Digital Printing checklist?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by vonnagy, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    Ok, I finally getting my arse in gear and looking to print my digital files.

    1. The files are currently (out of the camera) saved at 72 dpi, should this be converted to 267 dpi when sending to the printer?

    2. I am looking at getting A3 size prints - what prices are reasonable? (ok to give USD, i'll do the conversion).

    3. Paper - Whats a good paper, ie archive quality? Epson, etc


    What else should I look for? I've talked to printers who knew about printing graphic design, but not nessarily photography. I'd like to be in the know about these things ;) Thanks for any input in advance!
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I print my stuff through www.deviantart.com, and they use Fuji Crystal Archive paper. You can get glossy or matte finish, and the prints are excellent. I shoot in raw and export 8bit 300dpi tiffs. I upsample them to 16x24 at 300dpi. Deviantart then offers me print sizes of 20x30 at 240dpi, 16x24 at 300dpi, 10x15 at 480dpi, 8x12 at 600dpi and 4x6 at 600dpi. The prices are as follows:

    4x6; $0,31
    8 x 12; $2.50
    10 x 15; $4.25
    16 x 24; $12.80
    20 x 30; $13.99

    I've found these prices to be very reasonable. If you want to do this through deviantart you have to sign up for their prints program, and pay a onetime fee of $25, but then you can sell your prints through their website, and they do all the printing, packaging and shipping for you, and take 50% of the profit over the base price. You can charge whatever you want. I basically just use it to order my own prints and sell from home though.

    All of the prints look fantastic, including the 20x30s. I just do a one step bicubic resample in photoshop.
     
  3. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    thanks matt! those prices are great it sounds like a good probram.

    Could you explain the upsample and the bicubic resample a bit? I have seen that in PShop but I am not quite sure what it does.

    cheers for the info!
     
  4. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Is that really a need step, I’ve had tones of 8x12 printed at local mini-lab from 72dpi 28x42 inch jpg straight out the of 10D
     
  5. Slowboat

    Slowboat TPF Noob!

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    20x30 Print for 8.95 each at http://www.elcocolor.com/hot_internet_only_specials.htm - This place has gotten great reviews and I have seen the quality of prints first hand, although not my images.

    My favorite places are West Coast Imaging - http://www.westcoastimaging.com and Calyspo Imaging - http://www.calypsoinc.com. These places are not the cheapest around but have great customer service, calibrated equipment, and outstanding quality prints.

    AS far as print file size and resolution I would recommend prepairing the output file based your printers recommendations, most often or not 240ppi or more.
     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I wouldn't print at less than 240dpi really, and less than 300dpi if I could get away with it. That's been a printing standard for years. 72dpi is your screen resolution. When you send them a file like that, they aren't printing it at 72dpi. They are printing it at 300dpi.

    A full size shot from a 300D / 10D is 28.444 x 18.889 at 72 dpi. If you tell them you want an 8x12, they are printing it at aproximately 170dpi. If you saw a print at 72dpi, it would be unbearable.

    I would highly recommend enlarging your photos yourself, and sending files at 300dpi.

    Vonnagy: In photoshop, with your image open go to image/image size. If your resolution is at 72dpi, uncheck resample, and change it to 300dpi. (If I were you I'd shoot raw and have my raw software export 300dpi tiffs) You should just see the print size changing then to 6.827 x 4.533. Now, re-check resample, and change the size to 16x24. You'll have to uncheck Constrain proportions, or else it will be 16 x 24.094. Just manually type in 16x24 and voila.

    A good way to tell how it will look is to set your view to 30%. Keep in mind, a huge print like that is not meant to be looked at from 1 inch away.

    I do this for all my prints, and they really come out great.
     
  7. StvShoop

    StvShoop TPF Noob!

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    i think Jeff Canes is asking, since you're not gonna turn a 4mp image into a true 300dpi 18x24, is it really necessary to upsample it to that? that would make the filesize huge, a real pain in the ass to upload to an online printing place. assuming the printing place knows how to set the output size for the prints, will there be a change in quality whether you upsample or not?

    reading this thread again... it sounds like most of you are talking about downsampling :scratch:
    well, at any rate, if the camera only recorded so many pixels, is there a point to blowing them up in ps? :)
     
  8. Slowboat

    Slowboat TPF Noob!

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    I have found it preferable to submit a file for print at the correct resolution for the specific output device. This will allow "YOU" to control how the interpolation is done instead of letting the lab performing the interpolation or the output device decide for you.

    Even if the pixels don't exist to beign with you have full control of the process in how they are created.
     
  9. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I thought that a files dpi & size could be adjusted and as long as the dpi and size ratio remain the same it would produce the same quality prints. (38x43@ 72 dpi = 19x21.5 @ 144 dpi = 9.5x10.75 @ 288 dpi)
     
  10. StvShoop

    StvShoop TPF Noob!

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    yeah, i know what you're saying.
    but i've had a lot of bad experiences when i try to control the output of my file for printing at my campus's print room. It takes 4 tries to get a successful print, if it ever happens at all. the people running the machines and software interface are just incompetent; the only way to get a success the first time is to leave all the settings at the default.

    if you guys have tried online places and had successful results, then i guess it's not all dark and dreary in digital printing world. heck, at $9 for a 30x20, i'm switching to online services :)
     
  11. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If you want a big prints, yes.


    Yes, you are correct with that statement, but quality of the print is determined by the dots per inch, or pixels per inch really. 72 dots per inch is fine for a monitor's resolution, but in a print it will look very bad, above a 4x6.

    I wouldn't print below 240dpi, if I wanted to get a serious, archival quality print. That leaves you with 8.55 x 12.817 from a 10D. If that's the largest you'll ever print, then you don't need to upsample. If you want a print bigger than that, either the dpi has to go lower, or the pixel dimensions must get bigger. The quality is much better when you do a bicubic resample in PS and print at 300dpi, rather than print at a lower dpi.
     

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