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Lucaslf

Which Dry Lab to Choose - Help

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Hi guys! First of all I would like to thank you all for maintaining this source of information! 

 

So, I'm from Australia and I'm about to open a printing picture business, but I know nothing about printers. Could I get some help on which drylab would be best for the business? 

 

Some information:

- pictures not smaller than 8x8 cm

- pictures not bigger than 25x25 cm

- around 15k pictures a week

 

I've been in contact with one of those printer renting companies and they said I should go with the Fujifilm DL650. They want AUD $1150/month for the printer plus sorter (new one with 3 years Fuji total care agreement). 

 

Can someone give me some light here? Much appreciated, thank you!! 

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Hm..
They want you to pay them 13 800 AUD/ 8 700 EURO per year for DL650 for pure rent or some sort of leasing?
Just note that you are going to print 60 000 prints per month and it is equal 720 000 prints per year! Not bad for the current situation in the photo business....
I am afraid the printhead of DL650 will die anyway after 150 000 or 200 000 prints and having in mind that it costs a real fortune the use of this model is profitable only if they guarantee free printhead replacement.
Otherwise you will spend too much for maintenance and repair.




 

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Hi mate thank you for your response. 

 

This is purely a 5 years rent agreement, I won't be leasing to own the printer. But I also couldn't find how much it's to purchase one. 

 

Thanks for the heads up on the printer head. I'll have a look at it. 

 

Yeah as I said I'm just not sure if the DL650 is the best option here and if the agreement is a rip off. Thanks! 

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Mmm the price for a brand new DL650 is around 15.000euro, am i wrong? Fuji total care includes all kind of maintenance and parts replacements( printhead included)? Are you sure to print 15.000 photos weekly immediately from the beginning? You don't need time for get costumers? Maybe you can start with a smaller printer DX100, DE100 or Epson DL800 (but maximum size is 21cm rolls paper, you cannot print 25cmx25cm) and buy DL650 when business grow up. Btw is a good printer in my opinion, great quality and very important you will not get crazy for maintenance same with a Wet Minilab.

Edited by Rourke84

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Fuji DL650 is printer made by Epson. Really it is Epson SL-D3000 DR with added sorter. On print heads used few the same elements. So instead to change print-head unit  it is possible to change one faulty element. Of course here "not officially" . Regarding Epson ( or Fuji ) manuals if one element is faulty need to replace whole unit. More information about print head can see here :
https://www.minilabhelp.com/forums/topic/25935-fuji-frontier-dl600-head-cleaning/ 

If you think about smaller printer then can buy Fuji DE100 ( made using Fuji, Ricoh, Xerox technologies ) . It is really good, if compare with Fuji DX100 ( Epson SL-D700 ) .

If you really going to print as many as you said then can buy wet-lab. Now Noritsu QSS37 series minilabs ( the same Fuji LP7500 - LP7900 ) are not expensive. Prints on minilabs will be cheaper and minilab can work longer, than any dry printer.

 

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Hi mate thanks for the inputs. 

 

Yeah, I'm going after purchase prices to see how much they go for. Just checked and it doesn't cover the printer head. What's the go here? I've read they cost $8k new and I'm not willing to pay for it. 

 

And yes you're totally right. I won't be having that volume from day 1, but as it's a 5 years lease, my thoughts were to get the one that suits for the long term. 

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for drylab, betwen Fuji or Epson, that's depend what kind of support is available on your area, in my place Indonesia (not far from Australia), Fujifilm support is very difficult and expensive, but Epson they have factory here, and thousands of Epson Service Centre,so with epson i feel more comfortable, all consumable easy to find , i don't need to stock too many papers and inks, i can buy it instanly, and within hours it will arrived, but with Fuji, consumable is very difficult, if you order something from them, it takes days sometimes weeks to arrived, and more expensive than Epson.

