'starter' printer recommendations


Link Posted 04/10/2020 - 17:53
Hi all

I've generally sent my images away for printing to the likes of whitewall and as such we've only got a monochrome laser in the house for correspondence. I'm finding that I'm less inclined to spend much time editing or arranging if there's no immediate result, so I'm looking at getting a photo printer for home.

I know almost nothing about decent printers, is there a generally agreed 'starter' model or type that I should look at? I'm not keen on faffing with cleaning nozzles and calibrating etc, and I'm wary of spending hundreds on dozens of ink bottles that I may not use before they dry out. I'm also not sure what criteria would make a difference to choice of printer.

I noted Mitsubishi do a dye sublimation printer for a few hundred, and the paper an cartridge come as a set although the print size is strictly limited. Worth a go?
All advice gratefully received.


Link Posted 04/10/2020 - 22:03
Epsom and Canon are the two manufacturers of photo printers so it is worth seeing what they have. Ordinary printers for documents only have three colours plus black whereas dedicated photo printers have more colours plus matt and gloss black, sometimes a grey as well, and sometimes a gloss optimiser so that gloss prints get an even finish. Ink cartridges are more expensive and the printer should be at least switched on once a month so it can start its routine and prevent the jets clogging. I donít think the inks dry up in their sealed cartridges so if not used they will keep.

Calibration sounds a faff but in reality using a calibrator such as those made by Spyder is a doddle as it automatically adjusts your computer; it does save disappointment with poorly coloured and dull prints which waste ink and paper.

I use an Epson SC400 which prints up to A3+ and rolls although it is now superseded by new models; I didnít expect to use it much but it is rather addictive, there is nothing like seeing you best photos beautifully rendered as a large print. There is no denying the ten cartridges are expensive and they do seem to empty at an alarming rate. One option you might look at is the Epson Eco-Tank Photo A4 range which is not cheap but the refillable inks are claimed to be much cheaper and it can double as an everyday document printer.


Link Posted 04/10/2020 - 22:16
A point to remember: (IRC!) historically EPSON printers have a "history" of failing due to "clogging up" if not used very regularly and then being "unrepairable". OTOH, CANON printer heads do fail due "clogging up", but, AFAIK, quite a bit less often.
PS: that is also true in my own limited experience, having had printers of both brands "clogging up", but the CANON ones took an awful lot longer for that to happen.
K-3 II, K-3 and a K-70 from SRS (having now relegated the K-30 /"K-50" to a backup body), & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)
Last Edited by jeallen01 on 04/10/2020 - 22:24


Link Posted 05/10/2020 - 10:10
I've had a Canon PIXMA iP8750 Photo printer for few years and never had a problem with it even when spending several weeks between use. I only use original inks, not cheaper 'Compatibles', which are a bit pricey but worth it in my opinion. The print quality is very good for both colour and B&W and it's relatively inexpensive - less than £250 for an A3+ printer.

It's worth putting on your list as an option to consider.

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 05/10/2020 - 11:21
I've got a Canon TS8100, in red(!). It is a good allround A4 printer/scanner and I am happy with it. I rarely feel the need to print above A4, and if I do I use an online service.


Link Posted 05/10/2020 - 15:24
ATM I've got a Canon Pixma TR8550 A4 MFP to replace the old Pixma 895 - bought in 2013 and used for occasional prints, but finally did get a clogged head in 2017. Both are/were 5 cartridge printers.

TBH, I preferred the prints from the 895 to those from the 8550 (which also doesn't have automatic double-sided copying!) as early prints from the latter showed some signs of banding but that seemed to "clear up" after a few prints.
K-3 II, K-3 and a K-70 from SRS (having now relegated the K-30 /"K-50" to a backup body), & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)


Link Posted 05/10/2020 - 18:45
Ta for comments, I'll check out some of those printers.

It sounds like inkjets are the most popular, has anyone tried a dye sublimation printer? They look pretty low maintenance and good economy per print, although the cheaper ones are limited to pretty much postcard size or thereabouts.
Last Edited by mattie on 05/10/2020 - 18:45
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.