Do You print? I do.

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Comments

  • obajobaobajoba Posts: 206Member
    Matting or mounting the print in a card border is done quite cheaply by most picture framing shops.
    I haven't found any to be 'cheap' for this (though my perception of cheap has no reference point in this particular case.) I got estimates from a few local shops to matte and frame a couple of 16x20's I had printed and they were north of $150/ea with basic black ~3" border frames and a single color mat. So, I bought a Logan Compact Classic mat cutter and did the mat myself. I picked up the frames BOGO from one of those places and I think I spent $125 total to frame both prints - and that includes the cost of the cutter.

    Paper and ink definitely make a difference. I used mpix to print the aforementioned 16x20's and one of those I had printed on 'metallic paper' with their 'lustre' option... for that particular photo it was definitely not the right combination. I guess this probably takes practice and experience to know which prints should be on which paper?

    I have an i1 DisplayPro, with the Color Passport. While calibrating the display made a huge difference by itself, creating a color profile from the passport shot made life unbelievably easier. It takes a few minutes to apply the profile to all of the photos in an import within LR where I used to play around with a few of the photos for about an hour before I came up with a profile for that session.

    I love getting large prints; the selection process really gives me insight as to which of my photos I hold in the highest regard. That aside, web sharing is great for the photos that are maybe not up to par for a 20x30, or even a 16x20, yet they are still great shots that you want to share with others.
    D4 | 70-200 2.8 VR | 24-70 2.8 | TC-17e II
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,171Member
    I have in house printing purely for convenance and speed, plus i can print up to A1 and roll paper of any length,
    it's a service rather than a necessity,. The cost of Ink and paper is so expensive it really is not worth it anymore
    The one thing I have learnt at my cost, is use makers ink, and I always let the printer clean the heads if it as not been used for a while. Most labs now charge less than what you can buy the paper for except on very large sizes
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • framerframer Posts: 489Member
    edited March 2013
    Nielson makes nice ready made frames with 8ply mats in standard sizes that are affordable. My local photo store sells them. Check art supply stores also. They are a bargin.

    Custom mats and framing are normally 3X - 4X the price. Why? An average time to take an order and then compleate it 1 - 2 hours. Overhead, labor, advertising and profit, personal service cost$. FWIW my mat cutter cost $15,000 and I'd bet it cuts better than the, "Logan Compact Classic mat cutter", did.

    You really do get what you pay for.

    framer
    Post edited by framer on
  • obajobaobajoba Posts: 206Member
    edited March 2013
    FWIW my mat cutter cost $15,000 and I'd bet it cuts better than the, "Logan Compact Classic mat cutter", did.
    For 15k it better cut better than my $80 mat cutter.

    You really do get what you pay for.
    Not necessarily.

    First, I am simply sharing my experiences (as the thread suggests.) But, I feel my point was missed. For occasional use, non-professional tools can work just fine provided one is capable of learning to do the job properly. When someone says they used their D3000+kit lens to shoot photos for their wall at home I don't jump up and down and tell them that I have a $6k D4 with $7k worth of lenses and they will only get what they paid for. Why? I may not know them, their background or even their perception of "quality." More expensive tools do not necessarily render better results, either.

    For example: my neighbor is a cabinet maker, he has ridiculous saws and tools at his shop but will tell you up front that for building 1 or 2 cabinets at home a $500 table saw will do just fine and his results would not be incredibly different. I suspect that is also the case with your professional mat cutter and matting photos. FWIW, as a cursed perfectionist, my first mat was off square by < 1/64" over 24" (as measured by very high quality calipers) but the 24x36 framed photo I have in my living room is off by almost an 1/8"; it was "professionally" done and *not* cheap. The point? Just like photography where a pro can take high quality photos with a D5100 in a pinch, it isn't going to be the durable, repairable, long lasting tool he needs. However, on the flip, when an amateur uses any tool he will probably get amateur results - as is the case with the "professionally" framed/matted wedding photo in my living room... paying for quality work doesn't always net quality product.

