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Thread: cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

  1. #1

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    cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

    Have just been researching the cost of lambda or lightjet prints in the UK.

    I was shocked to find the cost of a single 20x16 B+W printed onto harman digital fibre is £90 (+ VAT ) from the lab I looked at. That is roughly double the cost of having a hand printed FB print done at the same size by the same lab.

    I conclude that there must be a big setup cost for each print and that it's probably designed for multi print runs of the same image where the costs per image come down. But even so, it seems very expensive. Maybe its not designed for us mere mortals who don't want massive display prints.

    What's your experience?

  2. #2
    Joanna Carter's Avatar
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    Re: cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by percepts View Post
    Have just been researching the cost of lambda or lightjet prints in the UK.

    I was shocked to find the cost of a single 20x16 B+W printed onto harman digital fibre is £90 (+ VAT ) from the lab I looked at. That is roughly double the cost of having a hand printed FB print done at the same size by the same lab.

    I conclude that there must be a big setup cost for each print and that it's probably designed for multi print runs of the same image where the costs per image come down. But even so, it seems very expensive. Maybe its not designed for us mere mortals who don't want massive display prints.

    What's your experience?
    The usual problem with having a single print done on a Lightjet or Lambda printer is that there is a possibility that they will have to use the full width of the paper (possibly 50") just for your single print. Usually, if you can make up 50" x one of your dimensions, then you will pay for a linear dimension full of images rather than one image in the middle of a lot of paper; therefore, the unit cost per print should be considerably cheaper, possibly the same as a single print.

    If the lab doesn't do this, maybe you should look elsewhere.
    Joanna Carter
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    UKLFPG

  3. #3

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    Re: cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanna Carter View Post
    The usual problem with having a single print done on a Lightjet or Lambda printer is that there is a possibility that they will have to use the full width of the paper (possibly 50") just for your single print. Usually, if you can make up 50" x one of your dimensions, then you will pay for a linear dimension full of images rather than one image in the middle of a lot of paper; therefore, the unit cost per print should be considerably cheaper, possibly the same as a single print.

    If the lab doesn't do this, maybe you should look elsewhere.
    Not sure about that. A pro lab has these things running all day and will be using a rip which is easily capable of taking a number of images and working out optimum layout to minimise paper wastage. Any single print just gets added to next print job. So unless things are light and they have nothing else to print, then the cost seems very high to me. and if your not in a rush it can wait until they have enough prints for a worthwhile print job.

    Maybe Bob Carnie will chime in with his expertise on this.

  4. #4
    Joanna Carter's Avatar
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    Re: cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by percepts View Post
    Not sure about that. A pro lab has these things running all day and will be using a rip which is easily capable of taking a number of images and working out optimum layout to minimise paper wastage. Any single print just gets added to next print job. So unless things are light and they have nothing else to print, then the cost seems very high to me. and if your not in a rush it can wait until they have enough prints for a worthwhile print job.
    I would agree that this should be the case. It might just be worth your while speaking to the lab and asking them what their poilicy is on this. Maybe their pricing assumes you want it yesterday and they factor in the cost of possibly not being able to make up the full width.
    Joanna Carter
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    UKLFPG

  5. #5
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    Re: cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by percepts View Post
    I conclude that there must be a big setup cost for each print and that it's probably designed for multi print runs of the same image where the costs per image come down.
    Nope. Inkjet ink is expensive, but pales in comparison to inkjet media which is truly expensive. There are hundreds of papers, with lots of surface choices, with most of them on higher quality paper bases (cotton as opposed to plastic coated alpha cellulose). Gamut on inkjet prints is higher than Chromira prints also. Finally, Chromira machines and the RA-4 processing lines attached to them can be highly automated. Inkjet machines, while considerably less expensive, are also slower and take more hand work dealing with prints that are considerably more fragile (which often means spoilage and therefore reprints on that truly expensive paper).

    In short, the inkjet print is the premium product. It shouldn't be a surprise that it costs more. The other way to look at it is: if the Chromira print is the premium product, you're getting a hell of a bargain.

    Bruce Watson

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    Re: cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    Nope. Inkjet ink is expensive, but pales in comparison to inkjet media which is truly expensive. There are hundreds of papers, with lots of surface choices, with most of them on higher quality paper bases (cotton as opposed to plastic coated alpha cellulose). Gamut on inkjet prints is higher than Chromira prints also. Finally, Chromira machines and the RA-4 processing lines attached to them can be highly automated. Inkjet machines, while considerably less expensive, are also slower and take more hand work dealing with prints that are considerably more fragile (which often means spoilage and therefore reprints on that truly expensive paper).

    In short, the inkjet print is the premium product. It shouldn't be a surprise that it costs more. The other way to look at it is: if the Chromira print is the premium product, you're getting a hell of a bargain.
    What's inkjet got to do with it. I think you need to bone up on Lambda prints and Harman Digital Fibre paper.

  7. #7

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    Re: cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

    The overhead buying and running one is high. As Bob Carnie mentioned in another thread when a laser goes out it's expensive to replace. There's also the energy to run it, the space to keep it, the staff to calibrate, maintain, and run it, etc.

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    Re: cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
    The overhead buying and running one is high. As Bob Carnie mentioned in another thread when a laser goes out it's expensive to replace. There's also the energy to run it, the space to keep it, the staff to calibrate, maintain, and run it, etc.
    I guess that keeps it inline with digital cameras costing more than film cameras then...

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    Re: cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

    What about sending your files overseas to print? Here in Toronto there are several shops that would likely do that print job for less, even when shipping is factored in.

  10. #10

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    Re: cost of lambda and lightjet prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Galbraith View Post
    What about sending your files overseas to print? Here in Toronto there are several shops that would likely do that print job for less, even when shipping is factored in.
    which labs?

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