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Figure Pic Prints

Posted by meronpan on May 10, 2010

Notice the reflection in the above pic? That’s because it’s a pic of a print ^_^ AdoramaPix is a photo printing service offered by Adorama – no I don’t have any affiliation with them but just wanted to spread the word that they’re currently offering a $25 credit towards your first order!  It’s been awhile since I’ve held an actual photo in hand and figured what the heck.  You do have to pay for shipping (the $25 credit will not count towards shipping) but my order arrived by USPS priority mail for just $5.

Wanting to get the most out of my $25 I did as much research as possible before ordering – Adorama seems to use some pretty nice Kodak Endura Supra paper for their prints and you have the choice of glossy, lustre, matte, and metallic.  I went for the metallic finish since it sounded interesting and cost more ^^;  Supposedly the prints are rated to last 100 years in “typical home display” conditions and 200 years in dark storage (though that completely defeats any purpose I have for prints :P).

Also tried to get a sense of the resolution I’d need for decent prints.  Adorama and the general web consensus seem to recommend ~300 pixels per inch for a  good quality print, though I did see references to 200 being good enough.  Wanting the largest prints I could get my hands on, my 10 megapixel camera was capable of producing a 12×18″ (~305x457mm) at ~200 ppi.  The next largest size (with the correct 3:2 aspect ratio) would drop my ppi down to ~160 so I decided to play it safe with > 200.  It seems that lower ppi is acceptable for larger prints since you generally view ‘em from farther away but I wanted to make sure my free prints turned out nice ^^;  Not that it was an issue in this case but Adorama does have a limit imposed – they won’t print anything less that 100 ppi.

Finally, with $25 of credit to spend, I semi-randomly discovered that 2 12×18, 2 10×15, and 1 6×9 print add up to exactly $25 ^_^  That’s what I went with.  (you can see all the sizes/prices here)  The aspect ratio for all these sizes matched my camera so I didn’t need to crop the images at all.  Adorama’s online tool lets you crop the images if needed though.  Placed my order on Tuesday night, they were able to print and ship by Thursday, and with the cheapest shipping option (usps), it still arrived in just 2 days on Saturday ^^  Rush orders/faster shipping also seems to get you printing priority so your order won’t spend as long in the lab.

Alrighty, let’s see how they turned out, shall we?

I must say I’m extremely happy with how they turned out.  The metallic finish gives a sort of pearl like sheen to the prints.  Not sure how it would turn out for human subjects but for figures I like it.  Nanoha here is one of the 15×10 prints.

I did actually go in and touch up each of my photos in photoshop, removing any actual physical defects.  Good thing too because the prints are super sharp and vibrant – it’s pretty much identical to their appearance on my monitor.

Adorama also has the option where you let them adjust colors and such for the best printing – I went ahead and let them do so.  If you’re already a color master and know what to do with icc files, they provide for all that too.

A pic of my brother’s cat.  For this print the metallic finish was really neat.  It did sort of give the background a copper/pearl like finish that I think turned out well.  This was one of the 18×12 prints.

Moka in front of moka ^^  The other 15×10 print.  One problem with 15×10 is that it’s a totally non-standard size.  One thing I didn’t research enough were framing options (and I also forgot how expensive frames are ;_;).  I was at aaron brothers and I couldn’t even find a matte for a 10×15 pic ;_;  Online I think I’ll be able to find one but the prospect of paying ~$25-$30 per print for framing is very discouraging.

I was, however, able to find a frame for 12x18s and with a 40% off coupon, paid like $17 for it:

I really love how this one turned out.  Part of it is the charm of having a physical photo in hand (been viewing on computer screens for who knows how many years now ^^;), but the clarity and quality of the print really impressed me too.  The quality is way above any perception threshold I have so I’m pretty sure the detail of a full 300 ppi would be lost on my untrainted eyes ^^;  Perhaps I’ll see how a 20×30 turns out later (although the prospect of framing such a beast is not inviting ^^;)…

I’m also really interested in adorama’s photo books now… books don’t require any additional frames ^^;  Also they let you span a photo across 2 pages without any gap in the middle so if you get the 12×9 book for example, open it up and you can have full 12×18 photos ^_^  If I ever get enough pics I’d like to put in a book I’ll have to order one and let’cha’ll know how it goes.

So there ya have it.  Definitely worth the $5 shipping imo ^^  Even if you don’t frame it, just cool to have in hand ^^  Happy to answer any questions about the service/prints/etc~  oh, and happy to hear of any experience you’ve had with printing services ^^

以上!

