New special prints arrived

Discussion in 'Printing' started by Poki, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Hey guys,

    like you may know, I prefer my photos as physical items. So when I've got some money to spend, I like to order prints. In the past, I weren't too happy with some of the prints - direct printing on aluminium simply doesn't work too well, and "poster" quality prints, while cheap, are awful. So I tried two brand new products at one of the most well regarded photo laboratory around, Whitewall. What I received? Well, here are photos of the two prints I ordered.

    First, a 10 x 15 cm print laminated on the back of a 25 mm thick block of acrylic glass. Sounds cheap? Well, it certainly doesn't look so. The €30 (plus shipping) yielded me a - for its size - incredibly massive thing to put on my desk. And trust me, it will stun everyone who first sees it - the effect really is that cool. And the quality of the print is outstanding too. Just the processing could be a little better - the edges aren't laminated perfectly. But they're good enough that nobody who doesn't inspect them as close as I did would even see it.

    This is how it looks like on my desk. Unfortunately, you can't really see the cool 3D effect it has, especially not on the admittedly bad snapshots here.


    You think there is nothing on this photo? Look again. That's what it looks like from the side. The glass itself is as clear as it gets.


    Here, you can see a little better what it looks like from the side.


    A photo, printed on Kodak Pro Endura paper with an 8 color laser printer, is laminated on the back. It looks like solid white from the first glance, but it actually transmits a bit of light through to make the photo on the front really shine when a light source, such as a window, is behind it.


    Another one from the back.


    The acrylic block is incredibly cool and is definitely something I would recommend anybody. I don't know if the processing always is as "bad" as it has been for my image, but even then, it's unbeatable for the effect it has on a viewer.

    The second image is a 60 x 40 cm print on a solid 1 mm thick aluminum plate. It's polished and shiny as hell, but I actually like my prints shiny. The printing quality itself is far better than what you get on a "normal" direct print on aluminum composite panels due to the new technology which, according to the website, embeds the color in the metal. Shadow detail is not great, there's a little too much green in the darkest areas and the transition from the brighter part at the bottom and the darker one isn't perfect. But again, it's a very solid print, it's almost indestructible and I guess (or hope?) that detail reproduction is better in not quite as dark images. For about €95 (plus shipping) for this size, it's not cheap, but about comparable to making gallery prints with a combination of aluminum composite panel, photo paper and acrylic glass.


    The sharply cut sides look very modern, and you no longer get the three separate sections of the usual aluminum composite panels.


    I can only recommend the "HD Metal Print", as it's called by Whitewall, if you actually want a VERY shiny photo on your wall. I mean, its almost like a mirror when you look at it. But if that's what you like, as is the case with me, you probably won't be disappointed.

    What do you think? And what kind of print you made was the one you liked best?
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  2. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 13, 2013
    I've used PosterXXL a few times (German outfit) because they occasionally have heavy discounts on their products -up to 40% off. My favorite for seascapes and such is acrylic with laminated photo print backed by aluminum dibond - deep, rich color. Have an Antarctic pano seascape and a single 90x60cm shot of penguins on an nice floe that I really love. But it gets stupid expensive in large sizes (with discount well over 250 euros including mounting). What I like a lot for large prints in sunnier areas is a print laminated on dibond with a matte laminate layer - not a direct print, so the detail and color is good. The matte finish and floating mount creates a clean, modern look and it's a good bit cheaper than acrylic. Have 2 large panoramas (Cape Town nighttime cityscape and a second Antarctic seascape) hanging, and another pano coming in early next week.

    I really love prints. What I do with my smaller ones is simply buy good quality prints (I prefer Fuji paper, and Fuji Pearl for some types of shots) and laminate them to foam board. Not quite as durable, but fun to swap out. Usually 20x 30cm shots, and have a bunch hanging along the stairs, which I can rotate.

    Sent from my iPhone using TalkEmount
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  3. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Real Name:
  4. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    I used to order at PosterXXL as well due to their huge discounts, but I never was happy with the quality they delivered. Also, at least back when I ordered there, the mounting had to be paid for and mounted by yourself - at Whitewall, every print comes with a mounting pre-installed and included in the price, which is pretty comfortable.

    Also, Whitewall offers a free sample pack, which gives you a huge selection of sample prints on different photo paper and materials. From there, Kodak Pro Endura Metallic seems to be the photo paper I like best, but Fuji Crystal DP is pretty good too. Aluminum dibond with a laminated photo paper is a great option too, of course, but it's not much cheaper than the HD Metal Prints anyway so I will stick to the latter one.

    Prints with Acrylic glass (6 mm) and a dibond at the back are also awesome, I just don't feel like they're right for this series of images. I use them for other prints though. I would prefer the special resin they offer due to the fact that the edges are smooth, but the price is so much higher, I don't think it's worth that much.
  5. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Real Name:
    Cool Stuff Poki. That acrylic print is really intriguing, I may have to check them out.
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Until 26th of October, shipping is free, so do yourself a favor and order one of those. I guarantee you that you won't regret it. I've seen quite a few prints, but not a single one of them looked even close to as good as the acrylic block. It's simply an incredible effect, and one heck of a cool thing to put on your desk.
  7. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 13, 2013
    For the subject matter I printed and price paid I think the PosterXXL fine art matte dibond prints are worth the (discount) prices. Accurate color compared to my files, and good detail (easy enough with stitched panos from a 21 megapixel camera) :)

    Still, the HD metal print looks intriguing. I'll keep it in mind when I find an appropriate shot. I find the type of photo and the feel you want to evoke with it can guide your choices. I printed this one big, matte:

    I chose 210 cm wide and matte because it fit the feel of the image for me and provided an almost 'being back there' sensation. There's nothing reflective in the black waters or the semi-distant mountains. The processing is neutral, and the scene is true to how I recall it. Gloss works very well with other types of shots. This one could work well but I'd be afraid reflections would distract me.

    Sent from my iPhone using TalkEmount
  8. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    May 5, 2014
    Real Name:
    That is a fantastic shot !
  9. Hawon

    Hawon TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    Real Name:
  10. pjtan25

    pjtan25 TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 26, 2011
    Love your Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 Computer speakers.