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Archive 2013 · Printing at Costco?
  
 
jphendren
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p.1 #1 · Printing at Costco?


Hello,

Today I uploaded 6 images from my D3 to be printed at Costco. I just wanted to see how accurate they would turn out prior to ordering more. I opened the master .PSD files in photoshop, and sized them down to 4X6", but left them in 16 bit and Pro Photo color space. I web sharpened them and saved them as a .jpg files in order to upload to Costco's website. I just picked up the prints and they look nice, but are much darker than my MacBook Pro's display. Quite a bit of shadow detail is lost, and the colors are not quite as vibrant as on my Apple. I normally view my images with my monitor brightness turned all the way up, which is probably too bright. No, my monitor is not calibrated. The images are still nice, but not exactly how they look on my iPhone or MacBook Pro.

Jared



Jul 30, 2013 at 11:08 PM
WAYCOOL
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p.1 #2 · Printing at Costco?


Your results were very predictable and came out just as one would have expected.

If all your after is acceptable prints that come close to but don't match you monitor then turn down the brightness of your monitor by half. Edit a photo to this brightness an send to Costco, get results and adjust monitor brightness and repeat until you get a get a close match. Should only take a couple of tries.

If you want your prints to match as close as possible to the monitor buy a calibration device for your monitor. Once your monitor is calibrated use the ICC profiles from Costco or whatever service you want and softproof and edit your photos to that profile before you send out to print.



Jul 31, 2013 at 12:12 AM
mcoons
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p.1 #3 · Printing at Costco?


Costco uses Noritsu printers. They print in SRGB and 8-Bit only. I would recommend changing your files to SRGB before printing and check the box in the online ordering for no automatic adjustments to the prints. The Noritsu can make excellent prints, but if are looking for a larger dynamic range for your prints, I would recommend using an inkjet printer. If your images still look dark, I would try lowering your brightness on your display to match the print and adjust the print from that brightness.


Jul 31, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Sarsfield
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p.1 #4 · Printing at Costco?


They also use Epson 7880's for their posters and they use Dry Creek to profile their printers. I believe you can get Dry Creek's icc profiles to insure better color matching. Check this page out:

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/using_printer_profiles.htm



Jul 31, 2013 at 10:36 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #5 · Printing at Costco?


mcoons wrote:
Costco uses Noritsu printers. They print in SRGB and 8-Bit only. I would recommend changing your files to SRGB before printing and check the box in the online ordering for no automatic adjustments to the prints. The Noritsu can make excellent prints, but if are looking for a larger dynamic range for your prints, I would recommend using an inkjet printer. If your images still look dark, I would try lowering your brightness on your display to match the print and adjust the print from that brightness.

Our Costco's use the Noritsu thru 11 X 14's. No issues w/Jpegs in SRGB. For 16 X 20's and up they want color profiles
via Dry Creek for their bigger printers. When I print bigger I go with Bay Photo, as I wasn't as happy w/da Co's



Jul 31, 2013 at 11:09 PM
hugowolf
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p.1 #6 · Printing at Costco?


As other have mentioned, you either need to convert ot sRGB or use the DryCreek profiles for your particular Costco. Submitting stuff in ProPhotoRGB isn't going to work.

Brian A



Jul 31, 2013 at 11:36 PM
coferg
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p.1 #7 · Printing at Costco?


I have only used Costco via their website - then I pick up my pics at the warehouse. Another variable can be the 'autocorrect' setting that, at least as far as I can tell. only shows up after you have selected your images and print sizes, and appears in your order summary. The only place I have found to change that to 'do not correct' is in your personal profile. The other annoying thing about that is the setting selected in your profile will apply to all your prints, if you wish to have some prints Costco adjusted, and some not, you will have to make separate orders for each. Maybe there is another way, but I haven't found it. I use sRGB, even posters are nice, (but not 'fine art'). -Jim


Aug 01, 2013 at 07:15 PM
 

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cordellwillis
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p.1 #8 · Printing at Costco?


Simple, you can't expect prints to match if you haven't completed your side of the equation. You seem to know this but didn't do it Others have mentioned everything you need to do to get it right.


Aug 02, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Squirrely Eyed
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p.1 #9 · Printing at Costco?


As others have mentioned, calibrate your monitor and turn off the auto-correct setting in Costco. I was quite disappointed when I missed that one time and got back rather different results.

i-devices do one thing well...eye candy. The colors pop and look magical, but nothing like a real print.



Aug 07, 2013 at 12:45 PM
NathanHamler
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p.1 #10 · Printing at Costco?


Prophoto color space is a no-no, as others have stated...someone said for 16x20 and up, you use the profiles from Dry Creek...this isnt correct...you ALWAYS submit images in sRGB...profiles from Dry Creek are STRICTLY for SOFT PROOFING...and are NOT a destination color space...i cant tell you how many people dont understand this...also, prints too dark = monitor too bright.

Seriously, the more i read this thread, the more frustrated it makes me....sRGB ONLY, AND DRY CREEK PROFILES ARE ONLY FOR SOFT PROOFING. And honestly, since i calibrated my display, i havent ever NEEDED to soft proof...



Aug 11, 2013 at 02:36 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #11 · Printing at Costco?


+1 @ much of what has been said.

One thing to realize is that light emitting (light generating) monitors vs. light reflecting (light absorbing) prints are going to be different relative to the ambient lighting in the same viewing area.

The monitor is adding more light in addition to the light in the room. The print is subtracting (absorbing) some of the light. As such, it is difficult to expect the two to look the same. This is essentially what people are trying to get you to understand when they say your monitor is too bright and that you need to turn it down / calibrate / use icc profile as a means of giving you a preview that tries to compensate for this difference.

