Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 24, 2005, 11:55 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4
Default

I would like to build a high resolution image that will be a combination of images from my camera, along with some cg illustration work mixed in. The image then needs to be posted as a photo quality poster for a gift.

I can handle the graphic work, but I was wondering if anyone can recommend a high quality online poster printing service that would have no problems printing a custom image like this (some shops set up for photo posters do poorly with cg illustration/text/vector graphics and visa versa)

Thanks
devwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 25, 2005, 6:40 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

http://www.westcoastimaging.com/
Has been suggested to me on several occasions. Many pros that I talk with on a separate forum recommended them for really large prints (20x30.) But it wasn't for what you're talking about, it was for pure photos. Still, it is worth calling and asking.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2005, 7:39 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
terry@softreq.com's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,539
Default

Well, a low priced option would be Snapfish.com.

They can do up to a 20x30 for $20.

I'm not sure why there'd be a problem with your poster.

Usually the photographic process these days, even with film, is to scan the negative and loadthe scanned imageon a server

The print process then develops from the scan.

So in a sense, most prints these days are digital, regardless of the source.

So, if you gave your file to a a printing service, they will load it on a server, select the print size, tweak it a bitand then print it.

It shouldn't really matter what the content of your file is.

The next question becomes, "how good is the print process your selected print service will use"?

That's an interesting question, because Snapfish, for instance, provides photo quality prints, but I can beat the print quality on my Canon IP5200R inkjet!

I'd say if you're looking for the best service possible, find a local professional printer thatprints digital images of localwedding photographers.

Believe me, if a wedding photographer trusts the printer to print a 16x20 of the bride and groom suitable for framing, then I'm sure it's going to meet or exceed your standards.

Someprofessional services use the highest quality printing machines, carefully calibrate their machines, replentish the chemicalson a regular basis, use high quality paper, know what their doing and will "tweaK" your print to optimize the output from their machine, etc. etc. etc.

If you really think your vector graphics are going to be a problem, see if you can talk them into producing a 5x7 of a small area of your poster and see if their print process can handle it.

- Terry



terry@softreq.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2005, 9:36 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4
Default

Hi Terry,

The problem with any cheap online photo service is that their printing isn't really meant to be color accurate, but to present an "enjoyable photo" to most people. Now, everyone on this forum knows that, but when printing cg illustration this can be a big problem, because what you see on paper looks nothing like what you see on screen. The inaccuracies are much more obvious than from photo prints, and subtle points in the design can be completely lost. If you work in an office that makes heavy use of kinkos, you may have seen the wildy different results you can wind up with when you hand them a project like this for conferences and whatnot.

I don't have time (at least for this project) to find a local photographer to print this, and the only people I do know locally, and trust, don't have access to a large format printer. The only printers I have access to aren't even close to good enough, because they are for engineering purposes. Most of the time I do have will be spent on making the image.

Which is why I was hoping to just see if anyone had used such a service for a similar project, and achieved nice results. Simple question, just looking for a simple answer. I know if I wanted to spend the money and time I could get the perfect print, but I don't have that luxury. Thanks for the tips though, I will keep them in mind next time.

Also, thanks eric for the tip on west coast, I have seen them before and will look into that as an option.

Merry Christmas :-)
devwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2005, 9:59 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
airshowfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 115
Default

Hmmm, I've always used EZprints.com (they can print panoramics of any width, and they too do 20x30s), but sometimes the colors and contrast are indeed a tad off. I'll have to try the ones you guys recommend. These are such great forums.
airshowfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2005, 8:45 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

You seem to really care about the quality of the print you get. You're not looking for "good enough" you're looking for "as close to perfect as possible." To that end, there is a baseline criteria that I would require.

Whoever you choose should be able to provide you with a printer/paper profile for the setup they will use. If they can't, don't use them. Period. If they say "we'll adjust it to be right" or other hand-waving answers, don't use them. Period.

The only way you can get close to perfect (perfect isn't possible as softproofing on a monitor will never be the same as seeing it in a print. Monitors produce light, prints reflect light. They are inherently different.)

I bet west coast imaging will do that, but ask.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2005, 10:48 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4
Default

Honestly I'm just looking for something that's not total crap. I am much more picky about stuff than the intended recipient, which makes it come across that way. Honestly my monitors aren't even entirely calibrated at the moment, just roughly (I rarely do anything for print), so I wouldn't even expect perfection from such a setup... though the more I do, the better I make my setup, and the more I expect. It's a curse...

West coast does provide the option of doing your own prep, and provide you with the printer info (you can download profiles yourself easy enough on their site). If I calibrate my gear properly first, this is certainly an appealing option, especially for future projects where I will probably be more picky.

For quicker, dirtier jobs, it might be nice to find someplace more in the consumer price range who will a) provide printer/paper info and b) agree not to post-process the image if you say so. That would be a nice asset for work-related jobs.

I really appreciate this discussion. I only have basic out-of-curiosity experience in this area, and you have helped push me in the right direction.

eric s wrote:
Quote:
You seem to really care about the quality of the print you get. You're not looking for "good enough" you're looking for "as close to perfect as possible." To that end, there is a baseline criteria that I would require.
devwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2005, 2:10 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
LadyhawkVA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,374
Default

I've used www.kodakgallery.com for several 16x20 posters. They do a pretty good job. The last one that I had done was a collage of marching band photos which came out nicely in the large print size (see attachment below). I gave it to my son for Christmas and he loves it.

Kodak also offers 20x30 sizes but I haven't needed anything that large yet. The 16x20s are about $18.00 and the 20x30 are about $22.00 or so. Of course, you have to add shipping costs to that.

All you have to do is upload your finished .jpg image to kodak. For best results, make sure you have the ratio (2:3 for a 20x30 poster) exactly the way you want it. The site allows you to preview the photo as it will print at various sizes. It also has a "zoom & trim" feature that you can turn off or on as you wish - the default setting is turned on. Also, if your image does not have enough resolution to print at larger sizes you will get a warning. I doubt that this will be an issue for the project you are compiling.

I hope this information helps.
Attached Images
 
LadyhawkVA is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:15 AM.