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Best printer for 8x10" and smaller only?

Discussion in 'Printing' started by Amin Sabet, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Rather than go a bit off topic in the thread about 11x17" printing, I'm hoping to find out specifically what people would recommend for a printer that makes fantastic 8x10" prints.

    I'm happy to use a service when I want to go bigger than 8x10", so I'm hoping to save some expense by limiting myself to printers which don't need to go bigger than 8x10". I'd like it to have great results for both color and B&W.
  2. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I think you're looking at a null set.

    There are fairly inexpensive printers that can do decent color prints, at least if your standards aren't too strict. But B&W printing is specialized enough that I don't think you'll find really good B&W capability in any inexpensive printers.

    Here's why: Low and moderately priced printers generally have one black ink cartridge, and use a mix of the color inks to create different shades of gray. The problem is that your print will really only look neutral in one kind of light. Move from tungsten to flourescent to LED to daylight and your print will take on different color casts, and different parts of the print may take on different casts. "Toning" the prints (Sepia, for example) can help minimize this effect, but you probably don't want that effect on all images.

    More expensive printers generally have multiple black and gray inks. My Epson 3800, for example, has gloss black, matte black, and "light black" (gray). I think Canon's Pro-1 printer has even more shades of gray.
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  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Gotcha. Makes sense!
  4. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Apr 11, 2009
    Tempe, AZ
    While I think it's out of production, the Epson R800 has photo and matte black inks (8 in all) and does an excellent job with both black and white and color. You may be able to find a good used one at a reasonable price.

    Other than that, I think the manufacturer have pretty much given up on producing high quality 8x11 printers. The Canon Pixma you mention is a great price (but physically bigger).
  5. m43shooter

    m43shooter Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 15, 2012
    I would agree. Epson to me is by far one of the best brands in the market when it comes to printing photos, color or b/w. Last I was looking for a cheap extra 8x11 printer especially to printer smaller prints like 4x6 and 6x8. The one that got so many positive reviews got my attention. So I ordered a Epson P50 at a very cheap price. It is on the marked for more than 2 years, and a bunch of semi professionals are using this inexpensive 6 cartridge printer even for expositions up to 8x11 photos. I didn't know what to expect but I'm pleased with the results so far using premium glossy Epson paper.

    Prints are fantastic, sharp, deep color tones and printer profiles for the paper come with the installation on a mac. I was delighted to see the printer worked out of the box connected to an Apple Airport Express. The P50 does not have any wifi or ethernet connections, just plain simple usb. But it does a fine job wireless on my network when connected on the airport express.

    Paid aprox. 140$ for it.
  6. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    My Canon MG6220 uses gray ink as well, only $200-, and it's wireless. The only other printer in that line that uses gray ink is the MG8220.

    To my knowledge, they are the only two non-large format printers that use gray inks. HP used to have a few models, but they're no longer available.
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