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Thread started 21 Oct 2008 (Tuesday) 12:25
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ever use CVS or Walgreens for photo printing? (very dark photos)

 
timrocks311
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Oct 21, 2008 12:25 |  #1

anyone ever use any of these stores for photo printing? CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, etc? do you use the do-it-yourself printer thing?

i'm supposed to print out photos for a wednesday evening class. a few weeks ago i printed some. uploaded the photos to CVS website, picked them up the next day and they were significantly darker than on my monitor. i've taken more pictures for this wednesday's class and want to print them now. i've viewed them on two different monitors and my iPod and they all seem fine.

today i went to RiteAid at lunch to upload them and print....again, all really dark. you can adjust the brightness of your photos but that's bullsh*t. i want my photos the way i shot them, i'm not going to waste my time editing the brightness of all the photos individually, and who knows how their turn out even after that (some too bright, some still dark, etc.)

any recommendations for getting prints by tomorrow evening?

thanks!


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Jim ­ G
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Oct 21, 2008 12:30 |  #2

First off.... what sort of monitor are you using? Is it calibrated? How do your photos look on a calibrated monitor? May well be your monitor rather than the printers.


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DeCeccoNET
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Oct 21, 2008 12:33 |  #3

I too use CVS in a pinch from time to time, but have ALWAYS had noticablly inferior results when compared to using my photo printers. I have also encountered several situations where I could see warnings about certin colors being low or in need of replacement but the reps would "assure" me that the photos would print no differently (they were terrible).

If you want consistantly good photos by tomorrow evening, i would suggest investing in an inexpensive photo printer (I like the canon piximas myself). I also find that you get the best results when your paper matches the brand of the printer (i use canon "photo paper plus glossy").

I know this is going to be an initial investment of close to $100 up front at least, but if this is for a class, you may find yourself saving money in the long run, rather than wasting time, money and gas doing back and forth to cvs.


If that is not an option for you, i have had better results through uploading and picking up at costco believe it or not, but you need to be a member, and have one in your area.


Good luck!


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timrocks311
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Oct 21, 2008 12:35 |  #4

i have an iMac at home, a dell PC at work. i've never calibrated either or used a calibrated monitor. i have a hard time believing my photos would show up that dark if i calibrated my monitor.


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Dchemist
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Oct 21, 2008 13:47 as a reply to  @ timrocks311's post |  #5

I have used Walgreens occasionly without issue. Its cheap and location convenient. Normally, I use and recommend www.whcc.com (external link)


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londonblue007
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Oct 21, 2008 16:58 as a reply to  @ Dchemist's post |  #6

I like Ritz Camera. A little expensive I think, but convenient to where I work, and the quality is always pretty good.

Just an FYI, Ritz has some absurd corporate policy that they "touch up" all photos they get to be "print quality", which has ruined some of my work, especially photos I purposely shot/edited to be rather dark. I assume it's because 95% of photos they print come from P&S's and need a little TLC. My photos on the other hand already had TLC and I want them printed they way I want them.

Just tell them when you finish uploading them or in the notes on the website that you want them printed as is. The one near me has no problem with this as it actually cuts down the time they spend working.


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timrocks311
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Oct 22, 2008 10:02 |  #7

i actually went to Ritz to print my photos. i told them i didn't want the touch up. they came out good enough for my liking. much better than the other places.

i do have a nice Lexmark printer so i'm looking at getting their photo cartridge and photo paper to print some myself in the future.


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londonblue007
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Oct 22, 2008 10:25 as a reply to  @ timrocks311's post |  #8

A friend of mine runs a print shop at a graphic design and printing house. He's got all the fancy high end printers for reproducing fine art and all that.

He told me that CVS, Walgreens, etc use low end printers that have lots of quality problems.
Ritz uses the higher end printers, including some of the same ones he works with.
When he get's things printed for himself, he goes to ritz. (since it is unethical to print at work :))


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WillMass
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Oct 22, 2008 11:48 as a reply to  @ londonblue007's post |  #9

While I don't use any of the mentioned sources for print fulfillment, I can say; At least in my area, the sources mentioned use Noritsu or Fuji Frontier minilabs. Neither of which can be accurately called "Low End". The problem can come from several different places in the chain.

On the vendor's end: Poor machine maintenance, old or bad chemistry, incompetent staff, lack of proper paper set up and more.

On your end: Lack of a calibrated, color managed work environment, Not using available profiles for the printers used, and/or exposure issues with the files in question.


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ever use CVS or Walgreens for photo printing? (very dark photos)
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