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View Poll Results: What printer should be based on what I need?
Olympus P400 0 0%
Olympus P440 0 0%
Kodak 1400 0 0%
Hiti 730 3 100.00%
Other (please reply and suggest) 0 0%
None of these are good for b+w 0 0%
Go back to film 0 0%
Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Sep 15, 2005, 7:52 AM   #1
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Hi, I am considering getting a dye-sub printer. I am trying to start a photo restoration business and need consistency, and of course, traditional photo quality (the "wet look") out of my digital prints. Dye sub seems to be for me in those respects, but I need a couple of things out of a printer that seemingly rules out any reasonably priced, (with what I've got to work with even $500 is a stretch :roll, dye sub I can find. I really need one that can at least print 5x7s and the option for 8x10 would be nice, and I prefer a more "studio satin" finish as opposed to plain matte or high-gloss(where my hiti consideration comes in, with it's textured laminate), but this is more secondary.I also need a dye sub that excels at monochromatic printing, be it black and white, sepia etc, as the nature of photo restoration is that I'm going to be working with originals that originated before color processing, some before silver-halide and cellulose. I don't think it necessary it produce an inky black, as mostly people want portraits restored, and most portraits consist of midtones, but I don't wan't murky or blocked up shadows either, something that I have problems with even on my inkjet. I am kind of hoping hiti will come out with a monochromatic printing kit for the 730 gala, as I'd be more inclined to get that (don't have to buy a $80+ kit each time for paper and ribbon, and upfront cost is cheaper), but I don't think that's gonna happen, so I have kind of narrowed down my choices to the Kodak 1400 or the Olympus P440. Anyone have experience with the strengths weaknesses of these printers in relation to my needs? Anyone try different color profiles to get a good b and w out of these printers? and sorry for the long post, but I'm about to shut up :G, anyone try the sepia or b and w filters on the Oly? Does it make much of a difference? How did your prints turn out, especially if they were monochrome to begin with?

Thanks for any help you can give me, I'm pretty much a digital virgin, at least as far as color management and printers were concerned, I mean, I didn't even know until last week that there are now 8 color inkjets! :shock:I always thought I'd stick strictly with film, photo restoration was just a hobby, and I was satisfied with prints from my old Canon s500 series printer... Now I feel I have digital jet-lag!

Okay, just in case I still can't make up my mind after all the great advice I decided to add a poll...
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 10:20 AM   #2
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Hi there,

Having worked with all those printers, (except the P400), they are all going to give you virtually the same results for monochrome as the dye and the technology for laying the dyes is exactly the same. The thing you should be looking for is the software incorporated with the printers to allow you to adjust the colour scales to get you that true monochrome look as I don't think any of the printers get you perfect results by default, (although they are still pretty good).

I haven't used a P440 through a computer so don't know what its colour adjustment software is like but both the Hiti and the Kodak will do the job fine, although the HiTi is a little more flexible as it allows you to view a picture while adjusting colors while with the Kodak I believe you have to adjust the colours an do a print to see how close you are.

I do know the HiTi 640 and 641PS printers, (possibly the Photoshuttle), have dedicated monochrome ribbons you can buy from them but you are limited to 6x4 for them.

The ability for the HiTis to allow you to experiment with different finishes of the overlay coating is quite interesting although the results are mixed. The printers have a geometric pattern which you can use to alter the temperatures at which the thermalhead lays down the final laminate layer to simulate matt effects but the default patterns aren't very good IMO. You can create your own patterns so it could be possible to create one that works really well but I haven't had the time to experiment with these fully.

The Kodak 1400 has its own Matt ribbons but I haven't used them yet.

So I guess my recommendation is either the Hiti Gala/PS or the Kodak 1400. If you don't want to do any 10x8's then the Hiti's obviously edge it.

Hope that helps.
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 6:09 PM   #3
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I have the HiTi 730PS, and have printed off a few B&W, I think they have come out very well but as you are going to restorephotos as wellyou may have a more critical eye.

I understand what you mean about a dedicated monochrome ribbon/paper kit I don't know how much difference it will make but it would be nice to be able to get one if it's cheaper than the colour pack.

I did scan in some very old slides and printed a few of these off in monochrome on the HiTi very pleased with the results.

I don't know where you are but I uploaded one of my photos and sent it to HiTi who printed it out for me, If you can it may be worth while getting one of your restored photos and getting it printed out on the HiTi.

I'm sure you can ask them to print it out at a size you want (I do like the 6" x 8" size that the 730 can do)


Cheers Ian
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 9:33 AM   #4
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I use the samsung SPP-2020B and it prints B&W very well.(little greencolor in the grayscale) Specially if you correct the photo with a little red and leave about 8% in the white parts of the photo. A perfect neutral B&W print. But it is only 10x15 cm...:-(
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