A small step for mankind,
But a big one for me.
I bit the bullet. After weeks of research and stacks of reviews, I got my first serious printer. I chose the Epson SC-P600, and I am really happy with it. Based on remarks made by Ctein at the Online Photographer, I allow the printer to manage inks for the gray scale prints I make. I am stunned at how this printer manages to faithfully reproduce what I see on my screen from the get go - using an uncalibrated 2011 iMac.
This will probably do some good to my editing. Throwing around pictures on the interwebs being free, I tended to get sloppy editing my blog. Interesting is good enough. For a photograph to be worth printing, it has to be better than that. Inks and paper are, you know, don't mention it, and the printer really isn't cheap either.
I'm trying out the Ilford baryta paper, fibre silk. Wonderful paper. From viewing distance, the prints look like wet prints. Up close, it is clear the inks sit on the paper, not like silver suspended in gelatine. On the other hand, the grain from high iso shots does a pretty good job of simulating film grain. The brilliance and the grain of the surface are just right. The best thing is the smell. Just like baryta prints from my long gone darkroom days. I used to think I didn't rinse them enough, that the smell was due to fixative residue. Rediscovering this lovely, slightly sour aroma made a happy wave of nostalgia swell over me. The smell confirms that I have made the right decision.
Prints are the future!