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Archive 2006 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??
  
 
johnny0110
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


Again, just like the last post that Chris said this in..... he is on the money.

I use Costco and have NEVER had a problem with ANYTHING I have ever had printed, or reprinted, or re-re printed. Follow the directions and Costco is the easiest thing since, well..... it's just easy ok. For those of us that DO use them for proofs, it IS a pro lab! They use a Noritsu, and as you know, that my friends, is a bas ass printer. I, like others, I HAVE checked out PLENTY of other labs and have had nothing blow me away and made me say, "OH MY GOD, I HAVE TO USE THIS LAB". I didn't use Costco until a friend of mine, (a pro for 25 years), told me about them after I complimented him on a print he had on his desk. It blew me away. Knowing him and seeing his work, I thought he was using some big, high priced lab, and then he told me, "no my friend, that is right from Costco, you cant beat them". That was enough for me to use them too.

I have posted about this before and when I say I am a nut case about my printing, I really mean it! I have all top of the line inkjets and die subs in house but always print proofs and enlargements at the lab. It is so easy, it's stupid. Upload them, tell them NOT to put the "Costco" name on the back of the prints, and tell them "auto off". They will also print, "COPYRIGHT" on the back of all prints as well as your studio name if you ask. When you get to know them, it's almost effortless. They just write it up and know what to do almost automatically. One day, it may all change. I might start using another lab, but for now, this is working perfectly for me and many others too obviously. To each his own.


JT



Nov 05, 2006 at 10:22 PM
Gary Harfield
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


Johnny,

Right on.

I have accounts at several labs, buy costco gets my money.



Nov 06, 2006 at 01:16 AM
David.G
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


The odds of a Costco being able to match the colors of a Walgreen's print are highly unlikely, even if they use the same machines. At the pro lab that I worked at years ago, we had 3 processing machines and I think around 15 print rooms (where the negatives were "printed"). Each room was calibrated to a particular processor because the 3 would rarely produce the same color. Kodak supplied pre-exposed calibration paper with "Shirley" wearing a multi-colored blouse and some color squares to measure with something I forget the name of now. I would run "Shirley" through each maching twice during my 8 hour shift to make sure things were within specs (which they always were), but they would vary slightly throughout the day.


Nov 06, 2006 at 03:07 AM
Chris Dodkin
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


David.G wrote:
The odds of a Costco being able to match the colors of a Walgreen's print are highly unlikely, even if they use the same machines. At the pro lab that I worked at years ago, we had 3 processing machines and I think around 15 print rooms (where the negatives were "printed"). Each room was calibrated to a particular processor because the 3 would rarely produce the same color. Kodak supplied pre-exposed calibration paper with "Shirley" wearing a multi-colored blouse and some color squares to measure with something I forget the name of now. I would run "Shirley" through each
...Show more

David - READ THE DAMN DRYCREEK WEBSITE!

CostCo, or anyone else for that matter, have ZERO part to play in matching the color of your prints!

THAT'S YOUR JOB AS THE PHOTOGRAPHER

If you have the color profile of the exact print macine, in the exact store, which you are going to print from, YOU CAN MATCH THE COLOR THAT YOU SEE ON YOUR SCREEN

This is not rocket science - just do the color pre-press on your own images!



Nov 06, 2006 at 03:27 AM
David.G
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


Chris,

I realize that you are able to get the printer profile from the lab you use, but that is still no guarantee that you will get an exact match. It should be very close though.

My point above was that you could have 3 identical machines in the same location and not get the same results from any of them, even if you have the profiles for all of them.

And the fact that these profiles are updated regularly should be a warning to you that, even though you have gone through all of the steps to insure the best possible output, there is no guarantee that the final print will match your expected results. The machines I used to work with would vary a point or two plus or minus of their target spec, and I'm sure the machines today will do the same. So consider yourself lucky if you get an exact match.



Nov 06, 2006 at 05:19 PM
Gary Harfield
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


I took one raw image from an enagement shoot and did the following.

Used bibble to make 1 jpeg.
Then used Noiseware to remove noise
Then used PKsharpener to sharpen image

While my monitor is calbrated, I did not use any other color workflow.

I then upload the file to costco, made two seperate orders for 1 8x10

1 8x10 with auto correct on
1 8x10 with auto correct off.

Both 8x10's look the same.



Nov 10, 2006 at 07:18 AM
Chris Dodkin
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


Gary,

probably all you did was print two sRGB profile files via the web portal, so it's no surprise that they are the same.

If you go through the full color pre-press process, you'll be able to better match screen color to print color.



Nov 10, 2006 at 03:06 PM
mauriceramirez
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


I have no problem using Costco, have used them for 4 years now with neither compromise in quality or complaint. Use the proper profiles, do your calibraitons, and no photographer on this forum will be able to see a difference. The only visual difference with Costco is that you're getting a slightly thinner paper.

The REAL PROBLEM NOW is all the low-baller Costco-using wedding and portrait photographers I see on the kiosks, who instead of utilizing this better mousetrap to increase their profitability with a less costly and more convenient production, only see yet another justification to drop their industry-debasing rates even lower.

Costco's print lab is a loss-leader, it's a way to get their customers into the warehouse to buy it's other products. Unfortunately pro photographers treat it as a loss-leader as well, but have precious few other "products on the shelves", so to speak. Next time you're in there, notice all the wedding pictures on the screens.

Just because a print costs .15 you doesn't mean you charge .25, call it a "proof", and then throw in the CD for free.

-m



Nov 10, 2006 at 04:46 PM
 

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Jorge68
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


I feel like your paying not only for the print, but for the picture itself, for the time it took me to take it, process it, photoshop it, and for my expertise in the subject. So it doesn't really matter where you get the print made, as long as it's good quality.