 

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6 hours ago, Minilab service said:

Fuji DL650 is printer made by Epson. Really it is Epson SL-D3000 DR with added sorter. On print heads used few the same elements. So instead to change print-head unit  it is possible to change one faulty element. Of course here "not officially" . Regarding Epson ( or Fuji ) manuals if one element is faulty need to replace whole unit. More information about print head can see here :
https://www.minilabhelp.com/forums/topic/25935-fuji-frontier-dl600-head-cleaning/ 

If you think about smaller printer then can buy Fuji DE100 ( made using Fuji, Ricoh, Xerox technologies ) . It is really good, if compare with Fuji DX100 ( Epson SL-D700 ) .

If you really going to print as many as you said then can buy wet-lab. Now Noritsu QSS37 series minilabs ( the same Fuji LP7500 - LP7900 ) are not expensive. Prints on minilabs will be cheaper and minilab can work longer, than any dry printer.

 

Hey thank you for your reply!

 

As I don't know anything about printing pictures, I think I'll be safer starting with a dry lab, right?

Could you please list me a few printers that would suit the business? As for now I only know about the Fuji DL650 and Epson D3000. Should I be looking at any others? Thanks

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4 hours ago, purnomosetiawan said:

for drylab, betwen Fuji or Epson, that's depend what kind of support is available on your area, in my place Indonesia (not far from Australia), Fujifilm support is very difficult and expensive, but Epson they have factory here, and thousands of Epson Service Centre,so with epson i feel more comfortable, all consumable easy to find , i don't need to stock too many papers and inks, i can buy it instanly, and within hours it will arrived, but with Fuji, consumable is very difficult, if you order something from them, it takes days sometimes weeks to arrived, and more expensive than Epson.

 

Hi mate thanks for the input. I haven't thought about this side of the business. I'll be looking at it. Thanks! 

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12 hours ago, Lucaslf said:

Hi guys! First of all I would like to thank you all for maintaining this source of information! 

 

So, I'm from Australia and I'm about to open a printing picture business, but I know nothing about printers. Could I get some help on which drylab would be best for the business? 

 

Some information:

- pictures not smaller than 8x8 cm

- pictures not bigger than 25x25 cm

- around 15k pictures a week

 

I've been in contact with one of those printer renting companies and they said I should go with the Fujifilm DL650. They want AUD $1150/month for the printer plus sorter (new one with 3 years Fuji total care agreement). 

 

Can someone give me some light here? Much appreciated, thank you!! 

HI mate, what really confuses all of as here is "- around 15k pictures a week" ... does are numbers we have`t seen from years.  Most of the people here will be lucky to have it in a month.

I am assuming that you don't have clear idea about volumes and more over how the volume will be spread over week. It is not the same to have 1 order for 1,000 images same size per day and 100 orders of 10 prints from different sizes. Usually volumes are not even spread over days of the week too - you can have 5,000 on Monday and 500 on Wednesday for example.

My advise is as colleagues above - get one Fujifilm DX100(DE100 it's not on Australian market as far as I know)/Epson D700/D800  start with them and see where is going. You can easily add additional printers if volumes increase and manage the risk by low investment if volumes are low. 

DL650 deal looks like rip off for me. It's some kind of modern slavery.

I will ask some friends in Australia for good dry lab suppliers if you want to. If you plane to make due sublimation like products like  mugs, tees etc. write PM will send you contact details of the right guys there.

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Depends which dry printer you want. Small printers are Fuji DE100 ( printer made using Fuji, Ricoh, Xerox technologies ) , Fuji DX100 ( made by Epson - model SL-D700 ) and Epson SL-D800 ( slightly modified SL-D700 ) . The best of them - Fuji DE100.

Bigger printers are Fuji DL650 ( made by Epson, model  SL-D3000 DR with added sorter ) , Fuji DL600 ( the same SL-D3000 DR with added sorter, but one color less, 5 colors instead 6 ) . On DL600 used the same print heads - just one element removed ( 5 elements and free space ) .

