Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    The 3rd Rock
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Hi,

    I'm a hobby photographer and and having been contemplating for awhile on whether to get my own colour printer or have the photos printed at the labs.

    The advantage of having my own colour printer is convenience, but not sure on the "cost vs benefit". Anybody done any analysis on this before?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    East
    Posts
    609

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Hm, 20 cents per 4R print is quite common nowadays. In house printing...printer capabilities, cost, ink, paper etc, perhaps not worth it in my opinion.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    If you plan to do bulk prints at a standard size (4R for example), definitely more cost efficient to do it at a lab.

    Having your own printer is especially useful if you want to do prints of weird sizes, which may cost significantly more at a lab.
    Passport, wallet size, square crop, A4, 8R, etc..

    Personally, convenience outweighs cost for me.
    I don't calculate till I know the raw cost of each print I make. I just buy the consumables I need, and print.

    I like that I don't need to leave my desk to make prints, and I can experiment with different media - glossy, matt, cotton rag, textured, etc etc.

    The last straw came when my neighbourhood lab wanted to charge me 'passport price' for one 4R. I knew then I had to get my own printer.
    The story: I took my own passport photo (like all of us do) and fit 8 in one 4R print.
    Instead of charging me the price for one 4R, the guy at the counter said he would have to charge $8!!
    A dollar per passport photo! Even if I did all the work myself.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by kandinsky View Post
    If you plan to do bulk prints at a standard size (4R for example), definitely more cost efficient to do it at a lab.

    Having your own printer is especially useful if you want to do prints of weird sizes, which may cost significantly more at a lab.
    Passport, wallet size, square crop, A4, 8R, etc..

    Personally, convenience outweighs cost for me.
    I don't calculate till I know the raw cost of each print I make. I just buy the consumables I need, and print.

    I like that I don't need to leave my desk to make prints, and I can experiment with different media - glossy, matt, cotton rag, textured, etc etc.

    The last straw came when my neighbourhood lab wanted to charge me 'passport price' for one 4R. I knew then I had to get my own printer.
    The story: I took my own passport photo (like all of us do) and fit 8 in one 4R print.
    Instead of charging me the price for one 4R, the guy at the counter said he would have to charge $8!!
    A dollar per passport photo! Even if I did all the work myself.
    Wow, that's really trying to chop!

    Yeah, its really convenient to print it yourself, especially when you just want to print a few pieces... If want to print in bulk, then its probably cheaper to head to a printing shop...
    Nikon D60 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 18-55mm | Nikon 55-200mm VR | Nikon SB-400

  5. #5

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    I just bought a small 4x6 Sony printer solely for printing photos.
    Reference:
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=458816

    Each printout is $0.30 not including the cost of printer (nor printhead for future maintenance).
    Obviously sending out for print is better quality and slightly cheaper, but just like u... i want convenience.

    Going out to shops to print 5 pieces of photos is so silly. And also you can immediately print out for your frens and family should it be urgent.

    Hence all in all, standby a photo printer just in case you need to print a few pieces urgently.
    Then send out to shops for mass printing.
    Last edited by sin77; 5th January 2009 at 12:21 AM.
    D7100,SB910,17-50/2.8OS,105/2.8VR,85/1.8D,2xE-M1,O60/2.8,12-40/2.8,35-100/2.8,14-42,LX100

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sengkang
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    As kandinsky have already mentioned, bulk prints: do it at the lab, small quantities: do it at home.

    Since you are only doing this for hobby, don't get the 6 or 8 ink printers. Cost of running is expensive. Simple logic. The normal 4-ink ones would be fine. Try to purchase inks/media during IT shows or buy in bulk where you can get a good discount.

    Some things to note: Some printers might get clogged if you leave your printer sitting for months. Print at least fortnightly to keep it in tip top condition.

    Till then, good luck and hope that helps. Cheers!

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    The 3rd Rock
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    As kandinsky have already mentioned, bulk prints: do it at the lab, small quantities: do it at home.

    Since you are only doing this for hobby, don't get the 6 or 8 ink printers. Cost of running is expensive. Simple logic. The normal 4-ink ones would be fine. Try to purchase inks/media during IT shows or buy in bulk where you can get a good discount.

    Some things to note: Some printers might get clogged if you leave your printer sitting for months. Print at least fortnightly to keep it in tip top condition.

    Till then, good luck and hope that helps. Cheers!
    Thanks for all the reply, next question is, which brand and model should I consider?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sengkang
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    What's ur budget?

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    The 3rd Rock
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    What's ur budget?
    Budget of $300+.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sengkang
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Canon PIXMA iP4680: http://www.canon.com.sg/p/EN/2-Inkje...IXMA%20iP4680/

    Spend the rest of the extra on media and ink.

  11. #11
    vince123123
    Guests

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    The downside of own printing is that the paper is not as good quality, IMHO, as the ones used in the lab. The texture of the paper is somewhat different too.

    I generally prefer the lab paper as opposed to inkjet paper.

    Quote Originally Posted by billpepsi View Post
    Hi,

    I'm a hobby photographer and and having been contemplating for awhile on whether to get my own colour printer or have the photos printed at the labs.

    The advantage of having my own colour printer is convenience, but not sure on the "cost vs benefit". Anybody done any analysis on this before?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtchoy View Post
    Wow, that's really trying to chop!

