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Archive 2012 · Whats the largest you can print....
  
 
onesickpuppy
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Whats the largest you can print....


Off my 1DMKII...8 meg sensor....I did 32x48 all day long

No reason you can't do bigger

I'm on a 1DMKIII now....and have done 40x60's and done real well.

one issue is this....has to be SHARP to start with...and work out of
RAW....save to TIFF....

keep us posted of your results



Aug 06, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Marcus Watts
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Whats the largest you can print....


As long as the image is sharp and properly exposed it won't make any difference if the image was shot in raw or jpeg. Raw is not more megapixels.

Saving to tiff will only benefit if you save the image more than 15 times. If you are not doing much work on the image don't bother going to tiff.

A little digital noise can cover a multitude of sins on a big enlargement.




Aug 06, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Ralph Conway
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Whats the largest you can print....


All. Means as large as you want. Question is viewer distance. From nearest distance I would say A3. I did A4 with EOS 60D (6MP) and it looked great.

Ralph



Aug 06, 2012 at 07:30 AM
explorerhv
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Whats the largest you can print....


the medium you print to makes a huge difference too - we use lyve canvas for up to 40x60 from a Canon 1D2, clients have had no complaints - I prefer landscapes to portraits at this size, though

that being said I am hoping my next camera is in the medium format range...



Aug 06, 2012 at 08:24 AM
jlandaue
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Whats the largest you can print....


I have printed at Costco at 20x30 photos taken with my Canon XT 8 megapixels, and it comes out pretty good. I guess that with your Canon 1D III you can do twice that size



Aug 15, 2012 at 03:06 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Whats the largest you can print....


WAYCOOL wrote:
Galen's prints start falling apart at 11x14 yet the gallery has been there for years proving it's photo that counts. Its not the camera or print or technical anything but the shot that counts f8 and be there.


Some of them have grain as big as my fingernail, but they somehow still work as photographs for other reasons.

Sometimes I think that more folks in forums need to get out and look at actual prints in galleries and museums and get a sense of how prints look in the real world - what does and does not work.

Dan



Aug 15, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Ben Horne
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Whats the largest you can print....


Anything beyond a print size of 8.64" x 12.96" will require interpolation. These numbers are derived by dividing the x and y pixel dimensions by 300. 300ppi (pixels per inch) is commonly regarded as photo quality.

Those that are printing larger than this size need to physically stretch the image, and invent information that does not truly exist. This often results in soft photos when viewed up close. If you view the image from far away, it's not a problem. This is why billboards are not a problem, even with cameras that have a very modest resolution. The people viewing these outdoor ads are often a block or more away.



Aug 15, 2012 at 06:00 AM
RobertLynn
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Whats the largest you can print....


billboards have been done with my 1DIII.

However, I've also have 20x30 and 16x24 regularly out of it.

Sure if you inspect fine detail, it's better at 11x14, but if the capture is sharp, you're having it printed on good media, and you're using good processing, you'll be fine.



Aug 15, 2012 at 02:20 PM
eskimochaos
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Whats the largest you can print....


This is way too subjective. We need Mark from the landscape forum to chime in.


Aug 15, 2012 at 03:18 PM
surf monkey
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Whats the largest you can print....


k clayton wrote:
It always depends. It just seems people are requesting larger and larger prints.
Thanks


What "people"?
What are their expectations on quality vs size?
What your clients want and what the FMers think is acceptable are probably two very different things coming from two different perspectives.
Like everyone seems to be saying, it really depends. But the buyer is obviously the determining factor.
I'd weigh your clients expectations vs the gear you have and potential for more business with new gear.
If you print out larger with the 1D3 and they go for it, then great.
If they expect better quality, then an upgrade to a 1D4 or 5D3 may be in order.



Aug 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM
 

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splathrop
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Whats the largest you can print....


A few things to think about:

1. Enlargements fail when magnification begins to frustrate the mind's expectation for detail.

2. Number 1 above means that subject matter is important. Some subjects can be enlarged more than others. A portrait has terrific enlargement potential because we see people all the time, but our brains are attuned to features no smaller than hair and eyelashes. If skin pores don't show up in an enlargement, who cares? By contrast, a landscape including beach sand may start to get limited pretty fast, because the texture can be very fine grained, and is familiar to everyone. When that texture turns to mush, the expectation of detail is frustrated, and the enlargement suffers.