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25 Responses to “Figure Pic Prints”

  1. Leonia said

    For the moment I don’t print, but I will print soon I think ^^ But only my favorite pictures ^^ I like Black Rock Shooter print :P

  2. Smithy said

    Those look like they indeed did turn out great. Awesome. ^^

  3. Tier said

    They look very nice! I’m planning on printing some of my pictures to decorate my room (as pompous as that may be). Some of my pictures might be a bit uncomfortable to send off to a lab for printing so I wound up just getting a new printer; Canon has this dealie where they’re selling a pretty good printer for $440 with a $400 rebate if you buy a camera. A lab-quality printer that can do 13×19″ prints for $40? That sounds good to me! Unfortunately it’s a lot bigger than I anticipated and I have no space for it right now so it’s still in the box.

    • meronpan said

      thanx ^^ bah, pompous shmompous :P brs is proudly in the hallway at my place ^_^ (my room’s walls are all covered ^^;)

      i’ve heard about that printer deal but always thought nothing of it ‘cuz i thought i wasn’t interested in prints ^^;;; guess that’s changed… will have to look into that 5d mkii …. …. i wish ^^;;

  4. Fabrice said

    Wow nice idea! O.o
    i wouldnt mind trying it.

    looks good the quality

  5. yamada said

    You can frame it like big pic which was framed? your article really sounds like having business about pic printing, I might be confused. ^^;

    • meronpan said

      mmm not setting up your own business, just using an existing company to get pics printed ^^; nowadays it feels like most people enjoy pics on their monitor so was just sharing my experience having physical prints made ^^

  6. I really like the figure in front of its image, it’s very dramatic. You could be an interior decorator for figure lovers someday! Although as much as I love figures :) I love cats more, that one is my favorite. The image is adorable.

    • meronpan said

      alas, most, if not all good design/aesthetic elements i incorporate are likely dumb luck ^^;; nevertheless, glad ya liked it ^^

      wish i had more cat pics, but alas don’t live with any ^^;

  7. Blowfish said

    Thanks for all the useful information.I still try to figure out a good store to try out myself.Most of these german printers seem to sepcialize to do the job as cheap as possible to get families print the pics of their kids without really caring about quality.

  8. Nopy said

    That sounds like a good deal, but since I already have my figures on display, I’d rather get prints of something else.

  9. meronpan said

    all my best pics are of figures and cats so i had little choice of subject matter ^^;;; well, not that i woulda chose differently if i had other good stuff :P

  10. Persocom said

    Saw something about this on twitter. Sounds and looks like a good deal, I think I’d have a hard time picking what to use, but I’ll keep it in mind in case I find some :3 I don’t see the $25 thing though, maybe it’s over now?

  11. Q said

    Never really looked into printing photos ever since digital photography has become popular, but I think it’s still nice for people who are into photography and have a passion for it (kinda reminds me of a comparison for why people want an actual figure of a character rather than just pics of them on the computer).

    Guess my passion lies on elsewhere ^^;

    Though I do want to say that I like the Moka one!

    • meronpan said

      yeah, sadly the prints are really just for personal satisfaction… can’t really share over teh interwebs ^^; so yeah, nice for me and my figure/photography interests but not really anything else i can do with it ^^;

      thanks on the moka pic ^^ that definitely is one of my better shots ^^

  12. Very nice, I need to showcase the photo of the DD photo too ^^;

  13. Ninjovee said

    These photos look awesome!
    I’ll probably try this service if I get decent-enough photos of my own (and when I have lotsa money) ^^

    • meronpan said

      ack, didn’t mean to ignore this comment. hopefully you’re familiar enough with my habits to know that it was simply an innocent oversight ^^;

      honestly i’m surprised myself how much i enjoy having the physical prints. the size is definitely neat after growing up on the usual 6×4 or whatever sizes.

      took advantage of adoramapix’s current sale and got some 20×30 prints! (they’re discounted to $10 right now through the 24th or something?) actually i think that means that with the first time credit you can get one for just shipping ($5). though… crap, forgive me but i can’t remember where you’re located… but i should mention that adoramapix doesn’t ship internationally ;_;

  14. [...] broke-ass and unemployed at the time. I also remember that meronpan was very pleased with the way his AdoramaPix prints turned out. When I was apprised of the free photobook offer, I figured this would be a good [...]

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