Zor – aluminum disband mounted print review
NB: For transparency, I am not being paid by Zor to promote their products or provide a biased review. I was sent a sample product, in return for a fair & honest review of their products & service.
So. I am not a fan of canvases. When people ask for them, I generally try & persuade them otherwise. They are a little bit dated, sure, but more importantly the image itself is compromised by the material, you lose some of the frame as it is wrapped around the canvas, and the colours seem invariably altered. Plus, like Ant & Dec’s singing career & really giant trousers – its all a bit 90’s. I have been offering aluminium dibond from my London based print lab as an alternative for a while, but the price bracket does change somewhat. You pay for that kind of precision. So, I was happy to accept Zor’s offer of a test of their very competitively priced aluminium dibond prints.
Zor are a Belgium based print house, specialising in aluminium dibond, glass & forex/PVC substrates. They offer competitive pricing at Euro35.00 for a 90x60cm board.
I chose a sample image from a recent bridal fashion shoot (which I loved, and I promise I will get to blogging soon! In case I don’t see it here on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings) – as it contained lots of the key colours that typify my work – rich reds & greens, and it is super important to me that these remain true.
The ordering process was easy, the ICC profiles were provided & the instructions clear for any photographer to follow (there is a tutorial), so I made my adjustments & placed my order.
The bonding looked clean & secure, and the back was protected by a film & most importantly, the colours were rich & vibrant.
My only concern however, was that the blacks were too heavy & the highlights crushed. This was due to the adjustments I had made using the ICC profile. Fearing human error, I went back into photoshop with the original jpeg & followed the tutorial again – but the adjustments I had to make in PS to make the image look as I wanted led me to the same point.
So, ever the scientist, I chose another image from the same series that I already had a true print reproduction of, and had that printed with no adjustments to my normal workflow (note: this has a cooler tone, it was purposeful & I did not change it as it needed to match the print I had).
The image that arrived was much closer to my expectations, although possibly needed a couple of tweaks. In conclusion, I would probably not use their ICC profile. I am not sure where the mismatch is coming in – Zor obviously know what they are doing, but I am working on a calibrated monitor and using correct output settings etc etc, so I am not sure where the disconnect is. Either way, this is not really important for me – I would order proofs with any print house I used to ensure I was achieving the optimum print output, and I now know what adjustments I need to make to get what I need with this one.
This niggle aside, overall I am really impressed. The product itself is sturdy & looks to be of good quality. The cut was sharp, even & accurate, and the colours just glow – I love the luminous quality of that blood red lipstick.
The litmus test is, of course, is this a product I would happily sell to a client, and the answer is yes. While this is a consumer site, my need to adjust the processing to match their output shows that it is not necessarily an off-the-peg order for clients, a photographer’s knowledge is still needed!
I would be great to have provided an optional hanging system (which unless I missed it is not available on the site) – something like the 3M Command products would work. Or a wooden dowel system similar to the one provided by The Prinstpace, but this is a secondary consideration & not insurmountable. The effects of the dreaded Brexit will of course also add on an additional cost as & when our politicians decide what is happening there (don’t talk politics don’t talk politics)…
It’s great to see this kind of product available at a price point that you can pass on to clients as a saving. I will most definitely be doing that.
Zor’s website is here, which includes information about their products & services. I should also add that their communication has been fast, clear & friendly – thanks Zor!