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  1. #26
    Liz
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Steve,
    I can't thank you enough. I'll change it from 1600 to 1800 now that I'm not using Winkflash. I think they said not to upload anything more than 1600 - that's why I did it.

    I really appreciate your help! Awesome! Now I can upload some images to Walmart online to see if I can get the same quality prints I did before. They also use good paper. I believe it's Kodak, but don't recall.

    Then I'll try mpix and Adorama and compare. I feel so good now that I know the dimensions are correct.

    Liz

  2. #27
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Glad to help, Liz. I think you'll really be happy with any place that does a decent volume of work and properly maintains their equipment. Like I said, I have beautiful prints that came from a grocery store. I'd be glad to send you one for comparison - PM me if you want one. These are done on a Fuji Frontier machine - some Walmarts have them, some have Kodak I understand (from a previous thread here somewhere).

    Adorama is (or at least used to be) Kodak, just like Mpix. The main difference between the different places (and Kodak vs. Fuji) is probably in the different papers offered. Mpix with their Kodak Metallic paper is really great for some subjects and looks almost like seeing a slide on a light table. Some subjects don't look good in it though - kinda like their sample shot that they will send you for free. Just like with film, find a good one and stick with them if you can.

  3. #28
    Viewfinder and Off-Topic Co-Mod walterick's Avatar
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Hey Steveo

    I read this too and learned a lot from it. I'm a home-printing newbie and your description helped me understand what the #@! I am doing too
    Walter Rick Long
    Nikon Samurai, Mamiya Master, Velvia Bandit


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  4. #29
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    I don't understand, I have never had a problem getting high quality prints using factory inks and paper. I've tried non-factory papers for glossy photos and have ended up giving the paper away. Kodak paper on my printer gives a very warm tone, but I use the double sided paper but it's not for photographs is the colors are not a problem.

    I've found the if you use coated or uncoated mat papers there is almost never a color problem.

    I always have printed my digital prints at home, and cost wise it's about the same but I get my prints in a few minutes with out driving anyplace.
    GRF

    Panorama Madness:

    Nikon D800, 50mm F1.4D AF, 16-35mm, 28-200mm & 70-300mm

  5. #30
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Well, my wife just went to pick up some prints today and we have a little problem. I resized and edited a few photos last night, one of which we wanted in a 5x7 and 8x10, so I had cropped photos of each for each size. She picked them up and with all the kids with her (our three and her sisters one, all 5 and under) she didn't look at them closely until she got home and got two to take a nap. It turns out they really botched our 8x10. I haven't seen it yet, but she says it looks like they printed a 4x6, scanned it, and printed the scanned 4x6 image at an 8x10, because we got an extra 4x6 of this image we didn't order. It's like they forgot to print it from the file we uploaded and to get it done did this. The picture is grainy as all hell, she needed it for something she's doing today, and she's pissed. She can't go back readily with all the kids sleeping (the other two she left awake are laying down for a nap too) and with t-ball tonight she won't be able to do it when I get home either... So, as good as the paper they are using is, or as good as their equipment may be, it still can't compensate for incompetent employees.

    Just be careful...I guess in the end you pay for, but it was a $3 8x10 print?? That's not exactly cheap, is it?

    BM

  6. #31
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Qucik follow up... She just called wally world and asked what they did, and that it looked like a scanned resized photo and the technician (being polite) on the other end of the phone said "Uh huh, yup, that's what we did." Turns out they are out of 8x10 printer paper and only have the 8x10 in the copier so that's how they made our 8x10. Took the photo I sent them, printed a 4x6 (agian, having to crop for the different aspect ratio) then printing it at 8x10, losing tons of resolution, and cropping it again for the 8x10 aspect ratio. She (wallmart employee) didin't seem to think there was a problem with doing that. To the average joe schmoe consumer who doesn't know the difference of these details, would have just gotten screwed.

    Now my wife is waiting to talk to the manager....yay!

    BM

  7. #32
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmadau
    So, as good as the paper they are using is, or as good as their equipment may be, it still can't compensate for incompetent employees.
    Excellent point. I did have a problem once (can't remember what, actually) but the grocery store I use corrected it right away. I had been going in there a lot at that time so maybe that helped. Mistakes happen but what matters is how they deal with it.

    I don't think your case was a mistake as much as it was an error in their judgement (from reading your second post). I have to believe that some people might get that 8x10 and think that they need a better camera... There is a risk to using places like this, but I try to make everything as easy and hopefully foolproof as possible by making my own files to fit the print size. So far it's worked well for me.

    PS - $3 isn't too bad, but I think locally it's just under $2. I've heard (but haven't seen the proof) that paper and ink for an 8x10 is worth about $2 for the inkjets or dye subs that most people (individual photographers) are using.

  8. #33
    Senior Member payn817's Avatar
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    That's foul.

    BTW... they price match, just bring an ad/coupon.

    I hope they do right by you, it's a shame some ruin it for the rest.
    Last edited by payn817; 05-23-2006 at 03:35 PM.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Actually prints are becoming less necessary. In journalism and for some magazines, as well as for web sites and digital presentations, prints are often not required. Weddings and professional portraits are perhaps the two most common print areas, although my large professional portrait was done by my daughter on canvas with paint. She is, of course more an artist than a photographer by training and experience.

    Ronnoco

  10. #35
    GoldMember Lava Lamp's Avatar
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    Excellent point. I did have a problem once (can't remember what, actually) but the grocery store I use corrected it right away. I had been going in there a lot at that time so maybe that helped. Mistakes happen but what matters is how they deal with it.

    I don't think your case was a mistake as much as it was an error in their judgement (from reading your second post). I have to believe that some people might get that 8x10 and think that they need a better camera... There is a risk to using places like this, but I try to make everything as easy and hopefully foolproof as possible by making my own files to fit the print size. So far it's worked well for me.

