File type for prints

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Blake.Oney, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Blake.Oney

    Blake.Oney TPF Noob!

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    I was reading the thread about giving RAW files away and a couple of you mentioned that you give customers JPEG files in case they want to have their own prints made up. Whenever I order, or make prints I usually use TIFF. I know there is a difference in the two, but my question is, does it really matter whether you use a large JPEG or a TIFF when you do prints? And which would you use if it were you doing the prints, and not giving them for the customer to do their own?
     
  2. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    .TIFF, 16-bit, 350dpi is my suggestion.

    lots of people will look at digital prints and talk about how they can tell and they're just not as good as 35mm prints, but the truth is those people wouldn't be able to distinguish photographs that have been printed properly. ultimately its up to you if you want your photographs to be printed properly and some may say the specs above are overkill but i've tested various combinations and i just haven't been happy with less. the 350dpi will reduce your largest possible print size, but DSLRs out there have sufficient resolutions.

    experiment yourself, try combinations - - prints aren't to expensive. also, be wary with websites that you upload files to, their software server side will often streamline the photos to pre-determined settings. if the print is important and you want to be sure a photography retailer (Cord Camera here in Columbus) will print the file as its given.. bring it in on a USB Flash drive.
     
  3. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I also do the above. I do my own printing so it is easy.

    However, if your having your prints done elsewhere , check to be sure they can/will print in tiff format.
     
  4. Polyphony

    Polyphony TPF Noob!

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    For a 16x24 print, wouldn't you need a resolution of 8400x5600? What DSLRs shoot with that resolution?
    And what if you wanted to go larger?
     
  5. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    my advice was for standard photo sizes at and below 10x12.. when you're headed that far above 8x10 or 10x12 there's software that you can use to help facilitate it.. large portrait sizes expand into other formats that allow that kind of quality at that size
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you can use Genuine Factals for increase for large prints.

    I use a printing rip that does it for me, however, i also have very large files so it has never been a problem.
     
  7. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    [/quote]
    For a 16x24 print, wouldn't you need a resolution of 8400x5600? What DSLRs shoot with that resolution?
    And what if you wanted to go larger?[/QUOTE]

    None, but its not needed anyway, resolution in print form is more relative to human sight, at 300ppi we can't distinguish any difference in image quality, so any size print with this rez will be fine. What does happen with enlarging any shot is that if it's not tack sharp sooc then this will be magnified with enlargement, the only solution is good glass and capture technique, resolution will not make a soft print sharp.
    You can get very good prints from 150ppi, 300 is what I use and have had several done at 20 x 16 with no visual degradation. Genuine fractals will upres your shots but for 20x16 CS1 crop does the job just fine, you can change resolution in most image editors to whatever you want it'll not make the shot any better it just makes the file bigger.

    300ppi for prints is all you need.Whether tiff or jpeg, usually the lab will tell you their preferred format.
    72ppi for web use/onscreen res, then re-size the shot to a manageable 5x4 inches or you'll still be uploading a large file to the net. H
     
  8. 8ball

    8ball TPF Noob!

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    so what if someone wants a poster size print 24x 36? what should the resolution be? will places print that big?
     
  9. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    See Also: Medium Format :p

    You can find a place to print pretty much any size you can think of. I had someone to want to experiment and did a life-size print of herself (think of those sports wall things) and at 150ppi it looked fine (thankfully she was not a 6-7foot basketball player). at that cost its pricey to experiment but to her it was fun and worth it.
     
  10. creisinger

    creisinger TPF Noob!

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    Ok this may sound funny to some here, but I sent my native D90 shots at 4288x2484 pixels at 72dpi to Zazzle for a 24x36 print and I was floored by their quality.

    I'm sure if you need to print that size but want to use it as a print for a board game with people looking at it from 15 inches away you might not be happy with the quality of that print.

    My D90 resolution for a 24x36 is far enough to get a nice print IMO.

    About Genuine Fractals or other upsizing software: You have to know what you're doing. Furthermore in order to enlarge any image make sure you are starting with a tack sharp original from the very beginning. There is no point in enlarging an already soft picture, you might as well upload the image the way it is and let the printer blow it up to the final size.

    But this is really an icky topic because some people are very, very picky with the print quality and sure there are professional ways to do it "right" but then you're also going to have to pay significantly more for a great print. You get what you pay for.
     
  11. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    I'd feel comfortable printing a 24x36 with a 3MP image. It would have to be about 70 DPI, but considering the size of the picture and the expected viewing distance, it would look fine hanging on a wall.
     
  12. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    Exactly. Once you factor in expected viewing distance the equation varies in ways you can't put into a neat rule for printing. Experiment! :p
     

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