Printing Advice (Again)

Discussion in 'Printing' started by ReD, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013

    I’m thinking of getting some prints done & would like some advice

    Ideally some would be as large as possible like poster size others about 20x16

    Fuji state that print size L = 13.5x10” / M = 9.5x7” though I’ve printed a few in the past much larger at 20x16 from M size & been happy with them. (even a couple from a 3mp camera have printed ok)

    Picasa allows for expanding any small size image to 5120x5120 pixels
    I haven’t tried printing these but as a starting point what would be the recommended print size for this?

    I’m thinking someone like Redcliffe in the UK – any others you can recommend?

    Generally I don’t like high gloss so info on Finish / Paper type / Grades etc would all be useful. I have no idea of texture – I can see it may have benefit in abstract images but not in others

    In all probability I’ll start with an economic grade / best value & work up from there depending on the results

    Any other stuff I should know about?
  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I strongly recommend you try to soft proof before you send them off for printing.

    Any of the better print shops (including the likes of photobox) will have downloads available of the icc profiles for their printer/paper combinations.

    If you don't do this, then your carefully edited photos can easily come back not looking like you expected ...

    Hue saturation and contrast can all look very different.

    Also don't forget that viewing prints and viewing the same image on screen are physically different experiences - one is via reflected light, the other transmitted light. A print will never look quite like the screen image and vice versa
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  3. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    soft proof? - google time again
  4. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Real Name:
    • Like Like x 2
  5. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    Real Name:
    About resolution: the thing with printing is that the larger you go, the further away from the image you usually view it from (this doesn't generally apply to museum prints where viewing a small part of the image from up close is often done, but for home printing when you intend the image to be taken in in its entirety, it's true).

    As you move further away from the (larger) image, you need fewer PPI. As a result of this phenomenon, roughly 12MP is big enough for any print size (again, provided you want the image to be taken in in its entirety). You could go up to 16mp to be sure, and the higher you go, the more close-up inspection becomes a possibility even at large print sizes. A 3/2 aspect ratio image with 5120
    pixels along its long side is 17mp, so should do just fine.

    One thing you might want to consider that's not commonly taken into account is the FOV of the lens you used; the perspective from photos taken with wide angle lenses looks natural when viewed from fairly close, while photos taken with a tele lens look natural when viewed from fairly far away. So using that logic, you could conclude that wide angle lenses require higher resolution than tele lenses, but AFAIK no-one really worries about that in real life. Another way of applying that logic would be, if the expected viewing distance is constant (for instance the distance from your couch to the wall), to print wide-angle shots larger than tele shots. But I feel I'm going on one of my theoretical rants again (I'm prone to do that) so perhaps it's best to stop here and get back to my conclusion from the previous paragraph: if your image is >5k pixels wide and you want to take it all in at once, any print size is possible (provided the room you plan to hang the print in is large enough to adjust your viewing distance accordingly)..
    • Like Like x 2
  6. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I should add that it is quite important to have a calibrated screen if you're going go to the trouble of soft-proofing
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Real Name:
    And after any calibration and soft proofing, I'd also suggest a few small, cheap standard prints to compare against your screen to see if you are happy with the results before you spend the big bucks on the big prints.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Red, from what I have seen of your images I think that a lot of them would print out beautifully on canvas, with the added benefit of not having to bother with frames. Canvasses look best proportioned when printed at around 50cm or larger however as the thickness of the frame and wrap makes them look very chunky at small print sizes.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    I've thought about canvas but the slight sheen is generally not to my taste - although it could suit a few images & would also be nice with an additional mitred frame

    I've just received a sample print paper pack from Redcliffe Imaging - what a revelation these are
    Running out of time for a present I took a chance & ordered watercolour paper prints last weekend - now with these samples I'm better armed
  10. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    Just received first trial prints Giclee Mat Watercolour paper

    Not bad at all - Cropped Beach Scene 3+1 as shown somewhere here - Very slight greenish hue on the sand which I was half expecting - but still quite acceptable.

    Next time I'll be ordering with a heavier paper & slight texture

    Service from Redcliffe Imaging was excellent