cheap printers...worth it?
Old 12-26-2014   #1
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cheap printers...worth it?

Epson Expression Premium XP-820 Small-in-One All-in-One Printer ...

this printer gets good reviews, only prints up to 8x10 but is dirt cheap on sale...
thoughts?
experiences with it?
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Old 12-26-2014   #2
gb hill
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Photony Texas sent me a ink jet print I commented on in the gallery. When I got it I was stunned on the quality. I asked him what printer he used & said he couldn't remember at the time but it was a cheap model Epson. Maybe Tony will read this & chime in.
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Old 12-26-2014   #3
gb hill
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This is the photo Tony sent me but the white balance of my camera was off. I was, & still am trying to learn the camera on my iphone.
http://instagram.com/p/vwVEXUP9-S/?modal=true
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Old 12-26-2014   #4
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Usually the printers are indeed dirt cheap and they charge you an arm and a leg on ink. Unless you do print on a regular basis your printer will get clogged up and develop all kinds of maintenance issues. Finding a good printing service saves you a lot of hassle and headache.
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Old 12-26-2014   #5
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As noted, the money is in the ink. Epson has perfected the science of making third party inks un-usable in their printers so you are stuck buying brand name ink, which might not be a bad thing. Just about any reputable brand printer will make fine photos.
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Old 12-26-2014   #6
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If the printer is at your local store, c if u can get them to print something for u before u buy. Bring an sd card w/ u. A lot of these all in ones have sd card capability.

In general, cheap printer these days can produce an acceptable print. Only u can decide how good it really is.

The other way to look at it... Even if it is just acceptable.. All in ones do a good job as copiers, faxes, and scanners.. U can always send something u really like for big print (bigger than 8x10) to a pro shop or anyplace else for that matter. This is what I am currently doing..

I am getting tired of clogged heads. My last expensive printer was an Epson 2200 if I remember right. Eventually the head got clogged up so bad, I could not clear it any longer. I have been told that new inkjet head tech is better and clogging is not an issue any longer.

8x10 from my all in one is acceptable. I just don't c the need to go above that very much these days. Is it as good as my 2200 was, no... When I want that level of quality, I usually also want bigger and I use the local pro shop.

I am actually considering a Fuji insta printer.

Good luck
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Old 12-26-2014   #7
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I would rather recommend 6 color Claria Epson printers , I'm happy with Epson p50 which is about 5 years old , 4 color Epson printer will not reproduce color well .
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Old 12-26-2014   #8
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What the mfgr. is doing is to get the printer bought, then make high margins on replacement inks.

F.Y.I.

I have a Canon ink jet printer that I believe I bought when Windows 3.1 came out. It got put in my garage for a year or so, I was thinking it was old and wouldn't be much use anymore. I needed a printer to print spreadsheets and other business stuff, even certificates. Brought in the old Canon printer and it still works! It only has the three primary colors plus black. The Canon software includes a "deep" cleaning process.

I still can buy Canon inks at Office Depot!

So I would recommend Canon.
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Old 12-26-2014   #9
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for printing photos i stopped using inkjets... my problem was that I used them too infrequently and at the moment i did want to use them i would have all kinds of problems with dried out ink... took me forever to try and get a decent result from the thing if even possible without buying a new set of cartridges, which then were awfully expensive again...

So my strategy is as follows...
For quick small prints to hand out to the family or put into the albums of the kids I use a Canon Selphy printer.
If I have a huge batch of pics to be printed I go to my last remaining local photo store... he offers me a good price when I bring in a big load of pics to be printed and the results are definitely better than what i get from the Canon Selphy.
For anything bigger than what the Selphy can print I always go to my local photo store.
For anything else I want to print (like a boarding pass or a text document) I bought a small laserjet printer... no problems with dried out cartridges...
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Old 12-26-2014   #10
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There is nothing cheap about owning a cheap printer.
Paper, Ink, Banding, Clogs.... expensive!

