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mini review: digital photo printing - Photography

Review includes www.bonusprint.com www.digilab.com.au www.fstoponline.com.au ::: BonusPrint.com ::: Just had a batch done from bonus print. If you check their website, they seem to be one of the cheapest printers in the world when it comes to small size photos. Prints come out on Agfa digital prestige paper, so I suppose they are using the D'Lab process. Colours. Quite washed out and funky looking. Skin tones all orange in colour, big lack of real red, blue channel seems like it's gone on holidays. Colours look better than what I got from Big-W, but overall, not output is not acceptable. Funny ...

  1. #1

    Default mini review: digital photo printing

    Review includes

    www.bonusprint.com
    www.digilab.com.au
    www.fstoponline.com.au

    ::: BonusPrint.com :::

    Just had a batch done from bonus print. If you check their website, they
    seem to be one of the cheapest printers in the world when it comes to small
    size photos. Prints come out on Agfa digital prestige paper, so I suppose
    they are using the D'Lab process.

    Colours.
    Quite washed out and funky looking. Skin tones all orange in colour, big
    lack of real red, blue channel seems like it's gone on holidays. Colours
    look better than what I got from Big-W, but overall, not output is not
    acceptable. Funny thing is that prints made from my D60 shots look better
    than those taken with the IXUS V3, S40 and G5. Yes I know I'm comparing
    shots take from 6MP vs the others that are like point-n-shoots. My
    reference is not just resolution, but also colour. On screen, I've adjusted
    all photos to look as good as possible, but print degradation from the
    point-n-shoots seem far worse than the D60.

    I used plain sRGB profile, next time I'll assign BonusPrint's ICC to some
    photos and see if there is a change. I should've done this to some in the
    batch that I sent to them... my bad.

    Resolution
    Prints as sharp as what your source files are. I recently read that the Agfa
    D'Lab 2 process is the leader in resolution when it comes to digital
    processing. 250dpi+ produces very good results.

    Thoughts
    BonusPrint is cheap, and the quality is "cheap" too. They are quick with
    delivery though. They also have a guarantee that if you don't like your
    prints, send them back for a refund. I reckon they should be more careful
    since doing such a guarantee for the quality that I've seen is dangerous.

    Software is easy to use, and choice of Matte or Glossy output. Recommended?
    Not at this point in time, but a little fine tuning of the machines should
    give acceptable results. Heck if they're still around, there has got to be
    people who are happy with their output.

    ::: DigiLab :::

    My favourite. Very good quality output, plus they give you a sample printout
    to calibrate your monitor. Colours have been spot on for me. Nice folks and
    very quick turnaround.

    Printed with Agfa D'Lab process on digital professional paper. Even at
    250dpi, photos come out sharp.

    DigiLab is the place I order from to give to clients. Highly recommended.

    ::: FStop :::

    For large sized printouts, FStop is probably the most economical anywhere in
    the world. They print on Agfa professional paper. Very fast turnaround.

    Output is good, although you might have to bump up the gamma a little since
    they are slightly darker than what I see on the monitor. Colours are
    accurate tho. You might experience a slight misalignment of colours which
    can cause some prints to be slightly hazy, but otherwise fine.

    Had a few prints from 6MP files n to 50x76cm, spectacular - these are
    group portrait prints of 15+ people, not shots of mugs and tincans. No
    pixelation. Basically sharpen your photos and let the FStop machine
    interpolate for you. I have Genuine Fractals and QImage, but found them
    unnecessary because the FStop machine seems to do better than what I can.

    Highly recommended

    ::: Final thoughts :::

    All three places use Agfa machines, but even so there is clearly a big
    variance in output quality. I found Digilab to give me top quality and
    sticking with them for the majority of my prints. Can't go wrong with FStop
    for large prints. As for cheap printing that produces good quality, the
    online hunting continues.

    BTW if anyone knows of stores that are not online but accept CD media,
    please post. I'd like to share your opinions.

    Leon

    --
    http://www.digitalmsx.com/ - High quality digital media: memory, RAM, blank
    CDs/DVDs, papers and inks. Please don't reply to this h*tmail address
    directly.
    DMSX Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: mini review: digital photo printing

    As a service provider I find it scary that other service providers are
    recommending people adapt their monitor to suit the providers "look".

