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Thread: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

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    Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Hello all,I use Cambo WRS1000 and IQ180 back with various Rodenstock lenses.I love really big prints and that's why I moved to MFDB system recently.
    With my files about 500 mb from my IQ180,I am able to print 125cm x 165 cm(app.4feet by 5.5feet) at 155 dpi.However,I was visiting Andreas Gursky's latest exhibition in NY and his smaller prints are 6"x8" printed with Oce Lightjets
    Do you think I can print up to this size(6"x8") with my files?
    My prints are sold to serious collectors here in Turkey and I do not want to print any thing that is not up to museum standards,therefore what is the minimum dpi that I can use for perfect prints ?
    Thank you.

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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Only you can decide what dpi is acceptable to you. For me, I will not print below 200dpi and will only do that rarely. Not all pixels are created equal. So 200 is the lowest dpi from the best quality pixels I can produce (IQ180, Cambo RS, SK and Rodie lens). The lowest dpi from a DSLR is around 240 or so for me, 300 more likely. With the Rodie 55mm and a 2x2 stitch, I can get about 16000 native pixels on the long side. Thats 80 inches or ~6.5 feet max at 200 dpi native resolution, 360 dpi printed resolution. Others may choose a lower dpi and thus bigger prints. dpi is a creative choice, IMO. Big and mushy or small and tight. Definitions of mushy and tight are subjective. There is a Richard Misrach print up at Pier 24 here in SF. It's an 8x10 shot of the Oakland hills fire aftermath. The print is 10 feet wide on the short side (2 60" prints together for 120" on the short side, same for Jeff Wall's huge light boxes). Standing back, it's very impressive, but up close, very mushy.

    If memory serves, it's this one.



    Edit:
    Thought I would clarify a little...

    I am not suggesting sending data to your printer at 200dpi. As others have stated, always send data to the printer in a factor of your printer's ink head resolution. When I say 200dpi, I am referring to the amount native resolution from the source imager that is used as source material for each inch of print. So 200 native sensor pixels would serve as the source data for an inch of printed material. Data is always sent to the Epson at either 360 or 720 dpi.
    Last edited by alan_w_george; 5th December 2011 at 14:09.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    try this: get a file that has been shot at ISO35 with best glass, perfectly exposed, on a rock, rock steady tripod. Interpolate it in Photoshop to exactly 200%. Make a crop from a 'telling' area (maybe one with sharply focussed foliage, grass etc, or the texture of brick or concrete) and make a crop 900 pixels square, exactly. Print it at 180PPI to 5" square exactly on your output device and see if the result is to your requirements. I assume that you will have added capture sharpening straight after opening the original file and then output sharpening as appropriate to your output device.

    Reasons for this procedure are many-fold. Reichmann and Schewe suggest that the best up-resing is always by multiples of 200 then 400% etc. They also suggest that printing at 180ppi enables most large format inkjet printers to do their own interpolation better than interpolation in software on your computer. I strongly suggest that for the detail you buy and watch their 'from camera to print' series of videos: it is amazingly useful and all my personal workflow is based on it.

    Of course the devil is in the detail: are you using a RIP? Which one? How do you sharpen? What paper do you use... etc etc. But following the above process with an IQ180 file will give you a crop of a file that if printed in its entirety would be over 9 foot wide and then only you can know if it's 'good enough'. I personally think that there's a good chance that it will be, but so much depends on the original file. You might also find that adding a little grain after upresing helps.

    HTH

    Tim
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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Thank you Alan and Tim,
    İ now feel more comfortable because İ have really sharp pictures with perfect exposures.
    Actually the print will be done by Metro İmaging in London and they use Oce LightJet 500 İ believe.
    İ will let you about the results when İ get them.
    Thank you guys again.
    Ziya

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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Ziya, while I don't have an IQ180 I do have the P65+ and Cambo WRS1000 and routinely print 18030x9030 (60x30) at 300 ppi using an Epson 9800.

    Tim as always has offered great advice.

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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    I routinely print 4x5 foot prints from my Pentax 645D files and I could easily go bigger. I cannot see why you can't print 6x8. Besides, what is to stop you making a test print and seeing for yourself?

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    The rules go out the window when it comes to really large prints. 200dpi should be more than enough for a large print, which equates to 51.6 x 38.8" (131cm x 99cm). Even 100dpi should be ok considering the size and impact of the resulting print (103" x 77.6" or 262 x 198cm). How many people will put their noses up against a print which is 2.6 metres tall/wide? I've seen a lot worse hanging on the walls of famous museums.

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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Don,

    Just a small FWIW, you are doing yourself a slight dis-service by printing your files at 300PPI on your Epson; 360 or 240 is actually better as it is a direct multiple of the standard print-head resolution of 720/1440/2880.
    ~~~

    Re print size:

    If I take a properly exposed native file at 360ppi and make a print off my Epson in 1440 mode, you can put a loupe to the print and see more detail -- seriously. At 240, the print is half-again as large and with the naked eye you can see virtually no difference in detail compared to the 360ppi version. At 180ppi the print is now twice as big as the 360 version and you can just barely detect a loss of print resolution if you stick your nose in the print; but it looks good at normal viewing distances.

    Like Tim said, I'd agree you can easily double the IQ180 *linear* resolution by upscaling the file 200%. This quadruples the file size, or takes the native 10328x7760 file up to 20,656x15,520. Now if printed at 180ppi, you are talking a print that will basically hold up to the "nose in it" test at approximately 115"x86"; or 290cmx220cm. IOW, it can make a pretty big print.
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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    The rules go out the window when it comes to really large prints.
    Actually, they don't. The 300dpi number refers to an 8x10 print viewed at 10 inches, standard viewing distance. A 16x20 at 150 dpi viewed at 20 inches would look exactly the same. The truth is, you can print your files as large as you like--making the image bigger does not change the image; it is what it is.