A corollary is that some subjects have been done to death by large-format film photographers, precisely because an 8x10 view camera is wonderful for recording textures. Take on some subject like bristle cone pine tree bark and you get in trouble pretty quick, because there are famous images you are unlikely to be able to match with your smaller-format camera.

3. Viewing distance, as others said.

4. Perfect technique maximizes enlargement potential. Steady tripod. Perfect light. The right shutter speed if it's a moving subject. Optimum exposure. Optimum aperture. Nail focus. Did I mention perfect light? The key to enlargement is delivering detail. Better light is the key to recording more detail.

5. Lens. We are only now beginning to see zoom lenses that can compete with the best primes for making big enlargements. My view is that even the new zooms don't yet compete and win. Good as the new zooms are, it seems to be too hard to make a zoom that reliably delivers uniform sharpness and contrast across the frame. For now, the reliable tools for maximum enlargement are the best Canon (or Nikon) and Zeiss prime lenses. Maybe some copies of the new zooms do it too. I haven't had one yet—still hoping.

6. Your camera sensor matters. Crop sensors will never be the best way to get a big enlargement. Whether full-frame sensors should be pushed to the pixel limit (thinking of the new Nikon D800e) is an interesting question that I would love to have an answer for. Would it be better if it were only 28MP? How about 42MP? I don't know. I do know that other things equal (they usually aren't), however many MP you are using, a cropped sensor is a worse way to deploy your pixels if you intend maximum enlargement. Tradeoffs with pixels and framing, especially for distant subjects, complicate the analysis, however.

7. Use the whole frame for your subject if you can. If you want big enlargements, needlessly throwing away pixels by cropping is foolishness.

8. A major factor in some images, especially the big sweeping landscapes that include distant subject matter, is atmospheric quality. Astronomers refer to a quality of the air they call "good seeing." If you are trying to image sharply any distant subject, you are going to need good seeing. That is not the same as the transparency of the air, and in fact maximum transparency rarely coincides with the best seeing. Instead, good seeing is related to steadiness in the air, and uniformity of the air mass. You can learn to recognize it. When there is good seeing, distant objects appear unnaturally close and detailed to your unassisted eye. Times like that are uncommon in most places (but relatively more common in some locations, such as Southern Florida), but intervals of good seeing are the time to make landscapes you can enlarge the most.

9. These days, selling big pictures seems to be easier than selling little pictures. So it may be worth notable trouble and expense to learn how to optimize your enlargements, and equip yourself to do it. But bear in mind that unless you are doing studio work, so many factors play into getting good results that you have to work at it steadily just to assure that you will be present and shooting when conditions all come together. A highly successful big enlargement of an outdoor scene is not something you expect to capture every day. Ansel Adams has been quoted as saying that if you can get 10 good images a year you are doing well. He was using large format cameras. It's harder with 35mm. Plan accordingly.

If you can make all that work for you simultaneously, my experience has been that you can sometimes get an image that pretty well withstands gallery inspection at a 45-inch enlargement. I'm using a 5D II, and Zeiss and Canon prime lenses.



Aug 15, 2012 at 07:15 PM
kdlanejr
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Whats the largest you can print....


k clayton wrote:
What is the largest image you can print a photo taken with the Canon 1D III?
Thnaks



The largest I can print is about 24 x 100 inches. Of course, that will change to 44 x 100+ inches if I get a wider format printer. Strange, it doesn't seem to matter which camera I use.




Aug 19, 2012 at 09:09 PM
wilt
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Whats the largest you can print....


Keep in mind that an 8x10" print viewed from a distance of 12" will be identical in quality to an 8' x 10' print viewed from a distance of 12'




Aug 20, 2012 at 12:58 AM
jaredmizanin
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Whats the largest you can print....


I've printed 13x19" from my Canon 1D3 and Pro9000 MK II and was very impressed. I thought 10mp might not be too suitable but indeed it was. The file was even cropped a small bit.


Aug 20, 2012 at 03:06 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Whats the largest you can print....


Ben Horne wrote:
Anything beyond a print size of 8.64" x 12.96" will require interpolation. These numbers are derived by dividing the x and y pixel dimensions by 300. 300ppi (pixels per inch) is commonly regarded as photo quality.