    What should be happening is that providers utilise a fully colour managed
    workflow and it's up to the customer to ensure that their monitors are
    calibrated to ICC standards.

    When both of these things are happening correctly producing consistent and
    accurate colour is a breeze. It's save time, money and heartache for
    everyone.
    Providers can distribute their printer profiles so clients can soft proof
    prior to printing.

    I know there are different limitations with different systems but as
    customers you should be pressuring your providers to supply a service where
    colour is consistent and accurate. This is difficult to do if they are not
    following an ICC compliant workflow. When you question them about it what do
    they say? Are they familiar with colour management issues in digital
    printing or are they just flying by the seat of their pants?

    As customers what are people thoughts on monitor calibration? Do people
    understand it? Is it deemed to expensive to do? What value do you place on
    good quality prints?....




    on 22/10/03 9:11 AM, DMSX plugged away at a keyboard and wrote:

     

     


    --

    Glenn McCarter

    Digital Lucida
    http://www.digital-lucida.com.au
    478 - 480 Rathdowne St
    Carlton North Vic 3054
    Australia
    Ph. (03) 9349 5159
    Fx . (03) 9349 5153

    Glenn Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: mini review: digital photo printing

    Glenn McCarter wrote: 

    I understand it well enough to avoid using a service that wants me to
    mess with my monitor to match their setup! I work in a standard
    working space (sRGB or AdobeRGB) and profile my monitor with a
    ColorVision Spyder and PhotoCal. I am happy I spent the money for
    that hardware and software.

    Peter Marquis-Kyle
    www.marquis-kyle.com.au




    Peter Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: mini review: digital photo printing

    Peter Marquis-Kyle wrote:
     
    >
    > I understand it well enough to avoid using a service that wants me to
    > mess with my monitor to match their setup! I work in a standard
    > working space (sRGB or AdobeRGB) and profile my monitor with a
    > ColorVision Spyder and PhotoCal. I am happy I spent the money for
    > that hardware and software.
    >
    > Peter Marquis-Kyle
    > www.marquis-kyle.com.au[/ref]

    Profiling costs a lot and many people can't afford (in the sense that they
    won't have a lot of use for it) the gear. To avoid any confusion, DigiLab
    uses a standard sRGB 6500K working environment so it's quick and easy for
    me (only a few seconds to tune). Since I also do video work on the same
    machine (output for TV is totally different than for printing), I don't
    have the luck of separating my workflow on different machines so I do my
    best to work with what I have.

    Leon

    --
    http://www.digitalmsx.com/ - High quality digital media: memory, RAM, blank
    CDs/DVDs, papers and inks. Please don't reply to this h*tmail address
    directly.
    DMSX Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: mini review: digital photo printing

    I note you Digilab uses 6500k colour setting. Is this the setting I should
    be using as the "standard" on my 10D if I was taking my cards to a lab for
    printing?

    Regards

    Don
    "DMSX" <com> wrote in message
    news:newscache$ouw4nh$qwo1$onthenet.com.au... 
    > >
    > > I understand it well enough to avoid using a service that wants me to
    > > mess with my monitor to match their setup! I work in a standard
    > > working space (sRGB or AdobeRGB) and profile my monitor with a
    > > ColorVision Spyder and PhotoCal. I am happy I spent the money for
    > > that hardware and software.
    > >
    > > Peter Marquis-Kyle
    > > www.marquis-kyle.com.au[/ref]
    >
    > Profiling costs a lot and many people can't afford (in the sense that they
    > won't have a lot of use for it) the gear. To avoid any confusion, DigiLab
    > uses a standard sRGB 6500K working environment so it's quick and easy for
    > me (only a few seconds to tune). Since I also do video work on the same
    > machine (output for TV is totally different than for printing), I don't
    > have the luck of separating my workflow on different machines so I do my
    > best to work with what I have.
    >
    > Leon
    >
    > --
    > http://www.digitalmsx.com/ - High quality digital media: memory, RAM,[/ref]
    blank 


