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Thread: What printer should I buy

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    Member Jaded62's Avatar
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    What printer should I buy

    Hi all.

    I'm after advice please on what printer I should buy.

    I know next to nothing about printing so I thought buy a printer and learn. I'd want an A3+ (preferably one that takes a roll as I do a lot of wide landscape shots), that would print on most common papers, that is not too expensive to run in regards to the cost of inks.

    Don't need bells and whistles, just solid functionality and quality prints.

    Cheers,

    Mark
    Canon 5Ds, 16-35mm F4 L, 24-105mm F4 L.
    https://mrorchard.myportfolio.com

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    Mark, for the price of a really good A3+ printer, you may as well buy an A2 printer (17" throat).

    Just ensure that it uses pigment inks, not dye based inks.

    Always use OEM inks, and papers that come with proper profiles for the particular printer. I use Ilford papers almost exclusively.

    I have ten year old prints that are every bit as good as the day they were made.

    I chose an Epson R3880 quite a few years ago. Still works magnificently. It will print most of a ProPhotoRGB 16 bit colour space.

    Printing is a very complex subject ...
    Last edited by John King; 15-09-2019 at 6:41pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    JK, even I would appreciate a bit of expansion of terms and reasons, particularly:
    - "pigment" inks vs dye-based...
    - Why use "OEM" (which are?) papers and inks?

    One part that I agree 203% with is your statement about printing being [it's complicated]
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    JK, even I would appreciate a bit of expansion of terms and reasons, particularly:
    - "pigment" inks vs dye-based...
    Dye based inks have a soluble dye dissolved in a liquid carrier. The ink is absorbed into the substrates of the paper, and take some time to dry. They are not particularly permanent, regardless of what the manufacturers state.

    Pigment inks contain microfine particles of pigment that are suspended in (not dissolved in) a highly volatile carrier. The carrier chemical evaporates almost instantly on contact with the surface of the paper, leaving a 'residue' of pigment particles on the surface of the paper. Pigment inks are very colourfast, and dry almost instantly.

    - Why use "OEM" (which are?) papers and inks?
    OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM inks generally ensure that one does not have problems with weird colours and/or blocked print heads. Having the print head on my R3880 cleaned or replaced is almost as expensive as buying a new printer. The print head is about 1x1 inches.

    Papers are another matter. Get one that you like, and stick to it! Changing papers and/or brands can initiate a whole new learning process ...

    One part that I agree 203% with is your statement about printing being [it's complicated]
    Not for the feint of heart, Jürgens "The Digital Print" is an amazing reference. It is not cheap, either. I have read it several times.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Boo53's Avatar
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    For this topic I would perhaps work backwards (slightly)

    Obviously the size of print is a primary determinant

    You would then need to check that the paper manufacturer you want to use will provide the icc codes (profiles) for their paper for the printer you are interested in.

    You can get icc codes calculated for your particular printer/paper combo but at the cheaper end of the market I think the "off the shelf" codes provided by the manufacturers are more convenient.

    You will need the icc's for each paper type, ie; gloss, semi gloss, matt.......

    And for each paper manufacturer, ie; epson, canon, cannon,.......

    I always use hem inks as well, but nowadays you also have the choice of printers with individual colour cartridges (and whether there were 6,8, ... colours) or units that let you top up the individual colours tank with their oem ink, as distant from the aftermarket endless ink system

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    Member John Humpo's Avatar
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    I have the six colour Epson Artisan 1430 very reasonably priced, the ink is a dye liquid but a very good one in Claria photographic, simple to use prints A4 to A3+ & it does an awesome job of colour prints, if you get ultra premium photo print paper you will find it will dry instantly I use - Kodak Ultra premium high gloss instant dry, just my 2 bobs worth.

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