FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
BEING A DALMATIAN CUSTOMER
Q: Does Dalmatian limit its services to members only?
No! Dalmatian Lab is a full service lab committed to bringing the best in black & white to anyone who wants it. We serve everyone from the busy professional to the black & white enthusiast or amateur photographer.
Q: Does Dalmatian require me to spend a certain amount per month to obtain services or maintain an account?
No! We do have a minimum order of $10.00 on all orders to be shipped but you are always welcome no matter how much or little you need.
Q: What forms of payment does Dalmatian accept?
Visa, Mastercard, or Check. For credit card payments, please be sure to let us know your account number, the 3-digit security code on the back of your card, and the expiration date along with the billing address.
Q: Can I set up a business account with Dalmatian?
Yes! Dalmatian does offer accounts to select customers based upon past account activity. Accounts are available to customers who have spent a minimum of $200 per month for the past 12 months. Please contact us for an application.
Q: Can I upload or FTP digital files to Dalmatian?
Absolutely! You can set up a private FTP account with us. All we require is your shipping address and a credit card number. We will only use the information for shipping your orders out. We will never share your information, but please, feel free to share ours!
Q: How should I ship my orders to Dalmatian?
UPS & FED-EX are great because you can track your package. No matter how you choose to get the order to us, you will be thrilled with what we send back!
Q: How are my orders shipped back to me?
UPS GROUND is our preferred shipping method. We charge for the shipping based upon final size. Rates are posted on each pricing page. For multiple sizes, the shipping cost is based on the largest size printed. For extremely large orders, shipping is calculated based upon weight. Of course, if you want us to use your shipper, please send us a completed shipping label along with your shipper number.
Q: Does Dalmatian ship internationally?
Of Course. We can ship via either UPS or USPS. Standard rates plus a $10.00 Shipping and Handling fee apply. To find out more specific rates, please use the calculators for USPS and UPS. The information below is based on an 8”x10” print order. For the Ship From information, please use the following information:
Country: United States
Zip Code 27407
Customs Value *Enter the cost of your order in US Dollars
Packaging: My Packaging
Package Weight 1 lbs.
Package Dimension Length: 12 Width: 9 Height: 2
Declared Value *Enter the cost of your order in US Dollars
How will you get your package(s) to UPS? Give my package to the UPS Driver.
FILM & DIGITAL IN THE BLACK & WHITE WORLD
Q: Does Dalmatian serve the film photographer or the digital photographer?
Both! Dalmatian has its roots in traditional photography and is committed to providing the best in traditional services for anyone who shoots black & white film. We have completed the digital loop and offer the best in a full range of true Black & White digital services as well.
Q: Does Dalmatian print on true Black & White papers?
Yes! WE NOW PRINT DIGITAL FILES ON ILFORD FIBER PAPER! Dalmatian is committed to providing you with the finest products possible. Whether you use film or a memory stick, your work WILL be printed on true Black & White materials. Traditional prints from proofing to custom prints are still printed on the finest black & white RC silver gelatin papers we’ve always used. Fiber base prints from negatives are printed on the most archival fiber silver gelatin papers available. Digital services from proofing to custom exhibition prints are also printed on TRUE BLACK & WHITE FIBER BASE & RC silver gelatin papers. Giclée services are printed with seven shades of black inks on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Water Color paper. Dalmatian is the only dedicated black & white lab in the nation that offers this valuable and unique service.
Q: What types of digital camera files does Dalmatian require?
We don’t require you to shoot a specific way (but whenever possible, shoot RAW!) We are more than happy to offer advice and we do have preferences but since we are a custom lab, we accept most file formats. Our preferences are as follows (all in 1998 Adobe Color Space):
1st – RAW
2nd -16-bit TIFF
3rd – 8-bit TIFF
4th -8-bit JPEG Fine (*important to select the largest file size possible!*)
The better information you give us, the better your print will be. Raw files provide the most latitude and save quickly but are not available in every camera. TIFF files are large and take more computer time to open and save, but are not compressed and are the best at maintaining original image integrity. JPEGs are small and quick but degrade quickly and retain less information for printing. There are, of course, a wide variety of combinations and other choices that you can shoot in, and we can work with you to get the best print possible. Contact us with any questions.
Q: How should I prepare my digital files before sending them for reprints to Dalmatian?
As you shot them. Dalmatian is a full service custom lab and we want to do the work for you. Simply send us your original untouched file and, if you want, a thumbnail version that is corrected to your specifications. We will use the original file and make the best print possible.
