Monday, January 15, 2007

New Printer

This is my best time of year for print sales, so I try to invest in infrastructure now when it's not so painful. (During the summer "starving artist" can get a bit too literal!) I picked up an Epson Stylus R2400 Photo Printer which is a really nice inkjet printer. It can do pretty big prints (13x19), can take rolls, and has a really high end set of inks. The archival qualities are pretty decent as long as you use matched products and do some research so you know what you're doing. By "pretty decent" I mean better than even real color photographic paper, but not as good as various traditional methods (cyanotype and platinum prints notably). The trick as an art collector is that you really have to trust your photographer both to have done the research and to have bought the right (expensive) stuff. I wouldn't buy an inkjet print off of eBay unless I really knew a lot about the photographer... or didn't mind if my print faded in a year. You can get wildly different lifetimes out of different inks/papers and it's not necessarily obvious without testing by a 3rd party lab which is the way to go.

I actually got it to make negatives, not prints, but of course I had to try it out. I printed a couple of prints, and sure enough, the quality is very good. It's better than a lot of photo labs I've seen but not as good as a pro lab. Then again I'm using Epson's ICC profiles and not hand calibrating which might make some small difference. (If you're not a color geek, just ignore that last line!) But this is the first inkjet I've seen that does a really nice job with black and white - it has three black inks which apparently makes the difference.

I have a small amount of some of the fancier papers on order for it - people keep swearing by Epson's velvet paper so we'll see. If I find some combination I absolutely love I'll offer it for sale, and I'll probably offer it as an option for portrait folks so they can get prints while they wait, but again, it's mostly for making negatives on transparency film.


Blogger cosfrog said...

Ive had the 2400 for awhile no and love the quality. I would never sell a print from my canons but now feel comfortable doing so. I have the full range of epson papers but also still like illford's pearls.

Soon after i bought it though the 3800 (I think thats the new one) came out and I wish I would have waited for that. It holds all the blacks (no switching) and knows when to use, plus even bigger paper sizes

12:51 PM  
Blogger San Francisco Nudes said...

The 3800 (I think that's right) is the one to get if your volume is pretty high - larger tanks and once you factor in ink cost you're not really paying any more.

But oddly enough it doesn't support rolls, and I'm probably going to have a 13" roll of pictorico transparency film as the #1 thing I'll be printing to...

12:56 PM  

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