Blurry prints from OK pictures ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Amamba, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba Guest

    I have recently had a couple dozen pictures printed at local Meijer out
    of 5 MP originals, uploaded through the internet using their software.
    The originals are OK (the camera produces images just a bit on a soft
    side), but it's practically unnoticeable on my computer screen (19"
    monitor at 1280x1024 resolution). However, the photos that were printed
    on the glossy 4x6 paper (the only option) look worse. I'm puzzled,
    since I always thought that making a relatively small sized print of a
    high-res image should help hide blur, not amplify it. I also don't
    understand why image that looks good on a large screen would not look
    as sharp on a small print.

    Can it be that images get out of focus when printed ?
    Amamba, Jul 14, 2005
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  2. It could be anything. Why would a supermarket know how to make good
    Kevin McMurtrie, Jul 14, 2005
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  3. Amamba

    Stacey Guest

    Their software might be doing a crappy job of downsampling the images for
    printing at this smaller size? 300DPI is only 1800X1200 at 4X6 and a 5MP is
    larger than this so has to more than likely be downsampled for printing at
    that 4X6 size. I always ask what DPI their printer likes and downsample
    them myself before I send them as sometimes they need a touch of sharpening
    after downsampling before printing.
    Stacey, Jul 14, 2005
  4. Amamba

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    Your 5mp camera produces huge file sized pictures, even if
    gently jpeg compressed, so I'm assuming you did something
    with them before uploading them.

    So - to get a reasonable answer as to what may have gone
    wrong, you're going to have to give us more info about
    what you did.

    For instance - did you crop them? Resize them? Compress
    them heavily?

    Take care.

    Ken Weitzel, Jul 14, 2005
  5. Amamba

    SimonLW Guest

    I never thought this would be an issue with digital as it was with film, but
    apparently it is. I'd almost always get prints back from film that were not
    sharp. I thought my camera had a focusing error, but the negatives were very
    crisp. I'd take them somewhere else and get them reprinted sharp. Even the
    other place was not consistent. With chemically developed prints, a image is
    recorded on the paper then it is processed. There can still be a focus error
    since lenses are involved. I was surprised how blurry some digital prints
    had come out. I couldn't read some small text on a sign on one print that
    was clear in the image. The photofinisher/camera store chain in my city seem
    to be better, but still not perfect. The drug stores/department stores are
    the worst offenders.

    On a side note. The camera store chain got a Sony dye-sub system for nearly
    instant prints. Kind of expensive $.39 per print, but there is no focusing
    involved in the machine so the prints are always clear. I noticed a very
    slight vertical smear on some prints but you need a magnifying glass to see
    SimonLW, Jul 14, 2005
  6. Amamba

    Amamba Guest

    Thanks for replies !

    I am not downsampling images - but I upload them using Meijer's
    software, so maybe it does. I always save them from PhotoDeluxe as
    non-compressed JPEGs.

    I will try another online service & see if it's better.
    Amamba, Jul 14, 2005
  7. Amamba

    Jim Townsend Guest

    I'd try another processor.

    I've never had real bad prints, but I have noticed subtle differences
    in quality from different outfits. I currently use a local drug store.
    that uses the Fuji Frontier system.
    Jim Townsend, Jul 14, 2005
  8. Amamba

    Amamba Guest

    Thanks all for replies.

    I looked up some info online, and saw that a few people were happy with
    WalMart. I printed the same pics there.. what a difference !!! The
    pictures are vibrant, sharp and beautiful. Bye bye Meijer.

    I also started applying Unsharpen Mask filter to the pictures that look
    blurryish and this made some difference, too. However, these pictures
    now look too sharp on the screen; I probably will end up not doing it,
    since I'm convinced that eventually the paper photo albums are going to
    go the way of the tape cassette players (and this is not in a distant
    Amamba, Jul 17, 2005
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