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View Full Version : How deep of a print case should I get?



Christine_Walsh-Newton
11-28-2009, 08:59 PM
Hello -

I need to order my first print case. I see several options on depth. I'm afraid 1" might be too small for 4 prints. Can anyone offer some guidance on this?

Thank you!

Cheri_MacCallum
11-28-2009, 09:05 PM
I have a few different sizes. I have the 2" and a 3". I use the 3" for our state print comp because we are allowed to enter 6 prints, the 2" is too tight if I use the 1/4" gator board with the dividers. I use the 2" for PPA since 4 is the limit. Be sure to keep in mind the width of the board the prints are mounted on as well.

Marc_Benjamin
11-28-2009, 09:52 PM
I would get as deep as you can. The shipping is not that much different.

In about 20 minutes, I'm heading out to do a house call consultation for a wedding and I'm using my (I think I have a 4) 20x24 to carry prints. Also, the 16x20 can actually take a 18x24.

Good luck!

Stephanie_Millner
11-28-2009, 11:08 PM
Yeah, I have a 2" and 6 prints on standard mount barely fit. It was a tight squeeze. But it all fit for 4 prints to nat's.

(Good luck on your consult, Marc!)

Rick_Massarini
11-29-2009, 01:04 AM
Get the 2" size from PrintFile, or Fiberbilt (they sell for about $89-99 as opposed to about $250 for a big fat padded nylon zippered print case). That's what just about everyone uses for print competition. Once you place your prints in your case you'll realize that the prints really don't move around once you place them in the case (unless you're sending a bunch of smaller size prints). All you need to do is to place a thin 1/32" sheet of that closed cell foam or a sheet of release paper between each print and one sheet of cardboard on the top and bottom and you can close up your case and ship it. There is really no reason for extensive padding or individual bagging of each print, since it doesn't provide any additional protection and it just gives the print crew extra unpacking work. If you use a 2" case, the prints and the two extra sheets of cardboard fill up the case nicely so that there is not a lot of extra room inside for things to slide around in transit - it makes a nice tight solid package when you ship it. Getting a thicker case so that you can use heavy duty padding really doesn't serve any purpose and just increases the shipping cost of the case. I'm talking about the standard fiberbilt or plastic shell type cases with the straps around it - I don't use the big thick padded Tenba print cases since they just cost a lot more to ship via air - they're nice if you're going to carry the prints around with you to state or regionals, but if you're going to ship it off to national, and you'll only see it for 2 months out of the year, they're not worth the extra cost - IMO.

For the PPA Int'l competition, you won't need anything larger than the 2" case - and you better plan to order 2 when you order them (one for the International Judging and another for your state or regional), since, if you have a print accepted for exhibition at the International competition in June of 2010, you won't get your case back until after the print is displayed at the next National convention in January of 2011 - so for the International Judging, you'll ship it off in May and won't get it back until February. So you really need a separate case just for the PPA International Competition.

Rick_Massarini
11-29-2009, 01:16 AM
...Also, the 16x20 can actually take a 18x24.



You must be using one of those big padded zippered nylon cases, eh ?

Jeff_Dachowski
11-29-2009, 02:09 AM
the thicker the better. How else will you get all those court of honors and kodak awards home?
Jeff

Keith_A_Howe
11-29-2009, 02:37 AM
No one has said it yet so I will.
I have or had a 1 inch, 2 inch and a 4 inch case. The 4 inch case was for albums. I have found that the 1 inch case works very well for 4 prints. I recomend a layer of 1/4 inch packing foam or cardboard on the bottom, a piece of felt cut to fit the case, Print, felt, Print, felt, etc ending with a felt and another piece of packing foam or cardboard. All fits very nicely into the 1 inch case, remember a 1 inch case means 1 inch min. and expandable to about 1 3/4 inches. I find I use a lot of packing material in the 2 inch case to take up space. In my opinion unless one of your local or state competitions allows more than 4 prints (or you are planing on entering physical albums) there is no benifit to haveing a 2 inch or thicker case.
Keith

Rick_Massarini
11-29-2009, 02:58 AM
Well, Keith and Jeff can just use plain old cardboard lab boxes to send their prints to national since they're gonna keep them all anyway, so why worry about return shipping...

Keith_A_Howe
11-29-2009, 03:19 AM
Well, Keith and Jeff can just use plain old cardboard lab boxes to send their prints to national since they're gonna keep them all anyway, so why worry about return shipping...

Don't I wish! I can dream though can't I?
Keith

Marc_Benjamin
11-29-2009, 05:15 AM
You must be using one of those big padded zippered nylon cases, eh ?

