Text and Image Photography

New Images Photography

Desktop Fine Art Photo Printers

photo printers

A good choice for fine art photography printing at home.

Printers come on all shapes and sizes. An ordinary color printer won’t meet the needs of a fine art digital photographer. Large stand-alone printers are used by many professionals, but they are pricy and take up an entire room of a house. What does a photographer who starting out selling fine art photography prints start with?

There are three printer possibilities for beginning fine art photographers, the Epson Stylus Pro 4900, the pson Stylus Pro 3880 and the Epson Stylus Pro 2880.

Epson offers a Stylus Pro 4900, a 17-inch-wide printer that uses 10 different-colored ink cartridges. At approximately $2,500, it isn’t cheap, but the prints you’ll get from it are superior. Epson claims that the speeds are twice as fast as previous-generation printers so you’ll be able to make many prints in a short period of time.

The Stylus Pro 4900 printer has automatic print-head alignment and print-head cleaning, which are new to printers. In previous models, you had to clean and align heads using software. It used to be that if you didn’t use a printer for a while, the nozzle head would get clogged, but Epson has revamped the technology so that nozzles are automatically kept clean at the first sign of buildup. Epson UltraChrome HDR ink (a pigmented ink) makes it possible to print photos with a wider color gamut, including printing HDR photography.

A less expensive (approximately $1,500) desktop model is the Epson Stylus Pro 3880, which is also 17 inches wide, but with an eight-color ink set. This printer has a black-and-white option that uses three different kinds of black ink (black, light black, and light light black) to get similar quality black-and-white prints than what you’d get with film negatives in a darkroom.

The current 13-inch model is the Epson Stylus Pro 2880. The 4900/3880/2880 use UltraChrome K3 ink. According to the Epson website, this “ink has improved print permanence characteristics that provide lightfastness ratings of up to 108 years for color and over 200 years for black and white under rigorous industry accepted display conditions” www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/Landing/UltraChromeK3.jsp).

I’d opt for the Epson Stylus Pro 3880, as it’s good value for the money and does a nice job at printing salable fine art photographs. For more about the latest printers and other state-of-the-art photography secrets, the following book is useful.

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