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  1. #1
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    Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    I've used Walmart and Walgreens, and I'm not real crazy about the results. Who can you all recommend that does a great job?

  2. #2
    Viewfinder and Off-Topic Co-Mod walterick's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    Look up your local professional camera store in the phone book. If they do printing, they will have the best equipment, and best printers, around. I use my pro place exclusively now. I know there several places online that let you upload files and give excellent results. I'm sure someone else can chime in with those recommendations.

    Be careful of the *marts, I have heard stories of ruined and lost files and negs there.

    GL!
    Rick
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  3. #3
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    I asked a similar question on another thread. People seem to like www.mpix.com. I have some photos up there but I have yet to print. People here like them though.

    When I bought my last camera they gave me 100 free prints at Bel Air Camera. I shot photos at a wedding used my credit at Bel Air camera. They came out great and they also corrected some of my under exposures. They regularly charge .50 a print.

    If you want good lab work, you have to pay a premium. Prolabs keep there machines and chemicals up to factory specifications...(well, that's what I've heard)

    Try out mpix.com, I will soon myself.
    Canon 5D MKII & Canon 7D

  4. #4
    Senior Member payn817's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    If you get into a pinch to use a 1 hour place, make sure you observe the place a little first. See how clean it is, if it is sloppy and not well organized, go somewhere else. If the people working do not seem to be enjoying their work, and confident, go somewhere else. Last, ask to see some sample prints, most places have some.

    Another thing is to find out about the people. For example, a girl where i print is into photography, and she understands how to get the results i ask for. So, if she isn't there i wait.


    Last, if you are not happy with your prints at Wal-mart, you can ask them to reprint, tell them the changes you want and you don't have to pay for the bad print. My lab gets a good bit of pro work, and the photos aren't marked wal-mart, they seem happy.

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  5. #5
    don't label me 2kids2shoot's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    The 1 hour Costco by me does a great job. There's a couple people who work there who know what they're doing. Seems that if you have that anywhere you've got a leg up. They got a Fuji Frontier about a year ago and printer is profiled and the profile is available online so you can match colors very well. Also, if I use the 1 hour photo I can request matte paper which I've found many online places won't do for digital. Their prices are also very competitive at 19cent 4x6's and about $2 for 8x10's.

  6. #6
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    Baby Corn,

    Are you printing from film or digital files? There is a compairison of online printing labs in last moths issue of Popular Photography and Imaging. Mpix rated 6 out of 6 for quality, as did a couple others. I use them for my prints and I'm very happy with the quality, and packaging. They will develop your film, scan it and upload it into your online gallery where you can order prints from. The price for 4x6 prints is 29 cents. That's higher than most of the other places, but the quality is great. Look them up online and you can request free paper samples. I love the matte paper and use it almost exclusivly. They also have a metallic paper that really adds some "pop" to the right image.

    I think I'm going to try out snapfish.com for some proof prints as they are only 12 cents for 4x6 prints. Hopefully I can get those ordered this week and I can compair the print quality with mpix.
    Mike


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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  7. #7
    GoldMember Lava Lamp's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Corn
    I've used Walmart and Walgreens, and I'm not real crazy about the results. Who can you all recommend that does a great job?
    I prefer www.adorama.com, they consistently produce the best prints for me. I use they 80% of the time and really like what they do for me on 11 x 14. People see my Adorama prints and comment on how nice they look.

    I've used Mpix from time to time and their quality is variable. I really like what they do with the metallic paper, but I've gotten some mediocre prints on regular paper.

    I got a coupon for some free prints at Shutterfly and thought they were bad. Snapfish isn't too good either. Walgreens/Walmart/CVS are all pretty variable. I find you getter results if you use their "send out" service, but still the results are inferior to Adorama or Mpix on a good day. One-hour prints are usually crap at these places, but if you get a good shop with a good manager, you'll get good results.

  8. #8
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    I download to Walgreens.com and pick up 4x6 in about and hour. The store near me is great. ( Glen Cove, N.Y.) For inlargements you can't beat Adorama.com in NYC. Great quality I've had many 11x14's made from my 3.2MP Olympus 300 Stylus and they are the best yet. They ship fast. By the way my Olympus makes far sharpper images than my brothers 4MP Nikon P&S.

  9. #9
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    I just got the 4x6 prints I ordered from Snapfish.com. I'm please with the print quality and would use them again for my own personal photos. I really like matte finish prints, but the snapfish prints were glossy. Not a problem for this order tho. I didn't see anywher on their site if matte finish is available. I didn't look too hard for it either tho.

