Is it possible to make HUGE very good quality 40 inch prints from the Sony A900?

Started Jun 7, 2009 | Discussions
Krako Regular Member • Posts: 155
Re: Is it possible to make HUGE very good quality 40 inch prints from the Sony A900?

Yup, the images in the gallery are taken with A900.
Please see this thread for the original photographs:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1005&message=29849718

Chris G B
Chris G B Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Is it possible to make HUGE very good quality 40 inch prints from the Sony A900?

Robsphoto wrote:

Thanks very much Chris for this informative explanation. At present,
I am using Epson pigment inks to make 19 inch prints on a good Epson
photographic printer. I have the option of getting larger prints done
locally on a Durst Lambda printer (that apparently cost several
million dollars), but do you think a 40 inch Lambda print would be
noticeably better than one printed on the same sized Epson paper with
Epson pigment inks?

I personally prefer the look of the lambda prints for natural looking photos, but then I have been working with chemical photo papers for years. On the other had, I like the look of the wide format Epsons with pigment ink for punchy looking vibrant colours too.

On the few occasions when I have had large prints made by
photographic labs, either the colour or the contrast of the finished
prints seems to differ from what I would have preferred, so I have
learned to supply a small sample print for the lab to try to match.

You need a colour calibrated system to do your post processing on and a very good lab.

If I stick with your "threshold" ppi of 125, this would allow a 48
inch wide print to be made from a Sony A900 image that is 6048 pixels
wide. This is a far bigger print than I had imagined could be made
with images from the Sony A900. This certainly debunks the 300 ppi
number that some people seem to have in their heads as the desirable
minimum ppi for all prints. With 300 ppi, I could only get a 20 inch
wide print, so there is obviously a huge difference between a 20 inch
and a 48 inch print!

I have a feeling that the 300dpi image figure is a throwback to when the only serious digital print medium was dye sublimation printing which in my experience tended to be 300dpi. The A900 is capable of really good looking prints bigger than 48" if you are viewing it normally.

BertIverson Veteran Member • Posts: 3,925
Thanks Rob

I forget to say that my monitor is 20" horizontally so my display is 100 PPI. I appreciate your confirmation of my preview concept. My interest in this subject is because I am planning a large enlargement of a stitched A700 photo which I would like to appear very sharp even when viewed closely. Based on my monitor, 100 PPI looks quite good so, to be on the safe side, I will print at 200 PPI. I believe the hype to print at 300 PPI is a bit extreme unless for some scientific application. Now, since I will be using an on-line printing company, I need to assure myself that their printing technology is up to the task. I guess my first prints will be a couple of smaller samples to see how they do (and check my color calibration). Hope to do a couple of 60" x 18" panoramas. Thanks again for the education and the samples.
Bert

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Steve FStop
Steve FStop Senior Member • Posts: 1,021
IMHO - Absolutely HUGE 40" prints are definately possible...however,

only IF you have a bunch of good pixels to start with - and that has a great deal to do with the photographer using their DSLR in a suitable situation and with suitable technique - regardless of the brand of DSLR used?

In the specific case of the a900 - it would help if RAW was used rather than JPG in some situations and other brands may be able to cope better under certain shooting circumstances than the a900?

In the right hands, the a900 is very capable of grabbing a bunch of good pixels in most but not all situations?

Results will also depend upon the PP being applied?

Regards
Steve
--
Shoot True - You only get one chance!

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sulhan Contributing Member • Posts: 654
Re: Is it possible to make HUGE very good quality 40 inch prints from the Sony A900?

Hi,

Based on my expereince, i have printed a few 66x44inch image from a shot direct out of camera using the A900.

Its "ALIVE"!!!! as one passer by said when I took the print to one of the Sony Outlet in Singapore back then.

Its used in the Wireless Apha HVL-F58AM demo video in Youtube. Search for "Wireless Alpha" and you could see the printed image pasted on the wall.

Now that I am operating in Melbourne, I'm trying to link up with local printers. Propabably for print of that size too.

Well, If you have the image file of a well taken image at 24Mpix, I believe it should enablea good print out....

G'day!!

Danny Williams Contributing Member • Posts: 843
Re: Is it possible to make HUGE very good quality 40 inch prints from the Sony A900?
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This entire discussion seems a little dated......Has no one ever heard of Genuine Fractals? I make my living selling huge fine art prints. For the past couple of years I have shots with the A700 and now the A900. Making prints like those you are discussing is not an issue. With today's cameras and software, big prints are just not a problem.

