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Please note that this article was written in 2010 when I experimented with using fotomoto as I liked the concept. That is now history for me. Still you may read about my experience and create your own opinion. Have in mind, however, that time change everything. Particularly you may notice change in 2011, which I mentioned at the end of this article.
Some days ago I have ordered my own prints from fotomoto using this web. In a mean time, about two days ago, they have arrived. In the same time, while I was waiting for prints to arrive, I have done extensive testing and tweaking of fotomoto. I did this together with support and development guys from fotomoto. I am pleased to say, that every request I had, they taken seriously and reacted very promptly. Everything was done to my full satisfaction. Even fotomoto script was adjusted to work with my slimbox (light-box clone). Possibility to add extra print version of image and some extra tweaks were done on script. This is exceptional dedication!
I am really happy with this. For me the most important thing is the support. Nobody is standardized and each customer likes things a little differently. I am really glad that fotomoto is listening to their customer carefully and not only that, they also act for customers.
The real prints
I have ordered three A4 sized prints of the same images on three different sort of papers. One A3 sized print on Luster surface paper. One postcard and one note card with envelope. Cards have arrived from different producer in separate package. This is already indicated when you check your shopping chart. The prints have arrived perfectly packed as you can see on the following images. What is very nice is that the package can be nicely closed and used for further transport. So if you order more prints and you need to move them from home to some other place, you can perfectly reuse the packing.
When you open the package, prints are in the transparent plastic between two rather thick cartons. Excellent protection.
When ordering print from me made by fotomoto you can choose three different type of paper:
- Luster, this is very similar to surface of Epson Semi gloss paper I am using for my prints. I prefer this type, as I saw on my test print it gets the darkest black and it best reflects the tone of the image.
- Glossy, very shiny image. Like the super glossy paper you have for your ink-jet printer. Fingers leave marks and light reflects very easily from this paper. Tone of the image is shifted to the purple a bit.
- Metallic, is very strange paper. When I saw it first, it felt like there is a layer of motor oil on the image. That kind of transparent, little bluish layer on top. It creates feels of depth, similar to those 3D stickers, but image doesn’t change :-). This is very nonstandard paper. Tone is a bit to the blue.
The bigger A3 sized print was printed on Lustre paper. I am very satisfied with this image. It is not possible to say on which machine it is printed. My understanding from fotomoto information is, that images are not always printed in the same lab. You can always return image and get new print, if the print has very bad quality. I would suggest to read fotomoto pages where all is explained.
From my own experience print feels almost exactly like my print from ink-jet done on Epson Semi Glossy paper, with same thickness. They have however a bit less depth in blacks, which is not saying that it is terrible. Please, do not expect thick Cotton Rag print. They use Kodak Endura C-prints – Chromogenic color print. These sort of prints are also called Lambda prints. Exposure of these papers is done digitally using RGB LED diodes in machines like Durst Lambda.
I have also order one postcard and one note card with envelop. They arrived from different location. Paper thickness is what would expect from postcard. Neutrality of the image was better than on prints, but there was some kind of patter on the print itself. It feel like some kind of texture was light on the image itself. I hope this is only on this one print. In case I would order more and they would all come like this I would request replacement. I am planning to order our own x-mass cards base on my images. I will report you back when they arrive.
At the end I would like to repeat that I am satisfied with print quality, delivery and packing. Extremely satisfied with support from fotomoto and to you my potential customer I can only suggest try it yourself. The print prices are, I believe, in good level, certainly better than I can get here in my local lab. The prints are shipped from USA so for most of my customer (90%) will be shipping very low. To Europe I paid for 12×16″ print some € 13;- Prints where printed and shipped in 3 days and the way from USA to my home took seven days.
Update from 2011:
Well few days ago I was tryin to setup new site where I planned to use fotomoto for producing and reseling postcards based on my photographs. I have selected and bough wonderful template theme for new site and installed fotomoto plugin. As expected there were some problems, but I counted on super support from fotomoto.
Not this time! Initial reaction was swift as before, but after few emails no solution and for last four days no answer, no reaction.
It is sad, when good things die. RIP fotomoto.