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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 25 Jan 2008 (Friday) 14:30
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Walgreens as a printer?

 
VladDracule
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Jan 25, 2008 14:30 |  #1

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


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Merlin ­ Driver
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Jan 25, 2008 16:20 |  #2

I know a lot of people use Costco....

Lynn




  
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Headcase650
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Jan 25, 2008 18:43 |  #3

Iv used walgreens when in a rush fully knowing their prints suck monkey parts.


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BillyR
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Jan 25, 2008 19:00 as a reply to  @ Headcase650's post |  #4

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 Eckerd’s, 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.


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VladDracule
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Jan 25, 2008 20:00 |  #5

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...


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liza
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Jan 25, 2008 20:13 |  #6
bannedPermanent ban

They suck deeply. I did a comparison between them, Sam's Club, and Mpix. Mpix was the clear winner.



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mbellot
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Jan 25, 2008 20:44 as a reply to  @ liza's post |  #7

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 (external link)
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.




  
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DAMphyne
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Jan 25, 2008 21:07 |  #8

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?


David
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BillyR
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Jan 25, 2008 21:16 |  #9

mbellot wrote in post #4783893 (external link)
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.


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VladDracule
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Jan 25, 2008 21:22 |  #10

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


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mbellot
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Jan 25, 2008 23:13 |  #11

DAMphyne wrote in post #4784001 (external link)
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.




  
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mbellot
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Jan 25, 2008 23:16 |  #12

VladDracule wrote in post #4784073 (external link)
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.




  
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BillyR
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Jan 26, 2008 08:42 |  #13

mbellot wrote in post #4784653 (external link)
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 8½ 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.


EOS 5D, 5D MK II, 20D
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2-EX 580s, LC-5 Wireless Controller, ST-E2 Wireless Transmitter

  
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Littlefield
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Jan 27, 2008 06:10 |  #14

mbellot wrote in post #4783893 (external link)
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 (external link)
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




  
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mbellot
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Jan 27, 2008 10:05 |  #15

Littlefield wrote in post #4791571 (external link)
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.




  
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Walgreens as a printer?
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