Photography News Issue 36

Photography News | Issue 36 | absolutephoto.com

51 First tests

LumeJet prints from£5.74

Specs

Prices including VAT but not delivery A5 £5.74, A4 £11.10, A3 £15.31, 12x8in £10.22, 18x12in £17.09, 24x12in £17.81, 24x8in £17.81, 100x30.5cm £25.54 Paper Fujifilm Crystal Archive Finishes available Matt, gloss, lustre. Pearl and silk available at 50% Turnaround time (as tested) Files uploaded Thursday, prints arrived one week later Resolution Files should be 400ppi Colour space Adobe RGB, sRGB or LumeJet’s own profiles Contact lumejet.com

Above Updating and ordering prints from the LumeJet website is straightforward enough.

Whether you print at home or use an online service, nothing beats a high- quality print. If you use an online service you need to choose the one that can meet or even exceed your expectations whether that means value for money, service, brilliant quality results or a combination of those factors. LumeJet is a newonline service that uses the latest technology to deliver beautiful prints at a quality level to satisfy the most discerning image- maker. It uses its own LumeJet S200 inkless digital printer, a machine developed from the ground up using a three-colour RGB digital print head with Fujifilmmaterials for ultra high- quality output. I started by registering on the site which is a straightforward process. With any online print service before ordering you need to know prices, size options and what other services are available, and once happy with them how to prepare files for upload. On the LumeJet website, prints, service and prices come under the Buy Photo Prints tab with submissions guidelines and an FAQ section under the Help tab. Pick a print size and orientation, click through and you get the next screen where you can opt for a white border and choose the finish. A wide selection of sizes including panoramic sizes are available. So, for example under Landscape Format options, sizes A5, A4 and A3 are available, and also from 8x6in to 18x12in and a 610x305mm option. As with any online print service it is worth checking what sizes are

available first and then gathering or exporting sizes to suit. For example, LumeJet gives you the similar yet quite distinct options of 16x10in, 16x12in or A3, so knowing what you want really does help. Prices are quoted for single prints and discount bands if you order multiples of the same image. A single A3 print costs £15.31 but order 2-5 prints and that drops to £11.48 per print. Matt, gloss and lustre are available in all print options with pearl and silk costing 50%more. Once you have picked your surface and print quantity, click Start and you will see a page with image upload advice and then the upload interface. Images can be uploaded into a default album or you can create your own and a drop down menu lets you navigate between them. The website could be slicker in some respects. As an example, if you pick a print size, go through the various pages and then change your mind, there is no single click to different size/shape options. You have to go back a couple of pages in your browser or go to the home page and start again. The print ordering window has limited editing options. You can adjust scale (perhaps to eliminate any white border) or flip the image but you can’t crop for example. Once you are happy with the image you can add the file to your basket or save it as a project for later or just add another page for the next print. Iwent through the orderingprocess with an old file to familiarise myself with the website and the options

Once you have picked your surface and print quantity, click Start and you will see a page with image upload advice

Verdict

Print quality is very impressive in many ways with colours reproduced as I wanted, ie. just like they appeared on-screen. Flesh tones came out beautifully, creamy and very lifelike. Rich colours were solid, full of impact and well detailed. The black & whites looked spot on too with no colour cast, contrast the same level as the uploaded files and shadows were full of detail. With a delicate landscape on glossy paper, the highlights had a silvery look which suited the scene very well. That is not the whole story, though, because you won’t see the effect in print here and it is difficult to describe in words, but pictures were impressive in terms of depth and the amount of detail on show was amazing. LumeJet is not a low-cost online printing service and because of the technology massive enlargements aren’t an option, but in life you often get what you pay for and there is no doubt that the results are top drawer.

and before preparing actual files for upload I looked at the File Submission Guidelines under the Help tab. With the quality possible from the LumeJet printer it is suggested files are saved at the required image size with a resolution of 400ppi as opposed to the usual 300ppi. As for the saved colour space, the RGB gamut possible from LumeJet is wider than CMYK printing and files should ideally be saved with Adobe 98 colour space. If you have a colour managed workflow, LumeJet provides downloadable profiles from its website for the various Fujifilm media options available that you can embed into your files. I downloaded the profiles and installed them into my system so I could embed them directly in Lightroom when the files were exported as JPEGs ready for upload. I scoured my catalogue for a range of image types that would test the LumeJet service. That meant naturally lit and studio-lit portraits, scenic, delicate and contrasty scenes, colour and black & white. Having already done a ‘dummy’ run the upload and ordering process proved straightforward. I thought some aspects could be slicker.

(Following this review, I did provide some feedback to LumeJet so aspects of the website could differ from what I experienced). It is also worth saying that I made a couple of errors during the embedding/ordering process and I got a phone call from LumeJet to check what I actually wanted. On a couple of files I had embedded a LumeJet profile and then unintentionally ordered another surface. It is reassuring to know there is someone checking for such issues. Keeping it simple and using theAdobeRGB colour space and letting LumeJet add the appropriate profile at the other end might be the safest workflow if this is an area you aren’t comfortable with. In respect of turnaround time I uploaded my files on a Thursday and the finished prints arrived the following Thursday so that was good. The return packaging was excellent. I had a mix of print sizes including panoramas which were loosely rolled up, bagged and well padded so they didn’t move in the box. The whole lot was in a (new) solid cardboard box, with the sheet prints in a stiff card outer with the prints protected by tissue paper and an acetate wallet. WC

Pros Print quality, service, return packing first rate Cons Website could be more user friendly, cost

www.photographynews.co.uk

Powered by