25 TOP POINTERS FOR IDEAL IMAGE PRINTS
1. Select wisely
It makes sense to buy a multi-purpose printer that’s excellent for creating both files and pictures if you’re prepared to limit your print size to A4. Canon’s latest 6-ink and 5-ink printers blaze a trail for multi-purpose A4 printing, with the PIXMA TS6250 and PIXMA TS8250, respectively. They’re quick and produce excellent-quality colour pictures. For a similarly multi-purpose option in A3-format printing, the Epson EcoTank ET-7750 is an excellent option, with its high-capacity ink tanks.
2. Go big
For larger-format printing, A3+ or ‘Super A3’ has a maximum print size of 19x13in (483x329mm). These can produce image prints that are twice the size of A3, at 23.4 × 16.5 in (594x420mm), however they do not come cheap.
3. Direct printing
Most multi-function or ‘all-in-one’ printers consist of a PictBridge memory, port and wi-fi card slot, so they can print pictures directly from suitable video cameras or sd card without the requirement to utilize a computer. If you need fast prints on the fly, it can be beneficial.
4. Screen your monitor
WYSIWYG sounds excellent however, all too often, what you see on screen won’t match what you get on paper. The typical culprit is that the screen is set with too high a brightness level and requires refusing a bit. For ultimate precision, buy a monitor-calibration tool like the Datacolor Spyder5 Express.
5. Crop artistically
Unless you’re shooting with a 3:2 aspect ratio camera and printing on 6x4in postcard-sized image paper, you’ll typically find that your image files have a various aspect ratio to the paper you’re printing on. Instead of simply losing an automatic quantity off the top and bottom or sides of the print, crop your image artistically so that it looks its best when printed on paper.
6. Faster or better?
The ‘normal’ quality setting in your printer’s settings ought to show enough when creating postcard-sized prints. It needs to also make it possible for a good turn of speed, with each print only taking a matter of seconds to finish. For A4 or bigger prints, it can be worth choosing the best-quality setting, as prints can look marginally sharper, and have somewhat much better tonal meaning and smoother graduations, although they’ll take longer to output.
7. Get set
Ensure you choose the correct type of paper in the printer homes or preferences dialog box. Colour precision and overall print quality is seriously dependent on this. If the settings are incorrect, you can end up with awful-looking outcomes.
8. Auto fix
Specifically when printing photos directly from your electronic camera or sd card, the ‘automobile fix’ or ‘photo enhance’ choice readily available in a lot of printers can help to optimise print quality without the requirement for using manual editing or corrections.
9. Don’t dry
If you have a professional image printer that you only use occasionally, it’s a good concept to switch it on a minimum of as soon as a week. A small cleaning cycle will most likely be triggered, however you may also develop a print on a plain sheet of paper; it uses a little of each colour ink. This helps to prevent ink drying in the nozzles of the print head over an amount of time, which can be really difficult to clear, even with succeeding running of the print-head cleaning routine or a ‘deep clean’ cycle.
10. Colour management
A lot of times, you should discover that you get excellent outcomes with your printer’s colour management set to ‘auto’. This can apply improvements which may make your image prints look over-saturated in colour, or too high in contrast. Particularly if you’ve modified your photos, use the handbook, standard colour setting or appoint colour management to your editing program instead of let the printer have control.
11. Paper chase
Glossy image prints aren’t the only way to show your images. Semi-gloss or lustre papers are a great alternative, matt papers work truly well for pigment-based printers, and there’s a wide range of ‘fine art’ documents on the market, consisting of the likes of canvas result and photo rag. You’ll find that you can develop really distinctive-looking prints if you experiment with different media.
12. Get lined up
It’s a great idea to run a print-head positioning routine when you set and buy up a brand-new printer. This will guarantee that you get the sharpest possible prints, with minimum degradation from ink beads being misaligned. It’s worth duplicating the procedure every 6 months approximately, and after carrying the printer to a various area.
13. Nozzle check
Specifically before producing a large-format inkjet print of A3+ or A2 size, it’s worth running a nozzle check regimen. If you notice any faint lines across the print, it’s most likely that some of the nozzles in the print head are obstructed.
