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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 13 Dec 2016 (Tuesday) 16:31
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Printer recommendation

 
CyberDyneSystems
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Dec 19, 2016 15:32 |  #31

BigAl007 wrote in post #18217822 (external link)
Jake where would you stand on the position of using a lab that put you in the position of effectively hitting the print button, and having the lab's printer spit out the print form the machine, with them doing nothing but package the print and post it to you? In the situation where you would have to pay the thick end of $500 for a decent 17" printer, and your best deals on paper and ink were the normal US RRPs? Over here we can't even get Red River papers, they won't ship to the UK, for us printing at A3+ at home is quite an expensive proposition, From what I understand even with the dye inks of the Pro 100 you still need to be printing at least once a week to keep the printer healthy and avoid having to waste a lot of ink in printer maintenance functions. With digital all the real work is done in the computer before the data goes off to the printer, I just don't see what is so special about installing the ink and filling the paper tray on your own machine when it costs so much to own. Don't get me wrong at the prices available in the US it is a lot more reasonable when you compare those costs between running your own printer, and time sharing a remote device.

In the days of analogue photography it was a very different situation, and as you say probably a large majority of keen photographers never set foot in a darkroom, and had no real understanding of the post processing that photography required, as seen by the number of photographers that see digial PP as being something that is "wrong" or "unnatural" believing that you should do as they did with film, and get it right in the camera, since that was the only control that they had, giving it all away to those running the lab they used, be it a local drug store, a specialist high street one hour service or a lab that you sent your film off to, either fully automatic, or a pro lab. I was not one of those, having had my own home darkroom, processing and printing black and white as well as developing my own E6 slide and printing from them using CibaChrome.

Alan


I am not against sending prints out.
The question i answered was 'why would anyone want to print themselves"

Offering reasons why one would want to print themselves is a totally different position from "no one should send prints out"


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Hogloff
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Dec 19, 2016 15:53 |  #32
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I feel the biggest advantage of printing in house is the immediate feedback. I have a fully colour managed flow and still never exactly match what is on my screen with what is printed. Fine adjustments need to be made and reprinted numerous times. I typically do the proofing on small sheets.

Now would people go through this with a lab, the back and forth until you get the print you want or will people just be happy with the 1st attempt?

In the same vane, I print out an image quite often on different paper types to see how it looks. Quite often the final print is not done on the paper type I started with. Again, would someone order 5 prints of the same image all on different paper types? I'd venture most would just stick to glossy prints and be done with it.

Home printing opens up many more opportunities to fine tune the final print, resulting in a better overall print in the end.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Tom Reichner. (5 edits in all)
     
Dec 19, 2016 17:28 |  #33

Hogloff wrote in post #18217865 (external link)
Again, would someone order 5 prints of the same image all on different paper types?

I do that frequently. In fact, when someone wants to buy a print, or asks if I would have something printed to display somewhere, I regularly order anywhere from 2 to 4 smaller prints in 16x20 inch size, just so that I can see what will look best for the final print.

I'll typically order one that looks perfectly exposed on my color corrected monitor, then order another one that is about 1/3 of a stop to 1/2 stop brighter.

I usually know what each image will look like on each paper type, but there are those exceptions when I don't "just automatically know". In these cases I will order prints at different exposures, but then also order prints on different paper types. Usually I have it narrowed down to just two paper types that I will consider for any given image, but there have been a few occasions in which I have ordered identical images on 3 paper types. As you mentioned in an earlier post, processing will usually need to be different for different types of paper, so as to optimize the image for that particular medium.

Ordering some small sample prints (16 by 20) is something I learned to do a few years ago......it sucks to pay a lot of money for a big 36" or 48" metal print, only to be disappointed because the exposure or the colours were off a little bit.

I find the timing of your question to be ironic..........just this morning I picked up a shipment of sample prints from AdoramaPix, which contained sample images on 3 different paper types and at different exposure levels. And I am spending my afternoon scrutinizing the results so that I can run the images thru final processing adjustments and get the final order sent out.

So I guess the answer to your question is that yes, people do order several prints of the same image on different paper types. But not 5 paper types - that isn't necessary because some of us already have a lot of experience with different papers and pretty much know what look we are going for with each image and what each image will look like on each type of paper - so we usually only need to see it printed on 2 or 3 paper types.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Hogloff
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Dec 19, 2016 18:42 |  #34
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Tom Reichner wrote in post #18217956 (external link)
I do that frequently. In fact, when someone wants to buy a print, or asks if I would have something printed to display somewhere, I regularly order anywhere from 2 to 4 smaller prints in 16x20 inch size, just so that I can see what will look best for the final print.

