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Thread: disappointing print quality

  1. #1
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    Unhappy disappointing print quality

    i just got back my prints from da Vinci Picture (Fujifilm) @ sembawang MRT.

    it's my 1st batch of DSLR prints and I was so looking forward to it.

    I didn't mind spending a bit more and got the jumbo size, cos the lady there told me my photos won't get cropped that way.

    but it didn't turn out the way i'd expected. some of the photos were off-colour (if that's at all a term to use for prints that doesn't match the colour of your digital photo), and ALL of them were cropped a bit!

    Not that it affected the main object in the photo very much, but it certainly did affect me! since the lady told me: "now everyone is going for JUMBO size photos, cos we don't crop those"
    YEAH RIGHT.

    I read up some threads in clubsnap and decided that Fujifilm was the way to go, but could it be due to the inadequacy of skills that led to such print quality?

    anyone had such bad experiences before?
    anyway, i'm thinking i'll pop by that shop tmr and try to do a refund or a reprint.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    fuji film,the lab machine must be a frontier model,cos its the laser type.look at the back of the of the paper,see if all the text show NNNN.If its NNNN ,all the images r not corrected.if it show numbers,there is some color correction.................
    It maybe your color is not set correctly from your side.

  3. #3

    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Normally I will send my digital photos to Kim Tian Color at Upper Cross Street. I will ask them not to adjust any settings for my prints. From my PC, I will adjust my photos to desire settings to meet my print requirement. So far I am satisfied with the results.

    My experience if you let the lab to adjust the settings automatically, they like to print with high contrast where all bright spots become white and details loss.
    Last edited by megaweb; 10th December 2007 at 11:03 PM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    i only print at kim tian(chinatown) and konota(peninsula plaza).

    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

  5. #5

    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Erm normally photos are cropped abit due to bleed. If u print in overall mode there is a risk of getting small uneven white borders which are areas not printed on
    Chanxj
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Quote Originally Posted by studiolabmaster View Post
    fuji film,the lab machine must be a frontier model,cos its the laser type.look at the back of the of the paper,see if all the text show NNNN.If its NNNN ,all the images r not corrected.if it show numbers,there is some color correction.................
    It maybe your color is not set correctly from your side.
    thanks for the info.

    behind the prints it reads:

    Fujifilm Crystal Archive Paper
    N N+2-2 NN0757

    and a whole lot of other numbers.

    that means the color was corrected eh?

    hm... how do i set the colours?
    i told the lady specifically i wanted it in the original size and colours.
    now i've got all my photos cropped and some off-colour!

    can i ask for a refund based on this?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Quote Originally Posted by chanxj View Post
    Erm normally photos are cropped abit due to bleed. If u print in overall mode there is a risk of getting small uneven white borders which are areas not printed on
    i see.

    but what annoys me is that the lady told me to get jumbo size, which costs more, cos those supposedly won't get cropped.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb View Post
    Normally I will send my digital photos to Kim Tian Color at Upper Cross Street. I will ask them not to adjust any settings for my prints. From my PC, I will adjust my photos to desire settings to meet my print requirement. So far I am satisfied with the results.

    My experience if you let the lab to adjust the settings automatically, they like to print with high contrast where all bright spots become white and details loss.
    i've heard of this Kim Tian Color before.
    Must be really good huh?
    How's the pricing like?

    As for the desired settings for print, how do i go about it?

    And yes, that's exactly what i experienced with my 1st batch of prints. higher contrast and loss of details.

  9. #9
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    I have not use the lab you mention before, but I know most labs nowadays have self help kiosks for customers to input the digital image files, so some lab do not do color and density correction before printing, so if you have a off color images, print out will be off color too, so you check is the back of the photo print has 4 letter, if it is NNNN, no correction being done. (if is very cheap printing, don't expect lab will do color correction for you)

    and bear in mind that, your camera LCD, and computer monitor may not be accurate, so don't compare the print out to your computer monitor, unless calibration being done.

    you also need to confirm the image ratio is correspond to the print ratio, so what ratio is your image? 2:3 or 3:4? and what size is the Jumbo size print? 4.5" by 6"?

    the best way to ask for refund is to prove to them that they have done a lousy job, you can use a reputable labs to make the same print out and show it to the lab for asking refund, but if it is just a few dollars, I would not want to waste my time to visit them anymore.

