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Author Topic: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what  (Read 38792 times)

David Watson

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Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« on: October 06, 2011, 10:46:27 am »

I have read lost of stuff about the resolution required for printing.  Some of it seems contradictory and I would appreciate some advice.

I use Epson 3880 and 7900 printers printing through Imageprint 8.  I have been told that I will get best results if I set the image resolution to 360dpi but I am unable to tell the difference (other than print size) between an image with the resolution set to 300dpi and one set to 360dpi in PS CS5.  I am aware that the RIP may have its own ideas about what DPI it should be printing at but I would have thought that there would have been a noticeable difference.

Furthermore a well respected fine art printer in London (printing on Epson printers) told me he sets the image resolution to 600 DPI.

Is there a definitively correct answer to this?
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David Watson ARPS

neile

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 11:30:04 am »

Hi David,

Read this thread: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=54798.0.

Then if you want more, try searching for "resolution" in the search box. There are many past threads on this subject.

Neil
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David Watson

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 11:44:42 am »

Thank you

Question answered
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David Watson ARPS

deanwork

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 11:42:11 pm »

I get the best results using 353.5 ppi. It's divisible by something.
 
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Schewe

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 01:51:08 am »

Read this thread: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=54798.0.

Then if you want more, try searching for "resolution" in the search box. There are many past threads on this subject.

Based on that thread (and a natural curiosity) I decided to do some tests and write an article for DPP magazine...the net/net result is that if your native image resolution (at the print dimensions) puts the PPI below 360 (for Epson, 300 for HP & Canon) upsample to 360 PPI (300 PPI) before printing and then do your output sharpening (easy in LR).

If the native rez is above 360 but below 720 PPI (600 PPI for HP & Canon) upsample to 720 PPI (or 600 PPI) and then output sharpen.

The advantages are visible to the naked eye (if you know what to look for) and generally involve a high contrast diagonal or circle and/or super high frequency texture.

Test it yourself (I did before writing the article).

It's easy to upsample and then output sharpen in Lightroom...more difficult (but doable) in Photoshop...
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 03:26:54 am »

If the native rez is above 360 but below 720 PPI (600 PPI for HP & Canon) upsample to 720 PPI (or 600 PPI) and then output sharpen.
Jeff, do you recommend that approach even if the native resolution is only just above 360? I seem to find I have images which work out at about 420ppi, which seems a rather long way below 720.

Jeremy
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Schewe

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 03:37:44 am »

Jeff, do you recommend that approach even if the native resolution is only just above 360? I seem to find I have images which work out at about 420ppi, which seems a rather long way below 720.

If you are printing out to an Epson pro printer whose driver has a Finest Detail setting (the 3880 and above including the 78/9800, 7890/9890, 79/9900 and 4900), yes...the main reason is the ability to upsample and then sharpen and print using Finest Detail (which reports itself as a 720 PPI device)...for the consumer printer it's not an open and shut case as it it for the pro printers....
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 01:18:26 pm »

If you are printing out to an Epson pro printer whose driver has a Finest Detail setting (the 3880 and above including the 78/9800, 7890/9890, 79/9900 and 4900), yes...the main reason is the ability to upsample and then sharpen and print using Finest Detail (which reports itself as a 720 PPI device)...for the consumer printer it's not an open and shut case as it it for the pro printers....
Thanks - how about a 3800?

Jeremy
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 02:00:51 pm »

Thanks - how about a 3800?

Jeremy
That's my question, too.

My 3800 does have a "finest detail" setting under "quality options" in the print settings. When I get a chance, I intend to try printing one at 360 and another at 720 to see if I can see the difference.

Of course, if Jeff answers first, I'll take his word for it.

Eric
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Schewe

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2011, 02:41:13 pm »

Thanks - how about a 3800?

As long as you have a Finest Detail button as an option, yes...the R3000 doesn't so without more testing I'm not sure you'll get much advantage to upsampling to 720 since the print pipeline will end up downsampling it back down to 360 PPI.

In the case of Canon and HP, the highest 600 PPI should report the printer as a 600 PPI device.
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2011, 05:19:50 pm »

As long as you have a Finest Detail button as an option, yes...the R3000 doesn't so without more testing I'm not sure you'll get much advantage to upsampling to 720 since the print pipeline will end up downsampling it back down to 360 PPI.
Thanks again. I'll have a look.

Jeremy
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2011, 05:33:03 pm »

Thanks for that, Jeff. Very helpful.

Eric
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texshooter

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2011, 04:23:05 am »

So you would never downsample unless the image's original resolution was above 720 dpi?  

If my image started at 420 dpi, I've been downsampling to 360 dpi and sending it off to the Epson 3800 to print at 360 dpi native. My thinking was that it's better to lose 60 dpi of IQ from a PS-driven downsample than it is to lose  300 dpi of IQ from the printer driver's upsample interpolation, regardless of post-sampling sharpening.


If I understand you, it's better to upsample from 420 dpi to 720 dpi  and send off to the printer preset to finest detail (720dpi)because it makes print sharpening easier/better? And this higher sharpening IQ more than offsets the alternative downsampling degredation?
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 04:26:43 am by texshooter »
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2011, 06:41:54 am »

So you would never downsample unless the image's original resolution was above 720 dpi? 

If my image started at 420 dpi, I've been downsampling to 360 dpi and sending it off to the Epson 3800 to print at 360 dpi native. My thinking was that it's better to lose 60 dpi of IQ from a PS-driven downsample than it is to lose  300 dpi of IQ from the printer driver's upsample interpolation, regardless of post-sampling sharpening.


