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Color printer recommendations

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Old 01-10-2007, 03:00 AM
christo christo is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Oregon
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Color printer recommendations

The people on this site have always gone beyond being helpful with advice and recommendations. As a novice PhotoShop user I could not help but being impressed. I almost ready to jump into the PS world in a big way, offering a photo digital retouch business to a very select and limited audience that would entail scanning and color correcting 35 mm slides and B&W photos from the 1940's-1960's, converting some of these to greeting others to postcards. I have been using PhotoShop since version 2.5, but have always felt that I was using less than 10% or less of the programs ability. Sadly I have not found anyone in this vicinity that is offering any classes or guidance. I probably would not have the necessary $ for one on one training in any case, if I did.

I do have a number of books-Katrin Eisman, Scott Kelbey, Deke McClland as well as Photoshop Classroom 7 In A Book as well as several training CD's from eBay, and the excellent tutorials from Photo-Retouch.

It is my hope to learn as I go along. The quandary I find myself in now, is that I need a decent color printer, something that will represent the true colors I expect to generate from the originals, (once corrected). I would like to find a color laser printer, but, am open to any recommendations. I do not know if bubble jet, dye sub, thermal transfer, or whatever will suite my needs.

Any recommendations, advice or suggestions?

Last edited by T Paul; 01-10-2007 at 10:19 AM. Reason: thread clarification
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Old 01-10-2007, 10:32 AM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
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Re: printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by christo
The people on this site have always gone beyond being helpful with advice and recommendations. As a novice PhotoShop user I could not help but being impressed. I almost ready to jump into the PS world in a big way, offering a photo digital retouch business to a very select and limited audience that would entail scanning and color correcting 35 mm slides and B&W photos from the 1940's-1960's, converting some of these to greeting others to postcards. I have been using PhotoShop since version 2.5, but have always felt that I was using less than 10% or less of the programs ability. Sadly I have not found anyone in this vicinity that is offering any classes or guidance. I probably would not have the necessary $ for one on one training in any case, if I did.

I do have a number of books-Katrin Eisman, Scott Kelbey, Deke McClland as well as Photoshop Classroom 7 In A Book as well as several training CD's from eBay, and the excellent tutorials from Photo-Retouch.

It is my hope to learn as I go along. The quandary I find myself in now, is that I need a decent color printer, something that will represent the true colors I expect to generate from the originals, (once corrected). I would like to find a color laser printer, but, am open to any recommendations. I do not know if bubble jet, dye sub, thermal transfer, or whatever will suite my needs.

Any recommendations, advice or suggestions?
re: Training
Books have their place, but many seem to assume one is already familiar with Photoshop, e.g., the books you mention except perhaps CIAB.

You might look into the intro Photoshop courses at www.EclecticAcademy.com. The duration for each class is six weeks, plus one has the opportunity to interact with the instructor via e-mail or class-only bulletin board -- something not possible with books or online tutorials. Cost is very reasonable - $25/class. Well organized, pace is reasonable (vs. a 4-hour "live instructor" class), relevant content presented in a logical sequence. Coupled with what you already know, something like this might enable you to connect a lot more dots.

re: Printer
Your choice is going to depend a bit on your workflow and projected print volume, types of paper you will use, etc. Here are some considerations.

Strongly consider getting a printer that's designed for PHOTOS; don't try to get one that tries to be a fax machine, office printer and a photo printer all-in-one.

Some brands/models do color well, but fall down on black/white.

Pigment printers get the nod at this point in time for longer archival characteristics, but don't do as well when it comes to printing glossies.

Some brands/models accomodate traditional glossy and matte papers just fine, but you can't run thicker "fine art" papers through them (more texture, popular among those printing greeting cards).

Some brands easily accomodate numerous precut paper sizes, e.g., 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, 8.5x11, 13x19, etc., while others are more limited.

Some models handle "roll paper" for panorama printing.

On the card printing (depend on print volume) it might make sense to use your at home printer for generating proofs, then send the final to an online printer. In the long run it might be more cost effective.

Paper and ink ARE EXPENSIVE, especially if you get them through traditional sources, e.g., Amazon, Wal-mart, Fred Meyer, Office Depot, etc.

Not all printers work on all versions of Windows (assuming a PC). Be sure what you're getting works on your computer. If you are running XP, you're OK, but watch out if you're using Windows 95 or 98. I'm still on Windows 2000.

In my case I recently picked up an older technology HP 8450 Photosmart printer. Here's what led me to this chice:
* Picked one up new via eBay: $73 including shipping. (This printer sold for $399 in 2004.)
* It does color and black and white glossy prints beautifully; prints on matte look great, too
* Meets my need for 4x6, 8.5x11 (max) prints. Don't need 5x7, 13x19 (or larger) or panorama.
* Runs on Windows 2000 (I'm holding out for Vista; skipped XP)
* Does not require Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3
* Genuine HP ink carts. and paper are available on eBay for 40%-60% less than retail.
* I have no need at this time for thick ("fine art") paper.
* I'm not concerned about archival issues. Prints I make today will outlive me. Why should I care if a print will survive 200 years?
* Deserved or not Epson printers have a reputation for clogging if not used on a regular basis. I would definitely consider Epson for fine art printing if I go in that direction in the future and/or if my print volume warrants it, but HP was a safer choice for my needs because I print in fits and spurts.

That said I had an online printer do our 4x6 Christmas cards. At 19 cents each, an order of 100 was $23 (inc. s/h) and was a whole lot easier than the time/attention it would have taken to do them myself.

If you haven't discovered the "printer" forum at www.DPReview.com, check it out. I found it to be an excellent info resource.

Hope this helps get you going. Good luck on your research and decision.

~Danny~

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 01-10-2007 at 10:41 AM.
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