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Thread: Using an online print lab or do it yourself

  1. #1
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    Using an online print lab or do it yourself

    any advice on either using an online printer like mpix, or should i do it myself by buying an epson printer to my imac?

    print quality simliar?

    i am thinking that using an online print house is easier and the cost is about the same with all things considered.

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    Member carl-b's Avatar
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    Re: Using an online print lab or do it yourself

    I have just started out on the home printing with an epson 2100 ( 2200 in the usa). For me i prefer to do things from start to finish. So that means taking the picture, processing it, then finally printing it
    There is something very satisfying watching your print emerge from the printer. Just like the guys in a dark room watching as the print starts to develop on the paper.

    Also here in the uk, online printers use a limited range of papers, not sure if its different in other parts of the world?
    So if i want an image printed, i wont really get an option of choosing permajet/ilford/ hahnemuhle etc or whichever paper i finally decide on liking the best.

    There is also the learning curve to go with home printing, whether you wish to go that route only you can decide

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    Senior Member JBurnett's Avatar
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    Re: Using an online print lab or do it yourself

    Quote Originally Posted by gooomz View Post
    i am thinking that using an online print house is easier and the cost is about the same with all things considered.
    Based on some recent research on my part to decide whether I upgrade my Epson R800, or rely on services for large-format prints:

    Assuming a good, calibrated monitor and optimal workflow, on-line printers can make good to excellent prints from most colour files, on a limited choice of papers. For fine-art papers, and for subtle images, a good inkjet (eg. Epson 2880/3880) gives one the most control and IMO, optimal results. You can also work with "pro-quality" on-line services for the fine-art/subtle pics, but these come at a premium price. B&W is a different story. Typical C-prints in B&W are "just OK" IMO. Epson's ABW, and pro-quality services (either inkjet or lightjet) do much better B&W; expect premium prices for the on-line pro services. I don't have any personal experience with MPIX's "true" B&W, but it is an economical alternative, if it works well.

    EPSON Pro 3880 ink/paper costs (very approximate):
    17 x 22, Epson Premium Lustre: $6.50
    17 x 22, Hahnemuhle Photo Rag: $11.00

    MPIX
    16 x 20 C-print: $18. ($20 Metallic)
    16 x 20 "True B&W": $20

    Giclee (inkjet) from local providers
    16 x 20 Lustre: $18 to $55
    16 x 20 Hahnemuhle Photo Rag: $42 to $90

    Dalmation Custom B&W:
    16 x 20 K7 Piezography on fine-art paper: $104
    16 x 20 Lightjet on true B&W fibre: $118.
    Best regards,
    John.
    http://jburnett.ca

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