Machine Prints Versus Home Prints

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Morton Linder, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Helle All,

    I usually print my own digital pictures on my HP 7960, using HP ink
    cartridges and HP Premium Plus paper, and the results are excellent.

    I recently took some newsworthy pictures, and not being near my home,
    went to a local shop to make quick 4x6" (10 x 15 cm.) color prints from
    my SD card on a Sony machine.

    Well, I could not believe how bad the prints were. Colors were
    desaturated, details were soft , and a fine haze permeated all the
    pictures.

    Later the same day, when I arrived home, I printed the same images from
    the same SD memory card, and the pictures were beautiful in every way.
    When I compared the store prints with my home prints, it was akin to
    comparing a disposable film camera with a Leica.

    Yes, the store prints cost me 29¢ each, while the home prints cost me
    about 40¢ each. So to me, the cheaper prints were no bargain.

    I might add that some months ago, I tried a Kodak machine in another
    shop, and those pictures were also very bad.

    I am wondering if any on-line printing services are any better.


    Morton Linder
    Morton Linder, Feb 9, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Morton Linder

    Pat Guest

    I don't print too much at outside printers, but my experience is that
    Kodak machines in stores are usually pretty good because they don't get
    as much use as the "1 hour" machines, which around here are generally
    Fuji. The only websites I've unloaded to are also Fuji. The one print
    place I use for good stuff uses Kodak and the print quality is great --
    but you pay for it.

    All things being equal, I think Kodak has better skin tones and Fuji is
    just as good for outside shots (greens). But the Fuji machines get
    heavy use so all things aren't equal.
    Pat, Feb 9, 2006
    #2
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  3. I have had the same problem, however, your camera settings are probably not
    set to the same settings as their printer. I had that same problem until I
    asked the specs of the printing machine. With professional printers their
    monitor and color settings may be different than your settings. Once your
    settings are changed to match theirs the prints will be similar. Best not to
    use those print machines as they are not individualised and mainly have one
    setting and do not change.


    "Pat" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I don't print too much at outside printers, but my experience is that
    > Kodak machines in stores are usually pretty good because they don't get
    > as much use as the "1 hour" machines, which around here are generally
    > Fuji. The only websites I've unloaded to are also Fuji. The one print
    > place I use for good stuff uses Kodak and the print quality is great --
    > but you pay for it.
    >
    > All things being equal, I think Kodak has better skin tones and Fuji is
    > just as good for outside shots (greens). But the Fuji machines get
    > heavy use so all things aren't equal.
    >
    newfysnapshot, Feb 9, 2006
    #3
  4. Morton Linder

    MPort Guest

    "newfysnapshot" <> wrote in message
    news:_FxGf.27003$...
    > I have had the same problem, however, your camera settings are probably

    not
    > set to the same settings as their printer. I had that same problem until I
    > asked the specs of the printing machine. With professional printers their
    > monitor and color settings may be different than your settings. Once your
    > settings are changed to match theirs the prints will be similar. Best not

    to
    > use those print machines as they are not individualised and mainly have

    one
    > setting and do not change.
    >
    >
    > "Pat" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > >I don't print too much at outside printers, but my experience is that
    > > Kodak machines in stores are usually pretty good because they don't get
    > > as much use as the "1 hour" machines, which around here are generally
    > > Fuji. The only websites I've unloaded to are also Fuji. The one print
    > > place I use for good stuff uses Kodak and the print quality is great --
    > > but you pay for it.
    > >
    > > All things being equal, I think Kodak has better skin tones and Fuji is
    > > just as good for outside shots (greens). But the Fuji machines get
    > > heavy use so all things aren't equal.
    > >

    >
    > Try MPIX .com I have never been disappointed and there prices are great.

    2-3 day turn around.
    MPort, Feb 9, 2006
    #4
  5. Morton Linder

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Morton Linder wrote:


    > I recently took some newsworthy pictures, and not being near my home,
    > went to a local shop to make quick 4x6" (10 x 15 cm.) color prints from
    > my SD card on a Sony machine.
    >
    > Well, I could not believe how bad the prints were. Colors were
    > desaturated, details were soft , and a fine haze permeated all the
    > pictures.


    You have to find a place that does good work. They vary greatly.
    If you're really concerned about quality, you want to deal with
    processors that will recognize the color profile you use.

    I tried several stores in the same chain (WalMart) and noticed a BIG
    difference in image quality between the stores. One store gave me
    horrible images. Not only was the color bad, but there were hairs
    and blotches on most of the prints.

    I guess it depends on how well the machine is kept and the ability of
    the staff.

    I found a local drug store that always gives me great results and I
    use them.
    Jim Townsend, Feb 9, 2006
    #5
  6. On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 21:02:35 -0500 the fame writer, Morton Linder
    wrote not much to be useful on, "Machine Prints Versus Home Prints",

    >I am wondering if any on-line printing services are any better.


