Touhou & Prints

Posted by meronpan on June 30, 2010

Combo post today that’s part site update, part rambling on my current activities… I’ve been sick with a stomach bug or something for the last week which unfortunately put a stop to the momentum I was gonna have with azunyan + brs reviews going up. Think I’m just about over it now, so /cross fingers.  BRS review will be out probably sometime in the next week? but in the meantime you can check out some lovely shots over at Cool & Spicy.

So then, first order of business I have no shame and just want to give myself a huge pat on the back for completing touhou 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and, as of June 28, 2010, 12!  About a year ago I set out to 1cc all of them on normal… now I can finally call that done ^^

And I didn’t even have to abuse the 3-power marisa B for mof :P (just found out about that.  man is that fun ^^)

calm before the storm

I won’t lie, it was a horrible 1cc for ufo… stocked up a full 8 lives for byakuren and threw away each and every one of them.  Cleared her final card with just 1 bomb left (damn was that nerve wracking).  My final  score was less than 2 previous failed attempts.  Ah well.  At least now I can actually practice that stage if I want to get good ^^;

Not sure how accurate it is but according to the in game timers…

27 hours of pcb, 31 hours of in, 17 hours of mof, 25 hours of sa, and 13 hours of ufo is roughly what it took (no data for eosd or pofv).  ‘course that includes for fun runs, easy runs, and the like, but still :P  Looks like it was taking me anywhere from 15-30 hours to complete a touhou… which seems a lot shorter than I woulda thought ^^;

Oh, and before I move on… for the record, lasers shouldn’t curve.  It’s not fair!  They’re lasers.  orz (you wouldn’t believe how many times i had to practice toramaru’s regular transition attacks -_-)  (also, mostly typed that as a loose reference to a penny arcade dialog ^^;)

Next up, prints!  Adorama recently had a 20×30 sale ($10 each) along with 25% off certain size photo books.  Decided to try each out for future reference.

First up, wanted to check high ISO performance for large prints.  The following was 50mm f/1.4, 1/125s, ISO 800.

Looks ok at this size, but if you’re pixel peeping the original resolution you can see it’s gotten moderately soft.  So, how’d the print turn out?

Honestly I think it turned out just fine for a print this size.  Given the viewing distance, the softness from the lens and noise reduction are still tolerable… especially if your critics aren’t photographers themselves ^^;  Ryoko and yui to give a sense of size ^^;  Here’s a close up of the print:

Gets kinda fuzzy but I think if you compare to the original… it’s just reproducing the original ^^;

Next, feito!  I really should’ve taken a pic I was 100% happy with but instead chose from my existing stuff.  100mm f/8, 1/5s, ISO 100.

Was more than  happy how this one came out.

Wanted to put this up somewhere in the house but alas my enthusiasm was met by reality talking it over with one of my roommates…

“Mmm… this would probably creep guests out, huh?”
“Guess I better keep this one in my room, huh?”

…not that single glance in my room doesn’t already creep ’em out :P

Once again a close up… still very sharp.  Love it.

I’m guessing it’s ‘cuz my subjects are figures… but in this case the 129.6 dpi doesn’t look bad at all (from what I’ve read 240+ is what you should aim for for maximum quality).  So just another anecdote but personally a 10 megapixel camera (3888×2592) can handle 20×30 prints, even (depending on how picky you are) at moderately high iso.

Last but not least, the photobook.  Fans of super rats are probably aware of the book he released.  Alas I didn’t nab a copy myself so I can’t compare, but I must say that what I ordered was significantly more expensive ^^;  Super rats’ book was 68 pages long… the likes of which would cost $75-$100 at AdoramaPix, where I got mine done… soooo yeah… even *if* I took shots as awesome as rats I’m pretty sure no one would pay the prices I’d have to charge for a book of my own ^^;; (not to mention even if i was taking those awesome shots, I’d still need a lot of ’em!)

I’m guessing the price difference is due to the material/process/something difference between a photobook and book with color content?  Curious as to what the actual quality/longevity differences are… (especially when the subject matter is just figures ^^;)

But anyhow I ordered a 14 page book and it set me back ~$21 (that was the discount price, now back up to $29).  It’s 8×10, hardcover, and printed on Fuji Crystal Archive photo paper.  As you can see the photos go all the way into the seam… there’s no dead zone between pages.

Must say I’m really happy with the results.  When they say photo paper they’re not kidding.  The pages are beautiful, just like regular prints.  I suppose that’s probably where the price comes from… 16 (14 pages, front + back cover) * $1.28 (8×10 print cost) = $20.48… then add cost for the hard cover and labor and I guess $29 doesn’t seem so unjustifiably high.

Now, if I was trying to sell books I’d be hard pressed to justify that higher price for the quality delivered.  Yes, it’s totally awesome, but when you start getting into the 50, 75 page range… how they heck would you convince your customer that this quality is worth $75-$100? (or $100-$140 for a 12×9 book)  I guess I mention this ‘cuz I did have delusions of maybe selling a couple books or something (after all, AdoramaPix let’s you do it directly from their site) but looking at these numbers these books are most likely gonna remain as personal mementos or gifts.

