Inkjet printer advice for printing digital negatives

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by celasun, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. I had been using a fine Epson photo-printer some years ago for printing transparencies as digital negatives. Unfortunately, I ruined it by a long neglect, which killed the head.

    Recently, I purchased a simpler Epson photo-printer (L805) which satisfies all my photo printing at home. To my surprise, it simply can not print transparencies (due to its printing technology&inks, I guess). I had no doubts, while buying it, that it could print digital negatives without problem. I costly mistake.

    Now, I do need to print digital negatives for cyanotype and perhaps for van Dykes (and, perhaps kallitypes). My budget is very low and I will be using the printer "only" for this particular purpose. The printer has to live happily with Linux, by the way.

    Locally, I can get a printer like HP Smart Tank 515 (or, 530) for example.

    Unfortunately, and to my surprise again, none of the current inkjet printers I can afford list transparency as a media they can print on (including the one above).

    I know that "some" inexpensive inkjet printers "can" print nicely on transparencies even when their specs fail to list it. But, I am not in a position to handle that risk.

    I should be most happy to hear some advice from people with more experience on printing digital negatives with current inkjets.
  2. I can't help you much, except to say that I use a very cheap HP5200 printer for digital negs, and it works well enough for me. I've printed negs for cyanotype, vandyke, kallitype, gum and carbon.

    One thing to consider: ink tank printers have fixed heads, which can clog if you don't use them for a while. I don't think cartridge printers have that problem.

    You can probably get more responses to your question over on photrio. There's a good alt process group there.
  3. Thanks, Phil.
    Someone did answer on photrio and suggested I can as well consider laser printers as my needs are not much. For inkjets, he says all I need is "pigment" (not dye) inks.

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