Maximum print size for certain resolutions?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by ryansarmstrong, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. ryansarmstrong

    ryansarmstrong TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,

    I have never done any printing of my photography beyond 8.5 x 11, but I am looking to do a large print of an 8400 x 6600 pixel file. I was wondering if anyone could guide me on how large I could get this printed without losing much quality.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This part is pretty vague. But so is this issue. ;)

    The 'standard' for photo quality prints is 300 pixels per inch. So you're looking at 28" x 22". However, you can easily print at something like 240 PPI and get good results. So that's 35" x 27.5".
    Now with larger prints, you can go even lower...maybe 100 PPI. So that's 84" x 66".

    One thing to consider is viewing distance. You aren't meant to view a 7 foot wide print with your nose pressed up against it. You should probably be standing at least 10 feet away....and at that distance, a lower resolution will be just fine.
    Consider bill boards, they look terrible from close up, but from across the street, they look just fine.
     
  3. ryansarmstrong

    ryansarmstrong TPF Noob!

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    Great that's just the answer I was hoping for. I was hoping to pull off a 4 ft wide print and I think it will work with the viewing distance. Thanks a lot for the quick response.
     
  4. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    I second Big Mike's response.

    The 300ppi standard really only applies to prints viewed at arms length, either to view the whole print or when looked at closely. When viewing distances are greater lower resolutions result in the same apparent sharpness as the eye can't see the difference.

    I've printed a number of images in the 4'x3' to 6'x4' range. These are generally for display where viewing will be done from several feet or greater. They're typically done at 100-150ppi. They never seem particularly sharp when viewed up close, but when seen from a distance where you can easily see the whole image they look excellent.
     

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