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Printing images


Mark_24 2 15 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2012 7:02PM
Looking for some advice on Printing my images of (for friends/family and for Camera Club comps).

The terms/specs etc are confussing to me. With Glossy, Matte, Branded paper, Non Branded paper, grade type of paper. Whats the best to use?

The "non branded" paper, ie Tesco or Ryman for example, give a good look for "family and friends", though they're "quality" have been criticised for "camera club" prints. Should i be worrying about "the look and feel of the paper" or just getting the best image i can?

Only started photoography in Jan 2012, and entered my first club print league comp last month.

Thanks for the advice in advance

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Daffy1 7 337 Ireland
13 Nov 2012 8:06PM
You can't go wrong with Glossy paper the same brand as your printer. Damian
justin c 11 4.6k 36 England
13 Nov 2012 8:30PM

Quote:Whats the best to use?


That's pretty much impossible to answer as it's really all down to personal preference, the type of image, how it will be displayed, your printer model, colour or black and white, budget, paper weight and thickness, etc. etc.

A good starting point is often the printer manufacturers own range of papers. A semi-gloss or lustre paper works very well with most images, is inexpensive, widely available and pretty easy to get decent results.

Ilford Gallerie papers are another good choice. Often cheaper than the manufacturers papers and every bit as good, IMHO. The new Ilford Prestige Pearl paper is very nice and a decent weight too, which gives the print a more luxurious and quality feel in the hand.

Matt papers require a little more effort to get good results but are a very good choice if you intend displaying prints behind glass as they don't reflect the light quite as much as glossy papers. They're often fairly inexpensive too.

At the top end of the scale are the fine art papers and there's a huge range to choose from. The results can be excellent, they ooze quality and the various surface types and textures can enhance certain types of images. The downside is, they're expensive, work best in certain types of printer and require skill to get optimum results.
Jestertheclown 6 6.6k 242 England
13 Nov 2012 8:50PM
I use an Epson inkjet with 'Pound shop' paper and compatible inks from Am*zon at about 4.00 a set.
That setup works a treat for friends and family or general purpose stuff.
If I want a more serious job done, I get them done at a professional lab, which is surprisingly cheap.
RTR 5 8 7 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2012 8:41PM
I base my experience on 'you get what you pay for'. I have a top end Canon printer, and will only use original Canon inks and paper. I stick with a gloss finish. The quality is all about weight. I use 275 gram per meter squared Canon A4 and 6x4", and 260g/m 5x7". For snap shots I go down a bit to save money. It all depends on how fussy you are. I personally want the best finish possible so the image lasts for years with no fading or reduction in quality. I've got images in albumns with 'tissue' between the pages which still look as good as new after 3 to 4 years. I've tried cheap alternative inks and paper in the past and have been very disapointed with the results. Unfortunately it can get very expensive, but it all depends on what you are striving for. If you want perfection, you have to pay for it. I pay about 10 each for my inks on Amazon, and a pack of 20 A4 sheets I can get for 12.99 at Currys.
Hope this helps. Good luck. Rich. Smile
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
18 Nov 2012 10:50PM
If your just starting out use a lab for your prints, far fewer headaches.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
18 Nov 2012 11:53PM

Quote:Whats the best to use?

That's pretty much impossible to answer as it's really all down to personal preference, the type of image, how it will be displayed, your printer model, colour or black and white, budget, paper weight and thickness, etc. etc.



Precisely.

And it is true that the best papers are expensive - but the results are far superior.

I use Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl most of the time for colour prints and Fotospeed Platinum Baryta for mono. Using an Epson R3000 printer, these give results that (to my eyes) are just as good as I used to get with proper photo paper in my darkroom days. But, as has been said, it is very much down to personal preference. (But don't expect a print of sufficient quality for a competition on a budget paper). One way of looking at it is that - if you take into account your time and travelling costs - maybe spending 100 (conservatively) to get an image worthy of a competition entry, then another 5 for the print is maybe not too significant.
Mark_24 2 15 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2012 3:07PM
Thanks for all the comments. Still a bit confused, tho i have a better idea as to what to use.

Basically;

For Camera Club prints - Best i can afford/ Done professionally
For Other uses - Whatever i want to use.

Now its a case of trying what type of paper suits my prints
RTR 5 8 7 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2012 8:48PM

Quote:Basically;

For Camera Club prints - Best i can afford/ Done professionally
For Other uses - Whatever i want to use.



Exactly. Try doing two prints the same to see the difference. One top quality, one lower quality. Make sure your printer settings/options are set to the correct paper type and quality required.
Good luck!
Rich.
KenTaylor e2
10 3.0k 2 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2012 10:50PM
Also check what the max paper weight your printer can handle.
The fine art papers tend to be around 300gm that all purpose printers may have problems with.
20 Nov 2012 3:02PM
For short term pictures, ink jets are fine but the pictures will fade and change colour over time as I am not aware of an ink on the market that wont. If you are looking for permanent pictures then send them off to one of the many excellent labs available I use Photobox and their service is excellent. Send pictures one day, you get them back as "proper" photos the next!
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2012 3:19PM

Quote:For short term pictures, ink jets are fine but the pictures will fade and change colour over time as I am not aware of an ink on the market that wont. If you are looking for permanent pictures then send them off to one of the many excellent labs available I use Photobox and their service is excellent. Send pictures one day, you get them back as "proper" photos the next!


Whilst this may have been true some time ago modern pigment inks on archival paper will outlast wet chemical prints (colour) by a significant margin. Even the modern dye based inks + suitable papers will have colour stability comparable to traditional colour prints

Have a look here at the situation in 2002 and there have been siginificant improvements in technology since

That said, unless you are interested in print making and want total control of the process then going to on-line printers such as DS colour is the way to go on cost alone (for gloss and satin papers)
20 Nov 2012 3:28PM
Thanks Brian, interesting as I have a picture in my hall that I printed last year and it's totally blue! Unfortunately I can't find the original either! On cost, certainly.
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2012 3:40PM
I wonder if that was with OEM ink and paper or 3rd party?

I have prints which have been up in various places in my house (from steamy bathroom to well lit lounge) for over 5 years and they are still as good as new (as are some block prints I made for a mobile exhibition that have been verey badly treated with the print surface exposed to the atmosphere, apart from wear and tear the image colours and contrast show no obvious signs of degradation).

This is with HP9800 dye prints & HP 9180 pigment prints. (My Epson 3000 isn't old enough for useful comment yet but I see no reason whay it shouldn't be exactly the same)

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