Any recomended Photo quality printers?

37 replies [Last post]
Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

I would like to up-grade my nine year old HP colour printer with a Photo quality one. Anyone got any recomendations, please?

Paul

Paul

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

I love my 5 colour Epsom Stylus Photo, Paul. Mine's about 2 1/2 years old now but I haven't seen another printer at the #200 price point that makes me suck in breath and throw mine out. The results can be quite breath-takingly good.

tom.

Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

Thanks for that, Tom. Anyone else got any recommendations?

Paul

Paul

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Yet again, I'm with Tom on this. I've got an Epson Stylus Photo 750 and am continuously astounded at what it can produce. Colour printing on gloss paper is truly wondrous.

The only fly in the ointment is the cost of consumables, paper is cheap enough, even 720dpi photo paper from Epson works out at only about 1p/A4 sheet, and photo gloss about 50p/A4, but ink is a different stroy. It has two tanks, the black ink costs about £15 and the 5-colour about £13, although Jessops do cheaper versions, and Kores do a black tank for about £5. But, I decided shortly after buying the printer that the cost of the consumables is simply the cost of getting the quality, so I pay up.

The only printer I'd buy to replace it is the 840(?) A3 version of the same beast.

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Pierluigi
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Joined: Aug 25 2000

I would second the recommendation of Epson Stylus Photo printers, I have a Photo1200 which is an A3+ printer and the quality is amazing, print times are slow but that's a price you pay for the quality. I'm not too sure about the latest batch of the printers with the new ink technology (ie 870 and 1270), the quality is brilliant but I have heard stories of weird colour fading effects when exposed to certain conditions.

Hope this helps

Lui

seaDog
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Joined: Sep 3 2000

We have a Epson 1270 that we use at work and it is excellent, there again we also have a Kodak 8760 dye-sublimation which is in a totally different bracket and so it should be at ten times the price of the Epson, but it's not ten times better that the Espson. I've got an Epson at home as well and have never had any problems.

regards

Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

Well, it looks like it's going to be an Epson then. Either that or an Epson! Thanks for all your recommendations.

Paul

Paul

Charles
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Joined: Apr 7 1999

I to have a Epsom 750 Stylus as Alan said Ink is quite dear but for the last year on my dealer recommendation i've used a brand called Inktec 2 x black 2 x colour £22 i've compared results from the time i used Epsom ink and can see no difference.I stick with the Epsom paper
Regards
Charles

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Regards
Charles
avsvideo.co.uk

Chirpy
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Joined: Sep 7 2000

And do you use Epsom Salts as well Charles?

Chirpy

Chirpy's Big Breakfast can be heard on Radio England International. These are repeat shows (he's retired now) played Monday to Friday 8am-12 noon and repeated in the evening from 8pm-midnight. Also, Sunday 8am-12 noon. (Click link to listen) www.onlineradio5.com/2013/06/radio-england-international.html

Charles
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Joined: Apr 7 1999

Tried them on chips but prefer Saxa
Charles

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Regards
Charles
avsvideo.co.uk

Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

Well, if you're not going to take this seriously! I've never been so in-salted!

Paul

Paul

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Skipping over the puns, Charles, where do you get the cheapo ink from? I'm interested as I tend to buy 5 at at time and even that only lasts me a couple of months or so.

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Alan Roberts

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Charles
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Joined: Apr 7 1999

Hi Alan
It's from my local PC shop in Cumbria,web site www.pcsuppliesuk.co.uk or
sales@pcsuppliesuk.co.uk or Tel 01229-877577.
Just mention my name.
Regards
Charles

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Regards
Charles
avsvideo.co.uk

Dave Fordham
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Joined: Dec 12 2000

I bought an Epson photo 870 in the summer and can confirm the print quality is pretty good.

This model can print on 4" wide photo glossy roll paper right to the edge so you can do your own 6x4 photos. They look almost like the pros (with 1280x1024 images). The Epson ink/paper also has a life of at least 10 years. A 4"x26' roll is £18. Colour cartridge about £15.

