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Photobook systems


Steven Deverill
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i'm sure this has come up before, but with photobooks hitting the uk hard this year (if you believe the hype) is it worth investing in a dedicated 1 hour photobook system such as the new Fuji or Lucidiom?

I realise that there are cheaper ways to do the job, but if we are seeing this as a replacement to the traditional 6x4 photo's, then maybe we should consider spending some serious money on the equipment, as we all have on the labs.

the idea of being kiosk driven is very appealing, who's got one? and more importantly is it the money spinner we are being led to believe, or not?

thanks for any input, as it may save me making a huge mistake.

Steve

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Re this topic.. and hype.. Photobooks are doing well (for photographers) The impression I am getting for Lab owners, its all a little hit or miss... Anyone remember how kiosk owners got <sold> you must have blue tooth or you will go bust.. Then nothing?

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We launched into Photobooks in October last year with good success. It took a couple of months to get the Phototeller creative fine-tuned, but once it was up and running there have been no problems since. The reason we went for Whitech was because it works with our lab and that's how we wanted to print them.

It works like this; All our kiosks have the Photo Book option enabled. We offer two sizes, a hard cover landscape A4 and a soft-cover 8x8". When the customer has completed their book the order goes to the lab which prints the book out on plain backed lustre 8" paper. It's configured not to add back-print and to make the pages backwards to the front page is at the top of the stack. Once out of the processor we use a Unibind system for the hard-cover books and out-source the soft-covers.

We've looked at the HP and Lucidiom systems but it ended up duplicating our resources and could have compromised our paper processing which may in turn affect our lab chemistry. We wanted to get as much from the equipment we already had.

The Lucidiom system really is just a glorified colour copier. I couldn't really see any difference between this and some of the Xerox machines. They work OK with most images but shots with skies and subtle tones often miss out - so forget about professional customers. The HP is good, but same issue with subtle colour tones not reproducing as intended.

Whatever, you do need to get into this market but consider all the options very carefully as you don't need to spend a lot of money initially.

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been looking at the dedicated systems, because all my kiosks are Kodak and don't have any customer facility to choose photobooks. this is my problem, whatever I do I feel that i will end up spending alot of money, so I  need to get it right.

I know what you are saying about utilizing the lab we already have (especially as we just got a new one) I just can't see a way forward. I need advice.

Ta

steve

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Talk with Whitech UK as possibly you could trial the software on a PC. I know some Express members here in NZ are using Whitech-based Kodak kiosks (G4's I guess) to make photo books with good success. Key issue is that the books use lots of capacity so only later kiosks will manage the tasks. Definitely good if you can use existing gear - plus you don't want your store looking like you've got lots of different style kiosks as this just confuses customers.

If you want a turn-key system the HP is definitely the way to go with matched components and a printer that was designed specificallly for photo reproduction.

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Be careful of HP systems. The consumable is expensive and soon you'll probably find everyone from Dixons to Morrisons have them installed as has happened overseas. It may sound cynical but from what I see on other forums those that have invested have been caught by the chain stores discounting the products that should be making money. Remember that HP will look after the big players before they consider the independants.

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Steven- go with unibind for the covers and binding system. Use your lab to print the pages. You should be able to get software to go with your kiosks.

I think Neil is right, all a bit hit and miss at the moment selling these from a minilab. I wouldn't invest much money at this stage. The unibind system is peanuts- but the presentation is absolutely top- notch- far better than I've seen from some

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  • 2 weeks later...

unibind

0845 1305575

www.unibind.com

Note that A&O imaging distribute Unibind equipment and covers. A little cheaper than unibind direct. As they have risen from the ashes of AGFA, they understand the photobook market. Also very helpful. Phil Cutchie, 0208 231 5513. He does look at this forum so you may get a PM from him.  ;)

hth

Tony

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I am also planing to buy a 3202 for same purpose,

Here in India we paste the prints back to back like coffe table books Thus forming a photobook

this adds to thicknees of page

sometimes we add a hard board or white pvc foam boards to further add thickness to sheets

it is working fine, people like thick hard pages

How is it done there

why do you need to print on both sides.

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going to buy a unibind system. decision made!

as for software..... is a bit cheaky to just put them through iphoto? I have looked for other software solutions, but nothing as straight forward as this has come up, maybe there will be something at focus!

thanks for all your input.

steve

You won't regret using the unibind system.

have a look at this software, free trial, if you like it it only costs

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for back to back pasting of prints and making photobooks you can use gluing machine you can find them at

www.zechini.it

they are a company of italy supling machines for photobooks thurugh italy on this site they also have demonstration video for thre photobook buinding machines, They say durst is marketing there machines.

we have a distributor in india selling these(similar) machines by some other brand name he is also distributor for Durst in India.

If you dont want to spend so much on equipment then you can use dubbe sided pre-glued sheets in, India we have them available redily in plastic and paper in different thickness they are glued like celophine tape you just have to peal-off butter paper and paste on back of photo (also used for mounting photographs on board for cold lamination) it will be advisable to use a cheaply available cold lamination equipment for pasting it(it will eliminate problem of air bubble)

feal free to contact me in future for any doubts you have.

by the way what do you do to laminate pages of photo-book

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  • 4 months later...

Lots of good positive help here, keep it up guys!

Unfortunately these photobooks are realy not catching on down here, those who have enquired just give a large intake of breath and an expletive on the exhale. Even our local Tesco (who are already discounting) are doing very few.

After saying the above, it is definitely something we have to be able to do 'on site', so we will be going down that road. eventualy.

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As you probably know from my many posts on this subject we do these on site, byt as you say, they're not the most asked for product. TBH I think people get them from the internet, not realising that their friendly local processor (me) can do them.

Thankfully I spent very little on the means to produce the, thanks to the unibind system which I wholeheartedly recommend.

Now, as for photo gifts, they are proving to be very worthwhile. My purchase of a chinese 6 in 1 heat press off e-bay was a good decision, it must have paid for itself 5 times over since I got it in late February.

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We were doing hardly any photo books till we put up some posters in the window and next to our kiosks. That got people into the store then we put a nice display together for customers to look at. Running another photo book promotion next month as there is quite a bit of interest in these at the moment ( I think because of Tesco and Klick's promotions ). Anyhow, if you push it hard it seems to be the answer - has been for us anyway.

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Nash, we bought a marketing program which included sections on photobook. I have emailed the supplier to see whether I can upload a sample as I am sure others would be interested. Hopefully they agree. If you want to have a look at the program in general this is their website

http://www.firstretail.co.nz/the%20Photo%20and%20Imaging%20Marketing%20Program.htm

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