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View Poll Results: Printing of Images

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  • I normally don't print my images

    3 14.29%
  • I print my images myself

    6 28.57%
  • I have my images printed elsewhere

    9 42.86%
  • I print some myself and have others printed elsewhere

    3 14.29%
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Thread: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

  1. #1

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    Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    This recent discussion of printers has got me wondering just how many here print their own images - so I thought I'd start a poll to find out!

  2. #2

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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    Very few images are worth to print as i am starter.
    About 30 a 40 prints a year.
    No smaller then 30 x 40 cm and no larger then 50 x 75 cm.
    By internet i send files to a company wich aims on professional and serious amateurphotographer.
    They don't "optimise"the pictures and work with different colorspaces and colorprofiles.
    (there are a lot of printservices wich "optimise" your pics)
    I keep it simple for colorspaces etc. and the results are very good in my opinion.
    Apart from large sizes, wich i think is a problem for homeprinting, there is a choice of printpaper.
    Metalic and Pearl e.g.

    The company has nice prices for a very good quality.
    They are fast also wich is important for professionals.

    That price and that quality makes me to not spend a minute or a cent to trying print myself.

  3. #3

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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    I originally went digital because I was fed up with those 'enhanced' prints from all the local printers. Possibily I am just a difficult customer but if I take a photo of a grey sky and a green sea I don't want them printed bright blue.

    When digital cameras became popular I predicted the demise of these little printer shops but I was wrong. They have never been busier as the vast majority of people take their cards to the same shops and pay for the same over saturated unsharp images that they got with film.

  4. #4
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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    I'm currently having a few of mine put on canvas (The Mrs likes 'em) I do all the editing, messing about and such. And when the master printer looks at the file, he still sucks air through his teeth, like a bloody mechanic (when something expensive is about to happen) changes the settings so it looks like something from a horror film, then he presss'go. And the bloody things come out great. He did tell me all about the difference between printing on canvas and paper once. But I've had a beer and a sleep since.

  5. #5

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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chelseablue View Post
    He did tell me all about the difference between printing on canvas and paper once. But I've had a beer and a sleep since.
    What I notice most is that printing on canvas raises the level of blacks a noticeable amount (even with a custom profile), and decreases saturation slightly.

    I normally just raise the black clipping point a smidgen - up the saturation by a hair - and it's "good to go".

  6. #6
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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    Colin,

    for what printer? The one these guys use is a monster! I'll look into this.

  7. #7

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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chelseablue View Post
    Colin,

    for what printer? The one these guys use is a monster! I'll look into this.
    Sorry - I should have clarified; For my Epson 7800 and the canvas I use.

    Part of the issue is self inflicted - Epson do make a matt black cart especially for my kind of printing, but the problem is you can't use it when printing gloss whereas the black cart I do use (or more specifically 1 of the 3 black carts that it takes alongside the 5 colour carts) does both.

    It's not a problem per sec - just something I compensate for.

  8. #8

    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    I gave up printing myself two years ago on the reasons of cost.
    If I send 100 files for printing At 8 by 10 inch the total cost is £60.00
    And unless I where to invest in a top end printer with a continues ink system
    After all cost are considered: Labour, Electricity, Ink, Paper, Profiling (every time the manufacturers change there papers): I can't compete with that kind of price. An added bonus to having a professional print house carry out this work is
    1 There turn round speed is faster
    2 I no longer have to produce paper profiles
    3 The time saved on printing can be used more productively elsewhere
    4 I no longer have to hold large stocks of various papers
    5 If for some reason a print problem where to arise one quick phone call is
    all it takes to rectify the problem.
    Iím not saying that this way is right for everyone only that it works for me and until the volume of work increases to the point that I can commercially justify the cost of a large format printer it is the system I will continue to use.

    John

  9. #9

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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    I would like to learn ink jet printing, but for now I'm very happy with the C prints and silver gelatin prints I'm getting from my lab. I printed all of my own personal work when I shot film, because there were techniques and processes that were not offered or would have been expensive to get from a lab. With digital I can do 100% of the processing at home; with a color managed system I can order my prints without corrections and I get exactly what I see on my monitor. It's just like having a multi-$100K printer attached to my computer; sure the cables are 150 miles long, and the postman has to deliver the prints, but as long as I don't need the prints today it works great, and it's very economical.

