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Author Topic: ?Buy the Epson-OR-send out images for printing?  (Read 3644 times)
imagefinder
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« on: October 01, 2005, 08:21:20 PM »
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Hello, photo friends:
My wife and I own a B&B in the Blue Ridge Mtns. of VA. I shoot digital of the area, developing my RAW images via C1, then tweaking them in Picture Window 3.5. Love BOTH these programs!

Here's the query on which I'd appreciate experienced response: I want to sell framed prints of my work to guests that frequent our inn. Should I purchase, say, the Epson 1800 and "do my own"; OR, is it more sensible to copy images to a CD and send the CD out having someone else do the printing?

The factors I see involved are:
1. expense- which is really more costly?
2. I won't be printing all the time--- the Epson may sit for months without being used. Will the ink dry up, clog, or whatever (hence increased cost in this aspect)?
3. Is it relatively easy to get really good prints, assuming I embrace the expected learning curve? Mediocre won't do, so how "bad" is the learning curve?
4. Is "do it yourself" printing a labor intensive process, meaning this--- WOULD IT BE BETTER TO SEND OUT THE IMAGE, PAY TO HAVE THE PRINT MADE, AND AVOID THE MYRIAD TIMES I'LL BE ON THIS SITE PESTERING YOU GOOD-HEARTED SOULS WITH MY DEVELOPING "PROBLEMS"???

My current experience in printing is using an HP 950 3-in-1 printer. Pretty nice results, but I'm sure not nearly as good as I can expect from, say, the Epson 1800.

I like the challenge of "doing it myself", but truly, if I can get pro results very simply by sending out the CD images to a pro, I can't help think I may be saving myself a lot of frustration--- ?

Thank you, folks. Your help is most appreciated.
John Lewandoski <imagefinder@comcast.net>
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2005, 11:02:58 PM »
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> Should I purchase, say, the Epson 1800 and "do my own"; OR, is it more sensible to copy images to a CD and send the CD out having someone else do the printing?

Depends on how much time you have. You say that you love the "processing" of your images. If you're willing to spend that much time, the time spent printing will be at least as much fun and the product will be at least as good and probably far better.


The factors I see involved are:
1. expense- which is really more costly?

I'd say it's a wash, dollars for dollars. In terms of satisfaction, though, no contest. Printing your own stuff is immensely satisfying and well worth the short learning curve.


2. I won't be printing all the time--- the Epson may sit for months without being used. Will the ink dry up, clog, or whatever

My printers haven't, even with months of little use. Very low humidity is the enemy in this case, something you're not likely to encounter in Virginia. As long as you turn 'em off between sessions, few problems should arise.


3. Is it relatively easy to get really good prints?

Yes. My first prints had me saying WOW! Don't be discouraged by nay-sayers. Don't underestimate the advantage of the print-edit-reprint cycle. You learn fast this way.

assuming I embrace the expected learning curve? Mediocre won't do, so how "bad" is the learning curve?

Not bad at all, in my opinion. It's outrageous fun, too.

4. Is "do it yourself" printing a labor intensive process,

At first, yes. Once you're "dialled in", it's easy, repeatable, fun, satisfying and cheap.

meaning this--- WOULD IT BE BETTER TO SEND OUT THE IMAGE,

If you do, you'll learn little. If you print yourself, you'll learn lots and get better. There's nothing like printing an image you shot minutes before.


My current experience in printing is using an HP 950 3-in-1 printer. Pretty nice results, but I'm sure not nearly as good as I can expect from, say, the Epson 1800.

Probably true. A good inkset and quality printer are nothing short of inspiring. I've had nothing but good experiences printing my own stuff. I hate giving up control to a lab.



I like the challenge of "doing it myself", but truly, if I can get pro results very simply by sending out the CD images to a pro, I can't help think I may be saving myself a lot of frustration--- ?

The frustration is usually short-lived. The satisfaction lasts forever.

Once you've made some good prints, Most would recommend investing in a CIS, a Continuous Inking System. Once you buy in to this system, per-print costs drop to near zero and you can print with total freedom from the tyranny of ink prices. Systems from mediastreet.com or others will allow you to make archival pigment ink prints that will look fabulous, last forever and cost very little.

I have hundred-dollar Cibachrome prints hanging on my wall next to inkjet prints that I made for a few dollars. They give me equal satisfaction. The Cibas are fading, though. The inkjet prints aren't.

Just do it!

Peter
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2005, 11:14:06 PM »
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Peter said lots of good stuff there; I second pretty much all of it. It's a heck of a lot more convenient to have your own printer so you can print when you want and have it immediately, instead of having to go somewhere or mail something out and then wait until someone else gets around to it. You also have much more control over the final results when you do it yourself, which is another big advantage; you have more incentive to Do It Right than someone else printing your stuff does.

I've also done a comparison between my ~$700 inkjet printer and the same print on an expensive LightJet printer from a professional-level service bureau, and thought the former was every bit as good as the latter.

Lisa
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russell a
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2005, 08:57:15 AM »
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I second (fourth?) all the above.  I often hear bitter complaints from people who send their prints out - even to places that have been satisfactory in the past.  All it takes is for a skilled employee to be replaced by someone inept or uncaring.
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imagefinder
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2005, 09:22:11 AM »
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Thank you very much: Russell, Lisa , and Peter for your willingness to provide experienced perspective. Much appreciated--- think I'm gonna go for it: probably the Epson 1800, unless any of you have further comment on printer selection.

My understanding is that Epson is king when in comes to the actual print, although HP and Canon (I think I've heard) have better mechanical reputation. Do you know if any of this is true? All told, one has to buy a machine and stick w/ it. Any further comment is most welcome.

Thanks again,
John
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2005, 12:51:08 PM »
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The Epson 1800 would be an excellent printer.  I've been using my Epson 2200 for a couple of years now (since it first came out), and it's still working great.  I had two Epsons previous to that, and never had a mechanical problem with either.  I wouldn't worry about reliability; I've rarely heard of any mechanical problems with them.

HP & Canon make some reasonably competitive printers, but, from what I've seen, Epsons are at least as (and possibly more, depending on who you're talking to) highly regarded.

Lisa
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madmanchan
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2005, 09:05:23 AM »
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For your purposes, I actually recommend having your images sent to WHCC (www.whcc.com) to be printed.  They provide fantastic service, prices are good, and turnaround is fast.  They also give you five free 8x10 samples up front, so you can decide how you like the results.

Eric
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