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Which printer is best for photo printing?

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by Andrew Wood, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Andrew Wood

    Andrew Wood Member


    Thanks for reading my post. I want to know which printer is best for quality photo printing?
  2. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    What is your budget? How big are you planning to print?
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    That is an open ended question! Generally speaking home photo printing is a labour of love and commercial print services are more economic unless you are producing large prints in serious numbers. The printer determines the maximum print size you can make. The popular options are little 6x4 dye sublimation printers for "instant prints", A4 printers, A3/A3+ printers and then you get serious. I don't think that many folk would have an A2 printer and upward in size unless they were producing work for sale.

    So the decision is on size and Canon vs Epson. These are the main brands. The main distinction between printers then is the number of inks they use. The more ink "the better" is generally true but there are diminishing returns so 6 better than 3 definitely, 8 better than 6, but 10 better than 8, 12 better than 10? It gets questionable for colour. The high ink models have separate black and grey inks and are superior for mono work.

    There is a last choice - ink type. Dye or pigment. Pigment inks are more permanent but more expensive and more prone to blocking if the printer isn't used.

    The output of a printer depends on the paper used. The printer manufacturers make their own papers and printers come set up for these. Third party manufacturers provide printer profiles for some higher end printers but not for all printers on the market so it is worth checking if you can get profiles for a particular printer.

    With only slight exaggeration I'd say printers are given away as the running costs are high, especially if not much used so that most of the ink goes in cleaning. I costs over £100 to fill my 10 ink Canon which was the top model in its day. I never worked it out but probably on average a 6x4 print costs me more than £1 simply because I don't print often enough.
    RogerMac likes this.
  4. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I have a quite old A4 Epson that I bought for price and portability and an A3+ Canon (8 ink) that was their top model when I bought it I am very happy with the quality of both. PeteRob has said most that is to be said but but I would add a couple of points:

    First check the paper path and opt for one where this is straight through. I once had one where the paper was picked up from a front tray and turned through 180 degrees before printing. That worked fine for a while (and always did on plain paper) but failed to pick up photo paper after about a year as the rollers got slightly polished, I had to ditch a working printer.

    Networked and wi-fi are useful features as all printers - especially A3+ ones - take a lot of room on a desk and can be usefully tucked away
  5. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Yep. The question is too open-ended. What are your requirements?

    My own requirements are to produce prints up to A3 in a variety of fibre-based fine art papers for competitions and exhibitions. For that I am immensely satisfied with the Epson P600 which gives exceptional tonal rendering, is superb for monochrome and (in relative terms, compared to others) is very economical to run as it wastes hardly any ink at start-up or cartridge changing and never ever has required to unblock or prime the ink feeds, even after several weeks of non-use.

    But very much "horses for courses".
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Thanks Roger! I deleted a paragraph I had started on paper-path as I was getting fed up typing on my iPad.

    Quality photo-papers are heavy weight and don't bend like office paper so multi-purpose printers which take a cassette feed and turn the paper over are very limited in what they can use. Even top feed printers where the bend is ~45 degrees can have difficulty with average weight papers. My Canon hates top feeding small (6x4) sheets of Galerie Prestige smooth gloss which is 290 gsm. For thick media a printer should also have a horizontal paper path which means that, when this is used, the printer needs some working space behind as well as in front. This is not so much an issue for A4 but A3/A3+ or longer this can take quite some space.
  7. Jimbo57

    Jimbo57 Well-Known Member

    Another vote for the Epson P600.

    Puts the others in the shade. (Relatively speaking - obviously if you spent £3000 on a printer you might get better.)
  8. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    I would definitely go for the epson as well.. I've used epson for about 15 years now and although they have always produced a great print the earlier Ines were prone to blocked heads but since the 3800 that seems to have disappeared. I now have the p800 although I do print A2 fairly often it works out quite lot cheaper to run even if you just print A3 because of the larger ink carts and even cutting down A2 sheets. I really think that the p600/800s are brilliant, reliable machines that just work really well. I must say though that j only use the epson inks and once you get a system going they simply aren't expensive to run.
  9. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I have an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 that seems to be doing OK, I leave it switched on but I have no idea whether this has any effect on blockages.
  10. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    I have always bought a Epson A3...the one I am using now is quite old but its still producing nice prints it is a A3, but if I have to buy another it just maybe A4, I dont seem to be printing many A3s these days since I dropped out the camera club scene 10 years ago, I still visit them though every so often....
  11. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    My own preference is for Canon printers, I have had one Epson and for me it was a mistake. It gobbled ink like a Barracuda and most of that was on cleaning cycles, it ended up in recycling after it developed a fault quite early in life. Oddly I just picked up a Canon ip8750 (up to A3+) yesterday at John Lewis in Newcastle as a clearance item for just £40, too low a price to pass on. The assistant told me there would be no ink with it, but it turned out to have a full set.
  12. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    My view for what it's worth is that if the majority of your prints are going to be up to A4 then I'd go for a quality A4 printer. Any prints you require above A4 I'd send off to a print lab such as DSCL.
  13. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Wise words. Once you go beyond A4 the price increase for printers is considerable, whilst the prices for one-off large prints are quite reasonable. I ended-up adopting this method myself.

