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Archive 2012 · Whats the largest you can print....
  
 
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p.3 #1 · Whats the largest you can print....


wilt wrote:
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'



An excellent point that bears repeating.



Aug 20, 2012 at 06:23 PM
AmbientMike
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p.3 #2 · Whats the largest you can print....


I have a great 20x30 from 40d raw in the other room. Landscape. I wish we could get together and show prints. Dan you should consider that if there are flaws they will probably get interpreted as artistic. Imo If you have a large format printer, you'd come out ahead printing the whole thing and showing it to them. Increase in sales will probably offset costs easily.

Seems like Duggal wanted 150 dpi minimum.

I just looked at 40x60. Better than I remember. You have to nail focus. One shot with af not gonna do it a lot of the the time. Af not that accurate.

Some subjects are sharper than others. Other than xt raw is sharper depending on how you have the camera set up. I tested that on 5d I think it is probably true on 40d and others. Try it so you can get it set up for yourself.



Aug 20, 2012 at 07:10 PM
andyjaggy82
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p.3 #3 · Whats the largest you can print....


Another factor that I think has a huge effect is printing medium. I have always felt that printing on canvass for example is much more forgiving than other materials, simply because of the large amount of texture on the canvass, which can help mask the lack of detail in large prints. If I am printing a canvas I will usually let myself go up about 25% in print size because of this.

I also disagree with the notion of 300dpi, I find the difference between 200-300 dpi negligible, especially with any viewing distance over 2 feet. I will let myself go down to about 180-200dpi before I start to get nervous, even then you can still get some great looking prints if you aren't too anal. It's all very subjective.



Aug 20, 2012 at 09:11 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.3 #4 · Whats the largest you can print....


Todd Klassy wrote:
I can't believe all of the subjective advice people are giving.


I'm afraid that this and the rest of your post suggest that your experience with a variety of print types and resolutions may be a bit lacking. (I'll also point out the irony of your comment about your opinion on resolutions lower than 200... after criticizing subjective points about this issue.)

The fact is that while there are objective, factual aspects to printing, there is a tremendous amount of subjectivity when it comes to answering the basic question of this thread, namely "how large can I print... ?"

AmbientMike wrote:
I have a great 20x30 from 40d raw in the other room. Landscape. I wish we could get together and show prints. Dan you should consider that if there are flaws they will probably get interpreted as artistic. Imo If you have a large format printer, you'd come out ahead printing the whole thing and showing it to them. Increase in sales will probably offset costs easily.


If I'm the "Dan" you refer to, I do have an in-house large format printer, the Epson 7900.

andyjaggy82 wrote:
Another factor that I think has a huge effect is printing medium. I have always felt that printing on canvass for example is much more forgiving than other materials, simply because of the large amount of texture on the canvass, which can help mask the lack of detail in large prints. If I am printing a canvas I will usually let myself go up about 25% in print size because of this.

I also disagree with the notion of 300dpi, I find the difference between 200-300 dpi negligible, especially with any viewing distance over 2 feet. I will let myself go
...Show more

The first point about printing media is critically important. It is absolutely true that if you are going to push the upper boundaries of prints size, that you can probably produce an effective print on canvas a bit more easily. As you point out, the texture and presentation are more forgiving of a bit of softness. Thanks for mentioning that.

Your ideas about resolution are in line with my experience.

Dan



Aug 21, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Peter Figen
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p.3 #5 · Whats the largest you can print....


The largest Galen Rowell prints at MountainLight in Bishop are 32"x48" and look great as long as you're a few feet away. Unfortunately, they were scanned on a drum scanner that interpolates everything above about 2500 dpi, which accounts for the very evident stairstepping you can see on close examination.

35mm film, if it's done right, can look amazingly good at 40x60, printing uninterpolated at that size at 180 dpi. The great thing about it is, that even though it's got grain, it never looks "digital".

I have to agree with Dan about the resolution requirements. You don't need nearly as much as many think you do, and the larger the print, the less you need. 125-150 dpi on large prints looks really great even at close distance. The Epsons optimally want 180, but it's really not necessary at the largest sizes. The most important factors if you're printing from digital camera files is how you interpolate and prep the files. Ironically, the more filmlike you can make your images - by adding appropriate amounts of noise or grain, the more our human eyes seem to accept the image. The better you are at post production, the better your prints are going to look on the wall.

The largest print I've had done from a 1dsMKIII file that was not a billboard was a print for Honeywell's Shanghai offices where the print was something like 15'x20' along a stairwell. I prepped the file to print at final size at 100 dpi, but it needed quite a bit of "help" to cure it of digital artifacts at that size, and since this is mounted right next to the stairwell, people actually see it fairly close up. The unfortunate thing is, is that I haven't seen it yet myself. Maybe some day.



Aug 21, 2012 at 04:00 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.3 #6 · Whats the largest you can print....


