Online Printing Services

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by susan_winn, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Hi,
    I am moving away from printing at home and I am looking for an online printing service. I print Fine Art Macro photography, no mass production, however, I would love the price to be lower for selling reasons. Right now I tried smugmug, which i have ordered prints from the past and have been pleased. But to print 13x19 it cost $10, which I am hoping I can find a service that is cheaper.
    What are some recommendations and why do you like them?
    what other features do they have/or should I be looking for?
    Thank!
     
  2. I'm not sure how much lower it can go depending on the quality you're looking for.
     
  3. $10 for a 13 x 19 is cheaper than it would cost to print at home. I doubt you can make any savings concomitant with good quality - you need to increase your selling price.
     
  4. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You should look at Costco. It's lower cost than that and, unlike most printing services these days, every printer is profiled. Easiest way to use their service is to submit the order online for a local Costco and pick it up. The online-only service takes a little longer and costs more due to shipping. If you want printing on inkjet printers (Epson 8800/9800 usually) you need to pick a much larger size and print multiples on one sheet. The quality is surprisingly good, at least in the Costcos near me. Several photographers I know do shows with prints from Costco.
     
  5. +1 on Costco. $1.50 for a 8x12 print. Good quality using their published profiles.
     
  6. Mpix, Mpix, Mpix.....
     
  7. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Mpix only provides profiles by special request and it's unclear how often, if ever, they update them. Serious issue there. I've used them occasionally but found Costco provides far better prints if you use profiles, which you should use.
     
  8. I use a White House Custom Color, or WHCC on the web. They are a large professional print house. They happen to be in my area, but I'm sure they deliver everywhere. Here's their price list for basic prints. I have have excellent prints for years from them
    www.whcc.com/products/prints/photographic-prints#pricing
     
  9. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    You should look at Costco.
    +1 on Costco.​
    Plus most Costco’s implement proper color management and provide excellent CUSTOM output profiles and allow you to work in any color space you wish. Mpix and other’s will force you to use sRGB or similar and will not allow you to send the documents in an output ready color space. No control over rendering intent. No ability to properly soft proof. IF color management is important to you, most of the other lab’s mentioned don’t have a clue.
     
  10. Can someone provide an outline of necessary steps to utilize provided vendor profiles (Costco for example) in preparing digital files to be submitted for printing? This would be for non-photoshop techies like myself.
    Thanks.
     
  11. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Can someone provide an outline of necessary steps to utilize provided vendor profiles (Costco for example) in preparing digital files to be submitted for printing? This would be for non-photoshop techies like myself.​
    Ideally download the ICC Profile for the output device and Costco you will be using.
    http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/
    Load and then soft proof your images deciding what Rendering Intent you prefer.
    Double check with the specific Costco you're using that indeed, they will accept output ready RGB from that conversion (they should since you got their profile but check the first time to be safe).
     
  12. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    It's important to add that you must choose the "no adjustments" option (I think that's what it's called) with your order. Otherwise, using the profile amounts to nothing.
     
  13. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    It's important to add that you must choose the "no adjustments" option (I think that's what it's called) with your order.​
    Oh yes, super important! Thanks for pointing that out.
    Bottom line fast primes, give the local Costco a call or better, go in and talk with the tech. Tell them what you hope to accomplish and that you prefer to use their ICC profiles and convert yourself, then hand off 'output ready' files. They are to send the numbers 'as is' to the device.
     
  14. If you print rarely, it’s important to decide whether to invest in a home printer that will spend most of its time sitting idle on your desk, or whether to rely solely on third-party printing services. The first issue is price. If this is your only concern, online services are often the cheapest. The days of carefully handwriting essays are long gone, so it’s well worth getting your head around the world of printers, and swotting up on some nifty tips to get your printing done on the cheap
     
  15. If you print rarely, it’s important to decide whether to invest in a home printer that will spend most of its time sitting idle on your desk, or whether to rely solely on third-party offering printing services. The first issue is price. If this is your only concern, online services are often the cheapest. The days of carefully handwriting essays are long gone, so it’s well worth getting your mind around the world of printers, and considering on some great tips to get your printing done on with an affordable amount.
     

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