Best resolution for printing enlargements at photo lab?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dave K., Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Dave K.

    Dave K. Guest

    I'm new to digital photography, and just bought a 5 mp Canon Powershot S50.
    One reason I chose a 5 mp camera is because I want to print enlargements,
    8x10" and larger if I can. Everything I read said 5 mp cameras will print
    clearly above 8 x 10" even with cropping, but now that I check the sample
    photos I took, if you make the photo enlargement more than 10x13" (w/o any
    cropping) the resolution drops below 200.

    So that brings up the question, when printing enlargements through a store's
    photo lab, what should the minimum resolution be for best results? I've
    checked earlier messages in various forums and newsgroups, and there's no
    standard answer -- they're all over the board. I've heard 180, 200 & 240 DPI
    mentioned most often as the minimum resolution, but which is correct? Does
    anyone have a definitive answer backed by facts or by tests they did?

    Thanks in advance for your help!!


    --
    NOTE: Please delete the word "REMOVE" from my e-mail address when replying.
    This is a spam guard.
     
    Dave K., Dec 30, 2003
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Dave K.

    Harvey Guest

    "Dave K." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm new to digital photography, and just bought a 5 mp Canon Powershot

    S50.
    > One reason I chose a 5 mp camera is because I want to print enlargements,
    > 8x10" and larger if I can. Everything I read said 5 mp cameras will print
    > clearly above 8 x 10" even with cropping, but now that I check the sample
    > photos I took, if you make the photo enlargement more than 10x13" (w/o any
    > cropping) the resolution drops below 200.
    >
    > So that brings up the question, when printing enlargements through a

    store's
    > photo lab, what should the minimum resolution be for best results? I've
    > checked earlier messages in various forums and newsgroups, and there's no
    > standard answer -- they're all over the board. I've heard 180, 200 & 240

    DPI
    > mentioned most often as the minimum resolution, but which is correct? Does
    > anyone have a definitive answer backed by facts or by tests they did?


    See http://digigraphica.com/oped/03/resolution.shtml
     
    Harvey, Dec 30, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. generally you will need 250 dpi for prints. you can make do with 200.
    more than 300 is excess file size.

    however, the viewing distance matters. The farther back you are the
    less DPI you will need.

    roadside buillboards are 6 dpi. they look fine from the car at 400
    yards at 40 mph!

    chris


    On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 21:01:34 -0600, "Dave K."
    <> wrote:

    >I'm new to digital photography, and just bought a 5 mp Canon Powershot S50.
    >One reason I chose a 5 mp camera is because I want to print enlargements,
    >8x10" and larger if I can. Everything I read said 5 mp cameras will print
    >clearly above 8 x 10" even with cropping, but now that I check the sample
    >photos I took, if you make the photo enlargement more than 10x13" (w/o any
    >cropping) the resolution drops below 200.
    >
    >So that brings up the question, when printing enlargements through a store's
    >photo lab, what should the minimum resolution be for best results? I've
    >checked earlier messages in various forums and newsgroups, and there's no
    >standard answer -- they're all over the board. I've heard 180, 200 & 240 DPI
    >mentioned most often as the minimum resolution, but which is correct? Does
    >anyone have a definitive answer backed by facts or by tests they did?
    >
    >Thanks in advance for your help!!
     
    Chris P in PA, Dec 30, 2003
    #3
  4. Dave K.

    Mark Herring Guest

    On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 21:01:34 -0600, "Dave K."
    <> wrote:

    >I'm new to digital photography, and just bought a 5 mp Canon Powershot S50.
    >One reason I chose a 5 mp camera is because I want to print enlargements,
    >8x10" and larger if I can. Everything I read said 5 mp cameras will print
    >clearly above 8 x 10" even with cropping, but now that I check the sample
    >photos I took, if you make the photo enlargement more than 10x13" (w/o any
    >cropping) the resolution drops below 200.
    >
    >So that brings up the question, when printing enlargements through a store's
    >photo lab, what should the minimum resolution be for best results? I've
    >checked earlier messages in various forums and newsgroups, and there's no
    >standard answer -- they're all over the board. I've heard 180, 200 & 240 DPI
    >mentioned most often as the minimum resolution, but which is correct? Does
    >anyone have a definitive answer backed by facts or by tests they did?
    >
    >Thanks in advance for your help!!

