Tips Provided by Peter K. Burian www.peterkburian.com
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/PBN01.asp Digital Photography with Guest Instructor Peter Burian
Whether you shoot with a digital camera or scan photographs, print making can be one of the most rewarding aspects of photography. In the past, you needed a darkroom and a great deal expertise to make beautiful color or black-and-white prints. Today, anyone can make prints that are suitable for framing, without working with caustic chemicals. The pre-requisite of course, is a printer designed to produce optimal results when outputting photos.
There’s no simple method for identifying the ideal inkjet photo printer, because that depends on individual budgets, preferences, and printing plans. However, if you’re considering a letter-size inkjet photo printer that will make beautiful photo prints, look for one with the following features:
* A resolution of 1440dpi. Much higher resolution capabilities are available. However, the difference between a print made at 1440dpi and another made at 2880dpi is noticeable only by a critical observer.
* Six ink colors, preferably in individual tanks. Four color printers simply cannot reproduce an adequately wide range of subtle hues and tones. Individual ink tanks are ideal because you can replace only the tank that runs out. In the long run, that’s more economical than buying a large cartridge that includes three or six ink colors.
* An ink droplet size of 4 picoliters, or preferably smaller if you’re a perfectionist or make very large prints. Some machines generate droplets as small as 1.5 picoliters. (A picoliter is a millionth of a liter.) Smaller droplets offer several benefits: more subtle the gradations of color, more detail in the print and a smoother overall appearance.
* A lightfast or print permanence rating of 25 or more years. Such ratings refer to the life of a print (framed, matted and displayed under glass) before significant fading becomes noticeable. The latest Canon Pixma http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ProductCatIndexAct&fcategoryid=103, Epson Stylus Photo http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/ProductCategory.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=-8165 and HP Photosmart http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/generic_category.do?storeName=storefronts&landing=printers&category=inkjets&catLevel=1 printers all meet or exceed the 25 year rating when using the printer makers’ premium or pro grade photo papers.
(For more information on permanence issues, visit the www.wilhelm-research.com web site.)
Hint:The quickest way to compare the specifications for several machines of several brands is on a photo retailer’s website. Also read test reports in photographic magazines or on the Web. Such Reviews can be invaluable in identifying machines that will meet your expectations.