Medium to High Volume...Which Printer?
I am nearing completion of a book on sunset/sky photograpy, and will self publish it.
I have been printing my test copies on my wife's Epson C80 inkjet, which is very fast, but does not seem to deliver sufficient quality for the many images in the book. Plus, it seems to have relatively small ink cartridges.
So...I need the advice of you sage Nikonians! I need a printer that will deliver excellent text resolution, picture resolution, and big ink capacity. The cost, although part of the issue, is not the greatest concern. I would like to keep the cost under $1000.00 USD if possible.
I truly appreciate your advice, and want to thank you in advance!
#1. "RE: Medium to High Volume...Which Printer?" | In response to Reply # 0Fri 25-Apr-03 02:44 PM
Hmmm. How about print longevity? That's the weakness of any of the inkjet solutions I can offer. Do you need postscript capability?
Canon makes the fastest photo quality inkjet printers, but you'll have a challenge finding a matte finish paper to use with one. They do offer one matte paper, but if it doesn't fit your needs for cost, thickness and image quality, you might strike out. Two sided paper might be even harder to figure out.
The C80 offers both pigment ink stability and water resistant ink, important qualities you won't find on any other inkjet. I think for your project the C80 is probably the best option. Experiment with paper options to see if you can get a good compromise between reasonable throughput and image quality. I don't know is anyone makes a continuous feed ink system for the C80 - you might look around for one. If not, they're cheap enough you could run a couple simultaneously to for maximum throughput.
You could look at toner-based printers, but photo image quality isn't nearly as good and the images have a waxy sheen.
#2. "RE: Medium to High Volume...Which Printer?" | In response to Reply # 1Fri 25-Apr-03 03:49 PM
Thanks for the sage advice!
Hmmm, so my wife's C80 is capable of better quality? I have been printing the images on regular 65lb bond paper. Could it be that the paper won't allow high-res images? I have always had my digital stuff done on a LightJet. But, self-publishing a book would make that too expensive, as would offset printing for only 50 copies at a time.
So, maybe I'll buy some better quality paper and see what the C80 can actually do. I'll soon learn the capabilities of this printer.
Only problem I can see is that I will have images spread througout the book, and so will be forced to use whatever paper I print the images on for the text also. Any suggestions as to paper types that will provide a good image, and text, plus not cost a dollar per sheet, and be thick enough to be an acceptable book page?
#3. "RE: Medium to High Volume...Which Printer?" | In response to Reply # 2Sat 26-Apr-03 12:46 AM
Inkjet coated paper will give you the cleanest prints. Plain bond absorbs the ink and the dots spread out - hence the lower image quality.
Did you do the layout for 2-sided pages? If so you'll need coated two sides (C2S) paper with enough opacity to prevent read-through from being a problem. The bad news is the paper is more expensive, the good news is you'll use half as much.
I haven't worked with the C80 and paper stock. It handles plain bond better than most inkjets, but on coated photo paper you'll get far better images. Epson's relatively inexpensive Photo Quality Inkjet Paper is what I use for proofing, but it's one sided and may be more expensive than you need to go for this job. This paper is very bright on the coated side and has high enough image quality I use it to proof graphic design work.
I'd suggest that if you have a place like Xpedx or Arvey in your area, stop by and check out the inkjet coated stocks they carry. They have samples you can pick up by the sheet and test. Many paper mills now offer inkjet coated stock (usually one sided). Office Max has a 24lb inkjet coated paper, Maxbrite, that is inexpensive and acid-free - worth a try.
#4. "RE: Medium to High Volume...Which Printer?" | In response to Reply # 3
#5. "RE: Medium to High Volume...Which Printer?" | In response to Reply # 4Sat 26-Apr-03 01:40 AM
After you mentioned the driver resolution I looked into the driver and found that it was set for "Plain Paper" high-speed mode. That explains the lack of resolution.
I will buy some double-sided paper and test it in "Quality" mode. I am well pleased that I may not have to buy another printer. Now I can get that Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 I've been wanting!
Thanks for the excellent suggestions!