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Old 9th June 2008
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On line big prints?

Anyone had experience with online photo printers??

I recently retired my old Epson A3 printer. The wretched thing was for ever getting blocked nozzles and ruining an expensive sheet of paper. I decided that the ink and paper costs were so high that I would do my occasional big prints elsewhere.

I remembered a name from a magazine review on this a year ago, so I uploaded a file to Peak Imaging. In compressed form it was 6Mb plus. When opened as an RGB image it was 38Mb or so. The 12x18 print I got back was OK but not spectacularly sharp. Still, maybe at 6 this is what you get?

I also suspect their uploader software compresses the image more than I would prefer.

Anyway, I emailed them and asked the question. The reply was that their Durst Theta runs at 254dpi, so it won't make prints as sharp as a big Epson inkjet.

Hmm. Is that the state of the game. Surely not... Anyone done big prints over the web??

Pete
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Old 9th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

I have had several poster sized prints done with Photobox.co.uk and they have all turned out fine. Just a little dark perhaps, but if you brighten the image a tad before you upload it to them, it should be fine.
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Old 9th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

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Originally Posted by theMusicMan View Post
I have had several poster sized prints done with Photobox.co.uk and they have all turned out fine. Just a little dark perhaps, but if you brighten the image a tad before you upload it to them, it should be fine.
I've done A3 prints through Photobox also and had no problems, other than as John says they come out a bit dark.

In a way I'm glad someone else has found them dark as I colour calibrate my monitor and was concerned that my calibration software wasn't cutting the mustard.
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Old 9th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

Interesting. Two Photoboxers.. I discover I have a Photobox account, I must have set it up ages ago and never used it..

Question? From my initial look at their site, it seems they only print up to 15 x 10 inch.. Is that right?

Pete

PS.. OK, I had a proper look and found they do Posters (Special offer - 2 for the price of 1 until the 12th June**). I don't know what marks out a Poster from a Big Print. Maybe its a different printer technology.

Anyway I uploaded my most detailed Jpeg file from a recent holiday as a test, and ordered a pair of 12x18s - Will report on the quality when I get the results :-)
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Last edited by snaarman; 9th June 2008 at 01:46 PM. Reason: Added PS
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Old 9th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

I've used PhotoBox a lot including 30x20" (their biggest size) and A2.
Usually very good quality, excellent customer service and really quick turnaround. Have even used their services for some exhibition work.

Remember to save your images as sRGB and upsize them using Genuine Fractals or similar.

If you want very high quality and/or mounting you may need to look at pro-labs, but I'd say for most stuff PhotoBox is fine – it's probably not worth printing your own.
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Old 9th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

For prints up to A3 size, try here:

http://www.keynshamphoto.co.uk

I have given up printing my own stuff as the quality is excellent and the prices are even better - compare to Photobox. They use a Fuji Frontier printer so you get "real" photo prints.

The only "catch" is that you have to send them a ready-sized JPG at 305dpi (i.e. sized 18" x 12" if that's what you want) - it takes at least 2 minutes per photograph! I sometimes send JPGs straight from the E1, cropped, slightly sharpened and with levels tweaked as per usual, and get beautiful A3 prints back. You can download profiles for their printer but I've never bothered!

Being local, I just take in my pictures on an old CF card and pick them up 2 days later. They will do the whole thing by post, I suggest giving them a call.

Many pros and camera club members araound Bristol use them. No connection apart from being a satisfied customer...

Of course if you need HUGE prints you will have to go elsewhere and end up with relatively poor quality posters, or spending LOTS of money
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Old 9th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

I'm another photobox user for "normal" prints, but for A3 and bigger I go to www.intelligence-direct.com Great service, great quality and their canvas are excellent. Competitave prices too, but they are geared towards bigger stuff.
All the best,
Phil
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Old 9th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DTD View Post
I've used PhotoBox a lot including 30x20" (their biggest size) and A2.
Usually very good quality, excellent customer service and really quick turnaround. Have even used their services for some exhibition work.