    Definitive answer for all users is impossible.

    Here's what I have learned from testing with an Epson 1280:

    There IS an improvement above 300ppi (Note PPI is the correct term,
    not DPI). However, you have to look to see it. With avarage quality
    snaps, it's generally not worth it.

    250 is "OK" for most things, but I usually use 300.

    200 is "adequate" if you dont look too close.

    *****

    The only way to know what is right for you is to experiment


    **************************
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
     
    Mark Herring, Dec 30, 2003
    #4
  5. Dave K.

    zbzbzb Guest

    >generally you will need 250 dpi for prints. you can make do with 200.
    >more than 300 is excess file size.
    >
    >however, the viewing distance matters. The farther back you are the
    >less DPI you will need.
    >
    >roadside buillboards are 6 dpi. they look fine from the car at 400
    >yards at 40 mph!
    >
    >chris


    There is improvement over 300. Some of the Noritsu processors in photo labs are
    400. Their others are 320. Much will depend on what you consider accpetable.
    200 to me is lousy.

    Also, unless you know that you are always going to being viewing a picture from
    a certain distance then the whole printing for distance thing is silly. Unless
    abosolutely necessary there is no reason to compromise on quality.
     
    zbzbzb, Dec 30, 2003
    #5
  6. I suggest trying some samples of your work, from your camera at your
    store's photo lab. Just a couple of photos will tell you more than anyone
    here can. In addition it can be different from one lab to another and even
    one camera to another. That is why you get different guidelines, they are
    all right and they are all wrong. What you find for yourself is right for
    you.

    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


    "Dave K." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm new to digital photography, and just bought a 5 mp Canon Powershot

    S50.
    > One reason I chose a 5 mp camera is because I want to print enlargements,
    > 8x10" and larger if I can. Everything I read said 5 mp cameras will print
    > clearly above 8 x 10" even with cropping, but now that I check the sample
    > photos I took, if you make the photo enlargement more than 10x13" (w/o any
    > cropping) the resolution drops below 200.
    >
    > So that brings up the question, when printing enlargements through a

    store's
    > photo lab, what should the minimum resolution be for best results? I've
    > checked earlier messages in various forums and newsgroups, and there's no
    > standard answer -- they're all over the board. I've heard 180, 200 & 240

    DPI
    > mentioned most often as the minimum resolution, but which is correct? Does
    > anyone have a definitive answer backed by facts or by tests they did?
    >
    > Thanks in advance for your help!!
    >
    >
    > --
    > NOTE: Please delete the word "REMOVE" from my e-mail address when

    replying.
    > This is a spam guard.
    >
    >
     
    Joseph Meehan, Dec 30, 2003
    #6
  7. Dave K.

    Don Stauffer Guest

    There is an unfortunate tendency in this group to reduce digital
    photography to a cookbook thing. You must have 300 ppi to print, 299
    ppi looks awful and 301 ppi is completely unneccessary. There is a lot
    of fuzz here.

    However, with many shops, service bureaus, etc. you may have little
    choice. THEY will decide (or the computer in their equipment) the pixel
    pitch. Try them, see if you like their standard results- if not go
    somewhere else and try another.

    "Dave K." wrote:
    >
    > I'm new to digital photography, and just bought a 5 mp Canon Powershot S50.
    > One reason I chose a 5 mp camera is because I want to print enlargements,
    > 8x10" and larger if I can. Everything I read said 5 mp cameras will print
    > clearly above 8 x 10" even with cropping, but now that I check the sample
    > photos I took, if you make the photo enlargement more than 10x13" (w/o any
    > cropping) the resolution drops below 200.
    >
    > So that brings up the question, when printing enlargements through a store's
    > photo lab, what should the minimum resolution be for best results? I've
    > checked earlier messages in various forums and newsgroups, and there's no
    > standard answer -- they're all over the board. I've heard 180, 200 & 240 DPI
    > mentioned most often as the minimum resolution, but which is correct? Does
    > anyone have a definitive answer backed by facts or by tests they did?
    >
    > Thanks in advance for your help!!
    >
    > --
    > NOTE: Please delete the word "REMOVE" from my e-mail address when replying.
    > This is a spam guard.


