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Thread: Become a printer .... or not?

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Become a printer .... or not?

    Help, advice, guidance sought!!

    I have never had anything printed. Strange? Probably.

    Given that I believe that what I'm doing should be more than just online and that I want to have prints - the question becomes how do I achieve it.

    The context is that all that I have read about printing your own, scares the h... out of me.

    B & W is my thing. Volumes would not be huge. Martin Henson (Digital Monochrome Forum) offers a bespoke printing service here.

    What would you do? Buy a printer or buy a service? What are the points to consider in deciding?

    As stated - any advice, guidance or comment welcomed.

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    Re: Become a printer .... or not?

    My experience is limited, because I prefer the lower cost and higher quality of using a professional service. I've found that having digital prints made by a service such as Adorama or a GOOD local photo shop is much superior to doing my own. The quality of the home printed pictures is pretty good, but not as good as the professional shops.

    That is my opinion and is probably worth about what you just paid for it.

    Pops

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    Re: Become a printer .... or not?

    Well I have always printed my own photos. In fact it was consistently bad 'enhanced' prints from my local film developers/printers that originally persuaded me to turn digital.

    Whether it actually works out any cheaper to print your own is debatable, providing you can find an efficient printing service.

    But I look at it this way. I have to have a printer for my computer, if only to print out all of that 'how to do' information. Anything that I read on a screen just doesn't sink in, I must have a written copy in front of me. So if I have a printer anyway, I might as well print my own photos.

    It is a lot more convenient than having to either drive to a printer shop with my photos on a CD or post them.

    Printing is very easy, although you can get bogged down with printer/paper printing profiles if you insist on getting really 'nerdy'.

    The question, however, is what size of prints do you wish to produce? A4 printers are easy to find but if you want to print A3 there is less choice and a corresponding increase in price, but Canon, Epson and HP all produce excellent machines. Some versions do have special B & W settings.

    After going up to A3, I find that bigger prints do look better when hung on my wall, but the extra initial cost of an A3 printer is questionable unless you are printing quantities for sale. Later on, we can discuss the best make of printer and which paper to use.

    So my advice would be have a go; the only question being which size of printer.

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    Re: Become a printer .... or not?

    Hi Donald,

    I do all my own - which suits me to a "T".

    Two things come to mind ...

    1. If you're not doing a reasonable number then a quality printer is a big investment (when looked at on a per image basis) -- so if you're only doing a few per month they I'd out-source.

    2. There is a learning curve - photospectrometer required (ideally) - paper choices.

    It's a lot of fun - and ramps your knowledge up a notch or 3 - just depends if it's something that appeals and you can justify the cost if you feel the need to justify it.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 10th April 2010 at 12:25 AM.

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    Re: Become a printer .... or not?

    I do all of my own up to the limit (8.5 x 11) of my printer. I know there will come a day when I will want to see a larger size of one of my images and only then would I consider using a professional printer. After reviewing the many posts regarding image focus, noise, and the effects of lens distortion I will definitely go over the image with a fine tooth comb before having anything printed and I will definitely sample the printer's work (a larger size print maybe but smaller than what I want), look for references of the company's work, check the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for past complaints.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Become a printer .... or not?

    Thankyou, folks. That's been extremely helpful. Off to e-mail the person referred to in my post above.

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