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View Full Version : Walgreens as a printer?


VladDracule
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 14:30
hello all i was wondering if anyone ever uses their local walgreens as a photo printer? im not sure of anywhere else in town except for like costco and places like that.

What im wondering is i know they can get a little expensive but are they decent quality prints? also do i need to change to a specific color space before printing?

thanks in advance

Merlin Driver
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 16:20
I know a lot of people use Costco....

Lynn

Headcase650
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 18:43
Iv used walgreens when in a rush fully knowing their prints suck monkey parts.

BillyR
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 19:00
I shoot a lot of pictures at various church and cultural events at the request of the organizers, although I'm every bit an amateur. I've experimented with various developers such as Sam's, Walgreen's Eckerdís, CVS, etc., and have finally concluded that I can't use any commercial photo developer. I have never been able to get results comparable to those I get with my trusty Epson R1800 or even with my ancient Epson PictureMate PAL.

Every time I've attempted to use a commercial processor I would have 5 or 6 prints made, bring them home, and laboriously calibrate my screen. I would then edit the picture files and take the whole bunch to the store to be printed. No matter what I do, the prints still don't come back the same, not even close. I still don't know why, but they don't.

This is quite irritating, because it would be much easier to make disks and distribute the disks to 25 or 30 people rather than print them myself, but as of now that's what I'm doing. Although it costs me a bit more, I charge them a quarter per 4 x 6 print just to recoup some of my expenses.

It would be nice to know if anyone's found a commercial processor that gives good results.

VladDracule
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 20:00
thanks thats good to know. it would be so much more convenient to just take them somewhere...i unfortunetly dont have a great photo printer though i only have an HP D7360...i wish i could get just straight 8x10 paper for it and not 8 1/2 x 11...

liza
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 20:13
They suck deeply. I did a comparison between them, Sam's Club, and Mpix. Mpix was the clear winner.

mbellot
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 20:44
Ready for some "ifs"?

If you have a calibrated (truly calibrated) monitor and
If you can get a printer profile for your specific store and
If you follow the right steps then

you can indeed get great prints locally.


My monitor is calibrated every two months with a Spyder2Pro,
The latest printer profile for my local CostCo is available @ www.drycreekphoto.com
I follow the steps outline @ drycreek for getting the photos I see on my monitor

I have only been unhappy once, when I was in a hurry, skipped everything and just sent sRGB photos and left "Auto Correct" set to on. I had about 10 photos out of almost 100 that I had to reprint after running through the entire process.

To be fair, they were awful stage lighting with heavy purple and black areas - I'm not overly surprised Auto Correct went wacky.

If you have a CostCo nearby I would recommend you give them a try. I only print things at home that I need "right now" at odd hours. If it can wait, or if I can get them over at least an hour before closing its CostCo all the way.

DAMphyne
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 21:07
My Epson printer cost about $100, ink cartridges at Sam's club, about $50 a set(6).
Good for about 25 8x10 prints, paper cost $.75 for Premium Glossy.
Higher quality prints than I get from any of the local processors.
What's wrong with 8.5 x 11 paper?

BillyR
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 21:16
CostCo Thanks for that information. I have been looking for something like that for a very long time, but nobody in the stores I've used had any idea what I was talking about. Unfortunately the nearest CostCo to me is more than 100 miles away, so the information won't do me any good right now. However, there must be profiles available somewhere for some of these other stores, so Mr. Google and I will have to redouble our efforts.

VladDracule
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 21:22
the problem with 8 1/2 x 11 paper for me is im a complete and total and complete utter noob when it comes to editing. if i want a 8x10 print you know youd think it be as easy as leaving some extra photo in your crop so you can just cut the actualy print but...i tend to leave too much and have too much head room or too little and cut off a finger

mbellot
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 23:13
My Epson printer cost about $100, ink cartridges at Sam's club, about $50 a set(6).
Good for about 25 8x10 prints, paper cost $.75 for Premium Glossy.
Higher quality prints than I get from any of the local processors.
What's wrong with 8.5 x 11 paper?

Seriously? I use an Epson (R300), and no question the output is great for a cheap ($250-ish when I bought it) ink jet printer, but the CostCo prints are (IMHO) better when I take the time to do it right.

The cost breakdown is better too.

CostCo is $1.49 (+tax) for an 8x10 or 8x12.

If you're pricing is accurate an 8x10 costs you ~ $2.75 if you don't factor in the cost of the printer, or $3 per print for the first 400 prints.

The economy is even better for smaller prints, 5x7 are $0.39 each, you get two on a sheet, 4x6 are $0.17 each and you can still only get two (three if you're really creative) on a sheet.


BillyR: Regarding profiles, good luck with your search. Do you know if you can turn off "Auto Correct" or "Photo Enhance" (or similar)? If so, then the chances of finding a profile should be fairly good.

Also, you may want to talk directly to the photo technician at the store(s). I can't speak about Sam's or Walgreens, but the photo technicians @ CostCo are definitely somewhat technically savvy.

mbellot
25th of January 2008 (Fri), 23:16
the problem with 8 1/2 x 11 paper for me is im a complete and total and complete utter noob when it comes to editing. if i want a 8x10 print you know youd think it be as easy as leaving some extra photo in your crop so you can just cut the actualy print but...i tend to leave too much and have too much head room or too little and cut off a finger

If you're using Photoshop its a simple matter to crop your photo to 8x10.