14. Dye or pigment?
Professional image printers of A3+ or larger formats tend to run on either dye-based or pigment-based inks. Pigment-based inks tend to be more robust for printing on matt paper, but usually lack the super-smooth surface and uniform reflectivity of dye-based inks on shiny paper.
15. It’s in the edit
If you’re developing prints to last a life time, it’s worth putting some effort into making them look their finest. A little care at the editing phase can go a long way. At the minimum, you should use any needed corrections for contrast, colour and brightness performance.
16. Transportation system
The paper transportation system can end up being dirty after an extended period of time, which can break down print quality. Some printers have a regular that you can run for cleaning the paper course, available from the maintenance section of the printer homes dialog box.
17. Best resolutions
A printing resolution of 300dpi (dots per inch) is something of a market requirement, but a lower resolution of 150dpi can nevertheless yield excellent results, specifically when using an inkjet printer. As a rough guide, a 3MP (megapixel) image suffices for producing an A4 print, and a 6MP image is enough for an A3 print. Many current digital video cameras have far higher megapixel counts anyhow, so you shouldn’t have any issues even when purchasing poster-sized prints from a lab.
It can be tempting to use aggressive compression settings when conserving JPEG files, so that they take up less room on your hard drive or other electronic storage, along with being quicker to upload to the web or send to people by means of email. Nevertheless, this can lead to unwanted compression artefacts and a deterioration of quality that’s more noticeable in printed pictures than on screen.
19. Throughout the border
When developing borderless prints, you’ll lose a percentage around the edges of your image owing to the print overlapping the location of the paper. You can usually select the quantity of extension and minimize it to reduce the loss, but take care not to end up with a thin white line along any of the edges. Bear in mind that borderless printing is not ideal for plain paper or matt photographic paper.
20. Mono magic
Typical A4 photo printers run on 6 inks at the most, and do not have additional grey inks. An outcome of this is that mono photo prints can do not have clarity and contrast, along with struggle with undesirable colour casts. For optimum mono quality, it’s worth upgrading to an A3+ image printer that’s designed to excel at white and black in addition to colour printing.
21. Test prints
Flaws that you can’t see on screen can be visible in small-format prints. Before creating a large-format print, try a small 6x4in photo and check it for problems. It also offers you a great concept of how the colour, brightness and contrast will search in your final large-format print.
22. Keep it genuine
Everyone loves a deal and you can conserve a stack of cash by buying inexpensive, non-genuine ink cartridges and photo paper. However, you risk of pollutants blocking the nozzles in your print heads and you’ll frequently find that colour accuracy and overall print quality are greatly inferior. In some tests, we discovered that inkjet photo prints developed with inexpensive consumables started to noticeably fade after just a few weeks, when they must last for decades.
23. Save money
A better method to conserve money on your printing expenses is to purchase high- capacity cartridges. Some printers have the accessibility of XL and even XXL cartridges, as an alternative to standard-capacity options. These will normally give sizeable cost savings, particularly for printing images which tend to use far more ink than basic colour files.
24. Conserve ink
Some of Epson’s range-topping, pigment-based printers use the same channel in the print head for picture black and matt black. Each time you swap between these 2 alternative cartridges, you’ll lose a large amount of ink, as the channel requires to be purged and charged prior to printing. Attempt therefore to decrease the number of times you switch in between shiny and matt media as much as possible with these printers.
25. Supersize your prints
When hung on the wall, even A3+ photo prints can look a bit lost. Instead of creating your own large-format prints, it can be much better to utilize a premium online lab, such as Loxley Colour or Whitewall. You’ll need to wait on your prints to turn up in the post, however you can develop much bigger prints and get additional choices, like boxed canvas and acrylic prints.
For A4 or larger prints, it can be worth selecting the best-quality setting, as prints can look marginally sharper, and have a little better tonal definition and smoother graduations, although they’ll take longer to output.
As a rough guide, a 3MP (megapixel) image is adequate for producing an A4 print, and a 6MP image is enough for an A3 print. When developing borderless prints, you’ll lose a small quantity around the edges of your image owing to the print overlapping the location of the paper. You run the threat of impurities blocking the nozzles in your print heads and you’ll often find that colour precision and general print quality are significantly inferior. You’ll have to wait for your prints to turn up in the post, however you can create much bigger prints and get extra options, like boxed canvas and acrylic prints.
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