Remember to save your images as sRGB and upsize them using Genuine Fractals or similar.

If you want very high quality and/or mounting you may need to look at pro-labs, but I'd say for most stuff PhotoBox is fine it's probably not worth printing your own.
Hi David,

Are there any pro labs in particular you could recommend for high quality exhibition work? And may I tap into your experience for a bit of advice on suitable mount and frame suppliers for exhibition prints?

Cheers,

John
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Old 10th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

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Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
Hi David,

Are there any pro labs in particular you could recommend for high quality exhibition work? And may I tap into your experience for a bit of advice on suitable mount and frame suppliers for exhibition prints?

Cheers,

John
The gallery used GBM in Manchester, Olympus supplied some stuff which were done by Metro in London who have a very good reputation. I think the best thing would be to have a look for pro labs in your area (there won't be many left!).

If you're mounting them, it's usual for the lab to do this that way if they cock it up they just print you a new one.

For frames go to a traditional picture framers or buy some from Ikea and get a framers to mount and cut mattes for you.

Rather than framing, having the pictures mounted on foam board or mdf can look effective, particularly for contemporary stuff. The Salford exhibition was mounted on 10mm mdf.

If you're exhibiting at a gallery they can usually recommend someone, or sometimes do it in-house and can often get a better discount dealing business-2-business.
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Old 10th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DTD View Post
The gallery used GBM in Manchester, Olympus supplied some stuff which were done by Metro in London who have a very good reputation. I think the best thing would be to have a look for pro labs in your area (there won't be many left!).

If you're mounting them, it's usual for the lab to do this that way if they cock it up they just print you a new one.

For frames go to a traditional picture framers or buy some from Ikea and get a framers to mount and cut mattes for you.

Rather than framing, having the pictures mounted on foam board or mdf can look effective, particularly for contemporary stuff. The Salford exhibition was mounted on 10mm mdf.

If you're exhibiting at a gallery they can usually recommend someone, or sometimes do it in-house and can often get a better discount dealing business-2-business.
Some usefull thoughts there, David, thanks very much.

John
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Old 11th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

Quote:
Originally Posted by emirpprime View Post
I'm another photobox user for "normal" prints, but for A3 and bigger I go to www.intelligence-direct.com Great service, great quality and their canvas are excellent. Competitave prices too, but they are geared towards bigger stuff.
Hmm, 8.95 + V.A.T. delivery!

Jim
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Old 11th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

Intelligence Direct do look like an interesting printing company for larger shots. Their canvas prices seem very reasonable too!
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Old 11th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

An excellent list of suggestions so far.. Many thanks everyone.. hopefully this will be useful info for the whole forum.

Meanwhile I got 2 more 12x18 prints from Peak imaging, and 2 off 12x18 prints from Photobox.

I can confirm that the Photobox prints are visibly sharper than the Peak imaging prints.

Pete
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Old 18th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

After reading this thread I decided to try this way of printing.
I tried both Photbox and Keynsham photographic
I had prints in 18 x 12 Two from Photobox and one of the same from Keynsham photographic.

Both companies services were very fast and professional.
The Photobox prints arrived wrapped and in a tube, where as the other prints were flat packed in corrigated plastic.
The quality of the printing was excellent with maybe the print from Keynsham Photographics having the slight edge on quality. Also there are slightly cheaper.
I would happily use both companies again.
At the prices they charge it is not worth trying to print larger prints at home.

Derek C
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Old 18th June 2008
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Re: On line big prints?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekC View Post
After reading this thread I decided to try this way of printing.
I tried both Photbox and Keynsham photographic
I had prints in 18 x 12 Two from Photobox and one of the same from Keynsham photographic.
I had a look at the Keynsham site. I see the prices they quote are for "Professional Photographers only", and that amateurs need to 'phone for prices.

Jim
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