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Author Topic: simple printing  (Read 4068 times)
Bob Smith
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2010, 07:18:37 PM »
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Jeff, WHCC and WCI are two of the more expensive service bureaus out there.  There are others that are less expensive that also offer a wide variety of media, high quality inkjet printers, full colour management workflows and profiles to proof with.  

I, for one, am a commercial shooter that also does a fair amount of contract printing for area photographers and artists.  I charge .13/square inch which equates to about $19/square foot for any of a variety of the better fine art papers.  I have little desire for "online" printing business as I'd rather deal face to face with my clients to better understand what they're after.  I do gator and dibond mounting of large prints... and all sorts of stretched canvas.  I'll work to do whatever a particular client needs... and some of them have very specialized ideas.  I don't know what market the original poster is in but there's bound to be someone like me relatively nearby.  It might take a bit of searching.  Using such a service gives the creator a lot of personal control while putting the technical worries and costs into someone else's hands.  For no more volume than we're talking about here that's definitely the most economical and painless solution.

That said, I FULLY understand the desire to "do it yourself".  Every economic indicator out there would tell me that I shouldn't have been doing my own lab work (color darkroom) but once I started, there was no stopping.  When transitioning to digital it just continued.  I could now do great prints without sitting in the dark or sloshing about hazardous solutions.  Once you're used to complete control over the process it's difficult to hand off even part of it to someone else.

As others have stated you'll get WAY better results with less effort by using late model printers with canned profiles than all the fighting you currently do with a 4000.  Custom printer profiles are great but they are not easy to create well and much less needed now than they were just a few years ago.

Bob Smith
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eronald
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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2010, 07:39:28 PM »
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Hiya.

Inkjet printing is indeed harder than it should be.

The Epson 4000 has its uses, even today; however you may get more mileage out of a more modern $1000 Epson 3880 especially if you want to do black and white.

There have been a zillion bugs in the Apple/Adobe/Epson/ print chain over the past few years; if you are a beginner I would recommend using the latest update of Snow Leopard, CS4 or CS5, Epson Archival Matte paper, starting with an sRGB file, and printing with "Printer manages colors" while being very careful to set the right paper type in the Epson driver dialog. On any recent Epson pro printer that should give you a very decent print.

One can fiddle around with profiles, but one does not need to begin there. And for those who assume I counsel simplicity because of a lack of knowledge, I will state that I've paid my ICC membership dues this year, again Smiley


Edmund

PS. Calibrating your screen is imperative. I recommend using the Coloreyes Display or Basiccolor Display demo with any current puck except the Huey.


I am very sure it was the devil himself who invented inkjet printing. for years I am most of the time unhappy with the results I am getting from my current setup, so I wonder whether anyone has a recommendation for a nearly foolproof system.

My printer is an Epson 4000, I make my profiles with a spyder print fix pro. Papert I use Epson's matte or Brilliant's Museum Silver Gloss white.

I am not too picky with papers, If I had one semi gloss baryte style paper and one matte paper that worked I would be happy.

My print volume is one or two prints a week. Maybe I should give up the idea of doing it myself and get them printed?

my budget is, whatever it costs.

Any recommendations? Where do I start?

« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 07:42:02 PM by eronald » Logged

Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
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« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2010, 05:33:49 AM »
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At the risk of flying in the face of lots of experience...

I have been using a 4000 for years. After intermittent use, the heads did clog up, and surprisingly for not too much money, Epson sent a new one about a year and a half ago. Something about investment in a RIP and a whole bunch of ne ink cartridges swayed my thinking then.  I don't think I'd do that now, but -

It prints just fine. There are the odd paper mismatch indications, but in general it chugs along pretty happy. I leave it sleep for a few weeks, it perks right up. The print quality is still very good, - although the last bit of BW prints had some metamorism due to fiddling with profiles.

Using a RIP - Imageprint, and boy, the printing and profiling is pretty easy these days. Fire up the RIP, drop the image on the template, pick what size, what profile, and it just prints fine. Of course, there is not a lot of paper experimentation - mostly Epson, and some Hahnemuhle, but it makes good results. An Epson 2400 was tried a few years ago - and with those tiny ink cartridges, it just was too much hassle and the quality wasn't any better. Worse - to get good BW it required fiddling ad infinitum with Epson's driver. No thank you.

Surely for intense, cutting edge, and really super work, a printer upgrade is in the work. But consider the RIP investment - it works quite nicely once it is set up. Easy to use and chugs along just fine. FWIW.
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Geoff
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« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2010, 07:56:35 AM »
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Fire up the RIP, drop the image on the template, pick what size, what profile, and it just prints fine.
The same can be said of any good software... or Lightroom at least.  Wink



My 2 euro cents about the OP's question....

- I second that having complete control over the printing workflow is almost priceless, and something I just couldn't give away now. And seen from France, feppe's description of labs (apart from a few F-expensive ones) is alas so true!

- Color management is not that difficult, once you understand the basic concepts behind it (see eg Real world color management by Fraser et al. if needed), and mostly once you master how to fiddle with hidden options that do the right thing in the driver (it's a bit like shooting raw on a P&S : it should be the simplest thing to do, but it's hidden away from the user by clueless coke sniffers marketing services). However, once you know the trick for your printer and OS you're good to go.
The main problem with color management is getting good profiles, and from what I've heard, the SpyderPrint might be the weak link in your chain... I'd advise you to test a good custom profile (or first canned profiles if you haven't already) and see if that improves your workflow.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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