View Full Version : Printing for a show
Looks like I'm getting my first show and have to figure out a way to print. There is going to be a mix of color and black and white, though predominantly black and white. In the past I've printed on an Epson 1280 using black only with MIS inks and was pretty happy. But the printer is old and it seems like it's time to upgrade as I can't get rid of the fine lines on the paper anymore and am sick of the constant clogs etc.
Was thinking about one of two ways of going.
1) Scrap the printer and try some printing services, starting with Mpix till I find one I like for both color and black and white.
2) Get a new printer, leaning toward a refurb Epson 3800 since it goes to 17" wide and I'd like to go up to 16 x 20 and keep it under $1000.
I struggled for ages B+W on an Epson 2200 with MIS UT7 inkset. It was one big head ache. I wasted so much paper and ink, but even more important I wasted a lot of time. Now have an Epson 3800 and it is a breeze. Black and White is very nice and not restricted to matte paper as with my old setup. If you can even slightly afford it, do yourself a favour and buy an Epson 3800.
Be advised: It costs approximately $6 worth of ink to make a round trip with the black ink swap. You may want to standardize on one paper surface.
I'm very impressed with the HP Z3100 (now replaced by the Z3200) for both monchrome and colour. Apparently the B9180 is also good. For 17 inch printers the Canon IPF5100 is also a good act - not sure how it compares to the epson in image quality (probably indistiguishable) but it doesn't clog, takes rolls and sheets (at the same time) and doesn't cost anyting on the matte-glossy switch. Downside on mine (5000) was that I had a head that started to give error messages and they are very expensive so I replaced with the 24 inch HP. The downside is that I find sheets harder now as they need to be single fed.
I do some limited printing for people in the UK (limited by time as are all my paid gigs...).
A print is only as good as its weakest link. I like 16 x 20 exhibit size, with large 4" borders. If refurb, remember to get a warranty of some sort. Good luck.
Anyone like online places like MPix for exhibition prints?
Just wondering if I should but out the whole printer ownership issue all together. The loss of control bothers me but not the futzing with printers.
Mpix black and white is pretty crummy, in my opinion. I like their color prints, though. enough so that I switched my Epson 1400 to MIS inks.
I should say that, after a few days of grappling with the MIS inkset and running through a bunch of ink, I am now making STUNNING prints that use VERY little ink with the help of Quadtone RIP. The difference between printing with QTR and out of Lightroom is phenomenal. Deep blacks without excess ink, black-only option, super fine detail.
I'm still new at it, but it seems to me that, for the time being, getting a good workflow going at home with B&W, and sending out for color, is the way to go.
Also, I'm curious how you'll hang a half-color show...seems like it might be an interesting challenge.
I'm curious how I'll hang it too.
Not really sure about mounting etc. Hoping to get some direction from my friend who runs the gallery and is also a graphic designer and visual artist.
Guess maybe I'll get some test prints made from MPix before shelling out for a printer.
Any other thougts?
You just gotta start trying stuff...
Any other thougts?
Where in the world are you?
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