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Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-14-2018, 09:08 PM  
Printing at home - what's the real cost?
Posted By Focusrite
Replies: 23
Views: 1,816
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 He also mentioned that they have an older, superseded printer which has been parked up for now and is probably empty of ink, and he said I could potentially play around with that if I want.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.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-09-2018, 09:08 PM  
Printing at home - what's the real cost?
Posted By Focusrite
Replies: 23
Views: 1,816
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!!
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-08-2018, 10:28 PM  
Printing at home - what's the real cost?
Posted By Focusrite
Replies: 23
Views: 1,816
Hello all! Noob-ish - but lighthearted - question.

This is potentially a well-beaten topic, but I am presently going through a phase where I am somewhat captivated with the idea of printing big some of my favourite photos. I'm not entirely sure why, but with the amount of time I have invested into photography as a hobby, the thought of having something "tangible" from it is appealing - more than just a JPEG on a small screen. I had a photo book printed by an online company last year, and although it was described as "premium" paper and printing, I was left rather disappointed at the colour and lack of fine detail in the printing; but beyond that I was thrilled to simply have a book with my name on it to flip through!

I would likely frame and display half-a-dozen photos at home, and perhaps archive and rotate the others through. A semi-pro photog friend of mine is also talking about setting up a small exhibition at a local shop, and I'd need a selection of prints for that too if it went ahead..

So, the idea of being able to print larger photos ( A3 size minimum ) at home is appealing to have complete control of the creative process, however I am unsure of the total cost that this would be - especially for a lower volume of printing ( possibly 20 or so initial prints, then smaller batches occasionally after that: probably 5 or 6 times a year tops for myself, probably casual printing for friends or business on the side ). I was interested to read this article about how much the ink might cost for a standard A3 print, but that is only taking into account the ink cost. I'm curious about the cost of all the other unknown extras that I may need to make it worth any time and effort: this would include the obvious expenses - such as initial cost of the printer and the cost of paper - and on top of that any other bits and pieces required.

Such as: Is a monitor calibrating tool essential? Would I need to upgrade any software for best results? ( I only have Lightroom 5 at the moment ) How would you normally mount your photos? What kind of frame would you typically use? Would you use the high-clarity glass to mount it behind? Would you buy the frames in bulk? Are there other purchases that might need to be made? Ongoing printer maintenance costs?

When I browse forums, comments, and online articles about printing, people seem to fixate on the cost of the ink alone as well as perhaps the printing heads ( for good reason on both accounts! ) - which taken into account on their own might make the venture prohibitive or justifiable; but with framing and other hardware costs on top it soon becomes harder to talk myself into even considering it.

Printing at a local shop here in Perth would likely set me back nearly $40 per A3 sized print ( 12 x 19" ), and the framing cost on top of each is even more exorbitant; so that keeps it in some semblance of balance! I haven't delved too deep into the locally available services or what is available online, but if anyone has any suggestions or experience on getting some top-quality prints in Western Australia I'm all ears.

I recently passed through a I-want-Medium-Format phase as well ( with wallet unscathed ), so feel free to talk me out of this one! ;) Although I'll probably go through the MF phase again soon. Maybe I'll just get another photo book printed online to keep me going! :lol:
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