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Poster Print Resolution - Adobe Photoshop 7, CS, CS2 & CS3

Does anybody have some rules of thumb for Poster resolution? What resolution do you need for an A3 and A2 poster. The reason I ask is that the photos I am to use are Digital photos that are 2500 pixels x 1900 pixels. I want to know how big I can print them. Thank you...

  1. #1

    Default Poster Print Resolution

    Does anybody have some rules of thumb for Poster resolution? What resolution do you need for an A3 and A2 poster. The reason I ask is that the photos I am to use are Digital photos that are 2500 pixels x 1900 pixels. I want to know how big I can print them.

    Thank you
    Guy Upfold Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Poster Print Resolution

    Guy,

    Here's a good site for resolution tips, (don't be misled by "scan", it covers all equipment issues.) I just bought the book and I'm working my way through it.

    Great information on resolution.

    <http://www.scantips.com>

    Colin gave good advice. Resolution is very image specific and output specific, you should experiment. It surprised me that the difference between 150 - 300 ppi wasn't that noticeable to my eye.

    To start with a "basic rule of thumb" it would be divide the pixels by the printing resolution desired to get "optimum inches."

    example 2500 divided by 300 = 8.33"
    1900 divided by 300 = 6.33"

    There's a lot of other options like "upsampling" etc. but, the key factor is to experiment with your particular situation because you truly will be surprised by the different factors.

    Guy, keep in mind that I'm new at this stuff, so, could be I know just enough to be "dangerous." (translated--give bad advice.)

    Patty
    Patty Clarke Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Poster Print Resolution

    you can set the resolution to 300 ppi and resize the image larger. Sometimes you can lose quality though. There is a program that allows you to resize images called genuine fractals that I have heard good things about.
    Michael B. Field Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Poster Print Resolution

    Michael,

    Genuine Fractals PrintPro it's a plugin from <http://www.altamira-group.com> . If you have pixels enough for it to do its job* it can work nicely, but it's not terrificly better than Photoshop bicubic interpolation. It seems that the subject and nature of the picture itself affects the interpolation job. So some people would say picture A gets better with GF and picture B with Photoshop by itself.

    I think they still have a functional demo. Download it and judge by yourself.

    S-Spline (another image editing software from <http://www.s-spline.com/> ) boasts a very good upsampling method. I haven't tried it myself.

    Hope it helps,

    Gustavo Sánchez

    (Posted from Spain)

    (*)- I wouldn't put a lot of faith in magical solutions, though. and, in any case, this upsampling methods, the more pixels they have the better the result they give. There is an kind of lower limit (ie: crap) where they cannot perform any trick.

    Hi, Patty.
    Gustavo Sanchez Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Poster Print Resolution

    Gustavo,
    Yep, I have never tried geniune fractal; I was just passing it on, so I'm not suprized at limitations. I usually save a first copy in as large a file as possible and go from there. I've also found it easy to just resample and resize with little or no degredation of quality.
    Michael B. Field Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Poster Print Resolution

    Bill,

    As you know, I'm on the research path of the resolution mystery. I'd appreciate more detailed info from you, if you don't mind.

    GF does work, on my subject matter, better than PS's. It won't take a 800x600 and turn it into a 12 inch x 18 inch 360 DPI master piece. However, it has been able to take 2 Nikon-990 full frame 3.4 meg pixel pictures to art museum quality print in a 12x18 "frame". Well, one needed cropping so I lost 1.5 inches in the width.

    Can you translate for me what "2 Nikon-990 full frame 3.4 pixel pictures" means?
    And what is your subject matter?

    1. Are you talking digital import or scanned negatives from a "regular" camera?
    What file format etc.

    2. What type of printer and paper are you using?

    3. When you say that you use PS vs. GF for the "small" enlargements---why would that be? Does PS do better than GF at the smaller sizes. Is it because PS is more "user friendly?"

    I have no experience with GF and hesitate to "add to my befuddlement" (at this point, anyway.) I'm trying to find a way to have "baby steps" lead to the big picture.

    It sounds like you have a lot of experience in this area---does that experience involve different equipment over the years?

    TIA Bill,

    Patty
    Patty Clarke Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Poster Print Resolution

    Patty,

    I rate myself as an advanced amature photographer with typicle male inability to spell rite. Compared to others here, I'm a beginner. But I will try to share what I've found out has been working/going on here.

    Can you translate for me what "2 Nikon-990 full frame 3.4 pixel pictures"
    means? And what is your subject matter?





    Twice, I have been able to take a 35 mm negative format 3:2 picture with the 990 and been able to enlarge it, using the ENTIRE picture (NO cropping) and print it so the width was 18 inches. Normal rule of thumb is that this camera/pixel count can go to 8 inches x 10 inches (180% enlargement over rule of thumb maximum limit). I had to crop one, I had to lower the overall size so it would meet my standards for quality.

