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Old Tuesday 1st April 2003, 10:04   #1
Forcreeks
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digital prints anyone!

I'm not sure if this is the right place. I don't see discussion of places to print your pics, but I want to pass this along. I had been going to Kits Cameras for prints and prices were pretty good. They soon added print your own eqpt on the counter for 4x6 and 6x8 inch sizes.
Then Costco got into the act.. they have fantastic digital photo print prices with self upload on a countertop reader that prints your receipt and you can come back in 1-2 hrs for your prints. 5x7 @ $0.69; 8x12 @ $1.99; and whopping big 11x 14 for only $2.99 !! I do find they blow out my highlights so I have to make preprints at their 4x6 size for $0.19 ea until I do the Photoshop to the desired result. As they told me, "We're not a custom lab." And for the prices I'm not complainin'. Many of us got super photo printers to do our own, I have an older model.. an Epson Stylus Color 900; was well known for the smallest ink droplet in the business, which is, I was told "what counts." But I have to say, a true photo emulsion print on high quality genuine archivable photo paper is a step up. Things like water and sky and subtle tone changes are seamless with lab prints. -Steve B
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Old Wednesday 2nd April 2003, 00:44   #2
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Thanks Forecreek.

I have been considering taking a look at this option just to compare the results with my home printer.

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Old Wednesday 2nd April 2003, 04:25   #3
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Forcreeks, supposedly the Fujicolor is the best commercial printer on the market. However, the technician behind the counter can make a good photo look bad. It is not necessarily Wal-mart vs. speciality photo shop, it is really the technician. However, the latter is liable to have a better techinician, whereas the former techinician may be "trained" in more than one area.

The Epson Stylus: I have read many positive things, though I have also read about the inkjets getting clogged if not used for more than a week. The best consumer printer on the market now is supposedly the Canon S9000. I believe it is $300 + , so if one does not print often, the commercial printing really is a better deal.

I have the HP 1100. Personally, I believe it has excellent photo quality. If the Fujicolor prints better than this, then it will be money well spent for me. I am actually going to have some printed on the Fujicolor in the next week or so. Then I can give a real comparison.
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Old Wednesday 2nd April 2003, 04:55   #4
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Yes, Brian, please do post what you make of the comparison. I'm sold on getting lab prints with todays declining prices and filling albums, and hanging framed prints. By the way the Kits Camera self print system is the Fuji. At Costco I've shown the techs how they blew out my bird highlights and overexposed blue water to near white, and wrangled them into executing a given numbers of "clicks" of darkening adjustment on my pics if I specify with order. They were excellent about me being happy with the result even though not a custom lab environment. One of the most interesting aspects is that I've tried to vary the brightness and contrast in all manner in Photodhop, then pring comparison 4x6's before committing to 8x10's and it's eerie how they all come back the same! Their computer is set to optimize and therefore make the technician's job foolproof. So the only customizing I've had luck with is asking them to darken "x" number of clicks. Steve B
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Old Wednesday 2nd April 2003, 08:25   #5
Andy Bright
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My printer (Epson photo 750) is virtually redundant since I discovered the Fuji Frontier printer with Fuji crytal archive paper over a year ago. I just upload the images to them an they arrive within 24 hours.
Most of the prints that I have done are 10x8, A4 and now 15x10. The results are impressive to say ther least.
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Old Monday 21st April 2003, 01:07   #6
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Forcreeks (and any other interested parties)

Well, I finally did my test. Just so you know, the two models I am comparing are my HP 1100 against the Fuji Frontier.

When I first printed on my printer, I was extremely pleased. I thought if the Fuji could do as good as I heard, then I would be astounded. Just so you know, since the pre-print processing is so important to the actual printing, I used Qimage to increase the DPI to 600 for an 8 X 10 printing for both printers.

The results: The Fuji Frontier definitely prints in richer colors, making the subject look very real (if interested to see which photo I used, it is of the Cottontail which is in my gallery). The colors are more intense. HOWEVER, it did not show any better detail or clarity than my HP.

Verdict: If you want to display photos for public viewing, then the Fuji is worth it. If they are mainly for yourself, then my little ol' HP will do quite nicely. There are more expensive printers out there, including the Canon S9000 which is suppose to be the best. However, it is much more expensive and unless you print regularly, I would not think it is worth it.

Be aware that the Fuji comes at a price. Mine was $6.99 (U.S.) for an 8 X 10. I had it done at a chain photography shop, and actually was displeased with the technician. She was just someone who knew how to open the photo and press print. They actually got it wrong and so they did end up giving me the photo for free, plus all four of the "mistake" prints. You need to know that the Fuji automatically crops off about 1/4 inch or so of the edges that border the edge of the paper. There may be a way around this because I had not heard of this before, but the technician did not know how to do so. Being the printing ability choices like this are few and far between here, and that in the end the customer service was good, I will continue to use them for the time being.
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Old Friday 16th May 2003, 21:13   #7
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My prints via the Fuji frontier/Fuji Crystal Archive paper are 2.50 for 10x8, 1.75 each if you have 5 or more done (doesn't have to be the same photo!) and 1.25 if you have 20+ done.

Yes, you have to be careful with companies cropping your 4:3 format digital prints to fit on standard 3:2 papers.... the company I use lets you decide if you want them to 'crop to fit' or if you want 'best fit'. They display thumbnails of your photos with the various cropping options.... so you shouldn't get any nasty surprises in the mail.
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