Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 25 Sep 2014 (Thursday) 07:29
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Better printing than mpix/shutterfly?

 
vengence
Goldmember
2,103 posts
Likes: 107
Joined Mar 2013
     
Sep 25, 2014 07:29 |  #1

I've been buying economy prints from mpix/shutterfly recently. While they're great for prints given to older family members, I'm finding the color & exposure to be significantly off from my calibrated monitor. The exposure can be off by 2 stops sometimes. My wife wants me to order a significant number of family photos for photo albums, so I'm looking for something that will be much truer and will last. I don't know if it's just that I'm buying economy prints and should be buying one of the more expensive options, or if there are better companies out there I should be ordering from. Any suggestions?




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
Bleufire
Goldmember
Avatar
1,203 posts
Likes: 53
Joined Mar 2008
Location: California
     
Sep 25, 2014 12:08 |  #2

I was about to ask if you were using a calibrated monitor but missed that sentence that you did... although when was the last time you calibrated? Try calibrating again?

I use Bay Photo and they nail it every time for me. I had ok success with mpix but their quality wasn't as nice as Bay's when I ordered from them. My wife order's shutterfly books and the quality in there seems decent enough for what you describe.

Also, I've actually read a lot on here that Costco does a pretty decent job on prints, so maybe check them out?

Another thing, try sending the same files (or a couple of them) to your Costco, Target and maybe few others and compare those prints with your Shutterfly/mpix prints and see if they really do vary from one another. If they don't vary then there is probably some other underlying issues with your monitor. (or entire setup) It would cost you a few bucks in prints and a couple in gas but would give you a good direction to go to from there.


5D*Sigma 50/1.4*EF 17-40/4
New to Photography? ----> ENJOY! Canon DSLR! (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tonylong
...winded
Avatar
54,657 posts
Gallery: 60 photos
Likes: 545
Joined Sep 2007
Location: Vancouver, WA USA
     
Sep 25, 2014 12:09 |  #3

Where do you live! In the USA there are several good print providers, but give us some info!!


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
Tony Long Photos on PBase (external link)
Wildlife project pics here (external link), Biking Photog shoots here (external link), "Suburbia" project here (external link)! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics here (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Redcrown
Senior Member
338 posts
Likes: 33
Joined Dec 2008
     
Sep 25, 2014 12:51 |  #4

Never used Shutterfly for prints, but my wife has done a few books there. I print all the big stuff at home, but use Mpix for small stuff (wallets, 4x6, 5x7). Both Shutterfly books and Mpix prints come back a good match to my calibrated monitor. Certainly not perfect, but fairly close.

But a couple things to consider:

When you claibrate your monitor you choose the brightness (cd squared). To match prints in exposure, the monitor needs be calibrated at 90 to 100 cd2. If you calibrate at the often recommended 120 cd2 or greater, then your prints will look 1 to 2 stops darker than the monitor.

When you submit to Mpix, make sure you have "auto correct" turned off. If it's on (which is default), then Mpix will change your colors. And they have a reputation for making "unwanted" auto correction. Plus, they never do it the same way twice. An image submitted this month will look different than the same image submitted last month. I suspect Shutterfly is the same.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
RMH
Goldmember
Avatar
1,000 posts
Likes: 34
Joined Jan 2011
Location: Canterbury
     
Sep 25, 2014 12:55 |  #5

Redcrown wrote in post #17177221 (external link)
When you submit to Mpix, make sure you have "auto correct" turned off. If it's on (which is default), then Mpix will change your colors. And they have a reputation for making "unwanted" auto correction. Plus, they never do it the same way twice. An image submitted this month will look different than the same image submitted last month. I suspect Shutterfly is the same.

I will second this. I had all sorts of crazy results from them until I started opting out of 'auto-correct'.



All the stuff I've owned at one time or another

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
DC ­ Fan
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
5,881 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 50
Joined Oct 2005
     
Sep 25, 2014 13:40 |  #6

vengence wrote in post #17176651 (external link)
I've been buying economy prints from mpix/shutterfly recently. While they're great for prints given to older family members, I'm finding the color & exposure to be significantly off from my calibrated monitor. The exposure can be off by 2 stops sometimes. My wife wants me to order a significant number of family photos for photo albums, so I'm looking for something that will be much truer and will last. I don't know if it's just that I'm buying economy prints and should be buying one of the more expensive options, or if there are better companies out there I should be ordering from. Any suggestions?

If you want complete control over printing, buy a printer and learn how to best use it. Canon offers several lines of good photo printers (external link), starting with low-cost units, and extending to units intended for larger prints (external link).

Of course, if you want absolute color matching accuracy from camera to printer to display you'll need to go though a process of profiling every component. It's not an easy or fast process and will require testing the printer and the profiles available and also testing the brands of photo paper on the market.

Even with calibrated and profiled equipment, you're going to encounter minor mismatches in the process, as you'll learn when you discover the differences between color spaces used by printers and monitors. Also there are unavoidable variations between additive, reflective and transmissive displays, which also are factors in image processing.

However, if you want absolute control over what you get from a print, all of these are factors you will need to study, understand and master.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
vengence
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
2,103 posts
Likes: 107
Joined Mar 2013
     
Sep 25, 2014 19:15 |  #7

Live in the US, so any recommendations here would be great.
I
've got a Pixma Pro 100, so I could print them my self, though if I can buy at an economical price, I'd rather buy. Printing tons of photos at home just seems like a pain. I generally use it for 13x19s when I've got something I want to frame and wall hang, but otherwise it tends to just sit.

