[Tig] Still photo printer on a budget

peter_swinson at compuserve.com peter_swinson at compuserve.com
Wed Mar 16 12:14:31 GMT 2016

I only “dabble” in stills photography but have had severalcolour printers over the years. 

My experience of consumer/office printers hasbeen as follows.
Colour Laser printers. I have never found one that gives good photographic reproduction. 

But I haveonly ever used office type printers.
Ink Jets.
I have used several, both for A4 and A3 sizes. In allinstances while the colour renditions 

have been reasonable  the blacks and dark greys always showed somestreaking.  

HP inks in combination withHigh Quality fine art photo paper such as Hahnemuhle 

hold their colour and donot fade readily.
I started photo printing with a A3 BJ something singlemulticolour cartridge. 

I found the results to be excellent in their day, around15 years ago. .
Recently I purchased several Canon MG 6xxx seriesmultifunction printers. 

These uses separate ink cartridges for C,M,Y  a Black dye cartridge for photo printing 

anda black pigment cartridge for archive text operations.   
With original Canon inks the results onto high quality fineart paper are excellent.
Indeed with medium price replacement inks, not the cheapest, nor the most expensive, 

results are still pretty good although someadjustment to “ink intensity” in the printer 

preferences is needed to get thebest contrast and saturation.
I have no idea as to the fade quality but 1 year old printsin office lighting, have not 

faded even compared to recent identical prints.
The Canon MG 6xxx range are designed to a price for theconsumer market so 

appear somewhat flimsy. 

Despite that one of my printers,which I bought second hand has produced over 

10,000 prints according to itsmemory !
Finally, about 8 years ago I bought a Canon Selphy printer. 

This uses the dye sublimation process. The unit I bought only produces  4” x 6” prints. 

The quality is consistentlyvery good and the print resistance to fade and damp is 

second to none. I haveprints that spend  a lot of time exposed in the cockpit of a boat 

and they remain ingood condition. Indeed I once tested a print by leaving it immersed
 in waterfor 24 hours. It came out and dried as though it had never been damp.
Of course you pay for this type of print, as the processcomprises a pack of special 

paper and a roll of CMY dyes plus UV  coating contained in a cartridge. 

The printpasses back and forth within the printer while each layer is heated transferred 

and fused onto the paper. Here in the UKa pack paper and sublimation ink of 132 4” x 6”
prints costs around £30, $50.
I have PM’d you a copy of the test image I use.

More information about the Tig mailing list