    But I never tell folks this as they never believe me. At least until I actually print their work. So keep this a secret--I don't want others to know.

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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    A Phase engineer told me he thought that the best uprezzing in C1 was 1.44X. (The square root of two.)

    I'm no engineer nor mathematician but I have been following that principle for my large prints at (typically) 240 dpi. This gives me roughly a 5 ft by 4 ft image if I don't crop - which I usually do!

    The quality of the resolution seems outstanding to me though I've not done any serious comparisons with other methodologies. Do note that this post refers to uprezzing done in C1.

    But of course all this depends on viewing distance. I have made a 16 ft by 8 ft billboard from my first digital camera - a Canon 1D, 4.5 megapixels. At normal highway viewing distances it looks great - and still does though the color has faded a bit!

    Bill

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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Bill,

    The Canon 1D had better pixels than they make nowadays. 11 microns!

    Matt

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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    How many people will put their noses up against a print which is 2.6 metres tall/wide? I've seen a lot worse hanging on the walls of famous museums.
    I agree, I've seen a lot worse. A few thoughts ... (OK, admittedly IMHO theories)

    first,a lot more people will put their nose up to an image than you think ... at least approach it closer than the "ideal" viewing distance so as to notice the image falling apart. However, if examining the image close offers nothing they will only look a few seconds, and that may or may not lower their opinion of the image depending on it's over all strengths. Some images don't need micro detail to be successful, others absolutely depend on it. I've observed this watching people view images hanging in my shop as well as exhibits of mine an others.

    second, (and this one is sort of theoretical) to me micro detail can be similar to harmonics in music ... on their own barely audible but take it away and the music suffers. A lot of people have really good distance vision because that's the goal of wearing glasses/contacts, so while they maybe can't "isolate" the micro detail from distance, it still affects the experience. (I hope to be able to test my theory some day )

    But to me one thing often overlooked is you can't control theoretically optimum viewing distance once the image is displayed, and it is very possible viewing the image up close is something people can't help. If you have an eight foot pano on a wall in a hall thats only 4 or 5 feet wide, or even in a location with a lot of space, but traffic is stilled forced to pass by the image only a few feet away, then so much for theoretical viewing. If the image is mush up close (I see this everyday as customers want me to print 6 foot prints from their old 10mp images) it's mush.

    Personally I think Jack nailed it ... a good capture can easily handle a 200% uprez. I don't know about the engineer from C1, but Adobe and others also know a thing or two, and the very nature and math of bicubic says you will get optimum results if you do things evenly. But then to throw another kink in the formula, I"ve gotten my best results by forcing an image to 360 or 720 dpi in Lightroom and letting LR and the printer driver handle all the math to get any size I want. I've adopted Jeff Schewe's workflow (of which I was at first somewhat skeptical)... if the image printed natively would yield over 360 dpi, I have LR force it to 720 and then turn Finest Detail on in the driver (to force the printer to actually print at 720 dpi). If it is close to or less than 360 I force it to 360. I no longer produce "to size" output files.
    Last edited by Wayne Fox; 5th December 2011 at 18:15.
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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    What Wayne said. I would also like to add, I don't think people also expect the image to have never-ending detail as they walk up to it. I think we as image makers see (or don't see) much more in our images than anyone else is going to notice--as it should be.

    I really agree about the "micro" detail, which is why folks have always shot large format and why MFD is great. That does not mean an image from a smaller format that lacks that kind of detail cannot make a stunning image, but rather I like the flavor, or to steal Wayne's term, the harmonics that it imparts to the image.

    I really look at a camera or format as part of the process--not as something limited by it. You choose a camera type, format, process, ISO, or whatever, and that choice is going to flavor the results. I can't make 35mm look like 4x5, I can't make digital look like film, I can't change the noise my ISO or sensor creates, but I can use those choices for their strengths (or at least live with any of those compromises, because there is some other benefit I am getting).

    Life is short; big prints are fun; don't sweat the small stuff...

    (and learn to live with your choices.)

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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    When a punter walks up to one of my prints with a loupe and tells me I should shoot at 1/250s at f/11 at the base ISO, I am really not disappointed I did not impress him--and it is always a him.

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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Very odd - I've never had anyone walk up with a loupe or stick their nose close to an image. That might change now that we'll be showing in Jackson Hole. I've always figured "like it buy it if not move on"...

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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    ...I've gotten my best results by forcing an image to 360 or 720 dpi in Lightroom and letting LR and the printer driver handle all the math to get any size I want. I've adopted Jeff Schewe's workflow (of which I was at first somewhat skeptical)... if the image printed natively would yield over 360 dpi, I have LR force it to 720 and then turn Finest Detail on in the driver (to force the printer to actually print at 720 dpi). If it is close to or less than 360 I force it to 360. I no longer produce "to size" output files.
    +1

    That's the workflow I've adopted and it simply works.
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    Re: Largest print size possible with IQ180 ?

    Go to a gallery and look at some "old master" oil paintings...

    Every time you look at them you see another detail, or something new and different, and there are "pictures within the picture".

    This is particularly true of a Harbour or town scenes, or a picture including people... so, for this type of picture, you need to be able to look at it with reading glasses on, however large it is.

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