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The Golden Age of Russian Impressionism

Blogged by: Brian Bruner


Are you tired of wasting time and money on good (not great) prints at your local drug store or superstore photo lab? Have you ever wanted to simply do it yourself at home and create extremely high quality prints? Well, a couple years ago, that was my problem. I did not like the quality and service I got. I was unhappy with having to drive to town, wait in line at the self-serve print station, and realize that the prints just didn’t convey what I had personally seen through the camera viewfinder. So I made it a goal to find the best printer, paper, and ink. These 3 items, along with simply having a nice photo to print, are the keys to creating your own perfect prints.

After failing at buying a few printers that simply didn’t do the job, I finally discovered a model that exceeds the quality I look for in a print. And since that day, I am now on my 3rd version of this model. The Epson Stylus Photo RX680 Photo All-in-One Printer is a fantastic machine. In fact, I really dislike referring it as a “printer”. I consider it my own professional photo lab!

The best part - you can buy this printer for what you probably paid for your past printer. At the time of writing this, Epson is selling it directly through their website for only $129.99! Amazon also sells it for the same price. Without trying to sound like a late night paid advertisement on TV, you really do get free shipping on this printer from Epson! The printer also includes a full set of ink cartridges. If you try buying it at your local electronics store, expect to pay almost $200…plus tax!

Epson Stylus Photo RX680 Photo All-in-One Printer - Click to buy through Amazon.com

This printer uses Claria Hi-Definition Inks. Don’t let the name scare you to think that this is expensive ink! In fact, it’s very reasonably priced. CAUTION - never buy off-brands or try refill your cartridges. This can ruin your printer from ever printing to it’s fullest abilities.

Here are some of the added features you get with the RX680:

  • Borderless printing
  • Two paper trays (keep your regular paper in one and photo paper in the other)
  • Flatbed scanner
  • Print directly on printable CDs and DVDs
  • Extra USB port for connecting your camera directly
  • Built-in memory card reader
  • LCD screen to preview your photo before printing
  • Scan-to-PDF for archiving and easy emailing
  • Restore your old worn out photos
  • Prints are instantly dry!

I consider myself old-fashioned. I still enjoy printing photos and putting them into photo albums to show my friends and family. So you need a good quality paper that will show off that new Epson printer you will be getting for your family:-) I have tried buying paper over-the-counter and have had some success. But the best I have found is called Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl photo paper. When you go to the store, most of the photo paper on the shelf is glossy. After using Ilford’s Smooth Pearl paper, I really don’t see myself using glossy paper again. My issue with glossy paper is that when you are looking at it, you are constantly turning it to try removing the glare from your view! The Smooth Pearl paper has a brilliant satin finish. You won’t find yourself being distracting by that annoying glare.

The easiest way to buy the paper is through Amazon. Below are links to two sizes that I commonly use…4″ x 6″ and 8 1/2″ x 11″. I buy the 4″ x 6″ paper quite frequently since I enjoy creating albums and giving the prints away.


4″ x 6″ Smooth Pearl Paper - Click to buy through Amazon.


8 1/2″ x 11″ Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl Inkjet Photo Paper - Click to buy through Amazon


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