    The down-side to all of this is that the 'quality' A4 printer I bought myself was a Kodak ESP series model, purchased on the basis that the consumables were the most reasonably-priced. I think the purchase was made either two or three days prior to Kodak announcing that they were removing themselves from the consumer inkjet business. It was exactly (I checked) seventeen days after the anniversary of the purchase that the printer unilaterally decided that every print I wanted to make would look better sepia toned. Despite cleaning, new ink, new software and the use of many and varied terms of the sort known as 'obscene' amongst those who are not currently dealing with a Kodak printer (but perfectly acceptable to those who are!) the Satan-machine still maintains that sepia is best.

    The printer now sits next to my computer, has a speaker on top of it and serves as a convenient, wipe-clean resting place for my brew, pint pot or wine glass depending on the hour of the day or my mood at the time.

    Cheers, Jeff
    Gezza likes this.
  14. Andrew Wood

    Andrew Wood Member


    I am really very Sorry. I forgot to mention my requirements. Actually I have a shop and I am too much paper work for printing black & white papers. Currently I am using old Canon printer and It's proficiency is going down. Now I want to buy new printer which is fast enough to print at least 1000 to 2000 minimum papers daily. SO I need guidence here which one is best printer for me.

    Should I buy HP, Canon, Brother or Dell series?

    What type of printer should I choose: Inkjet or Laser printer?

    I am looking for your early replies.
  15. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    If you want an printer for office work doing 2000 pages a day, every day, you want a commercial grade laser jet and you need to talk to an office equipment supplier because servicing requirements will be key. The small desktop office inkjet printers have a lifetime of order 100,000 pages. I doubt a desktop laser will do more than 1,000,000 but this should be part of the specifications.

    If I misunderstand and you want to do 2000 black and white photographic prints a day that is again very much commercial scale and you need to take professional advice.
    Andrew Flannigan and RogerMac like this.
  16. Andrew Wood

    Andrew Wood Member

    Actually I am using my old printer and that is not fast enough now. It jams twice and more times in a day and these activities resumes my work. I print only black and white paper and use goinkjet for online wholesale paper purchase. Now tell me which printer should I use for bulk printing.
  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Probably the dodgy paper causing the jams. Try some decent stuff from a reputable supplier and you should be fine with your current printer.
  18. John King

    John King Well-Known Member

    For all it's cost the P600 does it all for me. I bought a Permajet continuous ink system as well at the same time and they both work well together. You have to use the Epson inks first to get the ink/dye in the system but as soon as the 1st cartridge empties, swap over to the CIS. There will be a slight change to colours after a while but by careful adjustment of the setting (Very easy) you can once again get a perfectly neutral balance print. Plus of course the advantage of a shed load cheaper ink.

    Incidentally I carried out a test with the original inks and the Permajet ones by placing two identical prints on the windowsill some 8 months ago and there is no detectable colour shift from either.
  19. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Thanks for reading my post. I want to know which printer is best for quality photo printing?
    Read more at http://www.amateurphotographer.co.u...or-photo-printing.131833/#MwdzOJ6v8o7Uee5x.99

    Actually I have a shop and I am too much paper work for printing black & white papers. Currently I am using old Canon printer and It's proficiency is going down. Now I want to buy new printer which is fast enough to print at least 1000 to 2000 minimum papers daily. SO I need guidence here which one is best printer for me.
    Read more at http://www.amateurphotographer.co.u...or-photo-printing.131833/#MwdzOJ6v8o7Uee5x.99

    Don't know about anyone else but I'm confused.
  20. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Well you really confused me until I realised you were quoting two earlier posts.

    The guy seems to run a print shop. The query is old now but that kind of usage needs a large format printer designed to run continuously, not a desktop printer which is what we expected.

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