October 21, 2014, 07:08:45 AM

Author Topic: Photobook Printing  (Read 1492 times)

kyamon

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Photobook Printing
« on: February 24, 2014, 12:50:20 PM »
I was wondering who of you has used any of the online services to print a photo book. What are your experiences?
How many of you use LR and blurb to print books? How many use LR but a different printing service, and how well does that work?
Also - getting back to an old topic - how reliable are these printing services when it comes to color, contrast, etc. If my screen is well-calibrated, does it all work out well? Or will there be big surprises...?

I would print books for private purposes only.

Thanks for any comments
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 12:53:43 PM by kyamon »

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Photobook Printing
« on: February 24, 2014, 12:50:20 PM »

unfocused

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 01:13:05 PM »
I've used Blurb and a couple of other services. Blurb was the most consistent for color reproduction.

However, you need to understand some basics of color reproduction first. I'm not an expert, so others may want to chime in, but here is what I know.

Printing is a reflective process. That is, the reproduction is visible because light reflects off the page. This is unlike a computer screen, which is illuminated. It's similar to the difference between a slide and a print.

You will never get as brilliant of a reproduction from print as you do on a computer screen, simply because of this fact. Printing uses four inks Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K). Thus the term CMYK. You must make sure when you prepare your book for print that you convert the images to CMYK. Otherwise, you won't have any idea beforehand, how they will look in print and believe me, colors will shift and the dynamic range will be different. Subtleties that you love when looking at the screen may not show up when a book is printed.

I strongly recommend that you take some of the images that you intend to use in the book and have a small sample book with a minimum number of pages printed first. You can then see how your images will look in print, whether or not you like the reproduction offered by the publisher and get ideas on how you might want to adjust your images to improve the reproduction.

There are professional pre-print shops that do nothing but prepare images for reproduction, but if you are just doing a handful of books for your own use or sharing with family and friends, that isn't cost-effective. 
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Albi86

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 02:21:00 PM »
I was wondering who of you has used any of the online services to print a photo book. What are your experiences?
How many of you use LR and blurb to print books? How many use LR but a different printing service, and how well does that work?
Also - getting back to an old topic - how reliable are these printing services when it comes to color, contrast, etc. If my screen is well-calibrated, does it all work out well? Or will there be big surprises...?

I would print books for private purposes only.

Thanks for any comments

Are you in Europe or US?

kyamon

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 02:31:10 PM »
I was wondering who of you has used any of the online services to print a photo book. What are your experiences?
How many of you use LR and blurb to print books? How many use LR but a different printing service, and how well does that work?
Also - getting back to an old topic - how reliable are these printing services when it comes to color, contrast, etc. If my screen is well-calibrated, does it all work out well? Or will there be big surprises...?

I would print books for private purposes only.

Thanks for any comments

Are you in Europe or US?

Switzerland - not sure if it should still be considered europe...

Albi86

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 02:39:05 PM »
I was wondering who of you has used any of the online services to print a photo book. What are your experiences?
How many of you use LR and blurb to print books? How many use LR but a different printing service, and how well does that work?
Also - getting back to an old topic - how reliable are these printing services when it comes to color, contrast, etc. If my screen is well-calibrated, does it all work out well? Or will there be big surprises...?

I would print books for private purposes only.

Thanks for any comments

Are you in Europe or US?

Switzerland - not sure if it should still be considered europe...

Shipping-wise, I guess so :D

So, I've tried Photobox, which is the big commercial one. Books are nice and  they have many customization options. I particularly like the flat one, which is great for double-page landscapes. Prices are crazy but they often have good deals going on. You can prepare the book online, save it, and buy it when they have a deal. Two notes: on bigger books they only have matte paper, so take it into consideration when you prepare your photos. Another important note is that, yes, they auto-correct your pictures. You have to contact the customer support and explicitly ask them to deactivate the option for your account.

