another print question


TPF Noob!
Nov 21, 2008
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Northern VA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I still haven't made any prints of any of my photos, and I'd like to see if I understand at all what it involves.
Based on what I can gather, basically if I take a full size image on my D90 in raw mode ( 12.5mp ), and assume it is good quality.
Then I save it in jpg format excellent quality. So I'll have this huge around 12meg image.

Then I can just crop it to either 8x10 or more likely 4x5 ? I'm assuming that it wouldn't matter as long as the ratio is correct.

Then assuming I am happy with the crop, there is no need to worry about resizing or any of that, I would just send the full crop to a print company ( like my zenfolio ), and tell them I want an 8x10.

Is this basically all there is to that ? Or am I still missing something ?

Thank you.
You pretty much have it right. You only need to crop to a given RATIO -- meaning ratio of the short side to the long side. So, 4x5 and 8x10 are the same ratio. Sending the photo off to your favorite print shop (Zenfolio uses mpix, actually -- Zenfolio is not a print shop themselves), you'll be able to ask for the actual print SIZE you want. To avoid further cropping, you'll need a print size with the same ratio as you previously selected -- so, 4x5, 8x10, 12x15, etc. in your example.
Ok, so I recropped my images and decided to save them as tiff files, because I heard they are better quality. The files turned out to be 37megs for an 8x10 crop. Zenfolio won't let me upload a file that big.
I went to save the raw files as jpg excellent quality and they only saved down to about 3megs.
So my question(s) become:
1) Is there a good online printshop that will take my tiffs ?
2) Would the 3 meg jpg files have enough info left over to make a good 8x10 ?

Any guidance here would be appreciated.

Honestly, there is probably going to be zero problem printing from a jpeg file. Even high-end pro labs like White House Custom Color ask for jpegs rather than tiffs, even for 16x20+ prints. The problem with jpeg comes from the consequences of opening and resaving a lot-- a high quality jpeg is not going to reveal any problems to speak of.
Ok Thanks.
I was just concerned with the relatively small size of the file. I'll give it a go and see what I come up with. :))
The smaller JPEG file will still have just as many pixels (for a high resolution) as the huge TIFF file. What it will lose is a tiny bit of image quality -- probably not enough to even see at any normal sizes. So, don't worry about it.

In other words, JPEG files lose a bit of quality in exchange for smaller sizes. This is totally different from losing resolution, which only happens if you scale the image size.

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