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Old Sep 21, 2011, 6:50 AM   #11
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Actually not a bad alternative to printing in house.

You'll not only save money by not investing in new equipment, but since the online providers need the best equipment available to stay competitive, you'll be getting prints that have been printed on the best printers currently on the market.


Best of all, you wont be dealing with ink costs, messy cartridges, etc.

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Old Sep 21, 2011, 7:43 AM   #12
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I've been having a look at printing costs but it is very hard to work out because the printers seem to use different size cartridges, then you have the photo paper and sizes and quality settings of the pic to consider. So its very confusing but H P have listed an ad claiming 69 cents per 5x7 photo. Also I found someone else claiming approx 40 5x7s per cartridge.Thats as near as I could get to an answer.
So if the 69 c is correct they still didn't include the cost of the printer. 69 c = 40 UK pence approx. Plus cynical me thinks that an ad is going to quote generously. I can certainly get a local printer or an online Co to do better than that.
So I think thats the answer.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 8:49 AM   #13
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One possible difficulty which has kept me from using online print houses is the question of color management. I have been able to obtain excellent color matching using my own methods, with my own equipment. Sending out print jobs would likely require doing a series of test prints, with back and forth delays while getting the color matching correct. Of course, it may turn out fine from the start, but how likely is that?

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Old Sep 21, 2011, 9:50 AM   #14
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I buy all my photographic papers from a company in the states by the name of Red River Paper. They've done extensive testing to develop a pretty accurate ink cost analysis broken down by printer model and paper size.

Heres the link:http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-...-printing.html


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Old Sep 21, 2011, 10:08 AM   #15
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Very interesting, it seems they average out at 30 cents for a 5 x7 = about 20 pence UK and
the cost of 50 sheets of Epson Premium Glossy works out at per sheet 38 pence = 60 cents.
So 90 cents and 58 pence approx respectively for each print, plus the costs of a printer/electricity.
Seems to be a no brainer except for the personal image quality tweeks we use and how much value we put on them.
Thanks for the info.
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Last edited by deadshot; Sep 22, 2011 at 2:35 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 12:59 PM   #16
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I bet those costs provided by the manufacturer are just for the printer producing the individual prints.

They are not factoring in all the ink that disappears to the never ending cleaning cycles, or priming cycles when you change one cartridge and it sucks ink out of all of them to get the printer ready again.

Also if you don't constantly print, the ink drys and the heads at least on my epson do clog up nicely.
So if you haven't printed for a while expect to have to run several heavy duty cleaning cycles where a lot of ink vanishes in the process.

Real pain in the rear, no such issues with using the photo labs.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 2:35 PM   #17
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A couple other points. I've used several online print facilities - I used winkflash, ezprints and bay photo. Winkflash was just unreliable - they made too many mistakes. Ezprints and Bay photo are both good. Bay photo is an outfit used by professionals. But, their prices are a bit higher too. They even offer correction services which are performed BY A HUMAN - not automated. That's a nice feature. Now, what makes online printing more costly is shipping. Bay provides free shipping but you're paying more per print. So, with a number of companies, it's not economical to order just a few 4x6 prints.

I've used Canon and Epson printers. They do a fine job, but the quality doesn't compare to what the professionals do. It's easier to scratch the photos and they don't wear well at all if they're not in albums.

Printing yourself is a gigantic pain in the butt for all the reasons specified. Right now I do all my printing at Bay - I know it will be top notch quality and colors will match perfectly and I'll get the shipment fast. But I still have a printer when I need that print same-day and don't need long-lasting quality.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 4:46 PM   #18
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If you want an inkjet printer that works without all of the print head clogging, needed cleaning cycles, etc., my suggestion is to buy an HP. I've never had a clogged nozzle or need to run cleaning cycles with one.

I have seen clogged nozzles with both Epson and Canon printers, with Epson being the worse offender (sometimes even after running cleaning cycles, I've still seen clogged nozzles with one).

But, in fairness I haven't used either Epson or Canon printers for a while. The last Canon I bought was one of the cheaper Pixma models not long after they were introduced, and after it failed while still under warranty, I threw it in the trash rather than sending it in for repair. It was quickly replaced with an HP that I still have after years of use (as with the last HP printer I owned). It's been even longer since I tried an Epson (the last one was enough of Epson for me, as I don't like messing around trying to clean clogged nozzles).

But, even though HP Printers tend to have less need for cleaning cycles, because HP designed most of their printers so that you're replacing the print heads each time you replace ink cartridges, consumables tend to cost more. So, there are pros and cons to any approach.

Anyway, I rarely print photos at home anymore. I upload them to a printing service and let them have at it, sometimes even using the local Walgreens pharmacy for a batch of 4x6" and 8x10" prints (as my local pharmacy does a pretty good job and the prices are very good). I can upload them to their web site and pick them up an hour later.

A printer is nice to have for rush jobs and general printing needs. The cost/print is lower letting someone else do it. ;-)
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 5:05 PM   #19
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G'day all

I've followed this thread over the time it's been 'on-air' and Jim's comment above has finally reached the same point as I did several years ago ... ie-
"I rarely print photos at home anymore. I upload them to [printing service] and let them have at it, sometimes even using the local [printery] for a batch of 4x6" and 8x10" prints (as my local [print service] does a pretty good job and the prices are very good). "

In my early digital days I had all of HP + Canon + Epson printers and experienced -all- of the grumbles listed above ... and got heartedly sick & tired of the cost of ink carts vs the ink they provided + the cost of re-profiling the printer for each batch of paper. And then there was the results - often I could see the horizontal "stripping" of the print head as it went back & forth across the paper as well

I had some serious talks with my local print shop, they showed me their test-prints that they put thru the equipt at regular intervals, they showed me the variations in CMYK with before-tweak & after-tweak test strips and I agreed with them, that they could do a better job, a more consistent job & overall, a cheaper job than I could do at home

... so I gave home printing away permanently

For the aussie readers to this forum, I now use RGB-digital in Brisbane for all work larger than 8x12", and my local Eastmon processor for all stuff smaller than that

Regards, Phil
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 9:56 AM   #20
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Sounds like we have all arrived at the same place.
Printing is done at a professional printers shop.

Only printing we do inhouse anymore are forms and documents and for that the laser seems the best option.
And they are really cheap now. The Brother laser was 60$ with a toner cartridge. (replacement toner carts are 80$, so when it runs out it's time to buy another laser printer, kind of odd and wasteful)
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