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Here comes the maths bit… concentrate May 28, 2007

Posted by Steve in Photography, Techie Stuff.
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When you print digital photos you have a couple of options – print them on your computer printer, or take/send them to somewhere that will print them for you.

So, confused about which was the best option, I set about doing the maths to see what the DIY method would cost per 6×4 print. Given that the maths are a bit tricky I figured I’d show my working here.

So the starting point – my printer is the Lexmark Z35, and a colour cartridge for it costs me £18.00 at Asda. Asda’s photo paper costs £3.90 for 50 sheets.

Lexmark claim the yield of the No26 cartridge to be 275 pages at 15% coverage.

So first thing to do is work out what area 275 pages at 15% equates to at total coverage.

An A4 sheet is 210x297mm which comes to 62370mm2
Multiplied by 275 comes to 17151750mm2 and 15% of that is 2572762.5mm2, the area which one cartridge can totally cover.

So we’re interested in 6″x4″ sheets. In metric terms, that’s 152x101mm, an area of 15352mm2.

A simple bit if division tells us that we can totally cover 167 areas of 6×4″.

So we now know that from one cartridge we can produce 167 prints. Except I never believe these yield figures so I’m going to round it down to 150 for the purposes of these calculations.

The cartridge cost £18.00. So 1800p/150 = 12p per print, for ink.

Looking at the paper, £3.90 gets you 50 sheets, so 390p/50 = 7.8p for each piece of paper.

Totalling that up you’re looking at 20p pre 6×4 sheet.

So given that even one-hour express photo printing on the high street is usually less than this, it would appear that printing at home is best held as a reserve option for emergencies!

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