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Why printing at home isn't economical

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#1 james


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Posted 10 October 2005 - 06:21 AM


Shouldn't need to log in for this one. This article was mostly a "no duh!" read for me, not everyone's tried these local printing services yet.

I didn't have to log in to NYT to read the article.

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#2 mattdiver


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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:01 AM

Very interesting article, James. I'd actually made the same analysis long ago, which is why I mostly print A4 size at home and refrain from printing the smaller 4x6 altogether.

A couple more points to add regarding this artcle:

1) What about colour profiles? I've never used online printers, but all the photo shops near my place do not handle them, and I've been regularly disappointed by the results.

2) Also, a good tip for those who print at home is to wait until you have a decent number to print. Each time you switch on your printer, it cleans the heads which wastes a non-negligible amount of ink. If you print only one shot, that's a lot of wastage, but if you print say 20 or 30, that's proportionately much less waste.


#3 james


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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:25 AM

Hi Mat,

The Fuji Alladin profiles for various papers are available online. Do a search.

Another plus is that sRGB is very close to the Alladin/Fuji Crystal Archive profile, so if you're lazy like me, as long as your monitor is profiled, your sRGB photos will look "right" when they come out of the printer.

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#4 davephdv


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Posted 10 October 2005 - 08:17 PM

I'm curious at what size print the cost of home printing breaks even with commercial printing. In my case I never make or have made of print of less than 5x7.
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#5 ReefRoamer


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Posted 11 October 2005 - 09:37 AM

The NYT article was not a suprise for most of us, I'm pretty sure. Printing 4x6 at home is a convenience for which you pay extra. For snapshots, I've taken to using online services that can process locally in one hour. Pretty good results. I'm very happy also with the larger prints, 11x14 and up, that I've received from shutterfly.com.

Here's something to look out for with online services: Most have an automatic enhancement feature that is applied to every photo by default. At shutterfly, it's called VividPix. Other services have different names. This enhancement usually involves auto levels, contrast, color. If you have edited your photo already, in PhotoShop or other programs, and your monitor is properly calibrated, you don't need or want this automatic enhancement. Turn it off. You may have to root around in the controls of the online service to find the control, but it will be worth your trouble. shutterfly specifically advises that VividPix be turned off if you have already tuned your photo in an image editing program and have a calibrated monitor. With this enhancement off, my prints very closely match my final edit onscreen.

Also, many of the services offer satisfaction guarantees and will reprint photos at no cost if you are not satisfied with the originall result.
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