Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Post-processing & Printing | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2010 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets
  
 
pixelblurr
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


Hey all,

I'm thinking of picking up a Kodak 8500 or an Olympus P-400, which seem to be available for reasonable prices used. These are ~300 dpi dye sub printers, capable of 8x10 or near 8x10.

Being a big fan of lasers printers and the lack of ink, dye sub. sounds pretty attractive. But, I'm wondering if a modern inkjet with a Continuous Ink System and pigment-based inks might be a more cost effective and more hassle-free route.

My understanding is dye sub printouts may appear less sharp than inkjet, but the colors are more accurate, consistent and don't fade if the 4th UV pass is executed. Also dye sub printers (if I buy the propaganda) don't need intensive calibration. But, the consumables are expensive and they are available from only Kodak and Olympus respectively.

The CIS inkjets seem like a step in the right direction, but I'm worried I might get clogged print heads or have to experiment with various inks before I get long-lasting prints of high quality.

Looking for opinions and experiences with both routes.

- pixelblurr.



Feb 02, 2010 at 08:12 AM
wickerprints
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


Dye sublimation is really geared toward small prints. In the long run, it's not as cost-effective as inkjet, because as you noted, the consumables are expensive. A particular quirk of the technology is that the cost per page is independent of the density of the print--in other words, if all you print are low-key images, the cost per page is the same as if you print high-key images; whereas for an inkjet, the cost per page is mainly a function of the amount of ink laid down per page.

Very high-quality inkjets use 6 or more colors, and sometimes as many as 10 or 12 (though not necessarily all in the same print). The output is extremely fine, and the individual drops are only visible under high magnification. But a dye-sub print is literally continuous tone--there is no dithering applied.

Proper media and storage will give either technology archival quality, so that is not a concern. Both types of printers need some kind of calibration.

Inkjet technology has advanced to the point where proper maintenance prevents nozzle clogging, but the ink is still expensive. Personally, I've not found any truly satisfactory printing method. If you print photographic color in high volumes, inkjet is pretty much the only game in town. If you print general color graphics, color laser is your most economical and hassle-free solution. If you print the occasional photo, then you're better off having it sent to a service. The cheap inkjets are not worth buying, IMO. Then there are the more exotic technologies like dye-sub and solid ink. I think these are mostly relegated to specialized applications; e.g., ID badge printing, small prints, and business applications.

Photographers are so used to paying through the nose for their gear that we pretty much bend over when it comes to photo-quality digital color print solutions. Several thousand dollars for a large-format inkjet is just another expense to be added to the thousands spent on lenses, bodies, and studio lighting, but the technology and the ink is inherently very, very cheap to produce.



Feb 02, 2010 at 08:39 AM
pixelblurr
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


Thanks for your response.

My workload for any color related output device would only be photographic, but probably low-volume, 4-5 prints a month 8x10's or maybe a montage of smaller pictures. I use my rock solid PostScript B+W laser for any non-photographic work and don't see a real need to change that.

My concern with going inkjet for my usage (even CIS) is the set-up involved and all the mental worry about ink formulations, bottles, clogging, etc. I fully believe the ink jet output might have surpassed dye sub, but is it reliable at a reasonable cost? Is it worry free?

You also mention proper media and storage means archival isn't an issue for either. My current though is to go with glassless framing to save on weight and cost. Would ink jet prints work for me here?

I'm also not opposed to using a photo lab in most cases, but I am worried about the ease of saving and distributing files in the digital world. I don't take pictures that are "questionable" in ANY way, but with data breaches occurring every day and insecure machines being attached to the Internet, I do worry about the privacy of my pictures, especially those with family or friends could get compromised.

I welcome more feedback

- pixelblurr.



Feb 02, 2010 at 10:45 AM
Ian.Dobinson
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


Been using an R1800 with a Injetfly CIS. Very happy with it but it does need constant use otherwise it will clogg.
Now see that there are some pretty good refile carts fo it so I think I might try those with the Injetfly ink.

For major stuff I would be inclined to use an online printer as the costs arent that great. and most will work with you if you dont like the result 1st time round



Feb 02, 2010 at 02:45 PM
kwalsh
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


I believe, but certainly could be wrong, that the 8-12 color ink jets have a wider color gamut than dye subs. Of course purchasing and maintaining 8-12 inks may be a royal pain for just 4 for 5 prints a month.

