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Author Topic: How much quality do you really need?  (Read 42570 times)

Rob C

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #20 on: February 29, 2016, 02:29:27 pm »

But there's yet another aspect - quite as important - for me: did I not already own a digital Nikon, then I would probaby have gone for a D800 version just to keep using my existing Nikkors.

One step further along that line of thought: had I no existing lenses at all, I might well have been very tempted by the Canon system if only for its 24mm T/S lens. That assumes a younger man than I am today, with career prospects still alive and well, and so nothing is ever exactly the same in these 'choice' situations.

Rob C

myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #21 on: February 29, 2016, 03:10:26 pm »

But there's yet another aspect - quite as important - for me: did I not already own a digital Nikon, then I would probaby have gone for a D800 version just to keep using my existing Nikkors.

One step further along that line of thought: had I no existing lenses at all, I might well have been very tempted by the Canon system if only for its 24mm T/S lens. That assumes a younger man than I am today, with career prospects still alive and well, and so nothing is ever exactly the same in these 'choice' situations.

Rob C

Yes there is a big difference between buying afresh and building on what you have. Even if you are convinced that a D700 or D200 would be good enough, most would go for the best of what is currently available, to improve future proofing. Assuming you have the money.

Graham
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #22 on: February 29, 2016, 03:38:27 pm »

If you are sticking only with 17 inch wide prints, lots of cameras will work just fine.  I had a D300 ever since it came out and had no issues with it at all.  A friend of mine has a 24 inch wide Epson printer (can't remember the model number) and he made two prints for me from two of my better images.  If you look up close at the prints you can see issues related to the sensor size BUT if you put them on a wall and look from what would be a normal viewing distance they look just fine.  Too many people don't get this aspect and just want to pixel peep.  almost any image will show some flaws upon close inspection but look just fine from a normal distance.  Remember that we are really spoiled these days by having such a choice of printers.  I imagine that many of us who shot 35mm film in the day only did darkroom work up to 8 x 10.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #23 on: February 29, 2016, 03:45:30 pm »

Hi,

First I would mention that Ctein (a very well know dye transfer printer and darkroom expert) said that the 16 MP he had on his 4/3 camera was good enough for A2 size prints. A2 is around 16"x23".

Now, I normally print A2 and I was quite happy printing from 12 MP APS-C. When I went from 12MP APS-C to 24 MP on 24x36 mm I did see some improvement, but not all the time. In at least one case I preferred a 16MP print to a 24MP print, but they were very close.

So, I would say that yes, 16 MP is good enough for A2, 16"x23", C-print.

A couple years ago I bought a used P45+ back for the Hasselblad V-series. That back has 39 MP. The advantage of 39 MP over 24 MP was very visible pixel peeping on screen. But, I have seen absolutely any advantage of the larger sensor in A2-size prints. Larger formats, yes I think the differences were more noticeable.

Printing 30"x40" I would guess that say 40 MP has a clear advantage over say 20 MP, if the print is viewed close.

On the other hand, I have a 30"x40" print on my wall made from a 10 MP image and it is quite OK when viewed at arm's length distance. So, you can make large prints from small image files.

Best regards
Erik
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #24 on: February 29, 2016, 04:28:13 pm »

The CP+ show this year was a revelatin from that standpoint.

The Olympus and Fuji booth had very nice A1 prints made from 16mp cameras and most of them were looking great. Yes, they had selected a good deal of bokeh heavy shots where the rendering of the lens dominates (and those lenses are second to none in terms of look), but there were still some with detail and they were ok.

Cheers,
Bernard

ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #25 on: February 29, 2016, 05:00:53 pm »

Thanks!

:-) Erik :-)

The CP+ show this year was a revelatin from that standpoint.

The Olympus and Fuji booth had very nice A1 prints made from 16mp cameras and most of them were looking great. Yes, they had selected a good deal of bokeh heavy shots where the rendering of the lens dominates (and those lenses are second to none in terms of look), but there were still some with detail and they were ok.

Cheers,
Bernard
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #26 on: February 29, 2016, 05:42:02 pm »

If you are sticking only with 17 inch wide prints, lots of cameras will work just fine.  I had a D300 ever since it came out and had no issues with it at all.  A friend of mine has a 24 inch wide Epson printer (can't remember the model number) and he made two prints for me from two of my better images.  If you look up close at the prints you can see issues related to the sensor size BUT if you put them on a wall and look from what would be a normal viewing distance they look just fine.  Too many people don't get this aspect and just want to pixel peep.  almost any image will show some flaws upon close inspection but look just fine from a normal distance.  Remember that we are really spoiled these days by having such a choice of printers.  I imagine that many of us who shot 35mm film in the day only did darkroom work up to 8 x 10.