    Hope this help.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    I have not use the lab you mention before, but I know most labs nowadays have self help kiosks for customers to input the digital image files, so some lab do not do color and density correction before printing, so if you have a off color images, print out will be off color too, so you check is the back of the photo print has 4 letter, if it is NNNN, no correction being done. (if is very cheap printing, don't expect lab will do color correction for you)

    and bear in mind that, your camera LCD, and computer monitor may not be accurate, so don't compare the print out to your computer monitor, unless calibration being done.

    you also need to confirm the image ratio is correspond to the print ratio, so what ratio is your image? 2:3 or 3:4? and what size is the Jumbo size print? 4.5" by 6"?

    the best way to ask for refund is to prove to them that they have done a lousy job, you can use a reputable labs to make the same print out and show it to the lab for asking refund, but if it is just a few dollars, I would not want to waste my time to visit them anymore.

    Hope this help.
    thanks catchlights!

    yes, jumbo size is 4.5" by 6".

    i dunno about my image ratio. but it's 3888 X 2592 pixels.
    from Canon 400D.

    you're right, i'm comparing the prints to the display on my PC monitor and camera LCD screen. Those shots which appear in warm colours seem to be affected the most.
    what appears as nice warm tungsten sort of lighting on the screen turned out pale and "flat" on the prints.

    anyway i can ensure "what i see is what i get" for the computer screen to photo comparison?

  11. #11
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Quote Originally Posted by shane25 View Post
    thanks catchlights!

    yes, jumbo size is 4.5" by 6".

    i dunno about my image ratio. but it's 3888 X 2592 pixels.
    from Canon 400D.

    you're right, i'm comparing the prints to the display on my PC monitor and camera LCD screen. Those shots which appear in warm colours seem to be affected the most.
    what appears as nice warm tungsten sort of lighting on the screen turned out pale and "flat" on the prints.

    anyway i can ensure "what i see is what i get" for the computer screen to photo comparison?
    the lady wrong liao, you camera is 2:3, and she recommended you to print on 3:4 prints without double confirm your image ratio, you can go and ask for refund. I believe this is another case of assumption..

    and the color and density correct are done manually, so it is very much depends on the person doing the printing, if you have already adjusted your images, or want to print as it is, you need to instruct them "no correction needed".
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  12. #12

    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    hmm, first things first. as catchlights mentioned, the aspect ratio printed (4:3) is wrong, as your camera provides another ratio (3:2).

    secondly, is your monitor calibrated? if not, do get it calibrated (you have to get a calibrator to do it), if you wish to get accurate colours.

    thirdly, if possible, get the printer profile from the lab (i understand that there are a couple of labs that do that), match it with your workflow.

    after that, i guess what you see on your screen will more or less be reproduced in your prints.
    Trust me, I'm not so bad! | TangShooters

  13. #13

    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Quote Originally Posted by shane25 View Post
    thanks catchlights!

    yes, jumbo size is 4.5" by 6".

    i dunno about my image ratio. but it's 3888 X 2592 pixels.
    from Canon 400D.

    you're right, i'm comparing the prints to the display on my PC monitor and camera LCD screen. Those shots which appear in warm colours seem to be affected the most.
    what appears as nice warm tungsten sort of lighting on the screen turned out pale and "flat" on the prints.

    anyway i can ensure "what i see is what i get" for the computer screen to photo comparison?
    Yes, you can get printer profile CD from the lab.

    I do not recommend you to send original size for lab print. Try to resize them to smaller size like 1800 x 1200 ( but I recommend slightly bigger 2100 x 1400 ) and perform USM sharpen, other effects like noise reduction, crop, slight overexposed is depend on individual preference. This also help the lab to print faster.

