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12-04-2014, 05:20 AM   #1
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Printing at Walmart

I've got another thread started about my B&W images coming out purple but wanted to also ask if anyone has had any luck using the photo kiosks at like walmart. I'm not going to sell the prints so they don't have to be perfect but I'd like to hang a few in my house. I've only ever printed a few pictures taken with my iPhone and they came out ok. So just wondering.
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12-04-2014, 05:56 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I have printed several times at Walmart and I have been happy with the prints.
12-04-2014, 09:39 AM   #3
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A good photo lab might give you better results on better paper at a fairly comparable price. I use Nations Photo Lab. Especially if you're printing in a fairly large size -- places like Sam's Club and Walmart and Meijer (regional store similar to walmart in my area) switch to something like poster paper somewhere between 8x10 and 16x20 or so -- huge quality reduction, at least in my limited experience with it. Not sure where exactly the cutoff is.

(try a lab that does metallic paper prints. You have to see it in person to appreciate how incredible it looks. Almost all the photos hanging in my house now are on either RedRiver's Polar Pearl Metallic if I printed at home, or Kodak Endura Metallic if I had them done at Nations. The rest are on fiber/art paper).

If you were just printing them out to shove in a box somewhere and look at someday, walmart would probably be A-OK. But if you're hanging them on your walls as art, make them look their best.
12-04-2014, 09:49 AM - 1 Like   #4
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If you are a Costco member, then go there. Much more photographer-centric. You can download profiles for any US store at DryCreekPhoto.

M

12-04-2014, 12:07 PM   #5
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I agree Costco is better than kiosks. If you want a step up in quality, MPix has been superb for me. They are worth the extra money, IMO.


But the framing may be a bigger impact than the print, and will certainly be more expensive. You may want to consider MPix's vivid metal prints (or same concept from another vendor), standoffs, or if you plan to rotate them out, mounted on foam board or gatorboard.
12-16-2014, 05:24 AM   #6
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I printed quite a few B&W pics out at Walmart last night. They came out nearly perfect. Slightly darker than my uncalibrated monitor though. But they are plenty good for hanging on my wall. Even got some compliments from the lady at the counter.

Last edited by Another dyemention; 12-16-2014 at 06:05 AM.
12-17-2014, 06:19 AM   #7
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I innocently tried Costco out of the blue recently and I was disappointed with the results. Colors and details were washed out. I had no idea that I had to download some sort of color profile. My monitor is calibrated and I thought that was good enough. Apparently not.

12-17-2014, 06:58 AM   #8
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Our first local costco opened here last month and I went in over the weekend to check out their photo options. It was definitely better than Sam's Club insofar as they offered more than just glossy - there was a luster paper option as well. But the photo paper felt thin and flimsy, and the sample photo they showed me had a slight curl to it. Colors seemed OK, but I was looking at their sample, not a print of one of my photos.

But seriously, try the metallic paper.
12-17-2014, 07:20 PM   #9
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I will. I'm curious how much better my B&W pictures can look on the gel paper.
12-17-2014, 09:11 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I innocently tried Costco out of the blue recently and I was disappointed with the results. Colors and details were washed out. I had no idea that I had to download some sort of color profile. My monitor is calibrated and I thought that was good enough. Apparently not.
1. You don't have to download a profile to have your prints output at Costco, just like you don't have to calibrate your monitor--I'm certain 99.3% of their customers have neither (let alone recognize the language)--there are potential advantages to using profiles as I'm sure you understand.
2. Did you enable or disable "color correction" or something similar? Doing one or the other may have contributed to your lousy prints.
3. I'm assuming you are using their Frontier, Noritsu, or Agfa printers for non-poster sized output. Their Epson large format poster printers have a slightly different recommended workflow that requires some attention.
4. So did you return the print(s) and get your money back?

M
12-18-2014, 05:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
1. You don't have to download a profile to have your prints output at Costco, just like you don't have to calibrate your monitor--I'm certain 99.3% of their customers have neither (let alone recognize the language)--there are potential advantages to using profiles as I'm sure you understand.
2. Did you enable or disable "color correction" or something similar? Doing one or the other may have contributed to your lousy prints.
3. I'm assuming you are using their Frontier, Noritsu, or Agfa printers for non-poster sized output. Their Epson large format poster printers have a slightly different recommended workflow that requires some attention.
4. So did you return the print(s) and get your money back?

M
Hi Miguel!

I did not enable color correction.

I printed two 4"x6" photos and one 8"x10" photo. The 8"x10" print looked the worst but the 4"x6" prints looked just OK. They used Fuji paper if I remember correctly.

The whole experiment cost me a little over $3 with tax. It wasn't worth me coming back with the same prints for a refund.
12-18-2014, 07:53 AM   #12
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Of the low cost printing solutions, the various walmarts I've tried have been the absolute worst. Costco was probably at the top for quality/price ratio, especially if you have hundreds of prints to make and the time to wait for a sale. If you live near one it's well worth it to sort out what settings will give you results you're happy with. They're fast, cheap, and always willing to reprint if something goes wrong. I don't have one near me anymore so I've switched to a local small camera/print shop that does a nice job and are friendly to work with. If you can find a local shop/costco/whatever to print at regularly, developing a relationship with the staff can go a long way.
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