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Old Dec 26, 2007, 6:21 PM   #11
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I would find someplace else to get my prints done then. If they are willing to take the time they should be able to correct most things. If your original image isn't overexposed then it is some thing on their system and not you. A user edited image could be more tricky for their system compared to an image straight from the camera. But, even with the tricky part the most I would expect is no more than 1/2 stop over or under exposed which wouldn't be an image killer. I would also expect some minor color matching issues. Basically as long as your image is edited and looks decent it should come out pretty close to that if the person running the machine A) knows what they are doing, B) The company in general isn't a "if the machine doesn't do it right too bad, we aren't tweaking anything" type of company. C) they give a pooh about their customers and their photos.

It sounds like at least A, B are the problem and probably C. This means find a new place to have your prints made. I would suggest one of the self-service kiosks then you have a great deal of control. Those prints however are usually done on a dye-sub printer (still ok). If you want real chemically done prints then you would have to find a full service place that does that kind of digital photo prints. Here in Santa Rosa there is only one place I know of that does chemically processed digital photo prints and you pay a higher price for that. But, I think they are better images. They also stand there and tweak each image for the best possible print.

To some extent you get what you pay for. Some places that are supposed to be pretty good with a fair price is Costco, Target, Walmart, Walgreens. I have never used any of these places but if the price is right take the same say 20 photos and have them printed at each place. Make sure to include a range of images. Some direct from the camera, with no editing, some edited to what you want, some with a color cast (nothing super strong we must be fair), some over exposed and some under exposed by 1/2 to 1 stop. See which one handles these problem images and the normal images the best and use them.

Robert
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 6:30 PM   #12
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I only go to a Ritz Camera store to buy accessories I don't want to wait for by ordering online from B&H. And then every now and then I go in for the chuckles it brings when folks behind the counter start their "I Know Everthing and You Know Nothing" Spiel! I get a laugh every time!! LOL

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Old Dec 26, 2007, 7:48 PM   #13
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bigdawg wrote:
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I only go to a Ritz Camera store to buy accessories I don't want to wait for by ordering online from B&H. And then every now and then I go in for the chuckles it brings when folks behind the counter start their "I Know Everthing and You Know Nothing" Spiel! I get a laugh every time!! LOL

Dawg
WOW I find that interesting. I really don't like Ritz because they don't carry that much. But I have never had the "I Know Everthing and You Know Nothing" problem there. A problem I have had in other stores. Unfortunately the only other store close to me (which does carry a lot of equipment) is one I refuse to give my business because they are such shysters.

I print most of my stuff at home but I do it for convenience. If I had a lot of prints to make at one time I would have it done outside. Printing at home is more expensive.

When you print an image the printer driver has to convert it to a language the printer understands and resample it to fit, taking into account the dpi of that printer. (Which has nothing to do with the dpi or more accurately the ppi of the image) That could explain a slight difference between the two prints but not a big one.

By the way I'm not a Pentax user but I agree with pwithem "the pentax crowd gives good feedback" and a lot of interesting threads. Many of which are not strictly speaking pentax only subjects.

TJ

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Old Dec 26, 2007, 8:15 PM   #14
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As an experiment last September (2006) I sent the same image online to Ritz, Walmart, Walgreens and Target. They were all full size photos from my K100D, requested to be printed as 8 x 10. All to be done one-hour.

Target's came out with a blotch in the middle of the photo that they said came that way. I found out their image service goes through Yahoo to get to them.

Walmart's image was fine, but it was printed on non-glossy paper because I hadn't requested glossy.

Walgreen's was fine.

Ritz was actually the best. But, not by a ton over Walgreen's. They told me they adjust things on the photo before processing. Walgreen's said they take them as they come. I know someone who works in another Ritz store and he told me they do process each image separately, not put the machine on auto. But, that might just be to get your business. How many people actually submit the same photo to different places to compare.

Although, a few years ago I had submitted some rolls of film to Ritz and every photo came back with what looked like liquid dripping down the images. When I brought them back they said it was my camera. But, when I looked at the negatives when I got home there was no "drip" down the negative. I never did bring them back to be reprinted. I'd had a CD made and printed them myself at home.

It was a noisy image (One of the first with my camera when it had been set at ISO3200 and I hadn't realized it. My camera had been the store model for one day.) Ritz was the only one that noticed the blurriness and tried to fix it for me and then helped me to figure out why the camera had given me such noise. The others either hadn't noticed it or said they had no idea. At first they told me I should have bought a C or N and I wouldn't have had that problem.

Anyway, just my results from testing out the locals with the same image. I think it all depends on the person running the equipment, too. It is mostly automatic, but if the person knows what to look for in a good image and can use additional software (like our Ritz has) to tweak it, and is willing to tweak it, you'll get better results. I don't think Target or Walgreens had any addiitonal software, but think Walmart may.

I agree with all the others, the dpi of both images you submitted should not have made a difference in the exposure of the image. I would think that Costco requesting nothing less than 300dpi was for their own protection of people sending them in 3MP camera images and asking for poster size prints.

Anyway, just my two cents worth on the topic.

Patty


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Old Dec 26, 2007, 8:24 PM   #15
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A couple of more things to keep in mind...

1) Photographic prints are a personal thing. What you like others may not. Go with what you like. I know it is a no brainer, but I have seen a lot of people go with something or other simply because a bunch of other people said it was better than what the person really liked.

