Sharpening when printing different sizes from one file???

Started Jul 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Sharpening when printing different sizes from one file???
Jul 15, 2013

Up until now I either did my own printing up to 16inches wide and anything bigger I gave to a local lab. I use a work flow that I think most do. Convert from raw and add a tiny bit of sharpening, work on the file to do what I want, uprez or down rez to printing size, then sharpen.

Will still do that, but I am adding an e-comerce feature for my clients that prefer to review and buy photos online. In order to do this, I upload the original resolution file to SmugMug as a jPEG. The client then picks it and selects what prints they want (wallets, 8X10, 16x20/24, 30x40, whatever), Bay Photo then prints and sends to them.

I was wondering how they handled sharpening and if I should do anything special to prep the files, so I sent emails to SmugMug support and to Bay Photo support. b

Both came back with poor answers.

Bay said they do no sharpening so I should sharpen enough so that all sizes look good.

SmugMug came back with the lab prints in a way that all sizes look sharp so do not worry about it.

I can at least handle the SmugMug response and interpret it as we do not know what they do, but their stuff looks good, so they do it right.

The Bay Photo response is what concerns me. I hope I was just dealing with a poorly trained/uniformed customer service person, and the real answer is they do the appropriate amount of sharpening manually or they have a program that applies some automatic amount based on size, media, etc.

Any insight would be helpful.

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