Before you buy a printer, I recomend you try ordering directly from Apple . You can edit with whatever you like, import into iPhoto or Aperture and order directly through the iPhoto/Aperture console (under the File menu tab).
I do this for color prints and have done a few B+W's as well (although I prefer my local lab for nicer quality B+W's over 8x10 in size).

20x30 is $18,
16x20 $13,
8x10's are under $2.
5x7's are .49 ea
4x6's are .12 ea
The arrive 2 days after ordering. The colors match your apple monitor perfectly ( I keep mine in adobe98 ).
Very nice quality Fuji paper. It's not high end but excellent for the price and convenience.

It's been an excellent service for me. I've completely retired my photo printer and have saved a bundle plus space required.
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Old 12-26-2014   #11
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Epson make good printers but they really drive me nuts. The heads don't clog like they used to, but now they only ever use up 75% of the cartridge so the heads don't dry out.

Unless you're doing heavy printing the best thing is to send your work to a local professional print lab. It's not expensive and the results are consistent.
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Old 12-26-2014   #12
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The only measure of cheap I know is on a per-print costing.. and print quality and the number of prints you make also come into that equation. For bulk prints for editing purposes, a print service is cheapest (8c-10c a print here); otherwise I've found that a large, expensive-to-purchase printer (Epson 3880) has lowest running costs as well as highest quality - but you need to print quite a lot to justify the upfront cost.

I still have an old Canon i860 4-ink A4 printer that is bulletproof and produces nice results, but it eats expensive ink cartridges for breakfast.
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Old 12-26-2014   #13
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i'm thinking a few small prints per week...anything larger i would continue to use the local pro lab.

does anyone have experience with this particular printer?
on sale now locally at 99 bucks down from 199!
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Old 12-26-2014   #14
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While I don't have experience with this particular printer, I can say that the Claria ink used by it is the best I've ever used. I bought a used R260 for a few dollars many years ago and was very pleased with the prints, which I make to sell. Added a refurbished Photo 1400 which also uses Claria ink. I often let months go by between printing sessions, and never had a clogged head on either printer. Both of my printers use 6 ink cartridges, the one you're looking at takes 5, I think.
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Old 12-26-2014   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
There is nothing cheap about owning a cheap printer.
Paper, Ink, Banding, Clogs.... expensive!

Before you buy a printer, I recomend you try ordering directly from Apple . You can edit with whatever you like, import into iPhoto or Aperture and order directly through the iPhoto/Aperture console (under the File menu tab).
I do this for color prints and have done a few B+W's as well (although I prefer my local lab for nicer quality B+W's over 8x10 in size).

20x30 is $18,
16x20 $13,
8x10's are under $2.
5x7's are .49 ea
4x6's are .12 ea
The arrive 2 days after ordering. The colors match your apple monitor perfectly ( I keep mine in adobe98 ).
Very nice quality Fuji paper. It's not high end but excellent for the price and convenience.

It's been an excellent service for me. I've completely retired my photo printer and have saved a bundle plus space required.
Andy--thanks for this. I didn't know about this service. Seems like a good way to streamline...
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Old 12-26-2014   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
i'm thinking a few small prints per week...anything larger i would continue to use the local pro lab.

does anyone have experience with this particular printer?
on sale now locally at 99 bucks down from 199!
Joe, usually the set of cartidges the printer comes with are only half full.
You will need to buy a full set of replacement ink right away. How much is that ? Let me guess ... $79.99?
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Old 12-26-2014   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icebear View Post
Joe, usually the set of cartidges the printer comes with are only half full.
You will need to buy a full set of replacement ink right away. How much is that ? Let me guess ... $79.99?
standard capacity set is about $50...
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Old 12-26-2014   #18
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the newer Epsons are excellent. am running XP-610, $99, with 3rd party cheap ebay-inks, profiled w/Spyderprint am able to proof prints on it w/ UPPM epson paper before printing on 3800. it has both matte black & photo black, easy & cheap. Not a single clog in 5 months.
The bonus with this printer is it does great glossy 4x6 using the photo-black. (This is a proofing printer, not a final-print archival tool though with those inks.)
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Old 12-26-2014   #19
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Hi Joe,

