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Thread: Disappointing Prints

  1. #1
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    Default Disappointing Prints

    I've been disappointed by the results of the prints of the photos I've taken during a recent trip down south.

    Has anyone ever had problem getting a photo lab to print out 4"x10" or 6"x6" digital images with a white border?

    I've been to three labs and they all gave me three different results. One of them (the first one I went to) was kind enough to call me ahead of time to tell me that he had problems with image, so I agreed that he can go ahead to print it without the border. Sadly, that was the best result so far I've got. The second just printed out the image, happily cropping it the way she thought best without as much as asking. While the third just printed the image with the borders of different widths.

    I don't know what's the problem. I cropped 4"x10" the first time, then 3.875"x9.875" and 6"x6" finally. Can anyone shed some light on the problem? or am I dealing with people who don't know what they're doing? I don't blame the first guy, but the rest is just downright disappointing.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    4"X10" and 6"X6" are odd sizes. What size exactly did you ask them to print? I've never known labs to print such sizes before.
    Last edited by Stoned; 11th January 2006 at 09:33 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Weird sizes of photos u are printing.
    If you want them to have the exact special size you want, specify to them and ask them to print in larger standard paper size and cut away the unused areas.
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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    If you want to add in your own borders on the prints, don't expect it will come out perfectly without running any test prints with the lab, even you are doing a very precise dimension, it will not work out as what you think.

    you have to run a few tests, so you will know much the machine crop away the top, left, right and bottom, then go back re-do the image files, factor all this into your borders.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Do you have any slightest understanding of what is cropping?
    Last edited by arttl; 11th January 2006 at 09:31 PM.

  6. #6
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    What I do is make the borders myself - in that way you control the width/proportions/cropping etc. After the lab just prints as is. This is the best and most reliable way for border printing.

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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    If you are doing a borders like ~1" thick, it will not so noticeable all borders are not balance/same thickness due the lab printing mis-alignment.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    just do without the border

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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoned
    4"X10" and 6"X6" are odd sizes. What size exactly did you ask them to print? I've never known labs to print such sizes before.
    The 4"x10" is the panoramic print size for APS format, while the 6"x6" is just a square print size that I wanted.

    What size do you print for panoramic and square prints? And how do you make sure the borders are right?

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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by gryphon
    Weird sizes of photos u are printing.
    If you want them to have the exact special size you want, specify to them and ask them to print in larger standard paper size and cut away the unused areas.
    Weird perhaps if one is not familiar with such print size, but not unusual for some who print panoramas, I think.

    I ask if they can do it. And they all say it's do-able. But they can't even get the borders in right.

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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    If you want to add in your own borders on the prints, don't expect it will come out perfectly without running any test prints with the lab, even you are doing a very precise dimension, it will not work out as what you think.

    you have to run a few tests, so you will know much the machine crop away the top, left, right and bottom, then go back re-do the image files, factor all this into your borders.
    Thank you for the suggestion. I was going to do it again with some test prints and was hoping to get ideas of how to short-cut the process. Each print cost $4 (the cheapest I've found) and some even charge a processing fee of $3 (swear I won't go back to them again!)

    I understand if there is a minimum charge, that's why I usually print about $50 worth of prints.

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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by arttl
    Do you have any slightest understanding of what is cropping?
    Tell me how difficult it is. I'll appreciate any comment from an obvious expert like yourself.

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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoned
    4"X10" and 6"X6" are odd sizes. What size exactly did you ask them to print? I've never known labs to print such sizes before.
    I've seen photofinishing services offering custom sizes that match the aspect sizes of the submitted files. Since modern systems operate on roll paper, only one dimension of the picture is fixed. It shouldn't be a problem on laser printing machines to get any aspect ratio the customer wants (within reason). It's beyond me why most finishers don't offer this option. It makes the most sense in a world full of different image formats.

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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    From what i know, the white border is caused by the machine software. I send my photos to the Kodak Express and the staff mention that border is caused by the developer machine. It will either crop the top-bottom or the 2 sides.

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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    What I do is make the borders myself - in that way you control the width/proportions/cropping etc. After the lab just prints as is. This is the best and most reliable way for border printing.
    Ironically, that's exact how I sent in my order. I cropped the image to the exact size of 1200x3000pix at a resolution of 300 ppi, then PS in a white border. I even double checked all the images to make sure that the size is correct before sending them to the lab, and telling them to print as is. (and this was my third attempt )

    I'm thinking that maybe the machine software at the labs can't pick out the border and the photo is manually adjusted by the person behind the machine. Therefore, if the person happens to adjust it wrongly, some pictures will have borders, some have one side missing etc....

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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    If you are doing a borders like ~1" thick, it will not so noticeable all borders are not balance/same thickness due the lab printing mis-alignment.
    I think what you mean is what I speak about manual adjustments by the operator behind the machine. Yes, I think that would certainly help, except that a 1" border is kind of big

    But I think you have an idea that I can work on. Thanks!

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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by user111
    just do without the border
    Alas, borders I can't live without...

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by KenChua
    From what i know, the white border is caused by the machine software. I send my photos to the Kodak Express and the staff mention that border is caused by the developer machine. It will either crop the top-bottom or the 2 sides.
    I know what you mean. The second test batch was sent to a Kodak Express. The output was really the worst of the lot so far. Don't mean to flame them...but for my purpose it just ended up so.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by alastdin
    Thank you for the suggestion. I was going to do it again with some test prints and was hoping to get ideas of how to short-cut the process. Each print cost $4 (the cheapest I've found) and some even charge a processing fee of $3 (swear I won't go back to them again!)

    I understand if there is a minimum charge, that's why I usually print about $50 worth of prints.
    A short cut way.

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    If you are doing a borders like ~1" thick, it will not so noticeable all borders are not balance/same thickness due the lab printing mis-alignment.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Disappointing Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf
    I've seen photofinishing services offering custom sizes that match the aspect sizes of the submitted files. Since modern systems operate on roll paper, only one dimension of the picture is fixed. It shouldn't be a problem on laser printing machines to get any aspect ratio the customer wants (within reason). It's beyond me why most finishers don't offer this option. It makes the most sense in a world full of different image formats.
    I was hypothesizing about this myself. Your observation will just about conclude it for me.

    Have you tried printing out a panorama digitally with a lab that came out right for you?

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