    My original idea was to use them for proof prints for weddings and portraits, but after recieving them, I think I'm going to stick with mpix.com. As I said, I really like their matte finish. Another reason I'm not going with snapfish for proofs is that the prints say snapfish.com on the back, and are printed on HP paper. I'm happy with the quality of the prints, but I would prefer that a client see "Kodak Professional Paper" stamped on the back instead of the HP logo and snapfish.com.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with quality of the 4x6 prints I got, and would use them again for personal photos. You can't beat 12 cents per print, and shipping was dirt cheap. You get your first 20 prints free, so my order of 31 prints cost me less than $4 and that included shipping.

    I also created an account at www.adorama.com and recieved an email for 25 free prints. Next time I need to order prints, I will be trying them out to see how they compare to mpix and snapfish.

    For now, I will stick with www.mpix.com for paid work.
    Mike


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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  10. #10
    re-Member shutterman's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    I've got to agree with Lava. Adorama has been great and they give you the choice to "NOT" color correct the files!

    I recently saw a print from Professional Color Lab - a poster from a 6 meg Nikon that looked great but I have not tried them yet.
    Wes

    Who are they, where are they, how can they possibly know all the rules?

  11. #11
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    How about at home?

    I don't know what you shoot and how large (or small) of a print you need, but I found out recently that one can get very good results with a standard photo printer. A little bit of post processing can really put the finishing touches to a good image file.

    Besides, no one is better suited at producing precisely what you want than that "lab technician"
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  12. #12
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterman
    I've got to agree with Lava. Adorama has been great and they give you the choice to "NOT" color correct the files!

    I recently saw a print from Professional Color Lab - a poster from a 6 meg Nikon that looked great but I have not tried them yet.
    Hi Wes,

    What is this "Professional Color Lab" you speak of? I googled it and found all kinds of random stuff. Got a link?

    Thanks,
    Paul

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  13. #13
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    The problem with places like Adorama, Shutterbug, Snapfish, etc. is that just like the local lab, they "correct" your images for you. If you have a calibrated workflow and want the most control, get a pro lab that leaves all the color work up to you and provides you with necessary profiles. I prefer the latter, and as such like to work with White House Custom Color up in Minnesota.

    http://www.whcc.com
    -Seb


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  14. #14
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    mpix also gives you the choice to not color correct the images.
    Mike


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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  15. #15
    Senior Member payn817's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lava Lamp
    One-hour prints are usually crap at these places, but if you get a good shop with a good manager, you'll get good results.
    True of any service.

    Just for the record, these places can turn off the "auto-correct" feature, and if you send the pictures via the internet, they are not touched at all by the staff, except for packaging.

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  16. #16
    re-Member shutterman's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    Quote Originally Posted by photophorous
    Hi Wes,

    What is this "Professional Color Lab" you speak of? I googled it and found all kinds of random stuff. Got a link?

    Thanks,
    Paul
    Paul, here you go........http://www.procoloronline.com/index.cfm

    If you try it, let me know how you like it.

    Thanks,
    Wes
    Wes

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  17. #17
    re-Member shutterman's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian
    The problem with places like Adorama, Shutterbug, Snapfish, etc. is that just like the local lab, they "correct" your images for you. If you have a calibrated workflow and want the most control, get a pro lab that leaves all the color work up to you and provides you with necessary profiles. I prefer the latter, and as such like to work with White House Custom Color up in Minnesota.

    http://www.whcc.com
    Sebastian, since I got my color checker chart and my spyder, I have been pretty careful to find a place that won't mess with my stuff. Adorama gives you the option to leave the image as is!

    I took some stuff to Ritz b/c I needed it quickly and man they did a number. Talk about auto contrast and color - sheesh, blue became purple, highlights became blowouts, etc. Never will use them again!
    Wes

    Who are they, where are they, how can they possibly know all the rules?

  18. #18
    Jedi Master masdog's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    How is shutterfly? I got a pro-gallery account there as a gift.
    Sean Massey
    Massey Photography

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  19. #19
    Click take a Pict boomtap's Avatar
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    Re: Where's the Best Place to Have Prints Made?

    I took the advice of many of you and ordered some prints using mpix, and got some of that silver paper, and I have got to say WOW. They did a fantastic job. That silver paper is sweet for Black and White. I highly recomend them.
    -Jason Cross-


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