  10. #10
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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    I do print myself, using a Canon iP4300 (5 inks).

    My printing is mostly on 6 x 4 from pictures my wife or kids take with their cameras or mobiles, so around 2 to 3 MP, given rudimentary PP in Picasa (crop, straighten, brightness/contrast and default sharpen - takes about 30 seconds per picture). Or it's the kids homework on plain A4 with text.

    My own work is printed far less often, usually 7 x 5 or A4 (12 x 9) for a "portfolio" album or the wall.

    The immediacy wins out over cost, given the volumes involved, I guess I get through a £60 set of cartridges every 3 months or so. I must keep count in future.

  11. #11
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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    I was thinking in the past buying a printer myself but it figured out that it wil not be costeffective.
    I always send my files to a printing comany. They deliver the ICC profiles and give a very constant quality.

    It wouldn't surprice me that D3Debian and I use the same company.

    @ D3Debian: is it Profotonet that you are using?

    @ Colin: I don't know if it's allowed to mention the name of a comany. If not, could you please delete that line?

  12. #12

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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by hansm View Post
    @ Colin: I don't know if it's allowed to mention the name of a comany. If not, could you please delete that line?
    It's fine with me. Only thing I'd be more concerned about would be something that could be libelous.

  13. #13

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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    @hansm Yes, it is Profotonet.

  14. #14
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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    I think whether it's cost effective depends on what you do. I notice some people running 5 home printers on CIS (continuous ink system) and say it's worth it but I'm sceptical it's much cheaper for large print runs, quality wise it's probably better and around the same to use a pro printing service (or a higher price printer and setup like pro shop if you do very very large volumes daily).

    I recently started printing at home and worked out will be cheaper (technical issues aside to do with cleaning cycles and my printer model) even using official ink. I also don't print that many of my pics, and all printed are for personal use or for proofing work sometimes. As a result like mentioned by others the immediacy takes preference here since to wait a long time to get images done would kind of defeat the purpose of it since cost more to go into town to get one a5 print. They would work out at something like 30p an image if I got 50 printed at once, guy I spoke to in local print shop (independent one that is primarily camera store not average chain photoprint place like spielman) said they charge more to print individual stuff it's better to get a whole batch printed, geared toward printing the entire contents of peoples camera media cards hence cost twice the price to select since the operator doesn't just run a batch but manually has to pick out. Obviously the best thing here is to arrange a cd/flash card etc with large batch of images ready processed.

    Prices drop dramatically on large format stuff from another place if I get more done, ie £20 for 1 24"x20" (or something like that), £16 per image for 2 (of same thing), £12 for 3 etc. As result I plan to get stuff done but have nothing that I'm happy with yet, more picky than usual since trying to get pano of city skyline together but my dad and at least 2 friends want one too so I'm usual perfectionist self and cannot "make do" with what I've done so far so am still working on my technique and recapture in different conditions and my ability isn't as high as my expectations yet. Obviously to print my own here would not be cost effective since it's more a one off or very occasional thing.

    So really I think it's only cost effective for the low volume small format occasional prints that you want either quickly or more control over processing and printing as many uk highstreet photolabs (generic chain ones like boots or spielmans etc) don't know what colour profiles are! They also take serious liberties in processing and are not flexible at all, jpeg only etc etc and no processing options. Nothing you can do about it save going to independent specialised places. Yeah oxymoronic that a chainstore for photo processing/printing doesn't actually specialise in photo processing/printing I know, but I guess 100% of their customer base is holiday snaps etc from none enthusiasts who don't care or know better is on offer, or their goal is not good looking prints but rather purpose like a means to communicate to family/friends what the local beach was like and what sights they found etc .

    My own purposes and loads considered, and am about to try a 3rd party ink (when it arrives in post, not CIS, the German refill method) I think home printing is more cost effective. Most important thing is even if it was the same or a little more expensive the increased ease, convenience and flexibility makes it worth it.

  15. #15

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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    Very interesting comments all round - thanks folks.