    I like Shutterfly for anything over 8x11, or if I need more
    then a few 4x8. http://www.shutterfly.com/
    --
    DISCLAIMER
    If you find a posting or message from myself
    offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please
    ignore it. If you don't know how to ignore a posting,
    complain to me and I will demonstrate.
    Old Salt card carrying Curmudgeon, Feb 9, 2006
    #6
  7. Morton Linder

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Morton Linder <> wrote:
    >
    > Yes, the store prints cost me 29¢ each, while the home prints cost me
    > about 40¢ each. So to me, the cheaper prints were no bargain.


    You got taken! Exorbitant price and low quality (depleted chemicals?).
    Longs Drugs charges 21 cents a print, Costco Mall-Wart 12 cents IIRC.
    All use Fuji Frontiers that are virtually certain to do better.
    Bill Tuthill, Feb 9, 2006
    #7
  8. Morton Linder

    Dave Cohen Guest

    "Old Salt card carrying Curmudgeon" <> wrote in
    message news:...
    > On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 21:02:35 -0500 the fame writer, Morton Linder
    > wrote not much to be useful on, "Machine Prints Versus Home Prints",
    >
    >>I am wondering if any on-line printing services are any better.

    >
    > I like Shutterfly for anything over 8x11, or if I need more
    > then a few 4x8. http://www.shutterfly.com/
    > --
    > DISCLAIMER
    > If you find a posting or message from myself
    > offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please
    > ignore it. If you don't know how to ignore a posting,
    > complain to me and I will demonstrate.


    I've used Shutterfly, WinkFlash, YorkPhoto, ClubPhoto, Walmart(on line) and
    maybe others.
    I can see very little difference between any of them, so use WinkFlash, good
    pricing and they print file number on back.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Feb 9, 2006
    #8
  9. Morton Linder

    Martin Brown Guest

    Morton Linder wrote:

    > Helle All,
    >
    > I usually print my own digital pictures on my HP 7960, using HP ink
    > cartridges and HP Premium Plus paper, and the results are excellent.
    >
    > I recently took some newsworthy pictures, and not being near my home,
    > went to a local shop to make quick 4x6" (10 x 15 cm.) color prints from
    > my SD card on a Sony machine.


    Look out for a decent shop with a Fuji Frontier machine. My local one is
    very good - but the kit is really only as good as the operator. I am
    sure it is quite possible to mistreat truly excellent kit to give
    appalling results if you try. It must be a really bad operation if they
    can't print 6x4 or 5x7 to a decent standard.
    >
    > Well, I could not believe how bad the prints were. Colors were
    > desaturated, details were soft , and a fine haze permeated all the
    > pictures.


    No reason why this should be so. Operator error seems likely.
    >
    > Later the same day, when I arrived home, I printed the same images from
    > the same SD memory card, and the pictures were beautiful in every way.
    > When I compared the store prints with my home prints, it was akin to
    > comparing a disposable film camera with a Leica.
    >
    > Yes, the store prints cost me 29¢ each, while the home prints cost me
    > about 40¢ each. So to me, the cheaper prints were no bargain.


    Store prints at a quality UK printers are around 17p each once you go
    above 50 per batch. You can get much cheaper but lose quality. You seem
    to have paid through the nose for poor quality.
    >
    > I might add that some months ago, I tried a Kodak machine in another
    > shop, and those pictures were also very bad.
    >
    > I am wondering if any on-line printing services are any better.


    I suspect on-line printing services may be subject to filesize
    restrictions that make high quality images harder to acheive.

    I put all the smaller sizes through my local print shop in batches -
    half the price of printing at home and the surface finish on their
    glossy material is better than any inkjet media I have seen to date.

    Regards,
    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Feb 9, 2006
    #9
  10. On Thu, 09 Feb 2006 16:39:37 GMT the fame writer, Dave Cohen wrote not
    much to be useful on, "Re: Machine Prints Versus Home Prints",

    >
    >"Old Salt card carrying Curmudgeon" <> wrote in
    >message news:...
    >> On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 21:02:35 -0500 the fame writer, Morton Linder
    >> wrote not much to be useful on, "Machine Prints Versus Home Prints",
    >>
    >>>I am wondering if any on-line printing services are any better.

    >>
    >> I like Shutterfly for anything over 8x11, or if I need more
    >> then a few 4x8. http://www.shutterfly.com/
    >> --
    >> DISCLAIMER
    >> If you find a posting or message from myself
    >> offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please
    >> ignore it. If you don't know how to ignore a posting,
    >> complain to me and I will demonstrate.

