cheap 1hour photo lab beats pro lab imo

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by johnnyroc, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. johnnyroc

    johnnyroc TPF Noob!

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    pro lab like Icon in LA does a good job making my work look good, however since each frame is color corrected there is not much room to tweak the look in post. 1 hour photo lab on the other hand gets me raw untouched prints and i'm able to do a lot more with the pics in ps. Does anyone else feel the same way? I could of course ask the pro lab to not color correct but then what would the point be in spending more money.
     
  2. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    The POINT of using a Pro Lab is that they give you a final product that you don't need to post-process.
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    You should be able to do just as much color correcting and tweaking with either one. With the pro lab, they should get you most of the way towards a good looking print. I think that's the better starting point if you want to try something a bit different looking.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I use pro labs because I usually get superior customer service, attention to detail, and reliable archival processing. Typically I find the staff at economy labs less than informed about photography. I have run across exceptions though. The most important part of the lab is the people doing the work. If you are getting good results from an economy lab, and you feel you can trust them to give you consistant, quality service then there's nothing wrong with that.
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I agree with getting to know the staff, no matter where you go. I was using Eckerts for a while before I went to digital. I knew the person that did all the lab training for western NY, and she really know what she was doing and treated customer's work like it was her own. She got moved around a little bit, but I followed her from store to store and always asked for her.
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Exactly, I met a guy running a Walmart photo lab that was actually into photography. He had an interest and sense of pride about the work he was doing, and his customers were getting a great deal.
     
  7. johnnyroc

    johnnyroc TPF Noob!

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    "You should be able to do just as much color correcting and tweaking with either one"

    i respectfully disagree. i don't think you have nearly as much room to 'tweak' after the pros get their hands on it. Same goes for motion picture, if you telecine at bestlight you later have a lot of freedom to color correct as you please.
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The econo labs are color correcting your files too, except that they are doing it with automatic software provided by the printing machine manufacturer. In fact, it's unlikely that anyone in the econo lab even knows how to turn off the auto-correct functions.

    Is your monitor calibrated to the lab you are using? If not you are just guessing anyway.

    When you use a lab you are asking other people to help create the finished print. You need to find people you can trust. If you trust no one the only solution is to do 100% of the process yourself.
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I don't get it... If you are using digital aren't your files what you want when you take them to the lab?

    If you are using film and you want to "tweak" why aren't you geting them scanned.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It depends on how closely your monitor is calibrated to the equipment the lab is using, choice of color space, freshness of chems, paper type, lab software, etc... Even environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature in the lab can affect print colors (pro labs usually have environmentally sealed printing rooms to help with this). Also viewing a photo as a print (reflected light) is always going to look somewhat different than viewing it on a monitor (projected light).
     

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