Printer for trial period.

Discussion in 'Printing' started by mediax, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. mediax

    mediax New to Mu-43

    4
    Feb 11, 2016
    I've never done any post-processing or printing previously, either digital or wet film. I've decided to give it a go to see whether it floats my boat. If nothing else, I'd like this trial to leave me with some prints that are decent enough to have on show in the house.

    I currently own a Canon Pixma MP-270. I do very little printing and it's perfectly adequate for my everyday needs. I'm not expecting this to produce fantastic results when it comes to photos, but I don't want to spend significant amounts of money on a new printer that I might only use for a few months, before deciding taking photos is more fun than processing them.

    I'd appreciate thoughts on whether this is suitable for my short-term needs, or whether there's a cheap (in the UK) alternative that's significantly better.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    There is nothing wrong with that printer and it can certainly give photo-quality prints. Just buy some half-decent paper and you are set. Canon Glossy or Semi-Gloss Photo paper is probably your safest bet and generally affordable.
     
  3. MaK543

    MaK543 Mu-43 Regular

    139
    May 1, 2012
    MD USA
    Your local or online professional printing service is probably the cheapest way to get significantly better and larger prints. I don't live in UK, so I'm not sure about the services there.

    Pixma MP270 is just fine for home use. Upgrading within the Pixma line won't offer much more in print quality. The Canon and Epson pro lines cost significantly more. Don't bother with HP for photo printing.. Paper quality also affects print quality. Use the best quality Canon paper and you should be set.
     
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I like my HP for photo printing (and I used to have a nice 6 color Canon before it.) It does a nice job and the best part is with the ink subscription program I can do 8x10 prints (or two 5x7) for about 40 cents at home.

    For larger stuff, I do send it out and usually have it affixed to board and textured so I can frame it. But for anything smaller than 8.5x11, I don't think it is worth sending it out.
     
  5. MaK543

    MaK543 Mu-43 Regular

    139
    May 1, 2012
    MD USA
    Can't beat 40 cents a page! :bravo-009:
     
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    HP's instant Ink program runs about 5-6 cents per page and 8.5x11 photo paper is pretty cheap in 50 packs. So it's a good way to print whatever you want and not worry about what it costs.
     
  7. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    684
    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    Most people try cheap paper, don't like the results and blame the printer. Most printers can do a very acceptable job when used with proper ink-jet photo paper.

    Since you have a Canon printer it makes sense to buy some Canon paper and make sure that you select the correct paper type in the driver when printing.

    Buying cheap or 'other brand paper' then not being able to match them in the driver can produce unexpected and often poor results (including colour shift) so can be wasting your money.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. mediax

    mediax New to Mu-43

    4
    Feb 11, 2016
    Thanks for your thoughts.

    It sounds like the MP270 will be perfectly adequate for my current needs. I've already invested in some some decent Canon paper, so we'll see how things go.
     
  9. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    684
    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    One more thing..... don't be too easily tempted by cheap third party inks & refills
    ;)
     
  10. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    I would modify this statement...
    .........without doing some checking. Some 3rd party inks are pretty good. Probably what Dave meant.
     
  11. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    Canon paper is very good IMO (w/Canon ink/printer). fwiw
     
  12. mediax

    mediax New to Mu-43

    4
    Feb 11, 2016
    Noted the comments about ink. Fortunately, I print little enough nowadays that it's not a major issue.

    At the moment, at least. If I do get into printing photos that could change....
     
  13. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    What about calibrating printer and software properly? I get different results from various software options with regard to what I see on monitor vs what prints look like. Is there a tried and true (and simple) method?
     
  14. MaK543

    MaK543 Mu-43 Regular

    139
    May 1, 2012
    MD USA
    Color management.
    Calibrate your monitor using hardware calibration tool. Once calibrated, save the color profile that the tool generates. Using the exact color profile for your printer, your image editing and viewing softwares, and your web browser. Then, you should be able to print what you see on monitor. Monitor calibration is recommended every 30 days.
    Keep in mind that most consumer level monitors can't be properly calibrated; low quality calibration tools can't get color perfectly right; many consumer level printers don't accept color profile; many online printing services don't let you use your own color profile...
    If using duo monitors, make sure the calibration tool you buy supports that.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  15. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Good news seems to be I don't need to worry about this (I have consumer-grade everything), bad news is that I'm going to have to keep trying to adjust photos on an individual basis to print how I want them.
     
  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Color management is a very frustrating rabbit hole to fall down. Prints are reflected light and monitors are transmitted light. Paper has different dynamic range than the monitor. Paper can be different shades of white and different reflectivity. The monitor has a controlled color temperature and output, but your prints do not. If you view your prints in your dark basement under a yellow tungsten light, they look dark and pale. If you stand by the window and let sunlight reflect off them, they look vibrant and bright. So for a truly managed environment, you even need to calibrate down to your paper and the lighting on your print viewing station

    The shortcut is to just get close enough and not sweat the small stuff beyond that. I think a basic color calibrated monitor and then using brand name ink and paper is the easiest way to get pretty close. Save the last 5% of perfection for those doing magazine layouts, etc.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Without question this is my goal. That last 5% is not even on the radar. What's confusing to me is that I print from three different programs now - LR, Picasa and ACDSee. The difference between what I see on monitor vs what prints is not the same between the various software. The solution is to use one, obviously, so I suppose I'll calibrate my monitor and see what happens. I do use Canon ink and paper with Canon Pixma printer.