Advice needed on big prints

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
DavidinDenmark
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Advice needed on big prints
10 months ago

Faced with the possibility of making a large display print from one of my DP1M shots, I’m looking for advice and information from any of you here who have done this.

I’ve done this kind of thing in the darkroom in years past, but never from a digital file.

It will be in B&W because that’s how it works best and that’s how I saw it. I’ve done sufficient preliminary test processing in SPP followed by LR5, to convince me that the file (I keep wanting to write “neg.”) is up to the enlargement.

I’m looking at a minimum print width (horizontal shot) around 125cm./four feet. Needless to say, I don’t have a printer this size.

Your suggestions/advice/experience would be much appreciated.

David

Sigma DP1
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pedrolito
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 10 months ago

An expensive but very satisfying way to get prints of this size is let it be done by fineart printservers. Search for on internet I think you will find a number.

I ordered several prints which were printed on very large and horribly expensive printers using 6 or more inks. Colors, sharpness and details areamazing and much better than laser projections on photopaper (although they are good and can have huge dimensions). One can choose from a large number of paper of all kind to print on. Monochromes will be printed with a number of special inks, not color nor black only.

I ordered prints from sd1, my biggest was so far 90 cm x 60 cm. But I think 120 would be fine also.

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mike earussi
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 10 months ago

How big of a printer do you have? If you don't have the money to have a professional service print it for you as one large print, you can always print yourself it as a series of vertical segments and either frame them separately or glue them together on a large board.

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 10 months ago

It partly depends on what the end use is - for something that big are you going to be doing some close examination (closer than a foot))?  Or are people going to be looking at it from more of a  distance?

Rick Decker and I did a series of large prints (30x40 inches) from DP-Mx camera files.  I went through a process that involved outputting with sharpening lowered in SPP, upsampling in Photoshop to the output DPI of the printer at the size I wanted, and doing a light final pass of sharpening.

Rick however just uploaded high-quality JPG files to the printer.  Looking at the finest details, I would honestly say the differences were pretty minute.

The only other possibly for real improvement at a print that size, might be using a program called "perfect resize" from OnOne software.   Supposedly that does a really impressive job of upsampling that might yield more tangible benefits for a very large print.

One thing you can do to judge for yourself is to take a crop of your image that would be 8x10 in the final print, and try a few different techniques to print 8x10 photos to see what you like best.  Focus on highly detailed areas.  It's best if the print is on the final printer you'd be using but they probably wouldn't do an 8x10 on the same printer that they did a very large print on...

My personal preference for kind of printer is Epson, but really any of the modern printers would probably do a very nice job.  Epson does have a whole set of dedicated B&W inks that may be nice for your image.

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mark-vdi
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 10 months ago

Hi David, I used "Perfect Resize" to 'upres' a DP3M file that was then printed at 75cm x 100cm. Although not as big as you would like to do this stands very, very close inspection <20cm. The 'upres' 2,5 x did not create (obviously) or lose detail but simply was done to ensure that on closer inspection the individual pixels =jagged pixel edges on 45° lines were not 'visible' on enlargement. Why the uneven number?  Personal choice: i felt this would ensure that the original pixels would be interpolated and not for example 1 pixel becoming exactly 4 pixels = simple 2x, which would not have had the desired effect.  Care must be taken that the picture especially as a jpeg is not 'overly sharpenned' before the upscaling as any 'white edge halos' may become exaggerated - Perfect resize can be used for a short while as a demo. I am not sure if they can produce a final image which is large enough for you but www.fujifilm-fotoservicepro.de is very good and full res. 16 bit color managed tifs can be uploaded to them.  Prices are good and they offer some print options - direkt on Alu, direct on Acryl, on canvas, or as diptychon on or triptychon which may be something you want to explore . . .

Good luck, Mark

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rick decker
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 10 months ago

There was another thread recently about printing. Look for Laurence Matson's response. Laurence is the expert on large printing. If it is one of the newer cameras (SD1/M, DPM series), your biggest issue may be selecting a printer. I am using PhtoZoom for some prints at the moment. I purchased it based upon comparisons and recommendations from several people.I have not tried PerfectResize.  I am getting great results from Costco at 20x30. Kendall Gelner and I have done several 30x48 (due to paper sizes we had crop from 32 to 30), and they looked very good even close-up. We used Elco Color in New Jersey and were very happy with them.  Most consumer print companies take an RGB color space. Resolution will vary depending upon machine.

