Panstoria Photo Book Review Part 5

Panstoria photo book (left) and Creative Memories photo book (right) after 6 h 30 m in the Universal Book Tester

Panstoria photo book (left) and Creative Memories photo book (right) after 6 h 30 m in the Universal Book Tester

Panstoria uses 25 gauge stainless steel wire stitching for hardcover binding, and PUR adhesive for softcover books. I contacted Werner Rebsamen with the Hardcover Binders International, and he specifically cautioned against the use of stainless steel wire for this purpose, indicating that similar bindings had failed prematurely when tested with the Universal Book Tester. In addition, ISO standards for hardcover books do not recommend metal stitching. Panstoria Photo Book Review, September 24, 2013

Because, I was uncertain about the construction of the Panstoria photo book binding, I sent a sample to a friend in the book binding industry. He used the Universal Book Tester or UBT to examine the strength of the binding. The UBT uses a tumbling motion to test the strength of book bindings.

In this test, Panstoria’s photo book (left) did not perform as well as the Creative Memories photo book (right). It showed greater separation at the spine and some enlargement of the stitching holes that was not apparent with the Creative Memories photo book. Both books, however, performed well, and I can safely say I am comfortable with the process that Panstoria uses to assemble their books. I do not believe that Panstoria’s photo books will fall apart over time.

As I have indicated in the previous parts of this review, overall, I prefer Creative Memories’ photo books to Panstoria’s. In side-by-side comparisons, they are better. However, Creative Memories photo books are no longer available, and I am comfortable with Panstoria’s photo books as a reasonable option at this time. For Part 4 of this review see Panstoria Photo Book Review Part 4.

Note: Only the standard hardcover photo book was tested in the UBT. The test that was completed test does not apply to softcover binding or lay-flat pages.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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8 Responses to Panstoria Photo Book Review Part 5

  1. Joyce Nielsen says:

    Your input is invaluable. This post has given me the confidence to continue to make Storybooks with Panstoria for the time being. Thank you for still caring and creating this blog.

  2. Sherry Zimmerman says:

    your opinion is valuable to me since I don’t have the experience and “keen eye” for photo preservation products on the web. I just can’t keep up with all the various companies. Thank you for your wisdom and insight, I believe Panstoria endeavors to provide a great product. Like you, I believe CM’s were the best, but since they are no longer available, I still wish to create digital Storybooks and am thankful you feel Panstoria is a reasonable option to CM. I am thankful that I can still create albums, “my way”. 🙂

  3. Sher says:

    So appreciate your photo book reviews. Very difficult to find technical specs on photo books. Really struggling with alternative product suppliers for many of the items that I used to buy from cM. Having a very difficult time determining the best long-term storage for print photos in the wake of the powersort box. Any ideas?

  4. Larry Rood says:

    I’m about to order a book and am interested in hearing if there has been any new information about not only Panstoria’s printing, but other sources as well. At this time the poor binding review, coupled with a significant cost difference, is leading me away from Panstoria printing. Thanks.

  5. Dee Leclair says:

    Is there any company out there using the same kind of printing equipment that Creative Memories was using? Did anyone purchase the equipment from their facility?

  6. Karl Baker says:

    thanks for the review

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