    If I pay someone $150 to do something I can also do, I expect their product to be exceptionally better than my own. With a $15k mat cutter versus what I got from my $80 mat cutter, I would expect your end result to be within a few thousandths of an inch from square, not 1/8's or 16's.
    Post edited by obajoba on
    D4 | 70-200 2.8 VR | 24-70 2.8 | TC-17e II
  • framerframer Posts: 489Member
    You should not have accepted that 24 x 36 if the mats that far off. A professional should never allow anything less than perfect. Find yourself a good framer. Many good framers charge no more than poor ones. But my main point is never accept poor workmanship from anyone holding themselves out as professionals. I didn;t mean to imply you could not cut a acceptable mat with that matcutter I've used manual matcutters for years with great results but 20 years ago that machine was over $1000.00. Why would I not want to save $920 if I thought I could get an $80 cutter to do the same job. It can't. Just like a cheap lens it still gets you a picture but it's not as sharp and crisp as an expensive lens.

    You really need to find those Nielson frames I mentioned. Look for the ones with thick 8ply mats.

    Remember you have a right to examine your frame job closely. Check corners, they should be tight and touched up nicely to blend. Check the back, it should be papered no holes, wire hanger, and bumpon on the bottom so air can flow behind it. No bumpons can cause mildew to form on the inside do to moisture buildup on the bottom restricting airflow. Is the back finished neat? Check the glass for finger prints or smudges on the inside also the glass should have no imperfections not even a small spec. Check the mat for marks, indents, cuts should be straight, no hooks, overcuts and backupcuts should be very hard to see if any .05" max IMHO. Any issues that you are not happy with should be addressed. 30 years ago it was common that a client would inspect the job closely, today it happens less but the client should inspect the job at pickup.

    framer
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I currently use a Epson 4900. IMHO a photographer needs to be able to print his own images or have it printed under his direct supervision.

    framer
    After switching from matte to photo blasck, my 4900 has it's PK line totally blocked, and the 4900's aggressive cleaning is doing nothing but emptying the ink cartridge.

    I have ordered and will try a cleaning solution for piezo heads to clear that channel. I will advise the forum as to how well this works.

    My web searches indicate that this is a common problem on Epson's n900 printers.

    New heads and a site service cost more than a new printer with warranty.

    Fortunately my HP Z3100 soldiers on despite my abuse and neglect.

    Regards ... Harold
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • obajobaobajoba Posts: 206Member
    Thanks for the tips, @framer. I found the Nielsen frames, but like mentioned it appears that they only go up to 11x14. Also, I didn't mean to seem so hostile; I re-read my post and it seemed a bit angry. So, my apologies.

    This will probably sound like a sin but, even as much of a perfectionist as I am, I never paid any mind to the backing or ventilation so, I learned quite a bit from your post and it incited a bunch of reading on my part.

    I'm a bit heavily invested in the D4 and accompanying gear thus far this year so printing at home is, unfortunately, not in the budget yet, maybe next year :|
    D4 | 70-200 2.8 VR | 24-70 2.8 | TC-17e II
  • moreorlessmoreorless Posts: 120Member
    The differences between a mintor and a print are IMHO always going to be there even if your properly calibrated, having the light source behind the picture is never going to be the same as having it reflecting off the picture.

    Personally I'v always been pleasently supprized by Photobox's Pro Prints in the UK, very nice quality indeed and unlike most online printers they actually give refunds when problems arise at their end.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    The differences between a mintor and a print are IMHO always going to be there even if your properly calibrated, having the light source behind the picture is never going to be the same as having it reflecting off the picture.
    The back light source is one issue, the main one for exact color is that monitors are in an RGB color space and printers in CMYK.

    RGB is basically additive (all colors = white), where CMYK is subtractive (no color = white).

    The reflectance of paper will never (yes I know never is a long time) exactly match a monitor.

    The best calibration techniques and soft proofing can come astonishingly close.

    The key is to get close enough so that we make correct editing decisions.

    Regards .. H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Yes.

