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08-10-2018, 10:10 AM   #16
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I think the question about printing at home is not the cost so much, because you can decide to only print small and use a good dye ink printer. Rather it is (or was/is for me):

(1) The ability to work on the image till it is really satisfying. How the tweaks in pp and the choices in paper will change things cannot really be done otherwise, and (for me) it is probably 50% of the making of the image--which is very different and more satisfying from what I did in the film era.

(2) In fact if you plan to give out the work, for example for 13"x19" and larger, printing at home gives one the ability to investigate the choices (1) with smaller prints, and then maybe print a slice of the larger print to proof the larger prints you go out for. As I mentioned when I wanted larger prints (2 ' x 3' prints from my college print department) I used this method--although as it turned out the results were basically identical--but from what I read that is likely not the case when going out to a larger volume commercial printer.

08-10-2018, 03:57 PM - 2 Likes   #17
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For me, what drove me to getting my own wide-format printer was panoramas. I would print a 8” x 24” pano but get charged $50 USD for a 16” x 24” because they were printing it on a full-width roll. At home I can either print two panos together or run a sheet through twice.

I have an Epson 3800. I was orihinally looking at a 13” wide, but the photo store I went to had a batch or refurbished 3800’s. The refurbished printer was $700 vs $1200 new. I discovered the main defect for the large number of returned printers was a faulty latch for closing the print tray—no problem with the print mechanism.

If I print something at least once a month, my print heads don’t clog. If I go a few months, I need to do a cleaning cycle or two. The print head recovers, but you consume lots of ink.

I find the large-format print market is different than the small consumer printers. For big printers you pay the “real” price for the printer and the ink price per print is less. I estimate my ink price for a 16” x 20” is about $2-3 USD.

I use mostly Epson, Red River or Ilford paper, which runs another $2-3 per sheet for 17”x22”.

For frames, I either buy frames on sale at craft stores or buy frames kits and have a local hardware store cut standard 1/8” glass to size. I figure if I used high-grade paper and inks, I don’t need UV glass.

I cut my own mats using a 40” Logan mat cutter. If you want to do lots of mats it is worth every cent! Buy lots of blades. I also have a 12” roller cutter for trimming small prints.

I keep my mat board in a big 40”x60” zip-up art portfolio to keep the dust out. You can get them ordered through art stores.

For mounting pictures, I used high-quality acid-free mounting tape and use a hinge mount to the mat or to foam board only at the top. Do not tape down all 4 corners or your print will wrinkle with changes in humidity.

My Dad used to make wooden frames, but that has a whole other laundry list of expensive gadgets to do it right!

One big advantage of doing your own printing is you can do a test print at 4x6 or 8x10 to check colors before you print a whole big sheet. I have 8x10 sheets that match my 17x22 for doing test prints.

Software wise, any program that lets you use print profiles is good. I do calibrate my monitor also.

My advice is do it in steps, such as start with a print lab, but do you own mat cutting. Then maybe do printing, then later get into framing as you master the previous skills.
08-14-2018, 09:08 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by MaineNative Quote
My advice is do it in steps, such as start with a print lab, but do you own mat cutting.
I think this is what I'll try for. I have asked around, and there is actually a gentleman at my work whose wife does some photography, and they have an A3 capable printer as well as a monitor calibrator. I'll talk with him further about potentially getting a few photos done. He also mentioned that they have an older, superseded printer which has been parked up for now and is probably empty of ink, and he said I could potentially play around with that if I want. I'll have to find out some more details first, but it could also be another avenue of at least removing the initial purchasing cost.
09-15-2018, 04:02 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Focusrite Quote
Thank you everyone for your replies! I love this forum, seriously!



The system they used was pretty thorough, and the pricing is very similar to figures quoted elsewhere. It's all relatively consistent, and very handy for calculating long-term costs.



Thanks for the detailed reply as well as the pricing breakdown: this covers a lot of what I was curious about!



This is a good thought; I might browse what's on offer locally to see what might be available, along with prices.




Storage of non-mounted or framed prints was something I was pondering, and I was curious about how to store them without abrading the surface or using too much space in the process. And yeah, the initial outlay on consumables is what I was primarily considering, but thinking about not only the initial cost but the storage and potential wastage of consumables through unuse was something I hadn't thought much about - especially having money tied up in the paper. Thanks for mentioning that!







I think that all settles it - I'll let it go for the moment. For all the initial outlay I could probably do something else much more profitable with my time. I might hunt around for either a local small printing business or another enthusiast who might have a printer and commission a couple of prints to see if they turn out like I'd hope.

