Do pixels matter? What 20" x 30" prints reveal -the saga

Started Jun 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
chironNYC Senior Member • Posts: 2,324
you are completely misunderstanding me

Mako2011 wrote:

chironNYC wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

chironNYC wrote:

The main point I took away from the discussion is that in photographs that you actually want to look at because of the image itself (i.e., not because the image was taken to deliberately display some imagistically uninteresting quality of a lens or a sensor, e.g. pictures of fabric or of books on a shelf or a page of text), pixel counts seem to play a vanishingly small role for the overwhelming majority of pictures, and that most such images cannot be told apart except by clairvoyants (yes, I know that is an exaggeration).

This is a gear-head forum, so his point does not go down easily, but I think he has the photographic authority to make it and that it is a great point for us to remember.

So if I understand you correctly you are saying that given....

a) two images printed at 20" x 30"

b) of the exact same "actually want to look at because of the image itself" subject

c) processed exactly the same by the same person.

d) viewed up close like you might in a galeery

e) one pic taken by an older gen 8mp camera and one by a 20mp current gen camera doubt that you could tell the images apart without the help of clairvoyants?

If that's true, then you should not be able to tell which of theses pics is from an older camera after clicking on "original" in the gallery...unless you have a clairvoyant standing by. If you do, can I get a lotto number?

No disrespect...all in fun.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Hi Mako.

The main thing that I can tell is different is that the one on the left has a little camera or subject movement--note that the eyes are not sharp.

Yes, you are seeing the obvious difference in resolution between the two cameras. That will generally be the thing that pops out in this type of comparison. Also DR difs that I easily see but many will not. I wouldn't even notice those if not a side by side.

Otherwise, to try to perceive a difference, I would not be looking at the photograph but counting hairs--a very different, non-imagistic experience. And while counting hairs may be rewarding for the obsessive-compulsive among us, it is not image-making.

Perhaps not, yet in this case, and with little effort.... it's easy to tell which is which without needing to go to 100%

I place a lot of weight on Laszlo Benzce's original assertion that he himself can't tell the difference on 20x30 prints of his own shots.

If he does a real side by side comparison (as done here), then just as you did, he too will quickly spot the obvious difference in a 20x30. When the subject of the 20x30 if different, it will be far far less obvious and often times matter little. Just as here, I might put either one on the wall, but to say you can't spot the dif in a real apples to apples comparison isn't really the case. In a Apples to cookies comparison....Mr Benzce's is generally correct, and that is to be expected.

I would add that if you can't easily tell the difference, then it does not matter to the experience of the image. And how often can you easily tell the difference?

You just easily spotted the difference. That's why I tend to pick up the higher resolution body most times now. As a photographer familiar with the output capabilities of both bodies, it only makes sense that I prefer the more capable. I could certainly make a decent image with either, but would shy away from the older body if I thought my ultimate goal would be a large print as resolution becomes more critical as print size increases. I don't really consider that the general public might not notice. It's more important to me that I try to provide the highest quality I can...regardless of who might see it. An ethic I'm cursed with, perhaps.

This is why successful photographers who actually make images that others want to see are rarely pixel-peepers.

Many extremely successful photographers are also pixel-peepers. Nothing wrong with either approach.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

I think you are misunderstanding me, Mako. I do not see a difference in sharpness. One picture is either out of focus or there is subject movement. I am not talking about or seeing a difference in resolution or accutance. One picture is blurred and the other is not. Look at the light on the eyes. This is not a matter of resolution--it is a matter of focus or movement.

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