The concept of “minilab” has two meanings. So may be referred to the enterprise, which carries out printing of photos from various media, both analog (photographic film) and digital (cameras, flash cards, CD-or DVD-ROM, etc.). Photographers themselves under the term minilab mean a device that performs printing. Among the photographers There is also a similar name – the “minilab”.
It is obvious that the work of the company to print the photos is based entirely on the device. “Minilab” – the device is very expensive. The price for such professional equipment can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. Working with minilabs almost fully automated, although it requires some knowledge of the operator in photography and color theory.
“Minilabs” releasing several well-known in the field of photography companies: Fuji, Agfa, Kodak and other digital darkroom work on the same principle as analog – photo paper with a photosensitive layer of the projected light is lighted. Instead of the negative film as the source file is used with a photograph. The quality of printing in the lab is very high, but it will depend on the quality of the source material. The process of printing in the laboratory of the photographer can not personally affected, but it can properly prepare the file and ask for a printout without any adjustments. Then he gets very close to the result desired.
Home mistake that photographers in the preparation of a file to print in the lab – transfer images to the color space of CMYK. That in no case can not be done! The principle of printing is an additive, which means that the color model used RGB. When you print will be made the reverse transition from CMYK to RGB. These two transitions can greatly change the color. So before you print a picture should be in the color model RGB. Most minilabs are working in the color profile of sRGB, but there are those who use Adobe RGB. This can be clarified in the laboratory operator. If the operator does not know what a color profile “minilabs”, better to turn to another firm. In a pinch, you can check the model the device, then the Internet, the site of the manufacturer, to clarify its color profile. Learn more about SSLCertificate.
Almost perfect for printing when your camera, monitor, and minilab work in one profile. This can be accomplished through the profile of sRGB. He’s the same for all devices. Profile Adobe RGB may be used in minilabs, but monitors it is not configured. You can use it, but then have to calibrate your monitor and look for a laboratory to support this profile. Therefore, we recommend sRGB. In this case, you only need to adjust your monitor and the editor for this profile, and in the lab to ask not to make any adjustments to color. Then you are likely to get a result is exactly what you want.
The next thing that must be taken into account in the preparation, – the format of the printout. In papers filed minilabs long rolls. Once you have chosen the desired format for printing and the machine made a DIY developing, is cutting the paper. For example, if you have a picture with a 4:3, and you cook it to print on paper measuring 20 * 30 cm, the image will require the prior crop. You can give a picture without correction, ie in the original version, and hope to workers minilabs. In this case, employees print or white space, or the cropped image. The result will be unpredictable. It is best to do their own framing on a home computer using any popular editor.
At the same time you need to know exactly which formats are supported minilab. With large format, such as 30 * 40 cm, and can operate far from each device. For large format printing needs special apparatus.
Ask for what the machine is printing. Learning model, you know the print resolution, which prints the minilab. Resolution is measured in dots per inch, or dpi (dots per inch – dpi). For example, the minilab DKS-1500 prints at a resolution of 340 dpi. Knowing this parameter, you can calculate what size image you need to prepare. Suppose you want to print the image size of 20 * 30 cm with a resolution of 240 dpi. The size of the image is 2048 * 3072 pixels. This corresponds to a 6-megapixel camera. Of course, you can print and 3-megapixel images on the format 30 * 40 cm, but the motion blur will be much more noticeable.
Before you print large and expensive shots, you must select the appropriate laboratory. You can make a test file and print it in all laboratories. Then compare the results and choose the one that suits you most. To ensure the quality, make a few test prints in this laboratory at different times. If the pictures are very close in quality, then this is what you need. You can list the reasons for deciding to abandon a particular service photo lab and look for another.
A. If you are asked to make a print without the color correction, though the correction was made.
Two. Even if no color correction color photos are very different from the original.
Three. If the operator tells you to adjust the monitor for my mini-laboratory. This can not be done in any case. If you change the monitor settings you distort its color, and it will affect all of your pictures, present and future. Especially if your monitor is already set in the mode of sRGB. Simply does not work with this laboratory.
4. If two identical files that have been printed at different times, are very different from each other. This means that minilabs color changes over time, either due to chemicals, either because of incorrect operators. The fact that some of the minilabs are trying to save money on chemicals needed for development, and rarely produce a replacement that is the reason for getting dull pale images with unnatural colors.
Five. If the laboratory staff do not know or refuse to give you information about the color profile of the device, its brand, etc.
Sometimes it’s better to spend a little time and money searching for a good lab. But as a result you will be satisfied with your pictures.