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 ^^