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Old Sep 15, 2010, 9:06 AM   #21
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Not yet, I almost did, but my wife talked me out of it on the basis that I don't make enough prints, and I'm getting pretty good results using online printing services (particularly Photobox) once I sorted out my new Eizo profiles and downloaded the ICC profiles for their printers.

But I have seen/made lots of prints from the 1900, 2800, 3800 from my last photography course (the college used 1900 and 3800, the tutor used a 2800). The 3800 was definitely a step above, and the inks were much cheaper drop-for-drop.

Have you read this review?

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...ers/3880.shtml
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Old Sep 15, 2010, 12:45 PM   #22
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Thanks for the link. Will read it tonight.

I won't be printing like a maniac either. Which is why I was considering the R1900. Though, I could wait between print jobs and do one or two mass print job. I'm sure I could find more than enough photos I will want printed.

Is clogging an issue with the 3880 or the 3800? I mean if you printed lets say 25 sheets then left it for 2 months. Then came back to do another 30-40 sheets...etc.

I might even consider doing what you're doing now. Find a capable print shop if I can find their ICC profile if they were willing to tell me what kind of printers they use.

How does that work? Lets say you do find out what printer they use and which ICC profile to d/l...
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 1:59 AM   #23
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I think paradoxically if you want to leave the printer alone for a couple of months at at a time the 3880 is much better.

However... what I did was look at the cost of the printer and paper and inks. Looked at how many prints I do in a year. Looked at the cost of the good online print services - Photobox in the UK is excellent, but any of the big ones, including Kodak should allow you to download their printer profiles.

You can then use Lightroom to "print" to a jpg which has been optimised for the ICC profile of that output device. Upload and order, and it arrives a couple of days later. The cost per print from Photobox or Kodak is significantly less than the cost of the ink and paper for the Epson, once the printer cost is factored in the per-print costs for the Epson are probably 3-4 times higher at least.

There are also "boutique" outfits which will print special images for you to a very high standard. They all make their ICC profiles available, and will print to a wide range of different papers, etc.

An example of a "boutique" print outfit:

http://www.theprintspace.co.uk/

This one is London-based but I'm sure you can find dozens in the US.

If I ever end up going into photography professionally then I will buy a 3880 or 4880. But until the time when I am printing every day or at least every other day I think I shall just stick with the online services. Now that I have the colour calibration sorted out I'm getting very good results at a very reasonable cost. And for those special prints - which only come up a couple of times a year - there is always a boutique.

A couple of other print options that you might think about:
1. Canvas prints. Sound naff, but I'm a convert. I just received a couple of stunning canvases yesterday, and when you take framing costs into account they are actually not all that much more expensive. Obviously they don't work for images where high resolution and fine detail is very important, but for portraits and many kind of landscapes they look fantastic.

2. Photo books. Available from many places. Blurb offer very high quality and full colour management. Check them out. Fantastic for when you run out of wall space. :-)

At the very least I'd recommend getting yourself sorted with a good online printing outfit first. The colour management stuff you will need to do regardless of whether you use an online service or your own printer. If you find that you can get the results you want from an online service then you save yourself the cost and hassle of printing yourself, if you can't get the results you want then you will have learned something along the way.
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 6:35 AM   #24
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I dont care what kind of printer or monitor you buy. They will all be off!
I saw no one bothered to mention the graphics card in the computer plays a HUGE role. If you are really serious about this and not just trying to compare monitors then I would suggest getting a calibration tool.
The xrite colormunki is a great tool for this to correct color on the monitor and printer by providing offsets to the drivers and software.
I use one of these and have absolute surity that what I am seeing on my monitor is whats is coming out of the printer!
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...anagement.html

Even if you dont print and use an outside lab, crap in=crap out. They are not going to color correct your images as they have no idea what the intent was, I know I would be chapped if I sent off a bunch of images shot with a warming filter or reflector just to have someone remove that effect by what they deemed to be correct. If your monitor is calibrated to standards then the resulting image will be just as you perceived it on your monitor. Again it doesnt matter what monitor you get, its more impacted by the graphics card than the monitor.