Rick

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DavidinDenmark
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to rick decker, 10 months ago

Many thanks folks for all this valuable advice. Clearly a bit of a minefield over which I need to tread carefully. When I first got the original DP1, five years ago now, I experimented with resampling, using just the current version of PSE. Printing a small section from what would have been the size of print I'm contemplating now, the result amazed me. So I'm fairly confident that I can get a good result from the DP1M.

Thanks again,

David

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NancyP
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 10 months ago

find a good pro lab. I would ask local pro photographers for a lab recommendation.

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NancyP

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DavidinDenmark
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to NancyP, 10 months ago

NancyP wrote:

find a good pro lab. I would ask local pro photographers for a lab recommendation.

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NancyP

Yes, I've done this. What I'm reluctant to do is to simply hand over the whole job to someone else. I want to retain as much control as possible over the final print - as much, in fact, as I had in the darkroom. So I need to gain as much knowledge as possible about the whole process, which was the reason, of course, for my initial inquiry. And I've gained a great deal of useful information.

I'll get there, eventually.

David

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pedrolito
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 10 months ago

yours are exactly my reasons why I order prints from hand selected fine art print service. that is preparing the files one wants them to look and getting exactly that result without compromises.

I wish you success.

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SigmaChrome
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to rick decker, 10 months ago

rick decker wrote:

There was another thread recently about printing. Look for Laurence Matson's response. Laurence is the expert on large printing.

I couldn't agree more. Laurence is The Expert on Fine Art Printing with Sigma gear. I have one of his prints and it really is a wonder to behold.

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gnuyork
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to pedrolito, 10 months ago

Hello,

It's been many years since I have posted here at dpreview (almost a decade). My new interest in the new DP Merrill cameras brought me back, as there is more discussion here than any of the other sites about these cameras.

Anyhow, thought I would chime in and say that I downloaded some of the sample raw images from Sigma's site to see if I could print them large...

bottom line is yes. I was actually surprised how well the detail help up. I made prints in the 24x36-ish (inches) size due to that's the only size rolls I had on me right now.

My method was SPP - the Lightroom - then I used PS to upres to the final resolution and print.

Here are some pics. If you see any grain it's due to my camera being at ISO 1600 for these snaps:

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Scottelly
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 10 months ago

I wish I could tell you exactly what to do, but here are some links that might help:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/518794-REG/Epson_SP11880K3_Stylus_Pro_11880_Large_Format.html

http://www.josephholmes.com

http://diglloyd.com/blog/2013/20130802_3-SigmaDPMerill-printing-really-big-is-awesome.html

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51922450

http://www.dpreview.com/members/2570260008/overview

Some day I hope to get that monster Epson printer and make my own 60x90 prints. Then I'll have a problem . . . where to hang them. I don't have a wall with that much free space. I can probably give away some giant prints like that though. First I'm going to shoot a bit more and see if I can create a photo worthy of printing so huge.

Good luck with your project David.

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DavidinDenmark
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to Scottelly, 10 months ago

Scottelly wrote:

I wish I could tell you exactly what to do, but here are some links that might help:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/518794-REG/Epson_SP11880K3_Stylus_Pro_11880_Large_Format.html

http://www.josephholmes.com

http://diglloyd.com/blog/2013/20130802_3-SigmaDPMerill-printing-really-big-is-awesome.html

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51922450

http://www.dpreview.com/members/2570260008/overview

Some day I hope to get that monster Epson printer and make my own 60x90 prints. Then I'll have a problem . . . where to hang them. I don't have a wall with that much free space. I can probably give away some giant prints like that though. First I'm going to shoot a bit more and see if I can create a photo worthy of printing so huge.

Good luck with your project David.

Hmm ... there's a bit more to chew on. Thanks. I'll take a look. That big printer sounds very tempting, but I have a suspicion that it might be a bit expensive to buy, and to run.

David

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mike earussi
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 10 months ago

DavidinDenmark wrote:

Scottelly wrote:

I wish I could tell you exactly what to do, but here are some links that might help:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/518794-REG/Epson_SP11880K3_Stylus_Pro_11880_Large_Format.html

http://www.josephholmes.com

http://diglloyd.com/blog/2013/20130802_3-SigmaDPMerill-printing-really-big-is-awesome.html

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51922450

http://www.dpreview.com/members/2570260008/overview

Some day I hope to get that monster Epson printer and make my own 60x90 prints. Then I'll have a problem . . . where to hang them. I don't have a wall with that much free space. I can probably give away some giant prints like that though. First I'm going to shoot a bit more and see if I can create a photo worthy of printing so huge.

