Confused! - Is printing worth the cost and effort and how to go about it?

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Smitje Junior Member • Posts: 37
Confused! - Is printing worth the cost and effort and how to go about it?

Hey Guys!

I am not really looking for specific help but more generally curious about the topic of printing and its use.

I am not a professional photographer and not in the position to have a huge apartment with lots of wall space. However, I am considering printing some work yet I am totally not sure about how and whether to do it. Here are a few of my concerns about printing in general?

  1. Image quality: I know the theories about viewing distance and printing resolution but how does one actually figure out if the photo works for big prints and still looks good. I shoot my photos with a 6-year-old mirrorless 16MP camera and mostly a kit lens. The photos look ok on screen but not like razor sharp. Is there a way to test the quality without just printing a sample to see and possible waste money.
  2. Print quality and service provider: I am not looking for brands and company recommendations but is there a general sweet spot when it comes to money? There are tons of providers and the prices vary enormously. How to find the right product for your use case. I don't want to waste money on a cheap but poor print but I also don't want to spend big money on a high-quality print when I am still not sure whether my files allow for high quality. I know there are options like printing small but it is still not the same as going big. Paper types are even more confusing.
  3. Display at home: There are so many variables like lighting conditions, viewing angles and distances, glass reflections, frame sizes, ... so that I am simply overwhelmed by the options and again concerned about what product to go for a normal living room.
  4. Is it worth it at all: Do you get bored with the photos you put up? How do friends and family react? I am worried that I'll get bored quickly and might end up with a huge and expensive print just sitting in the basement with nobody looking at it. Do you discuss what to put up with everybody beforehand or do you just go for it?

I know there won't be a simple solution but I am curious about your methods and experiences about this topic.

Thanks a lot

 Smitje's gear list:Smitje's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Tamron 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Di III VC Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art
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