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Robsphoto
OP Robsphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,219
Resizing images with Genuine Fractals boosts image size by 1000%?

Danny Williams wrote:

Thanks Danny, that's most interesting. When you say you sell huge fine art prints, what is the maximum size that you can successfully enlarge an A900 image to using Genuine Fractals?

It says here:

http://www.ononesoftware.com/detail.php?prodLine_id=2

that Genuine Fractals 6 is the industry standard for image resizing. It is renowned across the photographic and printing industries for its ability to increase image size over 1000% without the loss of sharpness or detail that you would normally expect.

If you can get, say, a quality 36 inch enlargement from the A900 without using Genuine Fractals, what size quality print is possible when you do use Genuine Fractals?

It makes you wonder why the camera manufacturers can't produce cameras that incorporate in their own software, the resizing abilities of a program like Genuine Fractals, why isn't this possible?

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sony-A900.html

Mark VB Senior Member • Posts: 2,912
Re: Resizing images with Genuine Fractals boosts image size by 1000%?

Genuine Fractals is but one of many software applications used to "upsize" an image by interpolation (i.e., creating pixels based on information from surrounding pixels to increase the dimensions of an image). Photoshop has a similar function using its image resize function. You also can upsize an image in Camera RAW. There are several others as well.

I have used the Photoshop Camera RAW resizing function to print photos from a Maxxum 7D (6 MP resolution of about 2000x3000 pixels) at 16x20 and 16x24 inches at 300 ppi (dpi). Doing the math, that results in an image size of 4800 x 6000 or 7200 pixels, a 140% increase in image size. These prints (done by mpix.com using an optical printing process on "traditional" photographic paper) are absolutely sharp and to my eye show no digital artifacts when viewed close-up (much closer than one would normally view a print of that size). If you wanted to print at 200 ppi (dpi), that would result in a print size of 24 x 30 or 36 inches, from a 6 MP camera.

Applying a similar processes to an A700 or A900 file, you can easily see how large a print you can do, depending on the print resolution you want to use (e.g., 150 ppi, 200 ppi or 300 ppi). For example, increasing an A700 file (native 2848 x 4272 pixels) by "just" 100% results in pixel dimensions of 5696 x 8544, which can print to about 19 x 28.5 inches at 300 ppi, or 28.5 x 42.75 inches at 200 ppi.

An A900 file is 4032 x 6048 pixels, which interpolated up 100% would give you a pixel dimension of 8064 x 12,096. This is suitable for about a 27.8 x 40.3 inch print at 300 ppi, or a 40.3 x 60.5 inch print at 200 ppi.

Note that these A700 and A900 examples are only 100% interpolations (and done at print resolutions higher than the 150 ppi that the original poster suggested), whereas my personal experiences using 6 MP Maxxum 7D images involved 140%. Yes, I have printed 16x20 images from A700 and A900 files, which look beautiful, but that's not really the point - I have not yet done any prints larger than 16x20 from these sources, but I easily could (and may yet do so).

The bottom line is that a well shot A900 image (sharp and well exposed) can easily be printed 40 inches wide, and in reality can be printed much wider if you are so inclined.

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Mark Van Bergh

Brian Walker Contributing Member • Posts: 509
large prints

i have done large prints 20 x 30 from an a700 and are great i used wizardprints.com and it gives you a crop preview of what the print quality will be after you upload the image and i just looked and 27 x 40 looks good to
--
the shutter release is great but i like the delete option to.

Danny Williams Contributing Member • Posts: 843
for
-- hide signature --

Rob,

I have made several prints for corporate clients that measure 4 feet x 8 feet using the A900 files and Genuine Fractuals software. These images are razor sharp and are simple stunning to the viewer. In this day and age......size just is no longer an issue.

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Robsphoto
OP Robsphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,219
Re: Thanks, very informative! Further Question:

maurus_e wrote:

How would these results be affected by upscaling images and printing
them at, say, 200ppi (I.e. what prints better, an A900 file at 125ppi
or the same file suitably upscaled, processed, and printed at 200ppi)
?

Firstly, I suggest that you read Mark's recent posting on this issue:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=32080627

Now for my own opinion on your question. Although I have not dealt personally with A900 files that have been "suitably upscaled", let's assume that an A900 file measuring 6048 pixels x 4032 pixels has been expertly upscaled by 100% so that the "new" file size is 12,096 pixels x 8064 pixels. If this is printed at 200ppi, then the print size is 60.5 inches x 40.3 inches.

Now if you compare this with an A900 file that has not been upscaled and which is printed at 125 ppi, then the resulting print size is 48.4 inches x 32.3 inches.

