Testing Photo Labs, Part 1

10 prints from MPIX

UPS dropped off a package of 10 prints this morning!  They arrived in a stiff, cardboard envelope. Inside were two plastic bags, one for the 8×10 inch prints and one for the  8×12 inch prints. Each plastic bag also had a thin piece of cardboard to protect the prints. The packaging was good.

I put the prints on the bed and grabbed a quick iPhone snapshot for this article.  The prints look good. They are a pretty good color match to the original digital files on my color calibrated monitor.  Unfortunately, a quick iPhone photo is not as good as seeing the original prints in person.

8×12 print and framed 16×24 print

I compared one of the 8×12 prints to a framed 16×24 print of the same photo that is on our living room wall and I grabbed another iPhone photo. The color match is good. The 8×12 is lighter. I went to the original digital file. The 8×12 is a little lighter than the original. The 16×24 is a little darker than the original.

Note the white cotton glove. I use white cotton gloves when handling unframed prints. If you pick up a print in you bare hands, the tiny amount of natural oil on you skin can slowly eat away at the surface of the print.

The lab who did these prints is MPIX in Pittsburgh Kansas. MPIX has been one of my two favorite labs for years and I recommend them highly. My other most favorite lab was bought out by a bigger lab.  So I am looking for another great photo lab that I can recommend along with MPIX.

10 digital files.

The best way to compare photo labs is to put together a varied set of photos, and send the same set of photos to each of the labs.  Be sure to include landscapes and portraits. Some labs have a reputation for doing better with portraits, some for doing better with landscapes, and some for doing well with both. MPIX does well with both.

I found three labs with high reputations that I have not used, so I sent all three labs the same 10 photos that I sent to MPIX. I am anxious to see and compare the results.  I will let you know how my comparison test comes out.


Testing Photo Labs, Part 2

Testing Photo Labs, Part 3