Dye Sublimation Printers


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Zerstorer

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Jul 8, 2002
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Hi, does anyone have any experience with a Dye sublimation printer? If so, which are the models available locally <$500?

My Epson 870's printhead kicked the bucket...need to find a suitable replacement.:)
 

pyre

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i think some of kodak printers use the method u seek... but erm... i dun recall off-hand any shops that carry kodak printers. well u could try and wait for the Epson 2200/2100 printing technology to drop down to lower models :)

else u could just grab the 810/895 special bundle thats going on now. i know it ain't fancy stuff... well just a suggestion.

oh guess what i found :)

http://www.digital-photography.org/dye_sublimation_printer_reviews/gateway_dye_sub_printers.html

hth
 

Jed

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A lot of the older Kodak 8xxx series thermal printers can now be had for ridiculously low prices. I know I passed a couple up in good nick for about S$800 or so. Reason being, I'm convinced about the benefits of my inkjets, as well as their ability to meet almost all my quality concerns.

If you still want to get hold of one, then let me know and I'll keep a lookout here where they've popped up. They take the same consummables as the current series so that's not a big problem. Do note that this is the UK and shipping will be quite pricey as their weights are stupid too, I believe somewhere in the region of 26kg.
 

Zerstorer

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#10
Jed & Excentrique thanks for your input.

I eager to find out from both of you how well do dye-sub printers perform as compared to premium inkjets like my previous Epson and the photos from developing labs.

Also, are there problems with light fastness? Are the prints significantly more water resistant than those from inkjets/dev labs?

Jed:Thanks for your offer of help, but I probably won't spill out the dough for something that I'm not familiar with(especially when its bulky and requires shipping!;)). Reliability and cost of consumables is and issue and I'll probably have to find that out first hand. Right now I'm just itchy to try out something different, so I'll just get a affordable entry level model as a testbed.
 

Apr 7, 2002
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#11
Originally posted by Zerstorer
Jed & Excentrique thanks for your input.

I eager to find out from both of you how well do dye-sub printers perform as compared to premium inkjets like my previous Epson and the photos from developing labs.

Also, are there problems with light fastness? Are the prints significantly more water resistant than those from inkjets/dev labs?
The photos printed from dye sublimation printer looks very close to a real photographic print. It does not print by using a print head like inkjets but the ink comes in roll of plastic-like sheets. Just like offset printing (CMYK), you would realise that the each print will go through 4 sheets (I think) of coloured plastics (CMYK)
to get a print. If I'm not mistaken, it uses heat source to transfer the dyed on the plastic to the print (which I'm not too sure).

the print have a nice glossy surface and i'm pretty sure it's waterproof. I do have some copies of sample which I can show you someday if we could meet up. Permanence wise, i think they keep very well. Till now (for almost 3 years) I have not notice any slight change of colour. They feel plastiky and they don't turn moldy like photographic prints even I scatter them around. In comparison with inkjet, dye sublimation is far more superior in terms of permanence and crispness. But as it is expensive and far more laborious to print than inkjet. The speed is relatively slow because it goes through several dyeing process.

Pardon me if I'm wrong in certain technical aspect here because I've only experienced using one type of dye sub printer. Kodak 8660 model. Other models might not have the same quality or problems as 8660.
 

Jed

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#12
Waterfastness is the one area where I give the clear advantage to the dye subs. Otherwise, frankly, I'm an inkjet person.
 

Zerstorer

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#13
Originally posted by excentrique

the print have a nice glossy surface and i'm pretty sure it's waterproof. I do have some copies of sample which I can show you someday if we could meet up. Permanence wise, i think they keep very well. Till now (for almost 3 years) I have not notice any slight change of colour. They feel plastiky and they don't turn moldy like photographic prints even I scatter them around. In comparison with inkjet, dye sublimation is far more superior in terms of permanence and crispness.
This sounds very encouraging.

Right now the only points holding me back are that for a <$600 price range one can only get a dye-sub that prints 4x6 prints compared to A4 for inkjets. Also, it appears that inkjets have a wider gamut at a similar price level which may translate into better colour tones. Also, reliability and availability of consumables is a concern especially with the HiTi printer that I'm looking at since they are a new startup.

Will probably give their singapore rep a call to find out more. Thanks for sharing!
 

Zerstorer

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#15
Called up the singapore distributor for HiTi and got the following:

630PS RRP $349
50 x 4R paper RRP $40
Ribbon cost unknown..(person seemed unsure)

Printer not available YET. Will be unveiled at Comex on Aug29-1Sept.

