DPI & Quality Limitations of modern digital photo print processors,such as Noritsu, etc.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by David Chien, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. David Chien

    David Chien Guest

    Having got back from testing a new camera at a local photo lab that just
    switched from an optical photo print machine to a digital one (prints on
    photo paper), noticed funny things going on with the prints.

    ----

    Keep in mind that the modern digital photo print processors have
    limitations (most of the newest machines you'll see at stores handling
    35mm films; also Kodak PictureTouch process and others that toot
    advanced color and image correction vs. their older optical photo printers).

    These printers include the latest Noritsu and other digital 35mm film
    print processors.

    1) They all use lasers or other means of imaging the 35mm film print
    paper. The true dynamic range of colors they can achieve is less than a
    pure optical print machine due to the steps in the light levels from
    these digital printers.

    Thus, in some areas, eg. deep sky blues, you'll see increased
    dithering/banding problems due to the use of a digital processor without
    sufficient light level steps.

    2) The maximum resolution of these hover around 300-400 dpi (eg. Noritsu
    has processors that can either do 320dpi or 400dpi).

    !!!

    This figure is even lower than modern photo inkjet printers, and as
    such, =be careful= when testing lenses and cameras for resolution and
    quality using these machines -- you will not see the 'true' maximum
    achievable resolving capability of the print paper, lens, or camera used
    to take the image.

    eg. simply taking a sharp picture of a newspaper classified ads from
    several feet away and printing the digital image or 35mm film with these
    digital print processor machines will not give you a print that's as
    detailed as an optical print (analog).

    Make sure that you understand this limitation before saying that
    you're camera/lens is crummy!!!!

    3) The dithering problem of #1 combined with the resolution problem of
    #2 will result in prints that will look grainier and rougher than a true
    optical print. Don't assume the camera/film/lens is performing poorly
    if you use a digital print machine!

    4) Because these digital print machines operate by scanning the 35mm
    image into the system first (or reading the original digital camera
    image file from disc), then performing adjustments on the image
    digitally before printing, be careful about localized (changes limited
    to just one area of the photo - eg. only the dark background gets
    manipulated) adjustments in color, contrast, brightness, etc. in the
    final prints!!!!

    You can accidentally assume that the camera/lens/system is
    performing sub-par or better than expected when in fact, the final photo
    has been manipulated in localized areas to appear better than the
    original, and even vs. the original manipulated on a global level.

    5) The =sharpest=, =most detailed= prints you can achieve can only be
    achieved through an optical print process. The fundamental limitation
    of 400dpi maximum resolution on a print is the equivalent of achieving
    only 66.6 lines / mm of resolution (36x24mm 35mm frame, 400dpi, 4x6"
    print - thus, 400dpi * 4 inches across (or 6") = 1600 dots across 4
    inches. 4" printed from 24mm wide 35mm film frame. 1600 dots / 24mm =
    66.6 lines per mm)!

    Note that even the $79 Olympus Stylus Epic 35mm Point & Shoot has
    been benchmarked by Popular Photography to achieve up to 90 lines / mm
    of resolution in their tests, which means that these digital photo
    processors =cannot= even make a print from the Olympus Stylus Epic that
    contains all of the resolution and detail found in the original
    picture!!!!!!

    When you're pictures come back looking pretty bad, don't blame the
    camera in this case!!! -- it's the poor 400dpi resolution of the digital
    printer at fault!

    6) Ask for a hand-printed, manually focused optical print if you want
    the utmost quality from a digital camera image or 35mm film image.
    David Chien, Jan 29, 2004
    #1
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  2. Re: DPI & Quality Limitations of modern digital photo print processors, such as Noritsu, etc.

    On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:12:46 -0800, David Chien <>
    wrote:


    >6) Ask for a hand-printed, manually focused optical print if you want
    >the utmost quality from a digital camera image or 35mm film image.



    Pfft. Nonsense.

    A huge cast of pro photographers disagree with
    you -- including but hardly limited to Bill Atkinson,
    Galen Rowell, Jack Dykinga, Art Wolfe, David
    Muench, etc etc.


    rafe b.
    http://www.terrapinphoto.com
    Raphael Bustin, Jan 29, 2004
    #2
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  3. David Chien

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Re: DPI & Quality Limitations of modern digital photo print processors, such as Noritsu, etc.

    Chien is a crank who shows up every now and again with more of his
    scientific "findings". Basically a troll who isn't even aware that he is a
    troll.

    --
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
    "Raphael Bustin" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:12:46 -0800, David Chien <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    > >6) Ask for a hand-printed, manually focused optical print if you want
    > >the utmost quality from a digital camera image or 35mm film image.

    >
    >
    > Pfft. Nonsense.
    >
    > A huge cast of pro photographers disagree with
    > you -- including but hardly limited to Bill Atkinson,
    > Galen Rowell, Jack Dykinga, Art Wolfe, David
    > Muench, etc etc.
    >
    >
    > rafe b.
    > http://www.terrapinphoto.com
    Tony Spadaro, Jan 29, 2004
    #3
  4. David Chien

    Steve Guest

    Re: DPI & Quality Limitations of modern digital photo print processors, such as Noritsu, etc.

    In article:<bv9mmh$adc$>,
    David Chien <> typed:

    > 6) Ask for a hand-printed, manually focused optical print if you want
    > the utmost quality from a digital camera image or 35mm film image.


    Notwithstanding that I don't agree with much of anything else you said
    either...

    How can you do a manually focussed optical print from a digital camera image
    please?
    Steve, Jan 29, 2004
    #4
  5. David Chien

    Charlie Self Guest

    Re: DPI & Quality Limitations of modern digital photo print processors, such as Noritsu, etc.

