prints dissapointing

Hi all,
I just recently had some of my work printed at a lab in town (Adelaide) i tried this place because their prices for photorag paper was pretty much half the price of other printing places. I had a quick look in the lab and they seemed pretty good, got home to show wifey and have a better look, to find that they’re actually pretty different to how they look onscreen, they were a different colour, and also alot darker :((
Do i go back and question them about it? Has anyone else had the same problem before just after some experienced advice, as they’re for an exhibition in the near future..i’m quite bummed about it!
Thanks, Joel


  • Mieke Boynton
    Mieke Boyntonalmost 4 years ago

    I had issues before I calibrated my computer screen… but now i’m just a bit more forgiving about it ‘matching’… there are so many factors at play with colour and screen vs print… the texture of the paper, the ink used, the printing machine, your computer screen… I’m sure others will disagree with me, but I think that you just can’t afford to think that it’ll ever look the same as what you see on your screen. The real question is whether it looks good full stop. If it looks good, don’t bother comparing it!!
    That’s just my opinion… I have no doubt others will see things differently!

  • Mitch Labuda
    Mitch Labudaalmost 4 years ago

    “Do i go back and question them about it?”

    Yes, you are the consumer and the consumer needs to be happy.

    If you make a print at home, make one and bring it along.

  • D Byrne
    D Byrnealmost 4 years ago

    Try the place that’s not cheaper and compare the quality. You might or might not notice a difference.

  • Shannon Rogers
    Shannon Rogersalmost 4 years ago

    G’day Joel.

    I have been done this road mate and lost a lot of money on prints that came out to dark and the colors would never match the screen. So I found out that I would need a good Color Collaborator for my Monitor to get it as close as possible. I was like huh, the color on screen look fine to me….. Until I borrowed a Friend Spyder 3 Elite and OMG, My Monitor was out by a longggggggg way. Now when I look back on all my work in the past, they were all to dark. I seriously couldn’t believe it and how I missed how Important it is to Calibrate my Monitors. So I went out and Bought my Own I was that Impressed.

    If you ever wanna try one out Joel, Let me Know buddy and I’ll pop on down to your place and run it for you ;)

    PS, Once you calob your Monitor you will be blown away by how many dark Images you have and you too will notice how dark so many Images are here on RB. Put it this way, the one you uploaded on here tonight was Dark!!

    Hope this helps mate :)



  • Biggzie
    Biggziealmost 4 years ago

    This can be a huge frustration.
    I have been lucky over the years by finding a 17’ CRT monitor which by chance is so close to my printer, that it was the only monitor I would work on photos .
    When printing else where, I always do test prints. Im lucky that the place I get to print, I can sit on their computer do a couple of minor adjustments to take into account his printer. Then say print that.
    The main reason Ive been using a CRT for so long is that most LCD monitors dont use a full colour conversion process, so what you see isnt always what is in the file. As the 17’ CRT is getting a bit old, Ive just purchased twin 24’ LCD professional grade monitors factory calibrated to sRGB AdobeRGB. Ive also printed huge amount of test prints so I know what the results will be.
    I agree with using the Spider to calibrate your system like Shannon suggests, but Id have a prof. grade monitor to work with first.


  • John  Kowalski
    John Kowalskialmost 4 years ago

    Disappointing to say the least Joel, a monitor calibration tool would be a good start. Then find someone who can print to a standard and meet those standards every time. May I suggest you try The Edge Photo Imaging in Melbourne. They are one of the best for printing high quality images on a variety of media, and come highly recommended from pro photographers from around the world. Not only are they the best that I have used they are also excellent value compared to others that are not as good.
    Good luck

  • GlennTunaley
    GlennTunaleyalmost 4 years ago

    I used to have a lot of problems with this as well. I don’t think you can go cheap when it comes to prints. Find a place where professional photographers go to do their prints. Ask if you can check to see how your photos look on the lab monitors and then ask if they will print like this, if they look a little different they might work on them with you until you are happy.

    You can try the more expensive paper as well like the fuji flex or metalic paper, it costs more but the prints look amazing!

  • Davercox
    Davercoxalmost 4 years ago

    Really disappointing when this happens mate. It goes without saying that you should calibrate your monitor but also, the same applies to the printing place! Secondly, are the prints bad or just different? Finally, they usually make some corrections themselves before they print and they ‘should’ have a good quality big screen for doing that. Maybe take the prints back and ask to see the images on their screen? Ultimately, if you aren’t happy then you have a right to ask for refund/reprints.

    To be fair, they are normally pretty good – I have had reprints done in the past at no cost. They will be wanting you to go back so it’s in their interest!!

  • bushpoet
    bushpoetalmost 4 years ago

    Hi Mate, I’ve found that the old CRT monitors gave a more accurate account of what my prints will look like. I agree with Mieke in that you can have your screen professionally callibrated but in the end printers will use different machines, inks, papers, etc which will all affect the end result. I’ve sent the exact same image to two different professional printers and they’ve come back different and with differing colour casts.. at the end of the day you have to be happy and if you aren’t then get a refund, but it is very difficult to match a print to your own monitor when you are getting the print somewhere else.

  • Melinda Kerr
    Melinda Kerralmost 4 years ago

    Try and find somewhere that allows you to download custom profiles which you then use if you are configuring your files in photoshop. even if you have to send it interstate and get them sent back to you?