Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-20-2009, 04:32 PM   #1
Senior Member
shaolin95's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 201
Should I buy a printer, print online or local walmart? What do you guys do?

Hi!
I am thinking on getting a printer (unexpensive as close to $100 as possible..yeah I am cheap) but I am wondering if I am just better off printing with an online company or from a local store.
What do you guys recommend or use yourselves?
Thanks!

06-20-2009, 05:43 PM   #2
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 12,344
Printing your own pictures is pretty expensive, and while it is possible to get better quality than a decently run minilab, you will be in for a steep learning curve to get there.
For myself, I'm a firm believer in shopping local, so I'd at least give whoever is in your area, whether a Wal-Mart or other a try. If they do OK, then you are supporting local employment, possibly costing costing yourself less $$ and getting your prints back faster.
If they don't do a reasonable job, then shop elsewhere.
Remember that in an ideal world, the lab prints will match your screen, in practice it doesn't always work this way, and your system is as likely to be wrong as theirs if they are actually doing QC.
A good test is to send the same file to the lab a couple of weeks apart and see if they look the same. I don't mind dialing my system into a lab that is consistent but a little off if it makes sense to do so. Supporting local businesses makes sense, even if that local business is a big faceless gray box.
06-20-2009, 05:43 PM   #3
Pentaxian
jimH's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: South Central Nebraska - USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,561
QuoteOriginally posted by shaolin95 Quote
Hi!
I am thinking on getting a printer (unexpensive as close to $100 as possible..yeah I am cheap) but I am wondering if I am just better off printing with an online company or from a local store.
What do you guys recommend or use yourselves?
Thanks!
I generally do my own printing since I only print a few out of every batch that I take. I'll review all of my shots and if I want a 4"x6" print of something, I just print it myself, saves time and the waste of printing a whole batch when I will only want one or two. I usually frame B/W versions of any prints that I like so I'll take them to an office store that has large printers for whatever I want to frame. If you decide to buy an inkjet printer, I'd suggest that you look for the printer with the lowest cost ink, and not the lowest cost printer. The ink is what ends up costing you the most in the end.

jimH
06-20-2009, 05:56 PM   #4
Veteran Member
K McCall's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Dallas, TX
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 808
I'm cheap too, which is why I wait until I have a bunch of stuff I want to print and use mpix.com. I tried the local Walgreen's (about four different ones), CVS, Target via shutterfly, and Wal-Mart, and none of them were consistent. Sometimes the paper would be nice and thick and the colors vivid, othertimes not.

I had a very nice Epson printer that did great photos, but the ink was not cheap. Also I like premium papers, and those aren't cheap either. In the end, I could get everything I wanted from mpix with great, consistent quality on premium papers for a flat shipping fee (about $5 next-day in the US).

06-20-2009, 06:59 PM   #5
Veteran Member
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
I like having a cheap printer for quick prints on the spur of the moment, which is pretty much the only kind of printing I do on a regular basis. I have no illusions that home printing is cheaper or better than having someone else do it, but for me, this is about convenience. I don't do it very often, though - most of my images are seen on screen only. If I were printing dozens of images a month, I'd think about having them done elsewere.

When making a large or "nice" print that I intend to frame, I have used Costco, and also have looked at mpix.
06-20-2009, 07:45 PM   #6
Veteran Member
jsherman999's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,241
.

I have an Epson R380 for those 'gotta have it now' one-off prints, but for batches of 4x6's or 5x7's, I upload top-quality (1600 pixel) files to picasaweb and then request prints through a local Walgreens.

I tried uploading directly to the Walgreens photo site, but my batch uploads would be slow and often lock up and fail - going laptop-->picasa-->walgreens works quickly and flawlessly, and the picasa-->walgreens link happens independent of me, in the background.

Also, I've been stunned by the quality my Walgreens produces. Occasionally there are some color problems (too saturated,) but for the most part the prints are excellent.

For large important prints (8x10 or larger) I throw the files on a USB and take it to Kinkos.

Quickie little prints for a neighbor or whatever come off my Epson on premium photo paper.


.

