Best digital printing in-store

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kidkaprie, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. kidkaprie macrumors member


    Mar 17, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    Im looking to make some 5x7 or 8x10 prints this weekend, and was thinking about going to ritz/cvs/walgreens/etc. to print them at their kiosks. i wanted to know what type of experience people have had with these places...which ones give decent shots, bad shots, etc.

    also, what would you recommend for a file format? jped, tiff, psd, etc? i shoot raw, edit in lightroom and then crop for the desired print ratio.

    also, should i upload the photos online to ritz/cvs/walgreens/etc .com and order 1hour prints, or just do it at the store?

  2. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I did some prints through Wolf (Ritz?) Camera back in 06 so it has been a while, but I uploaded the jpg files through the website and picked them up at a local store. Had no issues at all. More recently I had some large prints done in store at Costco. Again no issues, but as you need to be a member this may or may not be an option for you.
  3. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    Personally, I've had problems with Costco Prints not being as high quality as dedicated labs.
  4. kidkaprie thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 17, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    so do you recomend i goto ritz?

    someone on another forum (nikoncafe) recomended costco printing b/c most other printing kiosks "recompress images to speed things up" where as at you could uncheck this in the upload process.


    (i might just end up going to ritz...b/c its the only "lab" in my area.)
  5. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
  6. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    It's been a while since I used Ritz. The one I used was closed a couple of years back and I found another vendor with better prices and just as good quality if not better.

    Anyway, I never had any problems with Ritz that they didn't correct. Quality was always good, it was usually quantity or something being missed in the order.

    High end JPG should be fine. TIFF would be next pick.

    You could always do a test between the 2.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    All of the print services will want you to supply files in "sRGB" color space and .jpg format. Size them at least 300DPI for the size prints you want. Save at "highest quality" jpg compression.

    I would use send the files on-line so you don't have to wait at the store. If you can wait until next day you save some money too.

    There is variation in quality between places but not so much between companies. CVS is not better or worse than Walgreens it depends entirely on who works at the store that day when the machine was set up. If you want good quality control than you need to find a "real" lab.
  8. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    I've had real problems with the walgreens where I used to get my prints. Now I get them through smugmug
  9. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    The Kodak branded "Kiosks" tend to be dye sub printers, not good for shadow detail. Everythere that has a Noritsu or Frontier is dependent on test strips, fresh chemicals, good temperatures and fast paper turn-over or good paper storage. I've had good luck with some Wal-Mart online prints for 1hr pickup in store and bad results with others. If the cost isn't so much that you have to pay online, getting reprints done in store is easy if you don't like the results.
  10. AllieNeko macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2003
    Costco, download profiles from, convert the file to the profile you download (use perceptual or relative colorimetric intent) and then save with NO embedded profile. Ask Costco to print with auto correct turn off. Make sure the back of the prints say N N N N --- and not N N N N NN. The latter indicates auto corrections are on.

    The printed file should be *VERY* close to a calibrated monitor.
  11. Nikon Shooter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2008
    Ritz Camera

    I have been shooting for many years and have just left Ritz Camera in CT after working there for 10 months.

    At Ritz, each and every frame printed is viewed and adjusted by the closely managed Tech running the equipment. Often you will find a Fuji Frontier machine running the show. It's great. At drug stores and warehouse places you simply will not find anyone trained the way Ritz CAMERA trains their people. Ritz makes most of its profit from photo finishing, not camera sales, so with that in mind, great efforts are taken to ensure the best possible product.

    High Res Tiff images are always best for printing. At the Ritz Camera Print Bar I worked at, Tiff images were automatically converted to JPG before they went for printing. This saved time and bandwith in processing. Still the prints were stunning.

    Look at the printers at the Ritz near you. The Fuji Frontier makes prints up to 8x10 Also there may be a very high end Epson printer making bigger prints.
    Ask for the model number of the big printer and Google it for reviews.

  12. kidkaprie thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 17, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    ended up going to ritz. pic turned out good, but slightly darker than i expected. possibly b/c my monitor is not calibrated correctly? i dunno...maybe it was just me. my friend, whom it was for, and is also a much better photographer than i, said the pic was perfect.

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