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I have been asked to do some large pictures for the decor of a newly refurbished public house (inn, bar). It opens in three weeks so I have to move quickly.

 

The expectation is that they will need to be about 36 x 24 in (90x60cm) or maybe a little smaller. I am thinking I can get away with a pixel count of around 120-160px/inch as they will not be intended for close up viewing - it is not a gallery setting. It is a resolution I have been comfortable with using in the past for large display prints. I will be struggling at that size to get higher pixel count even with my 20Mpx Canon 1Ds3. I know I can interpolate, and probably will, but that does not generate any more information so I am thinking about what minimum base resolution I can use. There will be no money to hire a M/F outfit.

 

What have other people used in similar situations? I have gone up to 18x12in or so from 4Mpx in the early days of digital (about 100px/in) - OK on the wall but does not bear scrutiny close-up or under magnification but then that is not the intention. We use around 72-96px/in on HD monitors. Anybody any thoughts?

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I've had large prints done from a 1 Ds (Mark I) at 1.5m x 1.0m - and some even bigger ones. I asked the printers to interpolate and sharpen as necessary - and they printed at 300 dpi. Don't worry about it. Your pixel count should be fine. 

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I've had large prints done from a 1 Ds (Mark I) at 1.5m x 1.0m - and some even bigger ones. I asked the printers to interpolate and sharpen as necessary - and they printed at 300 dpi. Don't worry about it. Your pixel count should be fine. 

 

That's my thinking, thanks  - the 1Ds1 was only 10Mpx, I have twice that :)

 

Taking your advice I looked at whether my proposed printer would do as yours did. As you found, 1.2 x 1.6m is max size they will do from a 10Mpx file. I will be working with around 16 or 20Mpx images depending on which camera I use.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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Some while ago I was asked by my younger son to provide him with a photo of himself as a child. They were intending to have a competition at his work, trying to match the photos with the people there. Assuming that this would be done via computer screens, I supplied a low res image suitable for that purpose. As it turned out, all of the photos were printed to A4 size and mounted on card. It's remarkably, even incredibly, good. We still have the print on display. You can get to be too obsessed with pixels.

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I had an image from a 10 MP camera lease on Alamy for "billboard" use. The sale went through ($500), so I assume there were enough pixels.  It could have been a very small billboard, of course.

Edited by John Mitchell

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"Small billboard? Isn't that an oxymoron? 

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Years ago I did a studio shot of tv talk show host Steve Wilkos that was blown up to appx 4ft for a Duratran that hung for years in the Chicago NBC TV studio building lobby.

The tv studio had the lab do it and they wanted a TIF file. I used the Canon 5D with possibly the 85mm 1.8 lens on a tripod with the overhead studio lights arranged by the Union to my liking.They don't let you plug anything in over there or use remotes so I had no choice.

It came out really nice,I had received a lot of compliments thru the years.It looked good close up as well as further away.

 

L

Edited by Linda

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Thanks folks, that was my thinking but as I won't have time to get it wrong it seemed a good idea to check.

 

In the past, for slightly smaller prints for my own use I have worked on the basis that 150dpi or even slightly fewer is fine for most display or decor  purposes. 300dpi only really needed for small hand-held print viewed at arms length or less. So viewed from at least 3 times that distance 100dpi should be fine; for billboards (big ones) I have heard they use under 25dpi - viewed at ten or more yards.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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The source image has to be dead on perfect but I've printed a couple at 90 DPI. You and I could see pixelization but the casual observer won't - even from close range.

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For an exhibition a couple of years ago I had a print made from my 12MP D300 that is about 9 x 6ft. Its printed on PVC (it was the print made for the big sign on the roadside) and its amazing. Even from a 5-6ft away it looks good, and from 10ft or so it looks perfectly sharp. We are indeed too obsessed with pixels.

Cheers
Col

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For what it is worth Fine Art America say it should be 100 DPI minimum, and presumably they would play a little safe, not wanting large prints returned too often,

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Thanks everyone, I should get an idea today what size is needed and then I start shooting.

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It does depend on end usage and client knowledge and experience of course. Standard dpi for Lambda / Epsilon / Lightjet chromogenic prints is 254. Those would be for exhibition / sale through a good gallery. Made from scans from negatives or original digi files. 

 

I photographed some WW1 posters the other day for a museum who wanted to put replicas into schools. They varied in size from about 3 feet wide up to just over 4. I used 18 megapixel camera and they were fine - for that use. Wouldn't satisfy me for exhibition / print sale use at that size although others might be happy.  Good lens helps as well though, I used Leica Summicron. 

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Martin, on Fine Art America they have 100ppi as a minimum, so the longest pixel side determines the max print size. At 100ppi, I would think that the image quality would need to be good though.

 

I can't imagine that your 20mp Canon is not up to it. I've had 40" prints done on FAA from 10mp/12mp Nikon D200/D300 cameras - but with pro lenses, and usually shot on a tripod with remote release. A handheld kit lens may not be sharp enough at 100ppi.

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Rick,

 

I will be using the Canon with L glass (24-70, 100mm macro perhaps) and unusually for me on a tripod with studio flash/strobes, so I will be well into the lens sweet spot. So if I can't get it bitingly sharp I probably ought to sell my kit!

 

At 100ppi my Canon would produce an image well over 50inches wide.

 

Start shooting on Thursday if the designers gets back to me today.

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I had an image from a 10 MP camera lease on Alamy for "billboard" use. The sale went through ($500), so I assume there were enough pixels.  It could have been a very small billboard, of course.

Billboards are often printed at 18-25ppi, depending on the size of the billboard and the viewing distance, so 10mp may just do it.

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If in doubt, add a big white boarder!

 

This has the advantage of making them look more expensive!

Edited by York Photographer

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If in doubt, add a big white boarder!

 

This has the advantage of making them look more expensive!

Can you discriminate like that? If you take in boarders you cannot choose by race, sex or ethnicity. Or maybe you meant 'borders'? :)

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If in doubt, add a big white boarder!

 

This has the advantage of making them look more expensive!

Can you discriminate like that? If you take in boarders you cannot choose by race, sex or ethnicity. Or maybe you meant 'borders'? :)

 

 

Never said I could spell, that's why I (allegedly) take pictures for a living!

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If in doubt, add a big white boarder!

 

This has the advantage of making them look more expensive!

Can you discriminate like that? If you take in boarders you cannot choose by race, sex or ethnicity. Or maybe you meant 'borders'? :)

 

 

Never said I could spell, that's why I (allegedly) take pictures for a living!

 

When I was about 12 my Mother was told by someone who's opinion she respected - "that son of yours will never amount to anything because he is no good at mathematics". How right he was!

  • Upvote 1

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If you are doing landscapes of static subjects you could try stitching together two or more photos.

Edited by Phil Robinson

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I won't be. I am shooting product and brewing pictures for a brewery tap, the brewers home public house.

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Hire a medium format?

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Hire a medium format?

 

I would love to but there is no budget, I am doing it as a favour for some people who have given me access to their brewing business for a long term personal project. It is forcing me out of my comfort zone as well and hopefully it will lead to other things.Probably end up getting payment in kind - oh what a shame ;) . Will I have to put one bottle in five aside for the taxman?

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For what it is worth Fine Art America say it should be 100 DPI minimum, and presumably they would play a little safe, not wanting large prints returned too often,

Hi, I'm curious about where FAA makes such a statement.  I could not find one, but I did find several images that would have to be printed at 85 - 90 PPI to meet the size that was offered for sale.  You can determine the print resolution for images with the close-up preview enabled, because that view tells you the pixel dimensions of the underlying image.

 

Regards

Lionel

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