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Author Topic: The future of printing fine art photography  (Read 2639 times)

Proeberphoto

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The future of printing fine art photography
« on: September 13, 2023, 03:32:21 pm »

I have an upcoming exhibit in 2025. It will require that I print some very large prints. I was planning to purchase a 44 inch wide format printer but news today that Epson's P8000 is now discontinued really complicates my purchase descision. It looks like the P9000 is discontinued, as well. Canon's Imageprograf 4100 is reported to be near end of production and the HP's 44 inch Z9 does not look like a good candidate for fine art printing. I would buy an Epson 9570 but its feed problems look to be unsolved and maybe never will. Does anyone have a crystal ball? Where is the market headed? What would you do? I print my own work - so sending it out to a lab is not an option.
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petermfiore

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2023, 04:26:49 pm »

I would find a well known print house that can do your entire show....I don't any longer make, nor sell prints. I'm a painter making paintings and enjoying life. A good part of the happiness comes from not printing my work. I'm sure some of the members here can point you in the right direction.

Peter

dgberg

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2023, 05:08:40 pm »

I am of a totally different mindset. I eat and sleep printing. Retired early from my aviation career so that I could be in the print studio every day.
When it is in the blood it is in the blood.

BobShaw

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2023, 06:11:27 pm »

I just sold my good condition Epson P800 and all of my paper and won't be doing any more printing.
I suspect there will always be a market for prints but it is a small and shrinking market.

People seem happy with digital images in a desktop frame or TV or simply decorate their homes with cheap art.
I am seeing attractive canvas prints 1.8m square selling for $25 in shops.
People who rent houses buy these and throw them away when they move.

It is a changing world.
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maddogmurph

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2023, 03:39:16 pm »

Getting back to the subject of the OP here. I have limited knowledge of printing, from my P800 I print a maximum size of 17x25" prints, however, it is my direct experience that seeing them printed vastly complicates the thinking process behind editing. There is a completely different process for editing for a certain type of medium - and most editing these days is done for the digital medium.

To me you mentioned that the printers are discontinued, however, it is my understanding that you can and will still be able to get ink for the printers for many years to come. To me this is an opportunity to get a good printer, that still produces high quality, at a discount relative to what it might have cost if it was still in production, and you shouldn't hesitate to just purchase one and use it for the purpose in which you need. Perhaps afterwards you trade out of it, and get something that is newly released after they've worked out some of the bugs.

I would also suggest picking up a P800 like I have, with the same color spectrum at as the larger version, this will allow you to print "crops" on a 8x12 on the same paper, and proof your larger prints easily without having to hassle with that beast of a thing. I picked my P800 up for $300 on craiglist, and the ink is $65/cartridge. Every time I print a 17x25 it costs about $10 with paper and ink costs. But I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to see these high quality prints up close. Even if it's not particularly profitable.
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Proeberphoto

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2023, 06:51:33 pm »

Thanks to all for those who replied to my question. You all make good points.

I do currently print with a Canon Pro-300. Excellent printer, and not too expensive for 13x19 inch prints. The prints for the show will range in size from 20x24 to 44x64, however. The images are all black and white.

I am tempted to pick up an Epson P8000 but the dependability of the Canon Pro-4100 remains quite enticing. It seems some folks are calling the ink durability of the Lucia inks to be in question, however. While images from the Epson P9570 are excellent, I'm quite disheartened with negative reviews about paper handling, which are now finding their way to YouTube. I can't help but think Epson will be forced to to either answer the reviews in the way of a new machine or make some sort of revision to the P9570.

I will reevaluate come next spring. I can afford to wait as I'll be working on the digital images through then.
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William Walker

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2023, 04:50:16 am »

Hi,

Try Keith Cooper's YouTube Videos  https://www.youtube.com/@KeithCooper  or his website https://www.northlight-images.co.uk

Keith, I think, is still a member on this forum and is knowledgeable and helpful! One of his videos, I can't remember which one, addresses the fact that there have been no real advances
in printing technology in the last few years and that is why there are no new models coming out...

Also, I know there are some world-class printers on this forum, I have no doubt that any number of them would be able to do the prints for you at a fraction of the cost of buying a new printer...?

« Last Edit: September 19, 2023, 04:55:05 am by William Walker »
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kers

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2023, 09:04:20 am »

maybe a second hand p9000?
I am on a 2nd hand  Z3200 from HP , but i really know this machine; and that helps.
they all have their special things...

Some people just buy a printer and hardly use it... I have 2 of those machines bought at a low price.
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Jeff Magidson

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2023, 12:12:59 pm »

I'm very concerned about the future of fine art photographic digital printing. With less people printing there is little to no innovation from Epson and Canon. To make up for the lack of volume, it seems like they just keep charging more for ink and paper. I'm really not sure where the medium will be in 7-10 years.