So a lot depends on whether the upscaling is so good that you wouldn't notice any difference between the quality of the original file and the quality of the upscaled file. If the upsizing / interpolation is of excellent quality, then, in my opinion, the upscaled file will produce a better result for the above example.

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sony-A900.html

Mark VB Senior Member • Posts: 2,912
Re: Thanks, very informative! Further Question:

Robsphoto wrote:

maurus_e wrote:

How would these results be affected by upscaling images and printing
them at, say, 200ppi (I.e. what prints better, an A900 file at 125ppi
or the same file suitably upscaled, processed, and printed at 200ppi)
?

Firstly, I suggest that you read Mark's recent posting on this issue:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=32080627

Now for my own opinion on your question. Although I have not dealt
personally with A900 files that have been "suitably upscaled", let's
assume that an A900 file measuring 6048 pixels x 4032 pixels has been
expertly upscaled by 100% so that the "new" file size is 12,096
pixels x 8064 pixels. If this is printed at 200ppi, then the print
size is 60.5 inches x 40.3 inches.

Now if you compare this with an A900 file that has not been upscaled
and which is printed at 125 ppi, then the resulting print size is
48.4 inches x 32.3 inches.

So a lot depends on whether the upscaling is so good that you
wouldn't notice any difference between the quality of the original
file and the quality of the upscaled file. If the upsizing /
interpolation is of excellent quality, then, in my opinion, the
upscaled file will produce a better result for the above example.

I think if you do some reading of various sources (including reviews of some of the interpolation software that is available) you will find that doing a 100% upsize using any of the good software options (including Genuine Fractals and Photoshop), is quite easy to do and that the "quality" of the upsizing/interpolation at such levels is not really an issue. On the other hand, printing at a lower output resolution (e.g., 125 ppi vs. 200 ppi) is more of an issue. In other words, you will see more of a quality difference from printing at a much lower output resolution than you will see from doing a very modest upsize using today's software. Of course, this assumes you have a good original file.

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Mark Van Bergh

InTheSky Contributing Member • Posts: 600
Re: Is it possible to make HUGE very good quality 40 inch prints from the Sony A900?

3 weeks after I received my A900 last year, I have made a corporate picture of people working for the company. The result, this is now one of the full wall of the cafeteria : 14 feet x 8 feet photo.

For me, there is no question, the A900 is an incredible detail pusher camera.

Regards,

Frank
--
Frank

Proud member of http://photoclubalpha.com

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joel22484 Regular Member • Posts: 319
How did you mount it?

I have a large print and haven't figured out how I want to mount it. I didn't really want to frame it and like how yours looks.

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Robsphoto
OP Robsphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,219
Upscaling digital camera images

Mark VB wrote:

Genuine Fractals is but one of many software applications used to
"upsize" an image by interpolation (i.e., creating pixels based on
information from surrounding pixels to increase the dimensions of an
image). Photoshop has a similar function using its image resize
function. You also can upsize an image in Camera RAW. There are
several others as well.

I have used the Photoshop Camera RAW resizing function to print
photos from a Maxxum 7D (6 MP resolution of about 2000x3000 pixels)
at 16x20 and 16x24 inches at 300 ppi (dpi). Doing the math, that
results in an image size of 4800 x 6000 or 7200 pixels, a 140%
increase in image size. These prints (done by mpix.com using an
optical printing process on "traditional" photographic paper) are
absolutely sharp and to my eye show no digital artifacts when viewed
close-up (much closer than one would normally view a print of that
size). If you wanted to print at 200 ppi (dpi), that would result in
a print size of 24 x 30 or 36 inches, from a 6 MP camera.

Applying a similar processes to an A700 or A900 file, you can easily
see how large a print you can do, depending on the print resolution
you want to use (e.g., 150 ppi, 200 ppi or 300 ppi). For example,
increasing an A700 file (native 2848 x 4272 pixels) by "just" 100%
results in pixel dimensions of 5696 x 8544, which can print to about
19 x 28.5 inches at 300 ppi, or 28.5 x 42.75 inches at 200 ppi.

An A900 file is 4032 x 6048 pixels, which interpolated up 100% would
give you a pixel dimension of 8064 x 12,096. This is suitable for
about a 27.8 x 40.3 inch print at 300 ppi, or a 40.3 x 60.5 inch
print at 200 ppi.

