Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Printers
Let's talk about choosing a printer. And this is, you know, like digital cameras, it's pretty hard to go wrong if you buy one of the top brands, you know, it's pretty much Canon and Epson these days. HP has made excellent printers, as well. They've kind of exited the high-end printer market, to some degree, but they still have a couple out there. In terms of the printers, you know, these aren't ones I'd necessarily suggest as the only printers you would buy, but these are some examples of printers you can buy, and the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO- is the one we have right here. Epson's got some new ones, I mean, my 3880 is a pretty old printer, so it's not the latest, greatest printer. The P800 and the P600 are great printers. I think the P600 is, well, we'll talk about pricing here in a second, but that's like five to 600 dollars, somewhere in that range, I might be a little off. The P800 I think is about 1200 bucks. I'm not sure how much this guy goes for, but, you know, the funny thing is...
; you may not realize it, but when you buy a printer, they're giving the printer for you for free. You're buying into ink. They're selling you ink is what, they're making all their money off the ink. Like, they're giving you this printer as a massive discount, because they know you're gonna have to buy more ink at some point. And then when you start buying the ink, like I said earlier, it can cost a fortune for the ink and paper, so these are great options, I would definitely recommend that you buy a decent high-end printer. Don't try and use your office printer to make prints, 'cause you're gonna be massively disappointed. There's definitely many others. If you wanna go for the really big printers, you know, the P9000, these are like grand pianos in your room, you know, I've got one sitting next to my desk that you saw, and they're giant, but you're gonna definitely need to be printing on these at least once a week, you know, for it to keep the ink going and make big prints every once in a while to, you know, make this justifiable. So, you probably already know if you need one of these. And they're great, I mean, you can print on almost any size of paper on those guys. So here you go, it's a little more than I though it was. $800 for that P600, and I think that can print 13 by 19 at least, it might go 17 by 22, I'm not sure. And obviously this P900 can go up to 44 inches wide. I think Epson and Canon even make printers that are, like, between here to the end, they're like 84 inches long, so, for the giant billboard printing, stuff like that, that most of us are never gonna do. So, the printers can be pricey. There you see my printer, so, these are the 9880 and the that's maybe two generations back, and the nice thing is you might even be able to find a used printer, but I'd be very careful. Make sure the thing actually works and the nozzles aren't clogged up. I bought my 9880 used; I got a stellar deal on it. That's how I could actually afford it. And I had a big print project where I was making 40 prints for a doctor's office. So, I did all the printing myself to make sure it was up to what I wanted these giant prints to look like, and the 3880, so, for my smaller printer is what I use probably 70% of the time to make medium size prints and then when I'm going big, I'll use the bigger printer. All of these are attached, by the way, by USB cables. I don't do wireless printing in the office because it's such a huge amount of data going to that printer; it's just faster to have it cabled in and not be wireless. Plus, my old printers don't have wireless options like this one does, so. As I said earlier, it's the gateway to buying ink. It's like the gateway drug here. Just so you can get an idea, wrap your head around the costs of ink. So, for the P600 over there, it's like 32 bucks a cartridge, but those are really small cartridges, so you're gonna have to replace them more often. So, even though that sounds cheaper than the $55 a cartridge, 29 milliliters versus 80 milliliters. It's less than half the size of the bigger printer cartridge, and if you bought the P800, which is, I think it's like $1200 for that printer. So it's $500 more than the smaller printer. If you're gonna print a lot over the lifetime of that printer, it's gonna be a cheaper option overall because of the ink costs, because you're gonna have to replace those cartridges less often. So. So, key thing here. Do not buy third party inks for your printer, unless you are a massively advanced printer and know what you are doing, because if you buy somebody else's ink and put it in your printer, all of these ICC profiles that allow you to get good colors out of your printer just went up in smoke, and you're gonna have a very difficult time getting accurate prints. Extremely difficult time, let's just put it that way. It may be tempting when you're at Office Depot, or whatever office supply store you're at, and you see oh, we can refill your ink cartridges right over here. It's like, mmm, no, don't do that. 'Cause it's not gonna go well.