Inkjet vs chemical prints

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
mike earussi Veteran Member • Posts: 8,235
Re: Costco is a semi-exception.

NAwlins Contrarian wrote:

We really need to differentiate typical lab inkjet prints versus high-end lab inkjet prints. The large majority of typical commercial lab inkjet prints, often called 'dry lab' prints, use dye inks similar to home photo printer dye inks, and papers similar to both home inkjet glossy and luster, and typical wet-lab (RA-4 process) color papers. I have seen no evidence that they offer substantial advantages over wet-lab / RA-4 process color prints.

The prints that can have substantial advantages in longevity and color range are pigment-ink inkjet prints on high-end 'art' papers. But then they tend to cost a lot more. And to get the color range, you probably have to use and upload them in a color space wider than sRGB.

My local Costco uses a Epson 7880 and OEM inks and prints on Fuji luster paper with excellent quality, and only charges $9 for a 20x30.

Costco is an exception, with some important limitations:

* The high-quality prints are only for large sizes, IIRC 16x20 inches and larger. Typically those sizes are printed on an Epson 7880 or 7890. But every Costco of which I'm aware uses a regular minilab for prints up to at least 8x10 or so. (Can't recall which printer is used for 11x14.) Some Costcos use wet (RA-4) minilabs for the smaller prints, some use inkjet (dye ink) minilabs. My local Costco had a Fuji DL650, which is a dye-ink inkjet that prints either 720x720 dpi or 1440x1440 dpi, presumably for 360 ppi, with six colors of ink ( IMOPO this machine's print quality is less than that of the little Epson R280 I have at home, and noticeably less than the Canon Pro-100 we have at work. On the other hand, at least you could get and use ICC profiles specific to the printer.

* Fewer and fewer local Costco have in-store photo labs. Mine used to offer Epson 7890 prints, and the Fuji DL650 prints. But that ended about two years ago. It appears that fewer and fewer Costcos have in-store photo printing.

If your local Costco still has a photo lab, at least for larger prints, it's a great option.

I don't think there's any place that offers high quality inkjet paints for smaller print sizes. For that you have to print it yourself.

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