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NaftoliNaftoli Member
edited March 2013 in news & discussions
i think im ready to buy a printer, i would use it mostly for client proofing and also a few enlargments here and there, till now i have been using MPIX with the 19 cent non color correct option, i edit on a calibrated monitor. my question i guess is, will it cost me more or less to do my own printing? The printer im thinking about is the Epson R3880 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/649771-REG/Epson_CA61201_VM_Stylus_Pro_3880_Large_Format.html does anyone use this? any other advice or thoughts welcome. thank you


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited March 2013

    Excellent printer choice. Been around for a while and there's a reason for that, it's good.

    Personally don't have one, but friend does as he's into exhibiting images in competitions so prefers to print to his own specs. The color images absolutely pop, and the BW paper he prints on also is unreal, better than any lab I have seen. He has 2 custom printer profiles though.

    You most definitely would need to get a color profile done for the printer, regardless of how good the monitor is calibrated and it looks perfect, the printer profile is crucial here.

    Unfortunately I can only vouch for an Australian site regarding creating a profile, you need to do some steps and send him a print from the printer, he analyses the print, creates the custom profile and will send to you to load into the printers preferences.

    General Information:

    Instructions on how:

    The other drawback, paper type, you obviously need a profile for each type of paper, so you would need to be certain of which paper you would print on the most.

    Of course, all this depends on what you want to print for, professional, personal so the time and cost may be weighed up in deciding.

    Cost around $60AU [not counting postage, etc.] for each custom profile.

    Printing costs: Yes, most definitely will cost more doing it yourself, but you can have fantastic paper, a great profile and print those prints to your specifications without being reliant on a general lab.

    The costs could also be measured by the fact you don't have to drive to a lab, come home and drive back, so fuel/time/energy could also help in deciding.


    PS: My friend thought the images straight up out of his printer were great, but decided to get a custom profile anyway, and even I was staggered to see the difference. Colors especially with a full gamut, the whole RGB spectrum was outstanding.

    I've used this for BW:

    If you wanted to get a Stock ICC profile for Hahnemuhle papers, they have ICC Profiles on their website:

  • The 3880 is an excellent printer for sure. If you use Epson paper, inks and profiles you will get very good results but custom profiles will give the best results. As far as cost savings go you really dont save anything if you put a price on your time. With the current price of around $1000 US for the 3880 it would take a really long time before it would be cheaper to make prints. Depending on the paper used the cost of ink per print can equal the cost of the paper. Another source for information on printing is:


    Just search for the 3880. There are lots of threads discussing the pros and cons.
  • Epson just had a great sale on printer in December. If you can wait a couple of months they will probably have another one..........
  • thanx guys!!
    trev will def look into that! i need to learn more about profiles and callibrations etc.
    Bob, how bout not including the cost of the printer, would just the ink and paper come out to be cheaper than paying a flat rate of 19 cents per 4x6 from a lab?
    Jselting, there is now a 250$ rebate bringing the price down to 900$ do u think there will be a bigger sale than that?
  • Naftoli,
    This will give you an idea of print costs using Red River paper and OEM inks:


    You can reduce your ink costs by refilling your own ink carts. The savings is considerable. For example OEM carts for my Canon 9000 MKII are $14. Refilling them myself costs 55 cents. If your going to use non OEM inks then you need to invest in a paper profiler such as Colormunki photo.
  • Not only is Red River a good source for printing info, they are a great source for paper. I've been using their papers for a number of years with Epson printers - 2400 and now 2880. Ultra Pro Satin is a great luster paper, Polar Matte is a clean heavy, bright matte and Aurora Arts, either white or natural, are also quality papers. And don't ignore their Polar Pearl Metallic - it makes images jump.

    Printing yourself may not save money but gives you control over the process and allows you to print and deliver product on your schedule. Plus, there is a sense of pride and ownership that comes with doing it yourself - once you figure out what the hell you're doing.

    I wouldn't, however, recommend straying from your manufacturer's inks as they are developed for your printer and provide a consistent color.
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