In the June 2007 issue of Shutterbug I see the Epson Stylus Photo 1400 was reviewed by you.
Question 1: Profiling papers for instance. This I think means matching the paper to the printer for the best print. How is this done by a consumer who knows very little but desires to produce excellent large prints at home without wasting ink and paper?
Question 2. Using this printer and Claria ink from Epson, what is the cost of printing the following sizes in inches: 31/4 x 5, 8x10, 11x14 and 13x19 and how many prints of each size can I print with the Epson 1400. I have seen the price per square foot of some inks, but this tells me nothing. As you can tell math was not my favorite subject. So perhaps you can give a formula for determining the price per print of the sizes and number of prints of each size that I can expect to make of the sizes listed above?
I have seen several articles in Shutterbug and other Photo magazines concerning the best paper to produce long lasting (archival quality of 80 to 100 years)prints. I saw an article in one magazine stating that Kodak's method of determining Archival quality used such a low light level to test their paper in order to say that a picture made on their paper would last 100 years, that if Epson and others used the same level of light, an image produced with their paper would last 1000 years. This kind of testing of various papers and inks makes it very hard for the consumer to determine what to buy and if the more expensive paper is really worth the extra cost. I have some photos (B&W as most of my color prints have faded or shifted colors) I made 60 years ago that are still as good as the day they were made by a commercial developer my favorite Camera Shop used, in Fort Worth, TX.
Question 3. After all is said and done testing printers, paper and Ink, is there one printer, paper and ink in your opinion, I find your opinion as well as others at Shutterbug to be very helpful, that stands out above the others for cost, color printing and archival quality?
From what I have read some printers, inks and paper produce excellent B&W prints and others that produce excellent color prints but do not produce good B&W prints.
Question 4. Which printer and ink is best for a print similar to Mr. Ansel's type of B&W prints?
Question 5. Pigment ink or dye ink. Which is the best ink to produce a long lasting color print. Most people swear by pigmented ink while others say dye in is just as good or better. That is to say, if you could only buy one inexpensive printer ($499.00 and under) and ink what would your choice. Of course you do not have much choice of ink when you chose a printer, you must use the ink that comes with the printer, or do you?
I had my favorite developer, Microdal and favorite Kodak papers of which I had to buy three different papers of the same name or kind; one for normal negatives, one for negatives that over exposed, and one for under exposed negatives and Hardener way back when I used the darkroom. I like digital darkrooms and the semi pro and pro digital cameras much better by the way. However, there are so many factors to consider when choosing a printer, paper and ink knowing what to buy is nearly impossible. Some inks are outrageously high for their quality, while others more expensive, are well worth their price. Some times I think it might be best just to send the image to a lab. Of course that raises other question best pursued in a different place.
After reading your article I emailed several labs; asking them which paper they used and did they use dye-ink or pigment-ink. The answers from one not to be named lab was Kodak Paper and laser printers. This from a large well known lab that takes a page of advertising in all the imaging magazines. Would you care to comment on the archival quality of laser prints?