And I don't need 100% color accuracy, but some of what I've gotten back hasn't even been close. And I do uncheck the auto-correct. I'll have to check what brightness I've got setup.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tonylong
...winded
Avatar
54,657 posts
Gallery: 60 photos
Likes: 545
Joined Sep 2007
Location: Vancouver, WA USA
     
Sep 25, 2014 19:28 |  #8

Try AdoramaPix, do some small test pics to start with!!


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
Tony Long Photos on PBase (external link)
Wildlife project pics here (external link), Biking Photog shoots here (external link), "Suburbia" project here (external link)! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics here (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
marcheseg
Member
Avatar
173 posts
Gallery: 78 photos
Likes: 302
Joined Apr 2008
Location: Boston, USA
     
Sep 25, 2014 20:35 as a reply to  @ tonylong's post |  #9

I was a big Costco fan until one order that was a little off. I switched to AdoramaPix and have been using them ever since. Every once in a while I will send an order to AdoramaPix and send 1 or 2 pics to Costco (I just did this last week) and I still find AdoramaPix has a better consistent quality than Costco. And I found that AdoramaPix uses thicker paper than Costco.


CANON 6D | 77D | 50mm 1.8 II | 28mm 2.8 | 85mm 1.8 USM |15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM | 70-300L f4-5.6 IS USM | 24-105L f4 IS USM | 17-40L f4 USM |18-200 f3.5-5.6 IS | 55-250 IS STM | 10-18 f4.5-5.6 IS STM | Flashpoint TTL Zoom Speedlight

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tim
Light Bringer
Avatar
50,987 posts
Likes: 361
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
     
Sep 26, 2014 01:53 |  #10

Two stops is massive. Sure it's not a pebkac error? Can you put a jpeg you submitted as you submitted it online so we can take a look, in case you need a few tips? Unlikely but best to rule it out.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
snerd
Senior Member
Avatar
662 posts
Gallery: 14 photos
Likes: 187
Joined Nov 2010
Location: Oklahoma
     
Sep 26, 2014 02:05 |  #11

Nations Photo Lab (external link)




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
PhotosGuy
Moderator
Avatar
75,885 posts
Gallery: 8 photos
Likes: 2531
Joined Feb 2004
Location: Middle of Michigan
     
Sep 27, 2014 09:31 |  #12

Bleufire wrote in post #17177138 (external link)
Another thing, try sending the same files (or a couple of them) to your Costco, Target and maybe few others and compare those prints with your Shutterfly/mpix prints and see if they really do vary from one another. If they don't vary then there is probably some other underlying issues with your monitor. (or entire setup) It would cost you a few bucks in prints and a couple in gas but would give you a good direction to go to from there.

You said that you'd calibrated your monitor, but even if you've done it correctly, keep in mind that some lab people do it every day before they start work. So it's not a "do it once & forget it" thing.

Try these test files at the bottom of:
http://www.gballard.ne​t/psd/srgbforwww.html (external link)
Then you can be sure that what you're printing is really what you think you're printing. ; )


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Bleufire
Goldmember
Avatar
1,203 posts
Likes: 53
Joined Mar 2008
Location: California
     
Sep 29, 2014 17:47 |  #13

PhotosGuy wrote in post #17180281 (external link)
You said that you'd calibrated your monitor, but even if you've done it correctly, keep in mind that some lab people do it every day before they start work. So it's not a "do it once & forget it" thing.

Try these test files at the bottom of:
http://www.gballard.ne​t/psd/srgbforwww.html (external link)
Then you can be sure that what you're printing is really what you think you're printing. ; )



I think you replied to the wrong person but I definitely calibrate and check the photos before sending in an order. And this is just a hobby for me.

My point was if OP is saying that it might be with the lab, he should test the SAME file with another labs print and compare the two (or three) to see if there is any variation to rule out PEBKAC. OP said he had a calibrated monitor but how recent he calibrated it was not answered.

My guess is that it is going to be the OP's files because as Tim said:

Two stops is massive.

Even when I had a non-calibrated monitor my prints were not that bad.


5D*Sigma 50/1.4*EF 17-40/4
New to Photography? ----> ENJOY! Canon DSLR! (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
rubypickles
Member
33 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Apr 2012
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C.
     
Sep 29, 2014 18:40 |  #14

I like WHCC and Millers (although if you're using Mpix, you may not like Millers since they are the same company). Calibrating your monitor and using the lab's ICC profiles make a big difference.


My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com​/photos/43306105@N06/ (external link)
My website: http://www.nicoleisrae​lphotography.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
PhotosGuy
Moderator
Avatar
75,885 posts
Gallery: 8 photos
Likes: 2531
Joined Feb 2004
Location: Middle of Michigan
     
Sep 29, 2014 21:39 |  #15

Bleufire wrote in post #17184634 (external link)
I think you replied to the wrong person but...

I was referencing your post & adding to it. Sorry for the confusion.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

5,440 views & 0 likes for this thread
Better printing than mpix/shutterfly?
FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is lf_alex
834 guests, 343 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.