I had read an ad on social media about participating in on of Saal Digital’s professional product reviews and I had tried to send an application a while back on my phone. Alas it wouldn’t work on Android Chrome and I forgot about it. Recently a few fellow photographers had blogged about doing the same and so I tried again, this time on my workstation. Hey presto the application was accepted. I have to say before I saw the advert I had not heard of this German based company before.
I had been thinking of printing a large Alu-Dibond of a recent panorama of Emsworthy Barn, on Dartmoor, which I had captured one misty morning. Thus this was an ideal change to try them out for size.
The choice was simple but I did have a look at their other products like their Acrylic Glass range. I wanted a print at least 1m wide given it is a panorama and chose a print 1200mm x 550mm in direct on Alu-Dibond given it was considerably cheaper than the acrylics and available in that size. You can view all the prices online http://www.saal-digital.co.uk/wall-decors/prices/.
To order your product(s) you must download and install their propriety software (PC and MAC) which I believe connects securely to their servers for ordering and payments. I also downloaded the ICC profile according to which product I was ordering and used it in Photoshop with their guidance: http://www.saal-digital.co.uk/service/icc-profile-test-print/ .
It is just like using a website but just on your desktop where you go though the product list, choose what type and then what size. It then also gives you the price and what mounting hardware you want and a guide as to what is suitable. I chose std self-adhesive mounts as the print was not going to be that heavy and the two brackets would easily spread the weight. A larger Alu-Dibond or Glass print would probably require a rear sub-frame. The software has various templates and also the ability to edit your images however my order was simple and already print matched.
Once you have selected your media you can upload your image and at the bottom of the window there is the information that is required for the print in pixel dimensions and DPI which is very useful.
The order was made via PayPal but other payment options are available all via the software (you can register for an account via it too for tracking purposes).
The cost of the print was very reasonable for a 1200mm wide Alu-Dibond and came in a £110.90 in VAT and £9.95 for delivery from Germany. It came via Parcel Force after 5 working days (8 days after ordering) and came very well packaged with an outer cardboard shell and a wrapped padded inner supported by laminate cardboard..
The print is faultless with no scratches and the colour rendition is as profiled. It has a semi-matt finish so helping to reduce the reflections. There is also the lack of the issue with any paper shrinkage or edges peeling as it’s direct on Alu-Dibond.
The adhesive hangers are easy to mount but need to be left for 30 mins before hanging.
There is also the inclusion of self-adhesive print stays so the print floats on the wall rather than bottom of the print laying against it which was a nice inclusion you rarely get ordering Alu-Dibonds.
All in all I am very happy with the service from Saal Digital and although this is a subsidised product review, I would still use them professionally for a client, if the price is competitive (which most of them are I have seen) with other similar companies. The print is waiting to be permanently hung in our guest bedroom as I write this so I hope our friends and family will like it as much as I do when they stay.