    PS - $3 isn't too bad, but I think locally it's just under $2. I've heard (but haven't seen the proof) that paper and ink for an 8x10 is worth about $2 for the inkjets or dye subs that most people (individual photographers) are using.
    My local CVS charges $4.99 for a bad 5x7 printed on an Epson inkjet. When I was printing my own stuff, I did some family calendars and it cost around $3 per 8 1/2 x 11 sheet using good paper.

  11. #36
    Liz
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lava Lamp
    My local CVS charges $4.99 for a bad 5x7 printed on an Epson inkjet. When I was printing my own stuff, I did some family calendars and it cost around $3 per 8 1/2 x 11 sheet using good paper.
    Wow! You can get a 5x7 at Walmart for less than $1.00. Quality depends on who is doing it and which machine (they have 2) they use.

    Liz

  12. #37
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    They printed the 4x6 on matte paper, so when they scanned it to reprint it at 8x10, it picked up the texture of the matte paper making the 8x10 on glossy look textured and grainy.

    BM

  13. #38
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    To Crop from the 8 x12 full frame to 8 by 10 crop I just loal the image into photoshop and do a image resize (without resampling) to 8 inch wide or tall. Then I look at the image DPI and then create a new 8 by 10 inch image at that DPI. Then I just copy the orignal and paste the image into the new image. You can move the image around for the best crop. (this workes in all version of photoshop)
    GRF

    Panorama Madness:

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  14. #39
    Seb
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Hello Liz,

    I started to do my own printing in july 2005 and never looked back since then. I use an HP Photosmart 8750 and my monitor is calibrated with the Monaco Optix XR package. In my view, the quality that I now get exceed anything that pro labs ever gave me by a comfortable margin because I get the colors, the depth and the sharpness that I want but there is a learning curve. I have been experimenting to get a good feel of the whole process.
    That being said, I am not into volume. I never print smaller than 7x10 and I do quite a lot of 8x12 and 11x14. I am more into a slow paced, portfolio production. My printer serve me superbly well for that purpose.
    However, I think that it would be hard to justify getting a printer if you mostly need 4x6 prints and that you are into volume. A lab will always ends up being cheaper and less time consuming than doing it by yourself in that context.

    regards

    Seb

  15. #40
    Liz
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Thanks Seb,

    Yes, I don't do many larger prints, so it's probably not worth it. BTW, how much can you get decent monitor calibration software for? If I recall, the good stuff is quite expensive.

    I do a lot of photography for friends and they only want larger prints once in a while and for those, I wouldn't use Walmart or other el cheapo places, but a good photo lab. There is a Kodak lab not too far, and I'm going to check them out again. I haven't used them for about 2 years, and at that time they didn't do digital. Hmmmmmmm....must have caught up by now.

    Thanks Seb.

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by Seb
    Hello Liz,

    I started to do my own printing in july 2005 and never looked back since then. I use an HP Photosmart 8750 and my monitor is calibrated with the Monaco Optix XR package. In my view, the quality that I now get exceed anything that pro labs ever gave me by a comfortable margin because I get the colors, the depth and the sharpness that I want but there is a learning curve. I have been experimenting to get a good feel of the whole process.
    That being said, I am not into volume. I never print smaller than 7x10 and I do quite a lot of 8x12 and 11x14. I am more into a slow paced, portfolio production. My printer serve me superbly well for that purpose.
    However, I think that it would be hard to justify getting a printer if you mostly need 4x6 prints and that you are into volume. A lab will always ends up being cheaper and less time consuming than doing it by yourself in that context.

    regards

    Seb

  16. #41
    Seb
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    Thanks Seb,

    Yes, I don't do many larger prints, so it's probably not worth it. BTW, how much can you get decent monitor calibration software for? If I recall, the good stuff is quite expensive.

    I do a lot of photography for friends and they only want larger prints once in a while and for those, I wouldn't use Walmart or other el cheapo places, but a good photo lab. There is a Kodak lab not too far, and I'm going to check them out again. I haven't used them for about 2 years, and at that time they didn't do digital. Hmmmmmmm....must have caught up by now.

    Thanks Seb.

    Liz
    Liz, I haven't looked at the very latest hardware/software. I have paid something like
    230$ for the Monaco Optix XR in march 2005 which consist in the software and the "spyder" to calibrate a monitor. Gretag Macbeth products usually are considered as the reference and their products are expensive but I read numerous reviews back then were people considered the Monaco package to be marginally lesser (if any lesser) while being fairly more affordable.

    One could pay even more for a package which allow to create profiles for the printer as well but frankly, most of the job is already done when your screen is calibrated. I rely on my printer default profile and get prints that match my screen very accurately most of the time.

    Seb

  17. #42
    Viewfinder and Off-Topic Co-Mod walterick's Avatar
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Hey Liz,

    When you get your results from Walmart online would you mind posting a note in this thread? I am going to link to this discussion in the upcoming FAQ page.

    Thanks!
    Rick
    Walter Rick Long
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  18. #43
    Liz
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    Thanks for reminding me......my images are still on the CF card. I'll get to it the beginning of the week and will post.

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by walterick
    Hey Liz,

    When you get your results from Walmart online would you mind posting a note in this thread? I am going to link to this discussion in the upcoming FAQ page.

    Thanks!
    Rick

  19. #44
    Click take a Pict boomtap's Avatar
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    Re: Prints: Do-it-yourself or?

    I can only say 1 thing. MPIX has done me good. My prints are fantastic from them.
    -Jason Cross-

    http://www.jasoncrossphoto.com Check out the 365 days of photos started Jan 1 2007. :thumbsup:

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