Thanks, that fits in reasonably well with the D700 threshold idea I suggested.   

I tended to do 8x 6 and 15 x12 prints or 7" square which is still my favourite size.

Cheers,
Graham
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #27 on: February 29, 2016, 05:48:55 pm »

Hi,

First I would mention that Ctein (a very well know dye transfer printer and darkroom expert) said that the 16 MP he had on his 4/3 camera was good enough for A2 size prints. A2 is around 16"x23".

So, I would say that yes, 16 MP is good enough for A2, 16"x23", C-print.


Printing 30"x40" I would guess that say 40 MP has a clear advantage over say 20 MP, if the print is viewed close.

On the other hand, I have a 30"x40" print on my wall made from a 10 MP image and it is quite OK when viewed at arm's length distance. So, you can make large prints from small image files.

Best regards
Erik

As larger prints will tend to be viewed at greater distance, it looks like "around"  12mp does indeed seem to be a reasonable threshold.  But as has been suggested earlier it does depend on your end point and if you know large prints are needed then then you probably start to need all the pixels you can get.

Cheers,
Graham
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #28 on: February 29, 2016, 05:54:49 pm »

The CP+ show this year was a revelatin from that standpoint.

The Olympus and Fuji booth had very nice A1 prints made from 16mp cameras and most of them were looking great. Yes, they had selected a good deal of bokeh heavy shots where the rendering of the lens dominates (and those lenses are second to none in terms of look), but there were still some with detail and they were ok.

Cheers,
Bernard

Interesting you say "most" were looking great. I wonder if that says more about image choice and post processing than the 16mp.

Cheers,

Graham
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #29 on: February 29, 2016, 06:04:40 pm »

Interesting you say "most" were looking great. I wonder if that says more about image choice and post processing than the 16mp.

Graham,

For landscape shots, I felt that more detail and better texture rendition would have helped, but those images still looked great from a distance of 70-80cm.

Cheers,
Bernard

myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #30 on: February 29, 2016, 06:15:47 pm »

Graham,

For landscape shots, I felt that more detail and better texture rendition would have helped, but those images still looked great from a distance of 70-80cm.

Cheers,
Bernard

Bernard,

Do you think this was a limitation of the sensor, or the processing - I know its difficult to tell, but its interesting that you picked up on this.

Cheers,

Graham
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luxborealis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #31 on: February 29, 2016, 07:15:57 pm »

I am greatly enjoying this discussion. Finally, a reality check and some some candid opinions. You'll never see discussion like this on a sell-sell-sell ad-driven site.

Having moved from the 12mp E30 w/ Zuiko Digital lenses to The D800E w/ Nikkors, suffice it to say the improvement in print quality is obvious.

However, I still have a number of 16x20ish sized prints on the wall from my 5mp Minolta Dimage 7i, my 5mp E-1 and my E-30. As Slobodan said - emotional impact weighs more heavily than raw print quality.
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NancyP

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #32 on: February 29, 2016, 08:00:16 pm »

I am now at the point where I need to invest in classes that make me think and expose me to a variety of other photographers. I have a 17" printer and live in a small apartment with limited wall space - I don't see myself wanting to hang 50" x 70" prints. The current 20 MP camera (6D) is a pretty good camera as long as I don't have an urge to do serious cropping.

Graham, my search for the perfect photo backpack comes from the realization that the camping backpack carries so much better than the one-size photo packs. Even the new f/stop women's pack (smaller harness torso size, but still too big for me) that I got on a Kickstarter drive is not ideal for a long day. I'd like a good heavier-load day pack anyway (my micro-pack is good for about 10 pounds - water and 10 essentials and jacket and home-made "frame"/foam sit-kneel pad in the water bladder slot), I will likely get a smaller version of my multiday Osprey pack.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #33 on: February 29, 2016, 08:41:27 pm »

Do you think this was a limitation of the sensor, or the processing - I know its difficult to tell, but its interesting that you picked up on this.

Probably a mix of both. I did feel right 1m away, but over-sharpened when looked up too close.

Cheers,
Bernard

BernardLanguillier

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #34 on: February 29, 2016, 08:50:09 pm »

I will likely get a smaller version of my multiday Osprey pack.

That's what I have been doing for many years and it works well.

I currently use a 3-4 years old Variant 37 and love it. It is both reasonnably light, pretty tough and has enough rigidity to support a heavy tripod (RRS 3 series) carried transversally on top of the bag under the lid.

I have never found a photobag usable for serious walking in terms of confort, functions and layout. The very idea that photo equipment can account for more than 40% in volume of the equipment you must carry reveals a fundamental lack of understanding of wilderness walking.

