Epson vs. Adoramapix (or other service bureau)

Started Sep 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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sansbury
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Epson vs. Adoramapix (or other service bureau)
Sep 17, 2012

So, I am getting back into photography after an extended absence. Long enough that I don't really know what the state of the art is so I am looking for opinions.

I've just gotten back from a long trip and have lots of pictures I am starting to think about printing, and am debating between buying a good printer or using an online service bureau.

On the money-no-object end, I would buy an Epson Pro 3880 and a Colormunki Photo calibrator. My first 16x20 print would cost around $2000. One review site says $3ish per 13x19 print.

On the save-money end, I'd get a Colormunki Display (or similar) and use Adoramapix. First print would cost about $110 or so. Second would be $12 or so.

In between, I could get something like an R3000 with a display-only calibrator or a print-capable calibrator, which would be $600-$1000 to start.

Questions:

1. How much do I gain by doing print-level calibration vs. display-only? The cost increase is fairly large.

2. How would an R3000 or 3880 print compare to one from a good service bureau?

3. Would it make sense to get a print+display calibrator and use it with a service bureau?

I do more landscape than people, but some of everything. I'm not currently doing any studio-type stuff, but I did in the long-ago past and might get back into it at some point.

Per-print costs are a lower priority to me as I don't make dozens of copies to sell/give away. My main interest in DIY printing would be control and quality.

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