    --
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota

    webpage- http://www.usfamily.net/web/stauffer
     
    Don Stauffer, Dec 30, 2003
    #7
  8. I have no plans to view any photo slocer than 18" - distance from my
    face to the desk or my lap. If wall hung, i don't stand any closer
    than that.
    So my 'default' viewing distance is 18". Your may be different.

    as to what dpi to scan or print, etc, and WHY (the important
    part..facts not opinions) see
    www.scantips.com

    chris

    On 30 Dec 2003 07:32:59 GMT, bzbzb (zbzbzb) wrote:

    >>generally you will need 250 dpi for prints. you can make do with 200.
    >>more than 300 is excess file size.
    >>
    >>however, the viewing distance matters. The farther back you are the
    >>less DPI you will need.
    >>
    >>roadside buillboards are 6 dpi. they look fine from the car at 400
    >>yards at 40 mph!
    >>
    >>chris

    >
    >There is improvement over 300. Some of the Noritsu processors in photo labs are
    >400. Their others are 320. Much will depend on what you consider accpetable.
    >200 to me is lousy.
    >
    >Also, unless you know that you are always going to being viewing a picture from
    >a certain distance then the whole printing for distance thing is silly. Unless
    >abosolutely necessary there is no reason to compromise on quality.
    >
    >
    >
     
    Chris P in PA, Dec 30, 2003
    #8
  9. ppi is only correct for SCREEN images - ppi = pixels per inch. and
    that number means nothing - a 300x300 ppi image on my 19" monitor at
    1024x768 is not going to be the same in INCHES as it may be on your
    15" montior at 640x480, or my firiend's 21" at 1680x1400 (or whatever
    huge resolution he prefers).


    also, you can view the image on your screen at 100%, 50% or 10%. the
    number of pixels inteh image DOES NOT CHANGE.

    generally monotors, if yo magnify and measure are all 72 to 96 ppi.

    Now then printing...it depends on what your printer's native
    resolution is - no dithering/interpolation wanted, right?

    While many of today's printers advertise 1440 or 2280 dpi, they are
    hedging the math a bit, just as scanners that advertise 1200 dpi are.

    The best printing resolution is around 240, BUT you want something
    that is roundly divisible by your printer's native resolution. If you
    have a 300dpi printer, then 300 is a good choice, as is 150. Trying
    240 will get you some remeinder and then the printer has to fudge
    things to make it work out, and you will get lower quality.

    see www.scantips.com - it may take you 2 hours to read it all, but
    you will be extremely knowledgeable when you are done.

    chris

    On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 22:06:12 -0800, Mark Herring
    <> wrote:

    >On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 21:01:34 -0600, "Dave K."
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>I'm new to digital photography, and just bought a 5 mp Canon Powershot S50.
    >>One reason I chose a 5 mp camera is because I want to print enlargements,
    >>8x10" and larger if I can. Everything I read said 5 mp cameras will print
    >>clearly above 8 x 10" even with cropping, but now that I check the sample
    >>photos I took, if you make the photo enlargement more than 10x13" (w/o any
    >>cropping) the resolution drops below 200.
    >>
    >>So that brings up the question, when printing enlargements through a store's
    >>photo lab, what should the minimum resolution be for best results? I've
    >>checked earlier messages in various forums and newsgroups, and there's no
    >>standard answer -- they're all over the board. I've heard 180, 200 & 240 DPI
    >>mentioned most often as the minimum resolution, but which is correct? Does
    >>anyone have a definitive answer backed by facts or by tests they did?
    >>
    >>Thanks in advance for your help!!

    >Definitive answer for all users is impossible.
    >
    >Here's what I have learned from testing with an Epson 1280:
    >
    >There IS an improvement above 300ppi (Note PPI is the correct term,
    >not DPI). However, you have to look to see it. With avarage quality
    >snaps, it's generally not worth it.
    >
    >250 is "OK" for most things, but I usually use 300.
    >
    >200 is "adequate" if you dont look too close.
    >
    >*****
    >
    >The only way to know what is right for you is to experiment
    >
    >
    >**************************
    >Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    >Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
     
    Chris P in PA, Dec 30, 2003
    #9
  10. Dave K.

