New Photoworld – Alpha 900 A2 foldout poster

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For any large circulation magazine to create a page section which folds out to view a A2 size is too expensive to consider – but Photoworld, subscribed to by enthusiasts and printed in a short run of only 1,600 copies, goes out on November 5th with a foldout sample image.

Issue #4 2008 will be mailed on Wednesday November 5th and includes a single Alpha 900 picture enlarged to fill 16.5 x 23.4 inches (420 x 594mm). The centre eight page section is glued in using two ‘hot dots’, with the Alpha 900 article on one side reading normally through four pages. You can then open it out, upwards, to reveal the poster-sized 200 line screen litho reproduction.

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“We are using Photoworld to pilot this method of presenting the results of high resolution digital cameras properly”, said editor David Kilpatrick. “In December, our professional magazine Master Photo Digital will include an A2 glued-in foldout section on the Phase One 60+ digital back – it’s a four-figure investment for the camera maker to sponsor the special print finishing, and we hope to show Hasselblad, Mamiya, Leica, Canon and other high pixel count examples in future.

“The Photoworld experiment has been kept within budget by making a 28-page issue in place of the usual 36, and it has taken us a couple of weeks longer in production because of the trials needed. I only started using the Alpha 900 on September 20th, and it quickly became clear that even a double page spread is not sufficient to show what 24.6 megapixels really means. We did double page spreads of high quality from the Konica Minolta 5D with only 6 megapixels – by those standards, the Alpha 900 should be shown off with an A1 size print.”

The issue also features Alpha 900 image spreads and comments from top UK shooters Duncan McEwan and Mark Cargill; a great article explaining the Open University digital photography course, by Brian Young; Gary Friedman on the benefits of using manual DRO+ with the Alpha 700; and a detailed reference article on using various combinations of old and new wireless flash and digital bodies.


  • The print quality of Photoworld was something I admired from the very first issue I received. Were it not for the sony/minolta-related content also, I would keep it only for this extraordinary quality: the haptics of the paper and the outstanding detailed and fine printing is something I did not find in Germany’s photomag market.
    Of course the poster adds something more for itself and for selling the A900 to me – the image quality is just overwhelming.


  • It will be a feature I use again in future, but not necessarily in Photoworld. I would be more likely to use a gatefold (3 a4 pages folding out) as this is much cheaper to do, see above. I just felt I had to do this, because you could buy all the photo magazines in the world, and never actually see what a 24 megapixel image is like. I wanted reproduction where you could count the grains of sand and see that they had shadows, and Hi-Tec printers did it perfectly. I am very pleased with their quality control on the copies I have here – the register is spot-on.

    The real thing is that in theory the A900 with a slightly less demanding subject could do double this size – and eight-page foldout. But their presses are only B2 Speedmasters, and there’s no way I could afford any other printer to do the magazine. What they do for me, with the laminated cover and the general quality of paper and platemaking (I do all the repro, they just run my PDFs through a computer-to-plate system) is exceptional for the small money involved and the time it takes me to pay them.

    But – it adds up to a reasonable amount with 14 magazines a year (it was once 28 magazines a year) and they get some specimen repro to show off to potential clients. They have always used my magazines as ‘showcase’ work, and I am sure they will be selling the glued-in foldout to other customers in the commercial sector.


  • I’ve got my copy and I think it works really well. Will this be a regular feature now? Andy

  • £216 to set up then £200 per thousand for the manual work of glueing a specially untrimmed and undersized page section into the centre of each issue. With most digital photo mags having circulations between 10,000 and 20,000 the cost of about £2000-4000 would be disproportionate.

    However, they can stuff a loose poster folded for no real cost. It’s having it glued in which costs the money.

    Gatefolds are much cheaper, I’ve done many magazines where the centre folds out to be three pages wide for panoramics, and usually the cost is just that you lose two pages and get six A4s on a running sheet instead of eight. But I’m amazed at how few magazines will do this. I have also done die-cut stuff in the past, featuring oval aperture and rectangular to show different frames dropping over pix. And I’ve done duotone sections on special paper with overvarnished repro. All these were paid for by companies like Daler Rowney and Ilford. Such companies no longer have the budgets to indulge specialist small magazines.

    Favourite magazines right now – Cartier magazine, Zoom, Swarowsky. They can do things well.

  • Looking forward to the magazine David. Why is it not economical for larger circulation magazines to consider this? – Does it not get cheaper with volume?

  • Eagerly anticipated !

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