If you want to correct the file yourself, there are a few things to consider.
1st – Jpegs degrade, so save your file as a tiff as soon as your bring it into the computer.
2nd – Change your camera’s color space to Adobe 1998
3rd – Dalmatian prints at 400 dpi. Any modifications to the file should keep this resolution in mind. (Dalmatian will happily handle this for you.)
The larger the file, the better the print. When possible, shoot RAW, make your corrections and crops to a JPEG version, and send us both.
For Giclée prints, we like RAW or even large, 16-bit TIFF files at 300 dpi.
For Custom prints, we like RAW or even large, 16-bit TIFF files at 400 dpi.
For Machine prints, we like large, 16-bit or 8-bit TIFF files at 400 dpi
For Proof prints, we like large, 8-bit TIFF files at 400 dpi.
Q: Does Dalmatian accept uploaded files, CDs, or DVDs?
All three. File size and the speed of you computer will determine whether FTP is practical. Files on CD, DVD, flash drive et al., are acceptable if the files are not appropriate for upload.
Q: Does Dalmatian accept zipped files?
Absolutely! In fact we recommend it. The Internet was originally designed to transmit text files only and can still have trouble with images. Zipping files will protect them from corruption.
Q: Will Dalmatian convert color digital files to B&W for me?
Of course! In fact, when it comes to your custom work, we would prefer it. Dalmatian loves to receive the RAW or untouched files if we are to make high-end prints for you. That way, we can ensure that the files receive the least degradation and the best conversions for your specific needs. For standard proof prints from digital files, we can either guide you through the process or we can do the conversions for a reasonable charge. Contact us for rates.
Q: Should I sharpen my files before sending them to Dalmatian?
No. Dalmatian will handle this aspect of the printing process for you. Correct sharpening is applied to all files before they are printed at your requested size.
Q: What does a digital Black & White print look like?
Digital BLACK & WHITE prints look exactly like traditional BLACK & WHITE prints! Even our Digital Prints are still photographic, being a silver-halide emulsion exposed by optical light and processed through the same chemicals as traditional prints. Dalmatian has striven to find the best digital printer available and we have done exhaustive testing to create prints that have all of the continuous tonal and contrast ranges of a traditional darkroom Black & White print. In addition to all this, we correctly convert your file and print on TRUE BLACK & WHITE FIBER BASE & RC PAPERS. While a good print is always dependent on a good negative or file, Dalmatian’s expertise can provide you with the finest prints possible.
Q: Does Dalmatian offer any color services?
Yes! Dalmatian offers a uniquely beautiful Color Giclée print service. We can, of course, scan any of your color images for you and either burn them to a CD or DVD, or we can make the correct conversions for a beautiful black & white print from your color image.
Q: How long do you keep my images on file?
As a safety precaution, Dalmatian maintains print files for 14 business days. If you are expecting to need reprints from a specific file, have a CD or DVD burned.
Q: Does Dalmatian still provide wet-process printing?
Yes! Here at Dalmatian we still have a beautiful and enviable darkroom with the finest equipment and products available. All traditional Fiber based prints are produced archivally through trays, recieve an orbit bath, archival wash and then are air dried. Digital Fiber based prints are printed throught our Durst Lambda Lab then taken back to the darkroom. Each digital fiber print receives an additional tray fix, orbit bath, and archival wash. It is then air-dried on screens overnight. Dalmatian offers Selenium toning to enhance image stability and Sepia toning for that classic look. Either of these wet-process toning baths are available for an additional fee.
Q: Does Dalmatian produce any archival prints?
Absolutely! Our high-end Giclée and Fiber based (both digital & traditional) prints have a life span of 125 years or more. All RC prints, whether traditional or digital, have a normal lifespan of 75 years. Sepia and Selenium toning will enhance the longevity of your prints. As is true with any photographic material or piece of 2-dimensional artwork, it is important to matte, frame, and display your piece under glass (with ventilation) and out of direct sunlight to maintain its archival lifespan.
Q: Does Dalmatian offer any black & white negative retouching or restoration services?
Yes! We can scan your negative or print and provide Photoshop work on it. Then the print will be produced on true Black & White RC papers, Hahnemühle Photo Rag or Epson Canvas. In fact the prints from the darkroom and the digital reprints on true Black and White RC papers are virtually indistinguishable. If you would prefer to have traditional negative retouching, please contact us and we will provide recommendations.
Q: Does Dalmatian sell photographic supplies?
No! We concentrate on making your prints look their very best. If you need recommendations on suppliers, though, drop us an e-mail.