Printer Recommendations

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
jeanne
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Printer Recommendations

Post by jeanne » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:07 pm

Smug Members - I've been using an Epson RX500 3-in-1 and an Epson R800 Photo printer since 2005. I've decided that when the ink
runs out I'm going to purchase something new. I've been unhappy with the R800 as it never has rendered photos like they look like on my MAC screen. The RX500 is a workhorse but I don't feel the quality of the photo rendering is what I'd like for enlargements.
Between the two printers, my ink costs are about $160.00, 6 colors in the RX500, and 8 in the R800.

Does anyone have any recommendations - should I just print photos at Costco and go for a better all around printer? Any ideas?

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Printer Recommendations

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:05 pm

You might want to skim this SMUG thread.
http://www.straitmac.org/phpBB3/viewtop ... f=21&t=322
Note that we haven't tested the Canon for photo printing yet, and we rarely print photos bigger than 4x6. Everything else works fine, though. And the paper path looks to be quite reasonable, as opposed to the HP we're replacing, which used a special mechanical tray for 4x6.

I asked a similar question on Macintouch, and got mostly "I love my low-cost AIO," and a couple of "You can't get good photo prints spending less than $700 for a dedicated, large-format inkjet printer."

If I wanted to print anything more than the very occasional 8 x 10, I'd do some serious testing of Apple's prints direct from iPhoto or Aperture. I've done half a dozen 20 x 30 prints, and they've been shockingly good.

Pretty much all inkjet printers cost less than the replacement ink. So it's wise to upgrade the hardware pretty regularly.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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bluesky
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Re: Printer Recommendations

Post by bluesky » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:13 am

From my experience.. and just my opinion.

# 1 is Canon. They have excellent print quality, are fairly quiet and the ink cartridges themselves tend to be a bit cheaper. ALSO their customer service can't be beat. Remember the way customer service USED to be? Cannon's is still that way. If you have a problem they can't fix over the phone, they will just just you a new one and you return the old one.

#2 is Epson. The new Artisan series is excellent. I like the 750. Print quality is excellent and the inks are supposed to be archival. But they are a bit spendy. I like Epson because it is the only consumer printer out there that allows you to print directly onto printable CDs DVDs, which I do quite a bit.

HP? Forget about it! In the last few years their hardware quality and software compatibility has gone down hill. HPs are the ones I see people having the most problems with in the past five years. Even just trying to set them up the first time.
"All computers wait at the same speed."

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Printer Recommendations

Post by Stephen Hart » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:27 am

bluesky wrote:#2 is Epson. I like Epson because it is the only consumer printer out there that allows you to print directly onto printable CDs DVDs, which I do quite a bit.

HP? Forget about it! In the last few years their hardware quality and software compatibility has gone down hill. HPs are the ones I see people having the most problems with in the past five years. Even just trying to set them up the first time.
The HP D5160 we replaced prints fine on disks.

I have to agree about HP inkjet quality, but just based on an n of 1. The D5160 uses a special tray for 4x6 prints, and we had problems with it from the beginning. Then it stopped working altogether. The final straw was that HP hasn't updated drivers for that series for Lion. Maybe they never will. HP's pretty casual about dropping 2- or 3-year-old printer support.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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Jim Martin
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Re: Printer Recommendations

Post by Jim Martin » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:04 am

For 13 years I have used Epson printers with excellent results and trouble free for all those years. I do not print photos but most of the photographers I know use Epson printers.

Thanks to Jay Cline for suggesting Ink4Art for ink cartridges. I have lost count of the years we have used them, but it has been many and never a problem with their cartridges.

I know Canon is good and there may be others but Epsons have never failed me.

jeanne
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Re: Printer Recommendations

Post by jeanne » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:59 pm

To Jim Martin -- I really like my Epson printers but I can't for the life of me get the R800 to print anything even close to what I see on the computer. Since the first year I bought it in 2004 I've not had satisfactory results with the Epson - If you have any ideas what I could do to have the printer work properly I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Printer Recommendations

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:05 pm

jeanne wrote:To Jim Martin -- I really like my Epson printers but I can't for the life of me get the R800 to print anything even close to what I see on the computer. Since the first year I bought it in 2004 I've not had satisfactory results with the Epson - If you have any ideas what I could do to have the printer work properly I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
In the old days, you sent off a color negative and accepted whatever print came back. You had no way to compare the colors. If you projected a slide, then sent that off to be printed, the results were often awful. But it was asking way too much for a color print from a slide to match what you saw with your particular projector and screen. (And there was a big contrast increase in going from slides to prints.) I once had a batch done at a state-of-the-art printing outfit, which used large-format internegatives. The results were pleasing, but not exactly matching the slides. And it was way expensive. (We recently replaced the bulb in our aging Ektragraphic projector. The reflecting surface, the lens and the heat-absorbing glass were all dirty. The bulb worked, but the reflecting surface on it's parabolic reflector was half burnt off.)

The same thing applies today. It might just take a lot of tinkering with each print, and that's going to cost a lot in paper and ink. You can try to calculate that cost. I once came up with about $0.50/4x6 print. Different papers make a difference and inkjet printers may well reproduce different overall color casts differently. You can buy high-end monitors and color-calibration devices, but, again, it's going to cost you. Any given monitor has individual color shifts and brightness. And you're comparing emitted light versus reflected light. Paper and monitors are both affected by room light, but differently.

The results I've gotten from Apple prints by mail from iPhoto are very nice in general. One was a little on the blue side and one--a scientific poster with a white background--was too dark. Again, it takes tinkering. (In that case, at $20/pop tinkering is pretty prohibitive.)
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

jeanne
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Re: Printer Recommendations

Post by jeanne » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:30 pm

But when I have Costco develop the same picture it comes out like the one on my monitor. Must be the printer. I've been tempted to get some software that equalizes the prints so they look the same but haven't taken the plunge yet. I'm definitely going to try
the Apple prints per your suggestion. Actually my RX500 does a much better job than the R800 for getting the colors right.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Printer Recommendations

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:49 am

By coincidence, here's a Macintouch discussion on printer recommendations:

http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports ... d04oct2011
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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briant30
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Re: Printer Recommendations

Post by briant30 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:16 am

Jim Martin wrote:For 13 years I have used Epson printers with excellent results and trouble free for all those years. I do not print photos but most of the photographers I know use Epson printers.

Thanks to Jay Cline for suggesting Ink4Art fo I have lost count of the years we have used them, but it has been many and never a problem with their cartridges.

I know Canon is good and there may be others but Epsons have never failed me.
Epson is a cheaper version of Canon in my opinion.. i haven't had a non reliable epson printer since i got my first one ten years ago.. and its ink cartridges are reasonably price..
Last edited by briant30 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

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