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03-16-2010, 11:48 AM   #1
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Prints

Hi folks. Just curious as to where you folks get your prints. Do you take a memory card to a local store for prints? Or do you use on line printing services? How about printing at home?

Which do you like the best/least and why? Which do you think produces the best results? How about larger sizes...where do you get those prints made (8x10 and up)?

Love to hear your input on all this stuff. Thanks!


03-16-2010, 11:53 AM   #2
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Snapfish.com. I upload them and they get delivered to my door. Gone from 4x6 to 16x20. I get them printed on Semi-mat paper (hate glossy prints). Excellent results.

The only real recommendation I have though is this. Put a Border around your prints in post processing. Nothing fancy, just a simple white or black border. I've never used a print service that didn't crop images somehow. Very annoying when the top of somebody's hairline is cropped off.

03-16-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
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I use Costco

I upload my images to Costco and have them printed locally. The young ladies who run the photo dept. at my local store do a good job of keeping the chemicals fresh and the rollers clean. Since most print services use automatic developing machines, that's very important. Not all services are good about this.

Costco's prices aren't bad, either. From memory, I think that they're $0.13 for 4x6, $0.39 for 5x7, $1.49 for 8x10. They're usually ready within an hour or so of the time I upload them.

I wouldn't join Costco just for the photo dept. but if you are already a member, give them a try.
03-16-2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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+1 for Costco. I had a couple larger prints (8x10s) come out with some strange yellowish highlights. I took it back to them and they looked at it, took my order number and reprinted them for free.

03-16-2010, 05:04 PM   #5
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I've done the WalMart thing, they're great and cheap and fast when I don't care about quality too much. But I typically have to lighten up the pictures or they end up too dark after printing.

I've tried Ritz camera. Their service was crap, took 3-4 hours to print a single 4x6. Came out looking good enough, I guess.

Regarding borders, I wouldn't recommend adding a white or black border around any picture. The reason why photo labs crop a picture is to account for any misalignment of the paper within the printer. If you put a border around your picture, and the picture prints a tiny bit askew, the border will make it dead obvious. Your best bet is to submit pictures which have 1/8" more than you want around the edges. So if you've cropped an image so that someone's head is close to the top edge, crop it a little less to give it some distance.
03-16-2010, 06:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
I've done the WalMart thing, they're great and cheap and fast when I don't care about quality too much. But I typically have to lighten up the pictures or they end up too dark after printing.

I've tried Ritz camera. Their service was crap, took 3-4 hours to print a single 4x6. Came out looking good enough, I guess.

Regarding borders, I wouldn't recommend adding a white or black border around any picture. The reason why photo labs crop a picture is to account for any misalignment of the paper within the printer. If you put a border around your picture, and the picture prints a tiny bit askew, the border will make it dead obvious. Your best bet is to submit pictures which have 1/8" more than you want around the edges. So if you've cropped an image so that someone's head is close to the top edge, crop it a little less to give it some distance.
It was more than a little distance and I don't remember if it was Snapfish or not. I tried several before I chose them. What happens when no borders are there is that the obvious side by side or top to bottom cutting errors are more present. The Problem is, some of these printers haven't taken the time to calibrate their machines to keep images completely separate. Even film printers do this. Anything that uses a Roll supply does this. I use to have them done at a pro lab and when it happened there, they were more than willing to work with and reprint. Now they are gone. So, I put the border around the photos and the problem of cropped photos is gone. I can take a straight edge and an Xacto and trim things myself.

Submit them however it works for you, the borders work for me.
03-16-2010, 06:58 PM   #7
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More specifically, it's a problem with printers that cut and expose each piece of paper separately. Wide format printers that expose roll to roll don't have this issue. 3-5% bleed is a good rule of thumb.
03-16-2010, 07:15 PM   #8
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We have always had good luck with Snapfish. I don't know if they still offer it, but we prepaid one time and got a really good price per print. Once we sent the same photos to Snapfish and Walmart and the the prints from Snapfish were sharper.

03-16-2010, 09:15 PM   #9
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I use a local pro lab for my images to be framed >16x20, i use a local 1hr lab for when the prints are to be presented, and other casual stuff i use whoever does good prints per $.

With the value prints, try a few places and stick to the place where the lab person makes good prints (in your eyes) when that person leaves chances are you'll be looking for another value location

Online i've tried a few but there are so many locally i prefer to drop off and pick up especially when i can get it back same day anywhere from 15mins to 2 hrs depending on work needed and traffic at that lab.

I've done the home prints but they will fade so i prefer lab prints for longevity. The only home thing i do are some simple corrections or added "flair" then saved and taken to whichever lab for printing.
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