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Photographer
dugzphotos
Posts: 47
Corona, California, US


I am in the market for a new printer $400-$500 range.
What is recommended for photo printing, Inkjet or Laser, for better Quality

This printer will only be used for photos
Jan 17 11 09:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Couture
Posts: 602
Washington, District of Columbia, US


Look at amazon.com or your localcraigslist for the Canon Pixma Pro9000 MK II.  Its a $400 printer that I bought for $180 brand new since Canon was practically giving them away with a camera purchase rebate.  Look up reviews online, they are all great.  Obviously there are better options out there, but the quality difference will be negligable, and leaves you more money leftover to afford the Canon brand inks (never buy 3rd party inks no matter what printer you get).  The only area the Pro9000 suffers is black and white, the blacks will have a slight color cast to them.
Jan 17 11 09:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,912
Buena Park, California, US


D O U G wrote:
I am in the market for a new printer $400-$500 range.
What is recommended for photo printing, Inkjet or Laser, for better Quality

This printer will only be used for photos

Inkjet.  While they may exist, I don't know if any laser that is more than CMYK.  And while they are good, 6+ color printers are going to be better. I also think Inkjet has a greater range of printable materials they can work with as well.

Jan 17 11 09:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shane K Photography
Posts: 258
Orlando, Florida, US


Inkjet all the way.
Jan 17 11 09:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,262
Salem, Oregon, US


i use a lab for all my customer and model work. seems like DIY printing is just expensive and fussy by comparison. maybe if you are doing art prints but some of the labs offer those as well.
Jan 17 11 10:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Deirdre Holmes
Posts: 1,244
San Pedro, California, US


Here are past forum posts.  I decided to get epson 3880 based on the print cartridge size.  But it all depends how much printing you are thinking of doing.  Here are some helpful forum discussions on the matter:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=650772 (title: Best Photo Printer?)
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=646105 (title: Best Photo Printer For MAC)
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=647464 (title: Printing Photos)
Jan 17 11 10:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,822
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


If you were meaning a Lambda or Fuji Frontier Laser then for longevityh and resiliance I'd have said laser. However, given your budget i somehow don't think you mean one of those machines but a paper colour laser printer as per Brother / Oki / Epson .......... In which case Inkjet wins hands down:
- image quality
- image longevity, provided you use the correct materials
- choice of print surface / finish

However, if you are talking about a printer for events ( on-site printing ), then a Dye-sub comes into its own.
Jan 17 11 10:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sendu
Posts: 3,499
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom


D O U G wrote:
I am in the market for a new printer $400-$500 range.
What is recommended for photo printing, Inkjet or Laser, for better Quality

This printer will only be used for photos

Quality-wise, inkjets are better than lasers for photos. However, the real answer to your question is "neither": get a Dye-Sublimation printer instead.

Jan 17 11 10:08 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,822
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


Sendu wrote:
Quality-wise, inkjets are better than lasers for photos. However, the real answer to your question is "neither": get a Dye-Sublimation printer instead.

Dye-subs and monochrome ? not a good match, they produce a print but not a touch on other methods since they are only CMY, no K or 'shades of K'.
Dye-subs and larger than A4 ?
Dye-subs and variety of paper types and finishes ?
Dye-subs and versatility of paper sizes ?

Don't get me wrong, I have dye sub that cost about the same as my A2+ inkjet but it serves a completely different role.

Jan 17 11 10:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TheScarletLetterSeries
Posts: 3,438
Carmel, California, US


Laser (mono or color):  best for office work, invoices, letters

Professional Inkjet:  Photos

Professional Dye-sub:  event printing
Jan 17 11 10:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,822
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


TheScarletLetterSeries wrote:
Laser (mono or color):  best for office work, invoices, letters

Professional Inkjet:  Photos

Professional Dye-sub:  event printing

+1

Jan 17 11 10:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
dugzphotos
Posts: 47
Corona, California, US


That is what I was not sure, if laser was better for color documents or photos.

TheScarletLetterSeries wrote:
Laser (mono or color):  best for office work, invoices, letters

Professional Inkjet:  Photos

Professional Dye-sub:  event printing

Jan 17 11 10:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael DBA Expressions
Posts: 3,148
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


D O U G wrote:
I am in the market for a new printer $400-$500 range.
What is recommended for photo printing, Inkjet or Laser, for better Quality

This printer will only be used for photos

Um, dye sub???

First of all, how big do you want to make prints? Frankly, for sheer quality, dye sub is the way to go. If all you want to do is make 4x6 prints, the Canon Selphy is hard to beat: $150 or less and dye sub (ie, continuous tone, not dot-pattern).

