Printing: DS Colour Labs


Link Posted 01/07/2013 - 12:34
Hi everyone

Looking for a bit of advice on using DS Colour Labs (who seem to come highly recommended). We are going to put a few images on our walls and so I have ordered a couple of test prints from them. They are cheap enough that the postage is about the same cost as the 6 prints (of varying sizes) I have ordered.

However, having been through the order process I was hoping to get some advice from those who are a bit more experienced than me.

My main question is whether to let them do their image optimisation or not (they have that as an option when you are ordering). My monitor isn't properly calibrated but I have tried to eliminate any colour casts and prevent the monitor being overly bright. I don't have my own colour profile etc though. Is their optimisation going to produce really bright, contrasty, over-saturated images (like the horrible ones I have had from Truprint in the past)? I would guess not but I am not sure if the good results people mention are due to them going the extra mile and calibrating images before they send them.

My second question is what paper to use. I have gone with the Lustre paper as this is generally the finish I prefer. I don't really have any images that would benefit from the extra punch of gloss. The other option is their fine art print papers. Would I be better using these for the final larger prints? There is quite a price difference (1-10 for a 16x10) but the prints are still very reasonable. If so, what paper would people suggest for:

- Wildlife
- Landscapes
- Black and white (detailed fairly contrasty images)

Many thanks.

You will only prise my 43Ltd from my cold, dead hands...


Link Posted 01/07/2013 - 13:08
I've used them for several years, their lustre prints are excellent and I can't fault the print quality. Only problem I've had was a couple of weeks ago where my photos came back cropped too tightly, TBH it wasn't sorted 100% to my satisfaction although to be fair they did send replacement prints which were a little better.

I can't comment regarding their "auto" processing as I always do my own beforehand and use the "pro" option which basically just means they don't do anything but print the images.

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Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 16:29
Photos have turned up (very quick) and from a quick look at work I am very impressed. The auto correct seems to be fine.

If no-one else has experioence of their fine art papers I will maybe try some out for my next order to see how it looks.
You will only prise my 43Ltd from my cold, dead hands...


Link Posted 03/07/2013 - 10:18
I have had a few prints turn up from DSCL with a colour cast, especially, but not exclusively, mono ones, so I now do all the adjustment and re-sizing myself, and they just print the images. I've not had any problems since. They are good about replacing prints that you aren't happy with. The lustre prints are really good, in fact as good as any I have had from more expensive labs. I've not tried any of their fine art papers.

I've also had a couple of mono prints done on metallic paper, probably not everyone's cup of tea, but on mono images with a good range of tones I like the finish. I've sold a couple of metallic prints (though they were IR, which seems particularly suited to metallic paper.)

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