    And the monitor's white point will be different from the paper's white point.
    And the monitor's black point will be different from the paper's d-max.
    And the optical brighteners in the paper will shift the colors over time.
    And the printed result will change in different lighting conditions.
    etc.

    Which is why absolute color matching is not the actual goal of most real-world color management. Rather, the goal is to consistently translate what we see in the monitor into a pleasing image when printed, even though all the colors might have been shifted due to all the factors we've talked about. There is "subjectivity" in what pleasing means, which is why sometimes it's better to make the print ourselves.

    There are situations when precise color matching is desired (such as for proofing) but for photographers those are exceptions rather than the rule.

    my $0.02,

    -Ade
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Ade is exactly right.

    Add that the viewer will almost never know what the 'correct' color actually is, only if it realistically could have been.

    The only applications, (other than calibration targets) I can think of where real color precision is needed, are fashion or other product shoots for adverts, where getting the fabric to the right color matters.

    In those cases, the magazines always want the raw files and will correct it themselves, as they have profiles for their offset presses.

    But we still try.

    Regards ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 252Member
    I haven't printed any of my photos for years, but following Mike G.'s suggestion, I sent a few of my D800 shots off to the local Costco and made 20" x 30" prints from them. The results were of surprisingly high quality, certainly acceptable for hanging them about the house. The UV light here destroys everything, including the best auto paint finishes, so I'm always reluctant to spend money on prints that are doomed to fade in just a few years. The windows of our house are tinted to keep out as much UV light as possible and whenever I have had artwork framed, it was done to museum quality by someone who does that kind of work regularly for our local art museum. It costs extra but does help to extend the life of the picture. For my Costco prints, I won't be so particular. If a picture fades, I'll be able to print out a duplicate copy at Costco and get it reframed at a much cheaper cost.
  • framerframer Posts: 489Member
    For everyone info,

    A good window coating is better than any special uv glass you can put over your prints. The best window coating filter out IR + a wider range of UV than UV glass alone. You can also use UV glass for extra protection if you want. A thing to understand about UV glass is the limited UV range that it filters. In bright light it offers almost no protection. Prints should be displayed in subdued, regular room, light. Real photos and photos from good printers, today, should last 30-100 years without noticeable fading. UV protection only slows fade under the correct condition but never stops it.

    framer
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,025Member
    For everyone info,

    A good window coating is better than any special uv glass you can put over your prints. The best window coating filter out IR + a wider range of UV than UV glass alone. You can also use UV glass for extra protection if you want. A thing to understand about UV glass is the limited UV range that it filters. In bright light it offers almost no protection. Prints should be displayed in subdued, regular room, light. Real photos and photos from good printers, today, should last 30-100 years without noticeable fading. UV protection only slows fade under the correct condition but never stops it.

    framer
    Or you could DIY it and ask for the largest UV filter your camera shop sells. :D
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,025Member
    I got the prints from Shutterfly back- they look pretty good. I noticed that there's a film-like fuzziness to the photos though- when I pixel peeped the files on my computer, it looked slightly sharper than when printed out. I haven't done any other printing so I can't say this is poor printing quality or whether this is normal. But I am still happy with my photos.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,025Member
    I was going to start a new thread, but I saw this one.

    If you wish (mods, etc.) someone may want to.

    I was thinking about starting a thread on where you print from.

    I got 25 free prints from Walgreen's yesterday. Paper quality wasn't great- it has a lightness to it I don't like.

    Shutterfly still does it better in my opinion.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Up to A3+ I print my own; above that I use a local Bristol Art printer who will also Block mount or frame
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 688Member
    I print my own from 4x6 to 24x60. Epson 3880 for smaller glossy or luster prints and an Epson 7900 for 11x17 borderless from 17" media, metallic finish for paper prints and canvas when called for. It is important to at least run a nozzle check weekly if not printing photos. I prefer to run a nozzle check at least twice a week to keep them unclogged.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I ran a nozzle check and test pattern print every 3 days when not printing and still bricked an epson 4900 with the black nozzles hopelessly blocked (when switching from matte to photo black). New jets are more expensive than I can buy a new printer for, since they are not user replaceable, with no guarantee that It will not brick again.

