Where do you get your photos printed

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by kris-bochenek, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. I would like to know where you guys send your photos to be printed? I tried Walgreens and Epingo but the second
    one charged me $10 for 8x10 print, the first one on the other hand will NEVER print the way I want and I like to have
    a little 1/4" white border around my image and for some reason Walgreens keep cutting that, one time I made the
    border 1/2" wide they cut it down do 1/4" that's what I wanted but I cannot be making my borders wider just because
    they decide to do weird stuff with it. Sometimes I think I'd be better off just printing myself but I'd have to invest in
    printer and inks and I don't print that often, so maybe some of you could point me the right direction

    Thank you
     
  2. After I edit images, I store a jpeg file for every image conceivably worth keeping on the Kodak Gallery. With the Prenium Service" ($25/yr) I can download the files if I ever need to. I've had good luck with enlargements from Kodak. (I rarely bother with anything smaller than 5x7.) I get panoramas printed at EZPrints. The first couple had low green contrast, but recent prints have been well done. Sometimes I will hit a sale at Adormama. My inkjet printer is reserved for quick and dirty jobs.
     
  3. I scan my negatives, and upload to Adoramapix.com for printing. An 8 by 10 is around a couple of dollars. From your remarks, it sounds like you do not scan? It's getting harder and harder to find a good lab for prints where you just hand them the negative and they do the rest. For best results, you almost are forced to do the scanning yourself. My "workflow" is as follows: send out the negative for development, scan myself with SilverFast to creat a tiff file, apply adjustment via lightzone and save as a jpeg file, and then upload the jpeg files to Adorama for printing. My prints are excellent. I'm getting better results than I ever did using a lab. Of course, I needed to learn about color management, icc profiles, etc., but I love learning, so that was also fun.

    I just started trying Kodak Lustre paper. It is really nice. A slight gloss, with excellent color saturation.

    There are many other online printers besides Adorama. I only mentioned them because I use them. They are fast, and have good prices and quality.
     
  4. A lot of printing success depends on just who is operating the machine. So one store can give you great results on a Tuesday and bad on a Friday. For non-critical work I use a chain store. I've had both good and bad results from Walgreens, CVS, and Wal-Mart. You could get just about as many good testimonials as bad ones from people here with regard to one or the other chains. The one good thing about the ones I mentioned were after I pointed out what was wrong with my prints, they all did them over with no complaints for free. CVS did require 3 tries to get it right, and Wal-Mart lost my work but didn't lose the digital files I uploaded to them and were able to redo the job right away, but if I hadn't followed up with them, I'd still be waiting for a phone call.

    You might want to eventually do it yourself if its important work, but for just snapshots, you'll be a lot better off price wise if you send it out. Other than sending off to a national pro lab, I'm afraid you just have to spend (waste) some time trying to find a local printer that you like.
     
  5. I use Costco. They profile their printer and post the profiles. I convert my digital files to their profile in CS2 and then upload for printing. 8x10 prints are about $1.70; 4x6 are $0.17. If I upload the files before midnight local time, the prints are ready for pickup at 11 AM the next morning, which is when Costco opens.

    Since I tag my files "NO AUTO CORRCT" the files are printed "as is" with no operator intervention. This makes the prints as operator independent as possible. Of course the operators do have to load the machines with fresh chemicals. They seem to do that.
     
  6. I use Costco as well. The lab techs know me and I bring them home processed black and white all the time. They make
    excellent neutral tone prints on Fuji frontier machines. Their color is not bad either.
     
  7. Thanks a lot for your help. Seems like Adorama has a pretty good deal on 8x10's plus you can choose "as is" or with correction I will try them see what they offer.
     
  8. Kris,

    Adorama also posts their icc profiles for the different papers, so you can softproof correctly. I always choose "no color correction". My prints match what I see on my monitor (which is calibrated and profiled).

    have fun.
     