Bigger Noritsu dry printers can be from Noritsu Green series - D1005 ( the same Fuji DL450 ) , D1005HR, Green, Green II, Green III, Green IV. All they use the same print head ( made by Epson ) . There used 4 cartridges ( Black and CMY ) .

When printed many better to use minilabs. On light tone print quality would be better. Also print costs on minilab is lower. Laser repair is cheap, if compare with print head replacement. Also minilabs works longer, than dry printers. For example many still use Noritsu QSS29 ( MLVA ) and QSS31 ( laser ) series minilabs and they are made more than 20 years ago. The most dry printers older than 10 years are scraped.

Now used minilabs are not very expensive. Can buy a little newer models - Noritsu QSS37 ( the same Fuji LP7500 - LP7900 ) , Noritsu QSS37 HD . The latest models from Noritsu are QSS38 and QSS39. All these models bare similar to older Noritsu models ( QSS32 and QSS34 ) . All they can print up to 305 x 914 mm.
If these minilabs  too big - can be used smaller. QSS33 ( laser models ) can print up to 210 x 356 mm ( 210 x 420 mm, if installed optional software ) . QSS35 ( laser moidels ) can print up to 210 x 610 mm ( 210 x 914, if install long length software and hardware ) . The same -  QSS35 PLUS ( Fuji LP7100 and LP7200 ) . These small minilabs are really cheap.

Edited by Minilab service

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I agree to pay AU $ 500 a month for DL650 rental if they sign a printhead replacement contract and you try the business in real life.
But I'm afraid they will disagree and keep looking for the next "not so smart" guy.
And I realized that your volume of 15,000 per week is just a "dream plan" in your mind.
Look, this is not serious.
You will be very disappointed if you don't even have 5% of the planned volume.
The photo business is dying and Covid19 is helping to bury it.
And you dream of 15,000 a week.
500 photos a week is a smarter plan.
Dance from now on.

As a resume:
if you want to try dry printer buisness - buy DE100.
If you want to try wetlab business - buy QSS37 series.
Both easy to sell if your plan will be impossible to fulfill.
Do not buy any wet labs made by Konica, KIS, and any other except Noritsu or Fujifilm.

P.S.
May be better to buy a mask making machine in China?

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14 hours ago, yustas said:

I agree to pay AU $ 500 a month for DL650 rental if they sign a printhead replacement contract and you try the business in real life.
But I'm afraid they will disagree and keep looking for the next "not so smart" guy.
And I realized that your volume of 15,000 per week is just a "dream plan" in your mind.
Look, this is not serious.
You will be very disappointed if you don't even have 5% of the planned volume.
The photo business is dying and Covid19 is helping to bury it.
And you dream of 15,000 a week.
500 photos a week is a smarter plan.
Dance from now on.

As a resume:
if you want to try dry printer buisness - buy DE100.
If you want to try wetlab business - buy QSS37 series.
Both easy to sell if your plan will be impossible to fulfill.
Do not buy any wet labs made by Konica, KIS, and any other except Noritsu or Fujifilm.

P.S.
May be better to buy a mask making machine in China?

Here in Indonesia, even with covid19 fiasco, we're still printing 2000 prints a day !on monday, we can prints double than that, use 37 and 38 both machines needs to works 8 hours..so 15k prints a weeks, sounds acceptable...BUT, here we sell prints very  cheap, maybe US$ 0.10 per 4x6 size, so at the end of day we don't made fair money compare to our investment. I'm agree photo finishing business is dead, that's why our photo finishing money is gas money, our main revenues are  from digital printing like books, banner etc.

 

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21 hours ago, hivanov said:

HI mate, what really confuses all of as here is "- around 15k pictures a week" ... does are numbers we have`t seen from years.  Most of the people here will be lucky to have it in a month.