    Phil Guest

    On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 21:01:34 -0600, "Dave K."
    <> wrote:

    >I'm new to digital photography, and just bought a 5 mp Canon Powershot S50.
    >One reason I chose a 5 mp camera is because I want to print enlargements,
    >8x10" and larger if I can. Everything I read said 5 mp cameras will print
    >clearly above 8 x 10" even with cropping, but now that I check the sample
    >photos I took, if you make the photo enlargement more than 10x13" (w/o any
    >cropping) the resolution drops below 200.
    >
    >So that brings up the question, when printing enlargements through a store's
    >photo lab, what should the minimum resolution be for best results? I've
    >checked earlier messages in various forums and newsgroups, and there's no
    >standard answer -- they're all over the board. I've heard 180, 200 & 240 DPI
    >mentioned most often as the minimum resolution, but which is correct? Does
    >anyone have a definitive answer backed by facts or by tests they did?
    >
    >Thanks in advance for your help!!


    For those who are trying to get the most out of these services there
    evidently is an optimum resolution to create your images in, and it
    depends on the specific photo processing system you plan to use. Your
    ready-to-print images should be always sized to exactly so as to
    correspond to the available sizes such as 4X6, 5X7, 8X10 etc. For the
    Frontier units (including the larger 350 and 370 models), the images
    should be set to 300 DPI. For Noritsu units (2XXX MLVA Series) set to
    400 DPI and for the 3xxx Laser Series, 320 DPI. If you fail to do
    this, the machine S/W will resample/re-size your images accordingly.
    Both TIFF (uncompressed) and highest-quality JPEG images are
    acceptable.

    Also you may also wish to avoid the somewhat arbitrary "adjustments"
    that are likely to create inconsistent color quality in the batch. To
    address this you must know and apply (in Photoshop "Convert to
    Profile") the specific ICC profile for the machine used. After doing
    this, specify "NO ADJUSTMENTS" on the order sheet, or your efforts
    will be wasted. Visit Dry Creek Photo's website for their nationwide
    database of ICC profiles, including Costco & Walmart. If your local
    facility is not shown, you can download a test target and send the
    result to them for creation of an individual profile (a free service
    as far as I know).
     
    Phil, Dec 30, 2003
    #10
  11. Dave K.

    zbzbzb Guest

    >I have no plans to view any photo slocer than 18" - distance from my
    >face to the desk or my lap. If wall hung, i don't stand any closer
    >than that.
    >So my 'default' viewing distance is 18". Your may be different.
    >
    >as to what dpi to scan or print, etc, and WHY (the important
    >part..facts not opinions) see
    >www.scantips.com
    >
    >chris
    >


    Thanks, but I already know what dpi to scan or print at. The fact is that it is
    proven that there is more detail above 300 ppi even though that is a good
    general target to aim for. Good site though.
     
    zbzbzb, Dec 30, 2003
    #11
  12. On Monday 29 December 2003 19:01, Dave K. wrote:

    > I'm new to digital photography, and just bought a 5 mp Canon Powershot
    > S50. One reason I chose a 5 mp camera is because I want to print
    > enlargements, 8x10" and larger if I can. Everything I read said 5 mp
    > cameras will print clearly above 8 x 10" even with cropping, but now
    > that I check the sample photos I took, if you make the photo
    > enlargement more than 10x13" (w/o any cropping) the resolution drops
    > below 200.
    >
    > So that brings up the question, when printing enlargements through a
    > store's photo lab, what should the minimum resolution be for best
    > results? I've checked earlier messages in various forums and
    > newsgroups, and there's no standard answer -- they're all over the
    > board. I've heard 180, 200 & 240 DPI mentioned most often as the
    > minimum resolution, but which is correct? Does anyone have a
    > definitive answer backed by facts or by tests they did?