    Don Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: mini review: digital photo printing

    hehe what a PITA
    use film ;)


    adam f


    "Glenn McCarter" <com.au> wrote in message
    news:BBBC0935.9ED5B%com.au... 
    where 
    do [/ref]
    printout 
    >
    > [/ref]
    since 
    >
    >
    > --
    >
    > Glenn McCarter
    >
    > Digital Lucida
    > http://www.digital-lucida.com.au
    > 478 - 480 Rathdowne St
    > Carlton North Vic 3054
    > Australia
    > Ph. (03) 9349 5159
    > Fx . (03) 9349 5153
    >[/ref]


    Adam Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: mini review: digital photo printing

    DMSX <com> wrote in message news:<newscache$53r4nh$nso1$onthenet.com.au>... 

    http://www.blackandwhitephoto.com.au/

    Black and White photographics recently changed their prices and put up
    a website. Their prices are extremely competitive and I've had a bunch
    of photos printed with very good results.
    Kong Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: mini review: digital photo printing

    6500k is the standard colour temperature to edit photos with - it's
    similar to viewing photos under daylight, ie warmer colours. If you
    can, edit all your photos under 6500k (calibrated of course) and send
    them off to the lab for printing.

    Leon

    "Don" <com> wrote in message news:<JZnlb.160861$bigpond.net.au>... 
    > >
    > > Profiling costs a lot and many people can't afford (in the sense that they
    > > won't have a lot of use for it) the gear. To avoid any confusion, DigiLab
    > > uses a standard sRGB 6500K working environment so it's quick and easy for
    > > me (only a few seconds to tune). Since I also do video work on the same
    > > machine (output for TV is totally different than for printing), I don't
    > > have the luck of separating my workflow on different machines so I do my
    > > best to work with what I have.
    > >
    > > Leon
    > >
    > > --
    > > http://www.digitalmsx.com/ - High quality digital media: memory, RAM,[/ref]
    > blank [/ref]
    D_M_S_X Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: mini review: digital photo printing

    Adam, you do know that film development has just as much inconsistencies as
    well don't you? Naturally, the end result is who sits behind the machine
    that pumps out the pix.

    Adam F wrote:
     
    > where 
    > do [/ref]
    > printout 
    >>
    >> [/ref]
    > since 
    >>
    >>
    >> --
    >>
    >> Glenn McCarter
    >>
    >> Digital Lucida
    >> http://www.digital-lucida.com.au
    >> 478 - 480 Rathdowne St
    >> Carlton North Vic 3054
    >> Australia
    >> Ph. (03) 9349 5159
    >> Fx . (03) 9349 5153
    >>[/ref][/ref]

    --
    http://www.digitalmsx.com/ - High quality digital media: memory, RAM, blank
    CDs/DVDs, papers and inks. Please don't reply to this h*tmail address
    directly.
    DMSX Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: mini review: digital photo printing

    DMSX,

    Thanks for the reviews and posting your thoughts. I use FStop and I'm
    thrilled with the results, I only tend to print 50x76cm prints and I can
    recommend them.

    Derrick

    "DMSX" <com> wrote in message
    news:newscache$53r4nh$nso1$onthenet.com.au... 
    small 
    adjusted 
    Agfa 
    Recommended? 
    printout 
    and 
    in 
    since 
    FStop 
    blank 


    Surfworx Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: mini review: digital photo printing

    I have tried Bonusprint and found the colors and quality to be very
    accepaible. Looked just like on my monitor to me.

    But I only got one 10x8 print done on glossy paper just to test them
    out and havn't had any other prints done since. So it is quite
    possible that their print output varies from week to week between
    services?

    Is it posssible your monitor is not quite as calibrated as you
    thought? Just guessing.

    It could also be that my print was done on a different machne then the
    one they used for your prints I guess. I would assume they have
    several Agfa machines at Bonusprint. But you would think they would
    all be calibrated to the exact same standard for consistancy between
    print sizes.

    I will give them another try anyway in the coming weeks and will get a
    few dozen pics done instead of only one.


    On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 09:11:28 +1000, DMSX <com> wrote:
     

    Cage Guest

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