Confused About Printing....

Joined
Oct 16, 2007
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Glens Falls, NY
I posted some of these questions as a follow-up to another post here: https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=194623. But so far have received no responses to it, so I thought that I'd start a new thread here.

I would like to have one of favorite images printed large and framed as inexpensively as possible (because I'm cheap!), while still looking good. I do my own printing up to 8x10, but this will exceed the capabilities of my home printer. (...And I have no clue about how to mat and frame myself.) My goal is to have the image printed at about 30"x12", matted (or at least have the matted "look") and framed.

I've gotten pricing for printing at a few local businesses and so far Staples is the least expensive. So -- here are the questions:

1. Has anyone had an important image of theirs printed at Staples? If so, were you satisfied with the quality (ie - image quality, sharpness, accurate colors, etc)? The samples they showed me actually looked pretty good, but I couldn't compare with an original to see if the colors shifted or not.

2. Staples will not frame - only print, mount and laminate. If I were to purchase a ready-made frame that would fit this image at the dimensions I want (and I go with Staples for printing), would having it mounted make it easier to frame or more difficult? (Under this scenario, I would have Staples print the image with a 1 inch <or so> white space around it resulting in a "Faux" mat.)

3. If Staples is NOT the way to go for the printing, where would you suggest? (Online is fine, but how do I upload a 92 Meg TIF to an online service?) It's important to me that the color does not shift from the image, so I don't want a service that automatically "corrects" the image. Under this scenario, I'd simply go to a custom framing store to have it matted and framed.

Any thoughts on options for printing and framing a large image (relatively inexpensively) would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot!
 
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Joined
Mar 4, 2006
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Newcastle, Wa
In your scenario, the actual print will probably be the least expensive part of the equation. Standard frames and mats dont come in the size you are looking for. Most likely custom framing will be needed (not cheap). These folks accept huge files, in TIFF, JPG, Adobe PSD, and will print using Adobe RGB if that is what you are using as the color profile in the print. I use them for my very large prints, they come out exactly as they do on my home profiled printer. Colors are perfect.

Sorry this isnt the cheapest solution.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
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Location
Central Georgia, USA
You may want to check with local blueprint stores. These store have huge printers anyway, and some have gone in to the photo/art market. Our local supplier has a great 60" HP printer, and a very capable technician. They also offer frame less mounts. You pay for the running foot x 60", so you will want to print more than just one image at a time.
That said, I have found a little hole in the wall, local supply store that has a commercial HP printer, and I am going to give the little girl a try at some of my pics.

You want to aware of the type ink they are using, as some will fade if left in direct sunlight.
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
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Newtown, PA
When it comes to professional printing, you have pretty much two options. Cheap, or high quality. You can bet any of the chain stores (Staples, Ritz, etc) will just drop in your file and hit print with whatever settings they use. Results may vary. A professional print service that is willing to cater to your needs on color, texture, paper, etc will undoubtedly charge more for their time and service. Make sure your monitor is calibrated also, theirs will be and so will their printers.

As for framing, custom framing is going to cost a few bucks. Expect to pay $100+ for a custom matted frame. I would let the frame shop handle all aspects of that, including mounting and matting.

I know it isn't the answer you were looking for but that's just how it is with professional printing. It costs.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
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Glens Falls, NY
Just a followup to this: I had good experience with Aspen Creek Photo. Image Quality is excellent and prices were good. Turnaround time was excellent, as well - about 5 days.

There was a problem with the print though. I had ordered a poster with text on the bottom. For some reason, that text was not centered on the print, although it appeared centered on the order that I sent to Aspen Photo (and their online software automatically does the centering). They could not explain why, but offered to send me a re-print at no charge. I had to re-create the file on their website, and I got the reprint in about 5 days. The reprint was perfect.

Now I'm looking for a local custom framing outfit.
 
R

RichNY

Guest
Bert- Glad to hear the print turned out well. In the future another option you might try is going to a store and buying a large pre-made frame (sometimes with cheap print) that you'll just use for the frame and matting and then having your lab print to the appropriate size. Frames purchased this way are a fraction of the cost of custom framing.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
4,830
Location
Newcastle, Wa
Just a followup to this: I had good experience with Aspen Creek Photo. Image Quality is excellent and prices were good. Turnaround time was excellent, as well - about 5 days.

There was a problem with the print though. I had ordered a poster with text on the bottom. For some reason, that text was not centered on the print, although it appeared centered on the order that I sent to Aspen Photo (and their online software automatically does the centering). They could not explain why, but offered to send me a re-print at no charge. I had to re-create the file on their website, and I got the reprint in about 5 days. The reprint was perfect.

Now I'm looking for a local custom framing outfit.

I'm glad they worked for you Bert, I was expecting they would. My experience with these folks (parent company) is similar. Great company to work with.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
1,027
Location
Annandale, VA
Bert- Glad to hear the print turned out well. In the future another option you might try is going to a store and buying a large pre-made frame (sometimes with cheap print) that you'll just use for the frame and matting and then having your lab print to the appropriate size. Frames purchased this way are a fraction of the cost of custom framing.

In that line I've taught myself how to dry mount photographs. With the pre-made frames I can put together a pretty good looking piece of work.

Rich
 
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