Holiday 2012: Photography Printing
B&H has long been dedicated to all aspects of photography, including fine art photography. As such, we have always kept in stock a wide variety of the best products for fine art photo printing. In the days before all things digital, the line at our SuperStore's darkroom section was often the longest, with customers analyzing the many types and brands of photographic paper as well as chemicals and darkroom supplies. Today, while we keep alive the tradition of darkroom printing and have expert advisers to explain what is still available and possible, we also embrace all aspects of digital printing, from paper and inks to the printers themselves.
Our stock runs the gamut from printers for the hobbyist to the most state-of-the-art professional printers. Our in-store sales team and staff of experts can help you with any decision you may need to make when it comes to purchasing a new inkjet printer or researching which type of alternative chemical printing methods are still viable for your artistic endeavors. In this article, we will highlight a sampling of digital printers that can bring your photos to life and turn them into a frameable works of art.
For the professional photographer who needs a printer that can provide the sharpest of details and most accurate colors and often on large pieces of paper, we have numerous options. For example, the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Large-Format Inkjet Printer offers a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440dpi, and with an advanced MicroPiezo AMC print head, it produces gallery-quality color and black-and-white prints up to 17 x 22". The printer’s nine-ink set delivers a bold range of colors and its one-inch-wide print head employs automatic photo and matte black ink sharing to improve black ink density for various media types. The Epson 3880 accepts cut-sheet media up to 17” wide and features three ways to load paper including a front-load, straight-through path capable of handling media up to 1.5mm thick and a second, top-loading, single-sheet feeder optimized for fine art paper.
The Canon PIXMA PRO-1 Color Inkjet Photo Printer accepts media from 4 x 6” to 13 x 19” and is especially designed for professional photographers and high-quality output. A rear paper input tray accepts up to 20 sheets of photo paper and thicker papers can be manually fed. The print head on the PIXMA PRO-1 has 12,288 nozzles, which improves definition and overall print speed. Because the inks are housed on the side of the print head, their tanks are larger and hold more ink. The 12 pigment based ink system from the LUCIA family includes five monochrome inks for expanding the dynamic range in dark areas: Matte Black, Photo Black, Dark Gray, Gray and Light Gray. In addition to these monochromes, the printer utilizes Cyan, Photo Cyan, Magenta, Photo Magenta, Yellow, Red and the special Chroma Optimizer, which provides a clear coat that enhances the uniform glossiness of the paper and also maintains true color fidelity. It is also capable of printing directly to CDs or DVDs and via an Ethernet connection, USB 2.0 port, or PictBridge port, the PIXMA PRO-1 is compatible with a wide variety of devices.
Designed to print up to 44” wide and flexible enough for all width sizes down to 8.3", the Epson Stylus Pro 9900 Printer offers a high level of performance and nuance for fine art applications. With a MicroPiezo TFP print head and an ink-droplet size of 3.5 picoliters, fine art photos are produced with rich, detailed and accurate colors. Ideal for black-and-white printing as well, the 9900 simultaneously utilizes Black, Light Black and Light Light Black inks to produce prints with smooth tonal gradations and contrast. 11 ink cartridges are available in capacities of 150, 350 and 700 ml and sizes can be mixed as well to save money and minimize waste. Paper with 2 or 3” core rolls can be switched easily because no spindle is used. This increases flexibility and, again, eliminates waste.
More for the hobbyist or semi-pro, but equally adept at making fine prints is the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Color Inkjet Printer, which can produce exhibition-quality prints at a maximum width of 13”. It uses UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Inks that provides an eight-color set with three levels of black. A workhorse of a printer, high volume is not a problem with its specially treated print heads and mist-collection system to absorb overspray. It can accept thick media and specialty items like CDs and also allows rolls of paper up to 44” long.
The Epson Stylus Photo R3000 Color Inkjet Printer also uses the UltraChrome K3 ink system with Vivid Magenta pigment-based ink, but has a 9-ink system with three blacks. Individual ink cartridges of 25.9 ml can be replaced as needed, and the eight-channel MicroPiezo AMC print head delivers a maximum resolution of 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi with variable-size ink droplets as small as 2 picoliters. With three media paths, the R3000 accepts media up to 13” wide, including canvas, fine art paper and other thick media through the front, roll paper as long as 44” and up to 30 sheets of photographic paper from the auto-feeder. The printer connects to your computer system via USB 2.0 and, unlike the R2880, can connect to a network with Ethernet or 802.11n Wi-Fi.
The Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Color Inkjet Wireless Photo Printer also offers Wi-Fi, Ethernet and PictBridge connectivity and 4800 x 2400 dpi for its maximum output of 13 x 19” media. Of its eight ink cartridges, three are monochrome (black, gray and light gray) for professional-quality prints. An 8 x 10” print can be completed in approximately 51 seconds, and utilizing the Optimum Image Generating (OIG) system from the PIXMA PRO-1 model, the printer analyzes specific areas of the image and the paper to produce a well balanced, color-accurate print, ready for display.
The Canon PIXMA PRO-10 Color Inkjet Photo Printer has a 4800 x 2400 dpi resolution and ink droplets as small as 4.0 pl. Like the PRO-100, it can output prints up to 13 x 19”, but features a 10-cartridge ink system that includes three black inks for high quality black-and-white photos and 1,500 more nozzles than the PRO-100. Two-way paper feeding allows for standard and thicker media to be printed upon and Print Studio Pro plug-in software offers professional photographic printing solutions when working straight from photo-editing programs. Built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet allow for convenience and multiple-user capability, and PictBridge lets you print directly from your camera, camcorder or phone.
