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When printing inkjet photos at home, I use:

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / February 9, 2006 7:11 AM PST

When printing inkjet photos at home, I use:

Top-of-the-line photo paper from printer's manufacturer
Midlevel photo paper from printer's manufacturer
Multipurpose photo paper from printer's manufacturer
Top-of-the-line third-party photo paper (such as from Kodak, Ilford)
Midlevel third-party photo paper
Multipurpose third-party photo paper
No brand-specific photo paper
Whatever photo paper I can afford

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HP OfficeJet Pro K550 and hp bright white inkjet 110 paper.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 9, 2006 8:42 AM PST

If I need photos it's fine and if I want 4x5, etc. I head to the corner store with a memory card.


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Low-cost setup...
by John.Wilkinson / February 9, 2006 9:01 AM PST

I usually use the Kodak Picture Maker, or the corresponding store-brand setups, for the convenience, speed, and relatively low cost, but when I do print at home it's using my HP PhotoSmart 7450 (with photo cartridge) and HP or Kodak premium photo paper.

However, my preferences here don't matter much for I rarely print photos anymore...they get loaded to photo CDs/DVDs that I can watch on my computer or DVD player in large form and easily scroll through. The originals and a few backups (discs do fail) take up much less space, typically last longer, and cost a lot less than the paper alternatives.


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When printing inkjet photos at home, I use:
by FallonTerry / February 9, 2006 5:39 PM PST

JetPrint Photo, Professional, extra heavy weight, 10 mil, brillant gloss, 4x6. Or JetPrint Photo, Premium, high gloss, heavy weight, 9 mil, 4x6. Both are acid-free, from International Paper.

Both are available at a very good price from Walmart!

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I use suppliers own brand for printing my photos
by ianmorris / February 9, 2006 5:41 PM PST

I use photopaper best price available from reputable suppliers.
Discounted brands like HP, Epson, Kodak but mainly the suppliers own brand this can be as little as 25% of the price of Major branded products.
I mainly buy from MX2.

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Top quality paper
by veggies / February 9, 2006 5:52 PM PST

HP paper for the Officejet Pro K550 an incredible machine

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Printing Photo's from home
by jake80 / February 9, 2006 6:35 PM PST

I use a mid-level Hp inkjet printer made by HP It's a HP 1215 PhotoSmart inkjet and it does a good job at it's best setting.
I also use the HP paper though more expensive it seems to do a better job than the cheaper photo paper.
I also think I use less ink on HP photo paper.

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Top quality digital fine art paper
by TomG / February 9, 2006 6:54 PM PST

My preference for display prints is for archival fine art matt papers such as from Hahnemuehle and Fotospeed. They give gorgeous rich colours and tonality and the slightly textured ones like Hahnemuehle German Etching are wonderful for landscapes, as the paper surface is like watercolour cartridge paper. If you've never tried these papers give them a shot and be prepared for the complements!

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Fine art paper
by walkerdine / February 9, 2006 7:13 PM PST

Entirely agree, but you should be prepared for some hefty cost implications. If you use this kind of paper making mistakes can be very expensive.

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Can't wait to try these papers out!
by mreinh / February 9, 2006 8:09 PM PST

I have been on a mission to find higher quality paper....I get great results with my HP Paper and printer with many nice compliments (OOH's and AHHH's)...tho now find this paper to be my limiting step in image quality. The glare from Hi Gloss seems to slightly reduce contrast. Tho color saturation on HP is great....The glare seems to slightly detract here as well. After getting intensely sharp/ crisp pics from my new Sony R1(The images border on insane)!...I am looking for a good paper compliment.
I'll save these papers for my favorite shots....
Thanks again for your post!

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Cannon S900 and Kodak Paper
by gregthomson / February 9, 2006 9:07 PM PST

Great results, even with an old 1.3 Mega Pixel camera.

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by bandit12 / February 9, 2006 9:18 PM PST

I use Staples glossy photo paper- heavyweight.I'm very happy with it and the cost is reasonable.

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Printing at home too expensive
by smuone / February 9, 2006 9:41 PM PST

Haven't yet seen an at home printing system that will beat the 17 cents (sometimes less) that I pay for any number of prints (certainly anything from 1 - 50).