Considering that the US price is US$169 for 630PS and US$20 for the 50 pieces of paper. The singapore price is way above the conversion rate. Considering that Jap/Taiwan/EU products are generally cheaper here than in the US, it seems that someone might be taking a big cut.:(

So far US review sites have constantly harped on how much cheaper a Dye-sub is per print compared to Inkjets. However, it doesn't seem to apply in this case.:confused:
 

Apr 7, 2002
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#16
with that kind of budget, I would rather get an A3 inkjet photo printer by epson. Well it depends on what you want. Inkjet is also very permanent nowadays. With big traditional photographic paper producers like illford moving into the digital age now. There are high grade papers which are available easily and can print very realistic photographic quality image. Comparing with the small picture you get from a dye-sub print, I think it's a better investment spending on a inkjet. Well, dye-sub is really tempting to get but you must also consider what is your objective in getting the equipment. If you are seriously into making money from your photographic prints, 4x6 really sounds too small.

If you notice, wedding photography also uses inkjets to print portfolio for couples. It's only thorough good packaging like cold lamination which give the impression that it's an authentic photographic print. And if only the clients know that they are getting are inkjet prints... See, people can't even really tell the difference nowadays between a inkjet or a traditional photographic print. So I think investing on a good injet is a value for money. With your kind of budget, you can get a decent larger printer than an A4. So why not?
 

Zerstorer

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#17
Originally posted by excentrique
with that kind of budget, I would rather get an A3 inkjet photo printer by epson. Well it depends on what you want. Inkjet is also very permanent nowadays. With big traditional photographic paper producers like illford moving into the digital age now. There are high grade papers which are available easily and can print very realistic photographic quality image. Comparing with the small picture you get from a dye-sub print, I think it's a better investment spending on a inkjet. Well, dye-sub is really tempting to get but you must also consider what is your objective in getting the equipment. If you are seriously into making money from your photographic prints, 4x6 really sounds too small.

If you notice, wedding photography also uses inkjets to print portfolio for couples. It's only thorough good packaging like cold lamination which give the impression that it's an authentic photographic print. And if only the clients know that they are getting are inkjet prints... See, people can't even really tell the difference nowadays between a inkjet or a traditional photographic print. So I think investing on a good injet is a value for money. With your kind of budget, you can get a decent larger printer than an A4. So why not?
Thanks for the overview! I'm not into making money from my shots...just a dabbler who wants some control/experimentation with my own prints.;p Basically I'm curious about alternative printing technologies now that they've come down to consumer price levels. The HiTi has lost its appeal to me now that the consumable cost is so high.

Will probably wait for the new affordable Epson models like the 960 to appear before making a decision.

Keeping my options open. Thanks for your valuable comments.:)
 

Apr 7, 2002
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#18
Originally posted by Zerstorer


Thanks for the overview! I'm not into making money from my shots...just a dabbler who wants some control/experimentation with my own prints.;p Basically I'm curious about alternative printing technologies now that they've come down to consumer price levels. The HiTi has lost its appeal to me now that the consumable cost is so high.

Will probably wait for the new affordable Epson models like the 960 to appear before making a decision.

Keeping my options open. Thanks for your valuable comments.:)

No problem pal. Well, actually the way to controlling your print is to understand calibration of your monitor, printer and scanner. You should buy some reference book in regards to this. Apart from this, photoshop is a very good applications to adjust your print tone. Well, to get a good print will sometime needs to print several rounds to get it right. Just like in the darkroom. It's doesn't mean that by using a dye sub will make any difference. You will still need to calibrate it and you will still do a few rounds of test before you get a satified piece of print.

BTW, Espon should be introducing it new 7 colour printer soon. The new color is actually grey to tackle B/W photography color shifting problem. Apart from this, Ruby have wonderful test prints/samples and information regarding their illford inkjet printing papers.
You should make a visit down there and ask them more about the archiving properties and see the results for yourself. You will know why I suggest you to get an A3 inkjet.
 

Zerstorer

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#20
Originally posted by excentrique



No problem pal. Well, actually the way to controlling your print is to understand calibration of your monitor, printer and scanner. You should buy some reference book in regards to this. Apart from this, photoshop is a very good applications to adjust your print tone. Well, to get a good print will sometime needs to print several rounds to get it right. Just like in the darkroom. It's doesn't mean that by using a dye sub will make any difference. You will still need to calibrate it and you will still do a few rounds of test before you get a satified piece of print.
Yep I agree. What I meant was I wanted to experiment with the settings and do my own prints instead of just leaving it with the labs. Inkjet or Dye-sub makes no difference to me as long as it does the job well, but I do like the idea of waterproof prints. I've read some articles on monitor/printer calibration and have taken some steps doing it by eye. Not going to fork out money on any spyders yet.:)

BTW, Espon should be introducing it new 7 colour printer soon. The new color is actually grey to tackle B/W photography color shifting problem. Apart from this, Ruby have wonderful test prints/samples and information regarding their illford inkjet printing papers.
You should make a visit down there and ask them more about the archiving properties and see the results for yourself. You will know why I suggest you to get an A3 inkjet.
You're referring to the Epson 2200? So Ruby Photo's the place to go for this? Thanks I'll check it out.:)
 

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