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Printing DPI - Sense at last.

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by Dave_Rosser, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Dave_Rosser

    Dave_Rosser Member

    I was delighted to see that AP has at last seen the light in terms of what resolution original is required to produce excellent prints on modern injet printers. In an answer in this weeks AskAP to a question on "what level of resolution is required in a digital camera to obtain first-class A3 & A4 prints" Ian Farrell gave the answer 200dpi and futher added he had never seen the advantage of going up to 300dpi.
    It has always amazed me that AP has stuck to the 300dpi mantra for so long (this camera will print 10.76543"x7.1770" at 300dpi etc.). The whole 300dpi thing is a printing industry yardstick where high quality magazines like AP are printed using 150lpi screens and to avoid aliasing with the screen and producing nasty moir effects the original dpi must be roughly a factor of 2 or so different that is either 75dpi or less or 300dpi or more. In the past this yardstick seems to have be ingrained into the heads of AP's editorial staff to the extent that they totally ignored the fact that inkjet printers operate quite differently from magazine screen printing and ignored the advice of inkjet manufacturers such as Epson who recomended 180dpi as been adequate for large prints.
    Anyway it seems the penny has dropped at last, I hope we have seen the last of 300dpi and its associated 4 decimal place print sizes.
  2. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    Used to be 240 when I worked with a printer.
  3. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    Many online printers require 300DPI for printing, otherwise their systems sulk and give you midget prints.
  4. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    While I agree in general.

    Surely it make sense to have a file that is at maximum quality and therefore works on all printing medium.

    So once you have done your work on say PS you save it at a level for dye sub printing. From there you can then down size to other printing system to save time and space for lower res printing.

    Therefore I can understand AP stating the higher 300dpi.
  5. Dave_Rosser

    Dave_Rosser Member

    You save it the full resolution of your camera - I have never understood this setting 300dpi in Photoshop - another throw back to it's commercial printing origins - it's only a tag in the metadata anyway, it does not alter the image one iota unless you also specify a size in which case your image is re-sized and why would you want to do that?

    My D700 images stay in RAW format, I work on them in Lightroom - I can print from Lightroom and though there is a print resolution option the advice from Adobe experts is to leave that unchecked and let Lightroom do the neccessary scaling and sharpening internally.

    If I export from Lightroom to say QImagePro I export as a TIFF, I accept it speeds things up a bit to divide the dimension I want on the print into the number of pixles on that side in the original to get a number of pixle per inch that Qimage will initially open the image at but it is not essential.

    I only ever re-size images when I export for the web etc. For printing I always use the full original size which is overkill for small prints but then Lightroom and QImage re-scale them anyway.

    The point is, though, that modern high quality injet printers don't need 300dpi to produce high quality results.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  6. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    Mr Farrell was executed at first light this morning, so normal 300ppi (Pixels Per Inch) service will resume immediately.

    Inkjet printers use dpi to lay their dots, while when working with image files we determine how many pixels we want to use for every inch of paper printed (ppi). I agree that in many cases it is enough to spread just 200 pixels across that inch, but for the highest quality results I still think you will produce sharper, more detailed (though of course smaller) prints if you cram 300 little pieces of information into each inch.

    Just as with our circles of confusion, much depends on the distance from which your prints will be viewed. If you have ever seen a photographer at an exhibition you will know that the distance in question is 7-8cm, no matter what size the print. ;)
  7. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    What! No trial. No last minute appeal. What was his last wish? :D

    I've seen people look closer than even 7cm.

    On a serious note I believe there is a equation for minimum viewing distance of images for display which then gives you the ppi needed for that view. I think it assums you wish to view the complete image as a composition.

    But I could be wrong, anyone know?
  8. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    wrong place to be asking that question.....and I certainly won't be answering it either......
  9. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Good point and I think I have worked it out anyway. :)

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