Questions for Bob Colette on Kodak 6850
I'm considering launching an on-demand event photography business that would offer event photos with instant prints. I've narrowed down my search for the printer to the Kodak Photo Printer 6850, but before I make any further decisions, I could use some answers to my questions.
First off, in the event photography market, which is the most popular print size...4x6, 5x7, or 6x8?
Second, is the 6850's quality just as good or better than that of the 6800? I personally think the 6800's quality (from my experience using Kodak Picture Maker kiosks) is top-notch...comparable with silver-halide. Other dye-sub and thermo-autochrome printers from my experience just aren't as good quality-wise.
Third, I could use some dark-storage and light-storage (typical home display conditions) estimates (in years) on how long the prints from the 6850 will last, so I can assure my customers that they're getting an archival or near-archival print.
Fourth, are there any plans for a Mac OS X driver for the 6850 either now or in the near future? An OS X driver would be nice, but not necessary, as I use both the Windows XP and Mac OS X platforms and know both well.
And finally, can you give me the status of the extra Windsor (CO) thermal media production lines as well as a timeframe for the new Rochester (NY) thermal media plant opening soon? One thing I want to be sure of is a consistently available source of media, as the local Meijer stores can't get the Japanese-made media for their Pixel Magic kiosks with Altech dye-subs half the time.
Hope to hear back from you soon!
Equipment: Canon EOS Digital Rebel, EF-S 18-55, 70-300 DO IS, 28-135 IS, and 550EX
Printers: Epson 2200, HP 8250
I think the Kodak 6850 printer would make an excellent event printer. To be honest, I don't know what the most popular event print sizes are. You would be better off asking that of other event photographers (I'm an engineer).
The 6850 print quality is virtually identical to that of the 6800. We spent a lot of time trying to ensure that the 6850 would make prints that were indistinguishable from the 6800, particularly since some of the 6800's in the PictureMaker kiosks are expected to be replaced with 6850s. Since there is a possibility of a print order being split between a 6800 & 6850, they need to look alike.
I wish I had hard numbers on light and dark keeping, unfortunately I don't. All I know is that our testing shows that the image permanance is very similar to our current, conventional photographic paper. I have thermal prints that I made of my family years ago that are on hanging on walls and they don't exhibit any noticeable fade or color shifts. The technology is more advanced today then it was 5 or 6 years ago when these prints were made. While I can't give you a hard number, I honestly feel that it's not really an issue.
To my knowledge, Kodak has no plans to develp a Mac driver for the printer. Tri-Prism has software (TEPS-X) that can be used for event photography, and which supports the Kodak 6800/6850. It is somewhat pricey though.
The second coating machine in Windsor, CO is up and running. I believe that the third machine (in Rochester) is scheduled for sometime next year and (as far as I know) is still on schedule. I don't think you'll have any problems obtaining media for the printer. Between the second coating machine, increased efficiencies, and the third machine coming online next year, there shouldn't be any shortage of media this year (or in the future).
A few years later, and with a dramatic shift in Kodak's industry position.
Any change/update on this advice?
I'm not exactly sure what you're asking. I retired from Kodak in 2006, so I'm no longer privy to any company information. The 6800/6850 printers are still available, both new & refurbished, as is media. Obviously, Kodak (the company) isn't doing very well, but that doesn't mean that the products that they developed are necessarily bad. Of course, in the 7 years since my last reply to this thread, inkjet printer technology has advanced. For someone contemplating starting to do event photography today, it would probably make more sense to consider inkjet printers. However, for someone who already owns a Kodak 6800/6850 printer, I see no compelling reason to abandon it.
I need some help with my Kodak 6850 Printer. I bought it refurbed in Dec 2012. It has taken me 4 months to use the first roll. I keep shooting very small events. I put in my 2nd print kit today and my machine keeps giving me 1 bad picture and stops printing. The picture shows very green fleshtones with green being the predominant color cast. Also, the picture is offset with about 1 inch of the right hand side of the picture being printed on the left side of the page and then a 1/8 inch white stripe between it and the left hand edge of picture. I'd have thought faulty film, but the offset picture must mean something else. Recalibrating had no effect. Do you have any thoughts on this?
I agree, it sounds like something is definitely wrong. I no longer work at Kodak (retired 7 years ago), so I don't have access to the people there, nor do I have a printer myself. The only thing I can suggest is to remove the media (ribbon & paper) and try reloading. Make sure the ribbon rolls are fully seated. Also, if you still have the old media, check to see if the ribbon part number (I think it's on the barcode label) is the same as the new ribbon you're using.