Thermal Dye Sublimation Printer

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jim, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Panasonic in New Zealand is advertising that its new $700 thermal dye
    sublimation printer, Panasonic SV-AP10EN produces photo lab high quality
    glossy prints at home, with or without a PC. It says there is a wide array
    of print functions and choice of supported paper types and that no messy ink
    is required. The AP10EN supports SD card, MultiMedia card and PC Type II

    I would be interested to know whether anyone has had any experience with
    these types of printers and whether they offer a genuine advantage over ink
    jet printers. Do the prints from a dye sublimation printer last longer than
    prints made on Epson ink jet papers? Would the cost per print from a dye
    sublimation printer be competitive with prints made on ink jet papers? Is
    there a good web site that deals with the advantages and disadvantages of
    thermal dye sublimation printers?

    Thanks for your advice, regards, Jim
    Jim, Aug 5, 2003
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  2. Have you looked at this model?

    These have built in CF and SM card readers, so no computer is
    required. You buy a single cartridge that contains 25 sheets of
    paper and ink. Cost per print is around $0.40.

    I believe they sell at Fry's Electronics. It will only print 4x6, so
    if you want something bigger you'll need to keep your inkjet around.

    Here's a review of that model:

    Some good things about dye-subs are that there's no dealing with messy
    ink cartridges and none of the color matching issues that you have
    when dealing with inkjets.

    Aaron J. Ginn, Aug 5, 2003
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  3. Whoops! Looks like that's the updated version of that printer. The
    630PS is on sale at B&H for a measly $180. This version has better
    resolution and adds readers for MS and other formats.

    Aaron J. Ginn, Aug 5, 2003
  4. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Thanks Aaron for these links, it's interesting to see that the HiTi 640PS
    has 403 dpi which the web site says is equivalent to a 6400 dpi inkjet. It
    also says that in addition to yellow, cyan and magenta dyes, the ribbon
    contains a clear coating which protects the dyes from UV light and
    waterproofs them, sealing the dyes into the paper. This is certainly an
    advantage over inkjet printing.

    With the Panasonic SV-AP10EN, in New Zealand dollars, it costs $49 for 36
    prints of 6 x 4 size, the only size that is available with this printer. The
    $NZ49 includes the cost of the paper and the ribbons. I wonder if anyone
    would know how the quality of the HiTi 640PS compares with the Panasonic

    Regards, Jim
    Jim, Aug 6, 2003
  5. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Yes, the $700 cost is in New Zealand dollars. The operating cost is $49 for
    36 prints of 6x4 size, the only size the printer does. Has anyone had any
    direct experience with the Panasonic SV-AP10EN? I wonder if this has trouble
    with banding?

    Regards, Jim
    Jim, Aug 6, 2003
  6. I switched to dye-sub two years ago. When I print recent images I also will
    "work backwards" and do a few from the past to replace the screwed up ink
    prints. Maybe today's ink printers are better lasting than yesterday's but
    I'm sure not by much. Dye-sub can withstand light and moisture a hell of a
    lot better without you jumping thru hoops framing them all behind glass.
    Wal-Mart can print 4X6's a lot cheaper than I can do them so I print
    anything larger myself. I'm going to be pretty pissed off if Wal-Mart's
    prints go sour in a few years.
    mark_digitalĀ©, Aug 6, 2003
  7. Hi Jim,

    Dyesub printers do produce nice photo quality prints and usually quicker
    than inkjets. They have usually 128 to 256 or even 512 levels of
    density for each of the three of four colors. (CMY or CMYK).

    The better ones use CMYK (with black added, and a UV protective layer to
    prevent fading.

    The disadvantage of Dye sub printing is that you must by their ink
    sheets/rolls and their paper, you usually only have one choice of paper
    (usually gloss), and the cost per print is identical no matter what the
    content, because the full area and number of ink panels/sheets are used
    whether you are printing edge to edge or a dot in the center. That also
    means the cost of test prints are the same as end prints.

    The cost of consumables usually is near list print, and often only
    available at very few locations, and if the product gets discontinued,
    often so are the consumables, making the unit useless.

    Cost per print is almost always higher than inkjet, and the size of the
    output is limited by the sheet size, you cannot print a longer print
    than the ink panels allow. If you do not gang smaller prints together
    on one sheet, they become very costly.

    Dye sub units are best for either photographers who product digital
    proofs or final results, or people wanting to product snapshots from
    their digital source. They are not a good answer for graphics, text, or
    special sized prints.

    Arthur Entlich, Aug 6, 2003
  8. Firstly, I consider $1.36 NZ ($1.10 CAN) a lot of money for a 4 x 6"
    print, just for materials (plus cost of the unit amortized).

    Secondly, the quoted 6400 dpi equivalency to inkjet is total nonsense.
    This is a 300 dpi printer, at continuos tone. Dye sub printers produce
    a fuzzy "dot" and although each dot can be up to 256 levels in theory,
    while an inkjet is usually about one to six levels, the math is
    deceptive. For instance, an Epson inkjet printer printing at 1440 or
    2880, is probably equivalent to a full color continuous tone at about
    300 dpi. If I were you, I'd ask for a free print sample (as they seem
    to offer on their website, before making any rash decision.

    Also, this unit has no black, somewhat weakening the density and contrast.

    Dye sub printing units come and go and often their consumables
    disappear, making the printer into a doorstop.

    Given the costs to run, and the initial investment, I'd stick with inkjet.

    Arthur Entlich, Aug 6, 2003
  9. That was supposed to read "I have never seen banding in that type of
    printer, if it was not having problems with the heated head."

    Arthur Entlich, Aug 8, 2003

  10. That very much depends upon the paper and inks used in the inkjet printer.

    Some dyesub prints were very fugitive. With the newer inks used and UV
    coating, they last longer now.

    Arthur Entlich, Aug 8, 2003
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