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I have an image that I need to upsize to very large dimensions -- over ten feet on the long side. The original is a 53MB scan. Any advice on the best way to go about this?

 

Thanks.

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Hi John. I'm presuming the scan is from an original neg or transparency. Is there any way you could have the original rescanned at a higher resolution? If not genuine fractals used to be the way to go although I haven't tried it. My recent film scans from 35mm transparencies have been downsized due to quality issues rather than upsized; probably depends on final usage.

Sorry I can't be more help. 

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24 minutes ago, Joe Gaul said:

Hi John. I'm presuming the scan is from an original neg or transparency. Is there any way you could have the original rescanned at a higher resolution? If not genuine fractals used to be the way to go although I haven't tried it. My recent film scans from 35mm transparencies have been downsized due to quality issues rather than upsized; probably depends on final usage.

Sorry I can't be more help. 

 

Yes, it's a scan of a 35mm slide made with a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000. It passed Alamy QC a few years ago. A private client is going to use it for wall display.

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Unfortunately, I don't have genuine fractals and scanning at a higher rez is too expensive. However, I think I've managed to do a decent job of upsizing with PhotoShop -- resampling / bicubic smoother.

 

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Before you print it John, make sure you sharpen and do a test print of a representative section of he photo. You could print a, for example, 12x8 inch section of the photo and view it from a suitable viewing distance. if it looks good on the small sample your sharpening is good and you can commit to that giant print. A few years back I was in an exhibition in Quebec and my photo was the one printed to about 10 x 6 feet. It was from a 12MP D300 file and I was astounded by how sharp it was. It was than that I really understood the futility of chasing ever increasing megapixel counts. 

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4 hours ago, Colin Woods said:

Before you print it John, make sure you sharpen and do a test print of a representative section of he photo. You could print a, for example, 12x8 inch section of the photo and view it from a suitable viewing distance. if it looks good on the small sample your sharpening is good and you can commit to that giant print. A few years back I was in an exhibition in Quebec and my photo was the one printed to about 10 x 6 feet. It was from a 12MP D300 file and I was astounded by how sharp it was. It was than that I really understood the futility of chasing ever increasing megapixel counts. 

 

Thanks for the tips, Colin, but I won't be doing any printing at my end as I'm not well equipped in that department. Makes sense, though.

 

My highest sale on Alamy was for billboard use. The image was captured with a 10MP Sony DSLR. I guess there might be something to be said for those nice big pixels when it comes to upsizing.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I don't know a lot about this but I do know that billboard size  printing uses a totally different process to normal photographic printing (true photographic or inkjet) and the normal size rules don't apply. You should probably just send the original file to the lab and let them deal with it. 

 

For normal photographic printing, you don't want to be printing at less than about 240 ppi so a minimum size of about 1984 pixels on the short side is right for A4, 2806 pixels on the short side for A3 and so on. How much upsizing you can do will depend on the quality of the original image obviously and pixel size is important. There will definitely be a noticeable deterioration in quality beyond a certain point.

 

For this reason I have to politely disagree with Colin about pixel counts who I recall uses a 24MP D750. This is indeed an excellent camera but the higher MP cameras (D810, D850) allow a lot more freedom in cropping which can be invaluable. It's not about how big the image can print, it's about what it will look like on screen for stock or for a client.

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