Is there anyone who sells a complete package - printer, profile and set up for computer..?

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#1
I'm not sure what it is I am sort of looking for, but having read a few threads about the hassle involved in getting quality prints - ie from calibrating a screen, setting up a printer and getting different profiles for different papers I started to wonder if there is anyone ( Marrutt for example) who could supply the whole lot - a screen calibrator, software that will set it all up and a printer that will talk with the other bits so that prints emerge looking good from the start - ie plug and play, rather than me struggling, getting cross and fed up then loosing interest due to lack of knowledge....
I rarely print at home in part as it is so easy to order some from DSCL or wherever, and currently only have a cheap scanner/printer, so don't even try to do decent prints, but if there was an easy way to print high quality A3, or even A3+ I might be very interested. I don't imagine I'd ever print large quantities, but I'm determined to start getting more prints done. However, for it to be me doing the printing there needs to be as little input to get it working as possible. I use ACDSee to edit my pictures if that helps in any way.
Does anyone here know if there is anything available to do this, and if so what is it I'm looking for ?
I don't have any set budget, but guess I'd have to be thinking of starting at around £500-£600 for a printer.
 
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#2
It's a tricky one Steve, and one I've struggled with too :(

If you're a member of a camera club, there is usually one or two people who are really into this - and with a bit of persuasion, will often come round and do what you're after. Problem is, the screen will need recalibrating every 6 months or so (and some say every month...)

I had mine done by a lovely chap at Southampton CC, he even profiled my favourite paper for me. Might be worth investigating?
 
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#3
I don't think this exists.

Once you have the image looking how you like it on your screen you then need to get it onto the paper. Several steps are involved in this (software wise) but ultimately there is a piece of software that needs to convert the image into something your printer understands. Usually you get something with the printer which is often absolutely fine for most applications but it's usually not very good for high quality photographic images.

Every paper takes inks differently, so "bright green" might end up coming out "subdued green" on one paper, and "washed out green" on another and "blue" on another. That's why manufacturers make ICC profiles - to tell specific printers what mix of colours to use to get perfect results. However your software needs to be able to apply that profile to the image before sending it to the printer. In the case of Lightroom, the facility is built into the Print module, so it's easy. But if you printer utility doesn't do it, and ACDSee doesn't do it, you'll need something else too. The good news is that once you have gone through the pain of setting it up, the next print should need very little work. Only when you start changing papers or process (colour to B&W for example) do you need to set it all up again. Lightroom allows you to save all this as a profile, so it's a one-click job and easy to switch between papers. I don't know about other software though, and remember that if you don't have the software that can apply a profile, there's no point in even worrying about it.

It's an awkward process, but like anything, once you've learned how to navigate it, you can overcome issues with less pain. For me, I much prefer making my own prints than DSCL'ing it. I get more satisfaction from it, and from the paper choices per image. Printing at 13x19 is really rewarding and far cheaper than the likes of DSCL for Giclée prints.
 
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#4
It's a tricky one Steve, and one I've struggled with too :(

If you're a member of a camera club, there is usually one or two people who are really into this - and with a bit of persuasion, will often come round and do what you're after. Problem is, the screen will need recalibrating every 6 months or so (and some say every month...)

I had mine done by a lovely chap at Southampton CC, he even profiled my favourite paper for me. Might be worth investigating?
I don't think this exists.

Once you have the image looking how you like it on your screen you then need to get it onto the paper. Several steps are involved in this (software wise) but ultimately there is a piece of software that needs to convert the image into something your printer understands. Usually you get something with the printer which is often absolutely fine for most applications but it's usually not very good for high quality photographic images.

Every paper takes inks differently, so "bright green" might end up coming out "subdued green" on one paper, and "washed out green" on another and "blue" on another. That's why manufacturers make ICC profiles - to tell specific printers what mix of colours to use to get perfect results. However your software needs to be able to apply that profile to the image before sending it to the printer. In the case of Lightroom, the facility is built into the Print module, so it's easy. But if you printer utility doesn't do it, and ACDSee doesn't do it, you'll need something else too. The good news is that once you have gone through the pain of setting it up, the next print should need very little work. Only when you start changing papers or process (colour to B&W for example) do you need to set it all up again. Lightroom allows you to save all this as a profile, so it's a one-click job and easy to switch between papers. I don't know about other software though, and remember that if you don't have the software that can apply a profile, there's no point in even worrying about it.