I use an XP710, for the same reason, refurbed for about $70. Inks were about the same, but they often have 20% off when you buy 2 sets etc...
Honestly, I mostly print b&w and don't really like it for that purpose, it always has a green tint to it.
I find the colour okay but I haven't really spent much time with it. I have no doubt that it would work fine for colour if I took more than 5 min to get it working.
It hasn't clogged, but I don't expect it to, its not a pigment ink.
It replaced a Canon Pixma ip5200 from 2002 (or thereabouts) that stopped recognising cartridges. I preferred the Pixma. It never clogged either.
Overall, for the odd small print for family and record shots, its fine. I send out for larger or framed shots, but would like a better printer at home if I had the $ upfront.

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Old 12-27-2014   #20
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Hi,

Regardless of the cost of the printer, what I hate is having to waste ink when switching it on, wasting ink when changing a cartridge and - worst of all - having to put a second cartridge in to complete the cleaning cycle for the one you've just replaced and then seeing how much ink has been used.

And in the summer you don't just do one cleaning cycle...

And look what it costs in paper to find out it needs cleaning. A3+ ain't cheap if you use the maker's inks and papers.

So buy cheap and throw away before expensive cleaning is needed. The quality's there regardless, when they work.

Regards, David
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Old 12-27-2014   #21
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Hi Joe. I have regretted every cheap printer I have owned. Expensive ink, head clogs, random dumps of ink on the page, etc. Finally saw the light and bought an Epson 3880.

The newer Epson 13 inch photo printers are apparently very good - you should try to get some opinions on them (re cost and clogging).

Keep warm up there

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Old 12-27-2014   #22
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My son recently purchased one of these http://www.lexmark.com/US/en/catalog...FSQLMgod9jYAZw and I was amazed by the print quality.
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Old 12-27-2014   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icebear View Post
Usually the printers are indeed dirt cheap and they charge you an arm and a leg on ink. Unless you do print on a regular basis your printer will get clogged up and develop all kinds of maintenance issues. Finding a good printing service saves you a lot of hassle and headache.
+1 +1 +1
AiPro lab.com or advanced Imaging.com Laser prints on real photo paper.
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Old 12-27-2014   #24
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it's looking doubtful that i will take the printer plunge...
think i'll buy a spyder colour calibrator and set up the new monitor first.
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Old 12-27-2014   #25
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... I've been using a Canon printer/scanner/copier for the last seven years, with a colour-spider to calibrate the monitor I can soft proof on screen and convert to my lab's printer profile when I save the print file or make a version for the Canon simply by converting the profile ... it took ages to set up in the first place but I've saved a fortune by getting the prints right first time ever since

... and it's a deterrent for buying anything new as I can't remember how I did it now
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Old 12-27-2014   #26
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There are those who want to be in control of every step in the process and others who are happy to press the shutter and then turn the rest of the steps over to someone else. It is important to assess where you fall within that spectrum.

Some are happy to have a print in a few days. Others of us sometimes decide at 11PM that we want a print by 11:30PM.

It is very difficult to cost justify having your own printer. Likewise, one really cannot cost justify what most of us pay for cameras as it would be cheaper to simply buy stock photos. Let us not deceive ourselves. We do what we do because we want to, not because it makes economic sense.

10-12 years ago I participated in a number of print exchanges where 12 people would send 12 copies of the same print to the organizer. Ten days later, everyone would receive 12 different prints. So, I have seen very many prints from different people. I was always amazed at the high quality of prints people could make from printers that internet lore said were incapable of making such. I know I have proudly exhibited prints made many years ago on a $79 Epson using 3rd party inks. I look at some of those prints today and find them not lacking at all. I must admit that the newer printers make it much easier however.