IMHO.

Cheers,
Bernard

myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2016, 12:41:04 am »

I am greatly enjoying this discussion. Finally, a reality check and some some candid opinions. You'll never see discussion like this on a sell-sell-sell ad-driven site.

Having moved from the 12mp E30 w/ Zuiko Digital lenses to The D800E w/ Nikkors, suffice it to say the improvement in print quality is obvious.

However, I still have a number of 16x20ish sized prints on the wall from my 5mp Minolta Dimage 7i, my 5mp E-1 and my E-30. As Slobodan said - emotional impact weighs more heavily than raw print quality.

Terry,

A great direct comparison of the sort I was interested in.

Also when you say quality, is it an overall contrast, tonal and colour gradation obvious from normal viewing distances, or looking close at the detail and sharpness.

As you say emotional impact is the important thing, and once the quality reaches a threshold where it doesn't obviously prevent the photograph working, I can't say I have ever looked at a good photograph and then taken the time to critique how sharp and detailed it was.

Having said that I wonder how much sharpness and detail affect our perception of the photograph even if we aren't consciously judging it. Noise seems to degrade quality (contrast and gradation) before it becomes an obvious problem. 

Cheers,
Graham
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Petrus

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2016, 12:47:57 am »

I will likely get a smaller version of my multiday Osprey pack.

There is the magic word: "Osprey". We (wife & I) have been using Osprey Stratos (panel loading) and Talon (top loading) daypacks in sizes from 24 to 44 liters for our trips around China/Tibet/Nepal, SAE and Middle East. Sometimes EVERYTHING stuffed inside a 24 liter pack for flights, including cameras and a messenger type shoulder bag to be used as a camera bag at the location. No checked luggage at all.

Camera specific packs are uncomfortable and clumsy. With simple gear it is easy to just wrap them to spare clothes for the transport.
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2016, 12:48:54 am »

I am now at the point where I need to invest in classes that make me think and expose me to a variety of other photographers. I have a 17" printer and live in a small apartment with limited wall space - I don't see myself wanting to hang 50" x 70" prints. The current 20 MP camera (6D) is a pretty good camera as long as I don't have an urge to do serious cropping.

Graham, my search for the perfect photo backpack comes from the realization that the camping backpack carries so much better than the one-size photo packs. Even the new f/stop women's pack (smaller harness torso size, but still too big for me) that I got on a Kickstarter drive is not ideal for a long day. I'd like a good heavier-load day pack anyway (my micro-pack is good for about 10 pounds - water and 10 essentials and jacket and home-made "frame"/foam sit-kneel pad in the water bladder slot), I will likely get a smaller version of my multiday Osprey pack.

Yes, the extra pixels certainly give that security of cropping.   Camera bags are an ongoing night mare for anyone who doesn't just work from the back of the car. The best solution I found was to match the rucksack opening with a normal but squarish shoulder style camera bag so it fitted exactly into the top of the rucksack.  This let you work out the top of the rucksack, but also let you use the camera bag separately.

Cheers,

Graham
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2016, 12:51:24 am »

Probably a mix of both. I did feel right 1m away, but over-sharpened when looked up too close.

Cheers,
Bernard

I know from personal experience how easy it is to oversharpen, and how horrible it looks once you realise you are doing it.

Cheers,

Graham
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2016, 01:53:46 am »

Hi,

Just to add a few points:

Some while ago I have been involved in a discussion about print sizes and essentially suggested 16 MP was enough for A2 size prints as I personally did not see benefits of going above 24 MP at that size and I was quite happy with 12 MP mostly.

An experienced printer indicated clearly that there was a visible advantage of 36 MP over 16 MP in A2 size prints, at least on glossy prints. I have not done that much of comparisons. I think that was very good input.

The other point is that we need small enough pixels to match the resolution of the lens for proper rendition. If the lens outresolves the sensor there will always be artefacts that may be visible or not.

The attached image is an actual pixel crop showing the difference between 6.8micron MFD sensor and a 4.5 micron 24x36 sensor using the same lens from the same camera position. The 4.5 micron image was downsized to match the larger pixel image. Note how much better rendition is 4.5 micron image on the left than on the 6.8 micron image on the right, although both images represent same resolution, 39 MP 0n 37x49mm.

So, for proper rendition you would like a high resolution sensor, matching the lens. That is one reason that megapixels (almost) always are good. Another one is that having excess resolution allows for cropping.

Added:
I also added a comparison of the two images without downscaling the 4.5 micron image. Both those screen dumps need to be viewed at actual pixels in the browser as downscaling in the browser adds it's own artefacts.

Best regards
Erik

« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 02:26:34 am by ErikKaffehr »
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