Printing Question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JSMryan, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. JSMryan

    JSMryan TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys! Im in Vancouver, BC and Im wondering where you guys get your prints done. Do you guys get all your prints at one place or do you vary the printers based on how high end the job is for cost savings? For example... a trade for job wouldnt really require the highest quality print available. So pretty much I need to know where... how much.... and what they offer. Thanks so much guys!
     
  2. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    I discovered a lab through SmugMug and have ordered my prints through SmugMug ever since.

    It's not expensive, too.

    Although to be honest, the shipping's a bit much for me here in Australia.

     
  3. JSMryan

    JSMryan TPF Noob!

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    Now.. I understand that this is a fairly cheap way to go with great prints as a result (Im familiar with smugmug).... but is there a cheaper alternative still?

    I mean... at costco you can get an 8x12 for $1.44 CDN, a 5x7 for 0.44 CDN, and so on and so forth. Im not saying that costco is where I want to go to provide prints and such.... but is it not tempting? Just how different is the quality between smugmugs printers and costco's? Are costco prints faux pas? Get back to me.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    The best thing to do, is try out a few labs and see the quality for yourself. I've used Costco, Walmart, London Drugs etc. But now I mostly use a pro lab.

    I actually had some good luck at one particular Wal-mart, when one particular guy was working...I think this may be typical of cheap 'consumer' labs. It depends on how well the staff is trained, how well the machines are cleaned and calibrated and how much they care about their jobs. Costco has actually been pretty good and their prices are really low. I think their overall standard of quality is higher than the cheap labs but I've never really seen a high end quality from them.
    London Drugs was my lab of choice for a while. They have an actual photo department and have photo techs who's only job is working in the lab (sometimes anyway). I found their quality to be pretty good, but not 100% of the time. Also, it became annoying when I had to go into the store and wait in line behind 4 soccer moms who couldn't figure out how to work the self serve kiosk. Also, their prices are significantly higher than Costco/Wal-mart etc.
    The pro lab I use is Technicare, The have an office in Burnaby but their head office is here in Edmonton. They are a pro lab in every sense of the word. It's their job to give you high quality images and they take their jobs seriously. The prices aren't really all that high either.

    The first step to getting good prints, is to calibrate your monitor properly, which requires calibration hardware like the Datacolor Spyder or similar device. If your monitor isn't properly calibrated, then it will be really hard to know the cause of if your prints don't looks like how you think they should.

    If you don't mind the shipping, many people recommend MPIX.com.
     
  5. EhJsNe

    EhJsNe TPF Noob!

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    I usually have it done at CVS/Pharmacy which does ok, but its for prints for me, if I wanted quality, Id have it done at a profesional printer, but so far ive been satisfied with CVS's quality.
     
  6. JSMryan

    JSMryan TPF Noob!

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    Now this is the response I was looking for... very informative. Thanks a bunch for that. As for your referral of Technicare.... I am very interested in researching this one as I live in Burnaby and would very much like a local printer. Thanks a bunch!
     

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