Note that these A700 and A900 examples are only 100% interpolations
(and done at print resolutions higher than the 150 ppi that the
original poster suggested), whereas my personal experiences using 6
MP Maxxum 7D images involved 140%. Yes, I have printed 16x20 images
from A700 and A900 files, which look beautiful, but that's not really
the point - I have not yet done any prints larger than 16x20 from
these sources, but I easily could (and may yet do so).

The bottom line is that a well shot A900 image (sharp and well
exposed) can easily be printed 40 inches wide, and in reality can be
printed much wider if you are so inclined.

Thanks Mark for this very helpful information. I have now included a link to your posting on my web page here:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Determining-Print-Size-Of-Digital-Images.html

I also found this article to be helpful:

http://www.fixerlabs.com/EN/news/sizefixer2pp.pdf

It discusses some software packages that can be used to upscale images. I can understand that it may be possible to upscale an image by 100% with good quality results, but I didn't know that some software packages can achieve a 1000% usable enlargement !! This is certainly an incredible technical advance, has anyone upscaled images by 1000% with successful high quality results?

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz

BertIverson Veteran Member • Posts: 3,925
Whart does 1000% upscaling mean?

If 100% up scaling takes 2000x3000 to 4000x6000 what does 1000% mean? Would 2000x3000 become 22000x33000 or 40000x60000. Hard to imagine either being useful except maybe for billboards. Just a curiosity question.
Bert

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Jim Ogilvie Contributing Member • Posts: 773
30 x 45

Just received a print that I uprezzed to 30 x 45 at 300 ppi. Used genuine fractals.

It looks absolutely fab.

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A700/A900 - a bunch of Zeiss glass and stuff.

Robsphoto
OP Robsphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,219
Re: Whart does 1000% upscaling mean?

BertIverson wrote:

If 100% up scaling takes 2000x3000 to 4000x6000 what does 1000% mean?
Would 2000x3000 become 22000x33000 or 40000x60000. Hard to imagine
either being useful except maybe for billboards. Just a curiosity
question.
Bert

Hello Bert

I would interpret a 1000% upscaling of 2000 pixels x 3000 pixels to mean that the file size has been increased to 22,000 pixels x 33,000 pixels.

I would be interested to know what the maximum percentage upscaling anyone has achieved in practice without noticing any obvious deterioration of sharpness or overall quality of the picture.

If a Sony A900 image that is 6048 pixels wide is increased in size by 1000%, its new size would be 66,528 pixels (6048 + 60480). Now if you printed this image at 200 pixels per inch (ppi) this would produce a print size that is 332.64 inches wide (about 8.5 metres or 27.7 feet).

So there would be no need to stitch together several different images if you can get one image that can be blown up sharply by 1000%.

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Determining-Print-Size-Of-Digital-Images.html

Robsphoto
OP Robsphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,219
Stitching Images Together or Upscaling One Image?

"Ledgars" said:

"I'm rarely print, but in case of landscapes, I would capture several images and stich them to get necessary pixel density. Therefore, regarding to landscape photography, I didn't see any advantage of larger sensor over smaller other than you need to stick smaller number of images."

I can see the advantages of stitching several different images together, this would give excellent clarity to a very wide landscape photograph, particularly if you were looking at it from a close distance. There would also be no limit to the width of the picture if the software allows you to keep on stitching several images together. Is this the case in practice?

You might also be able to take each picture using a 70mm lens, rather than using, say, a 24 mm lens to give a wider view. This would probably produce much more fine detail in the finished result than you would get by making one big upscaled image taken with a 24mm lens.

One alternative to the above is to use a computer program to upscale the original image by (possibly) several hundred percent. I guess this would also have its advantages, particularly if the whole landscape is not viewed from too close a distance.

In practice, I wonder if many professional photographers would prefer to stitch several images together in preference to upscaling just one image?

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sony-A900.html

Legacys_Quest7 Senior Member • Posts: 1,207
Re: Is it possible to make HUGE very good quality 40 inch prints from the Sony A900?

fock yeah.

Robsphoto wrote:

I have written a short article on my web site about whether it is
possible to obtain very good quality 40 inch wide prints from certain
images captured by the 24.6 megapixel Sony A900 camera. This article
is published here:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Determining-Print-Size-Of-Digital-Images.html

A practical example of applying the “theory” discussed in the above
article can be seen here:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Wellington-City-1-Te-Papa-large.html

I would be grateful for any comments and criticisms about the
material in the above pages. I have concluded that, in certain
circumstances, it is possible to obtain very good quality 40 inch
wide prints from images captured by the Sony A900.

If you have tried making very large prints from Sony A900 images, I
would be interested to hear of your experiences about the print
quality that you have achieved.

Regards

Rob

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