Last edited by jsherman999; 06-20-2009 at 07:50 PM.
06-20-2009, 11:12 PM   #7
Senior Member
shaolin95's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 201
Original Poster
I will look into trying mpix and my local stores then and forget about the printer idea.
I used to have an Epson photo printer but it was costly to say the least, specially while I was trying to get things "right".
I was hoping things have changed but apparently they haven't.
06-20-2009, 11:56 PM   #8
PEG Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Hielands o' Scootlund
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 49,930
I think a lot here depends on the volumes you will be printing and what time frame you need the results back

06-23-2009, 05:41 AM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
TER-OR's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dundee, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,533
Usually I just go to one of the local print on demand places for snapshot-type photo printing. For really fine printing - of shots I deem worthy of framing big, I send the images to an old friend who has a print shop. He'll make sure the image looks good and prints it on acid-free paper etc. A white border makes it framable without matting. I've printed images for myself and for gifts.

Evolv Fine Art Printing - Western Mass' Giclee Solution
06-23-2009, 08:04 AM   #10
Senior Member
Driver3's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 203
I have a new Epson Artisan 50 printer. Does a great job and costs about 100 bucks.
I use Red River paper in it. Very nice print quality and not hard to get good output from.
For special prints, I use Adoramapix. Excellent quality and service. Consistent output and really good prices.
06-23-2009, 05:15 PM   #11
Veteran Member
TourDeForce's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Florida
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 514
QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.

I have an Epson R380 for those 'gotta have it now' one-off prints, but for batches of 4x6's or 5x7's, I upload top-quality (1600 pixel) files to picasaweb and then request prints through a local Walgreens.

I tried uploading directly to the Walgreens photo site, but my batch uploads would be slow and often lock up and fail - going laptop-->picasa-->walgreens works quickly and flawlessly, and the picasa-->walgreens link happens independent of me, in the background.

Also, I've been stunned by the quality my Walgreens produces. Occasionally there are some color problems (too saturated,) but for the most part the prints are excellent.

For large important prints (8x10 or larger) I throw the files on a USB and take it to Kinkos.

Quickie little prints for a neighbor or whatever come off my Epson on premium photo paper.


.

I just ordered a couple of pictures on 11x14 this way. Had the same issues going Walgreens direct.
06-23-2009, 06:09 PM   #12
Veteran Member
palmor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA
Posts: 798
Personally I print everything myself at home on an Epson R1800. I haven't really had to deal with a lower end printer in a while so I don't know if they've come along in terms of ink drying up and clogging nozzles ect (something I never have a issue with on my Epson, even when I let it sit for months). If the lower end printers still clog nozzles as easily as they used to when you let them sit for a while then it isn't worth it unless you print regularly IMO.


John
06-23-2009, 07:46 PM   #13
Veteran Member
Andi Lo's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,923
Printing at home is fun in its own way... I used to print outside but if you don't use supermarket-grade printing it's really expensive. I use Canon ip4500 with Hobbicolors ink and they work great.

I don't show anyone 4x6 "snapshots" in print anymore as facebook just works better than anything else for this purpose. I print for my own enjoyment.
06-23-2009, 08:16 PM   #14
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bangor, Maine
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,382
The only time I print is when I want 11 X 14 or 16 X 20 prints for display or gifts. Adorama not only does an outstanding job both with speed of delivery and quality I have no reason to print at home. BTW they run sales all the time and the pricing is crazy. Right now 8 X 10 are $1.19 each. 11 X 14 are on sale often at $2.49 each and the last time I bought 16 X 20 they were $6.95 each.
06-24-2009, 02:02 AM   #15
Pentaxian
Arpe's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,372
I go into the local camera shop and get them done there. Feel a bit silly sometimes though paying $1 for 5 prints! I don't print many and it's just not worth the hassle, for me.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
guys, photography, photoshop, printer
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Recommend a good UK online printer ? LittleSkink Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 1 01-10-2010 05:56 AM
Pentax guys to visit local store losecontrol Pentax News and Rumors 2 02-02-2009 09:35 AM
best UK online print company ? LittleSkink Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 5 10-31-2008 10:09 AM
Where do you buy your printer ink? Stratman Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 13 09-21-2008 06:19 PM
Recommendations for pro printer or print service navcom Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 5 09-21-2008 07:15 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:51 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top