I see the monitor detail- how about prints?

Started Dec 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
E_Nielsen New Member • Posts: 22
Re: I see the monitor detail- how about prints?

Tom Schum wrote:

E_Nielsen wrote:

About a week ago I received my first two large prints from my gallery service, Smugmug.com, and I was very, very impressed. The largest print of the two photos was 20"x30" on metallic paper, a sweeping landscape of Bavarian countryside taken with a DP2 Merrill, and the other was a 16"x24" portrait on "lustre" paper.

Metal prints really seem to me to be a mixed bag: depending on the photo they can look spectacular...or cruddy.

I have a 30x40 on my office wall, shot with my 8 megapixel Canon 30D, and loaded with pixel distortion (mud, moire, etc). People are continually commenting about it, how much they like it, and so on. Lots of bright colors, lots of things happening visually, and it is near a window.

Another one is lit by fluorescent light in a hallway, and it is not so great. Not a lot of color, lots of fine detail corrupted by bayer mush, and just generally blah. It hangs there because of the subject matter which is deeply work related.

I do have a SD1 photo that might look really good on metal, but the cost is high so I am holding off.

Something you might want to think about: This year I bought an Epson R2000 printer, and this pretty much has me satisfied. Max print size is 13x19 (panoramas 13 wide and very long, if I want to buy roll paper). Having the printer right here means the feedback loop is a lot shorter and I can tune the print to my liking. This is generally the big problem with ordering prints on the internet: you have to tune your image to their process and go through several iterations to get a really excellent result, and that's costly.

The lowest cost ($16) source of large prints (24" x 36") I've ever found is shortrunposters.com. Maybe it is worth a look. They can't do "knock your eyes out" bright colors but most else is ok.

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Tom Schum

More great info to consider. Thank you, Tom.  I'm excited about trying different papers with the DP2M, and agree that metallic paper could easily be the wrong choice if one is not careful. Your printer sounds terrific, but I'll probably go with service printing for a while longer since it can sometimes be weeks or months between printing in my current situation.  My new strategy for the time being will be to print 4x6 samples, and then tweak the colors, exposures, etc. before investing in the larger prints. That should yield better results.

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