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Old Mar 29, 2015, 10:14 PM   #1
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Default Photo Resolution Help

So, awhile back I did some photos for some friends' of friends. The photos turned out great, they were very happy.
All my photos are at 300ppi and are around 5000x3000 and in .JPG and taken with a Canon t3i. I shoot RAW then edit to JPG.

Here is the problem. I'm getting a few comments that the photos are 'fuzzy' or 'not that sharp'. I did find out that they attempting to print 16x20 prints of these photos, but as far as I know, the dimensions & resolution of the photos should be capable of printing something that big. I have already informed them that a 16x20 is probably not advised, as it is very close to poster size, but now I'm hearing that the 4x6s are not even sharp. I'm so confused.

Can someone help me out?
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 1:02 AM   #2
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I doubt that they will ever get sharp 20x16 prints if they are scanning 5x4 prints.

You where the ones who produced the 5x4 prints, were they sharp, did you sharpen then when you converted them from RAW to JPEG's.

Why not let your "Friend" have the unprocessed RAW files and see what they make of them.

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Old Mar 30, 2015, 7:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul-H View Post
I doubt that they will ever get sharp 20x16 prints if they are scanning 5x4 prints.

You where the ones who produced the 5x4 prints, were they sharp, did you sharpen then when you converted them from RAW to JPEG's.

Why not let your "Friend" have the unprocessed RAW files and see what they make of them.

Paul
The files were all sharp. I did test prints of my own at 4x6 and 5x6", and they are all photo quality prints.
I basically take my RAW files, and turn them to JPG so it's easier for printing. I don't resize them, they get whatever the camera puts out. I save them in PS with a 12 JPG quality @ 300ppi.
Everything I have read claims that the photos should be able to make a print that large with good quality unless there is something I'm not informed of.

http://www.urban75.org/photos/print.html
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 7:34 AM   #4
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Did you give them the image files or prints?

The '300ppi' thing is meaningless. That's an output resolution, and the camera and the image don't determine that. The printer (or other output device) determines that. You could set that at 300ppi or 30ppi and you'd get exactly the same print quality.

The image's resolution determines the print quality. A 5000x3000 image should produce excellent 4x6 prints, but the upsampling process to obtain 16x20 prints would have 187 image pixels per inch which is pushing it.

Upsampling in one step from 5000x3000 to 8000x4800, the resolution necessary to get a 300dpi 16x20 print, will produce less than great results. To get better results, try upsampling the image in multiple steps, such as from 5000x3000 to 5500x3300, and from that to 6000x3600, etc. until you have the 8000x4800 image you need.

The only alternative is to get a higher resolution camera.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 7:55 AM   #5
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How are the photos being printed, and by whom? My impression is that your friends are printing the pictures themselves, or having them done. The pictures your camera is producing will make 16"x10" prints at 300dpi resolution, which is excellent photo quality. Scaling up to 20"x16" isn't that much of a stretch, and should look very good at normal viewing distances, so I suspect a problem with the printing process.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 8:19 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone.
Yes, they are printing the photos themselves.
I think I found my problem. Thanks Tcav.

I've never ran into this problem, because no one has ever really blown an image up beyond 8x10 or an 11x14. So, for those out there that have done portrait stuff for others, what file size/dimensions do you give people for those who want to print on their own?
I thought giving them the full resolution images from my camera was fair.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 12:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kr.j View Post
I thought giving them the full resolution images from my camera was fair.
I agree. I think it was unreasonable of them, or anyone, to print a 5000x3000 resolution image at 16x20. The resulting 187 dpi is lower than the resolution of a fax.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 5:06 PM   #8
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That makes me feel a little better.
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 1:11 PM   #9
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You do realize that the Aspect Ratio of your 3000x5000 pixel images is very wrong for anything other than 3x5" prints, or multiples of that size (6x10", 12x20...), right?

3000x5000 pixel images sounds like they were cropped to that size before you provided them with images if you were using a typical dSLR model with a default aspect ratio of 2:3 (versus the 3:5 aspect ratio a 3000x5000 pixel image has).

So, you may want to crop the image for them for 8x10" or 16x20" print sizes, then resample it to a higher resolution, sharpening to taste. Or, perhaps go back to original image and crop it to a 4:5 aspect ratio used by 8x10" or 16x20" instead for more cropping flexibility. Or, perhaps even give them the uncropped version and let them crop it, just upsampling it for them to a high enough resolution to handle large print sizes better.

There are pros and cons to any solution. But, if you provided images already cropped to the right aspect ratio for 8x10" prints, that might make it easier for them to print at 8x10" or 16x20" sizes without a printer service cropping them badly for the larger print sizes.

With Photoshop, I'd use Bicubic Smoother (not Bicubic Sharper) for resampling to a larger size. Here's an article on the subject:

http://www.digital-photography-workf...ze-images.html

After cropping (assuming you can crop the long side down for 4x5", 8x10" or 16x20" sizes, while leaving the short side at 3000 pixels), then you should be able to resample using 125% (as shown in that article), plus one more resample using 125%, then finally do one more small resample to the 16x20" print size at 300ppi (versus using a tiny percentage like 1.024%) to give you 4800x6000 for 300ppi at a 16x20" print size.

But, you shouldn't need to be exact with that small of a gap after two 125% resamples anyway, unless you just want exactly 300ppi at a 16x20" print size.

Then, very lightly sharpen to taste while looking at it using a 100% viewing size to make sure you're not introducing any sharpening artifacts (as an over sharpened image can look worse than one that is softer to begin with).
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Old Apr 7, 2015, 3:39 PM   #10
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