Then when you print select 100% scaling and "center" the image on the page.

You should end up with an 8x10 (or darn close) centered on the 8.5x11 sheet thats a breeze to trim.

BillyR
26th of January 2008 (Sat), 08:42
Do you know if you can turn off "Auto Correct" or "Photo Enhance" (or similar)? Yeah, I have full control with Photoshop CS3. I also have calibration hardware, an old Pantone Colorvision, that I run from time to time, and it keeps my screen calibrated for my R1800 printer. I'm eventually going to upgrade to a Spyder 2 or something like that, but for now the old Colorvision does the job. I suppose I could do this with Costco by mail, but it seems impractical to join just for that. Guess I'll keep looking for the profiles for some local processor. And by the way, I always print with the Epson paper profiles that are provided by the company for Photoshop and turn off the printer driver when I print my pictures.

Re the 8Ĺ X 11 issue, I used to use that size photo paper and QImage to put 3 - 4 X 6s, 2 - 5 X 7s, etc., on one sheet of paper, but finally switched to edge-to-edge printing on the appropriate sized photo paper, and saved myself a lot of time and trouble. I would never go back to all that cutting and trimming again! And no matter how carefully I used to do it they were always a little off.

Littlefield
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 06:10
Ready for some "ifs"?

If you have a calibrated (truly calibrated) monitor and
If you can get a printer profile for your specific store and
If you follow the right steps then

you can indeed get great prints locally.


My monitor is calibrated every two months with a Spyder2Pro,
The latest printer profile for my local CostCo is available @ www.drycreekphoto.com (http://www.drycreekphoto.com)
I follow the steps outline @ drycreek for getting the photos I see on my monitor

I have only been unhappy once, when I was in a hurry, skipped everything and just sent sRGB photos and left "Auto Correct" set to on. I had about 10 photos out of almost 100 that I had to reprint after running through the entire process.

To be fair, they were awful stage lighting with heavy purple and black areas - I'm not overly surprised Auto Correct went wacky.

If you have a CostCo nearby I would recommend you give them a try. I only print things at home that I need "right now" at odd hours. If it can wait, or if I can get them over at least an hour before closing its CostCo all the way.




Also if you have photoshop to do this right with the profile ? I mean just LR would not be enough even if your moniitor is calibrated with Eye one display 2 ? How good is Costco if you put srgb tiff or jpegs on cd from LR ?
Thanks
Don

mbellot
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 10:05
Also if you have photoshop to do this right with the profile ? I mean just LR would not be enough even if your moniitor is calibrated with Eye one display 2 ? How good is Costco if you put srgb tiff or jpegs on cd from LR ?
Thanks
Don

I don't use LR so I can't answer that.

I don't use the kiosks @ Costco, I upload everything to the online photocenter. I've heard that the kiosks use some fairly aggressive compression to keep storage to a minimum.

VladDracule
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 12:37
see to me it just doesnt make sense that printers like the r1800 and such are better than what places like walgreens have. it seems to me like a company like that would be able to afford the quality of printers that every day people like us cant.

Littlefield
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 17:41
I don't use LR so I can't answer that.

I don't use the kiosks @ Costco, I upload everything to the online photocenter. I've heard that the kiosks use some fairly aggressive compression to keep storage to a minimum.
Do you use profiles from dry creek photo ? Do you use photoshop with them ?
What I am saying to use them you have to have phtoshop right ?
Thanks

mbellot
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 22:56
Do you use profiles from dry creek photo ? Do you use photoshop with them ?
What I am saying to use them you have to have phtoshop right ?
Thanks

I don't think you have to use photoshop specifically. Any program thats color "aware" (I'd guess LR is, but its just a guess) should work. I've even seen standalone programs that take an image and convert them between color spaces. Here (http://www.drycreekphoto.com/tools/index.html)

I am using the profiles from drycreek with PS, but I don't think its your only option.

EDIT: I just did a quick Google, and it looks like GIMP (www.gimp.org) (free image editor, PS-like) supports color profiles. If they ever get 16 bit support I may have to seriously consider switching.

Littlefield
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 23:40
I don't think you have to use photoshop specifically. Any program thats color "aware" (I'd guess LR is, but its just a guess) should work. I've even seen standalone programs that take an image and convert them between color spaces. Here (http://www.drycreekphoto.com/tools/index.html)

I am using the profiles from drycreek with PS, but I don't think its your only option.

EDIT: I just did a quick Google, and it looks like GIMP (http://www.gimp.org) (free image editor, PS-like) supports color profiles. If they ever get 16 bit support I may have to seriously consider switching.
Thanks I guess I could use that converter with my PSE3 .
I noticed our North hills Lab in SC is on the dryphoto list too and I have used them with my 35 mm film before I guess I can talk with them too but I have an Epson printer that I use a home that does well except for Black and white and larger then 8 x 10. Seems that computer stuff may be more trouble :)
Don