2) Even the best lab will on rare occasion produce a bad print. Nothing made by man (or woman, though the do get it closer than man. I have to say that my wife is standing her watching me type!) is perfect.

3) If you have a problem with a print tell them about it and ask that they reprint it. If they won't run. Just don't get picky of tiny things. But an image that shows on screen as perfectly exposed and comes out over exposed is one that you ask them to reprint. They should not charge for this.

4) When you find a place you like suck up. Be nice to the service people, it pays off. Show them you shots and ask for advice. Sure most probably don't know jack, but talking with them can really help. That is of course if it some place that isn't so busy you cause a line behind you.

Robert
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 8:25 PM   #16
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nhmom wrote:
Quote:
As an experiment last September (2006) I sent the same image online to Ritz, Walmart, Walgreens and Target. They were all full size photos from my K100D, requested to be printed as 8 x 10. All to be done one-hour.

Target's came out with a blotch in the middle of the photo that they said came that way. I found out their image service goes through Yahoo to get to them.

Walmart's image was fine, but it was printed on non-glossy paper because I hadn't requested glossy.

Walgreen's was fine.

Ritz was actually the best. But, not by a ton over Walgreen's. They told me they adjust things on the photo before processing. Walgreen's said they take them as they come. I know someone who works in another Ritz store and he told me they do process each image separately, not put the machine on auto. But, that might just be to get your business. How many people actually submit the same photo to different places to compare.

Although, a few years ago I had submitted some rolls of film to Ritz and every photo came back with what looked like liquid dripping down the images. When I brought them back they said it was my camera. But, when I looked at the negatives when I got home there was no "drip" down the negative. I never did bring them back to be reprinted. I'd had a CD made and printed them myself at home.

It was a noisy image (One of the first with my camera when it had been set at ISO3200 and I hadn't realized it. My camera had been the store model for one day.) Ritz was the only one that noticed the blurriness and tried to fix it for me and then helped me to figure out why the camera had given me such noise. The others either hadn't noticed it or said they had no idea. At first they told me I should have bought a C or N and I wouldn't have had that problem.

Anyway, just my results from testing out the locals with the same image. I think it all depends on the person running the equipment, too. It is mostly automatic, but if the person knows what to look for in a good image and can use additional software (like our Ritz has) to tweak it, and is willing to tweak it, you'll get better results. I don't think Target or Walgreens had any addiitonal software, but think Walmart may.

I agree with all the others, the dpi of both images you submitted should not have made a difference in the exposure of the image. I would think that Costco requesting nothing less than 300dpi was for their own protection of people sending them in 3MP camera images and asking for poster size prints.

Anyway, just my two cents worth on the topic.

Patty

It probably is a thing of different stores doing things differently because different folks are waiting on the customers at different stores and at different times..I went into a Wolfes in the mall and they had hired a new person that week...Least she said that...But over all she is the only one at their store that has ever tried to help and not tell me what I need. she at least asked instead of telling me I need a Nikon or a Canon...Or I need a wide angle lens when I was looking for a 300mm Prime......The overalls and Beard and long hair with the denim shirt with the sleeves cut off must have thrown the others off a little! LOL

Dawg
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 8:35 PM   #17
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I don't know about digital yet, but for prints from film my favorite one hour place was Longs Drugs. The usually put young kids who are photo enthusiast at the photo counter. They don't know much. But they know they don't know much and are eager to learn. Thus when there was a problem with the automated print, rather than give me the "it's your camera" crap. They would listen to my advice and work with me to get a good print.
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 8:55 PM   #18
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Sounds like the new girl I ran into!

Dawg
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 11:40 PM   #19
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Has any one tried mPix.com. I have heard they are very good and their prices don't seem bad.

As a side note I just did my first photo book. A friend of mine who is 82 went with his wife to mexico (she teaches folk art classes at the local collages and they went for study, well she did). He gave me copies of all 5000 shots he took with the 4 cameras he took I picked out the best 82, adjusted them, cropped them, etc. and then designed the book using Blurb.com and their software. I uploaded the book and for a little less than $30 I got back a very nice hard cover book. The photos came out quite nice and they were very helpful.

Their software is still in beta and has a few bugs, but they were open to suggestions and the finished book with the dust cover (which I designed) and the sewn binding was quite nice. It was this book that I gave them for Christmas.

The only other price I have ever had prints done was Shutterfly and they turned out nice. My only complaint was that I chose the size that prevents image cropping and now I have about 70 photos that won't fit in a standard pocket photo album. I would not choose that size again. However, the prints are very nice and the service was pretty quick.

Beyond this I either print my own or go to my local Shutterbug store and have the digital files chemically printed. I don't do a lot of printing myself or take out. I like to do multimedia things with my photos and am now getting in to video with the photos. This had been a lot of fun. You would be surprised at what you can do with a still photo in Adobe After Effects. You can make it look like video in a number of ways and not use the Ken Burns Pan and Zoom effect either.

Robert
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Old Dec 27, 2007, 12:09 AM   #20
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Why not just get them done by Kodak...They have been in buisiness a couple of years or so...LOL
http://www.kodakgallery.com/LargerPrints.jsp?
http://www.kodakgallery.com/PrintsOv...31_52565944912




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