POLL: Print Photos at Home vs Store

Discussion in 'Printing' started by erb3742, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. erb3742

    erb3742 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 3, 2012
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    I am in the need of a new printer at home and am debating whether it is worth the investment for the convenience of printing photos at home. Ideally a monochrome laser printer would suit my everyday needs and is much more economical than an inkjet. Though I would like to start to print some of my work and am curious how many people actually print at home vs an online service or local store.
  2. Henk

    Henk Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 18, 2010
    the Netherlands
    I have a HP B9180 printer but it started to show stripes / banding the last time I used it. I'm thinking of giving a pro lab near my work a try and see what the quality of their B/W prints is. Else I will be looking for an Epson Stylus R3000.

    Before digital I used to develop and print my B/W films in my own darkroom, I like to have control over the whole process.
  3. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    I do both. I have a 13x19 printer in my home office for printing 13x19 inch (and smaller) prints. Anything larger I have done via an online print lab.
  4. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    Actually I will do both since my home printer is maxed out at 13x19. Anything larger will have to go out. I am going through my photos to see if any are worthy of 16x20. So far none yet.

    I picked up the Canon Pro 9000 Mk II when it was on sale last year at a deep discount.
  5. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Real Name:
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    Can't recommend the Canon Pro 9000 mkII enough. Great for occasional printer like yourself. If I'm printing a bunch of 5x7 or 4x6 of a single shot, I'll generally use a service. But for single prints for clip frames, etc, it's very inexpensive to use. I've never had problems with cheaper non-oem ink, either. Mine is three years old. I have a Canon IPF5000 and a friend's 8300 to borrow when needed for larger stuff. Again, Canon's are great for occasional printing as they don't clog easily and give great color.
  6. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    I regret buying a photo color printer. I should of just got a b/w laser printer for regular use. After signing up with shutterfly, they keep sending me either free 4x6 prints or large discount on there huge posters. Usually I only just pay for shipping and is very cheap.

    So far i have printed like 200 4x6 prints for about 7 bucks, and around 4 large posters 20x30 at about $4-6 each.

    Once a year I would create a photobook.
  7. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    I don't do enough printing to justify a printer, especially since I occasionally print really large (24 inches or more). Add the cost of inks and it's just not worth it for me.

    I've been very pleased with Adoramapix.
  8. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    I have an older canon Pixma which does just fine for 8x10. I can tweak the color on the JPEG to get it how I want the colors out of the print.

    For larger prints, I was using the local Ritz, but they shut down.
  9. AceAceBaby

    AceAceBaby Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 21, 2013
    I've had basically two problems I've had with my Canons (MP600, then MG8120), both bought at different times in different continents.

    Firstly, they will reject your ink long before you feel they should, it's very much a case of use it or lose it, as even barely used cartridges will be deemed stale and require more purchase.

    Secondly, they require a special grey ink cartridge that doesn't come in any bundles, and gets used even if you're printing greyscale (which you would think only the big black cartridge would be used) so it runs out fast.

    I understand that these are very much at the consumer level so far as MFD/printers go, but both got good reviews/recommendations for photo work. If you're prepared to print often, and buy ink often, then maybe so. Now I just use the MG8120 for scanning and occasional B&W printing. As a side note, the MP600 I left for my dad threw a terminal error with the scanner after he'd had it two months, and I'd rarely used it at all.

    Maybe the higher level Canons are better, or maybe it depends on how much you print and how often.
  10. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    Real Name:
    Another happy Canon 9000 mk II user here. It's the first printer that I've owned that I actually like to use for printing photos. Before getting it, I always went online / in store.

    That said, if you really need to print regular documents, don't waste a printer like the 9000 mk II on it. A B&W laser is much better for regular documents. I have both, and use them as appropriate (as well as a color laser that my wife uses for marketing material for her business, and an older epson multifunction that only sees use as a scanner/copier at the moment. Yes, I have too many printers.)
  11. Dan Ka

    Dan Ka Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2011
    Northeastern Ohio
    Always printed at home, darkroom in film days, Epson R1900 (13x19) and HP 130 (24" wide x 50 feet). Never printed over 24 x 36 and that was only once.
  12. Talanis

    Talanis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2012
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    Real Name:
    Eric Cote
    I do both. I love printing at home but let's face it, the cost is way more than printing in stores.
  13. Conrad

    Conrad Mu-43 Veteran

    I use an Epson 3880 at home. This is a 17" wide / A2 printer. Relatively cheap on ink, relative small size. I print around 1 big print a week.

    For me the advantage of printing at home is not the cost (that will be equal in the long run), but that I have everything under control, can print with a wider gamut than sRGB, can play around with different papers (try Ilford gold fiber silk, amazing surface, excellent manufacturer supplied color profile), that I can print directly from Photoshop and not via a jpg export, and that I have instant gratification when I press "print".
  14. erb3742

    erb3742 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 3, 2012
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Appreciate all the feedback thus far. Interesting to see a lot of Epson use, my limited experience with them was that the print heads clog if they are not regularly used which causes you to have to waste significant ink doing a self clean. Though it sounds like dedicated print heads vs those that are part of the cartridge (HP) offer better quality. Any thoughts on this front?