A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > Beginner Photography Questions > Online Printing Services:...

Featured Equipment Deals

Three Tips for Selling/Showing Your Photos in a Gallery Read More

Three Tips for Selling/Showing Your Photos in a Gallery

There are few industries as heart-wrenching as the fine art business. It's a six-car pileup at the intersection of art and commerce and the amount of opinion and hyperbole that is somehow labeled as...

Latest Equipment Articles

Sun Position Tracking Apps Read More

Sun Position Tracking Apps

These 5 apps, ranging in price from free to $8.99, are our top picks for tracking sun (and moon) light. Also ranging in complexity, some help you keep tabs on the ideal lighting of the day while...

Latest Learning Articles

Basic Image Development in Lightroom: Color Editing (Video Tutorial) Read More

Basic Image Development in Lightroom: Color Editing (Video Tutorial)

Learn basic HSL (hue, saturation, and luminance) color adjustments as well as split toning (adjusting color in highlights and lowlights) in this next video.


Online Printing Services: Sturdy Paper Stock?

PFP O , Apr 22, 2009; 03:50 p.m.

Hey again all!

I don't typically give prints when I shoot, mostly only the CDs. Every once in a while, I print something for someone who just wants maybe an 8x10 to go along with their CD. I don't have a home printer that I think would be good for that but I don't know (the only printer I have is my Epson Workforce 500, the all in one type).

Either way, I have to print a lot of stuff for my primary field, so I don't want to be spending a ton on ink to print photos when photography is secondary.

I've been using Kodak's online service to get my prints. It's cheap and the color looks good to me and more importantly good to the people I'm giving the prints to, but the paper seems thin to me compared to the thickness you get from places like commercial chain portrait studios or office type places.

I looked around through the options to see if you could pay more for a sturdier stock and either there wasn't an option to change the paper stock or I just couldn't find it (if you know where it is, please tell me lol) I want to be able to order a print on a sturdier stock. I just don't know of any other online printing places.

I DID search this forum, but honestly, I haven't heard of ONE of the online places that have been mentioned, which makes me wary of using any of them, because the opinions seem to be scattered. The one that was mentioned here that I've seen mentioned on other sites though is www.mpix.com.

I've seen enough positive feedback on them to be willing to give them a try, but how do I know which paper stock to choose? If you've ordered from Kodak, basically, I want something stiffer than that, closer to the thickness of what you'd get if you dropped your prints off at a Kinkos or Rite Aid or something or better.
It's been a long time since I've compared different paper types, so I can't really describe it better. I know the quality of the image itself is the most important thing, I just don't want paper that's as flimsy feeling as that Kodak stuff. I worked for Lifetouch for a while though so maybe I just got used to whatever paper stock they were using and it's making me THINK Kodak's is flimsy ::shrug::
Any advice on choosing the right stock?
Any opinion on mpix?
Any idea if Kodak offers sturdier stock?

Also, sorry if I'm saying stock and should be calling it something else like weight or something. I'm willing to consider other online printing places too, but please keep in mind that I need the prices to be low, less than $5 per 8x10 print.

Responses

Nathan Meador , Apr 23, 2009; 01:02 p.m.

There are a lot of online development options, I sell photos thru smugmug and they use 2 or 3 different labs, and offer gloss/matte/lustre/metallic paper for standard print sizes (all well within your budget). You can also get canvas and other materials from various online labs. Just have to look around. I've not used mpix.

James Kiffmeyer , Apr 23, 2009; 03:10 p.m.

I use Mpix.com for all of my prints that I want quality from. (anything I would hang on my wall, prints for family portraits I shoot, etc) I like the quality level from mpix, their prints are good quality and their prices are competitive. Just order a couple prints and see what you think. I also like that I can order true B&W, etc.

Regarding the paper weight, just look at some of the more professional printers (like mpix), and ask them what weight their normal paper is, and whether you can get different weights. I wouldn't say mpix paper is a lot heavier, but it certainly has a higher quality "feel" to it. If you ware wanting really heavy paper, almost card stock, then you will probably have to pay more than what you are currently paying, and order from a true professional printing service.

PFP O , Apr 24, 2009; 12:35 p.m.

Hey everyone, sorry it took me a while to get back. Thanks for the feedback on MPIX, I think I'll give them a try. I don't need anything as heavy as card stock, just something sturdier than that Kodak stuff.

Kent Hilburn , Apr 25, 2009; 10:22 a.m.

This thread got me thinking. Are there any situations or types of shots where one type of finish (gloss/matte/lustre) is better than the other or is it personal preference?

William Supko , Apr 26, 2009; 08:48 p.m.

PFP O - When ordering prints from a lab look for Kodak's Endura paper, it comes in luster, gloss, metallic, and maybe matte. It's Kodak's professional line of paper and it's thicker and sturdier than there consumer paper (I think there standard paper is called gold but not sure, I rarely use it). I'm not sure if prints from Kodak are dye sub or gelatin-silver prints.

Kent - I think it is all personal preference. I personally like metallic paper.

William Supko , Apr 26, 2009; 08:51 p.m.

Forgot to mention something. Most of the places I know of charge around 2-3 dollars for an 8x10. I use WHCC for most of my commercial printing and I use adorama for prints when they have their 16x20 on sale for 4 or 5 dollars. Just make sure with adorama you select the professional quality paper as they have a lot of different options.

Back to top

Notify me of Responses