It's an awkward process, but like anything, once you've learned how to navigate it, you can overcome issues with less pain. For me, I much prefer making my own prints than DSCL'ing it. I get more satisfaction from it, and from the paper choices per image. Printing at 13x19 is really rewarding and far cheaper than the likes of DSCL for Giclée prints.
Thank you both for such helpful replies.
I am not a member of a camera club, but might look into this
The word 'profiles' has never meant anything to me, now I get some sort of idea.
Maybe I should start by trialing Lightroom and possibly asking a camera club member about help with that should I struggle - I've used ACDSee since I went digital about 20 years ago, so am set in my (It's ?) ways but it can't hurt to try something new.
Again, thanks very much !
 
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#7
OK, having spent much of yesterday looking at reviews, measuring up my desktop and peering into the abyss that is my bank balance I'm starting to think that for now at least the Canon IP8750 might be the way to go - it is cheaper than most of the others (ie Pro100, Epson SC600 etc) a little smaller so it will fit without too much effort, plus I have a full set of XL ink cartridges that fit it, along with some (A4) Canon photo paper.
Park Camera's have the printer at £189 and I'm going to assume that given that I currently have a Canon (TS8150) multi function printer there should not be to many problems getting it to work well enough, and if I get into printing big then its not too much of a loss should I want to go for a higher quality printer, and the money I will save at this stage can go towards a monitor calibration device, but that's another question I guess..!
 
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#8
Personally, I'd leave monitor calibration until you see the quality of your prints. What you see vs what you get might be acceptable without calibrating (it is for me) which will save you a few quid. Often, screens are overly bright, so just turning the brightness down till it matches the print (in daylight) will do the job. If you go the route of getting someone like Fotospeed to build you custom profiles though, you'll definitely need to calibrate. Extra money would probably be better spend on decent paper (box of Fotospeed's Platinum Lustre is - in my opinion - streets ahead of Canon own brand stuff and very good value for money)

It was mentioned in another thread, but a huge amount of my initial printing woes were solved by moving away from what I'd got from PC World (Canon Ultra High Gloss) to decent papers (Canson, Hahnemuhle, Fotospeed, Permajet, Ilford). If you want me to send you some samples, PM me your address.
 
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#9
Personally, I'd leave monitor calibration until you see the quality of your prints. What you see vs what you get might be acceptable without calibrating (it is for me) which will save you a few quid. Often, screens are overly bright, so just turning the brightness down till it matches the print (in daylight) will do the job. If you go the route of getting someone like Fotospeed to build you custom profiles though, you'll definitely need to calibrate. Extra money would probably be better spend on decent paper (box of Fotospeed's Platinum Lustre is - in my opinion - streets ahead of Canon own brand stuff and very good value for money)

It was mentioned in another thread, but a huge amount of my initial printing woes were solved by moving away from what I'd got from PC World (Canon Ultra High Gloss) to decent papers (Canson, Hahnemuhle, Fotospeed, Permajet, Ilford). If you want me to send you some samples, PM me your address.
You really are a helpful and generous person Ian - Yes, please can I take you up on your offer - I'll PM you right now !
 
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#10
if you buy fotospeed paper they do a free profile for you just follow the instructions on their website they send a test print . (pic) you set it up then send it back to them (email) and they make the adjustments and send the profile back then you use that profile for that paper (hope that makes sense.

https://www.fotospeed.com/

* FREE ICC customer profiles for any paper purchased from Fotospeed
 
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#11
if you buy fotospeed paper they do a free profile for you just follow the instructions on their website they send a test print . (pic) you set it up then send it back to them (email) and they make the adjustments and send the profile back then you use that profile for that paper (hope that makes sense.

https://www.fotospeed.com/

* FREE ICC customer profiles for any paper purchased from Fotospeed
Thanks Mike - I was just looking at that. Much appreciate your help too !
 
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#13
Whilst your idea is sound, its also flawed for the simple reason that even if you buy this setup, you'd still need to keep recalibrating.
Monitors need calibrating regularly and so do printers. Everytime you open a new packet of stock, you need to recalibrate because of slight manufacturing differences.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, biggest mistake and worst investment of my photographic career was trying to print myself. I brought a quality printer spent a small fortune on the best stock, quality archival inks, spent ages calibrating and so on.

Everything is so finicky, that every time I got an order I'd have to spend ages tweaking and baby sitting the printer. Drying the inks etc.Time wise it simply wasn't worth it.
Worse I got complaints from clients not happy with the quality. Never an issue with the colours or similar, its just that they could see it was an inkjet print and didn't like it.
Many clients told me it was the same as they could print at home and were not happy.