Is there an at home printing system that does not cost more than 17 cents per print for professional quality?

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I fully agree... it's FAR cheaper to NOT print at home
by rae2_2 / February 10, 2006 2:54 AM PST

I use both film and digital cameras. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

But when it comes to making my own prints at home, I've just about given up doing it.

When I take ROLL of 35mm film (24 exp) in for 1-hour processing and printing, I get 24 4x6 prints (REAL PHOTOS using Kodak paper and processing, not ink jet), a DIGITAL CD with 24 jpgs on it, and negatives for making HUGE blowups and reprints... ALL FOR $5-$6! Once I have the digital files I'm in the same ballgame as any digital photographer, aren't I?

There is no way on God's green earth you'll come even close to that low cost doing it yourself at home, and, you won't come close to the quality either. By the time you buy the printer, ink and paper, and fight with the machinery for an hour or two, I'll bet you're into 5 TIMES THE COST if not more... FOR FAR POORER QUALITY.

Digital is just great if you're either lazy or unskilled in the photographic arts (go ahead shoot 100 shots in the hope of getting a good one) or have a specific reason to use digital over film.

I understand that some of the high end digital cameras produce very high quality prints. I wouldn't know... I can't afford $1000-$2000 for a camera. But I do know that my old Pentax will give me a negative sharp enough to produce an EXCELLENT 20x24 inch print. That's good enough for me.

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Printing at home is almost the same as in store printing...
by guido_b / February 10, 2006 1:57 PM PST

I do not agree with a lot of the old school photographers when they talk about how lab prints are cheaper. As of recent this is not true! Just do the math. Example: 24 exp. Fuji film (average in store price not retail) 3.00 + development of each photo at .17 each, equals out to 7.08. Then divide that by the number of photos 24 / 7.08 = .295 per photo. You must also keep in mind that you are spending time, gas, ect. just getting to the photo lab to drop off your film not to mention pick-up. With the price of gas these days it could be quite a bit per trip, and my time is money.

Now on the inkjet side, using the Epson PictureMate... Example: pack of 4x6 photo paper(100 sheets) with ink. 23.00 (average in store price not retail) equals out to about .23 per photo. I have used this printer and have found that I can get about 120 prints per ink cartridge. This just means that you would have to buy extra paper, but it does make it a couple of cents cheaper. Remember that the higher the paper to ink ratio you have the cheaper your prints will be. I do not deny that you would have to invest more initially in the at home method but it all equals out in the end. Plus, you can edit your photos before you print. This will also bring down your cost. Finally, you can develop your prints in your underwear while in the comfort of your own home. Try doing that at Sam's Club.

I am not against film, I still use it and love it. I originally learned photography using film with my Canon and Nikon SLR cameras. I am just giving a little bit of experience from both sides of the table. As for my background. I have been doing film photography for about 15 years and have been working in the electronics field for the same. So, I am not a newbie to this.

Note: I used the Epson as an example because it has a great quality, with reasonable cost. These prices are based on in-store averages.

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Not so on my calculator!
by rae2_2 / February 11, 2006 12:19 AM PST

guido_b wrote: "Example: pack of 4x6 photo paper(100 sheets) with ink. 23.00 (average in store price not retail) equals out to about .23 per photo."

Please forward the name of the store where I can purchase 100 sheets of 4x6 Epson photo paper, with all four Epson ink cartridges that are required to print an "average" photo, for $23.

The PAPER might be $23, but the Black, Magenta, Cyan and Yellow Epson carts for my C-86 printer run OVER $100 for the set, and if you can get more than 100 photos printed on one set you're doing better than I am. Most of your photos must include 50% cloudy sky!

You can save a lot by buying no-name ink and "on sale" paper... but if you care about quality of prints this won't wash.

And yes, at home you can crop and fiddle in your bathrobe to your heart's content. Can't do that at the store. But I, with film, compose and shoot the picture I want in the camera... I rarely ever choose to "edit" a photo afterwards.