ACNT claims to have 3 Kodak Professional 9810 8x12 dye sub printers available for $429 each at their South Bend, IN location.

Jan 17 11 12:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TheScarletLetterSeries
Posts: 3,438
Carmel, California, US


Michael DBA Expressions wrote:

Um, dye sub???

First of all, how big do you want to make prints? Frankly, for sheer quality, dye sub is the way to go. If all you want to do is make 4x6 prints, the Canon Selphy is hard to beat: $150 or less and dye sub (ie, continuous tone, not dot-pattern).

ACNT claims to have 3 Kodak Professional 9810 8x12 dye sub printers available for $429 each at their South Bend, IN location.

Maybe for "ease of use" a dye sub---but for sheer quality, a professional inkjet is substantially better in quality, not to mention color gamut and media choices.  I use dye subs for events, including a Kodak ML500 that will dust all of the printers you've mentioned in quality and quantity, even running the three 9810s and selphy together at the same time.  But it still won't hold a candle to a professional wide format inkjet printer with a calibrated workflow.  Regardless, a $500 printer budget ain't much to work with here...

Jan 17 11 01:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,537
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Pro inkjets like the Epson 3880 will give you the best results in your price range.


The Epson 3880 runs under $500 for the printer.  The problem is that it is only available bundled with about $500 worth of ink.

If you intend to print a lot, it's not the price of the printer you should be concerned about, it's the price of the ink.   Ink for the Epson 3880 runs about half the cost as ink for the 2880.   If you print a lot the 3880 is significantly less costly than "cheaper" printers.
Jan 17 11 06:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raymond Irvine
Posts: 301
Camarillo, California, US


Inkjets are nice, if you use them regularly but I've never heard of clogged printhead on a dye-sub.
Jan 17 11 10:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TheScarletLetterSeries
Posts: 3,438
Carmel, California, US


Raymond Irvine wrote:
Inkjets are nice, if you use them regularly but I've never heard of clogged printhead on a dye-sub.

The equivalent on a dye sub would be a spot of dust on the "imaging head" leaving a hairline streak down the print. 

With proper workflow and maintenance it is relatively easy to avoid such issues with both inkjet and dye-sublimation printers.  ; )

Jan 17 11 10:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rich Burroughs
Posts: 3,257
Portland, Oregon, US


I know a number of fine art photographers who are making inkjet prints now for exhibition, mainly with the Epson printers and the K3 inks.

Apparently collectors have come around quite a bit on the idea of buying inkjet prints, since the quality has gotten so much better.

One friend of mine printed her photo book on one of the Epsons too, it looks great.
Jan 17 11 10:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil Snape
Posts: 9,448
Paris, Île-de-France, France


Lasers are good for fast crisp lines, yet for images the consistent high quality of the modern inkjet cannot be beat.

The quality of the media used is equally as important as the inks themselves.

I know you said 500$ , yet I feel the best value on the market is the Epson 3800 refurbed or a new 3880 Epson. LArge cartridges make for ink cost savings and the A2 17" width is ideal for large prints.
Jan 17 11 10:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ninjaprints
Posts: 2,457
London, England, United Kingdom


Im looking to get a a3 printer myself, had a rather nice all in one but it died after about a year when I changed the inks sad
Jan 18 11 03:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mike Kirwan Photography
Posts: 573
Walnut Creek, California, US


D O U G wrote:
I am in the market for a new printer $400-$500 range.
What is recommended for photo printing, Inkjet or Laser, for better Quality

This printer will only be used for photos

If you want to be able to use different media as well as high quality results then inkjet is the way to go. Most of the paper manufacturers have ICC profiles for their papers for both the lower end and high end printers. The epson R1900 is a decent printer, with profiles available from the likes of Mohab, Hahnemuhle, Canson and may more. Never seen a profile available for a color laser jet.

I have three Epsons, 7880 for large exhibition work, 3800 mostly for portraits and the 1900 dedicated to black & white (using QTR as the RIP).

That brings up another benefit, using a B&W RIP like QTR will give neutral B&W prints, and the author has drivers and profiles for most Epson and some HP inkets. No support for lasers.

Hope this helps

MK

Jan 18 11 09:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kristina Vassilieva
Posts: 1,901
London, England, United Kingdom


Inkjet for photo printing all the way.. I have a great HP Photosmart wireless photo printer, excellent value, bluetooth compatible too.
Jan 18 11 10:00 am  Link  Quote 
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