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Thread: printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

  1. #1

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    printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

    Hi, can any of you recommend where I could print higher quality then the usual/general 300dpi?
    Is it worth it at all, what do you think?
    Though I see pretty nice prints in 300 dpi, just wondering if I print in A3 I loose a lot of details by downsampling my original scan... would be wonderful to keep all that.

    a recommendation for this kind of print-shop possibly within Europe or more likely Germany/Switzerland would be very much appreciated!
    thanks a lot in advance and any idea welcome!
    (sorry if there was already topics on this, at least I couldnt find..)
    Aron

  2. #2
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

    Any Lambda lab in Europe can print your files at 400ppi.

    You would only see the difference in very small type btw.

  3. #3

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    Re: printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

    thanks for the tip, it helped!
    I found one seems like very cool with reasonable prices and "best" quality: www.whitewall.com
    Im curious to see the difference for the same image printed only in A3...

  4. #4
    mortensen's Avatar
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    Re: printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

    Grieger in Düsseldorf prints for Gursky, Massimo Vitali etc... HSL Digital (also in Düsseldorf) prints for Axel Hütte, Candida Höfer and so forth... just a thought

    ... but wouldn't you need a loupe to perceive detail greater than 300dpi?

  5. #5

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    Re: printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

    For a while I tried printing at higher than 360dpi on my Epson printer, but discovered that it took more work to properly sharpen the images, and as a result the image quality was actually lower.

  6. #6
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

    A friend of mine does commercial sign writing, and has 3 A1+ printers (2 Rolands and a Mutoh).

    He recently changed to printing at higher DPIs as he found that it used less ink. Something to do with the dot depth (height) being greater on lower DPI than high.

    Not specifically related to your question, but something to ponder for those home printing!
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  7. #7
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lachlan 717 View Post
    He recently changed to printing at higher DPIs as he found that it used less ink. Something to do with the dot depth (height) being greater on lower DPI than high.
    I haven't done this experiment personally, but a couple of others have found the opposite result on epson printers ... slightly higher ink use at 720ppi than at 360. It would all come down to the algorithm the driver uses to determine the final dots.


    With inkjet, it may be best to follow the paper manufacturer's recommendations. The only papers I've used that come with recommendation to use 720ppi are perfectly smooth RC papers. Even the gloss baryta papers say 360. In the couple of side by side tests I've done with fiber based baryta papers, I could see no difference in fine detail between the two settings (these were images that had detail above 720ppi). I saw slightly smoother tones and more accurate tonal rendering at 360. I'm guessing this is because the manufacturer made the ICC curves at 360, finding no advantage to going higher on this paper.

    A 300ppi image will resolve up to 6 lp/mm, and since it's digital it can do so at very high contrast. This allows a very sharp, detailed rendering—with a good image and proper sharpening it will resemble a contact print. It is possible, if you have good eyes and excellent lighting, and are looking at an image with very high contrast, high frequency information, to discern details up to around 11 lp/mm. However, doing so is largely a clinical exercise. Study after study has found that detail finer than 5lp/mm is of little importance to our eyes. It is barely discernible, and when it is soft (likely) it can have the opposite of the desired effect—looking more like fuzz than like detail, and lowering the percieved contrast of the more important detail in the 1 to 5 lp/mm range.

    Higher resolutions can be more important with line art and type, or occasionally, to prevent aliasing on sharp lines that are just fractions of a degree off of vertical or horizontal. I haven't seen this kind of aliasing in years ... it's possible that newer inkjet dot algorithms have taken care of the problem.

  8. #8

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    Re: printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

    FYI the Epsons and the other large format printers using Epson print heads, Mimaki, Mutoh & Roland, all have native resolutions based around 360 DPI.

    The heads have the nozzles spaced at either 1/180" or IIRC 1/360" for the latest printers.
    So for the Y axis -> paper advance direction it takes two passes with a 1/180" advance in between to give 360 DPI. The X axis resolution is determined by the cariage speed and nozzle firing rates plus the number of passes. It's quite an impressive achievement to get that all happening with suficient accuracy without sacrificing too much speed.

    It's amazing how much control the Professional RIPS have over the large format machines and some Epsons, for example carriage speed is controllable and in addition you can set multiple passes for different resoutions, plus drying times at the end of each carriage pass.

    The result is putting down heavier ink loads for less dot gain than would be possible with less passes, allowing a larger gamut, higher dmax and better resolution.

    Anyway IIRC normal RA-4 paper has a resolution of ~250 DPI, though I don't remmeber where I read this, and it was likely for optical enlargement.
    Lasers or minute LED's used for exposing halide based paper may augment this number, it wold make sense actually otherwise why would the lightjet et al. have been manufactured to give 400 DPI.

    Seeing the differences at proper viewing distances -> that's another matter...

    peace out

    Glenn
    Last edited by ruckusman; 6-Feb-2013 at 17:20. Reason: TYPO - an important one too...

  9. #9
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

    Resolution numbers of analog materials are quite arbitrary. There is no hard cutoff; contrast simply diminishes toward the noise floor as the spatial frequency goes up. If we're looking at an old fashioned resolution test pattern, we have to determine at what point the pattern vanishes. This will depend on lighting and the eyes of the person looking. At any rate, the information isn't very useful, because detail that's anywhere near this "extinction resolution" will have such low contrast as to be insignificant, from a photographic point of view. It will be mush.

    I would imagine that RA4 material would be able to resolve very high frequencies, but it's possible that you'd be in mush territory much past 250lpi. I would think you'd see limits of the enlarging optics (if you're printing that way) long before you run into limits of the paper.

  10. #10

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    Re: printing above 300dpi, where (and why)?

    In my testing of targets with several Epson printers (7600, 3800, 3880) I found that the Epson driver can not take advantage of any file larger than 360 dpi. You can send it 720 dpi or 1440 dpi, but the resolution will still be no more than 360 dpi. If you print with QTR, however, you can send files up to 720 dpi and see the discrimination on the print. My tests were on Epson enhanced matte.

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
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