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Recommended printing resources/guides?

Discussion in 'Printing' started by phrenic, May 4, 2012.

  1. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Hi folks,

    Starting to take printing a little more seriously now that I have a printer at home, an epson 2200. An old printer, but has some nice features and seems to print decently.

    I've played a little bit with ICC profiles, but seems like therer are a lot of variables to play with, a calibrated monitor/official vs third party ink, various non-epson papers etc. I've been mostly happy with my results, but I'm not sure if they are better than the commercial photo printers I've used like Costco.

    I don't have any formal training in this, though I've picked up a little bit by reading up on dpreview threads mentioning this printer, but I could use some general guides about things like why ppi/dpi matters and how best to use it.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Wandering Aengus

    Wandering Aengus Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    I stay with Epson inks on my printer. Have heard and read about problems using third party inks. Don't have any actual experience w/ 3rd party myself. If you are using ICC profiles for Epson paper, or for other manufacturer's papers, they were made with Epson ink. That is enough reason for me.

    What papers have you tried? I just looked on the Canson Infinity web site and they have ICC profiles for your printer for their Baryta Photographique and Platine Fiber Rag. These are two of my favorite papers. I like Moab Entrada Rag Natural for a matte paper. Might check if Moab has profiles for your printer.

    When using ICC profiles, it is important that you use the correct printer settings for paper type as well as using the correct black ink for the paper you are using. You may know this.

    Epson printers have a native resolution of 360ppi, or 720ppi if you have a "fine" setting. I am not familiar with your printer model to know if it has a "fine" setting. If your file has a resolution of less than 360ppi, it will need to be uprezzed to the native resolution of the printer. You can do this yourself in LR or PS. If you don't do it yourself, the printer will do it. LR or PS will do a better job, so it is better to do it there than let the printer do it. I use LR. If your native resolution is more than 360ppi, I would uprezz it to 720ppi and print it on the "fine" setting. On both of these settings, I leave hi speed off. Again, not knowing your printer, I don't know if you have a hi speed setting.

    How are you sharpening for print output? Again, LR has a very nice output sharpening in the print module. I don't know if you are using Lightroom, but the print module alone in LR3 or LR4 is worth the price to me. I just upgraded to LR4 and have only printed a few things, so I am more familiar with LR3 though LR4 looks like it will be great.

    You may know all of this stuff. Is so, ignore me. I like to talk about printing. I am new to this forum and hope the print forum becomes more active. Sounds like you have a nice new toy.

    I just got an E-M5. I just made my first prints a few days ago of some files that were shot with the Oly 45mm lens at 3200 ISO at around 1/50 second, handheld. I processed them in LR4 using some noise reduction. I printed them at 12 x 16 on all 3 of the papers mentioned above, and I was extremely pleased with how they came out. I am going to print them at 15 x 20 next. If I can get good print quality at 15 x 20 with this camera, I will be very happy. I think it is completely doable.

    Also, Luminous Landscape has a great tutorial for sell on their website. It is called camera to print or something similar to that. Might be worth a look.
  3. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 22, 2010
    The good thing about learning is that you can use it as an excuse to print a lot :biggrin:
    I think there are a lot of variables involved, and for me, its the papers. My suggestion is that you pick a few papers for matte and gloss and try to make good prints on them. Its like one camera one lens exercise. If you have master it on one paper then you can try printing on other papers.

    Don't focus too much on the result at first.. like everything else.. its the journey that is fun.

    Enjoy :thumbup:
    • Like Like x 1
  4. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback!

    The printer came with epson ink, but I also have some third party branded cartridges to try later. Cheap enough that I don't mind taking a chance with them for casual prints. Long term I am hoping to go with refillable carts (Compatible Refillable Cartridges for Epson Stylus Photo 2100 2200 T0341 T0347 | eBay) and go with a high quality bulk ink like ConeColor inks for EPSON Ultrachrome printers which I've heard good things about as an alternative.

    As for paper, I picked up some Harman lustre (50% off at the local store) and I've played around abit with glossy paper but with mediocre results. The 2200 is known as subpar for glossy. I splurged for some Harman baryta matte, the top end stuff which is supposed to be great for b&w prints, but my results were murky, lacking detail and vaguely green. No idea why since I used their ICC profiles and then tried a test print with basic. For some reason doesn't seem to play nice with the pigment printer. The local store has Moab too..any idea how they're regarded compared to other papers? Price seems middle of the road.

    Thanks for the tips about resolution. I had LR3 and need to move to 4, but should be very useful for printing.
  5. Wandering Aengus

    Wandering Aengus Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    I'm not familiar with the Harman Baryta Matte. What is the exact name of it? Is it Inkjet Matt FB Mp?

    That almost sounds like you had a double color management going. Did you have ICM off in the printer driver and use ICC profile in LR? Did you have the matte black ink selected in Maintenance / Printer Options?

    I think the Moab Entrada is a great paper. I just made some really nice prints on it. I do tend to use lustre type papers more, though.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    It's this guy: HARMAN PHOTO

    I thought maybe it's not for pigment inks, seeing as the other types of paper prints work decently, but looks like it's compatible. Maybe I am double color managing, I'll have to try again when I pick up Lightroom 4.

    So on the topic of printing, how important is the gsm of the paper? Is it less important for framed prints?
  7. Wandering Aengus

    Wandering Aengus Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    Sounds funny, but I have printed on the wrong side of the paper before. It looks like crap. Might check that out. Check the double color management deal as well.

    I think the paper weight is a feel thing. It might reduce curl on some papers as well.
  8. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Turns out I'm stupid. :rofl: I indeed used the wrong side of the paper. Tried printing on the "back" and had way better results. Would it kill them to add a tiny grey dot or something on the back of the paper when the finish is nearly the same on both sides. GRRR.

    So this baryta is nice for b&w prints, but perhaps not as magical as the marketing makes it out to me.I have to say it captures details well, but I'm not sure if I want to pay the big premium for it.
  9. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    I still have my Epson 2200- and still love it :2thumbs:, I got it when the first came out when I was in gradschool. The firewire port broke some time ago- so it's chugging along on it's USB port. Recently I've thought about replacing it- mostly because it's an ink hog.

    I use it as a specialty art printer (for art, usually Premier Imaging water color paper, but coat my own at time with Golden Digital Ground and printmaking papers ), but for more general printing (meaning "not bigger than 8x10")- it was always cheaper to use a commercial printer. I recommend Adorama's printing, not the cheapest, but the best quality I've used- with quick turn around.
  10. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    You ever look into CIS systems or refilling with 3rd party ink? I have to say the official epson cartridges are disgustingly expensive..especially when they all have to charge up/waste ink when you change any one of the 7 cartridges.. Not interested in dropping 110$+ to replace these set of 7 when they go. I got some from G&G ink at around the 3rd of the cost. I don't have high hopes, but could be worth it for not so serious prints. I'm liking the thought of printing more in general. Nice to have a hard copy, and a physical backup in case of some catastrophic event that would ruin all my electronics.
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