Its currently priced around £190 (but PC World recently did a special offer briefly for half price!!). There are newer / cheaper ones around but make sure its a photo model
(& USB if your PC has it).

Happy printing,

Dave

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Thanks Charles, I'll have a look.

And I'm 100% with Dave Fordham's advice. If you want to print photos, you're going to need a photo printer.

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Alan Roberts

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Paul Argyle
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Joined: Dec 14 2000

I recently saw a demo of the Canon BJC8200 and the output looked stunning. It is more expensive than the A4 Epsons (around £250 I think) and the quality may not be that much better but it does have separate ink tanks. Each colour can be replaced as it runs out so if you do plenty of photo printing it will be economical. The cheaper BJC6200 does this too but I not sure how good it is.

Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

Now you're confusing the issue, Paul! But I must admit the separate inks does sound like a good option. I will have to look into it further. Thanks again for all the feedback.

Paul

Paul

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Where the Epsons score is that they're 6-colour, standard YMCK plus desaturated magenta and cyan. It makes it a lot easier to meter the colouring for skin tones, the area we're all extremely expert at assessing.

But it's a pain to have to replace the 5-colour tank set just because one is empty.

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Alan Roberts

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

peter millard
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Joined: Oct 19 2000

Hi there.

Completely agree with all the above - you don't find many photo studios without an Epson stashed somewhere (I've got a 1200 in mine.)

A word of warning though; be wary of using non-Epson inks, as they can cause problems with the print head, and unlike many other printers (which have the print head integrated into the ink cartridge so it's changed when you change inks) the Epson print heads are fixed. I know a couple of people who've tried alternative inks (don't know which brands, but they were cheap ones, not pukka alternatives like Lysonic) and have completely screwed up their printers - others have tried cheapo "compatible" cartridges and suffered no ill-effects other than poor print quality. Whatever, you'll almost certainly invalidate any manufacturers warranty by using compatible cartridges, but you pays your money & makes your choice...

The newer Epson printers have "smart" ink cartridges which don't allow the use of compatible inks, which makes it all a touch pricey - but like Alan Roberts said, it's simply part of the cost of producing photo prints on your desktop.

The theory goes that Epson sell their printers at not much above cost price, and make their money on the inks and papers - much like the old razor blade technique!

Don't forget to use decent paper either - it makes a huge difference to the final results.

Happy printing.

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Peter Millard
petermillard.com

Peter Millard
www.petermillard.com

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Peter's right about pricing. I've heasrd several reports that they sell at cost and get the profit on ink. I don't mind that, it's part of the cost of quality.

And spot on about paper. I recerntly did a test print on photocopy paper, on 720dpi Epson photo paper, and on photo gloss. The photcopier paper absorbed the ink, made a desaturated print, and the image was clearly visible from the back side of the paper. The 720 paper was much better, ink stayed on the surface, but the gloss was wonderful, no hint of ink leaking into the paper.

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Alan Roberts

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Alan Francis
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Joined: May 7 1999

Try http://www.emcomp.demon.co.uk/ for good VFM cartridges - reliable supplier (advertises in CV so must be jolly good chap!) and I've never had any problems with the cartrdiges (I use Epson 850). Alan++

Alan Francis
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Joined: May 7 1999

...although I do seem to have trouble typing 'cartridges'...

Alan Francis
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Joined: May 7 1999

You might also try http://www.cartridgeclub.co.uk/ - haven't used them personally but even cheaper. Their home page makes me go bog-eyed and I have to be slightly suspicious about a company selling "stationary" Alan++

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

The Cartrdige Club inks for the Epson 750 look VERY like the ones Jessops sell badged as Jessops. And are probably a bit cheaper. Thanks for the pointers.

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Alan Roberts at work
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Bugger, I can't spell "cartridge" either.

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Alan Francis
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Dyslexia rules KO! I read somewhere that 'transposition' typos are a sign of intelligence...

Alan Roberts at work
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I don't know about that but I've had dylsexlic fnigers for sage (and, yes, I am good at anagrams).