For all-in-one scanners and printers, Canon offers three color inkjet photo printers with scanning capabilities. The PIXMA MG8220 All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer prints images up to 8.5 x 11” from its six-color ink system, which includes a dedicated gray ink and pigment based black ink for photos and documents. A disc tray also allows you to print directly on CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs. A 9600 x 2400 dpi resolution with 1 pl droplets provide quality for both photo and documents. Print speed is impressive with the MG8220, which is able to complete a borderless 4 x 6” photo in approximately 20 seconds. Connectivity options abound from USB, memory cards, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and PictBridge to direct printing from smart phones and tablets with AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. Scanning is easy with simplified controls and a built-in film adapter unit for 35mm film and slide scanning and a 3.5” LCD monitor to help you go right from scan to print without using your computer.
The PIXMA MG6220 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-In-One Printer and the PIXMA MG5320 All-in-One Color Inkjet Photo Printer are truly multi-functional machines, allowing for high-quality photo prints, two-sided document printing, CD/DVD/Blu-ray printing, HD Movie frame printing and computer or scanner-initiated scanning of documents and images. All of this is provided in a fast (black at 12.5 IPM and color at 9.3 IPM), accurate system connectable via USB, memory card, PictBridge, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, AirPrint or Google Cloud Print. Easy operation with the Intelligent Touch System, a 3.5” LCD and Auto Photo Fix II are provided by these two systems; the only main distinction is that the MG6620 offers six-color ink system, including a dedicated gray ink to the MG5320’s five-ink system.
For all-in-one printing and scanning, Epson makes the Artisan 730 All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer and the Artisan 837 All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer. The Artisan 730, with six-color ink, MicroPiezo technology and 1.5 pl droplet size, prints fine color and nicely detailed 4 x 6” photos in as fast as 10 seconds. For documents, it averages 9.6 PPM for black ink and an impressive 9.1 PPM for color documents. Built-in wireless and wired networking and cloud compatibility ensure that you are connected from any spot in your home or office and the Epson Connect app allows for direct printing from your smart phone or tablet. Of course, printing directly from memory cards and USB is possible and the 2.5” LCD allows for preview and editing. The Artisan 837 offers all of the printing, scanning and copying capability of the 730, but also includes a fax and 30-page document feeder. Both machines do their best to be eco-friendly by utilizing less power, offering 2-sided and multi-page printing on a single sheet, and because they are RoHS Compliant and designed from the ground up to be recycled.
For high-quality printing at events or anytime when high volume and portability matter, B&H offers a range of options. For starters, the Canon SELPHY CP900 Compact Photo Printer (available in black or white models) is a highly portable printer that outputs photos up to 4 x6”. Weighing less than two pounds, it can go anywhere and there’s no need to bring a computer along, either. Print directly from your camera’s memory card or a USB drive or send images from your smart phone or tablet with the printer’s Wi-Fi connectivity. The SELPHY CP900 has a 2.7” adjustable LCD and offers color and brightness correction as well as red-eye removal. You can also print with or without a white border and print from one to eight photos on a single page. The printer uses dye-sublimation technology, which is a thermal print process that involves heating a color ribbon until it vaporizes, at which point it transfers ink to paper and then coats the image for longevity. Paper and ink are available in one convenient pack.
The HiTi P510S 6” Dye Sub Roll-Type Photo Printer is a stand-alone printer used for on-location photo printing occasions, such as conferences, weddings, school and promotional events. Speed is of the utmost importance in such situations and, using dye-sublimation printing, the P510S can output a 4 x 6” print in approximately 12 seconds. Capable of printing either matte or glossy prints on roll paper with a maximum print size of 6 x 9”, the P510 offers three printing modes: Event Photos, Personalized Photos and ID Photos. The P510S runs on the OEE II Image Processor with 10-bit vibrant color and true, continuous tonal range. With direct input for USB and memory cards, a computer is not necessary for operation. Included with the printer is a software package that allows for the design and creation of numerous photo types, from Passport and ID photos to customized event and business applications.
The DNP DS-RX1 Dye-Sub Color Photo Printer is a portable event-photography printer that can produce 700 4 x 6” photos in a single run at just 14.9 seconds per print. It’s able to print either matte or glossy photos from 2 x 6” up to 6 x 8”. An efficient, compact machine, it is ideal for photo booths as well as events.
DNP also offers the DS 40 Professional Photo Printer that quickly produces long lasting, high-resolution prints with bright, accurate colors. Able to output 600 dpi dye-sublimation prints at 8.9 seconds per 4 x 6” print, the DS40 is compact for its capacity and designed to stack one on top of the other for higher-volume work. It can print with paper from 4 x 6” to 6 x 9” with multiple speed and quality settings. Input is via USB 2.0 compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP, Windows 2000 and Mac OS X 10.4 and later. A professional piece of equipment, it runs steadfastly and is durable during long days and multiple events.
The Fujifilm ASK 2500 Dye-Sub Printer puts out a 4 x 6” print in 6.8 seconds, but can also print on paper up to 6 x 9”. Like the above printers, it is a dye-sublimation printer and combined with Fujifilm Quality Thermal Photo Paper, offers bold colors, brighter gloss and photos that don’t stick together. For the scope of its productivity, the ASK 2500 is compact and efficient at a size of only 11.8 x 16.2 x 13.9". It is supplied with one roll of media that can produce 308 5 x 7” prints.
From all-in-one scanners and printers for your home to high level fine art and commercial printers, B&H stocks them all, and we make available our expert sales associates for any questions you may have regarding which printer is best for you. If you have any questions, before or after purchase, do not hesitate to be in touch.