    For what it's worth, I started out taking the commercial print path - invested in my own large format printer - and have now come full circle to printing commercially for others.

    It's been a steep learning curve, but having done it, it's been tremendously satisfying - and the NZD $10,000 I invested has now been returned many times over. It also makes for a powerful marketing strategy; with the competition getting a typical canvas print printed and stretch-mounted takes around 7 to 10 days (unless rushed); I can do it for them in 2 hours. And of course for my own prints I only have to travel about 2 feet (and it's a lot cheaper)

  16. #16
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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    I agree about the immediacy you have by printing it your self.
    It gives you also more posibilities like printig on "aquarel-painting" paper or album paper.
    These two options still make me think sometimes still to invest in a larger format printer.
    Also if you print lager volumes it will be more cost effective.

    The printing company I work with has the service that if you deliver your files before 3 pm they will be shipped the same day, so next day normally it's on your desk.
    Canvas takes a little longer, 3 days normally but you get it framed in very good quality.
    The frustrating part of this is how postage sometimes treats your shipments.
    It's not the first time I reveived a bended package even with big signs on it not to bend it.
    So you have to re-order.

    If you start to print for others then it can get very profitable.
    The disadvantage is that probably you are spending extra time in printing instead of photographing. But that is a choice you make.

  17. #17
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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    A couple of years ago a friend who used to do all my larger prints unfortunately ceased trading, and I have tried a few solutions, including printing myself and various so called quality labs.

    I have come to the conclusion that the cost and time involved for me are not worthwhile and I now use www.Loxleycolour.com in Glasgow UK. Incredibly fast turnaround and excellent quality. Just upload via web or send cd. Their range is far greater than I could economically stock and it provides a good solution for clients. (They just won some more awards at 2009 Conventions too, so it is not just me who is impressed with the service.).

    Nice thing is there is always someone at the end of the phone who you can talk about any individual issues.

  18. #18

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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    Several things that I don't quite understand now, but admitedly my printing requirements may not be typical. I don't take a batch of 'snaps' then get them all printed out at 6 x 4 ins. like my friends do; and throw 90% away.

    Do some people actually send A3 x 300ppi files over the internet then get prints delivered by post? I can understand sending off a CD but even then doing that each time I wanted a print and making sure that I am home when the mail is delivered seems a bit excessive. And do I have to attempt to get to a Post Office with my padded bag every time? Trying to park then queueing in the summer is a total nightmare.

    Living in a small town/village means a 15 mile round trip to the nearest printing shop plus excessive parking charges; and if I dropped off my files then returned the following day it would all be x2. And I think my own prints are much better quality anyway.

    I'm not sure about the total cost of one A3 print produced by one of these companies but I sell a small number of prints in a local cafe (they have free wall decoration and I sell the odd print). The asking price has to be realistic so I reckon around £18 for an A3 print including frame is the maximum possible charge, and I wan't something around £10 out of that for my time. So I can't see that getting prints done elsewhere could be economic.

    True, I haven't taken wear and tear of equipment into account but I need some sort of decent printer for my own use anyway. (Canon 9000)

    Having access to immediate printing is, I find, worth spending a bit of outlay. Probably I mostly use that for printing out some unidentified insects and birds so that I can then search around to check ID and have a print (say A5) in my hand for comparison.

  19. #19
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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    Useful thing is printing more than photos, such as emails etc. This kind of makes printer for multi purpose printing more useful. Sometimes it isn't possible to digitally display photos that are not worth printing professionally.

    For instance wanted to show a friend who lives an hour train journey away something last weekend, was meeting him in town and didn't have laptop on him. Was not practical to bring his laptop just to see some images (which wasn't the purpose of his journey) and we were not returning to my house so it was easier to just print a few off quickly to show him. All in all I think with the ink/paper etc cost was no more than £2 max to print a handful of a5 sized images.

  20. #20
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    Re: Printing: Do it Yourself or use someone else?

    Whilst I have said I dont print, I do have a b/w laser printer for letters/emails, which is so incredibly economical.

    I also have a mobile battery/mains Canon Selphy for the odd postcard size print for relatives. Super rendition as it uses dye-sub process, and can be taken anywhere, but anything more than that and I have it commercially HQ printed.

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