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Old Sep 16, 2010, 8:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
I think paradoxically if you want to leave the printer alone for a couple of months at at a time the 3880 is much better.
No kidding. Then I shouldn't have to worry about clogging with the 3880. Or be less concerned. I guess if I leave it unused for too many (4-5) months the nozzles will still eventually begin to clog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
can then use Lightroom to "print" to a jpg which has been optimised for the ICC profile of that output device.
Once you have the ICC profile from the particular shop you're thinking of using (downloaded). Then how would you use it? Would you go into LR and just specify the shop's printer as the printing device?

I guess I would try an online print service first. See how that goes. Because while I think I'd like the idea of being able to print myself when I want. I don't think it will be often enough to justify the purchase. But that could change once I buy one so who knows.

I won't be buying till early next year any how. Selling my home right now.
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 8:34 AM   #26
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Yes. I can't remember where I read it, but the Epson Pro printers are much less susceptible to problems if left unused for a while. Hmm, actually it may be that if you leave it switched on it auto-cleans the heads periodically (once every few days), coming out of power-saving mode to do so.

Yes, exactly. In the print module you print to file, and when you do there are options for both the color space to print to (set this to sRGB for most labs) and also the ICC profile to use for the output, and of course the file type, but most labs prefer jpg over tiff. This functionality in LR was specifically designed for this lab-print scenario. The boutique labs usually have a large set of profiles available depending on the type of printer and also the type of paper you have specified. The standard big labs will generally be using a Fuji Frontier(?) of some variety, but may have profiles optimised depending on the type of paper they are using. Kodak of course always use their own papers whilst a lot of labs will use Fuji Crystal Archive. Note that these types of prints are actually "lightjet" style prints, the image is projected at high resolution onto silver-halide paper rather than laid down in droplets like the inkjet printers. As long as you download the right ICC profiles and have a color-calibrated monitor you should get pretty good results. Ilford online also do special printing onto their own BW papers, but they are a bit more expensive - they fall closer to the "boutique" prices than the big online labs.

Although I think selling your home to fund your photography displays admirable dedication, I'm not sure it's an optimal long-term strategy. :-)

A quick note on the economics in London:

8x12 prints cost per print:
1. Online - 1.20
2. Ink and paper - around 4.00 depending on the paper.
3. Boutique - 10.00 +

12x18 prints costs per print:
1. Online - 6.00
2. Ink and paper - up to 10.00.
3. Boutique - 20.00 +

Cost of printer 1,000.00 - amortise over 3 years.

Assuming a 5:1 ratio of 8x12 to 12x18 (and nothing larger)

Self = 5n*4 + 10n + 333

breaks even with

Boutique = 5n*10 + 20n

where

30n + 333 = 70n

or n = 333/40 = around 8 batches per year = around 40 8x12 prints plus 8 12x18 prints per year over 3 years.

And you are going to spend money playing with different papers, etc.

Don't get me wrong, printing at home can be fun and there's a real thrill to it, but unless you are printing 50+ large prints a year every year you would be better off just using a boutique. Big online services are cheaper from the start and pull further ahead the more you print.

I suspect that if you are not printing for sale, then you are probably not going to be doing > 50 large prints a year.
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 5:49 PM   #27
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Holy cow! You poor guys get nabbed on every front!
I pay less than half that.
What I like is I set the preferences, list the sale price, post the poto's, give a link, then they order what they want. After that its out of my hands. Most customers have to pay a deposit with a per session fee. That $100 is put towards credit on the purchase. The number almost always at least doubles. They take their very small cut and I get a check. Works for me and dont have to worry about printer, ink, etc. Depending on the size of the job I may print from home, but not often.
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