Peter Figen wrote:
Ironically, the more filmlike you can make your images - by adding appropriate amounts of noise or grain, the more our human eyes seem to accept the image. The better you are at post production, the better your prints are going to look on the wall.


I love this point, especially the first sentence, because it is so opposite of the "common knowledge" and also so precisely correct. The infatuation with "noise free" images is bizarre and overblown. In some cases it actually improves print quality to add some noise to the image.

There are some explanations for this, that make a lot of sense if you have seen many photographs and if you think about it a bit. There are at least a couple of "issues" with very large "noise-free" images. First, the amount of noise reduction has a less than wonderful effect on very fine detail. You can compensate to some extent, but in very large prints this can create a sort of a "plastic" quality that blurs fine detail and looks almost synthetic. Second, I've heard it suggested - and I mentioned it earlier in this discussion - that when grain is printed sharply, the eye/mind regards the print as sharp and is less critical of the optical sharpness of the actual image being printed. Objectively, many large prints from 35mm film do not offer a sharp image of the subject compared to what we can do with DSLRs today. However, a good print will sharply print the grain details, and we interpret this to some extent as a sign of sharpness in the print.

Adding a bit of noise can mute the "plastic" quality - as can not going too far in attempts to eliminate noise in the first place. It can also be rather pleasing on the surface of a print, which is a different thing that seeing a photograph on the monitor.

And the fact is today, as it has long been with optical/chemical printing, that post-processing skills and techniques and judgment matter a lot.

Dan



Aug 21, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Peter Figen
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p.3 #7 · Whats the largest you can print....


And to take this idea further, I think we accept, and actually want to see more noise/grain/granularity in the shadows than in the highlights. I usually dupe the background layer, then make in inverted Luminosity mask, add monochromatic noise, anywhere from 5-15 percent depending on the image, which gradates gradually from the shadows tapering off in the highlights. Then, very importantly, I add a very small amount of Gaussian Blur to the noise layer, still with the selection in place - maybe .3-.5 pixel radius, depending o the image. This softens the hard edge of the noise just enough, and I like the look this way better than the grain filters in Ps. Then, again, depending on the image, I might again make a Luminosity mask and add a much smaller amount of noise into the highlights - maybe only 2-3 percent and blur that back as well. That second round in the highlights is really the finishing touch, which helps blend with the shadow noise and gives just enough to help but not enough to hurt. Speculars may or may not get a final mask to keep them at a full 255.


Aug 21, 2012 at 05:20 AM
schewe
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p.3 #8 · Whats the largest you can print....


Todd Klassy wrote:
I can't believe all of the subjective advice people are giving.


Read this and get back to me with any questions...The Right Resolution.



Aug 22, 2012 at 10:57 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.3 #9 · Whats the largest you can print....


schewe wrote:
Read this and get back to me with any questions...The Right Resolution.


Jeff, thanks so much for your work to clarify and teach about this printing business. I credit my ability to make inkjet prints that are generally regarded as being very effective to what I learned about printing from two people.

You are one of them. I already had a pretty decent idea what I was doing when I saw your "Camera to Print" (or whatever it was called) series in which you and Michael (mostly you) went through a sample workflow for digital printing. When I got to the part where you made the seemingly bizarre suggestion that interpolating everything to a resolution of 300 or whatever it was did not make a lot of sense (for reasons relating to the meaning of this resolution, the ways that printers work, and more) I thought you were nuts. But, as I often do, I figured I would just try your ideas out to prove them wrong - and darned if they didn't work. Really well.

(The other person is Charlie Cramer, who happens to be an acquaintance from some time ago - he played organ at our wedding! Some years back I called him up to say that I was reaching the limits of my own abilities to figure out this inkjet printing thing and to ask for some recommendations about where to go for more information or advice. He said, "Come on over and bring a few files and we'll take a look at them." In the end, he gave me a one-on-one more or less half day "workshop" on printing that utterly changed my approach.)

So, thanks for your work and wisdom, and thanks for checking in here.

Dan



Aug 23, 2012 at 01:56 AM
skibum5
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p.3 #10 · 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


totally depends

standard prints for home viewing 300PPI or so often looks pretty decent (although, contrary to most popular claims, going above this very much does make prints look yet even better, I saw clear improvement stepping up from 360PPI all the way to 540PPI and then just a trace even better still to 720PPI, I really prefer if I can get to the higher PPI but even with most large MP FF it is still not possible even for just 19" prints; many say that nobody can tell 8MP from say 16MP on an 8.5x11" sheet, I say nonsense, while some can't, many easily can)

some billboard that can only be seen from dozens of feet away you can use way less

some people don't seem to notice things much and they seem fine at 120PPI for home, but that sure stands out to me




Aug 23, 2012 at 02:22 AM
 

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WAYCOOL
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p.3 #11 · Whats the largest you can print....


