Otto Vondrak wrote:If you are only looking to print a few slides, then look for a good photo lab in your area. Ask if they have a Frontier system as described above. A good 8x10 print from a Frontier machine should cost you about $7.00 each, with the price going down as you buy multiples. And yes, also look into your local drugstore or Walgreens, they may do enlargements in house for cheaper than that- generally $3 per 8x10 print.
Unless you are a professional photo retoucher and have experience with slide scanners and professional image handling software (like Photoshop), and you want to invest hundreds (thousands) of dollars into a professional inkject printer, paper supplies, and inks... don't bother. I am a graphics professional, and *I* don't want to deal with this stuff either (even though I have to at work every day)! If you want professional quality prints, go to a lab.
Even if you just want to make prints to play around with, you still need to inest a few hundred dollars in a slide scanner, photo software, an inkjet printer, paper, and inks.
If you are at all serious about giving prints to people, then I would make the investment ($300) in a basic scanner that scans slides and a decent printer. I found with experience that you can produce better quality prints than some labs do. In the long term, it will be less expensive than sending slides to a lab if you do alot of prints. You will save gas too by not having to run to a store.
As you gain experience with this equipment, you will find even more uses for it as I have. You can use a scanner as a copier, resize images for use on the web via a photo program, make greeting cards, and with practice, do things like improve a poor image,color correction, special effects,etc. I use mine to publish a small newsletter with photos.
You don't need to invest alot of money. The only time you want to get into high end equipment is when you get into publishing such as magazine and book printing. Then you are looking at equiopment to do such things as color seperations,making special color combonations,etc.