I'll typically order one that looks perfectly exposed on my color corrected monitor, then order another one that is about 1/3 of a stop to 1/2 stop brighter.

I usually know what each image will look like on each paper type, but there are those exceptions when I don't "just automatically know". In these cases I will order prints at different exposures, but then also order prints on different paper types. Usually I have it narrowed down to just two paper types that I will consider for any given image, but there have been a few occasions in which I have ordered identical images on 3 paper types. As you mentioned in an earlier post, processing will usually need to be different for different types of paper, so as to optimize the image for that particular medium.

Ordering some small sample prints (16 by 20) is something I learned to do a few years ago......it sucks to pay a lot of money for a big 36" or 48" metal print, only to be disappointed because the exposure or the colours were off a little bit.

I find the timing of your question to be ironic..........just this morning I picked up a shipment of sample prints from AdoramaPix, which contained sample images on 3 different paper types and at different exposure levels. And I am spending my afternoon scrutinizing the results so that I can run the images thru final processing adjustments and get the final order sent out.

So I guess the answer to your question is that yes, people do order several prints of the same image on different paper types. But not 5 paper types - that isn't necessary because some of us already have a lot of experience with different papers and pretty much know what look we are going for with each image and what each image will look like on each type of paper - so we usually only need to see it printed on 2 or 3 paper types.

.

If you truly do that...order 5 smaller prints and do sell quite a few large prints, I'd suggest you look closely at the cost of printing your own. Not only can you fine tune your process and get better results than what a lab can deliver ( been there done that ) you will also save in the long run. Don't know how much you pay for all your proofs and then your finished prints...but I know I can generate a final print including proofs at roughly 20% of what I can get from a good lab. Does not take too many prints to have the printer paid off.

Now I can't do metal prints, but for most other surfaces ( including starting to experiment with a translucent rice paper ) I have more options than the labs.




  
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wysiwyg59
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Dec 19, 2016 19:12 |  #35

I have the Canon Pro9500 (discontinued) & Pro100. Pro100 prints out great images, BUT can not do larger than 13x19 if you want to go larger than that.


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jlstan
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Dec 19, 2016 19:23 |  #36

Wow I must say I've enjoyed all the informative opinions. Everyone is giving me lots to ponder over.




  
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Quint ­ on ­ Trask
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Dec 19, 2016 21:09 |  #37

I thought about a 13" but selected the 17" Epson 3880 and would do it again. 80 ml ink tanks and after three years no issues. Sold quite a few prints.




  
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F2Bthere
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Dec 20, 2016 00:49 |  #38

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18217956 (external link)
I do that frequently. In fact, when someone wants to buy a print, or asks if I would have something printed to display somewhere, I regularly order anywhere from 2 to 4 smaller prints in 16x20 inch size, just so that I can see what will look best for the final print.

I'll typically order one that looks perfectly exposed on my color corrected monitor, then order another one that is about 1/3 of a stop to 1/2 stop brighter.

I usually know what each image will look like on each paper type, but there are those exceptions when I don't "just automatically know". In these cases I will order prints at different exposures, but then also order prints on different paper types. Usually I have it narrowed down to just two paper types that I will consider for any given image, but there have been a few occasions in which I have ordered identical images on 3 paper types. As you mentioned in an earlier post, processing will usually need to be different for different types of paper, so as to optimize the image for that particular medium.

Ordering some small sample prints (16 by 20) is something I learned to do a few years ago......it sucks to pay a lot of money for a big 36" or 48" metal print, only to be disappointed because the exposure or the colours were off a little bit.

I find the timing of your question to be ironic..........just this morning I picked up a shipment of sample prints from AdoramaPix, which contained sample images on 3 different paper types and at different exposure levels. And I am spending my afternoon scrutinizing the results so that I can run the images thru final processing adjustments and get the final order sent out.

So I guess the answer to your question is that yes, people do order several prints of the same image on different paper types. But not 5 paper types - that isn't necessary because some of us already have a lot of experience with different papers and pretty much know what look we are going for with each image and what each image will look like on each type of paper - so we usually only need to see it printed on 2 or 3 paper types.

.

If you are doing multiple 16x20 prints for evaluation before making your 24x36 prints, you might be in a position to justify a printer. You might drive enough work through it in test images and then order 24x36 prints.

