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Archive 2016 · Downsampling for print
Greg Schneider
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Downsampling for print

There's lots of advice and best practise online regarding upsizing and resampling when printing enlargements, but not much to be seen about downsampling.

I have an image that's about 8000px wide to be printed on 4x6 to 8x12 sizes. Those sizes obviously won't do the image justice, however my question is whether resampling to 300ppi (ie at most 3600px wide) prior to sending it to the lab would be beneficial? The lab can't advise either way so it may take some test prints.

Oct 26, 2016 at 05:43 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Downsampling for print

The lab really should be able to answer the question about what the optimum final size file resolution needs to be for their printers. Many are optimized at 300 dpi at final print size, but some have odd requirements like 305 dpi for best results and others like Epson inkjets prefer 360 at final size. Of course you can send whatever resolution you want or happen to have at the printer and it will print it, but there will be an optimal pixel dimension for each type of printer, and they should know it.

Sending files that are too high in resolution can actually make softer looking prints as well, as the sharpening is done with the expectation of a larger print size. You'll usually be safe sending 300 dpi at final print size files, but do remember to re-sharpen them after the resize, as they will lose some in the resizing process.

Oct 26, 2016 at 08:03 PM

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