    My experience for KT color is they tend to print warmer color and underexposed. So I will add more blue and slight overexposed my photos. This issue could be just me.
    Last edited by megaweb; 11th December 2007 at 08:15 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    thanks to catchlights, solbadguy and megaweb for the advice.

    what makes me so peeved is that when i plugged in my thumbdrive to select the photos for print, the preview indicated that my prints will be cropped slightly. the lady told me to get jumbo size to avoid the cropping and assured me that they know exactly what to do with jumbo prints.

    i think i'll consolidate my pics and print them at reputable print centres.
    i read from another thread that Miao Laan @ Bukit Batok is good.
    That's nearer for me.

    solbadguy, i do have a screen calibrator for my NVIDIA graphics card that's supposed to optimise my screen for graphic intensive games. are u refering to that?

  15. #15

    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Quote Originally Posted by shane25 View Post
    thanks to catchlights, solbadguy and megaweb for the advice.

    solbadguy, i do have a screen calibrator for my NVIDIA graphics card that's supposed to optimise my screen for graphic intensive games. are u refering to that?
    No probs.

    Optimising your screen for graphic intensive games as in the performance? Or the colour? What I was talking about was the colour part. You should get a calibrator (try Gretag Macbeth [some fellow CS-ers think it gives a colour cast though] or the very reputable but expensive Spyder 2). It's costly but definitely worth it. I haven't gotten one, but will be getting when I have that cash to spare.
    Trust me, I'm not so bad! | TangShooters

  16. #16
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    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Quote Originally Posted by SolBadGuy View Post
    No probs.

    Optimising your screen for graphic intensive games as in the performance? Or the colour? What I was talking about was the colour part. You should get a calibrator (try Gretag Macbeth [some fellow CS-ers think it gives a colour cast though] or the very reputable but expensive Spyder 2). It's costly but definitely worth it. I haven't gotten one, but will be getting when I have that cash to spare.
    i just came back from the print shop.

    to their credit, they apologised and admitted that they made an assumption on my pic ratio.
    i left my photos with them and they promised they'll look thru the files again and set it right on 3:2 (4R) prints. they also offered to refund me the difference in price i paid.

    not too bad.

    anyway, when asked about the color tweaking, they confirmed that i'll have to instruct them beforehand if i do not want any tweaking done. like i said, most of the photos turned out fine, save for some really pale pics (the red of the strawberries in my pic looked a hideous mouldy pink!). she told me that if i were to print in my original settings, some of the pics would have appeared underexposed.

    this sort of tweaking is done manually or by machine?

    how much does spyder 2 or the macbeth cost right now?
    can it work on any PC monitor?

  17. #17

    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    No NOT THE GREYTAGMACBETH. Its horrendous(in my opinion). Spyder 2 is better though not the best!
    Chanxj
    my blog @ http://sgsnap.com

  18. #18

    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    Quote Originally Posted by shane25 View Post
    she told me that if i were to print in my original settings, some of the pics would have appeared underexposed.
    Yes, she is right. This is common issue for printing. When you view your photos from monitor, the light comes out from the monitor and enter your eyes. Usually the photo appears bright and clear. However if you view your printed photos, the light from ambient reflect from the print and enter your eyes. You will see your print is slightly underexposed. That is why the images need to adjust slightly brighter for printing. Same application to painting the wall.
    Last edited by megaweb; 11th December 2007 at 10:53 PM.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  19. #19

    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    wah.. i didnt know is so troublesome
    I did not do any of the mention above and get good prints

    am i lucky or wat ?

  20. #20

    Default Re: disappointing print quality

    hey bro i have print from da Vinci Picture before.
    Btw it's the first shop i print on fujifilm for my client.
    All these while i've been printing on kodak.
    I totally impressed with da Vinci Picture result.
    Now i only print on fuji, but not @ da Vinci Picture. coz they are far from my home and expensive. Too bad u experience that.

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