Finally, with the CD I get at the store, if there does happen to be a photo I want to play with or enlarge, etc., THEN I will use my home printing outfit. But even then, by the time I get my dried out cartridges "cleaned" and working, and get the color balance correct, etc., etc., I've usually gone through a lot of ink and several sheets of paper, to say nothing of the time wasted.


No sir, guido_b, there's no way printing at home is either AS GOOD or LESS EXPENSIVE than a commerical photo lab. At least not when I use my calculator!

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Do some more research and read the post better!
by guido_b / February 11, 2006 1:21 AM PST

rae2_2 Wrote "Please forward the name of the store where I can purchase 100 sheets of 4x6 Epson photo paper, with all four Epson ink cartridges that are required to print an "average" photo, for $23.

The PAPER might be $23, but the Black, Magenta, Cyan and Yellow Epson carts for my C-86 printer run OVER $100 for the set, and if you can get more than 100 photos printed on one set you're doing better than I am. Most of your photos must include 50% cloudy sky!"

First of all, you did you are using a non photo printer with a four ink setup. Most photo printers us at least six inks and some with a red and blue setup. The paper and ink that I quoted was for the Epson PictureMate. This setup is sold with the ink and paper together in many stores such as Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, ect... Just because your printer cost more to do prints does not mean that you cannot get great at home prints for a good price. I have used many printers during my years of working in retail. For example, I have worked with about 20 different printers since November of 2005 not to mention the months/years before. I am simply giving the readers my info because unlike most people, I have had the liberty of using many different products in the field. So, for rae2_2 to say that it is not possible just shows that another person with limited experience and research miscalculates again.

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If you don't care about quality, take guido_b's advice
by rae2_2 / February 11, 2006 6:13 AM PST

Cost aside, a genuine "Kodak" (or Fuji, Agfa, etc.) photo, printed from FILM on PHOTOGRAPHIC PAPER, in my LIMITED, UNEDUCATED and INEXPERIENCED opinion, is to ANY inkjet or thermal transfer print, as a ROLLS ROYCE is to a FORD. There's simply no comparison in subtle coloration and shadings.

But don't listen to me. Ignore my views because my only experience has been the 10 years I spent earning my living as a professional photographer, and another 10 years as a trained computer consultant, and a user of the technology since the early 80s.

I'll stack the cost and quality of my 24 prints up against anything guido_b can produce on his toys at home.

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I guess that "rae2_2" is the expert and has seen my work?
by guido_b / February 11, 2006 2:37 PM PST

I am not trying to put down any one, but give experience from both ends of photo printing. Most people cannot tell the difference between a good inkjet photo and film. I discovered this by working in retail and asking people which photo they liked from different inkjets and film. About 8 out of 10 would choose one of the inkjet photos. I do think that rae2_2 has some good experience, but he has a very onesided view. I too did professional photography, computers (networking and programming) and played with comp tech since the 80's. It is my job to put these products through the ringer. I work in retail and have a side job as a consumer electronics tester. Testing everything from cameras to TVs to printers, ect... My question to rae2_2 is, how many printers and paper have you used at home for printing photos? Rae2_2 try not to be so negative.

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Final on this topic...
by rae2_2 / February 12, 2006 5:19 AM PST

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

guido_b has much more experience with printers, inks, papers than I'll ever have.

I just offered my opinion based on my experiences. So now you all can take mine, guido_b's, put them all in your "blender" then make and live with your own choices.

Good luck!

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Not quite final ...
by photobuff55 / March 22, 2006 1:52 AM PST
In reply to: Final on this topic...

You guys both have valid points. Yes, camera store prints are good. Yes, there's nothing like the 35mm negative and yes, you can get the CD with digital files either for messing with later if you want or the ease of saving to a website or sharing with family. Yes, home printing can be expensive and not necessarily better - but it can also be very comparable and just as good. It all depends on your system and supplies. I use HP everything. HP photo printer, inks and paper. I had taken a bunch of digital Christmas photos, printed them at home, then misplaced them during a recent remodeling, and decided I'd rather not take the time to reprint at home. I bought a prepaid digiprint card at Wolf (19 cents a print), uploaded my digital files and in an hour picked up store prints. Later I found the ones I printed at home. They're identical in appearance, and virtually the same cost. There's still the question of longevity, how well the inkjet holds up over time. Since having them store-printed is so easy, I have decided to print everyday stuff at home and print the important stuff (like Christmas) at the store. By the way, I don't know about Epson products, but when you buy HP products directly from HP, you get a good price and don't pay sales tax. If you order more than $50 shipping is free, also. In my experience the retail stores (Office Max, Best Buy) can be more expensive than HP's website. Also, with Staples recently expanding in Chicago area, there are a ton of coupons floating around - $10 off a $20 purchase, etc. If you have the time and ability to shop carefully, you don't have to spend a ton of money for home printing supplies.