I'm still musing over my attraction to the idea, and I think the word "novelty" neatly sums up a part of it - a want rather than a need that will likely dissipate in time, or at least mature in my perspective of its importance ( or lack thereof ). Perhaps it's also the desire of wanting to have full control from start to finish, however I don't know how many music composers pick up a baton to lead an orchestra with their own composition rather than sit down to write another masterpiece. A bit of a sentimental thought, and perhaps a poor metaphor ( probably quite a few do! ); but I'd probably be better off going out and shooting more photos.

Thanks again to everyone who took time to read and respond!



Can't fault that logic!!
I purchased a Canon Pro-100 for less than $250.00. Bought 150 sheets of Pro Glossy Kirkland paper for $20.00. The ink (including 3 monochrome shades) was less than $25.00. I printed 60 8 1/2 X 11" glossy prints in excellent definition (to the extent that I sold them matted for $10.00 each at a local flea market). Purchased matte 13" X !9" Canon Pro paper (50 sheets) and made 5 posters and I still have enough for at least a dozen more. I'm not a professional by any means but using light room and finishing the prints myself was fun and economical.
I also make excellent quality 4 X 6 prints for about 12 cents each including the ink. The Pro-100 is an excellent prosumer printer and has been excellent for over a year. It's large so I have it in my office on a sturdy table.
Look into it.

10-21-2018, 10:47 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
CISS for CANON PIXMA PRO Series
The OP question was about reducing printing costs, so using a CISS ink system was my suggestion.
CISS on a Canon printer are a big no-no. You risk ruining the expensive print heads, which cost as much as the printer - often more, since the printers often have rebate deals, and the printer heads don't. Some people just buy a new printer when their print head fails ...

Re: Canon Pro-100 and CISS System?: Printers and Printing Forum: Digital Photography Review
10-22-2018, 09:08 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by madbrain Quote
CISS on a Canon printer are a big no-no. You risk ruining the expensive print heads, which cost as much as the printer - often more, since the printers often have rebate deals, and the printer heads don't. Some people just buy a new printer when their print head fails ...

Re: Canon Pro-100 and CISS System?: Printers and Printing Forum: Digital Photography Review
madbrain:

I don't use a continuous ink source...I use the cartridges and clean the head after I replace the cartiridges...It's easy enough and have had no blockage issues. Those who want a CISS system for volume printing should not buy a prosumer printer (possibly an Epson if it's rated as such), but I wouldn'y jury rig a Canon not designed for that use.
10-22-2018, 09:46 AM   #22
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I took my canon Pixma Pro 1000 to the dump when it needed a new print head. The cost of ink was too high for me to justify keeping it. And much of our printing was at sizes bigger than 13x19 in any case. Every 6 months or so when we decided to do a few prints, it always seemed to require new print cartridges. You have to do a lot of printing to justify the $200 every new set of cartridges was costing it. And it took me $200 worth of ink to trouble shoot the printer and discover we needed a new print head.$200 worth of throw away prints.

For every day use we just use our HP all in one office type printer, and I'm not sure even that saves me money over sending them out. But it is more convenient.
10-22-2018, 11:13 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I took my canon Pixma Pro 1000 to the dump when it needed a new print head. The cost of ink was too high for me to justify keeping it. And much of our printing was at sizes bigger than 13x19 in any case. Every 6 months or so when we decided to do a few prints, it always seemed to require new print cartridges. You have to do a lot of printing to justify the $200 every new set of cartridges was costing it. And it took me $200 worth of ink to trouble shoot the printer and discover we needed a new print head.$200 worth of throw away prints.

For every day use we just use our HP all in one office type printer, and I'm not sure even that saves me money over sending them out. But it is more convenient.
I purchase 3rd-Party ink form an American company in Missouri. They charge me 28 bucks for all 8 cartridges...granted I only print about 30 to 40 large prints a month so I'm really a low volume user. I expect my Canon 100 head to last another year or two at this level.

10-22-2018, 04:52 PM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Merv-O Quote
I purchase 3rd-Party ink form an American company in Missouri. They charge me 28 bucks for all 8 cartridges...granted I only print about 30 to 40 large prints a month so I'm really a low volume user. I expect my Canon 100 head to last another year or two at this level.
If I was doing 30-40 prints a month, it wouldn't have been an issue. I was doing 10-15 prints, then waiting 6 months and doing another 10-15.
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