But yes calibrate your monitor, that's an absolute must, without you have no idea what you are looking at.
 
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#14
Whilst your idea is sound, its also flawed for the simple reason that even if you buy this setup, you'd still need to keep recalibrating.
Monitors need calibrating regularly and so do printers. Everytime you open a new packet of stock, you need to recalibrate because of slight manufacturing differences.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, biggest mistake and worst investment of my photographic career was trying to print myself. I brought a quality printer spent a small fortune on the best stock, quality archival inks, spent ages calibrating and so on.

Everything is so finicky, that every time I got an order I'd have to spend ages tweaking and baby sitting the printer. Drying the inks etc.Time wise it simply wasn't worth it.
Worse I got complaints from clients not happy with the quality. Never an issue with the colours or similar, its just that they could see it was an inkjet print and didn't like it.
Many clients told me it was the same as they could print at home and were not happy.

But yes calibrate your monitor, that's an absolute must, without you have no idea what you are looking at.
I hear you Paul, and this is part of why I'm dithering - I have just bought a Spyder 5 pro calibrator as a start, and yes, it has made a big difference.
I am not the most patient of people, so will be asking for help from people who can supply ink, paper and profiles in order to try to minimize problems.
I am not a pro, so won't have grumpy clients to deal with, and if I can do at least as good a job as photobox then that'll be a good target to start with...
 
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#15
Well, to update this thread, I've just placed an order for a Canon IP8750 from Permajet with one of their CIS systems and a bunch of different papers. It also comes with profiles for their papers, and while this side of it may be one of those things that is easy once you understand what and how, it's all a bit of a black art to my remaining brain cell.

Vij from Permajet, who has been putting up with many silly questions has been so helpful and tolerant, as have you all - thanks everyone.

I was very close to buying a Canon Pixma Pro 100, but right now the cost, size and with me not knowing how much I'll get into printing, nor how often I'll be printing it seemed like this was the best way to go.
Yes, I'd like a pigment ink printer like the Pro10 or an Epson SC600 but maybe next year..

Expect more basic questions to follow soon......
 
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#16
Well, to update this thread, I've just placed an order for a Canon IP8750 from Permajet with one of their CIS systems and a bunch of different papers. It also comes with profiles for their papers, and while this side of it may be one of those things that is easy once you understand what and how, it's all a bit of a black art to my remaining brain cell.

Vij from Permajet, who has been putting up with many silly questions has been so helpful and tolerant, as have you all - thanks everyone.

I was very close to buying a Canon Pixma Pro 100, but right now the cost, size and with me not knowing how much I'll get into printing, nor how often I'll be printing it seemed like this was the best way to go.
Yes, I'd like a pigment ink printer like the Pro10 or an Epson SC600 but maybe next year..

Expect more basic questions to follow soon......
Let us know how you go with their inks i'm tempted by this setup myself.
 
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#17
Let us know how you go with their inks i'm tempted by this setup myself.
Sure. I have to say that Vij was so good at answering my questions and this was one of my main reasons for going with Permajet.
I know nothing about printing, paper or ink but by keeping it all 'in house' seemed sensible at this stage.
I'm sure that once I've got my head around it all everything will seem easy, but knowing that there is someone at the end of a phone who can help is a big positive.
 
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#18
Well, to update this thread, I've just placed an order for a Canon IP8750 from Permajet with one of their CIS systems and a bunch of different papers. It also comes with profiles for their papers......
One of the biggest downsides of CIS systems is the lack of colour consistency in comparison to OEM inks, so this sentence does raise some questions. Which ink has the paper been profiled for? Original inks or the CIS? How consistent is the ink colour and how often will those profiles need updating because of that etc.etc.

Of course, if you're happy with what you get results wise, no problem, but this would be an issue for us, YMMV.
 
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#19
One of the biggest downsides of CIS systems is the lack of colour consistency in comparison to OEM inks, so this sentence does raise some questions. Which ink has the paper been profiled for? Original inks or the CIS? How consistent is the ink colour and how often will those profiles need updating because of that etc.etc.

Of course, if you're happy with what you get results wise, no problem, but this would be an issue for us, YMMV.
I got it wrong - it's not a CIS, but refillable cartridges.
At this stage I'm still using the Canon ink cartridge but I will start by using Permajet inks and papers, and I've got profiles for them all.
So, I don't know yet, but will hopefully be changing over to their inks soon, sadly work keeps me away from home too often...
 
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