I'm thinking of a self printing solution for a studio that I'm thinking of opening about a year from now with a 'walk out with your prints' type of sale, simple and high volume high street or mall type of work.
Looking at the costs of inkjet printers it does not seem to me that for printing 6X4/7X5/8X12" prints there is a cost effective or time effective solution out there. The answer seems to be the high volume pro dye sub 'event' type printers sold and marketed by Sony/Kodak/Mistsubishi, etc. They are designed for exactly this kind of workflow and with the support and leasing options that a high volume studio would need.
A couple of questions though, how easy is it to profile a dye sub printer? I might still use inkjet for the 8X12" prints due to longevity for hung prints and a far smaller scale of printing which makes cost and time constraints less of an issue. However I would need there to be accurate colour for the dye sub prints in that print quality HAS to defrentiate the pro product from the consumer, and I would need the output from 2 printers, either 2 dye sub or a mix of sye sub and inkjet to be close enough not to invite too critical a comparisons from consumers. I would hope that proper profiling on such printers was provided by the manufacturers but I would not like to have to have my business relying on it!
My next question is longevity. What is the life of a dye sub print? The photos will be presented in folders so for the main they will not be that exposed to sunlight and as I said I would probably be using archival inkjet for the 12X8"'s . However some 7X5" will be put in frames. For a high street service it doesn't bother me to have to provide 200 years of archival printing but I don't want customers on my door 6 months later either!
Any advice and suggestions you may have would be welcome.