Those that are printing larger than this size need to physically stretch the image, and invent information that does not truly exist. This often results in soft photos when viewed up close. If you view the image from far away, it's not a problem. This is why billboards are not a problem, even with cameras that have a very modest resolution. The people
...Show more

Ben, I need to disagree with the 300 ppi notion. That is an old idea that does not have its roots in photo printing but rather in the publishing business where entirely different issues are involved and where photographic images are produced in a way quite unlike what we do with inkjet printers, much less chemical photographic processes.

180 ppi or so is more commonly regarded as a reasonable minimum resolution with inkjet photographic printing. I used to blindly follow the 300 ppi idea myself when I first started doing inkjet work, but then I heard Jeff Schewe do a presentation on this stuff and I followed that up with some experimentation of my own. One of the most interesting ideas that Jeff proposed - and I now agree with him on this strongly - is that smaller prints need higher resolution, largely because they are frequently viewed much more closely or even held in the hand. When I print small, I simply let the resolution "float" to whatever it ends up being, often seeing resolution values like 500 and similar. As for interpolation, in many cases I would rather use a resolution of, say, 200 than interpolate to 300 for a large print.

On the other hand, I'm with you in retaining some concerns about losing too much resolution at very large print sizes. I'm happy with a well-made 20" x 30" or perhaps 24" x 36" print from my 5D2, but beyond that things can get a bit soft for my taste in some cases - though, indeed, the prints can look quite nice from a reasonable distance. Though one of the joys of a many well-done large prints is that the work close and far.

One other place where I suspect you might agree with me, you being a big film guy these days, is that film fails more gracefully when you push beyond the ideal upper size limits. The Rowell prints are a fine example, I think. The larger versions clearly show a lot of artifacts, primarily grain, however they still mostly "work" quite well. In my experience - though maybe I simply need to learn more about better interpolation and sharpening techniques - once a digital image gets to that upper boundary, going beyond that can turn things ugly very fast, especially if you look closely. Someone suggested that film works at these sizes since the grain itself can remain sharp and even though the image may be (often, is) objectively not sharp, the eye sees sharp grain and registers this, on some level, as sharp print.

It is worth experimenting with some of this stuff to get a better feeling for how it works out.

As for the OP's question, the answer is "it depends." ;-)

Take care,

Dan



Aug 20, 2012 at 04:58 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Whats the largest you can print....


I'm surprised that you did not mention post-processing workflow in all of this, and especially sharpening. There are some details to this that many people don't know about or understand and they can make a huge difference.

One that many overlook is "output sharpening" - an additional sharpening step specifically for the inkjet printing process. The inkjet printer "sprays" very small droplets of ink onto the surface of the paper. The dots can expand a bit when they hit the paper (an effect called "dot gain") and the amount of expansion is not the same for all papers. Output sharpening "over-sharpens" the file sent to the printer, ideally enough to compensate exactly for the expected dot gain.

This, along with careful sharpening at other points in the post-process workflow (plus a lot of the other factors you mention) can have a big effect.

Dan

splathrop wrote:
A few things to think about:

1. Enlargements fail when magnification begins to frustrate the mind's expectation for detail.

2. Number 1 above means that subject matter is important. Some subjects can be enlarged more than others. A portrait has terrific enlargement potential because we see people all the time, but our brains are attuned to features no smaller than hair and eyelashes. If skin pores don't show up in an enlargement, who cares? By contrast, a landscape including beach sand may start to get limited pretty fast, because the texture can be very fine grained, and is familiar to everyone. When
...Show more



Aug 20, 2012 at 05:09 AM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Whats the largest you can print....


I shoot a lot of photos to make sure the focus is nailed. Dan I have thought of printing a small part of the image but I think this would look worse than you'd notice in a print of the whole image. One of the Magnum photographers talked about a 30 ft wide or some such huge size image in one of the NYC train stations. He said walk right up to it looks fine. 6 mp sensor. My ~40x60 looks fine if ur 2 ft. away. You should see my 20x30's off scanned Fuji print and Velvia




Aug 20, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Lan11
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Whats the largest you can print....


I’ve a good time reading some of the posts here, so I added my comments javascript:void(0);

--- “Its not the camera or print or technical anything but the shot that counts f8 and be there.”

I’d modify it a bit: “Its not the camera or print or technical anything but advertising and recognizable name.”
Sheeple will believe anything if the msg. is reiterated long and often enough.