I am assuming that you don't have clear idea about volumes and more over how the volume will be spread over week. It is not the same to have 1 order for 1,000 images same size per day and 100 orders of 10 prints from different sizes. Usually volumes are not even spread over days of the week too - you can have 5,000 on Monday and 500 on Wednesday for example.

My advise is as colleagues above - get one Fujifilm DX100(DE100 it's not on Australian market as far as I know)/Epson D700/D800  start with them and see where is going. You can easily add additional printers if volumes increase and manage the risk by low investment if volumes are low. 

DL650 deal looks like rip off for me. It's some kind of modern slavery.

I will ask some friends in Australia for good dry lab suppliers if you want to. If you plane to make due sublimation like products like  mugs, tees etc. write PM will send you contact details of the right guys there.

Hi mate thanks for you reply 

 

As I was looking at renting it it doesn't make sense for me signing a 5 years lease for a smaller capacity printer and after one year having to grab a greater capacity one, cos now I would have two printers. 

 

And yes, the the more I look into it, the DL650 deal is a rip off. I just got a quote for the Epson D3000DR plus sorter for AUD $ 30.8k. The Fuji would cost me $69k over the 5 years and I wouldn't own it at the end. 

 

Mate, I'm I asking too much if you could get me some suppliers from your Australian friends I wound be really appreciated. At the moment I'm only focusing on a dry lab. Thanks! 

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21 hours ago, Minilab service said:

Depends which dry printer you want. Small printers are Fuji DE100 ( printer made using Fuji, Ricoh, Xerox technologies ) , Fuji DX100 ( made by Epson - model SL-D700 ) and Epson SL-D800 ( slightly modified SL-D700 ) . The best of them - Fuji DE100.

Bigger printers are Fuji DL650 ( made by Epson, model  SL-D3000 DR with added sorter ) , Fuji DL600 ( the same SL-D3000 DR with added sorter, but one color less, 5 colors instead 6 ) . On DL600 used the same print heads - just one element removed ( 5 elements and free space ) .

Bigger Noritsu dry printers can be from Noritsu Green series - D1005 ( the same Fuji DL450 ) , D1005HR, Green, Green II, Green III, Green IV. All they use the same print head ( made by Epson ) . There used 4 cartridges ( Black and CMY ) .

When printed many better to use minilabs. On light tone print quality would be better. Also print costs on minilab is lower. Laser repair is cheap, if compare with print head replacement. Also minilabs works longer, than dry printers. For example many still use Noritsu QSS29 ( MLVA ) and QSS31 ( laser ) series minilabs and they are made more than 20 years ago. The most dry printers older than 10 years are scraped.

Now used minilabs are not very expensive. Can buy a little newer models - Noritsu QSS37 ( the same Fuji LP7500 - LP7900 ) , Noritsu QSS37 HD . The latest models from Noritsu are QSS38 and QSS39. All these models bare similar to older Noritsu models ( QSS32 and QSS34 ) . All they can print up to 305 x 914 mm.
If these minilabs  too big - can be used smaller. QSS33 ( laser models ) can print up to 210 x 356 mm ( 210 x 420 mm, if installed optional software ) . QSS35 ( laser moidels ) can print up to 210 x 610 mm ( 210 x 914, if install long length software and hardware ) . The same -  QSS35 PLUS ( Fuji LP7100 and LP7200 ) . These small minilabs are really cheap.

Hi mate thank you very much for sharing this knowledge!! It was exactly what I was looking for. I'll be searching more about each model listed, quality, getting prices, how is their customer service and so on. 

 

One quick question. I've seen on a thread that Epson has discontinued the D3000. Is that right? And if so, would it be better not to get one? Thank you again! 