Good luck with your project David.

Hmm ... there's a bit more to chew on. Thanks. I'll take a look. That big printer sounds very tempting, but I have a suspicion that it might be a bit expensive to buy, and to run.

David

Expensive to buy, cheap to run. The ink for my Epson 4800 cost about 1/5 the ink for my Epson 1400.

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Scottelly
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 10 months ago

I am truly amazed how much detail there seems to be in a photo that I shot with my Sigma SD14 recently. I "resized" it using the Scale Image... tool in GIMP to make it 180ppi at 40x60 inches. That makes it 10,800x7,200 pixels. Take a look: http://sbkart.com/printsamples/SDIM2784-edit-40x60.jpg

I don't like the "noise" that upscaling it created. One thing I really like about my SD14 is the complete lack of noise in my images shot at ISO100. There is more noise in the SD1 images, which is something I just DON'T like about the SD1. Here's the JPEG photo I got from processing the raw file: http://sbkart.com/printsamples/SDIM2784.jpg

Can YOU see any noise in that sky? I can't. It's there in the resized photo though. I'd love it if anyone could help me figure out how to resize in a way that lets me avoid creating that noise.

Here are two 1:1 crops from the two photos that show what I'm talking about:

First the crop from the original:

Crop from the top left corner of the riginal .jpg photo that I produced from the raw file in SPP.

Now the crop from the edited and resized (upscaled) jpg photo:

Crop from top left corner (after editing and resizing to the giant size using the Scale Image... tool in GIMP).

As you can imagine, the 400x600 pixel crops represent quite a different area of the overall image, since one of the crops is from an image that is many times more pixels across, even though I cropped to the exact same number of pixels. Still, I would think that if the blue sky looks smooth and silky, then it should look similar in a resized image, but it doesn't, for some reason.

I think I'll get the giant image printed at 40x60 now, just to see how it comes out. I'll use the least expensive method I've found: Color One in Seattle - just $175 for a single 40x60 print - http://www.coloroneinc.com/pricing.html (Knowing that I can get four giant 40x60 prints for $120 each is comforting - maybe I will NEVER get one of those gigantic printers.)

If I'm happy with that print, I just might decide to NOT get an SD1 afterall. I can concentrate on buying lenses and get another SD14. Then maybe in a year or two I'll find an SD1 for sale used for about $500.

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Scottelly
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to Scottelly, 10 months ago

I just realized that it could be that I'm exporting to a pretty compressed 8 bit image file that I am getting that noise (artifacts?). I'm going to try resizing a 16 bit TIFF that I created in ProPhoto RGB color space, and see if that does the trick. I already tried to export from SPP to a double size image with less compression, and it looks like it helped, even though I could only use an 8 bit TIFF with GIMP. I wish GIMP would hurry up and get 16 bit support!

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Scottelly
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to Scottelly, 10 months ago

I just tried PhotozoomPro5. Wow! Take a look at the difference!

http://sbkart.com/printsamples/SDIM5351-photozoompro5-edit-40x60.jpg

The original resize from 8 bit TIFF using GIMP and saved as .jpg after rotating and cropping (and a little touch-up) is here (lots of jaggies):

http://sbkart.com/printsamples/SDIM5351-edit2-40x60.jpg

Frankly I can't believe how good these images look, considering I shot them with an old Sigma SD14, which I bought with a lens for $375 more than two years ago. I shot this photo with a 28-80mm lens that I bought for $35! I'll be printing at 20x30 to see how it looks, and if it looks fine I'll get it printed at 40x60. (Of course, I'll be buying PhotozoomPro5 first, so my image doesn't have those watermarks!)

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AmySeol
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to DavidinDenmark, 6 months ago

When it is about resizing 1200*1000 resolution image at 150 dpi.. the advice sounds good.. but can Perfect resize help to resize facebook image??so that we can print them on canvas..

I tried using Photoshop and enlarged but not every good response.. Can these software and some effects help make a canvas print look good??

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William Wilgus
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Re: Advice needed on big prints
In reply to AmySeol, 6 months ago

In my experience, no software can 'upsize' a digital image to a significantly larger size satisfactorily.   There seems to be no technique that yields satisfactory results, either.

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