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How to Print from Slides
© 2006 KenRockwell.com

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Scan your slides, optimize them yourself, and send the files out for printing.

Forget inkjet printers at home unless you need prints immediately at 2AM.

The days of the custom commercial optical lab are over, too.

If you need a lab to do all the scanning Calypso also can do that, just that it gets expensive. I suggest doing it yourself, since sending it out for everything loses your control over the final look. Many fine artists send their work to one lab, like West Coast Imaging for scanning, optimize the images themselves, and then send the files out to someplace else like Calypso for printing.

The great news is if you do your own scanning that neither you nor your film ever need to leave home. You scan at home and either FTP the files to the lab or mail them a CD. The UPS man then brings you your prints.

Try also Watts Color Lab and Chrome in San Diego if you need a do-it-all lab, and make sure to tell them I sent you.

Prints from internegatives stink. If your local "pro" lab tries the internegative scam on you find another lab. Believe it or not, all labs offer different services. You need to find the right one. An interneg is bogus: it's just pointing a camera with print film at your slide and making a print from that negative. Now you know why it looks so bad!

Calypso Imaging in San Jose, CA, has the Cymbolic printer which costs over $100,000 and weighs almost two tons. This printer uses lasers to expose real photo paper. This allows us to adjust and fine tune our images in our own studios and send out the files for printing. As always, tell these guys I sent you if you call.

I avoid inkjet printers like the plague They went obsolete in 2003 when you could get prints on real photo paper inexpensively. Giclée is just "inkjet" in French. Honest. I don't like the colors or softer surface textures I see from them. If you want prints on rag board or canvas go for it; if you want the vivid, glossy wet-look prints I prefer then have your prints on Fuji Supergloss material at Calypso. This is all very personal of course. There is no "right," just what's right for you.

See my page on printers here for more.

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