  9. I go to costco because ive lways got good results and 8x10s are only 1.25$
     
  10. I would never use anyone but myself. Nobody can ever see a picture in the same way that you do. Whatever method you use, traditional bromide prints, scanned negatives, or totally digital, you will only get what you saw in your mind's eye if you print it yourself. Don't waste your money on anybody else. Beg borrow or buy an enlarger, a scanner, a printer and practice. All of your pictures will be better. I scrounged a printer, brought a scanner and am as happy with my pictures now as I was 30 years ago when the only option was to have complete darkroom setup and it is so much less trouble now.
    00R25V-75003584.jpg
     
  11. Costco is the best. Great quality, fast turn around, local, and a great price. Plus, they offer 8x12 Full Frame for the same price as 8x10. ($1.49)
     
  12. Another vote for Costco. I have good success without it, but for fine-tuning many Costcos (and other stores) post their ICC profiles to Dry Creek Photo.
    My local Costco prints on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, which I quite like, and I believe in-store they can do up to 12"x36" if I needed it.
    Although now that Ilford has a "real" black and white paper designed specifically for digital printing, I'm tempted to find a place that has that as well...
     
  13. I'm going to be in the minority here, but I use one of the Ritz Camera locations here in Boston. The staff at this location know what they're doing, they're pleasant, and they've always made excellent prints for me from uploaded jpegs. Other Ritz locations have disappointed, but never the Ritz on Boylston St. :)
     
  14. I've had good luck with both Shutterfly and Mpix. Mpix seems to do a particularly good job with skin tones in portrait work, which woudl make sense because they're a division of Millers, which is a big wedding and portrait professional lab.
     
  15. mpix.com has done me well. They don't have color profiles, they just expect your input to be in sRGB color space. I have a calibrated monitor, and they come out great.
     
  16. For my personal "snap shots" Sam's Club/Costco...For professional prints...Miller's.

    bob
     
  17. Mpix.com
     
  18. Easy answer: Costco.
     
  19. I've used Adorama a couple of times lately, and so far I've been impressed, especially for the price. If cost
    isn't a big object give Pro Photo in Lakeland Florida a try, www.prophotoimaging.com. I've thought about sending
    the same file to both labs sometime just to see if Pro Photo is still worth it, but I suspect it depends on the
    subject as much as anything with them. They cater to wedding and school photographers, but can do anything.

    If I had known how good Adorama was a couple of years ago I doubt I would have ever bought the Epson 1800. Some
    of my prints look a little better, but not enough to justify the cost, and sometimes not at all. These days, the
    Epson is just for instant gratification. Both times I used Adorama the turnaround time was 5 days from upload to
    arrival in Florida, and the first time was for 20X30 prints.

    As with anything, your mileage may vary. There are a lot of labs out there, and you may have to try a few to
    find the one you like. There are a lot of good choices, and what one person thinks is a good print someone else
    may think is junk. You may be happy with Costco, Sam's, Ritz, etc, or you may only be satisfied by a high end
    lab like Pro Photo. At the very least, I know if you send the same file to Pro Photo 6 months later you will get
    the same quality print as the first time. That may not be the case at the less expensive mass market labs.
     
  20. On my inkjet and Costco.
     
  21. I always use Mpix. I tried snapfish and the like but they always seemed to cut off peoples heads or the colors just weren't quite right. Mpix gives you a choice if you want your photo's color corrected or not. You've got to try them at least once. You've also got to try their metallic paper. It is beautiful and gives pictures a pearl finish, which is really beautiful on portraits. They have never messed up any of my orders. Their prices are very reasonable and they are FAST. www.mpix.com
     
  22. For the most part Mpix is ok in my opinion. I have experienced, a number of times, variation in print quality from them. The customer service was less than what I had expected from them when inquired about the variations. It seems to me that printing in house would be the way to go, given some decent equipment and all of the necessary profiles.
     
  23. maybe this sounds silly but do you crop your photos in PS before you send them to printing like for example you crop it 8x10 to print same size or do you just send them straight from camera (after some tweeking)
     
  24. mpix.com Metallic paper
     
  25. I print them in an improvised darkroom and develop them in trays in the bathtub. Paying someone else to print didn't
    work out for me as well. I guess I didn't fit the typical customer model for most services because I keep odd hours and I
    usually am more finicky about the prints. I also do mostly black and white, which retail-wise, puts me in a fringe
    minority; not impossible, but it's just not what most people, here locally, demand from the corporations running the processing places.