If you want to display without glass you definitely want something very UV stable - many of the pigment based inks for ink jets are now exactly that. However, when not displaying behind glass you also need to consider ozone and other pollutants - for both dye sub and ink jet. Also, for service printing consider the silver based processes - Fuji Crystal Archive has some good longevity numbers.

With your print volume it really sounds like sending your photos out to be printed is the best option unless you really enjoy tinkering with a printer. If you are paranoid about internet connectivity you can always bring/send your photos to be printed on a CD.

Ken



Feb 02, 2010 at 03:09 PM
BobCollette
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


Ken, you are correct. Even the 6-color inkjet printers have a wider color gamut than dyesub printers, particularly the Kodak printers which use a dye set similar to photographic dyes. The Kodak dyes give nice, natural flesh tones (even without color management), however their ability to produce bright, saturated reds, greens, and blues doesn't compare with a modern inkjet.


Feb 02, 2010 at 03:39 PM
tomm101
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


Dye sub longevity is about the same as regular color prints, somewhere less than 50 years (if I remember Fuji archive is 60yrs dyesubs are less than that), most pigment inkjets are in the 100yr range using the same testing methods. In the reality of usage it really doesn't make a big difference. If you are doing professional printing start looking at 17 inch inkjet. Dye subs are limited to one size due to the technology, big dyesubs are very expensive if available at all. If you are doing event photography, dye subs are great as they move around better than inkjets. You get what you pay for too more expensive dyesubs are faster, as are pro inkjet printers. Also be careful with dyesub prints, even laminated the outgassing from a PVC folder will destroy the print in a matter of weeks.
Both inkjet and dyesub will break down faster in a frame without a glazing as both are susceptable to atmospheric pollutants. All longevity data on framed prints assumes glazing.

Good luck
Tom



Feb 02, 2010 at 03:41 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



tomm101
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


One more thing, if you want to test dyesub prints. They are what you get at print for yourself Kiosks.

Tom



Feb 02, 2010 at 03:43 PM
teh_rebel
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


If you do onsite printing, the dyesub would probably better if you're okay with the limited print sizes. I have a sony snaplab which I had use at a vietnamese wedding (they typically like having onsite prnting for thank-you cards for guests pictures taken with bride and groom before reception). It was my first time using and i was suprised at how well it worked. I had probalby printed over 200 prints from it and it went through smoothly. The prints wont blow you away but its still very good quality without any calibration. I just take the picture directly into my laptop which automatically loads into lightroom and print from there.


Feb 02, 2010 at 10:09 PM
mhayes5254
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


With such a small number of prints per month, I do not think CIS is worth using. I have an old Epson 2200 that is used less than that. I sometimes go months without printing. No clogs that can't be solved by the built in head clean utility (an that rarely occurs). More current pigment ink jets are even more reliable.


Feb 04, 2010 at 02:58 AM
anthonygh
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


Something like the Epson R800 might suit you...it's a current model but been around a few years now. Not worth a CSI for a print a week...but if you increase your output the ink costs will rocket. However, that's a pigment ink printer....dye inks are generally cheaper and are thought to be less prone to clogging.

My anti clogging technique is to do a nozzle check every few days...uses virtually no ink and ensures every nozzle gets flushed.



Feb 04, 2010 at 10:30 PM
Tim Combs
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


One characteristic not mentioned on the dye subs is metamerism. Dyes are affected by this and pigments pretty much not. If you view prints under varying light conditions you may see different results. The other issue would be how long dye sub materials remain available. I spent more than 20 years with one of the major photographic manufacturers and would not rely on a long term supply of dye sub materials.


Feb 04, 2010 at 11:10 PM
mikaelo
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Dye Sub printers vs. Modern Ink Jets


Something yet to be mentioned is dust. While it's been many years since I used them, I printed a lot on Kodak dye subs in the mid 90's, and one thing you needed to be careful with was making sure you had a dust free environment.

They used to suck up dusts by the dye carrier film getting statically charged and then you get dust between the dye laminations, or laminate on the dust, that moves and then leaves a light mark where is was. This was even though we used to cover the printer when not in use.

Mikael



Feb 05, 2010 at 06:37 PM





FM Forums | Post-processing & Printing | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password