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6 Days Ago   #1
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Calculating Printing Costs

I've done a few jobs now and clients have actually expressed interest in me printing for them, this is because I do my meet and greets with prints rather than a tablet or laptop to show my portfolio. After the job is done I quite often do a little 1-2 prints along with the USB stick and again the issue is raised as to whether I can do more prints for them.

Problem is I only do printing for myself at home really, however I know the quality is good, I've taken my shots to camera stores and printers where they have admitted they cannot really print higher quality than what I have managed at home (Canon IX6860). This surprises me somewhat as the printer is not particular high end (I don't think, about $150AUD), so I'm left thinking that the higher end printers are overkill or that they perhaps are more ink efficient etc? I mean, I know that some of the printers around can take a gazillion different inks and perhaps that's important for some jobs, but for regular joe bloggs whose impressed with the kinda print outs I'm getting I'm feeling it's possibly a case of the Emperors New Clothes a bit...

I dunno... I'd have to see my print out printed to it's best ability vs a high end home end user one (Canon PIXMA Pro 100s possibly or something?) and see if the difference is night or day or not that big a deal (or even blind test etc).

So now I'm curious about printing and printing costs, working out an average of how much a print costs me when I do an A3 one or A4 or A5 etc. How can I calculate this? Is this information provided with printers per chance? I mean I might do a test if there was a sample image that contained a balance of all the ink colours/cartridges so that if you did a run and after 25 full A3 prints they all ran out equally at the same time, that way you could then work out the ink costs divided my print number to get a cost that costs me and then I can price a reasonable profit.

At this point in time I could even consider upgrading my printer, to something that might print even larger, especially if perhaps the more expensive printers do cost less to run...

Hmm... so how do we find this information out? Do websites review printers and actually calculate this stuff so we as consumers can get a better idea of value if we're actually in the business of selling prints or just trying to be economic home users?



6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #2
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Inkjet use 1 ml of ink per A4 paper area. So that approx 1 Euros or USD per ml for the ink cost + cost of the photo paper. Cost of A4 photo print = more or less 2 Euros or 2 USD, depending on where you buy and the quality of paper. For A3 double that cost, for A2 double that cost again etc.. The bigger printer, the cheaper the ink and if you buy rolls of paper the cost of paper also decreases significantly. For example, with the Canon Pro2000 you can feed paper rolls and fit 700ml ink cartridges that cost less than half the price per ml compared to the Pro100.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 6 Days Ago at 04:13 AM.
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Do websites review printers and actually calculate this stuff do decent printer reviews. Always worth a look.

If this task comes up more regularly, you might look into what services like Zenfolio can offer you. They have partnered with some big local print labs like Nulabs, which could be helpful, and they can handle printing, fulfilment etc.
6 Days Ago   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote do decent printer reviews. Always worth a look.
Great resource. Thanks for sharing.

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You might check out the resources listed on this page: Cost of Inkjet Printing Reports by Red River Paper
6 Days Ago   #6
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Thanks everyone!
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #7
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I use a Canon Pixma Pro-100 and the largest prints I make on it are 13x19 or A3 and it has 9 separate inkwells. I used to pay about $75 for Canon ink, but i recently found a lab in New jersey that charges $27.00 for their own inks and I have seen no denegration in the tint or quality of these photos. I also took the advice of a professional who sells bulk prints and i recently purchase Kirkland Hi-Gloss Pro Paper from Costco and, this pro was correct: About 12 cents per page (8x11) and the ink averages about 60 prints per $27.00 ink refills. I charge between $8 and $15 per print and have a nice little cottage industry going. Obviously for friends and family at this price I can easily afford to generous. Plus, looking at full prints versus computer images is always nice. The Pro 100 does very well with B/W & monochrome prints because it has 3 dedicated black/gray scale ink wells.

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