--- “I have printed at Costco at 20x30 photos taken with my Canon XT 8 megapixels, and it comes out pretty good. I guess that with your Canon 1D III you can do twice that size”.

I ordered 4”x5” prints from my Kodak Instamatic at the Salvation Army and they were awesome javascript:void(0);



Aug 20, 2012 at 05:06 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Whats the largest you can print....


AmbientMike wrote:
I shoot a lot of photos to make sure the focus is nailed. Dan I have thought of printing a small part of the image but I think this would look worse than you'd notice in a print of the whole image. One of the Magnum photographers talked about a 30 ft wide or some such huge size image in one of the NYC train stations. He said walk right up to it looks fine. 6 mp sensor. My ~40x60 looks fine if ur 2 ft. away. You should see my 20x30's off scanned Fuji print and Velvia



You are correct that it will look subjectively worse than the whole print would look, so you have to be a bit careful about how you "read" these samples. One thing that I'll do - or suggest to a client to whom I provide such a sample - is tack the sample to a wall at the proverbial viewing distance to see how it looks.

So, some interpretation and context is most certainly required and then intended use and expectations in that context make a lot of difference. For example, I feel that well-made 20" x 30" or perhaps 24" x 36" prints made from my 5D2 originals can look very, very good - but that I see some deterioration above that size that gives me pause. However, to some extent that is because I know the images so well and look with a very critical eye - so I understand that someone might see a larger print from the same images and be very impressed.

Also regarding the subjective nature of this stuff, two stories:

Back in the day, my first DSLR was a 8MP cropped sensor model. At one point a design firm working on a hospital contacted me about using some black and white images for some interior areas of the facility. They were to be used at very large sizes - though I've forgotten the precise size now - as design elements and placed up high. In other words they were not going to be regarded as "fine art prints" at all, and for this purpose their intent was fine. (I think they might have been something on the order of 8-12 feet tall.)

On another occasion a British retailer contacted me about using a photograph of some blades of grass on large posters for an advertising campaign. The photograph was made with the same 8MP camera, and it was a nece image that could make a fine print at the right size. Their intended use was to print posters that would be, if memory serves, something like perhaps 4-5 feet tall and then places inside store windows at eye level. While I would have been happy to license the images for this sort of thing, I did not believe that the quality was going to be what they wanted for this use - where people would see the images somewhat close up. They still liked the image and had apparently done some design work based on it, but I didn't want them to end up disappointed. So, I did send them small proofs of sections printed at their target resolution and, to my relief, they agreed that it would not have looked good enough for their purpose. Yes, I lost a sale, but I also helped a potential client make the right choice.

Take care,

Dan



Aug 20, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Todd Klassy
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Whats the largest you can print....


I can't believe all of the subjective advice people are giving.

The 1D Mark III has a maximum resolution of 3,888 × 2,592, which is an aspect ratio of 3:2.

If the native printer your are using recommends a dpi of 300, then the maximum you could print is 13" x 8.6" with maximum, native resolution of both the camera and the printer.

Some commercial printers have a native resolution of 250 dpi, which means in those cases you can print something that is 15.6" x 10.4" in size (at the camera's maximum , native resolution). I believe Mpix and Mpix Pro use printers with a 250 dpi native resolution the last time I checked. But you will want to call a commercial printer, ask them for the make and model of the printer(s) they use and check for yourself.

Still some printers have a native resolution of 240 dpi, which translates to a print that is 16.2" x 10.8" in size (at the camera's maximum , native resolution).

That said, some people have success printing 250 dpi images on a printer that has a native, recommended resolution of 300 dpi. Some others make prints at 200 dpi (19.4" x 13").

I've tried printing stuff that has less than 200 dpi resolution on a printer rated for 300 dpi and I have been less than impressed with the results. 200 dpi might work better on printers with a 250 or 240 dpi recommended resolution. You need to make that determination for yourself to see what you are satisfied with. Everyone has different tastes. However, one thing is for sure, you will want to make sure your print is very sharp if you are trying to stretch the native resolutions of the camera and printer. Also, as has been my experience, images destined for printers benefit from more sharpening than those destined for the Internet or computer monitor.

If you need something larger I recommend using a software program such as Alien Skin Software's Blow Up 3. Good luck.



Aug 20, 2012 at 05:53 PM
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