    I am two strikes with Epson and will never buy one again, nor recommend one to anyone who does not print every day.

    My HP z3100 (24 inch) soldiers on with no issues at all and I have just bought a Canon 13 in. printer for sheet paper.

    ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ BabaGanoush - I hope those work for you. We now have 100's that we have given to our actors in productions that have held up for several years and still look fine. They are really quite, well, inexpensive. And now we are doing 11x14 and 16x20 prints that look terrific and are also, ah, inexpensive. I've had to re-print on very, very few occasions - perhaps twice, and at those low prices I would have paid, although they did it for free (I live in such a small place everyone knows your name) - the calibration was off there those day; it happens.

    @ obajoba - Perfection is an admirable goal, but sometimes chasing it in lieu of completion of projects tied to budgets, time constraints, even artistic limitations, logistics, and other resources.

    @ haroldp - I haven't worked in magazines since the digital revolution (gosh I am that old) - but the principles are the same - advertisers want their colors to match up with the readers see and it couldn't be more simpler than that. I don't think editorial would matter so much, other than not getting sued. ;-)

    @ Ade - These are the very discriminating buyers of prints from photographers. I frankly don't know how many buyers of prints any market these buyers make up; it isn't a causal market.

    As always, my best to you all,

    Mike
  • framerframer Posts: 489Member
    I ran a nozzle check and test pattern print every 3 days when not printing and still bricked an epson 4900 with the black nozzles hopelessly blocked (when switching from matte to photo black). New jets are more expensive than I can buy a new printer for, since they are not user replaceable, with no guarantee that It will not brick again.

    I am two strikes with Epson and will never buy one again, nor recommend one to anyone who does not print every day.

    My HP z3100 (24 inch) soldiers on with no issues at all and I have just bought a Canon 13 in. printer for sheet paper.

    ... H
    This may sound nuts but I started to use a small humidifier near the printer and closed off a heat vent located near the printer. Warm dry air in the winter seem to aggravate the issue. After doing this, clogs have all but disappeared. I also print a nozzle check every 3 - 4 days if not printing.

    framer
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 688Member
    I've been using Epson for a decade and no serious problems. From a Stylus 2200 to the Pro 9800. FL is humid so maybe that is why. I do remember the original Epson 4000 giving problems in a classroom where it only got fired up one night a week. That's a no no.
  • hawkdl2hawkdl2 Posts: 56Member
    I print my best shots at up to 13x19" to hang in my home "gallery" and office/lobby and for friends who want copies (yes, people do occasionally ask me for prints, which amazes me). I change the photos in my home "gallery" and office about every 6 months and it's kind of gratifying when friends, family, staff and visitors tell me they look forward to the next "collection". I have a Canon PIMXA Pro 9000 II and a Pro 100. I use the latter for B&W. I also frame and mat myself using a $80 Logan mat cutter that produces mats as nice as any I've bought from framing shops. I've also had acrylic prints made by Whitehall, which are amazing, but too costly unless I plan on keeping the print up forever.
  • sattiganalsattiganal Posts: 36Member
    Hey guys.. one basic question (may be noob).. I am thinking of printing my pics, so that I get inspired to go out and click more pictures :) To start with, I thought of trying one of the Amazon Local deals that was offering a discounted canvas print for $20+. The sizes were 11X14, 16X20 and 20X24. But when I tried with few of my pics, they all were being cropped. Same thing, when I tried with other services, just for prints.

    That brings me to my question, do you guys re-size your pics before you print? How do I make sure my photo can be printed without cropping?
    Nikon D200, D610
    28,50,85 f1.8G; 24-120 f4 VR; 70-300 f4.5-5.6 VR; Rokinon 8mm f3.5 fisheye

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/96054917@N06/
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    if you want to control your prints you need to adjust image size to printing media. if a standard 35mm frame has a 3:2 proportions than in order to print full image (w/o cropping) on 16x20 media you either have to crop your image or get 16x24 print media.
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