    Steve asks:

    > 6) Ask for a hand-printed, manually focused optical print if you want
    >> the utmost quality from a digital camera image or 35mm film image.

    >
    >Notwithstanding that I don't agree with much of anything else you said
    >either...
    >
    >How can you do a manually focussed optical print from a digital camera image
    >please?


    I would guess you focus on the projected image, same as you do with the image
    from a film negative. Whether or not that's effective...no idea.

    Charlie Self
    "To create man was a quaint and original idea, but to add the sheep was
    tautology." Mark Twain's Notebook

    http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
    Charlie Self, Jan 29, 2004
    #5
  6. David Chien

    Don Stauffer Guest

    Re: DPI & Quality Limitations of modern digital photo printprocessors,such as Noritsu, etc.

    I think you are making some big generalizations here. While some of
    these printers may use a laser and beam deflector, many still use the
    CRT recorder- in my mind the best quality way of producing a hard copy
    from a digital file. These machines merely have a very high
    quality/resolution CRT monitor that displays the image, and a built-in
    copy camera that copies the CRT image to film.

    David Chien wrote:
    >
    > Having got back from testing a new camera at a local photo lab that just
    > switched from an optical photo print machine to a digital one (prints on
    > photo paper), noticed funny things going on with the prints.
    >
    > ----
    >
    > Keep in mind that the modern digital photo print processors have
    > limitations (most of the newest machines you'll see at stores handling
    > 35mm films; also Kodak PictureTouch process and others that toot
    > advanced color and image correction vs. their older optical photo printers).
    >
    > These printers include the latest Noritsu and other digital 35mm film
    > print processors.
    >
    > 1) They all use lasers or other means of imaging the 35mm film print
    > paper. The true dynamic range of colors they can achieve is less than a
    > pure optical print machine due to the steps in the light levels from
    > these digital printers.
    >
    > Thus, in some areas, eg. deep sky blues, you'll see increased
    > dithering/banding problems due to the use of a digital processor without
    > sufficient light level steps.
    >
    > 2) The maximum resolution of these hover around 300-400 dpi (eg. Noritsu
    > has processors that can either do 320dpi or 400dpi).
    >
    > !!!
    >
    > This figure is even lower than modern photo inkjet printers, and as
    > such, =be careful= when testing lenses and cameras for resolution and
    > quality using these machines -- you will not see the 'true' maximum
    > achievable resolving capability of the print paper, lens, or camera used
    > to take the image.
    >
    > eg. simply taking a sharp picture of a newspaper classified ads from
    > several feet away and printing the digital image or 35mm film with these
    > digital print processor machines will not give you a print that's as
    > detailed as an optical print (analog).
    >
    > Make sure that you understand this limitation before saying that
    > you're camera/lens is crummy!!!!
    >
    > 3) The dithering problem of #1 combined with the resolution problem of
    > #2 will result in prints that will look grainier and rougher than a true
    > optical print. Don't assume the camera/film/lens is performing poorly
    > if you use a digital print machine!
    >
    > 4) Because these digital print machines operate by scanning the 35mm
    > image into the system first (or reading the original digital camera
    > image file from disc), then performing adjustments on the image
    > digitally before printing, be careful about localized (changes limited
    > to just one area of the photo - eg. only the dark background gets
    > manipulated) adjustments in color, contrast, brightness, etc. in the
    > final prints!!!!
    >
    > You can accidentally assume that the camera/lens/system is
    > performing sub-par or better than expected when in fact, the final photo
    > has been manipulated in localized areas to appear better than the
    > original, and even vs. the original manipulated on a global level.
    >
    > 5) The =sharpest=, =most detailed= prints you can achieve can only be
    > achieved through an optical print process. The fundamental limitation
    > of 400dpi maximum resolution on a print is the equivalent of achieving
    > only 66.6 lines / mm of resolution (36x24mm 35mm frame, 400dpi, 4x6"
    > print - thus, 400dpi * 4 inches across (or 6") = 1600 dots across 4
    > inches. 4" printed from 24mm wide 35mm film frame. 1600 dots / 24mm =
    > 66.6 lines per mm)!
    >
    > Note that even the $79 Olympus Stylus Epic 35mm Point & Shoot has
    > been benchmarked by Popular Photography to achieve up to 90 lines / mm
    > of resolution in their tests, which means that these digital photo
    > processors =cannot= even make a print from the Olympus Stylus Epic that
    > contains all of the resolution and detail found in the original
    > picture!!!!!!
    >
    > When you're pictures come back looking pretty bad, don't blame the
    > camera in this case!!! -- it's the poor 400dpi resolution of the digital
    > printer at fault!
    >
    > 6) Ask for a hand-printed, manually focused optical print if you want
    > the utmost quality from a digital camera image or 35mm film image.


    --
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota

    webpage- http://www.usfamily.net/web/stauffer
    Don Stauffer, Jan 29, 2004
    #6
  7. David Chien

    David Chien Guest

    >>How can you do a manually focussed optical print from a digital camera image
    >>please?


    eh? guess nobody here remembers the ol' slide-to-print days...

    Image it to a slide/internegative first using a 4000dpi-8000dpi+
    slide recorder. This will get you at least 150 lines / mm of resolution
    (vs. 66 or so on the 400dpi print machine), which hits the upper limits
    of high-end optical lenses and equipment. (also means you can easily go
    up to about a 16 megapixel file w/o worrying about exceeding the
    resolution of the slide recorder at the 4000dpi resolution.)

    Once you've got that, optically print it by hand to bypass the
    320/400dpi limit of the print machines.

    http://www.imagers.com/slides.html
    David Chien, Jan 30, 2004
    #7
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