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D300 Max Print Size

User_Removed 11 2.1k 7 England
4 Apr 2009 8:46PM

I hope this hasn't been asked a hundred times before, I have searched. I have been asked to print some images as large as possible for an exhibition. I have no idea how large I can go with a D300 image. I take in RAW if that makes a difference. I don't print many and have only printed at 16inx11in before.

Thanks - Andy

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User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
4 Apr 2009 9:55PM
As large as you like so long as the printing house know what they are doing...
User_Removed 11 2.1k 7 England
4 Apr 2009 9:59PM
Thanks Mike, do the images not loose quality as you get larger? I really have no idea about printing.
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
4 Apr 2009 10:07PM
It's all about perception Andy.

Print a 6x4 inch on your printer - a 16x12 indeed! - and what you will find yourself doing naturally is holding the the image - the larger it gets - further away from your eyes (so long as you are not being critical from an editing point-of-view at that particular output resolution)

As the image size increases, the same phenomenon occurs.. but the 'quality' of the original image does not diminish - so long as that original quality (light, subject, DoF, sharpness etc) remains.

I have a 6ft x 3ft poster print of this which, viewed at a natural distance (for the image size) you wouldn't tell apart from the 10"x7" version.

User_Removed 11 2.1k 7 England
4 Apr 2009 10:12PM
so as long as you stand far enough away the print will look ok. is that right? being me, I want it to look right even if you get close so i guess that would limit the max size?
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
4 Apr 2009 10:58PM
A lot will depend on how it is to be printed and on what media. I have seen prints from Epsom printers at 160 dpi that are identical to ones at 300 or 360 dpi. I print D3oo images at A3 no problem without interpoaltion, I'm sure they could be printed at A2 with the right sharpening / interpolation choice of media etc.
User_Removed 9 694 3 Scotland
4 Apr 2009 11:05PM
If you want to be able to view a print at close quarters then divide the images pixel length and pixel height by your printers native resolution, probably around 300dpi. This works out at roughly 16"x9" for the D300.

To go larger something has to give as you have no more pixels to play with and they have to be added by interpolation - ie created by photoshop by comparing surrounding values. As has been mentioned the print size can be increased probably to the size of a building but will not look great when viewed up close.

It is catch 22 but I cannot see why you need the best of both worlds.
User_Removed 11 2.1k 7 England
5 Apr 2009 8:33AM
Thanks, I will chat with the people doing the printing and work something out.

The only reason I guess I want the best of both worlds is because the way I look at printed images. I will always go up close and look.

I was talking to someone who makes a living out of teaching photography and selling his images (a couple of years ago I admit) and he bet me I couldn't tell the difference between a large, about 5ft across, print from digital and one from film. The digital one stood out a mile, all the edges were "blurred" and had sort of a halo effect to them. From a distance it looked ok, sort of.

I will experiment and see where it goes. I thought I wanted to have my work being shown! Whole new world of problems! Sorry, challenges, learning curves.......and more positive things like that!

Thanks for all the advice it will all be used.

User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
5 Apr 2009 9:17AM
Not ignoring you Andy... just so pooped last night, I went to bed!
User_Removed 11 2.1k 7 England
5 Apr 2009 9:37AM

Quote:Not ignoring you Andy... just so pooped last night, I went to bed!

Me too!
theorderingone 14 2.4k
5 Apr 2009 9:54AM

Quote:just pooped last night

theorderingone 14 2.4k
5 Apr 2009 10:01AM
Apologies, I couldn't resist!

On the subject of print sizes, I have a poster I made from smaller prints on the wall taken with a 6mp Fuji S2 which is nearly a metre and a half high. From a sensible viewing distance it looks great. Up close it does look a bit nasty though.

For a print that'll stand close inspection, I find 150dpi will normally give a good enough result on most printers. It just depends what you class as close inspection, I suppose! Wink

Why not attempt to print some smaller samples using the same printing process at different resolutions to see what the maximum compromise you can live with is?
User_Removed 11 2.1k 7 England
5 Apr 2009 10:10AM
Maybe I need to buy a printer!! I only get them printed when I need them and I use South West Colour Labs for them. I will get some done over the next couple of weeks and let you know how they work. Thanks.

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