One more way to think about it is to consider artwork that has a dedicated light above it. If you took away the light above the artwork, it would become darker and more muddy looking from the ambient light only. How much light we put on the print from ambient only or ambient + will impact how much light is returned/reflected to our eyes. So it is with the monitor view = ambient + monitor.

As an extreme example:

Consider that you are sitting in a dark room viewing your monitor. You get everything just the way you want it and hit print. You walk over to your printer, pick up your print and look at it. It looks virtually black (the lights are off). You walk back over toward your monitor and as you get closer to the monitor, the print starts to look a little brighter as you approach the light being emitted from your monitor. Eventually, you put your print right next to your monitor and it looks as bright as it possibly can, but it still doesn't look as bright as your monitor.

Now, you turn on the lights in the room. Your monitor will appear to have a lower contrast than before and the print will appear brighter than by viewing in the darker environment ... but they still will not match. They will certainly be closer than when we first picked up the print off the printer in the dark room, but they still aren't going to be the same.

The dark room example is obvious, because it is well, so obvious due to the stark difference. With the lights on in the room it is "less obvious", but the difference remains.

Ambient + monitor emitting = light reaching your eyes will always be more than ambient-print absorbed = reflected light reaching your eyes. If A=ambient, M=monitor emitting light and P= print absorbing light, then: A+M>A-P. Because your print is absorbing light, it can never really look quite the same as your monitor, particularly if we are viewing a jacked up monitor, viewing in a dim/dark room or both.

So, to get them to better match, you'll need to calibrate your monitor / lower monitor brightness / raise ambient in monitor room while editing. Or view/display the print with more light falling on the print to "compensate" for the absorption of light vs. emission of light. Some folks contend with this by soft proofing, others have developed a strategy of adding some % of brightness/curve to their files after they get things were they want them, etc. More than one way to approach it, but first you have to recognize that a difference @ monitor vs. print exists.

Note: +1 @ the profile difference is another piece of the puzzle as they (different profiles) place the numbers (R,G,B @ 0-255) in different areas on the color map. The printer may not be mapping the same as your viewing profile does if you are viewing in a different color space/profile than the printer.

HTH




Aug 11, 2013 at 12:21 PM
cineski
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p.1 #12 · Printing at Costco?


After doing all that's said here, you need to request no correction on the prints. Otherwise your images get auto corrected before they're printed. Costco also ensures your prints are generally warped, especially the smaller sizes. I've had great luck with MPixPro prints and they do nothing to the images. Comes back matched to my calibrated monitor with no ICC profiles needed.


Aug 26, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #13 · Printing at Costco?


Yup, inkjet with 3rd party ink refills! About 10 or 15 for an 8x10 and $100 or less for the printer. Beautiful images you can spend time getting to look just right! Then laminate with a $20 laminator if you wanna keep the print for 30 to 40 years (or more?).

A3/B3 printers are more expensive of course but if you wanna get big. Same deal with the inks too. And I guess they make cheap-o laminators in that size... I've not seen any.

I've never been satisfied with any print services from the 60's to the present (for anything other than snap-shot postcard sizes). There's either no interaction with the process or the prices are absurd, or the quality and care lack - and sometimes all three. Lucky for me the past 5 to 8 years have brought us very affordable and extremely capable desktop printers. Prior to that I was in the darkroom a lot tho.




Sep 10, 2013 at 01:43 PM
jleom
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p.1 #14 · Printing at Costco?


This is from the Dry Creek website under the topic of using the printer profiles. The step by step process with screen shots are helpful.

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/using_printer_profiles.htm

16. Finally, convert the image to the appropriate profile, using your chosen rendering intent. In Photoshop CS2 and above the command is Edit→Convert to Profile. Earlier Photoshop versions use Image→Mode→Convert to Profile. Frontier and Noritsu printers do not read embedded profiles, so the image data must be converted. This changes the data in the file to compensate for how your lab's machine actually prints colors. ◦ If you were Soft Proofing with Simulate Paper White enabled, you will notice a sudden change in the image appearance. Photoshop turns off the Paper White simulation when you do a profile conversion. Do not worry - this will not change your print quality.
◦ In the profile conversion dialog box, select the Use Black Point Compensation, Use Dither, and Flatten Image checkboxes, if available.

17. Save the file as an RGB jpeg or tiff. ◦Jpeg images saved at maximum quality provide identical print quality to tiff images. Because of the smaller file size, they print much faster.
◦If using tiffs, they must be RGB format, 8-bit, uncompressed, and have no layers or alpha channels. Many photo labs either do not support printing tiff images, or at least not for online submissions. In this case, as noted above, a maximum quality jpeg will give visually identical results for
Do not embed the profile in the saved file. Frontier, Noritsu, and Agfa printers ignore embedded profiles, so you are only using up disk space. Additionally, many versions of the Fuji Frontier PIC driver crash when given files with profiles embedded. In the File→Save As dialog box, uncheck the "Icc Profile:" box in the Color settings area.
◦ If you are saving the file as a jpeg, use one of the "Baseline" format options. The "Standard" option works with all Printers. Support for the "Optimized" baseline format requires newer printer drivers. The Optimized format gives improved color rendition and smaller file size. The "Progressive" scan option will not print on most Frontier and Noritsu machines. Also, do not use the JPEG2000 format; this is not recognized by most current printer driver versions.


Leo




Sep 11, 2013 at 09:36 PM





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