150 and the 890 (which has more options, including roll paper printing capability) is around $250. Both use the same Epson print engine and dye-based inks, and will produce exceptional prints at the 1440 dpi setting. I've owned an 870 (Precursor to the 890) and now have a 1280, which is basically the same but prints up to 13" wide.
Best performance is on heavyweight matte or ColorLife paper. I've had less consistent luck with the Premium Photo Glossy, but prints on that paper can be quite impressive also.
Just got back from the computer store. I was comparing prints from an Epson 820 and the Canon S820 with a 10x lens.
The Cannon got the marks for the sharpest circles (the Epson seemed to have more aliasing on the diagonals). The Epson got the marks for color representation though. There appeard to be vertical banding on the Canon in the hightones. Skintones had noticable cyan vertical lines through them (at 10x). These were not visible with the naked eye however. They both appeared about the same with midtones. The Cannon looked like truer lowtones.
Looking at the price is probably the closer for me-- Epson 820 = $99, Canon S820 = $299. I can buy a lot of ink and paper for $200!
Unless you all have another suggestion, I'll probably go with the Epson 820.
I bought the 820 several months back and I am very happy with it. Prior to the 820 I had an HP 895. I thought it did a good job, but after I ran my first print on the 820 I was so impressed that I will never go back to HP. Really amazing prints.
I reckon you should spend a bit more and go for the Epson 1290 in order that you can do A3 sized prints. It would be a shame not to have that facility when you're using such a good scanner. Have a look at these two sites for more info on whats important and how to do it: www.luminous-landscape.com www.computer-darkroom.co.uk There's a lot more to it than just connecting up but its well worth persevering. Epson has just launched a successor to the 1290 but its much more expensive and more of a niche product in my view.
I agree with dogbyte to a point, but I'm going to suggest something even more radical.
I have a 1280 and use the Cone Editions PiezographyBW system. The prints I get are beyond amazing. This set up is for black and white only, but Cone is coming out with a color version very soon, a couple of months, I think. You can get info on piezography, and even get samples sent to you, at their web site www.coneeditions.com. These guys are the real deal and if you are serious about getting fantastic prints (no dot patterns!!!) look them up before you commit.
Okay, now the bad news. The printer alone is $200 more than you want to spend, and then you have to buy the Cone stuff. However, if you are like me, and it sounds like you value quality in your work, nothing I have seen, even giclee prints, can beat this set up. Plus, using their system opens up your paper varieties to about 20 different kinds!!!
Best of luck, and if you want more info from me feel free to e-mail.