    >
    >I've used Shutterfly, WinkFlash, YorkPhoto, ClubPhoto, Walmart(on line) and
    >maybe others.
    >I can see very little difference between any of them, so use WinkFlash, good
    >pricing and they print file number on back.
    >Dave Cohen
    >


    They didn't get such a hot review at
    http://digital-photo-printing-revie...VRAW=winkflash&OVKEY=winkflash&OVMTC=standard

    Plus they don't do 20x30, they do, do 24x36 and larger and
    18x24 and smaller. I will give them a shot on some 4x6 just to see
    how they do.
    --
    DISCLAIMER
    If you find a posting or message from myself
    offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please
    ignore it. If you don't know how to ignore a posting,
    complain to me and I will demonstrate.
    Old Salt card carrying Curmudgeon, Feb 9, 2006
    #10
  11. Morton Linder

    Tom2000 Guest

    On Thu, 09 Feb 2006 16:39:37 GMT, "Dave Cohen" <> wrote:
    >
    >I've used Shutterfly, WinkFlash, YorkPhoto, ClubPhoto, Walmart(on line) and
    >maybe others.
    >I can see very little difference between any of them, so use WinkFlash, good
    >pricing and they print file number on back.
    >


    That's good news, Dave, since I just submitted my first order to
    Winkflash about an hour ago! I read about them, I think, in the
    dpreview.com Panasonic forum a few weeks ago. Someone mentioned that
    he'd had good results with a poster-sized print.

    The price seems right. 11 5x7's for about four bucks, shipped.

    I was noodling around the net, looking for a good source of cheap
    picture frames. I stumbled across an interesting outfit that offers a
    huge selection of either complete frames and framing kits, parts, or a
    turnkey service where you upload your digital image and they'll print,
    frame, and assemble it for you. I haven't done any comparison
    shopping but, right off the top of my head their prices seemed
    reasonable.

    The really neat part is that you can upload your image, then try
    out various frame and matting combinations. Your own image, framed
    and matted, is displayed in a preview pane. I had lots of fun trying
    to match frame styles and matting to the next large image that I'll be
    having printed.

    http://www.pictureframes.com


    Tom
    Tom2000, Feb 10, 2006
    #11
  12. Morton Linder

    secheese Guest

    On Thu, 09 Feb 2006 18:00:01 +0000, Martin Brown
    <|||newspam|||@nezumi.demon.co.uk> wrote:

    >No reason why this should be so. Operator error seems likely.


    No kidding! The operators often know very little about their
    machines. Result? $60,000 printer gives crap.

    I had one operator actually try to convince me that I was holding a
    matt finish print, when it was quite obviously high gloss.
    secheese, Feb 10, 2006
    #12
  13. Morton Linder

    Stacey Guest

    Morton Linder wrote:

    >
    > I am wondering if any on-line printing services are any better.
    >



    The only time I've see outside printing look better was with B&W images,
    inkjets have a hard time doing them well. Otherwise, I print at home. My
    inkjet prints a wider gamut than most "pro" labs printers can deal with and
    the prints just look better.

    --

    Stacey
    Stacey, Feb 10, 2006
    #13
  14. Morton Linder

    Stacey Guest

    Bill Tuthill wrote:

    > Morton Linder <> wrote:
    >>
    >> Yes, the store prints cost me 29¢ each, while the home prints cost me
    >> about 40¢ each. So to me, the cheaper prints were no bargain.

    >
    > You got taken! Exorbitant price and low quality (depleted chemicals?).
    > Longs Drugs charges 21 cents a print, Costco Mall-Wart 12 cents IIRC.
    > All use Fuji Frontiers that are virtually certain to do better.


    Go compare the color gamut a fuji can print vs a good inkjet and get back
    to us..
    --

    Stacey
    Stacey, Feb 10, 2006
    #14
  15. Morton Linder

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Stacey <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>> Yes, the store prints cost me 29¢ each, while the home prints cost me
    >>> about 40¢ each. So to me, the cheaper prints were no bargain.

    >>
    >> You got taken! Exorbitant price and low quality (depleted chemicals?)..
    >> Longs Drugs charges 21 cents a print, Costco Mall-Wart 12 cents IIRC.
    >> All use Fuji Frontiers that are virtually certain to do better.

    >
    > Go compare the color gamut a fuji can print vs a good inkjet and get back
    > to us...


    What I notice about my Epson printer is mostly the fading of colors
    within a year, especially if a picture is displayed in a room
    with filtered sunlight (instead of fluorescent light, which seems
    less destructive). Whereas Frontier prints do not fade in 2 years,
    even if left on the dashboard of my car.

    I know Epson makes pigment-dye printers, but I can't afford one,
    much less the continuing ink costs.

    I am fairly happy with Frontier color gamut. Green and cyans,
    where sRGB loses gamut to AdobeRGB, look quite vibrant.
    Bill Tuthill, Feb 10, 2006
    #15
  16. Morton Linder

    Guest

    At camera/print shops, often there are 2 choices - print at the little
    kiosk (which gives you crap) or have the file sent to the huge photo
    processing machine in the back of the store, which gives great prints.
    Where I went, at Ritz Photo, you sat at the same computer screen either
    way, and I had to ask a sales person for help to get them sent to the
    right place.
    , Feb 10, 2006
    #16
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