    1. Are you talking digital import or scanned negatives from a "regular"
    camera? What file format etc.





    The digital camera files are the most extream. Slide and negative scans have more picture information. However, from a slide scan (Nikon LS-40/CoolScan IV ED) at 2900 DPI with Hamrick's software: I have taken a horrizontal taken picture and been able to crop out an 11x14 inch picture with the 14 inches being full width narrow (top to bottom) axis. This was for a trade show type picture with the viewing distance planned to be four feet. Tripods DO help when taking pictures. Again, I did it with GF.

    I work with TIFF files and save the pre-sharpen final as STN.

    2. What type of printer and paper are you using?




    Those were printed with an Epson 1270 on Premium PhotoGlossy paper. I have since switched to a 2200 and with some testing, I will probably be using the Luster paper when I suspect the print may not go behind glass and the Enhanced Matte when I know it will. That printer let me see that a lot of the problems I had been fighting pixel by pixel are film grain and that they LOOK like film grain not digital noise. They still need some work up, but a lot less to make the end product what I want.

    3. When you say that you use PS vs. GF for the "small" enlargements---why
    would that be? Does PS do better than GF at the smaller sizes. Is it because
    PS is more "user friendly?"




    When I bought GF, the web page mentioned that the biggest differences between "conventional" vrs GF didn't show up at low size increases. From what I have seen, that is correct. But I DO like the smaller size of the STN files and make a companion 800x600 JPG. a "thumbnail"

    It sounds like you have a lot of experience in this area---does that experience
    involve different equipment over the years?




    Compared to others, not much experience. But I started using both Hamrick's scanning software and GF with a HP S-20 scanner and an Epson 600 printer. Even the computer has changed from an Intel 486 to AMD XP-1700+, from 384 meg memory to 3/4 gig (the last 1/4 went in this past weekend)

    What did I miss??? SUBJECT matter.

    The 18" wide 3:2 format picture from the 990 was taken on a VERY cloudy day. Actually it was drizzling when I took it. The picture was of the face of a young girl with a butterfly, with fully spread wings, on her nose. And to answer your next question, YES! I sure wish I had had the N-90 with me to get it on film. It took about 6 hrs in Photoshop to get it to my standards. The other one was of a white flower showing bright yellow stamens and anther (center filiment things in flowers). Again, the subject and light were low contrast & again THAT should have been on film. That one took around a half hour to work up. Most of my work involves flower/plant/"micro-scenic" photography. The use of the term "art museum quality" is based on my being schedualed to be "featured artist" for a show next year at an art museum.

    Unasked, but you will want the answer after you read this: What are my quality "standards"? If I expect the view distance to be three feet, I want to be happy with what it looks like at a view distance of about 8 inches. For an expected view didtance of six feet, my examination distance starts at 18 inches, but I do check it at 8. These "must pass" checks are with the print in the open and not behind glass.

    Next question that THAT answer brings up. How tight are my requirements? How to put figures to something that is so subjective as what is good for one picture may be major over kill for another and too slack for a third. Example: think of the different edge sharpness requirements for a foggy scene vrs a colorful tree in the fall, vrs an archetectural building study picture. The individual picture determine what is needed to meet requirements. I hope this answers some of your questions.

    Bill
    Bill Lamp Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Poster Print Resolution

    Guy,
    Back to your original question. I've been working as a professional in the photography/photofinishing business for twenty years off and on,(to qualifify my answer)and I've found that the 300 ppi rule doesn't necessarily apply to digital camera images in the same way as it does for scanned slides or prints, since there is no grain on the digital camera image.

    I have an old sony dsc-30, 1.3 megapixel camera that can producea tiff image 1472x1104 pixels large. That translates to roughly 3.5x5 inches if you use the 300ppi rule, yet I have printed vivid, sharp images up to 11x14 right off the camera. Now we have some high end printers, one of which prints directly to photographic paper and goes through the whole chemical process, the other an epson 9600. You can print 100 ppi images on both printers that can't be discerned from higher resolution images as long as the image is sharp enough.

    Try a slice of the picture, (for instance the "center filiment things in flowers", thanks Bill) and resize it until you lose the resolution you wan't and then go back to one you can live with. Sometimes it's hit and miss, but digital certainly has some advantages over film.
    Michael B. Field Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Poster Print Resolution

    And the results are in. For a digital camera picture printed on a 2200 at full printer DPI, the 180 LPI picture is a very slight bit "softer" than the 360 LPI picture and I didn't see any difference between the 360 and 720 LPI ones.

    Actually, it is more of a softer impression than anything I can really point to and say "Look here". I hope that makes sense.

    Bill
    Bill Lamp Guest

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