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looking into get photo printer. Home better or store lab better


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12 replies to this topic

#1
fallout666

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Would like print some photo cost so far been not to cheap to use photo lab. Would it be cheaper print at home using photo printer. Will have to buy my own ink and paper or just use photo lab. Not sure on cost saving or pro and con

#2
Merco_61

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The cheaper printers use more expensive inks, so they are usually expensive to run. The better printers still need to be in constant use so the expensive inks don't dry and clog the print heads. Prints from my old Epson cost in the same ballpark as Fuji Frontier prints now that the depreciation is over. For the first three years, it was significantly more expensive to run compared to getting prints done at a commercial lab. It was, however easy to justify the investment as I have full control over the whole process and can easily switch between paper stocks. Having 12 to 15 different quality papers to choose from makes a difference when the feel of the paper stock complements the prints themselves. A commercial lab usually offer 1 glossy, 1 matt and 1 textured finish and that's it. If you choose to use a commercial lab, contact them and make sure they have ICC profiles available for download so you can softproof your files before sending them off to the lab.



#3
ScottinPollock

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^^^ What Peter said... especially about frequent printing. If you don't print often, you'll be flushing the lion share of your ink down the commode just cleaning the print head.

 

I think printing yourself is more about doing it better than your print service. If you're happy with what they're doing (like me), doing it yourself can be time consuming, wasteful, and sometimes just a general PITA.

 

I'd rather spend that time on something else.



#4
fallout666

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I been using wal-mart and walgreens to get hooters girls pictures printed out. Would like own my photo printer. Know that i know about will have to think about it. Since need to compare cost of ink anc paper

#5
TBonz

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For most people, Wal-Mart and Walgreens is your best bet - especially as far as cost goes.  


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#6
fallout666

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For most people, Wal-Mart and Walgreens is your best bet - especially as far as cost goes.  

would that be cheaper then doing it at home. want to get true remark on this. since i do not make tons of money so thought if got my own paper and printer would be cheaper. since i could make few photos a week to keep ink in good shape. 



#7
PebblzNnutz

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The True Cost of Inkjet Printing

 

​If you won't print much you're better off, money wise, using places like Walgreens and Wal-Mart as suggested.

 

 



#8
Merco_61

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If we break things down and use glossy 8x10" prints as a comparison, Walgreens charge about $4 per print. A Canon PIXMA PRO 10 is $700, the ink cost is around $1 per print, or a bit over that, let's say $1.20 for this class of printer, the paper is 50¢.

 

Ink and paper is $1.70, which leaves $2.3 for overhead compared to Walgreens. If you divide the printer cost ($700) by overhead per print (2.3) you find that you will need to print 305 prints on this relatively cheap printer before it gets cheaper than Walgreens.

 

This calculation doesn't allow for clogged printer heads or the test prints needed to dial in colours when you have changed the ink cartridges and doesn't take your time into account. In reality, you will probably need to make over 600 prints to break even, and that is counting your time *very* cheap. At a rate of three prints per week, this is 200 weeks, or nearly 4 years, by which time it will probably be time to buy a new printer and start over.



#9
ScottinPollock

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If you have a Mac, Apple will print 8x10's directly from the Photos app for $1.99. I have ordered many prints and books from them over the years and the quality has always been very good.

There is a shipping charge, but if you order a dozen or more at time it is negligible.

#10
fallout666

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all i have are pc and pc laptop. can not afford mac mac laptops out my range if i can that app for my ipone then i golden. since have no mac to use but pops. will not use his computer like that since do not want to do harm to his computer. i see if can get app like that for my iphone then. thanks guys for the tips and help. you guys are so knowledgeable. great info.  



#11
Merco_61

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Walmart has a low-cost home delivery option as well... $1.79 for glossy 8x10 makes home printing even less interesting for small volumes unless you want the full control of the whole process or want to use specialty papers.



#12
TBonz

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The ShutterFly site is pretty reasonable and decent for printing as well.  They are tied in with Walgreens, so you can print through them and pick up at Walgreens as I understand it.  I've done several prints through them and just had them sent to my house and its worked out pretty well.  Once you've opened an account, you will get frequent specials as well making their already reasonable prices even cheaper.  I was speaking with a friend today who through some of the prints she had purchased got a special offer from them for something like 200 free 4x6 prints.  So yes, printing at home as Merco said earlier is going to be more expensive, potentially quite a bit more expensive than printing through an online service or Wal-Mart / Walgreens.



#13
cpurves

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I print onsite with DNP dyesub printers.  My cost per 8x10 is about $1.10. It's so much easier to print and give the customer their print right there and I save on mailing costs.

I use Costco for printing when I'm not at a show. Email them the file and pick it up the next day. It's almost the same price. 

When I'm not at a show I don't have to setup the printer and computer. 

I won't use an inkjet at home cause I don't print enough there, so by sending prints out there's no problem with ink drying and print heads clogging.  It's much better to  send the prints away. 

You would have to print lots at home - maybe 100 prints a month - to justify printing at home. 

Cheers

Chris