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Thread: Print Yourself or use a Commercial Printer

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    Print Yourself or use a Commercial Printer

    Been running a business for about a year now selling digital images and prints. Digital images make up about 95% of sales.

    Recently a client received some prints and was not happy with them. I've subsequently sent the digital images to him, and he likes them. I'm getting the prints redone by a commercial printer. I've not had any complaints previously.

    If you sell prints, do you print them yourself, or have them done by a printer?

    There is a bit of overhead in getting good quality ink, papers, calibrating the equipment etc... Given the small number I do I'm thinking of outsourcing my printing. The printer is a commercial outfit, uses Ilford paper, archival inks and huge ass Epson printers, so quality is good, and he is a friend.

    What would you do?

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    I use a commercial printer for all my clients needs and my personal photos too

    the overheads and expenses in putting together a respectable printing set up at home, that can print to the same volume that my commercial printing business does for me - I estimated to be nearly 10k per annum.......thats rediculous for a home job lol

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day Gordon

    I am sure that to this Q you will receive a variety of responses - how long is a piece of string
    fwiw - 100% of my colour printing is done commercially ... both personal and commercial usage

    I am a bit of a fussy character, and as yet, I have not come across a domestic colour printer priced at under $1k that would satisfy me ...
    I look at the cost of replacement ink carts , paper, etc
    I look at (other printers) image quality after a year or so of printer use when it starts streaking and leaving marks on the paper, and so it goes on

    I am Canberra based - for my local printing of less than 30x40cm, I use a local print shop where I can view their colour-control strips any time I go into the shop
    For stuff larger than 30x40, I use RGB Digital Pro in Brisbane - they offer both an amateur & pro service with pricing to suit the service

    Hope this helps a bit
    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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    I'd never consider printing myself, it's one less thing to worry about having to do/operate & you can use that time to market etc
    Wedding photographer shooting Canon

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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    If you sell prints, do you print them yourself, or have them done by a printer?
    I used to do them myself, but for the last 4 years have had them printed by my local lab. They gave me their printer profile and the results have been spot on.

    I get a commercial rate from them and it isn't worth my time trying to print them myself.
    Adam.


    AGSPhotos.com

    Using Nikon & PS CS5.

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    yes, both
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    I use Prolab in Brisbane for all my big stuff, but for little 6x4's I'll just do that on my little Canon.
    Greg Bartle,
    I have a Pentax and I'm not afraid to use it.
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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    I think that unless you print reasonable volume of larger than A3 or need something straight away, it is cheaper by some margin to have them done at the lab. If you only print small 6x4 or 8x10 in small volume then probably the same sort of cost to do yourself, and you get them straight away as opposed to waiting for the lab, but in volume and if using manufacturer paper/ink it is pretty costly to do yourself.

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    I agree with Phil/Ozzie Traveller.

    I rarely need to print for my clients, but when I do I'll sometimes outsource the majority of it to a pro commercial printer, or if its small quantities, then I can print it at the studio. If its 6 x 4 proofs or similar, then if its a quantity, then I'll use Hardly Normal.

    I use an Epson 3800, which once setup right with correct profiles with corresponding paper, then its truly excellent, and I can make small adaptations if I need. Personally I find that very convenient, and cost effective. The biggest plus is that the print is ready within a few minutes and removes the cost and time of getting it from the printer.
    William

    www.longshots.com.au

    I am the PhotoWatchDog

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    Thanks for the responses. I've decided to go with a pro lab except for my own prints.

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    ** removed - members with under 30 days membership AND 50 posts are not allowed to promote commercial sites - refer to the site rules - admin **

    : Ban has been lifted : Please ensure you adhere to the site rules from now on.
    Last edited by ricktas; 22-09-2010 at 7:57pm.

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    I use a pro lab always. I'm very fussy with the quality that I hand over.
    **Canon EOS 40D *** **Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM**Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L***Canon 580EX Speedlight**

    I'm here to learn, honest critique welcome on my photos unless otherwise stated.
    >>>>www.melissamillerphotography.com.au <<<<

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    Member jeffde's Avatar
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    I use RGB Digital Pro in Brisbane for pretty well all my printing big and small - occasionally use a local lab for some quick (same day) prints.

    Never considered doing it at home - not worth the time exspense and incosistent results.
    Jeff - Jeff D Photography
    Canon -
    http://jeffdphoto.ifp3.com/
    www.jeffdphotography.com.au


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    I use a photo lab - cant beat the quality, and because of the voulme of work i give them, I get a good rate.

    But....today I had to print photos at the track, to give to the winners of the round. Had no choice but to drag the printer out there, and even though they were happy, I felt embarrassed giving them the photos. Short of a $1000+ pro printer, the lab will always win on quality.

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    Oh I use Nulab

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    RGB digital pro in brisbane look very good for the price are you guys happy with there work?

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    I use them - they are excellent

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    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    Commercial every time

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    For client work I outsource to a pro lab.

    For personal work (and award entries etc) I print myself. Pigment ink on fiber based paper beats any lab print.

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    I'm just doing some prints at the moment - not a regular occassion. But when I do, I am so glad at the ease, access, and sheer quality of a properly set up in house system. I'm using an Epson 3800, and use Ilford paper (also using the proper paper profiles for each paper). When its set up right, and I'd agree it was a bit of a learning curve (but what isnt ?), it is absolutely superb. Cant rave about it enough.

    However if I was having to produce bulk prints, then I would use Digilab or Frontier in Brisbane - both are excellent, and ensure regular calibration of their systems.

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