How do I know how large I can print?

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#2
Print quality is determined by 2 key factors:

1) the resolution of the print in dots per inch (dpi) and 2) the viewing distance of the print.

The higher the dpi is, the more pixels you will need to fulfil a print of a given size. You will ofter hear 300 dpi mentioned - in theory this is the resolution a print needs to be where no additional quality can be determined by the human eye at very short viewing distance i.e arms length.

If you intend to print large, you can afford to lower the resolution because people will not be standing so close to the print (again, in theory). That means a print at 150dpi can be twice as large as a 300dpi print with the same pixel resolution image.

Make sense?

Based on 300dpi print resolution, you can print this image at roughly 19x11 inches, which really means you can print at whatever size you like since you have plenty of resolution to play with and can just lower the print resolution to suit a larger print.

Note that you can also upscale an image by getting photoshop to generate additional pixels but that is another topic I think.
 
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#3
Most (all?) commercial printers ask for the files to be supplied with a resolution of 300 dpi. However, anything down to 150 will yield a reasonable print depending on the viewing distance.

The pixel dimensions in/of themselves mean nothing until you do the calculation ;)

PS typing at same time as Andy but he beat me to the submit button :LOL:
 
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#4
Most (all?) commercial printers ask for the files to be supplied with a resolution of 300 dpi. However, anything down to 150 will yield a reasonable print depending on the viewing distance.

The pixel dimensions in/of themselves mean nothing until you do the calculation ;)

PS typing at same time as Andy but he beat me to the submit button :LOL:
You snooze you lose :p
 
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droj
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#5
I've always sent to print at the print size in inches x 300ppi, unless stipulated differently by the printer - eg some could be 240ppi.

In other words, I would resize if needed, traditionally using PS (LR didn't always exist).

Often it's good to have a border, whether for handling, appearance or mounting, or just to reconcile the image size / proportion with the paper size / proportion. In such a case I'd incorporate the border into the file sent (canvas size in PS).
 
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Terry
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#6
Very large building sized mega posters probably spread their pixels down to 1 per inch and it still looks good to a passing car.

The rule of thumb in pre-digital days was that if an image looks good as a 10x8 inch print held in the hand, then it will look good at any size.

This is in reality a fairly low bar to jump, and can be met by even a 6 mega pixel camera. Your image is not far off 19 megapixels so would print at any size appropriate to the viewing distance.
 
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#7
This is in reality a fairly low bar to jump, and can be met by even a 6 mega pixel camera.
Quite right.

An exhibition of wild life pictures I went to consisted of very large prints. They provided the details of the equipment used to take the shot and several were from cameras like the Eos 10D or the Nikon D70...

Sony HX90 8GB 01 DSC01097.JPG
 
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#8
It's not just about pixel sizes though, but also about the inherent sharpness of the image. To exaggerate, if the image had tons of mpx but the camera had been handheld at 1 second (ignoring any attempts at icm), you might want to downsize it ...
 
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#9
It's not just about pixel sizes though, but also about the inherent sharpness of the image. To exaggerate, if the image had tons of mpx but the camera had been handheld at 1 second (ignoring any attempts at icm), you might want to downsize it ...
plus there is the whole all quality side of things - a shot on someones 40mp Huawei would be pretty bad in comparison to a 3MP EOS D30 when blown up... but that's another argument! :p
 
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#10
It's not just about pixel sizes though, but also about the inherent sharpness of the image. To exaggerate, if the image had tons of mpx but the camera had been handheld at 1 second (ignoring any attempts at icm), you might want to downsize it ...
That is why I said if a 10x8 looks good in the hand.
An image can still look good if it is soft , even unsharp, and of low pixel count with very little detail, provided that the tonality is good and the image is interesting.

Image quality, and what makes an interesting image, is extremely hard to define. and what looks good, even outstanding. need follow no rules in the conventional sense.
In the normal way a "Good" Or "Excellent" image will look equally good at any size.

The Digital age has created a preoccupation with detail and sharpness, quite out of step with more important image qualities. like Subject treatment, Artistic merit, lighting or intrinsic interest.

Modern high pixel counts and high resolution lenses emphasis the extraordinary shallow depth of field obtained at any aperture when an image is viewed closely.
And demonstrate the extreme difficulty of preventing loss of ultimate sharpness, due to camera movement, even at high shutter speeds.
When counts reach the level of 100 megapixels. these difficulties are almost overwhelming, except perhaps in the most extreme studio conditions.
Hand held results with such equipment, almost invariably, show lower definition than the sensor/lens is capable of. (Albeit, probably, still outstanding by any other standard)
 
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#11
plus there is the whole all quality side of things - a shot on someones 40mp Huawei would be pretty bad in comparison to a 3MP EOS D30 when blown up... but that's another argument! :p
Not only another argument, but not necessarily true.:bat:
 
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Joel
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#12
Thanks for the replies guys. Should have also asked how to go about getting prints mounted and framed and where from. Really don't want to be doing it myself and would rather have a it done properly.

Quite like the white mount black frame, best place to go for print & mount/framing?
 
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#13
Thanks for the replies guys. Should have also asked how to go about getting prints mounted and framed and where from. Really don't want to be doing it myself and would rather have a it done properly.

Quite like the white mount black frame, best place to go for print & mount/framing?
Perhaps say where you are in case anyone had recommendations for a (local) physical shop, especially relevant if you want it glass glazed ;)
 
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Mike
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#15
Thanks for the replies guys. Should have also asked how to go about getting prints mounted and framed and where from. Really don't want to be doing it myself and would rather have a it done properly.

Quite like the white mount black frame, best place to go for print & mount/framing?
It depends on the type of mounting you want.
Canvas prints, aluminium prints & acetate prints can all look stunning, but do tend to be quite a bit more.

FWIW for standard printing on archival paper Aldi do an excellent job of the prints I send them, even the 0.5m x 0.75m poster print only cost £5 IIRC!
Prints around A4 are only 34p & to me look good laminated & simply taped to a suitable card mount. Without the laminating a backing card is needed & things get more fiddly.
 

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Chris
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#17
Should have also asked how to go about getting prints mounted and framed and where from
Following recommendations from others on here I have recently been using dscoloulabs and am happy with the prints and service, they do framing but I have never used their framing service. Given the P&P charges compared to the print prices it's worth getting a batch printed in one go but again I don't know about P&P on framed prints.

https://dscolourlabs.co.uk/about/Framing-Prices
 
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droj
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#20
the original dimensions are 5960x3169 pixels
Given these image dimensions, at 300ppi it translates natively and uncropped to about 19.86" x 10.56" (hope I'm getting my sums right).

For a DSCL C-type that implies their standard paper size of 24" x 12" to accommodate it (you can always trim it later), at £4. So your 'canvas' size (including a border that reconciles the image size with the paper size) as sent would be 7200 x 3600px.

Then it's normal for a mat to overlap the image area slightly, and I'd say that with roughly a 2" mat border all round, a frame size of 24" x 15" is about right - which you might find off the shelf somewhere. Though you might need a custom mat for your image proportion, unless you crop it to suit.

A printer like DSCL will probably expect sRGB (check their website about image preparation), but perhaps even more basically there's a relationship between your monitor brightness and that of the print, in that if the monitor's too bright then the print will be too dark. At those prices there's no master craftsman at the lab to tweak your files, it's just a machine. So that's a preliminary to think about. Many threads on here about such stuff.
 
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