If I understand you, it's better to upsample from 420 dpi to 720 dpi  and send off to the printer preset to finest detail (720dpi)because it makes print sharpening easier/better? And this higher sharpening IQ more than offsets the alternative downsampling degredation?

That PS driven downsampling may not be so good as you expect it to be. If it was done by Qimage with its adjustable anti-aliasing filter + smart print sharpening then that step may be wise depending on the actual print quality difference possible on the paper used. If there is a substantial difference visible in the print between the printer quality settings that ask for either 360 or 720 PPI rendering resolution (based on good image data) then go for the upsampling route, there still might be something to gain with the extra 60 PPI. If that difference in print quality does not exist then I would take the downsampling route with Qimage. I avoid any up- or downsampling in Photoshop and try to keep the original image as it is in my archives.
Bottom line is still that question what actual visible resolution (and smoothness of gradations) a paper-ink-printer combination makes if fed with plenty of image data. After that you have to find the application with the best resampling algorithms, up and down. Then you can decide what to do, some print proofs may refine that process for the papers you use.



met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2011, 09:20:55 am »

So you would never downsample unless the image's original resolution was above 720 dpi?  

If my image started at 420 dpi, I've been downsampling to 360 dpi and sending it off to the Epson 3800 to print at 360 dpi native. My thinking was that it's better to lose 60 dpi of IQ from a PS-driven downsample than it is to lose  300 dpi of IQ from the printer driver's upsample interpolation, regardless of post-sampling sharpening.

And therein lies exactly the crux, the post-sampling sharpening. Upsampling to 720PPI will allow to do a better sharpening job than at half that sample density. Attached is an attempt to illustrate why I always upsample to the printer's highest native resolution, then sharpen for output.

I started with a crop from a Raw conversion (Capture One) without sharpening, and sharpened that with FocusMagic. Let's pretend it's printed on our screen at it's native resolution. Next I upsampled a copy of the unsharpened Raw conversion, resampled it to 2x it's native resolution, also used FocusMagic to sharpen (with 2x the radius, and a smidgen higher amount setting because the upsampled image was softer). I then downsampled the larger version to the same output size as the first version.

While the difference may be subtle to some, I know which one I prefer ..., the higher sampling density allowed better sharpening.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 09:27:22 am by BartvanderWolf »
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Schewe

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2011, 12:22:52 pm »

If there is a substantial difference visible in the print between the printer quality settings that ask for either 360 or 720 PPI rendering resolution (based on good image data) then go for the upsampling route, there still might be something to gain with the extra 60 PPI.

There is a benefit to outputting above 360 ppi data as 720 ppi data on Epson pro printers because the driver does a better dither of fine detail with Finest Detail on. So if you have enough resolution above 360, upsample to 720.

I've looked at upsampling below 360 ppi images to 720 ppi prior to output and there just isn't a free lunch, ya know? If the image is below 360, the best you can hope for is to upsample to 360 and then sharpen.

Personally, for ink jet printing I would NEVER downsample. Why waste your resolution?

There's actually a 1440 x 1440 mode in the x900 series printers (you can only access it when you select a proofing media). So, I'm thinking of testing images whose native rez is above 720 ppi and upsampling to 1440 ppi. I don't really think it's gonna do anything though.
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narikin

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2011, 03:00:35 pm »

Something needs clarifying:  we are talking about raw conversions of digital camera files (e.g. in Lightroom, or Capture One) directly to the specific output required for Epson/Canon, with the re-sampling done by the raw converter, and then handing that off to the printer.

If that file already exists e.g. an image file where you don't have access to the RAW file, a scan from film, etc, then YMMV from what is being discussed here. 
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bjanes

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2011, 03:35:22 pm »

Personally, for ink jet printing I would NEVER downsample. Why waste your resolution?

One possible reason for down-sampling prior to printing would be to avoid aliasing artifacts from improper down-sampling. Photoshop's down-sampling has been criticized (Bart van der Wolf) and down-sizing by the printer (if it occurs on Epson printers--see previous thread discussion between Jeff and Bart) could pose similar problems. Lightroom reportedly has an improved downsizing algorithm, but if one is printing from Photoshop one could play it safe by doing his own downsizing prior to printing.

Regards,

Bill

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Schewe

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2011, 04:16:24 pm »

Something needs clarifying:  we are talking about raw conversions of digital camera files (e.g. in Lightroom, or Capture One) directly to the specific output required for Epson/Canon, with the re-sampling done by the raw converter, and then handing that off to the printer.

I'm talking about the native resolution of the file once the final print dimensions are determined...whether or not you resample in the raw converter or later in the pipeline, what's important is knowing the resolution once you are ready to print. Lightroom's Print module makes that very easy...it's a bit more difficult in Photoshop.
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Schewe

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Re: Printing at 300dpi, 360dpi or what
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2011, 11:25:21 pm »

I don't have Lightroom, Jeff. What is the difference in the print modules?

I always prefer printing from Lightroom vs Photoshop for a variety of reasons–first off, Lightroom only cares about pixel dimensions, not size and resolution. So, if you need a small print, simply set the dimensions of the cell size and the resolution auto-flows...big print where you need less? again, it auto-flows. So you don't need to spawn off multiple files just to print different sizes.

Lightroom has an optimized upsampling that is image adaptive. If you upsample, LR interpolates between Bicubic and Bicubic Smoother depending on the size.

The last phase is output sharpening...which I had an involvement in since Adobe worked with PixelGenius to bring output sharpening to Lightroom.

The printing workflows is, in my opinion (which of course, I'm biased about) superior to Photoshop.
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