Print Costs: Lab v Home


Link Posted 28/10/2013 - 11:11
I'm toying with the idea of buying a new printer. Most of my pictures entered into my clubs monthly competition are up to 15x10 so I will need an A3 printer.

At the moment I send my two pictures per month off to Photobox. I have yet to be disappointed with the results. Excellent quality and service. However this costs me approx 10 each time (prints + postage).

My question is: If I printed at home how many months worth of pictures would I have to print off before it became cost effective, considering the cost of printer, ink and paper?

Having never printed large pictures myself, would I be correct in saying that to rival a print labs quality, I would need to buy a top quality printer, or would say a Canon PIXMA iX6550 at approx 140 suffice?

As I'm writing this I think I'm answering my own question. Stick with Photobox..!!
6th Year Apprentice Pensioner


Link Posted 28/10/2013 - 11:26
I replaced my Epson R2400 with the little ix6550 and it equals the Epson in every respect. I print quite a lot at A3 and once you get the hang of the driver settings it's faultless imho. Stay away from cheap ciss setup's, go for the refillable carts and get some pigment ink for it


Link Posted 28/10/2013 - 11:26
I use ProAm Imaging for mine and my last order came in at 16 including postage for 15 images of varying sizes up to A3 (11 were 10 x 8 or larger).
K-5iiS; K-r; ME Super; ME; DA* 16-50 f2.8; DA 18-135 WR; DA 55-300 WR; HD DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited; FA 50mm f1.4; A50mm f1.7; DAL 18-55mm; M40mm f2.8; + assorted non-Pentax lenses

My Flikr Page link


Link Posted 28/10/2013 - 11:28
I send to DSCL.

16x12 and 12x12. Both cost just over a 1. The biggest cost is postage. Off the top of my head thats 4.95.

Sent for 12 prints at the start of the camera club season. Cost less than 20.

I send B&W using exactly the same process. I have won comps with both colour and B&W so have no issues with quality.

If I was printing at home, I don't think I could do it as cheap. So, I haven't invested in an A3 printer



Link Posted 01/11/2013 - 17:49
Interesting discussion. I've just got my first print back from DSCL and it's much better quality than any of my attempts from my Canon MP630 (admittedly not a specialist photo printer but nonetheless very well reviewed when it came out). There's an immense amount of faffing about to get things right when printing at home, to do with matching paper, printer, inks, etc., etc. I'm going to persevere for a while until I am sure I can't get things any better and at that point make a decision about home vs lab. Certainly the cost savings are not compelling (at least not if I cost my own time at anything above slave labour rates).
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