My future goal is to get enough pics of my figures I’m happy with to make a (somewhat) comprehensive album of my collection.  Because of the above mentioned pricing issues I suppose it would pretty much be for myself since I’m sure no one would pay the $100+ for their own copy ^^;;  On the other hand this little experiment has given me another outlet for this little photography hobby… I have some relatives who I think would be quite thrilled to receive a photobook of family cat pics ^^  Or rather than an album, a photobook of trip pics would be nice after traveling…

…and I’m sure all this blabbering is terribly naive to anyone even remotely familiar with photography prints and/or book publishing.  Bear with me as I try to bring myself up to speed ^^;;;  Otherwise, hopefully this has been informative to fellow photographers ^^

If you wanted I’m sure you could get really creative with the layout software.  You can put tons of pictures on a single page if you want, add all sorts of borders and text… I just wanted my pics with (for better or worse ^^;) the least amount of distractions so I didn’t futz around with much of that stuff.

All in all it was a great experiment.  All 3 items were at sale prices, got to see the quality of the photobooks, and how my pictures would hold out blown up to 20×30.  Was painful dropping even more money on frames, but now I have 2 more room decorations to boot ^^;

If you’re curious about any aspect of the process or results I haven’t gone over, feel free to ask, happy to try and help.

Now to work on that brs review… :P



14 Responses to “Touhou & Prints”

  1. Shiddo said

    That book and Fate picture look amazing!
    Somehow it makes those shots looks so pro ^^
    Some decorations and text maybe to fill some empty spaces could be used, but even so its pretty cool ^^

    • meronpan said

      yeah, definitely got addicted after getting my first set of prints, keep hoping i take more good shots so i can justify printing more ^^;

      i’m no designer so yeah i just let my pics speak for themselves ^^;

  2. So, um, congrats on your Touhou accomplishments! I still haven’t played them ^^;

    Wow, I’m really impressed with the quality of those photo prints and the photo book! Really awesome ^^ It’s not something I’ve personally dabbled in but now you’ve got me interested. I’m going to check out AdoramaPix ;)

    Hope you feel better soon!

    • meronpan said

      doumo ^^

      large prints are amazing! and the book ^^ highly recommended ^^ and with your camera you’ll have resolution to spare, which will be nice. especially with an off ratio book/print, sucks when you have to crop ‘cuz that’s just dpi you’re losing. i would’ve gotten a 12×9 book so that the full page spreads would have the right ratio but alas, wasn’t on sale ^^;

      felt quite good today, think i’m finally back in action ^^ thanks for the well wishes~

  3. yamada said

    I already played Touhou 8, pretty hard on stage 4 and it was really fun too. ^^ I like how most your pics turn out, I really like Fate one there.

    • meronpan said

      8 is great fun… also for some reason i really enjoy the sound of collecting time points ^^;;

      thanx! fate turned out much better that i thought ^^

  4. Nice little experiment there! Really like the nanoha and fate pics but I’m not a fan of the other subjects so it’s probably a biased look.

    Don’t think my collection is large enough to make a book tho, not to mention my photography skills probably aren’t up to the task, but it may have been kinda cool to do a small booklet with nothing but my various GK!

    • meronpan said

      doumo ^^

      if you get a photo book the smaller your collection the better for your wallet ^^ smallest book is 14 pages but if you span your pics across both pages you’re only looking at 7 pics ^^

  5. Persocom said

    I’d go all out and put that Fate picture just like it was and leave it, let guests be creeped out XD But anyways, the photobook thing does seem like an interesting thing to do. I wouldn’t even dream of anyone wanting a copy of one if I did it though, but it would be a nice thing to have, to look back on some day. I rather do like photo albums and a book like that would be fun to have made. As for UFO, grats ^^ I haven’t beaten it yet but one of these days I’ll sit down until I do.

    • meronpan said


      well, on the bright side having fate in my room is that i get to appreciate the print more :P

      exactly my thoughts about the photobook… albums are great so having a book letting you really show off full page prints is just great ^^

      i must say the ufo mechanic is nice in that it makes it easy to get a lot of lives/bombs or whatever but it totally added a random element to my play (which didn’t help -_-). just like i had to focus on spending my bombs before dying, in ufo i had to focus on not going after the ufos if it was gonna cost me a life ^^; was really hard for me to resist the impulse ^^;

  6. Vinn said

    What frames are those? Are they Ikea ones or some other company?

    • meronpan said

      let’s seeee if i remember correctly they were 20×30 frames from Aaron Brothers’ signature line? ran about 42 usd but they were having a buy 1 get 1 free sale (well, not free, but it was 1 penny ^^;) so i got 2 for that price. they seem to have those kind of sales pretty often so i would definitely not pay full price.

  7. Blowfish said

    Oh those prints turned out terrific!
    I think I can tell a few things about superrats book since I own it but with the added shipping costs it wasnt a cheap task either and judging from your pics your print and paper quality is alot better.
    This is just nitpicking but the colour reproduction and sharpness wasnt the bets in supperats book but the pics were of course still awesome.Im still kinda intrigued by a book fo you.

    It needs more ecchi though ^^;;;

    • meronpan said

      glad ya liked ’em. i was definitely very pleased ^^

      i wonder what sort of dpi they print for non-photo paper books… though regardless you definitely get a bigger book for the money ^^;

      only problem with ecchi stuff is sometimes the printing service might not accept it ^^;;

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