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How is the ink put on the page?

Saturlight

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#1
How is it conventional printers print the ink, and although it dries, if water touches it the ink runs.

Yet on "professional printing", the ink would get wet but not run. How are these two methods different?

Thanks. :D
 

2cvbloke

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#2
Saturlight said:
How is it conventional printers print the ink, and although it dries, if water touches it the ink runs.

Yet on "professional printing", the ink would get wet but not run. How are these two methods different?

Thanks. :D
Different inks, very much like paint, and in most cases they apply a varnish aswell (which becomes sticky when wet, hence why pages in certain magazines tend to be "joined" after they've been read... :D )...

I've been into a printer's myself and seen the machines, they also have big laser-type Xerox printers which use solid ink... :D
 

2cvbloke

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#3
Also, if you're referring to photographs, "real" photos (as in processed at a developer's) aren't printed onto the paper, it's a chemical reaction that is the same as the reaction to light as the film in your camera, the chemicals (I forget what they are, I think they use Silver in them) react when exposed to light causing the change in colour of the paper, and as they change to the opposite colour to the light it turns the negative into positive... :D

Printed stuff is just the same as printing onto normal paper, only they put a sticky coating onto it for some reason... :confused
 

PoloMint

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#4
Yea, laser printers don't have ink in the conventional sense, the toner is a mix of plastics, iron oxide and colourful stuff (if it's colour) which is melted to the page.

I can print a recipe with my B+W laser printer, spill water all over it and when dry the toner hasn't run or moved at all.

You can get some inkjets that claim to be waterproof, but if you really want waterproof get a laser.
 

Saturlight

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#5
How much do you reckon those printers are then? First the one that produces "real" photographs...(I bet they're a bomb) and the latex printers, like magazines and stuff.

Any assistance greatly appreciated...

Thanks. :D
 

PoloMint

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#6
Developing 'real' pictures from film isn't that expensive, you need a darkroom, but after that the paper and chemicals don't cost too much.

I used to do it for black and white pictures (colour is really boring as you need to do it in complete darkness, rather than under a red light, and it is more fiddly). If you really wanted a darkroom, lots of people are selling them now (as digital is so much easier) so you could probably pick up all the equipment (enlarger, tanks, trays, etc) on eBay for under £100, then you just need a room at home that can be pitch dark, has electricity and plumbing.

As for lasers - home ones aren't expensive, B+W ones cost £50+, colour £140+

B+W then costs about 2p per page for the toner (or less if you get a more expensive printer) or under that if you use non-brand name toner.

Ones that print magazines, yea I bet they cost a fair bit...
 

Saturlight

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#7
Thanks, Polo- you're mint. :D
 

dig deep

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#8
I think it is done randomly (strange word)

by luck I think

I changed to laser, never runs and BY the dot, cheaper(I think)

Never trusted ink spitters :-rofl2
 

Saturlight

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#9
I've read up on them and they're far more expensive than an A3 inkjet printer and some of the A3 lasers cannot print pics. They can, but not very clear. :)
 

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#10
PoloMint said:
I used to do it for black and white pictures (colour is really boring as you need to do it in complete darkness, rather than under a red light, and it is more fiddly). If you really wanted a darkroom, lots of people are selling them now (as digital is so much easier) so you could probably pick up all the equipment (enlarger, tanks, trays, etc) on eBay for under £100, then you just need a room at home that can be pitch dark, has electricity and plumbing.
Same here - problem unless you have a dedicated room it's all the faff of blacking out, setting up and then clearing away. Also others in the house object to the bog being out of action for hours at a time.

I had a summer job in a darkroom just as colour was becoming more poular than B&W. On a commercial scale the paper is on a roll and after having the images projected on to it, is drawn through tanks containing the various chemicals. They used to dry them on a large (4ft diameter) chrome plated drum. the wet paper was wrapped around and as it dried the soft wet emulsion took on the smoothness of the chrome and glossy prints resulted. Photographs may not run if they get wet, but they get very sticky
 

2cvbloke

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#11
pgh13 said:
Photographs may not run if they get wet, but they get very sticky
And if you scratch them when wet you end up with those marks that look like flames (very funny if someone's in the right position for a "flame" effect... :D )... ;)
 

Saturlight

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#12
An old guy I know used to process his own photographs. Him and his brother. His brother's dead now, but he's still alive aged 91. I used to like him until he told me he slung out 20,000 pictures he had collected since 1925. But that he still "had around 400 new ones."

I started not liking him so much after that. As a local historian and author, I felt a bit peeved. All that photographic history slung in the bin, just to make way for his new settee. :(
 

Saturlight

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#13
I think I'll try a laser. However the last one I tried the picture quality wasn't too hot. How many A4 pages can you get with a colour toner compared to a black and white one (mono)?

Thanks. :)
 

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#14
If you want to print good quality photos then I wouldn't recommend a laser, at least not an entry level home one. As for number of pages per colour toner, I'm not sure, and it will depend on the make/model :)
 

Saturlight

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#15
Sorry to drag a question, but why do lasers have problems with photos?
 

PoloMint

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#16
It's to do with the toner and the way it's put on the page. Lasers typically have three colours + black and don't mix them in the same way as an inkjet mixes ink. An inkjet may have 5 colours + black and be able to mix them better giving a much wider range of shades.

If you want to print basic graphics (logos or graphs etc) then a laser would be great, but if you want photos that look like they came from a developers then for £150 I think an inkjet would give better results. :)
 

Saturlight

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#17
Thanks. :) I suppose I shall try a few printers out again. Viking Direct are very good to deal with. They allow me to try for 30 days without buying. I would always recommend them. :)
 

pgh13

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#18
Saturlight said:
I think I'll try a laser. However the last one I tried the picture quality wasn't too hot. How many A4 pages can you get with a colour toner compared to a black and white one (mono)?

Thanks. :)
Other thing to be aware of is that a lot of laser printers only come with part filled toners and a set of toners costs about the same again as you've just spent on the printer