Cheap RA4 Prints

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by AlexG, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. AlexG

    AlexG Member

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    I just came back from a local pro lab to get some 35mm Fuji 160s developed. I'm working on a collection of fish-eye skateboarding pictures for a friend, and I promised that I would print ALL the pictures on RA4 Paper (Either Endura or CA).

    The problem is, my friend only wants prints that are 11x14 or bigger and the pro lab charges nearly 10$ (Edit: I was wrong...they charge dang near 20$ for 1 print!!) on one 11x14 print on Kodak Endura. He's on a bit of a budget and my color enlarging filters have faded so I can't really print the pictures myself without spending even more money to make a couple of prints. So the last time I did a portrait session with my friends parents, I used Sam's clubs 11x14 cheap printing deal. The problem was that the prints were NOT done on a minilab, but instead a inkjet printer. The quality was terrible. The print had a strange green cast and the paper had streaks in it.

    Is there any way I can get cheap minilab 11x14 prints? Can the frontiers even handle 11x14?

    Any recommendations for cheap labs?...I dont mind sending files out.

    Best Regards,

    Alex
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2009
  2. aparat

    aparat Member

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    The cheapest way would be scan them yourself (if you have a film scanner) and send the digital files to an oline photo finisher, such MPix. If you do not have your own scanner, MPix can process and scan films for you.
     
  3. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    the newer frontiers 7xx series for sure and I THINK, but don't quote me some of the 5xx series can. Costco's noritsus do up to 12x18....
     
  4. Karl_CTPhoto

    Karl_CTPhoto Member

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    Or you could use a Pro Lab, that runs Kodak Endura, instead of crap like MPix and Costco.

    No offense, they do good work, but they are definitely amateur labs.


    A Kodak Endura lab I can think of that does excellent work is Academy Productions in Charlotte, NC. They use Kodak HR 500 Scanners, arguably the best made. I think they are under $4 for an 11x14" print, and that is with color correction and calibration

    Also, North American Photo in Detroit does good work, optically, again on Kodak Endura.

    If you are not specifically looking for Kodak paper, I know other good labs that do great work. PM me if interested.

    If you are trying to get anything printed optically, good luck finding anything after this year. All of the optical labs in the entire country that I know of are tearing out their equipment at the end of the year or sooner. . . :-(
     
  5. Karl_CTPhoto

    Karl_CTPhoto Member

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    Sorry, didn't realize you were referring to Crystal Archive as CA.

    I don't know if they run CA anymore (or why you only want high-con Fuji or med-con. Kodak), but United Promotions in Charlotte also runs Fuji and Kodak paper I think, as well as some other interesting stuff, metallic.

    You can't go wrong with a real, brick-and-mortar, pro lab!
     
  6. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    unfortunately, RA4 prints above 4x6 from a minilab are almost pure profit for the photo finisher. This is a universal practice. It's a 75 cent sheet of paper with no more than a few cents of chemistry. Good inkjet prints are through the roof anyways because the ink costs exponentially more than perfume. I got my dichroic enlarger with lens off of ebay for $80 shipped to my door, this is your cheapest way to print them, but only if they were shot with a legitimate camera that includes exposure compensation. Your next best option is to scan and send to something like Adorama's photo website. They'll do a nice job, but it costs.
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Why does it matter if the camera had exposure compensation?
     
  8. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Sorry bad wording. There are types of 35mm fisheye cameras (one like I used, i think lomo brand) which don't adjust the exposure depending on the brightness and just use the latitude of the film as exposure compensation. Overexposure pushes the information towards the upper range of the curve, reducing contrast. It's fine if you scan it because you can adjust the contrast, but if you're printing in a darkroom you have very limited means of contrast control.
     
  9. Thomas Wilson

    Thomas Wilson Member

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    Alex,

    How faded are your color printing filters? Are they such that you could use a 10 cc in lieu of a 5 cc? Certainly printing yourself would be the cheapest solution. I doubt you could find a new set of filters now, but you might consider keeping a watch on Craigslist for any "Giveaways" of dichroic enlargers.
     
  10. AlexG

    AlexG Member

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    Yeah...The camera had exposure compensation. All the pictures were done on either a Nikon F4 or a Nikon N6006.

    About the filters....I don't use an enlarger with a dial-in filter head. I use the old fashion method with my Fujimoto Lucky B&W enlarger with the filter packs in the drawer. I've been able to get some damn nice prints with this method and I don't mind dealing with buying new color filters once in a while.

    But it looks like the best thing to do is to save up this summer to get myself a (nice) color enlarger :smile:.


    Hey, Adorama has a sale going on for 11x14 prints. 2.49 each...and it's printed on Endura!

    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2009
  11. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    and there you go...$2.50 aint bad at all.

    if you want a really nice color enlarger look for a digital beseler 45c dichro head with motorized base. Though, when choosing what to splurge on buy a nice sharp lens. Any box of plastic will work.
     
  12. Karl_CTPhoto

    Karl_CTPhoto Member

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    I think the labs I mentioned are cheaper than $2.50.

    They charge as little as $0.99/8x10" print, so that'd be like $1.50/11x14 or so.
     
  13. CTPhotography

    CTPhotography Inactive

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    No offense, they do good work, but these are definitely amateur labs.


    A Kodak Endura lab I can think of that does excellent work is Academy Productions in Charlotte, NC. They use Kodak HR 500 Scanners, arguably the best made. I think they are under $4 for an 11x14" print, and that is with color correction and calibration

    Also, North American Photo in Detroit does good work, optically, again on Kodak Endura.

    If you are not specifically looking for Kodak paper, I know other good labs that do great work. PM me if interested.

    If you are trying to get anything printed optically, good luck finding anything after this year. All of the optical labs in the entire country that I know of are tearing out their equipment at the end of the year or sooner. . . :-(

    They charge as little as $0.99/8x10" print, so that'd be like $1.50/11x14 or so. So that is also cheaper than the amateur labs mentioned, with professional color correction, chemistry calibration, and a professional level of service.