    I used to work for a one hour photo place, just for a little while when I was a teenager. Judging by what I learned about
    the pricing schemes, I would definitely be on the lookout for sales coupons for 50% off, at most any store. I say this
    because speed was considered a factor when determining customer demand. The way it breaks down is, if you don't
    actually need it in one, I mean one, hour, then the services are probably worth the 50% price. Most people really can get
    by with a two-hour or shopping mall visit's worth of time, so they may be paying a little much. Really, the only
    customers I saw who seemed to be time-sensitive were people filing pictures for development related to litigation or
    insurance claims.

    You can do well if you send your stuff out to the right people for your needs; but, for me, the answer was to print myself.
    Besides getting the print quality the way I wanted, there was also a budgeting advantage. That is, if I stock up on
    supplies, or if my income gets sporadic, for example, I can continue slowly feeding my interest in photography using the
    equipment I have on hand here. The result was, more pictures! I didn't have to rely on cash in the wallet and long periods of waiting to get
    a print. Drop off (and have them do it again) may take as much as two weeks. Print in the bathtub? About 15 minutes, any time of the
    day or night. Even though the costs work out to be about the same, by printing myself, in a way I was also switching to an economic
    model that matched my disposition, talents and needs. So, there was not only an increase in satisfaction, but in productivity.

    Sending your stuff out works; but, it helps to align your interests with the economic model that matches your interests.
     
  26. Okay, let me clarify a little. If your interests and needs match up with the interests and needs of a big group of
    customers patronizing a given store, chances are you'll do well with sending the film in there. If you're different, or more
    independent or picky or something, than the main body of the store's customer base, you'll be outside the streamlined
    version of their customer service model. So, the deal is, the best way to buy services is to fall in with a pack of people
    like yourself (from a printing and processing perspective) and buy the services in the same way.

    It doesn't matter which store you pick; you want to be in the middle of the pack of people buying those services; that way, they're ready for
    you to come in to their store.

    Those margins that are bothering you; I bet the main body of customers at that store doesn't care. I don't mean to hurt
    your feelings, but I was the same kind of customer. For me, it wasn't margins, it was a problem with halation. They'd
    judge the exposure wrong, and I'd get a halo glow from the white areas, where I should see a sharp line.

    I suspect you are going to be more comfortable with doing the prints yourself. Good luck. J.
     
  27. Definitely Mpix
     
  28. I go to a camera store that also has a lab. The techs are good & have a tendency to remember exactly how you want the prints
     
  29. I used Costco in the past (when I was using film) because of the price and they did a decent job. However, the colors were usually off--I could take the same negative to Ritz Camera and the print would come back with better color consistency every time. However, Ritz is expensive and really not a pro lab. They are not consistent, either.

    I just set up an account with White House (WHCC.com) and they sent 5 free 8x10s back, the color matched my monitor and the prints looked fantastic. They say that they send these 5 prints to test for color consistency but it also builds goodwill, I'm sure. They also sent a bunch of paper samples back. They were also fast to ship. I'll use them unless something forces me to go somewhere else.
     
  30. I just recently had a couple 20"x30" prints made by elcocolor.com. They came out beautifully, quickly, and were very reasonably priced. They have an "internet specials" tab that has very good prices on larger poster size prints as well as multiple quantity prints.
     
  31. Only at home on my own R2400. Nobody makes better prints of your photos than you the photographer.
    You have to learn it though.
     
  32. I use Walgreens for my color work up to 8x10. The Walgreen's in my town has a great staff. For my B&W I use Dalmation Lab. (www.dalmationlab.com) Check them out.

    phil
     
  33. I recently got a couple of 11x14's (they can go larger) at Ritz. Done while I waited, and I was delighted with the results. Paper was a light matte, @ $10 each.
     
  34. I use Costco quite a bit as well. They are near by and have great prices. The caveats with Costco are the same as
    all chain stores, the quality has a lot to do with whose behind the counter. Downloading and using their posted
    printer profile is ideal. You are morel likely to get what you are looking for. I have always had good luck when
    there are mistakes. They have always re-printed them for free and fixed the error. Once the altered the order for
    me even when the mistake was that I checked Glossy instead of luster. I actually like their paper quality better
    than some online sources I have tried.

