PSSSSSSTTTTTT....over here....cheap printing advice.

Started Jun 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
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RomanJohnston
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PSSSSSSTTTTTT....over here....cheap printing advice.
Jun 10, 2011

I see a lot of threads out there looking to find what printer to use.

If you are not going pro and/or if your never gonna print larger than 12" x 18" and your in the US.

I recommend Costco.

Yeah...you heard me right.....COSTCO.

Here is what you need to do.

1. Buy yourself some kind of screen calibration tool. A Colorvision Spyder, or similar will do. They can be had for + - $100.00. This is very important, do not try to hand calibrate...you will just end up pulling your hair out.

2. Learn about soft proofing. It can change from software to software, but the basics are that if you download a profile made from the paper/printer in question, if your software has a "soft proofing" tool, you should be able to edit with the screen showing what the end print should look like and also some software has a feature where that you can turn on that it will show you portions of the picture that are "Out of Gamut". This is colors that the printer cannot reproduce properly and will look funky as the printer dosn't know what to do with them. The value of that is you can then continue to edit those out of gamut colors till they are within the range the printer can reproduce.

3.Profiles....all the costcos do some fairly strict maintenance and profile creations on a regular basis. These are free to download and once you have learned how to soft proof, the instructions on how to add these profiles to the avilable pool on your PC. With windows machines, it is as simple as right clicking and choosing install.

Below is the link to the download site. On the right you will see a state by state listing. Just go to your state, then your Costco location and download the profiles.

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/

Costco prints on Fuji Crystal Archive paper and use Noritsu printer. This combination is a recipe for a rather high quality output and is archival quality.

You don't have to contend with ink prices, dried up ink if you don't use your printer a lot, botched prints. And they have one hour service and the prices are incredible.

Some stores are even dabbling a bit using the larger Epson printers for larger prints in house. If they are, the Epson profiles are available as well.

If you have a Costco near you...it would benifit you to give them a try using ALL the tools above.

Just a tip from your good ol uncle Roman....

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