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Printer for occasional A4 printing...

Discussion in 'Digital Image Editing & Printing' started by Aspadora, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Aspadora

    Aspadora Well-Known Member


    My photography club does a monthly competition, which means I will need to start printing my photos. I used an online printing service last time, which cost £11 for around 10 photos + delivery.

    If I do this every month, will it be worth investing in a printer instead? if so, does anybody have any recommendations?

    TechRadar recommends HP Envy 5010, which is one of the cheaper options they suggest. Any experiences of this printer? Reviews look ok, except for connectivity which I can cope with I think...
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    You won't really save money by home printing unless you do a lot of big prints, and continue doing so. Home printing on a photo-printer, rather than an office printer, is mainly a choice because it's a pleasure to see the print formed even if not as magical an experience as mono-work in the darkroom.

    I've got an old A3+ Canon printer that takes 10 pigment inks. Takes £100+ to fill it. If I don't print regularly - which is most often the case - it will eat most of that cleaning itself.

    I have an HP all-in-one office printer that is in continuous use and is wonderful, but I wouldn't use it for photos. I doubt a decent paper would go through the paper path.
  3. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

  4. Aspadora

    Aspadora Well-Known Member

    Thanks both! I had no idea the ink cartridges cost so much to replace :eek:

    I'm not all that bothered about watching them print, or at least the novelty will wear off very quickly for me.. so I think i'll just stick with ordering them online. It sounds easier and much cheaper for what I want it for.

    Thanks :)
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It's all about getting back to that "did it work?" feeling :).

    All inks are expensive. I just replaced the 2 cartridges in my mother's bog-standard HP all-in-one and that was £50. If you get an A2 printer (i'd love one) an ink refill can be £600 or more - they need to be run continuously to be cost effective but the unit cost per print does decrease.
  6. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    You asked for an A4 printer.
    I've got a Canon IP7250, about £50 from Argos. Excellent print quality from five ink cartridges. When they ran out if I'd bought genuine Canon inks it would have cost more than the printer. So I shopped around and bought three sets of the five cartridges (15 cartridges in total) from 7dayshop for £16. Not really much to loose. If they weren't any good I'd just buy a new printer with ink included.

    The results are excellent. Far better than I expected. I haven't compared the same image printed with Canon ink against 7dayshop ink but I'm quite satisfied with the results.
    peterba and beatnik69 like this.
  7. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I have one of these, bought from John Lewis as a customer return, very happy with it, the optional XL cartridges are worth buying. I paid under £50 for it! I was told there would be no ink in the printer, there was a full set of virtually full cartridges.

    My experiences with printers only cover Canon and Epson, I would not buy another Epson, very expensive ink, as opposed to just expensive and heavy consumption, huge amounts being used on start up.
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    When I was looking (2008) the printer recommendations I had were all for Canon. Availability of third party inks is wider for dye than for pigment inks and wider for Epson than Canon. I chose a pigment ink printer but these days dye inks are effectively permanent too.
  9. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    Try the Aldi printing service. IIRC You can get A4 prints for ~34p + postage is £2 for as many A4 prints as you want.
    When I printed my own, infrequent use meant I frequently had blocked heads. The last time more than an entire set of cartridges where used up trying in vain to unblock 2 of the black nozzles.
    Aspadora likes this.
  10. Aspadora

    Aspadora Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the Canon recommendations, i think if I'm going to get one that sounds like a good option.

    Although, Petrochemist has just halved the cost of my print orders so I'm thinking I will go with that for a while... if i find that I'm printing more and more then i may look at buying again!
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    But never look at home printing as the cheaper option unless you are churning out A4 or larger. For enprints it will always be expensive.
    Aspadora likes this.
  12. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    I just tried this myself.
    After returning from Scotland I had a nice image ready to go. Got two 60x40cm copies done at my local photo framing store. Came out way too dark.
    Thought it was me - I must have made a mistake in profiling etc.
    Gave Aldi a try.
    They printed what I had sent them, not some half-arsed imitation and were a fraction of the price.
    I will use them again without hesitation.
  13. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I always enjoy looking at who the brands use as their actual printing service. In this case it's MEDION Electronics Ltd. - https://www.aldiphotos.co.uk/imprint (which appears to be owned by Lenovo). I wonder if they hand it off to someone else.

    Tesco uses Max Spielmann. - Tescophoto.com and its associated applications (the "Site") is operated and maintained by Max Spielmann Limited ("Max", "We", "Us" or "Ours") on behalf of the owner, Tesco Stores Limited, Tesco House, Shire Park, Kestrel Way, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL7 1GA, with Company Registration No. 00519500 and VAT No. GB 220430231.

    Looks like Asda uses Photo-Me.
  14. RobertCoombes

    RobertCoombes Well-Known Member

    Ditto. I have had several Epsons all more expensive. One has to remember to open the window before throwing them out.
    Petrochemist likes this.

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