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Old Aug 4, 2005, 6:03 PM   #1
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I've heard a lot of good reviews about Winkflash (winkflash.com). I normally get our prints from the local Sam's Club. But I went ahead anyway and tried out Winkflash'sphoto printing service. I had about 100 photos printed out by them. All my photos were taken at the highest resolution on my 20D. When viewing these photos on my PC's LCD monitor, they all look "just right" as far as brightness goes. I did not do any post-processing with my photos, I just uploaded the JPG images to their web site. To my disappointment, all the photos seemed a bit dark. I chose matte finish on 4x6's. According to Winkflash's tech support, they use sRGB color profile and they check their equipment several times a day to make sure they're calibrated. Has anyone experienced this brightness problem with Winkflash? For those that use Winkflash, do you guys brighten up your images first before uploading? If so, by how much? Or is my monitor's brightness setting too much and I really do need to make brightness setting adjustments on my 20D? Or ???

I have to give them credit though...they'll take my pictures back for a refund...but the thing is, it'll cost me to send them back. Anyway, here's winkflash's response to my complaint:

"Our printing system reads all image files using the industry-standard color profile: sRGB. No auto-correction is applied to any images uploaded to Winkflash. This is done to allow users to manage the results of their prints. It also allows us to create prints that satisfy any editing the user has applied to their images.

We test our printers over and over throughout the day to ensure that they are printing consistently and correctly according to our color profile. If you were to submit these pictures to us the same way, the results will be the same. We did notice that a lot of your images are naturally dark. However, if you brighten them accordingly, the results will be better. Similarly, while we would be happy to replace photos you received damaged, a reprint would produce the same results in terms of color, which we understand that you are not satisfied with.


We're very sorry to hear you're not pleased with your pictures. As per our satisfaction guarantee, you may return any photos you are not happy with and receive a full refund for the photos. To receive your refund, please return the photos to the address below. Please include a note explaining the reason for the return."
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Old Aug 4, 2005, 7:55 PM   #2
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I've ordered many 5x7 and 4x6 prints from winkflash and have not had any problems with them. I have compared a photo from winkflash and one printed out on my canon ip4000 printer. Both pictures have the same brightness.
All the prints that I have ordered were taken using my canon digital rebel.


The thing Imost like about winkflash is the flat rateshipping and the low price (prints are still very high quality though!)

I've only ordered 5X7 and 4X6 prints from winkflash, but I need to get some larger pictures made. Does anybody know if winkflash's large prints (poster size)turn outgood?

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Old Aug 5, 2005, 5:19 AM   #3
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I have to say I've seen the same results - their photos are consistantly a bit darker than what I see on my monitor or when I print at home. It's not enough of an issue normally - but if a given photo is dark to begin with I need to lighten it up a touch prior to sending to them. I still use them though as the overall quality / price is unmatched by anyone else I've tried.
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Old Aug 10, 2005, 11:48 AM   #4
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I have been using Winkflash for about 10 months now and have not noticed my prints being dark at all. I've ordered 4x6s, 5x7s, 8x10s, 10x13s, 10x15s,16x20s, 24x36s and their 11x17 $1.99 posters (love 'em). I've been happy with almost every print I've gotten from them and love their prices. One time, I received a 16x20 that wasdented. All in all, Ilike them. I have never ordered glossy prints from them though andsometimes their image uploading pisses me off. I've compared my prints from prints on my R800 and they look 95% the same to me...the printing process being the notable difference when viewing with a loupe.
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Old Aug 10, 2005, 11:22 PM   #5
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AlpineMan:

I have recently had an experience with WinkFlash almost identical to yours:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=37

Besides being dark, I felt that the colors were not true. I also shoot with a 20D. Our stories are so similar, there must be a common thread here.

Any ideas out there?
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Old Aug 10, 2005, 11:30 PM   #6
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Does Winkflash print with auto corrections and image enhancements turned on or off? Most consumer labs have them turned on, and ruin all the efforts you have madein Photoshop. Also, some consumer labs won't print without the auto correction stuff turned on even if you request it ... and some give even more horrible results when they do.

I've had really good luck dealing with a pro lab, since they typically have very carefully calibrated equipment, they will print without enhancements turned on, and they will work with you to help you get the results you need. I use a pro lab for anything larger than 4x6 proofs, and for 4x6's I use my Canon Selphy CP600 dye sub, which gives outstanding results.
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Old Aug 11, 2005, 5:51 AM   #7
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They claim they do no auto correction. And again, I've had great results for 10 months but the darkness thing is NOT A ONE TIME THING - I get it quite frequently. It occurs with both glossy and matte. But, obviously I like the overall quality - I'm still using them.
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Old Aug 11, 2005, 8:46 AM   #8
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I'm really tempted to buy an LCD monitor calibration unit. I'm thinking my monitor is too bright and my photos are really under exposed as they had suggested. I've just been "educated" on histograms, and I looked back at the photos that I had printed and alot of them had graphs more towards the left side rather than the center. I have since taken a few new photos with better histograms and submitted them to winkflash. We'll see how it goes.

I really want to keep using winkflash cuz of the many different print sizes they offer. Anyone use any other online printing service that offer the same?
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 7:58 PM   #9
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I received my second set of prints from winkflash...this time, before uploading, I checked each and every photo's histograms to make sure they're "just right"...I didn't rely on my LCD monitor alone this time. What a difference! The photos came out "just right". I'm a happy camper now.

Moral of the story: Learn how to read your histograms and calibrate your LCD/CRT monitor before complaining! :blah:
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