Dan if you read "The Right Resolution" as linked Jeff now suggests you print from Lightroom and for images less than 360 ppi upres them to 360 and for images above 360 and less than 720ppi upres them to 720ppi (for epson printers) Let the printer do the work is no longer what he teaches. Though he admits that you really have to pixel peep the see the difference.


Aug 23, 2012 at 04:54 AM
andyjaggy82
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p.3 #12 · Whats the largest you can print....


Good thread everyone, I am learning a lot.

I have been one of those guys that has never understood the obsession with completely noise free images. I don't mind a little bit of noise in my files. That said the digital noise is not nearly as pleasing as film grain, but I still don't mind it that much.



Aug 23, 2012 at 02:27 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.3 #13 · Whats the largest you can print....


WAYCOOL wrote:
Dan if you read "The Right Resolution" as linked Jeff now suggests you print from Lightroom and for images less than 360 ppi upres them to 360 and for images above 360 and less than 720ppi upres them to 720ppi (for epson printers) Let the printer do the work is no longer what he teaches. Though he admits that you really have to pixel peep the see the difference.


I am aware that he changed the specifics of his recommendations after I first saw the material I mentioned. However, my main point about how that material enlightened me about the process and techniques of inkjet printing remains.

The more important thing is that he understands a lot about all of this printing stuff - not that I necessarily agree with everything he or anyone else says today, nor that I will necessarily print exactly as he would. Frankly, there is no single "right" or "correct" way to do these things. Despite the claims of some that their method is the best or only one, a quick look around confirms that there are others using somewhat different approaches, at least as to certain details, that clearly lead to excellent prints.

When he says something about how inkjet printing works, how to prepare prints for printing on inkjet, and about how images are viewed and perceived, his voice is among those that are credible and worth attention.

On the other hand, a lot of what passes for knowledge and which is presented as absolute fact in this and similar forums is more like repetition of nostrums (often misinterpreted), speculation, out-dated, and wholly ungrounded in actual printing.

For the record, I now sometimes do upres in software rather than letting the printer do all of the interpolation, but this is a selective choice based on the print I am working on at the time. I would never worry about taking steps to increase resolution beyond 300, though I still allow resolution to float higher in very small prints, where I do allow the printer to do the interpolation.

(I still haven't, despite trying and despite the recommendations of some well-known photographers I know - switched to LR for printing or for file management or for basic post-processing work. It's a weakness! I still like my photoshop workflow. I'm strange that way! ;-)

Dan



Aug 23, 2012 at 04:44 PM
R.H. Johnson
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p.3 #14 · Whats the largest you can print....


i always ask this question never able to get a definitive answer: how does Canon's ipf series printers with the ability to print directly from RAW at a native 600 DPI effect how large can one print a 5DMKII RAW image?


Aug 23, 2012 at 05:06 PM
andyjaggy82
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p.3 #15 · Whats the largest you can print....


I looked at that site, I was hard pressed to see much of a difference with both methods, the only one that was clearly better was the Epson with the fine detail turned on. In addition those were all magnified 10X, I seriously wonder if I could tell a difference in a real print.


Aug 23, 2012 at 05:56 PM
alundeb
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p.3 #16 · Whats the largest you can print....


schewe wrote:
Read this and get back to me with any questions...The Right Resolution.


Thank you!

Your article reflects my own experience, that with Epson printers (at least some) the image is interpolated to 360/720 ppi in the print pipeline, and this causes jaggies. I have done further experiments to verify that the interpolation algorithm used when printing from Photoshop is Nearest Neighbour. This kind of interpolation does not do resampling! It only duplicates a pixel when it needs to, in order to stretch the image. That way the Epson people can truthfully say that their driver does not do any resampling. But it is still not proven where the interpolation takes place.

If you are unlucky, your image contains patterns that give very eaisly visible interference patterns. It was in such an image I discovered the whole thing.



Aug 23, 2012 at 08:29 PM
WAYCOOL
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p.3 #17 · Whats the largest you can print....


You make good sense Dan, I too cling to Photoshop for my printing. I feel it gives me more control wether on not it dose is irrelevant. For the longest time Lightroom did not soft proof so if I had to go into photoshop may as well print from there and you can't teach a old dog new tricks.


Aug 23, 2012 at 08:50 PM
GC5
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p.3 #18 · Whats the largest you can print....



Largest I can print is 8.5 by 11. I have several vendors who can print much larger than that though....



Aug 23, 2012 at 09:56 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.3 #19 · Whats the largest you can print....


andyjaggy82 wrote:
I looked at that site, I was hard pressed to see much of a difference with both methods, the only one that was clearly better was the Epson with the fine detail turned on. In addition those were all magnified 10X, I seriously wonder if I could tell a difference in a real print.


Probably not. In fact, almost certainly not, even with side-by-side clinical inspection.

Dan



Aug 23, 2012 at 09:58 PM
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