Yep the Tenba's with PPA and WPPI logos and all.

I suggest getting the zippered and big case so that there's use for it outside of print competition.

Todd_Reichman
11-29-2009, 06:25 AM
Are print cases going to have to change because of the change to the sizing rules? Does is not make much forward-thinking sense to buy a case now if we're going to need to accommodate the new sizes?

- trr

Rick_Massarini
11-29-2009, 06:40 AM
Are print cases going to have to change because of the change to the sizing rules? Does is not make much forward-thinking sense to buy a case now if we're going to need to accommodate the new sizes?

- trr

If you're contemplating sending in prints larger than 16x20, you can always order a 20x24 case, since that will accommodate the largest acceptable size - which, in the current Masters category is from 80 to 480 square inches with the longest side being no longer than 24 inches - or a 20x24 being the largest size acceptable - 24" being the largest size that will fit in the shipping crates that we use at the judging, and 24" being the widest print that can fit on the judging turntables. If you are considering submitting smaller than 16x20, then those will also fit in the same 16x20 or 20x24 by 1" or 2" thick print case.

Rick_Massarini
11-29-2009, 06:58 AM
Yep the Tenba's with PPA and WPPI logos and all.

I suggest getting the zippered and big case so that there's use for it outside of print competition.

Yeah, those are really nice and very impressive print cases, and I would buy one if I was carrying prints around to local monthly or quarterly competitions or to bring to my clients home for a show-and-tell, but I would hate to spend that much money for a case that I was sending to the National Judging that I would only see for a couple of months a year - the rest of the time it would be sitting in a warehouse in Lincoln. I'd rather spend 80-90 bucks for a print shipping case and dedicate it for use for the national judging, and keep the nice cool padded Tenba with the fancy logos on it for hand carry use. Last year, I got my print case back from national (after Imaging) just about a month or so before I had to ship it back again. There's only two ways you'll get your case back faster - if you had all 4 of your prints go Loan they'll keep the prints and send you back an empty case - or if you didn't hang any, then they'll send you all four of your unaccepted prints back after the judging - other than that, if you hang even one print, your case won't be coming back to you until after Imaging the following January.
It would be really nice to get back an empty case !

Keith_A_Howe
11-29-2009, 02:14 PM
FWIW - you don't have to have a print case anymore. You can send them in a box if you want. If you send in a box you won't get the prints back, regardless of how they do. Personally I never do anything much with those competition prints. After regionals and nationals even with the TLC print crews give them, they still come back too dinged up to display. I still use a case just because I have one but if I was starting out and cost was a consideration I'd skip the case and use the money on the prints and the entry fees.


Keith

Stephanie_Millner
11-29-2009, 04:33 PM
Just wanted to change mine. I meant I have a 1" that is a tight squeeze for 6 prints. Not 2"

Rick_Massarini
11-30-2009, 03:07 AM
Another thing to think about when you're looking at print case size...

Most people's perspective regarding print competition comes from their local or state events where there are only a few cases involved. Little things can become big significant issues when you multiply the number of cases by several hundred times - remember - national deals with several thousand cases, not just a handful - so let's look at the numbers and the logistics ...

If everyone were to send in 4" deep cases instead of 2" deep cases, then the amount of space needed by the PEC to store these cases just doubled... So the cost of the judging just went up by the additional cost of the storage space - this might not seem like a big deal, but when you consider that you're dealing with a few thousand cases, that additional space can be significant - so your entry fee has to go up to pay for the additional storage space.

For example - say we use 2000 cases as a nominal quantity of entries...
If everyone uses 2" cases, allowing for the buckles, etc, when you store them, when you line them up one next to one another you have a line of cases about 417 feet long.
If everyone uses 4" cases, that line of cases increases to about 750 feet and if they use the big fat padded zipper cases, it goes up to about 1083 feet.
Imagine that in a storage facility with 10 foot long rows and stacked three cases high - that would mean 14 rows for 2" cases, 25 rows for 4" cases and 36 rows for the padded zipper cases... that's a lot of space - and it has to be rented for the entire year to store all those cases...

When the PEC people have to pick up the prints from the shipping station, it will take four trips to pick up the cases instead of two, and when they go to return ship the cases back to us, it will take four trips to the shipping station to ship them instead of two trips - again - additional costs.
The return shipping charges on 4" deep cases is more than that of 2" deep cases - so the return shipping cost will be higher - again additional costs.

It would seem that using smaller 2" or even the 1" cases could help to reduce the storage and shipping charges and thus reduce the cost of running the print competition - and that could help to reduce our entry fees...