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Internet Print Shops

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by the_traveler, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. the_traveler


    Mar 22, 2007
    Manhattan, NY
    Lewis Lorton
    When I moved to NYC to a small apartment, having a large printer and stores of supplies seemed too much of a bother.
    I've been looking for a good place to send work. There is an excellent, albeit expensive, print shop locally. I have a large project coming up and and I wanted to investigate ways of cutting some hundreds of dollars off the job.
    I sent away for reference prints from WHCC and, although they were cheaper, they lacked the snap of that produced locally. In an attempt to try to get a better product, I asked MHCC for their printer profiles; they don't send them.
    Hell, even Costco sent printer profiles.
    Can anyone suggest high quality online labs or am I condemned to either spend $1200 on prints or buy my own printer?
  2. I've used Adorama, and am happy with their work.
  3. WHCC is quick but in my experience their color is not right. Always just a touch off even after I re calibrated. For larger prints and acrylics I use art beat studios. They are painfully slow but their acrylics and metal prints are amazingly well done and very high quality and I’ve never had any color issues with them. Depending on the size of prints you want to do, it might be worth looking into the new prograf I’ve seen some of the prints off those and they look amazing, especially the black and white prints.
  4. the_traveler


    Mar 22, 2007
    Manhattan, NY
    Lewis Lorton
  5. I googled prograf and found references to a drug so I googled prograf printer and got this.
  6. Whitewall does amazing work.
  7. I am satisfied with Costco,
  8. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    I use Bay Photo and have always been very happy with the results. I have several large prints in the house and a print on metal.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Yeah, Have used Bay (on your recommendation I believe) and was very happy.
  10. Canon Pro 100 and 1000 is the new one I believe. The line is called prograf but they are
    Commonly just called canon pro 100
  11. Canon Prixma.

    Edit: It's Pixma!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  12. 645A3520-5D93-4EDC-B178-0B7757905F93.png
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    is it pixma prograf?
  13. Good question. I'd never heard of Prograf until today. And I just edited my earlier response-- Canon PIXMA. Pixma Pro 100 is what I have.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. I tried several of the online printers. Ended up using whitewall, and occasionally Bayphoto. Their color work was ok- not great, but ok. I never really fell in love with the prints, there was always at least one little issue. Sometimes it was their fault, sometimes there was a small flaw in the file I sent that I did not see until printed large. I ended up getting my own printers, and I am much happier.
    At least in my experience, the black and white work was poor- and never looked like it should. That could have been my fault or theirs- but the same files look much better when I printed them myself.
    I use the pro-100, but as a test printer, or to print small images I am giving away. I personally do not like the prints as well as some other printers. The small ink cartridges get expensive.
    I use an epson 3880 or canon ipf8400 for final prints. (Both old printers, like me.)
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Here are some labs that I am familiar with and that provide excellent prints and lots of products.
    I also recommend looking at professional online portfolio sites like ShootProof, SmugMug, PhotoShelter, et al, and see who they use for print fulfillment as part of their services.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. the_traveler


    Mar 22, 2007
    Manhattan, NY
    Lewis Lorton
    Thanks for the input.
    However fun the idea of printing my own 'stuff'' is, reality has slapped me around a bit.

    I've been looking at printers fairly extensively and have come to the conclusion that, for now at least, I will use the guy down the block.
    He has been returning good quality prints at fair price ($.10/ sq in) and I don't have to work at it.
    I don't sell prints and I really don'y enjoy the care and feeding of printers and I live in a roomy, clean, comfortable 1 bedroom apartment that I really, really like.
    I could move to a 2 bedroom that would give me plenty of room but that would cost me so much money that buying prints is nothing.

    (for those who don't live in NYC, the economics of living here can be staggering to the non-NYer.
    My rent is$3500/month.
    I was extraordinarily lucky in finding exactly the location I wanted in Murray Hill, Manhattan. Because I am subletting from the owner there was no 15% realtors fee and the apartment is quite nicely furnished and updated.
    If I were to move to a 2 bedroom, I would be paying ~$1500-$2000 more a month and probably paying a realtor's fee of 15% of the first year's rent plus having to buy furniture.
    So, my first year's additional cost would be 12*1500 + (5000*12*.15) or about $27,000 not including buying furniture.
    That $27,000 buys a lot of prints.)
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  17. I normally use Black River Imaging for any paid work/prints. I've also used Bay Photo, Millers/MPIX in the past, but I didn't see the benefit of paying the premium for them over the first 2.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Although I do enjoy printing, I am jealous of your opportunity. If I had a local printer that even knew what a color space was, I would have likely worked with them and saved myself a lot of headaches. At least for me, I do not think I saved a lot of money by printing myself. I just replaced an ink cartridge for $280. I just got a print head warning that the head is about to go on the 8400, another $400. I have also become much more picky, often printing several versions before I am completely happy. I would have never done that mail order, takes too long and too expensive. By the way no one but me seems to be able to tell my multiple versions apart. But I can.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. the_traveler


    Mar 22, 2007
    Manhattan, NY
    Lewis Lorton
    I may have hit it lucky with this guy down the street.
    I spent 20 minutes on the phone yesterday trying to pry a printer profile from a lab that portrays itself as a pro lab. I received some reference prints and they had a distinct lack of mid-tome contrast. The lights and darks were OK but the shots were flat in the middle. So I called and tried for two alternatives:1) tell me their paper specs or number so I could download a printer profile for their papers so I could soft-proof before I submitted or 2) could I send a single print and have it printed in 8 x 10 on each of their 6 or 7 papers?
    The answer to 1) was that the company didn't let that information out 2) I would have to submit 6 or 7 orders and keep track of the surface I requested for each order. (and why didn't their 3" x 4" samples work ?)
    So yesterday I left a file with the guy across the street and asked him to run a print whenever he changed paper rolls so I could see that image/paper combination.
  20. Precisely the reason I haven’t purchased a set up myself! Haha I figure it would be too easy to nitpick and burn though the equipment!
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