Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: unsatisfactory digital photo prints

  1. #1

    Default unsatisfactory digital photo prints

    Dear all, i just got my F717 and enter the digital world. Nonetheless, the first impression i got when i took my photos back from the lab was - how come the colour so bland and flat compared to those taken with film? Did i do anything wrong?

    I uploaded some of the samples of the unsatisfactory photos at pbase http://www.pbase.com/cheersjy/jy_gallary with typical problems. Hope to get your kind advice:

    Photo 1: On the screen it seems that the girl is only slightly underexposed compared to the background; in developed photo the girl is adjusted to correct exposure, but the background scenery looks pale like enveloped in thick mist.

    Photo 2: The green colour of the water is washed out in the photo.

    Photo 3: Most of the indoor shots, although looks ok on screen like this, gave a yellow cast in photo and lack sharpness and crispness. The lab commented that taking indoor photos with DC tend to be tricky and usually underexposed, thus advising me to use ISO200 to shoot in indoor (i fix the ISO at 100). Is this true? How to take good indoor photos?

    Photos 4, 5: Not all photos are bad. Photos like these 2, nevertheless, have very good colour saturation. How can this be achieved everytime?

    Photo 6: Seriously underexposed shots like this the background colour is totally gone. Anyway to rescue?

    All the shots were taken at ISO100 and directly from cam without any touch up before i send for development. Even so, the colour looks vivid and saturated on TV screen leh! Is this the lab's problem or the typical character of digial photos? Should i do any PS editting before sending for development? But how will i know what colour will turn out in their computer?

    Your kind advice and experience sharing will be much appreciated.

    best regards,
    JY

  2. #2

    Default

    You should check with the lab whether they printed the photos "as-is" or did they attempt any colour corrections.

    Film prints are always corrected by the lab and will often have exposure, colour and contrast adjustments done. Moreover, most consumer film are typically more saturated and contrasty than real life. This might be the reason why you feel that your digital shots lack punch or impact.

    From what I can see, your images seem pretty true to life to me.

  3. #3

    Default

    BTW, did you do anything to your images before uploading to pbase? What are your shot settings? Contrast/colour/sharpness?

  4. #4

    Default

    Thank you Zerstorer for your comments. i set the sharpening function of my DC to zero, ISO at 100, and burned the files straight from DC to CDR without any editing. I also asked the lab if they adjust the colour for me, and the person said: If i were to adjust every photo i print, it will take a long time. Apparently, they printed straight from the files.

    BTW, this lab used to develop my previous photos taken with film to pretty good results, so i am thinking if the unsatisfatory result could be due to the digital format i.e. digital photos may look good on screen but not in printouts. Pls correct me if i am wrong.

    Yes, a agree that the photos look well saturated in PC and on TV, but not in the printouts. As you said, the colour lack punch. Can't understand why.

    Would you recommend any shop that will perform colour adjustment for customers? Or any shop that gives you consistently good printout results? Probably i can bring the same files for them to develop and compare.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    334

    Default

    I suggest you use a different lab. My experience with Fuji is that the photos are oversaturated when shot using a Coolpix but flatter but more natural using a D100 (at default camera settings).

    The Fuji lab I use will tweak all the photos individually as if printing from a negative. They will even correct for wrong white balance although it will never be as good as using the correct WB setting to start with. Sometimes I tell them to print without adjustments but you'll have to make sure your monitor is calibrated when you post process your photos. Do note there is a limit to how much compensation they can do to your photos. The Fuji Frontiers work using the CMYK model so they can't adjust the gamma or contrast.

    I have been told by the lab manager that they find the majority of digital photos are underexposed. Personally, I find I have to increase the gamma to make the digital image look more like prints from negatives.

    Photo 1: On the screen it seems that the girl is only slightly underexposed compared to the background; in developed photo the girl is adjusted to correct exposure, but the background scenery looks pale like enveloped in thick mist.
    The background does look pretty smoggy. I'm puzzled that the exposure of the girl is adjusted in the print as you mention they did not do any adjustments.

    Photo 2: The green colour of the water is washed out in the photo.
    Not sure what you mean by washed out.

    Photo 3: Most of the indoor shots, although looks ok on screen like this, gave a yellow cast in photo and lack sharpness and crispness. The lab commented that taking indoor photos with DC tend to be tricky and usually underexposed, thus advising me to use ISO200 to shoot in indoor (i fix the ISO at 100). Is this true? How to take good indoor photos?
    The yellow cast is probably due to the yellow walls. The exposure looks okay on the histogram. You can take perfectly good pictures indoors using ISO 100. However, the background of larger rooms may be dark unless you use something like the night scene mode. It is worthwhile investing in an external flash. Bounce flash can do wonders to a photo.

    Photos 4, 5: Not all photos are bad. Photos like these 2, nevertheless, have very good colour saturation. How can this be achieved everytime?
    If the scene does not have bright colours, you will not get a photo with saturated colour.

    Photo 6: Seriously underexposed shots like this the background colour is totally gone. Anyway to rescue?
    Try using curves in programs like Photoshop. By dropping the highlights and increasing the gamma, I managed to get a pretty decent photo.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you so much Linse for your advice. Those photos posted on pbase are the original digital photos. i think their colours still look ok, and i tried to described the unsatisfactory printouts in words. Probably i should also upload the printout images side by side with the original (digital) for comparison if i manage to find a scanner to scan them.

    Yeah, i have just sent in the same original files to a CYMK lab to try my luck. Probably i should also try the Fuji lab as you suggested. I will also try out some editting using PS. Thank you

  7. #7

    Default

    change the lab. they prob rarely change their printing solutions.

    colours are best/brilliant when they just change it. some shops allow you to be the 'first batch' of prints, but you might need to pay more.

    u can know this by printing a shot with many bright colours, and going to the same shop again, the colours will be different (slighltly?) everytime!

    this is known as colour management and it's a very professional job for highend market. it's to match the exact colour you see on your screen to what comes out inthe prints, it's very difficult to be the same!

    best to chat up the fella, know 'em well and get your prints to be the first batch. if the prints still sux, their machine or your photos got prob.

    or try home printing, u'll face some issues of colour management too.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    beebox
    Posts
    2,078

    Default

    colours are best/brilliant when they just change it. some shops allow you to be the 'first batch' of prints, but you might need to pay more


    Never heard of such things b4,chemicals are replenished by fresh chemical constantly and those on top will overflow to a tank and get thrown away,they dun change chemicals by draining out the whole machine chemical baths.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Western SG
    Posts
    1,537

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by di0nysus
    change the lab. they prob rarely change their printing solutions.
    So what lab do you go to?

    Kind to share with us

    thks.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks all for the reply. I think i might be facing some colour management problem, so still seeking for more recommendations for good printing lab.

    Besides, i generally find that the photos taken indoor using my DC lacks sharpness and crisp (eg. photo no.16, just updated gallery). Can any kind soul share some tips to improve this?

    Thanks in advance!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •