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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 30 Aug 2010 (Monday) 00:55
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resolution for 13x19 prints

 
ncjohn
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Aug 30, 2010 00:55 |  #1

Hello folks.
Well, I have this new Pro9000 Mk II printer that everyone loves to use for making 13x19 prints. I'm still in the getting-used-to-it phase and haven't bought that 13x19 paper yet, but it's on my mind!:) So I've been reading threads here about print resolution and everyone seems to agree that once prints reach a certain size the print resolution can go down and viewers won't notice any drop in quality because they view the print from farther away. But just how low can you go for a print that size and still have it look really good?

And by the way, what's with that size? Why 13x19? Print sizes used to step up from 11x14 to 16x20.

Thanks




  
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tonylong
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Aug 30, 2010 01:38 |  #2

For modern cameras, I don't think you need to worry about it unless you need to do a sharpening routine after resizing/resampling an image for that size.

In fact, my "normal" sizes for printing are 12x16 (a 4:3 aspect ratio) and 12x18 (our native 2:3 aspect ratio) and I have prints from images ranging from 4 MP, 6 MP and then higher from my DSLRs and all prints I've done (picked for high image quality) are quite pleasing. And that's with no resizing/resampling, just send it to the printer and let the driver handle the resampling.

Try both approaches -- try just printing with the native resolution and then try resizing to a particular print size and resolution (like 12x18 at 250 ppi) and then do a sharpening routine, and see what works the best.

And, you don't have to do this full size on the big paper. Crop a small portion of an image so that it would be, say, an 8x10 portion of a bigger print size, and run it through the two processes, printing an 8x10 and viewing it at the distance you would view the bigger print. I do this, and sometimes see things I didn't expect, but more often go ahead with the larger print.


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René ­ Damkot
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Aug 30, 2010 01:41 |  #3

Printing FAQ


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tonylong
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Aug 30, 2010 01:44 |  #4

René Damkot wrote in post #10814587 (external link)
Printing FAQ

That too:)!


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tzalman
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Aug 30, 2010 03:44 |  #5

13x19 is cool 'cause you can print a 12x18 with a half inch border. Put a thin black inner border and it looks even better.


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ncjohn
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Aug 30, 2010 12:20 |  #6

I've read the printing FAQ and didn't find the info I was looking for, but you're addressing my question right here:

tonylong wrote in post #10814579 (external link)
In fact, my "normal" sizes for printing are 12x16 (a 4:3 aspect ratio) and 12x18 (our native 2:3 aspect ratio) and I have prints from images ranging from 4 MP, 6 MP and then higher from my DSLRs and all prints I've done (picked for high image quality) are quite pleasing. And that's with no resizing/resampling, just send it to the printer and let the driver handle the resampling.

I'm really surprised you can get a good print of that size from an image as small as 6 MP.

Try both approaches -- try just printing with the native resolution and then try resizing to a particular print size and resolution (like 12x18 at 250 ppi) and then do a sharpening routine, and see what works the best.

This is actually what prompted my question. My full-size RAW files (from a Canon XSi) are 17.8" x 11.867" at 240 PPI. (According to both PS Elements and DPP.) That's why I was wondering if I'd be able to get decent 13x19 prints.

Thanks for the info.




  
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ncjohn
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Aug 30, 2010 12:25 |  #7

tzalman wrote in post #10814887 (external link)
13x19 is cool 'cause you can print a 12x18 with a half inch border. Put a thin black inner border and it looks even better.

Oh, that sounds good, I'll try that, thanks.
(Just to be sure I understand, now... You're saying they chose the 13x19 format because it's cool?:))




  
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René ­ Damkot
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Aug 30, 2010 14:18 |  #8

ncjohn wrote in post #10816890 (external link)
I'm really surprised you can get a good print of that size from an image as small as 6 MP.

You should print more :lol:

I have a couple of prints here: 13x19" paper with a bit of a border, so let's say 11"x16.5" image.

ISO 1600 shot taken with a 1D
ISO 1600 shot taken with a 1D2
ISO 3200 shot taken with a 1D2
ISO 3200 shot taken with a 1D3
ISO 6400 shot taken with a 1D3

Resolution difference between 1D and 1D2 is visible (D'oh: Double the Mp).
Between 1D2 and 1D3: Hardly.
Biggest difference is that the newer camera has a cleaner high ISO...


I've had portraits taken with a 10D printed at 70x100cm and an image taken with my 1D2 at 3,5 meters wide.

You don't inspect a huge print from up close.


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tonylong
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Aug 30, 2010 14:49 |  #9

Yeah, echo what René says about print size. I get critical of my prints regarding sharpness for certain things, but if I have a good shot with a lower resolution I still know it's going to look good framed, behind glass, on a wall at any normal viewing distance but I don't approach it looking for the slightest flaws.

On the other hand, if I have a shot of say a beautiful bird but shot at a large distance and that I had to crop really small just to have an OK composition then I'd probably never bother to print large because with those kind of shots you just want to soak in the fine details of the feathered critter and such shots tend to go kinda soft when you are doing huge enlargments.


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ncjohn
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Aug 30, 2010 16:29 |  #10

René Damkot wrote in post #10817683 (external link)
You should print more :lol:

I'm working on it!:p

I have an interesting situation here: The lighting in this loft is so bad I can only judge prints during the day (when the light is perfect!). And I do most of my work at night. So, it's "print at night, judge the prints during the daytime." It's like being able to work only every other day. BUT... we're moving!!! So I don't want to get lighting for this place, but in the new house I'll have a separate computer/photography room, which I might just light up like an operating room.:D I am so ready!

Thanks you guys!




  
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Lowner
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Aug 31, 2010 04:37 |  #11

ncjohn,

Having to wait to judge the prints is a good thing. They take time to dry and judging them before that can skew the results.


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bohdank
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Aug 31, 2010 07:20 |  #12

It depends what the subject matter is and where it is going to be shown, imo.

Much like DOF scales, viewing distance is just a rule of thumb and not written in stone.

Will a 13 x 19 ony be viewed at 2 meters or whatever the "rule" says. Maybe yes, maybe no.

If your prints are hanging in a gallery and are of subjects such as a landscapes which contain lots of fine detail, people will put their nose against it, since that type of subject draws people in closer and closer to look at the detail, or lack of.

If it's a shot of a person, people expect to see individual hairs resolved... the rest doesn't matter as much. I assume the eyes are in perfect focus and detailed.

If it's going to hang in a hallway/staircase, then the space available to back off is limited so you are forcing the viewer to be close.

If the image is going to be used on some cardboard promotional card standing on a store floor, people do not expect razor sharp images, so less is acceptable.

I have some large prints from P&S's that I took many years ago. All are "sharp" on my screen. Some you could put your nose against on a 11 x 17 print, others I threw out because they looked like crap at 8 x 11, no matter how I tried to process it.

It also depends on what you print. When in doubt, print on canvas, who's ability to resolve fine detail is the lowest of all mediums. Not all images lend themselves to canvas so that may not be an option.

So, to answer your question, it depends.


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Bobster
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Aug 31, 2010 19:43 |  #13

ncjohn wrote in post #10814414 (external link)
And by the way, what's with that size? Why 13x19? Print sizes used to step up from 11x14 to 16x20.

why 13x19? so you can have bleed on images for when you do A3 artwork :)


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Lowner
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Sep 01, 2010 05:04 |  #14

I normally use a half inch border, so as Elie suggested, a 12 x 18 print on A3+ paper works well for me. I also have a roll of 13" Epson Premium Glossy to use for pano's.

I shy away from borderless prints. I destroyed a previous printer by doing too much and the waste ink absorbant pads filled. Epsons just refuse to continue once these pads are full.


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Wilt
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Sep 01, 2010 10:49 |  #15

We know that the assumption if DOF calculation is an 8x10 print viewed from a distance of 10", by one standard of 'human visual acuity', allows for a certain blur circle to be perceived by the eye as a 'sharp point'. So we now need to make some assumptions about viewing a 13x19 print...

René has already stated that the further pixel count increase after the 1DII is hardly apparent to the eye. So an 8MP photo in a 13x19 print, assuming he was viewing from 19" away, is the defnition of 'enough pixels per inch'. The 1DII has 3520 pixels, so we know that is (3520/19") 185 ppi. This conforms to commonly held belief that 150 ppi is the bare minimum, and 200 ppi is better. But let's get more insight into this floor in number of pixels...

In the case of viewing 19" wide print from 19" away, we can determine with trigonometry that we are seeing a 54 degree wide print viewing angle when viewing distance = print length. So we have pixels per degree of (3504/54) 65. As long as you maintain that angular relationship in maintaining the viewing distance, the print will continue to be PERCEIVED as 'sharp'. Similarly, one might enlarge the image to 24x36 and stand at 36" distance, and that is identical to viewing the 13x19 from 19" away. A practical example of this size relationship, which you have seen already, can be seen when viewing billboards...viewed from a few feet away, the detail resolution and 'pixel' size is horrid; but viewed from the street it looks 'sharp' and not pixellated. If the viewer violates this rule of thumb about viewing distance by standing too closely, then 65 pixels per degree will not be maintained and the print will no longer hold up to the scrutiny.

Keep in mind that pixels alone is but one component of image quality. If an inferior lens forms the image captured by the sensor, then insufficient detail resolution will be a limiting factor as well as pixel resolution. The former affects how much detail we see, the latter affects that 'jaggies' for any lines not running exactly parallel to X- or Y-axis of the pixel matrix.


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resolution for 13x19 prints
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