The curious thing is, book printing via offset keeps getting better and better. I was recently at a spectacular book store in Seattle that had a huge selection of photography and art books. I was stunned by how good the print quality has become in most new releases. Spectacular printing of photography and artwork in these books at level that is better than ever.
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Benny Profane

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2023, 06:28:07 pm »

I have an upcoming exhibit in 2025. It will require that I print some very large prints. I was planning to purchase a 44 inch wide format printer but news today that Epson's P8000 is now discontinued really complicates my purchase descision. It looks like the P9000 is discontinued, as well. Canon's Imageprograf 4100 is reported to be near end of production and the HP's 44 inch Z9 does not look like a good candidate for fine art printing. I would buy an Epson 9570 but its feed problems look to be unsolved and maybe never will. Does anyone have a crystal ball? Where is the market headed? What would you do? I print my own work - so sending it out to a lab is not an option.

I have a P800, and the roll feed is non functional for some reason lately. So, I went to a local guy who has been printing for some time now for a smallish panorama. I printed the image as large as I could get it on 17x22, which was close to the final product, and gave it to him and said, match that. He did on the first small letter sized proof, so, I said, go for it. I still consider that printing it myself, and, in the end, cheaper that a 24 or 44 inch printer setup and supplies. Much cheaper.
Maybe if I made large prints a lot beyond the 17 inch capacity, but, I don't.
So, find yourself a good printer and deliver a proof to match.
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2023, 06:46:59 am »

I'm very concerned about the future of fine art photographic digital printing. With less people printing there is little to no innovation from Epson and Canon. To make up for the lack of volume, it seems like they just keep charging more for ink and paper. I'm really not sure where the medium will be in 7-10 years.

The curious thing is, book printing via offset keeps getting better and better. I was recently at a spectacular book store in Seattle that had a huge selection of photography and art books. I was stunned by how good the print quality has become in most new releases. Spectacular printing of photography and artwork in these books at level that is better than ever.

The only growing printing markets over the last two decades have been packaging, sign and art/photo printing, the last still a niche market in square meters. The rest of the market declined fast. Digital media replaced much printed products in offices and households. I think the image quality of fast web and sheet inkjet printing presses is chasing offset printing to the borders of existence. Both large and short print runs are no problem for the modern high volume inkjet printers. The lower IQ demands are already filled in by liquid toner printers, up to 7 inks, HP Indigo as the typical representative of them. But even there the shift is to inkjet technology.

Some offset printing shops may aim at niche markets with high image quality demands but commercially that will be difficult, I have seen renowned companies go bankrupt like Lecturis in my home town, reemerged as a publishing house, outsourcing print jobs. It is not unusual that old technology creates its best's quality near the end of it lifetime, just challenged then by new technologies. Inkjet takes over in many industries.

Small shops like ours should fear companies like WhiteWall most in my opnion, what kind of inkjet printers they need in the future will be solved for them. There could be some niches left though but online, higher volume, more services, are a must to survive then.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

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CharlesGast

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2023, 12:21:40 pm »

Ernst,

  When browsing the https://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/ pages I noticed prints still being created with the z3200 machines.
I'm searching for a z3200 in Ohio now.

Rgds,
Charles
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wickedweather

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2023, 12:12:05 pm »

I have a P800, and the roll feed is non functional for some reason lately. So, I went to a local guy who has been printing for some time now for a smallish panorama. I printed the image as large as I could get it on 17x22, which was close to the final product, and gave it to him and said, match that. He did on the first small letter sized proof, so, I said, go for it. I still consider that printing it myself, and, in the end, cheaper that a 24 or 44 inch printer setup and supplies. Much cheaper.
Maybe if I made large prints a lot beyond the 17 inch capacity, but, I don't.
So, find yourself a good printer and deliver a proof to match.

I moved heaven and earth to get my hands on the roll feeder attachment for my P800. When I finally found one and purchased it (brand new), I discovered that my P800 won't recognize it. Spent 45 minutes with Epson "support" and there was no resolution.

So I bought a Canon 4100 because that makes sense,  ;)
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petermfiore

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Re: The future of printing fine art photography
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2023, 11:14:15 am »

I moved heaven and earth to get my hands on the roll feeder attachment for my P800. When I finally found one and purchased it (brand new), I discovered that my P800 won't recognize it. Spent 45 minutes with Epson "support" and there was no resolution.

I have had crazy issues with an EPSON 7800 over the years. Also parts and inks that keep climbing in price. So I no longer print my own, but use various labs.
But even better, making more time for painting is much more exciting, fulfilling and lucrative as well.

Peter
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