Very large format photo printer (24" or larger), or service bureau?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
RamD New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Total control and instant feedback

Totally agree with DotCom Editor.  While I wouldn't recommend that a non-professional with low volume purchase a printer they can't afford, the fact is that IMHO if you are willing to devote the financial resources and time to learn how to print high-quality images, you will never duplicate the control you would have if you use any of the standard printing services.  Some of them will do a nice job,  but you will not have the control you have by printing a smaller version of your photograph, making tweaks, and then printing a smallish copy again until you nail it.

For those old enough, it's like the darkroom days.  If you were serious you had to devote a room, plumbing, a good enlarger, and excellent print paper.  You rarely got a perfect print the first time even if it was quite acceptable.  Frankly, I think the space needed today is less than in the "old days" of darkroom printing, but the cost is likely greater given the ancillary equipment (computer, color management software, good paper, etc.) you have to invest in.

As far as the cost of inks, the larger printers do usually have different sizes.  So if you are a lower volume user you aren't typically going to get the largest cartridges.  The Canon ink tanks come in 160 mL (about $97), 330mL (about $175) or 700 mL (about $295).  As another poster said, you tend to replace one or two at a time.



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