Photobox and Colour Reporduction


jkharmer

Link Posted 25/02/2009 - 18:06
Hi guys,

Had a load of photos back from Photobox and a little disappointed in the colour reproduction. The image on the K20d's screen is very good, as is the repordcution on computer, however, the photos from Photobox have all come back considerably warmer than they should be. Any ideas what I can do to overcome this? I have tried changing the LCD colour cast on the K20d, but does not make enough of a difference.

Can anyone maybe recommend somewhere else to get the photos printed? Main problem is pinks / reds. other colours seem to be better.

Thanks, James

MattMatic

Link Posted 25/02/2009 - 18:08
Main question - is your computer monitor calibrated???

If not - that's your problem
Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

matic

Link Posted 25/02/2009 - 21:40
hello,

i use photobox for all my printing and have never had a problem, one thing that could be an issue is your working color space ? either in the camera or in your photographic software.

do you use photoshops color space profiles ?

if so, are you using s-rgb ?

alot of the printing companies use fuji printers and also use a s-rgb profile, exactly what colors are affected if you have used adobe rgb as opposed to s-rgb is a question best left to somebody other than me

just a thought though..
many thanks,

roger.

pentax cameras - spotmatic, spotmatic spII pinhole, MX, Sfx-n, k1000, p30
pentax lenses - 28mm,50mm,105mm,150mm,300mm

bigcog

Link Posted 25/02/2009 - 22:01
I don't find photobox to be very good at all in comparison to others. I would do an order with snapfish and dscolourlabs for some of the same photographs and see the difference. Photobox printed too dark and so lost lots of detail, say in someones hair for example, whereas with snapfish lots of the different subtle highlights in hair that I would see on screen all came out.
K10D - Pentax 18-55mm kit - Pentax DA 55-300mm - Pentax FA 50mm 1.4
MX - Pentax-M 50mm 1.7, Pentax-M 28mm 2.8, Pentax-M 100mm 2.8
My Flickr Photostream

jkharmer

Link Posted 26/02/2009 - 15:24
Thanks for replies. I do not think the monitor calibration should have anything to do with it as these are straight out of the camera with no PPing at all.

Camera set to s-rgb.

I will try the other two companies and see what difference, if any I get.

Thanks, James

MattMatic

Link Posted 26/02/2009 - 16:03
Quote:
I do not think the monitor calibration should have anything to do with it as these are straight out of the camera with no PPing at all.

Think what you like
The Auto White Balance can often get it plain wrong.

If you have a problem like this then you should _at_least_ take an image to someone else who has a calibrated monitor to check against the print.

I've had no problems with colour with Photobox (not as accurate as ProAM, but still near as damn-it). But then I know what I'm looking at... and my camera LCD doesn't look anything like a calibrated monitor for sure

Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)
Last Edited by MattMatic on 26/02/2009 - 16:03

jkharmer

Link Posted 26/02/2009 - 17:49
I try not to use the autowhite balance, I normally set it myself, but base the results on what the camera LCD looks like. Are you saying that the LCD may be way out? I have tried to tweek the LCD but does not really make that much of a difference. If the LCD is so far out, how can you possibly assess the picture when you take it? or is that the reason for shooting in RAW????

Anvh

Link Posted 26/02/2009 - 19:10
That depends on how accurate you assess them on your screen, most of the time I see my shots for the first on my computer screen. If I do asses them on the LCD I simply look if they are usable they are or not but that comes basicly down look at how it is exposed and if the image is sharp enough.

I don't know what you mean with shooting it RAW, of course you can change your white balance without any lost in quality afterwards and there are many more reasons but I don't know what the LCD screen has to do with that?
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ
Last Edited by Anvh on 26/02/2009 - 19:10

Prieni

Link Posted 26/02/2009 - 19:13
jkharmer wrote:
Are you saying that the LCD may be way out?

YES!

jkharmer wrote:
I have tried to tweek the LCD but does not really make that much of a difference. If the LCD is so far out, how can you possibly assess the picture when you take it? or is that the reason for shooting in RAW????

It certainly is one of the reasons to use RAW for me. How can you check the white balance on the camera LCD when the sun is shining brightly, for example?
The LCD might be close to real under certain light conditions but certainly not under all conditions.

