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Old Jun 26, 2006, 3:14 PM   #21
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JohnG wrote:
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As a note - I also have a Canon photo printer that I occasionally use but there are a few problems with that route as well:

1. It costs more to print - around 26 cents a print in ink and paper (for a 4x6) vs. the 12 cents at Winkflash

2. The ink cartridges (it's an older printer and uses 6 cartridges rather than the 8 that today's use) evaporate or dry up in the printer - so even if you're not using it you are losing expensive ink

3. The images from an ink jet really need protection - ones I have in a photo album look great 3-4 years later. Ones I have at work pinned to my wall are already showing degradation after 3 years.

I'm not sure if another photo inkjet printer from Epson or other company would be longer lasting - I'm doubting it: I think it's a limitation of inkjet technology.

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/

Basically, ALL prints degrade over time, regardless of the source. Using the properly matched ink and paper for virtually any ink jet printer,and protecting them in an album or properly matted/framed, the prints will last years (dozens to up to a hundred years). The link above does testing for all the various printing methods, including the ones the commercial sites use. Ink jets aren't the cheapest, but you'll get long life if that's what you want. You can always print another one if you'd like. I've reprinted pictures that I took several years ago, and the current version of Photoshop Elements, combined with my current printer, was able to give me a much better print than what I originally had.

Of course, you can also do all of this by sending them out. My point here is that the only differences arecost and convenience. Quality is the same, all other things being equal.

Russ
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Old Jun 26, 2006, 3:15 PM   #22
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Plus, current printers are cheap and do a great job of printing photos. If you laid out samples from online, retail, and home prints, I'll bet people couldn't tell which was which.

Russ
Russ - I also used to print at home. Here are the down sides to printing your own - especially if your using a standard photo inkjet printer:

1. The ink dries up on it's own - so even if you're not printing you're losing expensive ink. This part burns me up - if I put in new ink cartridges within 4-6 months I need to replace them even if I've only printed a handfull of photos on them.

2. Inkjet prints if not protected will fade. I have 3 types of photos tacked to my cubicle wall at work - old 35mm prints, inkjet prints I printed at home (on a high quality Canon S900 printer) and photos from winkflash. The 2-year-old photos I printed on my inkjet printer are already deteriorating while 8 year old 35mm prints are still in great shape and 18 month old winkflash prints are still in great shape. Now, photos I have in albums from my printer are still in good shape.

So, durability can be an issue.
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Old Jun 26, 2006, 5:15 PM   #23
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JohnG wrote:
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Russ - I also used to print at home. Here are the down sides to printing your own - especially if your using a standard photo inkjet printer:

1. The ink dries up on it's own - so even if you're not printing you're losing expensive ink. This part burns me up - if I put in new ink cartridges within 4-6 months I need to replace them even if I've only printed a handfull of photos on them.

2. Inkjet prints if not protected will fade. I have 3 types of photos tacked to my cubicle wall at work - old 35mm prints, inkjet prints I printed at home (on a high quality Canon S900 printer) and photos from winkflash. The 2-year-old photos I printed on my inkjet printer are already deteriorating while 8 year old 35mm prints are still in great shape and 18 month old winkflash prints are still in great shape. Now, photos I have in albums from my printer are still in good shape.

So, durability can be an issue.

John, I agree about the ink, though I think it varies based on the printer you use. My oldEpson (6 years old) used to have that problem. My new Epsondoesn't seem to have that problem. I don't think dye sub printers have this problem. I too have seen ink jet prints fade, as do film prints from the lab.If you really want them to last (and they supposedly will last a looooong time), put them behind glass. As for comparing ink jet to film prints, those are two different types of prints. Again, you can get a dye sub printer for under $100 and the prints are the same that you'll get from a photo lab. They'll also fade in about 5-10 years if you don't protect them.

My major complaint with some ink jet prints is water resistance. Of course, none of them like water, but my Epson seems at least a little better in protecting against sweaty fingers and such. I have an HP photo printer (the little portable kind) and it's terrible for moisture resistance. My Kodak dye sub printer is the same thing that comes from the lab, so it's pretty durable to handling.

From what I've read, ink jet prints properly protected (matted and framed, or in albums) will last up to 100 years according to tests I've read. You have to use their ink and their paper (this was independently verified,not manufacturers recommendations). The Wilhelm link I posted previously describes the way that they simulate that duration. Naturally, no one has been around to test that, but a lot of the pros print their own, and their livelihood depends on it.

Russ
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 9:14 AM   #24
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Costco.ca online prints(4x6) are now $0.15, I can't do that at home. I haven't tried the others because am too lazy to wait for the sales.
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 2:57 PM   #25
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Kaspian wrote:
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...I found our local Wal-Marts super center pics to be alot more true to the pics I sent out...From Wal-Mart Super Center: Good quality prints, they use Fuji Crystal Archive paper, super fast service, uploaded the pictures on early Sunday and had them back on Tuesday afternoon (the order included 37 4x6, 4 5x7, and 3 8x10). I spoke with the photo departments manager and he told me that I could have the same exact order ready in 1hr....I was shocked
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.This is a brand new Super Store (just opened up last October). And their photography department is pretty big. And they might use different equipment than others. They even stock dslrs from Olympus, Pentax, Nikon, Canon.
May I ask where you live in AR. I live in NWA and the Walmarts around here have different quality prints. Just curious.
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 11:13 PM   #26
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kilobravo wrote:
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May I ask where you live in AR. I live in NWA and the Walmarts around here have different quality prints. Just curious.
Hi kilobravo! The Wal-Mart that I've been using is in Russellville. I just recently had another set of prints including 4x6's, 5x7's, and some 8x10's. Once again I was extremely pleased with their quality of print and fast service. I uploaded the prints to the walmart website and in less than an hour I was at the store picking up the prints. I will be sending my next set of prints to the following walmarts; Russellville, Morrilton, and Conway (the one by I-40) to compare the prints.

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Old Jul 9, 2006, 9:23 PM   #27
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I've done them at Walgreens (4x6's) and have been pretty pleased with the results. For my 5x7's and 8x10's , I've been using www.ofoto.com . Very pleased with the results. You get them relatively quick as well. Haven't tried any others, but maybe I should!
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 12:39 PM   #28
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Another vote for winkflash. Can't beat there prices and I get my prints back to me (in CA) within 3 days of ordering.

For serious stuff, I use Mpix.
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 10:28 PM   #29
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Winkflash may be cheaper on the smaller prints, but Costco is less expensive @ enlargements:
$1.49 for 8x12 (or 8x10)
$2.99 for 12x18 (or 11x14)
$9.99 for 20x30 (or 16x20)
-> Turn around is same day (or even in 1hr if you gring the card to the store) :idea:
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 8:11 AM   #30
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Makes me wish there were Costcos near me
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