$600 4×6 Photo

One 4×6 photo cost me $600. It’s a picture that I took. I probably won’t even put it in a frame. I even printed the picture myself.

I like the colours in the picture and felt it would look better off of a screen. I’ve been meaning to start printing more pictures anyway, but this one spurred me on.

I could have sent the picture out to get printed. It would have cost about 17 cents. If I had printed a few more pictures along with it, each would have cost even less. It wouldn’t have taken more than a few days to have it delivered to me. I seriously considered doing this.

Instead, I pulled my photo printer out of storage and fired it up for the first time in nine years. As soon as it had finished starting up, a red light started blinking. Of course, there wasn’t going to be any ink in the printer.

I bought some new ink for $180 and put it in. The machine sounded great. The first test print came out blank but the ink levels in the cartridges dropped. A second test page only used up more ink.

The next three “print nozzle checks” and “print head cleanings” drained all of the ink from the brand new cartridges. Even then, all of the paper that went through came out blank.

After some research, I purchased a solvent, which cost me $40. It took about a week to arrive. During that time, I got impatient and bought another photo printer for about $200. I’ve only run off six pictures on that printer. I did some math and I think I need to print 125 pictures to make the purchase economical.

When the solvent arrived, I waited on it for a couple of weeks. It was a fun afternoon, pumping solvent from a syringe through a plastic tube onto print heads. I repeated this procedure three times. The first time made a big difference. The next two times just put the finishing touches on the job.

My old printer was finally working again. Unfortunately, I had no more ink. So, I purchased more for another $180. This time, the ink took nearly three weeks to arrive. By then, I had moved on to other things and wasn’t so interested in getting the printer working.

Tonight, I finally printed something, nearly two months after starting all of this. I’m not sure that it was worth it.


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