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12-18-2008, 09:38 AM   #1
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Printing at home 101 (Suggestions?)

Hello all!

I have not printed at home in ages, as the matter of fact, have not printed much at all, but want to start doing so...

We have two printers at home (none of them are the best by any means) Canon PIXMA iP1700 and PXMA iP2600, and no matter what I tried, colors do not come out true, specially noticeable in B&W...

I've been pleased with results from Fuji commercial printers (when I sent the images for print), results - are pretty much exactly as I see on my screen, so I believe my monitor is fairly well calibrated. But again, nothing even close to what I see when I try to print at home.

So to all those who successfully print at home (I would not need anything aside from 8x10 and 4x6 photos):

-What is the good quality printer say under $200 range?
-Are there simple, proven list of steps in doing printing at home from PS3 (on the print menu, there are sooooo many options, I'm totally lost, tried many, but no satisfactory results), such as: Color Management, Color Handling, Printer profiles, Rendering intent, etc...

I shoot in raw, than simple conversions to TIFF (if it makes any difference)

I'm open to any tips and suggestions!

Kind regards,
D

12-18-2008, 09:54 AM   #2
graphicgr8s
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Try the higher end of the $200 epsons. In B&W make sure you are sending a grayscale image. Not one that is desaturated. Otherwise it's still putting in traces of the CMY and not just shades of black. Unless your monitor and printer are calibrated then you really shouldn't expect to see on a print what you see on the screen. Also remember it is 2 different ways you are looking at things. The monitor is direct but the color print is a reflected light. Other than this I can't add much more. My output is always going to press or high end printers.
12-18-2008, 10:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duh_Vinci Quote
Hello all!

I've been pleased with results from Fuji commercial printers (when I sent the images for print), results - are pretty much exactly as I see on my screen, so I believe my monitor is fairly well calibrated. But again, nothing even close to what I see when I try to print at home.

you have to understand that there will be some compromise in the output of a lower end printer.
12-18-2008, 10:19 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duh_Vinci Quote
We have two printers at home (none of them are the best by any means) Canon PIXMA iP1700 and PXMA iP2600, and no matter what I tried, colors do not come out true, specially noticeable in B&W...
Take a look at my earlier post:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/372766-post2.html

Other advices:

1) Use high quality paper compatible with your inks. Here is my personal print permanence test that illustrates the importance:



2) Make sure that you have a proper profile for your paper and printer/type of inks. I use ILFORD and profiles for HP printers using Vivera 90 series of inks are available and should be selected in Photoshop. You can also do soft proofing if output media is selected properly.

3) For B&W choose printer that supports grayscale inks. If you print grayscale as CMYK you will always have unwanted tone, metamerism, and worst of all differential fading.

Good book on advanced printing: "Mastering Digital Printing" by Harald Johnson.

12-18-2008, 01:20 PM   #5
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I do not think you can find a good printer for B&W prints at that price range.
They will always mix colors to get the result and you will face the problems Ivan Glisin mentions sooner or later...
12-18-2008, 02:47 PM   #6
graphicgr8s
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QuoteOriginally posted by bc_the_path Quote
I do not think you can find a good printer for B&W prints at that price range.
They will always mix colors to get the result and you will face the problems Ivan Glisin mentions sooner or later...
I have a couple of low end printers that will print just the black for grayscale. You have to set up the file correctly. You just need to realize that what you run on your little bubble jet is not going to last all that long. The more expensive printers use inks that resist the effects of light to a certain extent.
12-18-2008, 02:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bc_the_path Quote
I do not think you can find a good printer for B&W prints at that price range.
They will always mix colors to get the result and you will face the problems Ivan Glisin mentions sooner or later...
Actually, I have HP Photosmart 7850 that uses HP-100 grayscale ink cartridge and I paid I believe ~C$150 for it. Any HP using HP-100 or HP-102 (larger capacity) would print with black, gray and light gray if driver is set to "Print in Grayscale" mode and "Use black ink only".

Since HP-100/102 are dye-based inks compatible paper should be used for long lasting prints. I use ILFORD Classic series and I am getting excellent results.

With Epson the option for B&W printing would be any printer with Ultrachrome K3 inks, which are pigment-based and allow printing on fine art/watercolor papers as well. However, there is no sub-$200 printer with K3 inks as far as I know.
12-21-2008, 06:30 AM   #8
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Thank you all very much for the feedback! It is appreciated indeed!

For the amount of printing I'm planning on doing - cost effectiveness and longevity life of prints (thank you Ivan for terrific visual on those samples) - I will try Costco, specially considering how inexpensive their larger prints are.

For home print - with what I have (those Canons), I did try printing in Gray scale you guys suggested, the output is indeed more consistent. I bought some Premium photo paper 4x6, was able to finish the little project - framed collage of my parents photos (three 4x6 in one frame) and 2 individual 8x10 portraits of mom and dad (printed on Fuji).

But after discussion on Printers with my folks and my brother few days ago, suddenly a HUGE box appeared under my tree with my name on it. I wonder what's in it... One can hope, right? I think I've been good this year (well, for the most part)

Thank you all again for you input, much appreciated!

Regards,
D

12-21-2008, 12:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duh_Vinci Quote
For the amount of printing I'm planning on doing - cost effectiveness and longevity life of prints (thank you Ivan for terrific visual on those samples) - I will try Costco, specially considering how inexpensive their larger prints are.
Note that my examples include improper paper/inks conbinations. For example, printing with dye-based inks on papers not designed for dye inks result in notoriously bad print permanence of only a few months or years, which I have demonstrated. Proper paper/ink combination leads to much improved print permanence, also easily visible.

So the key is to choose the right paper for you printer (in fact inks) and to print, dry, store, mount and exhibit properly.

Just make sure you understand that classic "wet" color printins have print permanence rating of about 50 years. In contrast, new HP Vivera inks and Epson K3 are rated at over 200 years!!!

If you want to learn more and check accelerated aging print permanence tests, the industry reference is Wilhelm Research:

Wilhelm Imaging Research

In particular, check these two:

WIR Epson R2400
WIR HP Photosmart Pro B8850

I am selecting these two because those printers will be my choices today.
12-22-2008, 11:45 AM   #10
graphicgr8s
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan Glisin Quote


Just make sure you understand that classic "wet" color printins have print permanence rating of about 50 years. In contrast, new HP Vivera inks and Epson K3 are rated at over 200 years!!!
And CD's were suppose to last for 50 years. Yeah, right. They can do all the accelerated tests they want. The only thing that will really tell is .....time. And "they" are usually wrong.

For Damn Brit
:ugh:
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