Just like cameras, the quality of the final printed output is 99% user skill and 1% equipment. If you want to make your own prints, buy a printer. If you are happy with someone else doing that part of the process, then let someone else do it.
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Old 12-27-2014   #27
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i think i'd like to learn how to print myself in the near future...but for now will be content with the lab's excellent work...
calibrating my monitor is a big step forward for me...so slowly i am working on the back end of things.
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Old 12-28-2014   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
There are those who want to be in control of every step in the process and others who are happy to press the shutter and then turn the rest of the steps over to someone else. It is important to assess where you fall within that spectrum.

Some are happy to have a print in a few days. Others of us sometimes decide at 11PM that we want a print by 11:30PM.

It is very difficult to cost justify having your own printer. Likewise, one really cannot cost justify what most of us pay for cameras as it would be cheaper to simply buy stock photos. Let us not deceive ourselves. We do what we do because we want to, not because it makes economic sense.

10-12 years ago I participated in a number of print exchanges where 12 people would send 12 copies of the same print to the organizer. Ten days later, everyone would receive 12 different prints. So, I have seen very many prints from different people. I was always amazed at the high quality of prints people could make from printers that internet lore said were incapable of making such. I know I have proudly exhibited prints made many years ago on a $79 Epson using 3rd party inks. I look at some of those prints today and find them not lacking at all. I must admit that the newer printers make it much easier however.

Just like cameras, the quality of the final printed output is 99% user skill and 1% equipment. If you want to make your own prints, buy a printer. If you are happy with someone else doing that part of the process, then let someone else do it.
This......
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Old 12-28-2014   #29
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I'll preface this by saying that I just bought an Epson 3880 and have printed one colour A4 on good paper, and a few black and whites. The process is so exciting: I'm glad I took the plunge. From Lightroom there seemed very little learning curve. But the printer is big. Previously I was using an HP Deskjet 460 printer. It's hardly been used in the last year and I wasn't sure the colour cartridge had anything left in it or whether it would have been clogged up from lack of use. I was stunned at how beautifully it printed this shot. Supports Bob's point above.

A hundred bucks goes pretty quick with that printer's cartridges, however. And five year old images are fading and discolouring. And that printer is a cow to make photo paper feed properly. The Epson is a dream.

I think printing is a must to see what the result of taking a photograph is.

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Old 12-28-2014   #30
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We have to have a printer for many routine things, so it might as well do photos too. We're on our fourth HP Photosmart now, got several years out of each one. We ignore the cost of HP's consumables, just part of having that utility available.

I print only 4x6 with it, and they look nice, even amazingly so to me. A range of sources can print larger and nicer when we (she) want to, from Walgreens to Ilford Lab USA.
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Old 12-28-2014   #31
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That image you posted is wonderful!
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Old 12-28-2014   #32
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I guess it depends on your needs. I bought a pricey Epson a few years ago. It used six cartridges costing about $100. When it gave up the ghost, I decided to let my processing shop do the printing. Much cheaper even for large prints. But not as much fun.
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Old 12-28-2014   #33
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I plunged into an Epson L210 all in one. It uses ink bottles, not cartridges, and it prints color wonderfully. Cost of printing is reasonable (paper is still expensive, but there you are).
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How about 198 after rebate for a 13x19 canon?
Old 12-28-2014   #34
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How about 198 after rebate for a 13x19 canon?

http://admiringlight.com/blog/world-printing/

I just double checked at b&h. 398 list price. 200 dollar mail in rebate good until for any item paid before Jan 3, 2015. --> 198 cheap enough. But of course they got u w/ the cost of the ink as always.

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Old 12-28-2014   #35
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Correction --> the b&h printer price includes the same paper as a free bonus w/ the purchase of the printer --> that is part of the combo rebate price for printer plus paper at 250 rebate

Gary
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