    Good luck
     
  35. For snapshots I have tried Kodak Gallery, Snapfish and Costco. Costco is by far the best in terms of color reproduction, price and turn-around time. There is also the advantage of in-store pick-up and talking directly to the staff if you are not satisfied with the prints.
     
  36. Just got back from costco and got some 11x14 made just to see how they look and i am impressed there way better than i though they would be. And its from Kodak Gold 200
     
  37. I've used Walgreens to get a few prints, and they've done fine with the borders.
     
  38. When you care enough to only send the very best...

    http://www.customimgs.com/
     
  39. I love Costco as well. Their customer service is great. They print on archive quality paper. If prints turn out unsatisfactory, they usually reprint at no cost. They're also very affordable. Just make sure to check "No Auto Correct" when submitting your order.
     
  40. Are you guys getting actual photos or "prints"? Prints come from an inkjet. Photos require a darkroom. Do you know of any processor who still produce photos from negatives or has everyone gone to "prints"?
     
  41. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    "Prints" and "photos" have always been used interchangeably. Even thirty years ago I would say, "I made up these prints last night in my darkroom". Ansel Adams"s definitive book on the subject is titled The Print and Ansel never worked in digital.
     
  42. Where can I get custom prints? I have a series of photos shot specificaly for a 10X24 frame. They are of a bridge over saphire blue water in Key west. Wonderful. But I have not been able to find a place to put in custom Print Sizes....even though I am sure its out there.

    sorry kris for jacking your thread.

    Thanks,

    Dallas
     
  43. Although I haven't tried it, Costco's web interface lets you specify a custom size, so you might want to try that.

    Also, as I mentioned earlier, my local Costco advertised their ability to do 12"x36" in-store (submitted in-store as well - not sure if you can just hand them a CD or what, however). So, it might be worth talking to your local Costco photo lab and see what they can do for you.
     
  44. I work for Walgreens, I'm the Head of the photo department and im here if anyone has any questions or concerns.

    Someone mentions they come to Walgreens for their print and some where else for black and white, in case you havent been informed Walgreens does do black and white also
     
  45. Jamie, what is the resolution of the scans you do in store?
     
  46. if you haven't already tried Costco... you really should. hi end machines and color profiles all for a price that's a great value. i've tried some of the other places mentioned - just didn't care for the additional shipping time/cost to already a bit pricey, imo, prints.

    i'm no pro, but do want and appreciate high quality prints - i was more than pleasantly surprised by the Costco experience - the color profiles were a bonus.
     
  47. I do not wish to be slanderous, and maybe it is only this one store, but the Walgreens by my house has printed a selection of terrible photos of mine. Similarly the CVS(What is the difference between the two anyways) by my work also does not do a good job. I must say though the 8X10’s the CVS did for me came out really well.
     
  48. Jamie, I've sent a few black-and-white shots to Walgreens to be printed — they've always come back unsatisfactory. I'm not sure whether it's because the shots are digitally-captured or because the equipment at the store isn't set up properly, but Walgreens-made black-and-white prints always end up with a queer blue/purple tint. For important black-and-white work, I still shoot film and make my own prints.
     
  49. walt

    walt Moderator

    West Coast Imaging (WCI) is my primary printer, although I have had good results at others, such as Calypso. Ninety-nine percent of what I print is done on Fuji Supergloss by either WCI's Chromira printer or Calypso's LightJet. WCI uses FedEX to ship, and it is a bit expensive, but I have never had a problem with them. Regards.
     
  50. I work for CVS so I can do it myself.

    Up until monday we had a 10 year old Gretag 740+ where it was pretty much impossible to do anything advanced with it other than prints. However they just tore it up and installed a KIS 1670 lab so now I can actually do color correction and CD's. Unfortunately it's broken because the guys Kodak sent to install it were dumb as a post, but it should be fixed tomorrow when the new film scanner arrives. So I can process film but not print it.

    The print quality is amazing compared to the old machine though.
     
  51. Just had a few sets printed at Adorama and was disappointed in the quality. I expected better color depth and contrast than what they produced. The prints did not come close to matching the vivid image I see on my monitor. Their glossy stock is the cheapest and is particularly cheap looking. Might as well drive to Walmart for that. Lustre was a bit better. I did try out their new metallic paper and it does seem promising for certain types of images that need a cold and angular look.
     

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