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Alan Francis
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Joined: May 7 1999

Try: ow, alternators bark!
or that unpleasant fungal condition: beanstalk arrow rot Alan++

Alan Roberts at work
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Nice ones, they must have taken a few minutes to generate (I can use software to do it, but I prefer the hard way).

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Alan Francis
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Yes, I agree - brain is best, but for the sake of expediency I have to confess to some assistance from my trusty Psion!

Alan Roberts at work
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That's where I'd normally turn as well. I used to be a demon 3a programmer, I've grown up now though.

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John Feaver
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Joined: Sep 14 2000

Hello Gladders
I am surprised that no-one has mentioned the OKI 5000 Thermal Transfer printer which uses separate cartridges for each colour and gives superb results on ordinary paper or card.

A Primer cartridge can be used to
prepare the surface first if desired and a Finisher cartridge will impart a gloss finish if preferred.

Even better results can be obtained using the Dye-sub upgrade but special paper is needed for that as regular photo paper will not work in the OKI.

If a cartridge runs out in the middle of printing it can be replaced and the machine carries on where it left off. Very friendly.

Above all the prints are smudge-proof and the colours are reputed to be less susceptible to fading in sunlight than ink jet prints. Ideal for CD Labels !

It is not an expensive machine which I feel deserves more attention.

simonw
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Joined: Apr 11 1999

What are the running costs like on the OKI?

Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

Thanks for your contribution, John. I will look at that as well. Very gratifying to see my thread has become not only a flamer, but a raging bonfire!

Paul

Paul

John Feaver
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Joined: Sep 14 2000

Originally posted by simonw:
What are the running costs like on the OKI?

Difficult to be specific on this as I am not using it on a daily basis but I judge the cartridge use to be comparable to a colour ink jet. For dogsbody correspondence a cheapo black inkjet or laser must give the best value.

Cartridges are about £5.00 ea. and seem to last a long time unless you were to print full A4 size all the time, but I guess that would be heavy on an inkjet cartridge as well. The big plus is that each cartridge is used right up to the end which must represent a saving over multi-inkjet ones where one colour may run out well before the others.

The gloss finisher cartridge can be reversed and re-used. (Machine available from Dabs)

I hope this helps

John F

Alan Francis
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Joined: May 7 1999

I know everyone contributing to this thread has been talking about various makes/types of inkjet printer but, if you just want to print 'enprints' take a look at the latest Sony dye-sub video printer - model DPP-SV55.

Accepts CFs or Sony memory sticks (plug-in slots on the front) and has a USB PC interface. Within the limitations of its media format (max 6inx4in print size), the print quality is excellent and produces better looking prints (its resolution is 403x403 dpi) than I have been able to achieve at 1,440 dpi on my Epson 850 using 'photographic' quality paper. The difference is in the evenness of the colour tones, particularly the flesh tones.

It's a specialist printer and obviously no good for standard A3/A4 PC output use, and the media is expensive (£19.99 for 25 6x4 prints), but horses for courses...

Alan++

buckers
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Joined: Nov 10 2000

Canon S800 gets a good review in Amateur Photographer.

Details (and a PDF reprint) : http://www.canon.co.uk/cgi-bin/parser.pl?page=products&product=550&prodtype=9&subprodtype=35&range=

If the URL doesn't work, go to http://www.canon.co.uk/index_home.shtml and select "BJC Printers" from the pulldown.

I have no connection with Canon, etc,etc.

Adam

Stuart B-M
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Joined: Apr 6 2001

Hi,

What are your needs ??

If you want top quality printing for photo editing go for a Epson stylus photo 890,

if you want great photo,s and general purpose try the Hp deskjet 990cxi, and if you need a smartcard super dooper one the Hp photosmart p1215/1218,

If you want a slightly cheaper all rounder dont discount the Lexmark Z52, not quite as good as the above but half the price.

If you can really afford a dedicated printer for photo prints have you thought of a sublimation printer, they are coming back in fashion, and produce better results than any Inkjet.

Just depends on your needs,

Good Luck!