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Aluminyze Photo Printing review

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“If a picture speaks a thousand words… Aluminyze leaves you speechless!” announced the Aluminyze website.  It is precisely what you think:  your photos are printed on a sheet of aluminum.  Huh?  Why?  Aluminyze says that their aluminum prints are durable, beautiful, and make great gifts.  I had a corner of my office that needed some color…  I took the plunge.  Let’s check it out.

Well as it turns out, there IS one photo I’ve always been meaning to enlarge.  This was a good opportunity to try it out.  Let’s walk through the process from the Aluminyze website.

It’s quite simple:  If you choose to Aluminyze a photo, there are only 5 steps:  Choose a shape, upload your photo, select a mount, select a surface, and select a finish.

You can choose from traditional rectangles (5″ X 7″ t0 24″ X 36″), hearts (11″ or 16″), squares (12″ to 30″), and panoramic (7″ X 30″ or 12″ X 36″).

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You’re just 5 steps away from Aluminyzing your favorite photo.

Next, I chose this photo of my son, Joey (age 6 in this photo).  I took this at a birthday party, and there just happened to be this colorful mural.  For some reason, he’s wearing a white t-shirt over a bright turquoise long-sleeved shirt.

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Original image: 3456 x 5184 pixels. Canon EOS REBEL T3i w/ EF35mm f/1.4L USM, F5 at 1/160 sec, ISO 100  (Click for full size)

Next, choose a mount.  You get to choose from an easel, wall float, or acrylic tabletop stand (not pictured).

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I chose the wall float option ($6.95)

You have two surface choices:  Silver or Standard White.  I chose white, as the t-shirt takes up quite a bit of space in the photo, and I didn’t want a giant mirror looking back at me.  It was also the advice of the Aluminyze website for photos with people or for large white areas (and “if in doubt, choose white”).

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Description of the Silver Surface

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Description of the Standard White Surface

The final option is the finish:  Matte or Glossy.  I chose Glossy for some extra “pop”, since I had opted for the less dramatic-sounding Standard White surface.  I wonder how it’ll turn out?

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Choose matte to reduce glare

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…or go glam and get glossy!

I opted for expedited processing (extra $4.95) and I received my order exactly one week later.

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One week later… My 11×17 print, unboxed. Note ruler placed along top edge.

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There’s the float frame

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Closeup of float frame. There are also four little rubber feet to keep things from sliding around. Nice touch.

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The photo is printed on a thin but sturdy sheet of aluminum.

I chose the glossy finish.  I angled the camera to capture the effect from a nearby window.

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Glossy finish does show some glare, sometimes.

How’s the picture quality?  For something blown up from a lossy JPEG and printed on a slab of aluminum?  I’m quite happy.  This isn’t quite a fair comparison, but when you’re not looking close up at specks of lint, the Aluminyze quality is more than good enough.

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Close up of Aluminyze print. Notice lens reflection.  (Told you it was glossy!)

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Crop of original digital image

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Closeup of Aluminyze print. Yes this is in focus. Note the speck of lint on the lower eyelid, center.

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Crop of original digital image

I really like how it looks.  The frameless aluminum print with the float frame really makes the picture look sleek, and the glossy finish gives it a nice visual pop.  I can’t imagine what a silver finish would look like.  I might have to try that next with a suitable photo.

aluminyze 15If there’s one drawback, it is price.  5″ X 7″ prints start at $24.95.  My 11″ X 17″ print shown in this review begins at $64.95, before the cost of the mount and shipping.  The good news is you get something unique, durable, and ready-to-show.  If you’re looking for that extra-special treatment for a favorite photo as a gift, this is it.

 

Product Information

Price:Starts at $24.95
Manufacturer:Aluminyze
Pros:
  • Durable and beautiful.
  • Comes in a nice variety of shapes and sizes.
Cons:
  • A little pricey, but worth it.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • VernC February 14, 2013, 2:16 pm

    What a great idea! It could be used on memorials.

  • Jackie Cheng February 15, 2013, 9:39 pm

    Do you know if there’s a clear coat covering the printed ink? Something that will prevent wear and tear from the outdoor elements? Any idea if the ink will color fade when exposed to UV? I’m thinking of using it in a more commercial setting for my business.

  • Andy Chen February 16, 2013, 12:47 am

    Jackie: That’s an excellent question. I have no idea how they do this magic. It does seem completely waterproof, or at least water resistant. When you touch the surface, it feels like… aluminum. Nothing else.

    I just checked the Aluminyze website and based on their Facebook plugin at the bottom, Aluminyze answers the same questions. (1) It is suitable for outdoor locations, and (2) “All colors will eventually fade over time, but the good news is that it will take up to 3 times longer then paper photos.”

  • Aaron M December 6, 2013, 6:19 pm

    So it looks like your picture came out a little softer than the original? I just got a 5×7 metal print from AdoramaPix – satin (matte) white, and it was a little soft and not as sharp as I was hoping, and I was wondering if that’s due to it being matte.

    Resolution of the original was 4897 x 3265, and that into a 5×7 I would’ve thought would’ve been a little sharper than it was. I did upload it as a jpg instead of tiff so…

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