I recently purchased my first serious photo printer, an Epson Stylus Pro 3880. While the vast majority of the pictures I take will only be viewed on a computer monitor, there’s just something about holding a print of a photo you’ve taken. I considered several printers before purchasing the Epson. The two other main contenders were the Canon PixmaPRO9000 Mark II and the Canon PixmaPRO9500 Mark II. They all appear to be great printers; in the end I went with the Epson because it can print up to 17″ wide. By the way, there are great deals on the Canon 9000 right now because it’s being bundled with some cameras. People are unloading these bundled printers on Craigslist and eBay for quite a discount. Also, Epson is running a $250 rebate for the 3880 that lasts through the end of this month. Go to their website for more information.
So now that I have a printer, I’m trying to learn how to make decent prints. And I’ve found there are a lot of variables. An eBook that’s helping me figure things out is Martin Bailey’s Making The Print.
One of the big variables is the type of paper a photo is printed on. I ordered sample papers from both Red River Paper and Hahnemühle and have been making test prints, as you can see below. It’s been fun but a bit overwhelming, with all the different paper possibilities. The giraffe photo, btw, is on one of the big 17″ x 22″ sheets that the Epson can print. I’m happy I went with the larger printer as the big prints are really stunning.