The challenge on making a printer work for you was the 24" or greater width requirement combined with relatively low volume, but it changes when the volume of 16x20 prints are added in. Printers with 13" and 17" widths are a much more reasonable proposition for lower volume use and it sounds like you are up to dozens of evaluation prints per year.

Not sure if faster turn around is valuable to your business, which could be an added bonus.

It might even be worth running the numbers by looking at how many total prints you make, how much you spend to make them (including shipping) and what it would cost if you bought a printer and ran it for five or ten years. I don't know what your printing costs are...might even justify a 24" carriage. Especially if you are also generating other prints at other sizes.

I would guess that if you had a printer at home, you would do a bit more printing and run a few more experiments leading to greater skill in printmaking, which could improve the quality of your work.


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F2Bthere
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Dec 20, 2016 00:53 |  #39

Oops, failed to see the next page. Hogloff beat me to the punch :)

As a general comment:

Most of what makes the difference between good and great prints is about little improvements which are almost not noticeable--1% better, sometimes less. But after you add up a few of these, it starts to be significant. And as your skill improves, you get much more efficient with these adjustments and can automate many of them.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Post edited over 2 years ago by CyberDyneSystems. (2 edits in all)
     
Dec 20, 2016 09:58 |  #40

On the flip side of the argument,

Back when i purchased an IPF 5000, it was likely the best bang for your buck 17" wide format printer.

things have changed a bit since then, but the 13" wide barrier is still very hard to crack. You go from EXCELLENT 13" wide printers @ $200.00 or less with rebates to many times that for 17" or wider with equal or better quality. Materials cost skyrockets!

The ipf5000 served me very well, at first. I had a gallery show to hang and was very much rewarded by being able to print 16" wide vs. 12".. the show was the best I'd done, and some of that was due to the impact of the larger prints.

In this case however, the cost of printer and supplies was clearly a total loss leader. I never came close to making back the out lay. After two more gallery shows, and the sales they generated, I am sure I barely broke even.
Worse, really since my life changed so much with new job, new wife and new kid, I have not been doing the gallery shows anymore, so the big printer is sitting idle. It'll cost me about $800.00 in ink the day I plug it back in, so it sits and waits for a reason to live :)

My arguments here for printing with your own printer come with these caveats.

- It's more about craft and control than cost or savings.

- If you limit yourself to 13" wide, IF you shop the sales/rebates, you can and will save money vs. outsourcing.

- To achieve cost savings you either must limit yourself to the amazing deals available on the 13" wide printers, or you must be selling enough large prints at high enough profit to justify the larger printer. Few of us are doing that, but some are.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 20, 2016 12:02 |  #41

Hogloff wrote in post #18218031 (external link)
If you truly do that...order 5 smaller prints and do sell quite a few large prints

I do truly order some smaller prints, but I sell very few of the larger ones. What I do sell are just one-off orders, often thru a semi-locally owned interior design firm that specs my images out for their clients's jobs. Always on metal - they never want anything other than metal.

Hogloff wrote in post #18218031 (external link)
I'd suggest you look closely at the cost of printing your own. Not only can you fine tune your process and get better results than what a lab can deliver ( been there done that ) you will also save in the long run. Don't know how much you pay for all your proofs and then your finished prints...but I know I can generate a final print including proofs at roughly 20% of what I can get from a good lab. Does not take too many prints to have the printer paid off.

That is good info! Thanks for sharing that. If I wanted to print on paper, that advice would be invaluable. However, I'm not so sure it would work so well for my particular needs, because........

Hogloff wrote in post #18218031 (external link)
Now I can't do metal prints.............

Oh, BUMMER! My main client wants only metal. And I have become particularly fond of metal myself. Why? Because there is no frame involved. After seeing many large metal prints hung and displayed, one really develops an appreciation for the clean look. Frames and glass and mats start to look like just so much clutter.

I know a guy over in Montana that does printing himself. Really good printing - it's what he does full time for a living. Just photos. He's actually become a pretty good friend over the past few years. He and I have talked about getting me set up to do large printing on metal. He kept trying to encourage me to get the equipment I need to be able to print big prints on aluminum. Said that I could get into it for as little as $10,000, and that I could have that paid off in no time. I kept telling him that selling prints is only, like, 5% of my business or thereabouts - that I only sell about a dozen prints a year, at best, and that they are for a pre-negotiated rate that doesn't really leave too much profit for me. I just don't see how I would ever be able to pay off $10,000 in printing gear when selling prints is just a tiny little side thing for me.

