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A3+ Printing/Sharpness settings for D200

sneazy 16 74 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2007 7:31PM
My aim is to sell prints this year up to A3+ (18" x 12" prints).

To get to the those sizes using the D200 RAW file resolution I first re-sized the image to 200 PPI to get to the 18" size. I then re-sampled using Bicubic Smoother to 360 ppi @ 18" x 12" exactly.

Is this the best way or should I just use lower ppi values (180, 200?) and not resample/interpolate the image at all?

For sharpness I am using The TLR Pro sharpening scripts of the web. I sue capture sharpening (default) and then when re-sized I do a final output sharpen - in the case of the two printouts so far Inkjet/Matte paper/360ppi default.

Can anybody recommend a better/alternative method? One print with lots of close detail looks great, but strangely the other a more distant landscape shot does not look so hot! (Using same lens/care etc....)

Thanks in advance.

csurry 19 9.2k 92
12 Nov 2007 7:38PM
Why 360?

Normally the recommended is 300 - with the printer set to say 1440 as generally you don't need anything higher than this and are just using more ink.

I use the photokit sharpen which is basically the same sort of TLR, and find that my prints have improved no-end even though I did not consider them unsharp before.

For printing I do a capture sharpening, normally medium edge settings and hi-res.

Then creative sharpening with settings appropriate to the image.

And finally having resized the image an output sharpen appropriate to paper/printer.

Not sure I've helped any, but it's what I do and you can count the hairs on some of the squirrel shots now Smile
User_Removed 17 17.9k 8 Norway
12 Nov 2007 7:50PM
Agree with most of Cheryl's advice - 300ppi is sufficient although, that said, I have seen some staggering results from my R1800 at 720ppi. More about that on the Qimage site.

As for in-camera sharpening, I run mine on the 'Normal' setting and use Nik Sharpening filters on the final output, via a separate layer, to either select a particular portion of the image or the whole image as required. Either way, 'subtlety' is the keyword here. I have seen some absolutely stunning images ruined by excessive sharpening. Wink
csurry 19 9.2k 92
12 Nov 2007 8:08PM
Capture sharpening here Mike is referring to a stage of the three-stage sharpening that actually takes place in PS, but is considered to just make up for the inherent unsharpness of the digital image.
User_Removed 17 17.9k 8 Norway
12 Nov 2007 8:17PM
Understood Cheryl; it's just a personal thing in that I find digitally-derived images can be too 'clinically' sharp at times. Vive la Difference!! Smile
sneazy 16 74 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2007 8:30PM
Thanks folks.

The TLR uses the 3 stage sharpening process and it seems to work well, although how much it improves over my bog standard Rad 1.5 amount 100-150% unsharp mask I used to use I am not 100% sure.

Re-sizing - There are lots of claims and counterclaims on the ppi/dpi scenario. People say that Epson (and others?) prefer clear divisibles of the printer resolution eg 1440DPI - 360ppi (4x exactly) 180ppi (8 x exactly) etc etc.
This is supposedly something to do with making the processing easier.....Anyway I like you, always thought 300ppi was the best and anything above that is not really worth bothering with.

What about 200ppi? I could resize a D200 file to 18" by just altering to around 215ppi. Now would that be better than trying to interpolate to say 300ppi? Do you see what I mean?!

By the way anybody here used Epson Archival Matte and got a slightly mottled affect in the paper surface of the print? Like a subtle wall paper affect? (Sorry Mike but I need as much feedback on this as poss!)

Thanks for the feedback folks!
csurry 19 9.2k 92
12 Nov 2007 8:34PM
Best way to find out about the 215ppi is to try a print and see what happens. Viewing only from normal viewing distance for the size of the print of course.

Not printed on Archival Matte for a while, so can't help there.
justin c 17 5.1k 36 England
12 Nov 2007 8:46PM
The optimum resolution if sending to an Epson Inkjet is 360 dpi or 300 dpi for Canon inkjets.

If the resolution differs from these values the printer driver will resample using these values anyway. So it's better you take charge of the resampling process and then sharpen your re-sampled file.

How much difference there is between the two methods I don't know.

Or another method, as Mike suggests is to let Qimage do the re-sampling which apparantly is supposed to be better than what can be achieved in Photoshop.
User_Removed 17 17.9k 8 Norway
12 Nov 2007 8:51PM

Quote:The optimum resolution if sending to an Epson Inkjet is 360 dpi

I'd forgotten that Justin. Hence the 720ppi that Qimage quote...
csurry 19 9.2k 92
12 Nov 2007 8:53PM

Quote:The optimum resolution if sending to an Epson Inkjet is 360 dpi or 300 dpi for Canon inkjets.

Interesting never seen that before! Well you learn something new everyday.

So is this QImage which Mike is on a sponsorship deal for really worthwhile? Hard to tell anything from their website and although the trial is 30 days only one print will not have a watermark (the first one).

Doesn't seem like much of a trial.
sneazy 16 74 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2007 9:00PM
Yes is the QImage worth the cash?!
justin c 17 5.1k 36 England
12 Nov 2007 9:01PM

I don't know if they still have it available but they used to have a fairly detailed test and description as to why Qimage is superior to most other re-sampling methods.
There used to be a couple of test targets which they encourage you to download,print,compare and decide for yourself.

I did a few comparisons once upon a time and was certainly impressed with Qimage, however I largely forgot about the program as I didn't have the time to thoroughly learn how to get the best from it. So much software, so little time Smile

I've certainly heard from many that do use it how impressed with it they are, and use it religiously.
csurry 19 9.2k 92
12 Nov 2007 9:08PM
OK well I may give the target a try at the weekend, thanks.
JohnHorne 16 1.0k
12 Nov 2007 10:36PM
If I understand correctly you are saying that your image has enough pixels to allow you to resample to 18" long at 215ppi without interpolation ? If so, then you are throwing away data when you resize to 18" at 200ppi. You then attempt to recreate the discarded data (and more) when upsizing to 18" at 360ppi. If you insist on resizing in two steps then you would be better off going to 215ppi before going to 360ppi.

However, I would suggest resizing to 18" at 360ppi (or your chosen final resolution) in one step, not two.
sneazy 16 74 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2007 10:48PM
Thanks John - I was not too sure whether I should alter to 215ppi (18") then interpolate to 360ppi (18").

My point is really wether the interpolation side of things (using CS2 Bicubic smoother) brings out more troubles than perhaps leaving the print at 215ppi. I guess enough theory - I will have to try a print to find out!


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