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Thread: Printer recommendation for a high school program?

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Printer recommendation for a high school program?

    Hi all ~

    I'm looking to buy a photo printer for my high school photo classes. My primary criteria are:

    1.) Ease of use

    2.) Economy of toner costs

    3.) Reasonable print quality

    We tried a couple of Epson printers a year ago, but they never functioned right due to driver problems, registration problems, and communications-with-the-computer problems (they wouldn't recognize anything in Photoshop, and the computer often froze up and had to be rebooted when printing). We also had a Niagra IV bulk ink delivery system that never came close to working right.

    This time we want to keep it very simple, and get something that will work simply and reliably. This is for a high school program, so it doesn't have to be fine-art gallery quality, just fairly nice. Any suggestions?
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  2. #2

    Re: Printer recommendation for a high school program?

    I am also still in the situation to look for a printer, from my evaluations the HP printers are much cheaper to operate and have less problems with clogging.
    Regards
    Martin

  3. #3

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    Re: Printer recommendation for a high school program?

    Martin ~

    Yes, I have an HP at home that would work well enough for high school photo classes and has pretty good print quality, but the toner cartridges are small enough in ink capacity and expensive enough that they would be a considerable restriction on how much we could print. (Think 150 students...)
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  4. #4

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    Re: Printer recommendation for a high school program?

    Mark,

    you'll do best on ink cost with a 17" or larger printer. Epson 3800, 4880 or Canon 5100 are the 17" choices. I understand that you can save 40-50% on many papers by printing on rolls. If you want to use roll paper to further reduce cost, then the 3800 is out. I doubt you'd want to go to 24" as it almost doubles the upfront cost.

    Strange that you had trouble with the Epson drivers. They are generally considered to be one of the best available.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    879

    Re: Printer recommendation for a high school program?

    The question should be why aren't you teaching the students how to do wet prints? Something that they can really value.

  6. #6

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    Re: Printer recommendation for a high school program?

    Quote Originally Posted by Toyon View Post
    The question should be why aren't you teaching the students how to do wet prints? Something that they can really value.
    Actually, we're still doing about 90% darkroom and 10% digital, but I'd liken to get it to a third darkroom, a third digital, and a third student's choice.

    The advanced student's portfolio requires pinholes, 35mm, medium format, two 4x5 and one 8x10 negatives, all printed, plus a few cyanotypes. But most students will do the absolute minimum required, or less...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  7. #7
    jetcode
    Guest

    Re: Printer recommendation for a high school program?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Actually, we're still doing about 90% darkroom and 10% digital, but I'd liken to get it to a third darkroom, a third digital, and a third student's choice.

    The advanced student's portfolio requires pinholes, 35mm, medium format, two 4x5 and one 8x10 negatives, all printed, plus a few cyanotypes. But most students will do the absolute minimum required, or less...
    Mark I just picked up a Canon ipf5100 and it is an excellent printer. Ink is not cheap ($75 for 130ml) but the print quality and color gamut are to be fully appreciated. The printer was easy to setup and it appears to be quite easy to maintain, print heads can be replaced, ink carts on the left side not on the print head like the Epsons, great printer for the money in my opinion.

  8. #8

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    Re: Printer recommendation for a high school program?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrladewig View Post
    Mark,

    you'll do best on ink cost with a 17" or larger printer. Epson 3800, 4880 or Canon 5100 are the 17" choices. I understand that you can save 40-50% on many papers by printing on rolls. If you want to use roll paper to further reduce cost, then the 3800 is out. I doubt you'd want to go to 24" as it almost doubles the upfront cost.

    Strange that you had trouble with the Epson drivers. They are generally considered to be one of the best available.
    Yes, I know Epson printers are highly thought of, but our two 1280's were unbelieveably horrid. Epson's customer service was even worse. We're using a very cheap old HP printer now, which works much better, but the ink costs are very high, ($45 for a three-color cartridge that holds a TOTAL of 17ml).

    I'll look into the Canon 5100!
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  9. #9
    jetcode
    Guest

    Re: Printer recommendation for a high school program?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    I'll look into the Canon 5100!
    I got mine at colorhq.com and they have them for $1559 - I just couldn't pass it up

  10. #10

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    Re: Printer recommendation for a high school program?

    Quote Originally Posted by jetcode View Post
    I got mine at colorhq.com and they have them for $1559 - I just couldn't pass it up
    It's looking like that one's out of our price range. I should have mentioned, we're looking in the $300-500 area. So it goes...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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