    Do what I did: Run print tests (at various sizes -- 4x6, 5x7, etc.) at
    various resolutions -- 100ppi, 125, 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, etc.
    Then, you'll know what resolution at what print size works best for
    you.

    For example, I have a little 2.1 MP Canon Powershot S10 that I use for
    snapshots. The prints (inkjet or digital photofinished),
    unmanipulated, right out of the camera, are more than good enough
    (resolution-wise) for 4x6 or 5x7 snapshots. If I do a little post
    production, I can get decent 8x10 snapshots. Would I use this camera
    for professional or serious fine art work? Not a chance.

    --
    Stefan Patric
    NoLife Polymath Group
     
    Stefan Patric, Dec 30, 2003
    #12
  13. Dave K.

    Mark Herring Guest

    On Tue, 30 Dec 2003 14:06:49 -0500, Chris P in PA
    <cash_for_you@nospam_comcast.net> wrote:

    >
    >
    >ppi is only correct for SCREEN images - ppi = pixels per inch. and
    >that number means nothing - a 300x300 ppi image on my 19" monitor at
    >1024x768 is not going to be the same in INCHES as it may be on your
    >15" montior at 640x480, or my firiend's 21" at 1680x1400 (or whatever
    >huge resolution he prefers).
    >

    PPI is also significant for files sent to printers. You specify a
    print size, and the number of pixels to be used
    >
    >also, you can view the image on your screen at 100%, 50% or 10%. the
    >number of pixels inteh image DOES NOT CHANGE.
    >
    >generally monotors, if yo magnify and measure are all 72 to 96 ppi.
    >
    >Now then printing...it depends on what your printer's native
    >resolution is - no dithering/interpolation wanted, right?

    The DPI spec of printers has nothing to do with the file size you send
    >
    >While many of today's printers advertise 1440 or 2280 dpi, they are
    >hedging the math a bit, just as scanners that advertise 1200 dpi are.
    >
    >The best printing resolution is around 240, BUT you want something
    >that is roundly divisible by your printer's native resolution.

    NO---no such requirement.
    >If you
    >have a 300dpi printer, then 300 is a good choice, as is 150. Trying
    >240 will get you some remeinder and then the printer has to fudge
    >things to make it work out, and you will get lower quality.

    Not true.....
    >
    >see www.scantips.com - it may take you 2 hours to read it all, but
    >you will be extremely knowledgeable when you are done.
    >
    >chris
    >
    >On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 22:06:12 -0800, Mark Herring
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 21:01:34 -0600, "Dave K."
    >><> wrote:
    >>
    >>>I'm new to digital photography, and just bought a 5 mp Canon Powershot S50.
    >>>One reason I chose a 5 mp camera is because I want to print enlargements,
    >>>8x10" and larger if I can. Everything I read said 5 mp cameras will print
    >>>clearly above 8 x 10" even with cropping, but now that I check the sample
    >>>photos I took, if you make the photo enlargement more than 10x13" (w/o any
    >>>cropping) the resolution drops below 200.
    >>>
    >>>So that brings up the question, when printing enlargements through a store's
    >>>photo lab, what should the minimum resolution be for best results? I've
    >>>checked earlier messages in various forums and newsgroups, and there's no
    >>>standard answer -- they're all over the board. I've heard 180, 200 & 240 DPI
    >>>mentioned most often as the minimum resolution, but which is correct? Does
    >>>anyone have a definitive answer backed by facts or by tests they did?
    >>>
    >>>Thanks in advance for your help!!

    >>Definitive answer for all users is impossible.
    >>
    >>Here's what I have learned from testing with an Epson 1280:
    >>
    >>There IS an improvement above 300ppi (Note PPI is the correct term,
    >>not DPI). However, you have to look to see it. With avarage quality
    >>snaps, it's generally not worth it.
    >>
    >>250 is "OK" for most things, but I usually use 300.
    >>
    >>200 is "adequate" if you dont look too close.
    >>
    >>*****
    >>
    >>The only way to know what is right for you is to experiment
    >>
    >>
    >>**************************
    >>Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    >>Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".


    **************************
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
     
    Mark Herring, Dec 31, 2003
    #13
    1. Advertising

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