The other big one that I'm interested in is Vistaprint. Even more binding options and glossy paper on big books. You can download their software to prepare the book offline. I will try it for sure, but I didn't yet.

filo64

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2014, 02:39:51 PM »

Switzerland - not sure if it should still be considered europe...

LOL
No vote can change that fact.

filo64

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2014, 02:47:42 PM »
I like to have my photo books printed by www.saal-digital.de. That a German website. Actually, they don't print but do a digital laser exposure onto traditional photographic paper, which looks much better than all the printing services I have tried so far. Shipping to Switzerland is rather expensive, though (+10€). My sister is a designer and she likes Blurb. If you have lots of text, that would probably be the way to go.

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2014, 02:47:42 PM »

distant.star

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2014, 03:36:41 PM »
.
Here's a small thread from my asking the same question last November. Might be helpful.


http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=18211.msg338003#msg338003


I'm working on the images for a 50-60 page book now (still, since last November) and so far I don't see a better setup than Shutterfly. I'll keep reading reviews and talking about it until I'm ready to publish.
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kyamon

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2014, 03:43:06 PM »
I was wondering who of you has used any of the online services to print a photo book. What are your experiences?
How many of you use LR and blurb to print books? How many use LR but a different printing service, and how well does that work?
Also - getting back to an old topic - how reliable are these printing services when it comes to color, contrast, etc. If my screen is well-calibrated, does it all work out well? Or will there be big surprises...?

I would print books for private purposes only.

Thanks for any comments

Are you in Europe or US?

Switzerland - not sure if it should still be considered europe...

Shipping-wise, I guess so :D

So, I've tried Photobox, which is the big commercial one. Books are nice and  they have many customization options. I particularly like the flat one, which is great for double-page landscapes. Prices are crazy but they often have good deals going on. You can prepare the book online, save it, and buy it when they have a deal. Two notes: on bigger books they only have matte paper, so take it into consideration when you prepare your photos. Another important note is that, yes, they auto-correct your pictures. You have to contact the customer support and explicitly ask them to deactivate the option for your account.

The other big one that I'm interested in is Vistaprint. Even more binding options and glossy paper on big books. You can download their software to prepare the book offline. I will try it for sure, but I didn't yet.

Thanks - I will check those out.

kyamon

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2014, 03:47:33 PM »

Switzerland - not sure if it should still be considered europe...

LOL
No vote can change that fact.

You are underestimating the power of our direct democracy!
We can vote the world to be flat if we want. ;D

kyamon

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 03:52:53 PM »
.
Here's a small thread from my asking the same question last November. Might be helpful.


http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=18211.msg338003#msg338003


I'm working on the images for a 50-60 page book now (still, since last November) and so far I don't see a better setup than Shutterfly. I'll keep reading reviews and talking about it until I'm ready to publish.

Thanks, I had missed that post.
Good luck with the new book!

What I forgot to write in my original post is that I have sent a test-book to Apple a few days ago (have not received the book yet). Don't ask me why I used the apple service - I actually went through the trouble of transferring some photos from LR into iPhoto because I thought the composition of the book would be easier there than in LR. I don't remember what I had been smoking, but it certainly was a silly idea.
I also read up on the different services only after the fact, and have now learned that the Apple service is among the less good and more expensive ones...


distant.star

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2014, 06:06:54 PM »
.
I don't think I knew Vistaprint was in the book business. Will have to take a look at them.

In 2011, I had them print an 11 X 17 with a magnetic back. It was a good image to begin with (from a T2i) but I didn't have great expectations. It turned out exceptionally good -- color, detail, sharpness were all great and as good as any printer I've seen.

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chrysoberyl

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 02:09:33 PM »
Can others recommend Vistaprint?  After two good books, I have had an awful experience with Mixbook - the third book was dull and chalky, and they made the print font absurdly huge!  And it looks like they won't refund my payment, even when the book is returned.  All this after many chats and emails.

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Re: Photobook Printing
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 02:09:33 PM »