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Upto 20” x 30” from a D700? – If you were to plan an exhibition with images which you’ve not captured yet and you were writing the proposal for fundraising and marketing; assuming that you were able to find a gallery with the space, what size would you choose for the photographs?
I’m thinking of using aluminium (or acrylic?) based prints to help reduce costs – i.e. no framing, perhaps 25 prints supported by a book.
I’ve been considering the size of prints (assuming funds are available) upto 20” x 30”, but I’ve also been trying to consider other sizes, such as 20” x 16” and the various sizes between the two. Which size would you choose? How would you print them?
Examples of previous work available at www.timothyaikman.com and the work concerned will be taken in Uganda.
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Quote: Up to 20” x 30” from a D700?
12 MP does not have enough fine detail recording ability for a 20x30 viewed close up to look first class. 20x16 costa a lot less to print.
Of course it does. I've got a 24 by 36 canvas in my lounge that people walk inches past coming into the room, printed from aD80. No one's ever said anything about the resolution.
Most people recognise that you stand back a bit to view a large image anyway, and won't scrutinise that closely. In fact, the only time I can ever remember hearing a complaint of that nature was when some fool thought he could earn a name for himself by printing wall-filling (ten by thirty FEET!) digital prints and thinking they could hold up against the Ansel Adams prints he displayed them with in the same traveling exhibition. Mental.
We used to produce 30x24 prints from 6MP Kodak DCS760 files and even the occasional 40 inch wall portrait. Nobody ever complained about the sharpness but our working practices had been carefully honed.
There are so many factors other than Megapixels that destroy the crispness of pictures and camera-shake must be top of the list. Many snappers don't even know how to hold a camera properly. A recent documentary about McCullin showed him out taking landscape pictures and he adopted the correct stance for each and every exposure.
Just think of the number of reports complaining that the D800 makes their photography worse.
Speak to the lab you want to use for the 20x30 prints, they will guide you and most probably do the scaling for you alot better than you can do at home and the prints will look perfectly fine.
If you are thinking about a gallery for the exhibition I would talk to them about print size. They will know what their customers like to buy, also if they want framed prints or horrid canvases! If I am printing "large" I normally do a 76cm on the long side, which I think is about 30 inches isn't it? I do this from a D700. The quality of the lab makes a big difference.
I've done 20x30's from the D700 no problem. Usually digital c-type from the Printspace, which are very good. And more recently from the (16mp) Fuji x100s, no shortage of fine detail there either.
Steve how are you liking the X100s? I love mine but not printed from it yet.
I love it too, in fact it's replaced both my D700 and Mamiya 7, which I no longer have. Not without its faults, but that's true of all cameras. Print, and print big; you'll love it even more...
Can't see me replacing the D700 with the X100s - not for work anyway. Maybe you can answer a question. I have it set to 3:2 ratio and shoot RAW but it seems to only let you shoot at that ratio and RAW with the disk litter of a Jpeg too. Have I missed something?
On print sizes, in my opinion those who challenge my statement "12 MP does not have enough fine detail recording ability for a 20x30 viewed close up to look first class" may set themselves low standards.
Assuming a perfect lens exists the eye can resolve more detail at 12-15 inches viewing distance than there are pixels on a 12 MP sensor.
As lenses are not perfect, particularly wide open in the corners, sensor resolution goes down as ISO goes up and as anybody who has compared 20x30 inch prints made with good technique there are quality improvements going from 12, 18, 24, 36 to 60 MP sensors when viewing at 12-15 inches.
There is also improving tonal separation with increasing MP.
12 MP, not cropped, low ISO, good technique is at the limit of best photographic quality by A3+ print size. I did not say you cannot make a bigger print from 12 MP. What seems indisputable to me is 20x30 inch prints made to a similar standard from a higher MP camera have more detail and tonal range when viewed close.
As the end purpose is a gallery exhibition visitors are likely to expect the highest possible quality for the print size displayed.
Quote: who challenge my statement "12 MP does not have enough fine detail recording ability for a 20x30 viewed close up to look first class" may set themselves low standards.
Oh, that's it. I have low standards. bugger it, well at least I know where I've been going wrong. Hey-ho, doesn't really matter as everyone who buys my prints must also have low standards. That of course means the profit is higher as I haven't had to waste money on a D800.
Quote: Assuming a perfect lens exists the eye can resolve more detail at 12-15 inches viewing distance than there are pixels on a 12 MP sensor
I guess it all depends on the end use of the image?
If you are producing images for gallery viewing there are recommendations on the correct viewing distance based on print size this is one such. For a 20"x30" image the recommended distance would be around 60" which rather negates the "12-15" comment
However, if one is producing images specifically to be viewed at 12"-15" distance Len is quite right (none of my customers have ever wanted my images for this purpose though and back in the days when I was using a 6mp Cannon I sold plenty of 30" x 20" prints and never had one returned because they could see the pixels )
Fitness for purpose would be my determining factor in deciding how large to print.
Quote: What seems indisputable to me is 20x30 inch prints made to a similar standard from a higher MP camera have more detail and tonal range when viewed close.
can't be disagreed with (in my view) but the relevance may be open to debate in the context of this thread?
Once again we are seeing a wee bit of confusion between pixels in a digital file and inkjet dots on a print.
In my experience (purely as an amateur, I hasten to say) the only way to test whether your pictures are sufficiently detailed to provide a good quality print of a certain size is to try it. There are many more factors in that equation than the megapixelage of the camera sensor.
But, back in the days when I was using 12Mp D300 or D3s cameras, I could certainly get an exhibition-quality A3+ print from a cropped quarter of a frame (3Mp) - provided that it was a good, well-exposed, sharply focussed (where it was meant to be sharply focussed) image to start with and that it had not been degraded by excessive processing or printed on sub-standard paper with sub-standard inks. But, even then, the only way was to try it - some would work better than others.
Wow. Lucky no-one ever tried printing anything big before we had 24MP cameras then, huh?
Incidentally, this is the first time in my life I've been accused of having low standards. Thanks for that.
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