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19 hours ago, yustas said:

I agree to pay AU $ 500 a month for DL650 rental if they sign a printhead replacement contract and you try the business in real life.
But I'm afraid they will disagree and keep looking for the next "not so smart" guy.
And I realized that your volume of 15,000 per week is just a "dream plan" in your mind.
Look, this is not serious.
You will be very disappointed if you don't even have 5% of the planned volume.
The photo business is dying and Covid19 is helping to bury it.
And you dream of 15,000 a week.
500 photos a week is a smarter plan.
Dance from now on.

As a resume:
if you want to try dry printer buisness - buy DE100.
If you want to try wetlab business - buy QSS37 series.
Both easy to sell if your plan will be impossible to fulfill.
Do not buy any wet labs made by Konica, KIS, and any other except Noritsu or Fujifilm.

P.S.
May be better to buy a mask making machine in China?

Thanks mate 

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Depends what you mean when say, that Epson SL-D3000 was discontinued. If about production then you are right - Epson SL-D3000 ( SL-D3000 DR - double role, SL-D3000 SR - single role ) , Fuji DL650 ( SL-D3000 DR with sorter ) and Fuji DL600 ( SL-D3000 DR with sorter and removed one color ) are discontinued. All they where produced by Epson and Epson doesn't make them anymore. Service parts are still available from Epson and Fuji. Fuji do not make parts - just sell parts, received from Epson. Difference between Epson and Fuji branded printers - on boards loaded firmware,  used software and used ink. Fuji system software was designed by Epson. On Epson and Fuji branded printers software has the same menu, errors, adjustments and etc. Only printing interface is absolutely different - MS01 on Fuji and Order controller on Epson. Service still available from Epson, or Fuji. 

Now Epson makes only small, cheap and not very reliable SL-D800 series printer.  Depending on region second digit is different ( SL-D8x0 , for example SL-D860 for Australia ) , but they are almost the same ( minor differences ) . SL-D800 series printer based on SL-D700 ( the same cheap and not reliable print head, pump and many other parts ) . Printer and parts made on Epson China. There where produced SL-D700 and Fuji DX-100 ( the same printer ) . Epson doesn't make SL-D700 and Fuji DX-100 anymore.

Fuji stopped cooperation with Epson and assembled first their dry printer - DE100. There print head and boards - made by Ricoh, but on this printer used Fuji, Ricoh and Xerox technologies. Before Fuji didn't make dry printers. All DL4x0 where Noritsu printers, DL6x0 and DX100 - Epson.

When we are talking about dry printers, which sold Fuji, then have to say that first printers, which sold this company are fully discontinued. Now impossible from Fuji buy ink cartridges and paper for Fuji DL42SD . Paper is not problem. Fuji DL42SD is Norirsu D502 and Noritsu sells paper. Noritsu sells cartridges, but they can't be used on Fuji ( because different information on cartridge chip ) . Solution only one - change firmware and install Noritsu software. Then can be used Noritsu ink cartridges. 

Now the same happened with other Fuji printers ( DL400, DL410, DL430, DL450 ) . It is difficult to get ink from Fuji. Fortunately can buy not original cartridges. Cartridges still available from Noritsu ( because even the latest Noritsu models use the same cartridges ) . To use Noritsu cartridges need change firmware, install Noritsu software ( convert to D701, D703, D1005 ) .

All Noritsu dry printers ( except D502 ) use the same cartridges. Noritsu dry printers are very similar. One group is Noritsu D701, D703, D705. Other group - D1005, D1005HR, Green, Green II, Green III, Green IV.  On the same group printers are very similar. Used the same print head and many other parts. On Noritsu can change only whole print head unit and it is very expensive. As I told before on Epson SL-D3000 ( Fuji DL600, DL650 ) can be changed one faulty element ( if not officially ) . Officially Fuji, or Epson also can change only whole print head where 6, or 5 elements ( 12, or 10 elements on two heads ) .

All dry printers can't work very long. Many first dry printers where discontinued at all ( no service, consumables ) . Only wet labs works very very long. On this forum can see messages, where owners, or service engineer need to repair models made 30 years ago. That means these wet labs still print photo.

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