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Digital Photos on paper
by sowaj / February 9, 2006 10:11 PM PST

A longtime ago I found that digital photos on photo paper were likely to fade and rapidly in sunlight. At the same time I fount them to be quite stable when printed on index card weight paper or traditional "xerox" paper.

Mostly I use Hammermill brand and either ink jet or laser jet ink.

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Photo Paper
by maxarzt / February 9, 2006 10:34 PM PST

I would like to stress two points.
Only use Printer Manufacturer Papers and Inks.
Otherwise you are asking for trouble.

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When printing inkjet photos a home I use
by riteon / February 9, 2006 11:01 PM PST

If you have a top level camera & printer why stint. I find there IS a difference when you use top of the line paper . Epson, Canon,Kodak, HP Also Ilford & Konica papers are excellent. If I have a photo that is questionnable or needs work, I'll run it off on plain paper first & after working on it decide whether to print it out on top of the line paper.

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Low Cost prints
by rgorman / February 10, 2006 12:21 AM PST

I use the lowest cost paper (Kirkland at Costco). It is thicker than the Kodak paper. I use generic ink from the internet bought on sale at as little as $2 per cartridge. When I bought a new printer, I went to the ink sites to see if there was generic ink for that printer at low pricew. I got a Canon i960. I can print 4 5.33x3 inch prints (the size that the 4:3 format gives ) on a 8.5x 11 sheet of paper tha costs $19 for 125 sheets ayt Costco. I get about 120 prints from the cartridges (7 at $2 each color). Paper costs about $0.12 for ink and $0.04 for the paper.

This is still more than the $0.13 that Sam's charges.

However it is a lot easier to print at home with Photoshops Elements to do the cropping, retouching, and size I want.

So far I have seen nop print degradation in the 2.5 years I've been using digital photography. I also have oodles of pink and white color photos from 20-30 years ago. I also have color slides which appear to be OK.

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(NT) (NT) Kirkland Professional Glossy Inkjet Photo Paper- COSTCO
by rgfitz / February 10, 2006 12:31 AM PST
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Inkjet photo paper
by dseiler64 / February 10, 2006 1:12 AM PST

I use Epson ColorLife paper,for photos I denfinately want to last, it is suspose to last the longest with my 960 Epson printer, I haven't had any pictures for 25 years so I'm not sure it the estimate is correct.

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No Simple Answer
by gcabat / February 10, 2006 1:23 AM PST

I have an HP printer, so when I have a photo that I am going to display I use HP premium photo paper. However when I am sending snapshots to friends and relatives I usually create a full page collage in PaintShop Pro and print it on inexpensive ''everyday'' photo paper. However recently I've bought a large package of HP brochure & Flyer paper which I print on both sides (paper cost is about 10

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Speciality Papers
by glsadecu / February 10, 2006 1:44 AM PST

Specialty papers from Moab are best for high level printing. I print using both Epson and Canon printers. My operating system is XP Pro. For routine work and proofs, I use Epson and Kodak papers.

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by saitokokeimei / February 10, 2006 6:15 AM PST

i don't use photo paper of any kind. i don't print many pictures at home, but if i do i just use plain old copier paper, the big bulk packs o_O the only cameras i or anyone i get pictures from has aren't too good, so there's no use in using expensive paper for a $20 some-fraction-of-a-megapixel camera...... right?

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photo paper
by windwalker2001 / February 10, 2006 7:14 AM PST

I am using a photosmart 8250 and hp paper, it my be just me but i think you should use the paper that matches your printer. ford parts, ford cars, gm parts, gm cars, and so on.

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