Andy Westlake puts LumeJet online printing service to the test

LumeJet online printing service at a glance:

One of the ironies of modern photography is that while our cameras are capable of better image quality than ever before, fewer and fewer photos ever make it into print. Instead, we’re more likely to share our images electronically, then leave the files languishing on a hard disk.

Printing at home can be a pain, but fortunately there are plenty of websites where you can upload your images and order prints. One recent addition to the ranks is LumeJet, with a web-based service that promises super-fine detail and accurate colour by printing onto Fujifilm Crystal Archive DPII photographic paper using its own custom-designed three-colour RGB digital print head at 400 dots per inch. The service is aimed at serious photographers, and the firm promises that it won’t artificially enhance or modify your image files. Plenty of print sizes are available, from 8x6in to panoramics up to 39in (1-metre) wide.

Ordering is straightforward – go to the LumeJet website and create a user account, select your print size and paper finish, upload your files, and add each print to your shopping basket when ready. I found that the site can feel rather sluggish at times, so some patience is required. Editing tools are limited too, so it’s best to crop your pictures to the right aspect ratio first. If an image’s output resolution drops below 180ppi, you’ll get a warning that the quality may not be up to scratch.

I ordered prints on each available paper type and in both black & white and colour. They arrived in just a couple of days, individually wrapped in tissue paper and a plastic sleeve. Print quality is excellent, with vibrant colours true to the original files and slightly warm-toned monochrome. I preferred the lustre paper, with matte a close second. Prices are rather high compared to alternative services, but there’s absolutely nothing to complain about in terms of presentation or quality.

SCORE: 4 out of 5