Xpozer is a relatively new printing system. The image is printed on a thin vinyl sheet that is stretched taut using an aluminum subframe. It looks like a thin sheet that floats off the wall. It’s similar in effect to a metal print, but with one big difference. Metal prints are typically very shiny, while the Xpozer prints are amazingly flat, showing no reflections at all.
After getting my 51MP Fujifilm GFX 50R, I had a desire to print large. After all, one of the primary benefits of a high-resolution camera is to make large prints. I chose the 30″ x 40″ size for my first test. You can see it here, hanging above the digital piano. I picked one of my favorite GFX landscapes to date. This dramatic sunset view from Mount Bonnell in Austin, Texas.
While no print I ever made truly matches my screen, despite using color profile and color calibration, the Xpozer print effectively captures the feel of the image. Here is the original digital version that I blogged back in September. The print seems to be less contrasty, but I can’t tell for sure without making more prints of different subjects.
I once made a large metal print, 32″ x 48″ of a Nevada landscape that I have on display in the main hallway. I find that print significantly more dramatic. I’m not sure, however, why that is. Is it because of the printing process, the lighting, the print size, or the subject? A scientific test will require the identical image to be printed on metal and Xpozer and compared under the identical lighting. Something I’m not planning to do.
The reflections off a metal print can be annoying, but I think it gives a crisper, more dramatic look. I also find that my black and white prints under glass also seem dynamic than Xpozer. That said, that image of Mount Bonnell is dreamy without a great deal of contrast — it might not be the ideal test image. I do like Xpozer enough to make more prints, however.
The flat non-reflective image has its advantages too. I see no reflections at all off the print — amazingly so. There were a few dings and small bends on the vinyl on delivery, which I was not thrilled about. Incredibly, those imperfections were completely invisible when attached to the wall, even under a spotlight — another big plus for the non-reflective vinyl sheet.
There are three advantages of Xpozer compared to other printing systems. One, the cost for large prints is significantly less compared to metal, acrylic, or canvas. Two, since the thin vinyl sheets can be rolled, they take up less space when being stored or shipped. Three, you can easily change out new prints on existing metal frames.
I ordered my print from Bay Photo. Normally 30″ x 40″ print runs $129. I got it on sale, and with the $19 shipping, my total price came to $128.64, which seems reasonable. The same print without the aluminum frame runs $90, which will be perfect for the future. I’ll just reuse the frame and keep prints, not on display rolled up. I’m hoping this will be an easy and cost-effective way to display and change out large pictures. Once in a while, I’ve seen 30% off sales, which will take the print cost down to $63 + shipping.
In contrast, that Nevada metal print cost $300, and the shipping by itself — packed in a wood and cardboard crate weighing 40 pounds — ran $200. Obviously, a great deal more expensive than Xpozer.
The downside of Xpozer? Because the prints are on thin vinyl, I would be hesitant to put them in high traffic areas. That metal print in the hallway works great because it’s durable enough to take accidental hits. I don’t think the Xpozer prints will easily rip like paper. But, I would use them above furniture or places not easily accessible to people, just to be safe.
The bottom line. I’m happy with my first Xpozer and plan to make more. Printing different subjects, I’ll also get a better feeling of the overall quality. I’ll do updates as I get more real-world results.
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