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I'm buying a printer!
After four years with three different digital cameras, I'm finally buying a printer. It's time for me to stop thinking of 700x560 pixel jpegs as "finished work". I'm no longer going to be just a virtual photographer, and I'm really, really exited.

But the stores are all closed tomorrow!!!!!

I've decided on an Epson R340. It costs about as much as a good 67mm polarizing filter. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
Great to hear Mathew. Congratulations on your new purchase. I bought the Canon i960 when it first came out for around $245.00 CAD. I am very happy with the results i get. It suits my needs for now but when I go to an
8 megapixel or higher camera I'll be wanting larger prints.
Sit, stay, ok, hold it! Awww, no drooling! :O
My flickr images
Cool... hope it brings you lots of joy! Big Grin
Great! I don't know anything about your specific choice of printer, but I know that everyone I know who has bought their own printer, has been happy to be in control of their printing.

Hope you have fun and we get to hear some success stories soon!

I was very happy with my Epson for photo work, it served me well. I only changed because I wanted larger format and opted for the Canon i9900.
I have an Epson R300 and an HP 2610. The Epson does slightly better photo printing and is close to what you are buying.

Here's the deal with printers - the printer itself is a loss leader - they are sold for cost by the manufacturers - it is the ink that costs real money/ All the modern photo printers are very good.

My advice:

1. Check out the cost of ink - this is where the real costs lie in the long term - how many prints per cartidge? How many cartidges? Toal cost per print?

2. I am sorry that neither of my printers will print an 11x14 shot - only 8.5 x whatever. 11x14 is the minimum for a gallery shot IMO.
Thanks for the good wishes, everyone. I hope to have some photos printed in a few days -- I need to buy the thing first -- and I'll be back with my initial impressions.

Toad, both are good points. I'd love an 11x14 printer; it's the size my camera was made for. It all comes down to money.

While I was reading one of the forums elsewhere, someone mentioned the cost of a set of ink and that, with the rebates on the printer itself, he could buy a new machine and still save $3. (But the cartridges that the printers come with aren't full capacity.) I'm not sure which printer that person was looking for; I find that a set of five colours for the R340 costs about half of the printer's retail. And then it still needs black ink. And paper.

Ah, well. It's still cheaper than shooting film. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
You will love the ability to do it all from home Matthew.

I love my i9950 and use it all the time.
Canon stuff.
Most of my prints are done in the 11*15 range, so I can have a 3" mat border on a 10x14 viewable image and end up at 20*16 total size. I go through around $50 worth of Ink a month at the moment with test prints and prints for competition. A full set of cartridges for the 9900 is arounbd $96.00.
It is true that printing your own images can become more costly than using a in store processor but I like the control. I have used a few different outfits and have always returned to printing my own. When I print images after doing a show I can end up running off 150 photos. If there are issues about the final print I am not happy with it is much easier for me to run off another batch rather than run to the store again.
Sit, stay, ok, hold it! Awww, no drooling! :O
My flickr images
Yes - it is all about time for me. If I am working late at night on an album for a bride and one of the prints doesn't look right or I stuff up a page I can quickly reprint at home. It is really very good to have that option.
Canon stuff.
So, the new printer's installed and chugging away.

I went with the Epson R220, which is an R340 without the direct-from-memory-card printing. It's also cheaper, and was in stock. I'm four sheets into a pack of Premium Semi-Gloss paper, which is about $1 per sheet, and trying not to think about it. I've printed $4 so far...

Colour images look very nice. Predominantly dark images are printing with a definite green tint, which may have been fixed by switching to Adobe RGB colour space, instead of "Epson vivid" (in the print driver). (Although I think that the image that it worked with was sRGB.) My monitor isn't profiled, but I'm using the eyedropper to get some idea of what the colours 'should' look like.

Turning off the "high-speed" option in the print driver really makes a difference. I don't know if the output's any better, but this thing is slow. At least it's quieter than the B&W Epson that I bought seven years ago. Not any faster, though.

The green shift seems to be gone with the new settings. I'm printing (slowly...) a beach during the sunrise, and the sand is nice and dark with good detail. The sky's a little pale, and the oranges are a little yellow, but I'll blame that on my monitor.

Still printing that beach photo. I'm actually pausing as I write this.

In other news, the chicken that I'm barbecuing is coming along nicely. It will be done in about ten minutes. The print finished while I was checking on it. The green tint is still there, but much more subtle. Viewed under incandescent lights, it isn't noticeable. It's better enough for me to reprint my favourite image - for the third time.

$6 and counting...

...but happy. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
I'm almost half-way through my first pack of paper. I wince a little when I look at the ink monitor utility. So far I've used more Light Magenta than any other colour, with Cyan being the least popular.

A little google spelunking has revealed a website with a tutorial on setting up the printer profile and colour managing an R200, which is essentially identical to my setup. Printing "Wrath," my favourite B&W image (for the fourth time) has only a slight blue colour tint, which I actually like. (Oddly, my monitor has the same tint, but the image is completely desaturated.)

I finally feel like a photographer. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
oh, I am so excited for you!!! Although I would have thought that you have been a great photographer for a while.... now you'll be an expert printer!!

enjoy! uli
Thanks, Uli, but I'm a long way from either.

I wish I'd paid more attention to last year's printing workshops and competitions at my club. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
I was wondering if any-one has a photo paper preference? I usually use HP premium Plus (hp all in one 2575) but I picked up some canon.I didn't like the feel or coloring of the canon
paper.The hp paper is a lot more expensive now I can see why
Hi Lorraine - paper certainly does make a difference. I've been using a matte paper bought at an office supply store for proofing, and at about 20 cents per sheet the results are barely presentable. It works well for snapshots and images that aren't going to be kept, though. For anything that I'm going to frame or put in my portfolio, I usually use 'ilford smooth pearl' with the matching paper profile downloaded from their web site.

The paper profile is the key to a good print. It tells your printer how much ink to put down, and how quickly. I can certainly tell when the profile is off on mine.

I had a little milestone for my printer: I ran out of my first ink last night. "Light Cyan" took the honours. I bought a replacement set about an hour ago, and five colours plus black came out to $95. Not too bad, but with larger-format printers that can produce true archival B&W coming down in price, it was tempting to jump... maybe next time. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
A box of 'Jelly Belly' jelly beans is a good colour profiler, plus you can eat them after.
Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
My ancient Epson Photo Stylus 780 is extremely tempermental. The driver keeps getting unstuck and has to be installed repeatedly. Sometimes I feel like junkingit. But when it prints, the prints are marvelous. They are limited to 8.5 by 11 though.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens.

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I'm buying a printer!00