Why would you pay more for something when you can get the exact thing for less?



Nov 10, 2006 at 05:18 PM
Arka
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


alkorn wrote:
I'm not judging here anybody, but personally I feel that true professional photographer has no moral or legal rights to print his clients pictures at Costco.


In accordance with this specious logic, half the pros are I know are both immoral and conducting their business illegally. Of course the underlying logic is, in itself completely absurd. Depending on the manager calibrating the color profiles on the machines at any given warehouse, Costco prints are every bit the quality one would expect from a high end lab.

So, is your argument on immorality and questionable legality based on the quality of the product? If so, it is groundless. Aside from that, what else matters? Last I checked, they did not use sweatshop labor in Asia, and were not buying their developing chemicals from human rights violators or enemies of the state...

I've delivered prints to my clients from Costco's SoCal warehouses (the San Diego labs are all managed by the same person, who is a color management nazi), and have never been unhappy with the results; that is to say, if I ever got a print I was unhappy with, I could either direct the changes to the lab on site, or make the changes on a portable machine or my home computer, and upload them right away.

Of course, you have to get the appropriate color profile information for the warehouse locations you visit most. But once you have a good color workflow set up, it really doesn't matter who prints.

Again, I find your categorical assertion that a professional using Costco for print services is behaving immorally and illegaly to be completely baseless in fact, and unsupported by any compelling arguments.

Arka C.



Nov 10, 2006 at 07:34 PM
Arka
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


cecesdada wrote:
I do agree that if you are embarassed to be seen there, you might want to go somewhere, because that is not working for you.


Embarassed to be seen there? Please... if you are embarassed to be seen at Costco, you've got other issues to resolve that have nothing to with Costco.

The only reason a knowledgeable person should be ashamed of being seen in a Costco is if one of their clients walks in; they will be aware of your cost of printing, and possibly be embittered by your markup. (if you charge a lot for that sort of thing; I only charge a 2x markup on my cost). Some may bring these mistaken notions of 'pro lab snobbery' to the table, but all of these notions are groundless if you do the right prep work.

If you do your prep work, and are still psychologically bothered by using the excellent machines and services Costco offers, I would agree with Chris that no discussion here can approach your particular issue. In the end, your profit margins are your business, but make sure you know the reasons why you're paying more, rather than the vague slippery slope argument of 'I paid a lot for my gear, so I have to pay a lot for everything else,' or 'I am a pro, so I must pay a 'pro' premium to get my work done.'



Nov 10, 2006 at 07:51 PM
alkorn
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


lordarka wrote:
In accordance with this specious logic, half the pros are I know are both immoral and conducting their business illegally.
----blah blah -snip- -----
Again, I find your categorical assertion that a professional using Costco for print services is behaving immorally and illegaly to be completely baseless in fact, and unsupported by any compelling arguments.

Arka C.


You probably didn't bother to read all thread, so just for you and other
loyal Costco customers who do not bother to check Costco's Photo center's
Terms and Conditions here is this quote one more time:
"IV. No Resale of Service You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit any part of the Service, use of the Service, or access to the Service for any commercial purposes."

And just to double check that, I called Costco's customer service and representative did confirm that it is illegal to resell Costco's prints.
And it goes to both, online and walk-in customers.

I think that should be compelling enough for true professional photographer.

So, again I will state: Personally (it is my true personal opinion) I believe it is illegal to resell Costco print's, thus immoral.
But you can go ahead and do whatever fits your...whatever you call your moral standard.



Nov 10, 2006 at 08:29 PM
alkorn
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


lordarka wrote:
.. half the pros are I know are both immoral and conducting their business illegally.
Arka C.


So here is another quote for you from Costco's T&C:

"XV. Reporting Violations

You can report abuse of these Terms to [email protected]."

You can just go ahead and report that half of those "pros" you know. Ohh, don't forget about yourself while you are at it.
=)





Nov 10, 2006 at 08:58 PM
Arka
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


alkorn wrote:
So here is another quote for you from Costco's T&C:

"XV. Reporting Violations

You can report abuse of these Terms to [email protected]."

You can just go ahead and report that half of those "pros" you know. Ohh, don't forget about yourself while you are at it.
=)




You do realize that most of us who use Costco's photo prints for business use have.. umm.. business memberships. The terms and conditions are a little different...

Either way, Costco is well aware of how 'enforceable' its boilerplate is... I can think of several legal theories off the top of my head that might defeat it for non-merchant consumers.

As much as I would love to research a hypothetical case with Costco as plaintiff in suit against a reselling consumer, I am content to continue using my business account to do so without worrying about Costco, or someone on the internet, telling me what the law is.

Arka C.



Nov 11, 2006 at 01:56 AM
Ringo
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


I used to use Costco, in fact 6 months ago that is all I used, but recently the quality has gone down dramatcally, mainly due to the staff. I now have to use an on line service.
I need good quality and consistancy, I just can't get it with costco, sorry



Nov 17, 2006 at 04:34 AM
David.G
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Does anyone use Costco as their lab??


You'll be lucky to get any kind of consistancy from any lab..."pro" or otherwise. A "pro" lab could have 2-3 shifts of people rotating through the day. That means different eyes looking at the same images and making different adjustments. Person A might dial in a bit more cyan, while person B might dial in a bit more magenta. You just don't know what's going to happen.

And as far as those lab profiles on drycreekphoto's website, some of the local "pro" lab's profiles are older than my local Costco. And you think you'll get prints that match your profiled monitor? It will be close, but.......



Nov 17, 2006 at 06:58 AM
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