Prieni

EDIT: corrected quote tag
How inappropriate to call this planet earth when it is quite clearly Ocean. - Arthur C. Clarke
Prieni's PPG page
Last Edited by Prieni on 26/02/2009 - 19:16

MattMatic

Link Posted 26/02/2009 - 19:28
Absolutely yes

As Prieni correctly says, all monitors need to be calibrated for particular viewing conditions! For example, a display calibrated with a hardware colorimeter may be perfect in the subdued lighting of an editing suite (ie almost dark), but will look rubbish in sunlight.

With any colour management issue you MUST start by getting yourself a known, calibrated starting point and then work from there If you don't do this you'll go round and round in circles and never get it absolutely right (and that is exceedingly frustrating!!).

Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

simonkit

Link Posted 26/02/2009 - 22:43
Iuse Photobox, aswell as DSCL and whilst I think the quality of the DSCL prints are slightly better I've never had any problems with colour reproduction from Photobox..

Just to repeat what's already been said a calibrated monitor is essential if you want to try and assess your images...just to throw something else into the mix though modern TN LCD panels aren't particularly the best for accurate colour reproduction either !!

simon
My website http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com

My Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/landscapephotographyuk

Find me on Google+ link

bigcog

Link Posted 26/02/2009 - 23:01
I think from my experience so far I appreciate what jkharmer is saying. I've not felt the need to calibrate my monitor, though I guess if I become more exacting I might need to. For me now I tried a few places and found snapfish to be very very close to what I see on the screen by default. That might be enough for you. Another thing I also found so far is when doing black and whites snapfish had the edge over dscolour labs. The snapfish B&W's were pure B&W, and the DSColour labs ones had a slight cast to them.
K10D - Pentax 18-55mm kit - Pentax DA 55-300mm - Pentax FA 50mm 1.4
MX - Pentax-M 50mm 1.7, Pentax-M 28mm 2.8, Pentax-M 100mm 2.8
My Flickr Photostream

jkharmer

Link Posted 05/03/2009 - 14:20
Just to update you on this.

I can't believe how different Photobox results are to Snapfish. Snapfish a much closer to the colours that I see on my 20d LCD. I don't require the colours to be 100% spot on, hence my reluctance to calibrate my monitor, but I do expect the images I see on my 20d LCD to be similar to what I am getting back from the printers. Photobox were nowhere near, especially on my 15 day old daughter's pink baby grow. On screen it looks like a subdued pink, from snapfish it is a subdued pink (not exact match but very close), but on photobox it looks like a highlighter pink - very strong and bright, nothing like what it looks in real life.

I would recommend people who use photobox to look around at other providers. It looks to me like they make their colours more vibrant, as that is wahat a lot of people want to see (same with TV screens when shops crank the contrast up to create a more vibrant - but unrealistic - colour).

I may try DSColour labs as well to see what I get with them.

I will concede that my screen could be better calibrated, but I am happy enough with the images at the moment - the colours are pretty close to the snapfish prints.

At the end of the day, I don't have the time to do lots of PPing (I have a business to run and a very young daughter to look after). Therefore, although it would be lovely to fire off a load of photos and then tweak them all afterwards, what I am really wanting to do is to be able to take a photo as a jpeg, check it on the LCD for sharpness / composition, and colour reproduction (does the white balance need changing for the light I am shooting in, and if so, I do it on the camera), upload to computer and send off to print knowing that the colours I thought I was getting during shooting are going to be close enough to the colours on the prints I get back.

James

bigcog

Link Posted 05/03/2009 - 16:24
glad to hear it worked out for you, I thought you might be happy with snapfish. I can't find much to separate DScolour labs from them. DS seems to be slightly cheaper but then charge higher postage. DS also have more options in different print sizes and allow you to on screen put a panorama inside a bigger print, with white top and bottom, ready for you to chop, snapfish don't let you do this. DS seem weaker on B&W prints, giving them a colour cast, whereas snapfish were more pure B&W. On the whole for 6x4/5x7 prints snapfish stand out, you will also find they send you credits periodically.

I still find reds a little over saturated in snapfish but its a minor quibble. I don't think as much of the snapfish gifts and use photobox for calendars. Pity as the quality of photobox calendar with the snapfish print quality would be astounding. Even so the photobox calendar is treasured by grandparents, but they aren't as picky as me!
K10D - Pentax 18-55mm kit - Pentax DA 55-300mm - Pentax FA 50mm 1.4
MX - Pentax-M 50mm 1.7, Pentax-M 28mm 2.8, Pentax-M 100mm 2.8
My Flickr Photostream
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