Prints done on thick acrylic look really nice, too. Like metal, they don't require a frame, and therefore provide a nice, clean presentation when hung on a wall. But I'd imagine that printing on acrylic is also quite costly to get geared up for.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Post edited over 2 years ago by BigAl007. (2 edits in all)
     
Dec 20, 2016 13:29 |  #42

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18218740 (external link)
I do truly order some smaller prints, but I sell very few of the larger ones. What I do sell are just one-off orders, often thru a semi-locally owned interior design firm that specs my images out for their clients's jobs. Always on metal - they never want anything other than metal.

That is good info! Thanks for sharing that. If I wanted to print on paper, that advice would be invaluable. However, I'm not so sure it would work so well for my particular needs, because........

Oh, BUMMER! My main client wants only metal. And I have become particularly fond of metal myself. Why? Because there is no frame involved. After seeing many large metal prints hung and displayed, one really develops an appreciation for the clean look. Frames and glass and mats start to look like just so much clutter.

I know a guy over in Montana that does printing himself. Really good printing - it's what he does full time for a living. Just photos. He's actually become a pretty good friend over the past few years. He and I have talked about getting me set up to do large printing on metal. He kept trying to encourage me to get the equipment I need to be able to print big prints on aluminum. Said that I could get into it for as little as $10,000, and that I could have that paid off in no time. I kept telling him that selling prints is only, like, 5% of my business or thereabouts - that I only sell about a dozen prints a year, at best, and that they are for a pre-negotiated rate that doesn't really leave too much profit for me. I just don't see how I would ever be able to pay off $10,000 in printing gear when selling prints is just a tiny little side thing for me.

Prints done on thick acrylic look really nice, too. Like metal, they don't require a frame, and therefore provide a nice, clean presentation when hung on a wall. But I'd imagine that printing on acrylic is also quite costly to get geared up for.

.

I saw some videos on this recently, but can't remember where I found the link, I'll have a scout around when I have some time. not only do you need the big printer for this, you also need a big vacuum press as well, they were doing a mix of acrylic, metal and even wood as substrates, I don't see how you would be setting up for this process for anything like $10000. It looked to me as if you would need to be running those machines 24/7 to make a profit from them.

As I hit post I realised it was from a link from my usual lab, which lead me to these Chromalux training videos on Youtube (external link).

Alan


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Dec 31, 2016 05:21 |  #43

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18218740 (external link)
I do truly order some smaller prints, but I sell very few of the larger ones. What I do sell are just one-off orders, often thru a semi-locally owned interior design firm that specs my images out for their clients's jobs. Always on metal - they never want anything other than metal.

That is good info! Thanks for sharing that. If I wanted to print on paper, that advice would be invaluable. However, I'm not so sure it would work so well for my particular needs, because........

Oh, BUMMER! My main client wants only metal. And I have become particularly fond of metal myself. Why? Because there is no frame involved. After seeing many large metal prints hung and displayed, one really develops an appreciation for the clean look. Frames and glass and mats start to look like just so much clutter.

I know a guy over in Montana that does printing himself. Really good printing - it's what he does full time for a living. Just photos. He's actually become a pretty good friend over the past few years. He and I have talked about getting me set up to do large printing on metal. He kept trying to encourage me to get the equipment I need to be able to print big prints on aluminum. Said that I could get into it for as little as $10,000, and that I could have that paid off in no time. I kept telling him that selling prints is only, like, 5% of my business or thereabouts - that I only sell about a dozen prints a year, at best, and that they are for a pre-negotiated rate that doesn't really leave too much profit for me. I just don't see how I would ever be able to pay off $10,000 in printing gear when selling prints is just a tiny little side thing for me.

Prints done on thick acrylic look really nice, too. Like metal, they don't require a frame, and therefore provide a nice, clean presentation when hung on a wall. But I'd imagine that printing on acrylic is also quite costly to get geared up for.

.

Interesting, I too am taken by large metal prints. Once I got to a couple dozen I decided to try something in house.
So I bought my first Canon product a ProGraf 2000. 12 ink tanks..I should have checked the box that said "would you like free ink for life?" :-)

Since then I have not been able to do much experimenting as life and hurricane matthew sucker punched me in the knads. But printing your own is very cool.
Gary


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Dec 31, 2016 10:27 |  #44

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18216969 (external link)
And, if the latter is true, then that begs the question - why bother printing yourself if you won't be able to do as good of a job as a pro lab will be able do?
.

Why not take it one step farther and hire the Costco guy to take your photo as well?


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Dec 31, 2016 10:40 |  #45

LMAO :-P


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