Friday, September 29, 2006

Update: Experimental Printing

A day or two ago, I mentioned that I wanted to experiment with new printers. Although I LOVE my current printer, and I think the prints are flawless and I absolutely love them, they're quite expensive to produce, and thus quite expensive to purchase. My hope was to find another printer that could perhaps do a comparable job, but be much less expensive. I received the prints today. I'm not happy. I knew I was sacrificing quality for price, but that was a HUGE mistake. Theoretically, these are collector's items (assuming people collected them), and I should in no way compromise quality. It would be insulting if I sold these to anyone. The color is splotchy, pictures that are actually quite sharp came out blurry, and the image isn't centered on the paper. The paper is cheap, and shipping damaged a few of the prints. Terrible, terrible. So, I'm sticking with my old printer, and I'm more loyal than ever. Yes, it may mean I sell fewer prints because they're pricey, but I don't doubt you would get what you pay for.


Blogger Jef said...


What kind of printer and paper do you use ? IMHO there's only 3 printers on the consumer market (not talking about pro printers costing several K$) that can do justice to both your B&W and color pictures : Epson R2400 and brand new HP Pro B9180 and Canon Pro 9500. You could also try Piezography inks for your B&W but then you should have a printer dedicated to B&W.

I found out it's very difficult to find a reliable printing service that will print your pictures the way you want them to look. You have to establish a relationship (and not purely customer one) with the guy doing the job, so they understand your work and anticipate your expectations.

Most of the time, I'm using my own printer, the only drawback being that I'm limited to 13x19.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Jef said...

Regarding fine art B&W printing have a look at

8:35 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

I would have the photos printed at a lab. Photos printed on ink jets tend to start fading after a couple of years, whereas a lab printed photo longevity will last many more years.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Nim said...

That was what i thought Richard and i was glad you mentioned it. I had a piece printed professional a few years ago (maybe 3) and it appears to have not; thus far lost its lustre. I printed some stuff on an old brother MFC and they seem to have not faded thus far.

Also there is the issue of running with wetness, but that's prolly a problem with all art in that water can damage it. Proper framing can prevent that.

I had an A3 printer i inherited from a mining company but unfortunately did not have the space to keep it or images at that time to print on it.

Maybe printing proofs at home and finals at a lab could be the answer.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey richard,
there are whole bunch of new papers and archival inks out there. lab print(rc paper) will last 30 years, some archival ink/paper combinations will last up to 150.
i have some prints from the lab 15-year old and they have faded already.
more info here:
Wilhelm Imaging Research

12:50 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I guess that things have come a long way in the past few years as to imaging papers. Thanks for the update.

9:34 AM  

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