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12.8 Megapixels = what maximum print size?

I’m wondering what size print my Canon 5D can produce before pixels become noticeable? Has anyone tested it? With film, you really could print as large as you wanted to in the darkroom and you could scan it on a drum scanner to huge sizes as well. Will a 5D produce a 30×40 inch print no problem?

by Davin Ellicson at 2008-01-06 08:27:05 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Great Barrington, Massachusett , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

You can basically print as large as you want. I have done 30×40 from the 1D Mark II and they looked fine. There’s no need to print them at 300 dpi because you don’t view prints this size from upclose. 110 dpi or even 72 dpi would be sufficent. If you want to try it at home before, just print a cropped out section of the file at the desired enlargement.

by Daniel Etter | 06 Jan 2008 09:01 | Cologne, Germany | | Report spam→
Well believe it or not but i made 2 months ago a few large prints for a commercial client. The prints have a size from 3 feet by 6 feet (120cm x 200 cm). The quality is still OK at this size. It was risky to shoot on digital for this size, and i wasn’t realy sure that it could be possible. We dicided to shoot it anyway on FF digital because the client had only a limited budget. After all stress…the large prints looks great.
So 30×40 inch should be no problem.
I can compare by a traditional darkroom print. Maximum drumscan size from 35 mm…don’t know.

by Iori De Windt | 06 Jan 2008 09:01 | Warsaw, Poland | | Report spam→
Just for the record, there is no formula for maximum print size from a megapixel specification… there is way too much going on there, such as the ISO, the quality of the file, the dynamic range, the upsizing method, etc etc. It is much more important that you have specified the 5D, but at what ISO? (The resolution “quality” drops like a rock when you ramp up the ISO…)

I’d also take issue with your statement that with film you can print as large as you want… and all a drum scanner gets is more grain, no magic there. But I don’t want to pick any fights… heh.

Having said that, I’d agree with the comments made here. I had a student shooting Avedon-like portraits with the 5D, and printing them at sized to 24×30″ (at 180ppi) printed on the Epson 4800 (ImagePrint RIP). We had some very experienced faculty thinking they were shot with 4×5 film.

by [former member] | 06 Jan 2008 12:01 | boston, ma, United States | | Report spam→
Much depends on how smart or stupid one is about optimization and interpolation.

by Stupid Photographer | 06 Jan 2008 13:01 (ed. Jan 6 2008) | Holy Smokes, Holy See | | Report spam→
right, and the “interpolation” methods of bicubic smoother and sharper, in CS3, makes that discussion pretty much obsolete, as well as other types of resizing (like genuine fractals, etc) and teh old percentage approach. size that shizzy up in PS (bicubic smoother for up-size), apply USM, and bob’s your uncle.

by [former member] | 06 Jan 2008 13:01 | boston, ma, United States | | Report spam→
Cos you’re going so big you’d want to make sure the staring image is the best quality. Providing you shot RAW, maybe check the quality of your RAW conversion method. DPP is the Canon s/w that i think works much better than PS CS3 but maybe Lightroom or Aperature produce better. MIght be worth having a look.

Also is this where 16bits might make a difference? I’m still at a loss to find out exactly when 16bits is preferable, and preferable because of a noticeable difference rather than an academic one.

by Con O'Donoghue | 06 Jan 2008 14:01 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
Lightroom and Photoshop use the same Adobe Camera RAW, so if you’re not happy with PS, Lightroom won’t make you happy either. My testing with Aperture is that it is barely as good as Adobe, and I do agree that in some cases the Canon software gets pretty good results. I just don’t like the workflow, such as it is.

I do use 16bit for this kind of stuff, except if you go huge, the 16bit will be even huger. bigger. more huge. :)

I have seen 8bit vs 16bit flaws in mild and in some cases, not so mild banding and posterization.

by [former member] | 06 Jan 2008 14:01 | boston, ma, United States | | Report spam→
I had 30×40 inch prints done up for an exhibition, many of those shot at 400ISO on the 5D and they looked stunning. Sharper than anything I achieved shooting on 6×4.5 film. I was also initially concerned about the quality but have since lost any nostalgia for film (unless you’re after texture – but that’s another story).

by Mishka Henner | 06 Jan 2008 14:01 | Manchester, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I regularly produce 30×40 and 40×60 prints, in editions, for my gallery shows.

by Hollis Elijah Bennett | 09 Jan 2008 08:01 | Nashville, United States | | Report spam→
I have printed 40×60 inches (100×150cm) from Ricoh GR-D files shot at ISO 800.

—Mitch/Bangkok

by Mitch Alland | 09 Jan 2008 08:01 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→

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Participants

Davin Ellicson, Photographer Davin Ellicson
Photographer
New York , United States
Daniel Etter, Photographer / Writer Daniel Etter
Photographer / Writer
Istanbul , Turkey
Iori De Windt, photographer Iori De Windt
photographer
(Freelance Photographer)
[undisclosed location].
Stupid Photographer, Dazed, shocked, stupefied Stupid Photographer
Dazed, shocked, stupefied
(Stupid Photographers Agency)
Holy Smokes , Holy See
Con O'Donoghue, Photographer Con O'Donoghue
Photographer
Dublin , Ireland
Mishka Henner, Photographer Mishka Henner
Photographer
Manchester , United Kingdom ( MAN )
Hollis Elijah Bennett, Professional Photographer Hollis Elijah Bennett
Professional Photographer
Guatemala City , Guatemala ( GUA )
Mitch Alland, Mitch Alland
Bangkok , Thailand ( CDG )


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