Printer Update

Waynesville, North Carolina

In my Computer Update post I noted that the one remaining item (and unexpected expense) from my recent computer conversion was the decision to replace my aging printer.  This past weekend I received and set up my new printer – a Canon Pixma Pro 100.  It has a lot going for it – most notably the price.  With a $200 rebate the net cost to me was under $200, and it came with $50 worth of free paper.  And I sold my old iMac to Gazelle for $150, so the out of pocket cost is practically $0!  Of course I immediately reinvested some of that savings in a second set of ink, but at $125 for the new printer instead of $900 for ink for my old printer, it was an expense that is far more easily digested.

Waynesville, North Carolina

Some would say that it was foolish to get rid of a functioning printer just because I didn’t want to spend the money on consumables.  In some respects those comments would be correct, and that was something I seriously considered in weighing my decision.  The cost of said consumables was substantial, especially for a printer that got only occasional use.  Every time I turned that thing on, it had to go through a long startup and cleaning cycle, and it felt like I was replacing an ink cartridge (at $75 each!) every time.  Certainly the cost of ink is less per drop (or milliliter or however one chooses to measure ink cost) for a larger printer than a small printer.  And the cost of roll paper is less than the cost of sheets.  Regardless of those factors, it was hard to ignore the low initial and operating costs of the smaller printer.  That, combined with a smaller footprint in my office, the promise of improved technology and a newer generation ink set made it a no-brainer.

Waynesville, North Carolina
Waynesville, North Carolina

The negatives are few, but include the fact that this printer uses die inks instead of pigment inks.  Die inks are traditionally thought of as being less archival than pigment inks – they might only last 100 years…gasp!  But pigment inks are generally thought of as being more prone to clogging than die inks, and for a printer that doesn’t see daily use, that was somewhat important to me.  Importantly, color accuracy is similar between the two ink types as long as they are set up properly, and I think I’ve just about got that nailed.

Waynesville, North Carolina

The ability to use the Soft Proof function in Lightroom has been a welcome addition and has been leading to more accurate results without wasting a lot of paper.  Since I wasn’t able to print from my computer when it was impersonating a Mac I never had a chance to use Soft Proofing.  But now that I can use it from Windows, that improvement alone was worth the cost and effort of the change.

Waynesville, North Carolina

The fact of the matter is that my needs have changed since I bought the large printer.  I rarely need to print anything larger than 13×19, and more often than not I would need to print larger than the old printer could print and would have to send the file to an outside print lab anyway.  I have a couple of excellent choices for outside printing, so as long as I know I have an accurate file I have no problem sending the file to someone else to print.  The smaller printer gives me a “good enough” proof for those purposes.  For my own use, I have a lot less wall space now than I used to have, so I don’t do as much printing for my own use.  Most of what I print for myself is for décor purposes, and printed on wood, canvas or metal.  So I’m sending that work out anyway.

Waynesville, North Carolina

Probably the biggest challenge was figuring out how to get rid of the old printer.  No one wanted it, for the same reasons I didn’t want it.  I could take it to the county recycling center, but it weighed 120 pounds and wasn’t something that Kathy & I were going to move ourselves.  I could have asked the kids to help me but decided against it.  As it turns out I called one of the “Junk Hauling” companies, and two guys and a truck came on Saturday morning and hauled it away for under $100.  It probably made our neighbors curious but was well worth the cost.  Done and gone!

Waynesville, North Carolina

So there you have it.  I think the transition can be called a success, and I am still way ahead of that $3,000 bill that I would have had with a new Mac.  And I didn’t have to buy all those dongles!

4 thoughts on “Printer Update”

  1. Fine images, especially those more abstract ones, with the damaged paint on the wall as my favourite of today.

    And I read with interest what you wrote about your transition from Mac to Win (which indeed is rare, but totally reasonable in terms of finances as long as you have some computer skills), and from your old printer to a new one. Myself I am still using Linux and AfterShot for my raw workflow, but have meanwhile set up a written-off computer with Win 7 just as a printing station – thanks to remote desktop, it even doesn’t need a separate display and keyboard. But as my time at home was cut by job demands, my printing volume has shrunk drastically, and I am more than glad that I did not experience any ink clogging up to now.

    The good thing is that the software at the moment keeps me from lusting after a new camera body, because my trusted version of the raw converter simply doesn’t support the newer Olympus models…

  2. Thank you, Markus. I know my move went in the “wrong” direction in most folks’ minds, but for me a computer is a computer. I wouldn’t have built one at all if it wasn’t for having competent help. My son is a Linux fan and I have an interest in trying it out when I have time. Right now I’d rather stick with one operating system regardless of which one it is, and I’m afraid that the learning curve for Linux, while one I want to eventually try, will have to wait for later. Ultimately I’d like to find a way to break free of the upgrade cycle, and not buying a new camera is probably the safest way to avoid getting caught up in it!

  3. Love the three images with shadows, the chairs, the window and the lamps. Not that the others are bad but these are subjects that call me. I no longer do my own printing and for the same reason you stated: my needs have changed. I had one of the Epson pigment ink printers and also went through a lot of ink. I print so infrequently that it pays to have a lab do it for me. And, the printing is seldom to sell but for my own personal use. Glad all is working for you!!

  4. The chair photo has your name on it because I took it in a coffee shop. 😉

    I’ve been enjoying having the ability to fire up the printer and make a print whenever the mood moves me. Still have to keep an eye on the ink levels but it isn’t quite so painful in smaller doses.

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