    Yeah, its really convenient to print it yourself, especially when you just want to print a few pieces... If want to print in bulk, then its probably cheaper to head to a printing shop...
    I would like to make a fair statement. Pls take note that im not from any lap printing company. I was told by 1 shop that the lap photo printing system cost about 100 over thousand. Ink? Paper? Rental? Labour? Electrical bill? Production cost of a camera is less than 50% of its selling price. Why dont any of you say you kena chop when u buy a camera that cost 2K and the company make 1K profit from you? It is a service provided to you if you needed it espicially when u need it urgently.

  13. #13
    vince123123
    Guests

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    The system may cost a lot, but the cost is the same whether he prints a normal 4R or a passport photo composite. Hence it is a fair statement to say that the shop is trying to chop. That is the distinction.

    Anyway for those who want to print passport photos in a 4R, go to Fotohub. No such nonsense of increasing the price. I had such a good relationship with them that I even can borrow their passport photo cutter to cut out the photos hehe

    Quote Originally Posted by cater View Post
    I would like to make a fair statement. Pls take note that im not from any lap printing company. I was told by 1 shop that the lap photo printing system cost about 100 over thousand. Ink? Paper? Rental? Labour? Electrical bill? Production cost of a camera is less than 50% of its selling price. Why dont any of you say you kena chop when u buy a camera that cost 2K and the company make 1K profit from you? It is a service provided to you if you needed it espicially when u need it urgently.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sengkang
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    The downside of own printing is that the paper is not as good quality, IMHO, as the ones used in the lab. The texture of the paper is somewhat different too.

    I generally prefer the lab paper as opposed to inkjet paper.
    Hmm... there a lot of good quality papers available in the market you know. Some are even better than those offered by labs.

  15. #15
    vince123123
    Guests

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Any recommendations? The primary thing that I do not like in inkjet papers is the texture of the printed surface. In a lab print, the texture is smooth and frictionless. In a inkjet print, the printed surface appears to have a lot of friction.

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    Hmm... there a lot of good quality papers available in the market you know. Some are even better than those offered by labs.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    The 3rd Rock
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    Canon PIXMA iP4680: http://www.canon.com.sg/p/EN/2-Inkje...IXMA%20iP4680/

    Spend the rest of the extra on media and ink.
    Thanks, will checkout on the printer.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sengkang
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Any recommendations? The primary thing that I do not like in inkjet papers is the texture of the printed surface. In a lab print, the texture is smooth and frictionless. In a inkjet print, the printed surface appears to have a lot of friction.
    Ha... that has to do with the quality of paper. Cheap photo papers will give you exactly that. If you are using a pigment based printer, the Ilford Galerie Pearl Smooth Pearl Paper is a good start. It feels exactly like your matte paper from the lab if not a tad better. Get it from Ruby at Peninsula. For Canon dye based printers, get the originals. I suggest going to Cathay Peninsula and get the Professional Glossy Paper. Any other 3rd party paper will give you weird color casts. However, I had great results with Ilford Galerie Classic but it needs a lot of care. PM me for me details. If you like matte prints, you should be using a pigment based printer. The Epson matte papers are the best so far. You still have your Photo-Rag, Harman Photo a lot of more... for specific printer models. Phew...

    Hope that helps.

  18. #18
    vince123123
    Guests

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Ah I'm thinking more of Glossy actually. The glossy papers from the labs are really smooth, if you run your fingernail across it, there's no resistance. The inkjet papers all have great amount of resistance, no matter which type I've seen.

    Of course, I've only seen those "original" brand papers, such as Canon and Epson and the like. Have not had a chance to see the other brands that you've quoted.

    However, these other brands sound expensive, especially things like Ilford. Would it be better then to just send to the lab? Unless one needs instant gratification of course heh

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    Ha... that has to do with the quality of paper. Cheap photo papers will give you exactly that. If you are using a pigment based printer, the Ilford Galerie Pearl Smooth Pearl Paper is a good start. It feels exactly like your matte paper from the lab if not a tad better. Get it from Ruby at Peninsula. For Canon dye based printers, get the originals. I suggest going to Cathay Peninsula and get the Professional Glossy Paper. Any other 3rd party paper will give you weird color casts. However, I had great results with Ilford Galerie Classic but it needs a lot of care. PM me for me details. If you like matte prints, you should be using a pigment based printer. The Epson matte papers are the best so far. You still have your Photo-Rag, Harman Photo a lot of more... for specific printer models. Phew...

    Hope that helps.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sengkang
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Ilford expensive?? No way sir! They are the most affordable out there. Which printer you using btw? I can give a few recommendations.

  20. #20
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Punggol, Singapore
    Posts
    21,901

    Default Re: Own colour printing vs lab printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by cater View Post
    I would like to make a fair statement. Pls take note that im not from any lap printing company. I was told by 1 shop that the lap photo printing system cost about 100 over thousand. Ink? Paper? Rental? Labour? Electrical bill? Production cost of a camera is less than 50% of its selling price. Why dont any of you say you kena chop when u buy a camera that cost 2K and the company make 1K profit from you? It is a service provided to you if you needed it espicially when u need it urgently.
    the printing system is cost more than that, that way I always insist on lab prints, whenther is paid job or personal, self home printing the results are inconsistant, and if you are fussy, ink and paper wastage will kill you.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •