Extremely Large Prints 6ft by 6ft

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by steve_johnston|9, May 24, 2010.

  1. Hello,
    I have been selling a number of landscape shots through galleries. I have had requests for prints of an extremely large size upto 6 Feet by 6 Feet and potential commissions for new pieces of this side. I shoot with a Canon 50D. The shots vary some are at ISO 100-400 settings, but most have been shot with this camera.
    Am I right in saying that my prints would not realistically scale up to this size without major distortion. I have found a printer who will print this size, but it a very expensive to do a test run. If I want to shoot this size, should I be looking at film or even medium format ?
     
  2. The IQ of prints that large would also depend on the viewing distance. How would these big prints be displayed?
    I have a couple of large files, that I would like to also make big prints from, but don't have a market yet. I've made my pictures by stitching several photos together in Photoshop. Four or 5 digital pictures stitched together would allow you to make huge enlargements, equal or better then medium format. But the files can run 100's of mbs.
     
  3. I would think a digital printing company that routinely prints this size can advise you on this.
    If you shot RAW and can up-size in Photoshop or using Genuine Fractals you should be okay.
    I have had 3MP jpegs printed as large as 20x24 and they came out decent believe it or not.
    Again, I would call several large format printing companies and ask their advice, they usually are photoshop experts an have other software to help with this.
    Good Luck!
     
  4. Why don't you figure this out for yourself? Make smaller prints with the same resolution as the large 6×6 would have and judge for yourself. Don't forget, that large prints are not usually examined close up. For small prints you want 300 dpi, for large ones 150 dpi or even lower might be just fine.
     
  5. Not sure if this chart might help but take a look.

    http://www.design215.com/toolbox/megapixels.php
     
  6. I do not think that you, the gallery, or your clients would be happy with prints 72 inches square made from cropped sensor DSLR originals. It is not just a matter of megapixels, but of a number of other issues that become more apparent at such sizes. Use on an outdoor poster? Yes. Use as a "gallery print?" Not likely.
    Of course you can test this for yourself to some extent without going to the trouble of producing the full size prints. Go ahead and prepare the image as you would for actual printing - do your uprezzing and your sharpening and the whole nine yards. Now crop out a small, letter-size (or similar) section from the center of the image and print that. Put it up on the wall and consider whether or not this is what you'll be happy with.
    I've used this method both to guarantee that a fairly large print would work from a given original... and to dissuade more than one client from asking me to let them use an image at a size that would produce an unsatisfactory result.
    Good luck.
    Dan
     
  7. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    large prints are not usually examined close up​
    There's the myth, right there. It's true that for certain applications, like posters or ads. on buses, there are physical constraints which prevent the viewer getting too close. However if its on a wall in someone's home, or in an office, then if people can view from very close then some at least will do so. Just out of curiosity to see how sharp it is. I remember seeing a Gursky exhibition at the White Cube in London a couple of years or so ago- huge pictures made in pieces because there just wan't a machine big enough. You could get close, and guess what, everyone did- this stuff was pretty good actually but its fair to say it wasn't made on a crop factor dslr. Fact is that many people take a look from a few feet away to get a grip on the totality then step right up as close as they can.
    The point here is that when you sell a print, you are not in control of viewing distance, and its unrealistic for you as well as unfair to your customers to assume that the best will always apply.
    Move to film? I don't think that 35mm film will cope. I've gone to 36" sq from 120 rollfilm and that looks fine, but doubling the enlargement? There has to be some doubt. Large format would do it.
    On digital capture I wouldn't give any crop factor or FF dslr much chance, even if you weren't cropping to square. If you're looking for an excuse to buy an expensive digital MF camera or MF digital back with a very large number of MP then you might just have it here. Whether you'd be selling enough of these prints to repay an investment on that scale is something you'd presumably wish to think about. You might want to seek out Edward Burtynsky's "Australia" series. They are pretty big prints- averaging 48" x 60" IIRC, made on a Hasselblad with a big MP digital back. My notes on here after I'd seen the exhibition were to the effect that they din't look bitingly sharp at a foot, but did at six feet. Thats a practical measure of what you'd need to do .
     
  8. You know, it depends a lot on your subject matter, how you process the file and how you have the work printed. I have printed 40x50 inch prints from the original 5d(12mp) and they were breathtaking. These particular ones were my assistants and he had overworked the files we chose to test (wasn't in his mind to make them this large when he made them) and unless you are a photographer and know what to look for, the few pixelized areas wouldn't be found--I could also have worked those areas, but we were more interested in just how they would look than to make them perfect.
    I have been in galleries and museums lately where larger prints than you mention were on the walls with nothing in critical focus. One, which was selling for $50,000, was right next to one of Richard Misrach's Beach series shots. Misrach's was maybe 1-1/2 times larger and it was incredibly sharp while this other had nothing sharp although it was an interior photo of someone doing something(intended sharpness) and had been sold. Photographers are the only ones who pixel peep, to most others it is the image that matters and who seem to have perspective on this issue.
    I shoot the 1dsmkIII and have to say that there are many images I wouldn't flinch at printing up to the same relative enlargement you are talking about and some I wouldn't attempt it. In the final analysis, you are the one that needs to make the decision. I do think a sample print would be in order to take to the gallery owner and discuss what they think if you are concerned. Sometimes we need others input to get us out of the technical (perfection) mode of photography.
     
  9. I routinely sell prints over six feet in width. A large part of my portfolio was done with a 617 format MF system and the images are sometimes printed 3'x9'. Other of my images that I sell regularly were shot with 4x5 large format systems and 6x7 medium format. So, my digital images have to stand up when shown side by side or in the same room. I place constraints on maximum size that I will print some of my digital files even though I'm sometimes asked to go larger. If the customer is insistent I quiz he or she about viewing distance, room lighting, etc., before I agree to bend my rules.
    I keep hearing about four foot wide prints from 5dmkIIs or the SONY a900. I would never sell a print of that size from my 5d mkII shot with a single frame. OTOH, I did a three frame vertical stitch from an a900 and after cropping and sharpening I was able to provide a 60 x 90 inch print for one customer that was satisfactory for his particular need, albeit with a sufficient viewing distance.
    Photographers are more critical than the general public but I question trying to go really large with single frame files from a cropped sensor camera. As another poster suggested, if the subject matter lends itself to stitching multiple frames, shoot multiple frames to create a file size comparable to the medium formats or even 4x5, when all is said and done. I would also emphasize that good technique in shooting the individual frames has to be observed if you wish to really pull off stitching successfully such as proper exposure of 'hottest' part of the intended scene, leveling camera, overlap frames 20-30%, sharp lenses used at sweet spot of their range, etc. Shoot in RAW and then batch process all frames, not forgetting to check color temp of each frame.
    If you find all this intimidating you could certainly consider shooting 6x7 or 6x9 MF to create the file sizes you're looking for but then you have to qualify a lab that can process the film properly and make optimum scans. You will need 300-400 meg files to really pull it off successfully with film and those sizes of drum scans are not inexpensive.
    I might add that the majority of my prints are on canvas rather than paper. Canvas is far more forgiving of pushing the size envelope than paper. Images that can look soft and technically inferior on a fine art paper can take on a 'painted' look that is quite acceptable and often desirable, when printed on canvas.
    Good luck.
     
  10. Some images that are very large in certain galleries and are not in critical focus - and, yes, there are such images - are there because of their historical importance as well as their aesthetic value, or in some cases their aesthetic value is so great that it overcomes levels of softness that would not be considered appropriate in certain modern images.
    It is true that certain subjects are more forgiving of softness than others. For example, certain types of portraits can be "worked" in ways that allow larger sizes. Certain abstract images might also work quite large. And those images that don't use technical perfection as part of their core value - and I don't have an issue with this in some cases - will also work, since the technical "flaws" are regarded as inconsequential.
    However, if your landscape images are of the sort in which you worked to capture a great deal of detail then much of this will be lost at the larger sizes your propose. I once printed an image from a 8MP cropped sensor camera at 16" x 24" size for a client. The subject was on that included finely detailed geological formations. The client was thrilled with the photograph - but I could start to see the lost of fine detail (which was important in this image) and a sort of "plastic" effect in areas where the detail was lost. For this reason I have not consented to print this image any larger than 16" x 24". (As I wrote earlier, I have talked several clients out of purchasing prints at sizes that I felt would compromise the quality of the image - yes, this cost me money, but I don't want a dissatisfied client.)
    Beyond the question of megapixels, there are other issues that impact the resolution of your final print. Certainly every aspect of the photograph must be optimized: solid tripod, remote release, mirror lockup (and waiting for camera to settle), excellent lenses, extremely careful attention to focus and DOF issues, careful and very skillful post-processing.
    If you want to push the image size as far as you reasonably can, you might use a more textured paper since this tends to soften the image a bit anyway - in a way that seems "right." If you really want to push it, you might print on canvas and go for a "painterly" effect in which you sacrifice real resolution.
    In my experience, photographers are not the only ones who look very closely at gallery prints. One of the pleasures of a many excellent photographs is looking at them closely and carefully until aspects of the image that are not immediately apparent are revealed. If you go to a gallery and watch how people view large prints, they very often move between very close and further back in an attempt to understand the image more deeply. (As someone correctly pointed out, when the image is used as a billboard or as an advertisement on the side of a bus, this isn't going to happen. For those purposes you can go very large. But I don't think that is the sort of use you are considering here.)
    Dan
     
  11. Large prints can be viewed at all sorts of different distances. In a pro job there is a client thus it is easier to know a distance; or range of them. In Amateur there is no client; thus viewings distances are a confusing subject. A 12x48 foot Billboard on I-10 in the middle of Texas can be 300 feet away at its closest; a VGA image is all that is required.
    I enlarged 35mm frames to 42 inches wide with our Microfilm blowback camera 40 years ago.
    In mapping a giant wall map of Los Angeles here has a 400 ppi image; you get inches away to read a tiny alley name. The Canon 50D is childs toy for a giant city wall map.
    Nice scenes 8x12 foot square at a dentist office have you in the chair; thus the distance is defined.
    If the image is on an island at a zoo with a moat full of alligators; the distance is defined.
    make some samples; cropped areas at your target size; see how they look; that is what matters
     
  12. Stitching is your friend.
     
  13. There are a couple of programs will help you to blow the pics up
    Alien Skin Blowup
    OnOne Software Genuine Fractals.
    To do a test print - you don't need to do a 6' x 6' print.
    1. Figure out what percentage blowup you'll need to do to get to a 6' x 6' print - say 800% for example
    2. Go to the original photo, crop out a very small portion of the photo, the use one of the above program to blow it up by the same percentage (800% in our example)
    3. Print that small portion and see how it looks when you stand back at the appropriate distance from the print.
    crop the photo to a small area, the blow up the same percentage you'd need to
     
  14. I once saw a print in a museum that was nearly 20 feet wide. It looked amazing - super SHARP! Immediately, I was filled wtih then inevitable camera envy. What kind of gear did the photographer use? I HAD to KNOW!
    :-D
    So, I walked toward the print to read the notes posted beside it and, whoa! Suddently, the print was all blurry and in splotches! The camera used? 35 mm film. In disbelief, I walked back over to the other side of the room and to the position where I had spotted the photo initially. Sure enough, it was sharp, sharp, sharp!
    Viewers (like yours truly) will walk right up to a print, but if it doesn't look sharp up close they'll move back to a more comfortable viewing distance.
     
  15. One good side effect of this discussion is to point out that there is a lot of mythology about how much sharpness is typical in prints. As I and a few others have pointed out, many very wonderful photographs are not razor sharp if you look at them closely. Every forum poster to goes on and on about "sharpness" should be required to spend time looking closely at actual prints of some very famous and outstanding photographs close up.
    That said, there still are limits. Not hard limits, but limits nonetheless.
     
  16. Stitching is your friend.​
    Stitching is not your friend. It's more like a weird neighbor who's known around town for a bizarre parlor trick.
    Stitching converts photos captured in an arc (in 2 or 3 dimensions) into a flat image. Photography already incorporates the distortion of the 3-D to 2-D translation. The arc effect adds a second level of distortion.
    Further, when you stitch a wide panorama captured as several images from a normal or a telephoto lens, you lose the depth that a wide-angle lens would provide naturally. Wide plus compressed is an effect that our eyes aren't used to seeing. It's not necessarily bad, but it's not the same as a wide field of view captured by extra pixels, either.
     
  17. Dan, stitching can be your friend in many cases. It isn't the be all, end all of photography for large prints, but it can produce excellent results if you know how to compensate for the characteristics of the process.
    I disagree that wide is an effect that we are not used to seeing. Quite the contrary. It occurred to me recently while photographing in the California redwoods (something I do very frequently) that when I walk through these forests I almost always am scanning the surroundings horizontally - in other words, in a way that is best approximated by the wide panoramic framing.
    [​IMG]
    Now, I'm not going to claim that one or the other format is better than the alternative - in fact I think that a variety of format ratios can be used for different subjects. But I certainly wouldn't overdo the theoretical objections about "translations." (If this were true, movie formats would not work as well as they do.)
    (PN shrinks the image, so look here if you want to see a slightly larger version.)
    Dan
    (BTW, this image was created using a stitching approach with the intent of being able to produce a print of 9 to 10 feet in width.)
     
  18. I have done prints up to 2m x 2m that look great , but I have done them from medium format film and printed in a dark room ,
    I have scanned negatives up to 100MB file size and have always been let down with the image quality .
    I have seen some fantastic large prints a lot bigger than what you want but they were done using a Hassy HD3 with a 39MP sensor ,something your canon could never compete with .
    to me 10 to 15 MP is good for up to A4 size , A3 if you have a pro quality lens
    If you want gallery quality prints at that size you are going to need far better camera gear or use stitching .
    Stitching can be great but it does have to be done very very well
     
  19. This requires an 8x10 film camera.
     
  20. >>> Every forum poster to goes on and on about "sharpness" should be required to spend time looking closely at actual
    prints of some very famous and outstanding photographs close up.

    Yeah, but that Robert Frank dude could have been famous if he had equipment that produced sharp photos... :)
     
  21. Brad, funny! Robert who? :)
    Mark and others, I agree that if you really want to "go large" these days that medium format digital is probably the best option. (LF film is, of course, also quite fine - but most would be just as happy with the results from MF digital, though not perhaps with the initial cost of the equipment.)
    Dan
     
  22. I haven't read all the responses... sorry...
    Steve, I remember seeing a HUGE back-lit print at a museum that looked awsome. It was probably 8 ft wide x 4 ft high (cropped quite a bit in height). I examined it closely, probably because I'm a photographer and am interested in these sorts of large prints. However, I noticed that nobody else examined it close up. When I examined it, I could see and count the individual pixels. Assuming it was not cropped (much) in the horizontal dimension, I estimated it was made by one of the early 1.3 MP cameras. Again, the print looked awsome when viewed at the intended distance.
    I also once made a 10' wide x 6' high print of an image taken with a 10D (6.3 MP APS-C) and 28-135mm IS lens. It looked... awsome. Yes, one could see the individual pixels on close inspection, but it wasn't a horrible thing.
    It all depends on viewing distance and the expectations of the customer. However, I wouldn't be afraid to turn out a 6x6 print on request. I'd simply point out that individual pixels might be visible on close inspection and make sure the customer is OK with that.
     
  23. If you had a Hasselblad 2-1/4-by-2-1/4 film camera, the 6 feet by 6 feet print would involve no cropping save for the negative carrier...if you had the correct exposure when you took the image.
    Trying to make a rectangle-size image into a large square print is going to be a challenge....
     
  24. G Dan, first of all, great photo and great light! However, this example doesn't dispute my second objection, i.e. the photo made with a wide-angle lens would have more depth and less compression. In this case most of your significant details (tree trunks, etc.) are about the same distance from your lens. An image with significant objects in both the foreground and background would show the compression difference more effectively.
    Of course, if you were shooting an 8x10 and your "wide-angle" lens had a 150 mm focal length, that would have compressed the image, too. But given the same sensor or film size, there is a plainly visible difference between an image taken with a 16 mm lens and a composite of images taken with, say, a 100 mm lens. The composite will look far more compressed. Not that that's necessarily bad; it might be the desired effect. It's just illustrates that long lens "panos" are not an exact substitute for images captured with a wide-angle lens.
     
  25. Stitching converts photos captured in an arc (in 2 or 3 dimensions) into a flat image. Photography already incorporates the distortion of the 3-D to 2-D translation. The arc effect adds a second level of distortion.​
    You can use rectilinear projection and the result will be the same as if single image (through rectilinear lens) was used. Of course, there's slight loss of resolution, but that is insignificant given how much resolution you are getting with the stitching.
     
  26. It's just illustrates that long lens "panos" are not an exact substitute for images captured with a wide-angle lens.

    As has been pointed out, that's not wrong, just different, and sometimes the choice of the photographer. Fuji produced the GX617 pano camera with four lens options as I recall, including a 300mm. Obviously the 300 delivered far more compression than the 90mm. Conversely, 90 and 105 mm options were often far too wide for some subject matter. I use a number of different lens for stitching. My choice depends strictly on the subject matter and what I want to accomplish.
     
  27. I agree with a few of the other posters in that you should consult a professional print shop that routinely prints that large. I've heard many good things over the years about Calypso Imaging but it seems they've closed. I use West Coast Imaging a lot (the shop they referred their business to) and find them to be both knowledgeable and high quality. They might be able to answer your questions. Can't hurt to ask.
    Good luck.
     
  28. As you are trying to print existing images I'd suggest scaling up the image with something like ImageMagick.
    http://www.imagemagick.org/Usage/resize/
    It has a lot of filtering and re sampling options to control the process. Scroll to the end of the document to get examples of the effect of these options. Note, however, that your enlargement simply won't ever be great up close. Liquid rescale might be worth trying.
    Some images ( although not most ) can sometimes be converted to a vector format and rescaled and converted back to bitmap images ( like photos ). Unlikely to help you, I'd guess, but something to try if you're desperate.
     
  29. Here are some tid bits of of info learned from actually printing big stuff for customers. Hopefully some grey matter will be dislodged by these barbs:



    ***(1) The DARK Print issue; ( the Barney Paint issue :)
    One failure mode I see at times with the giant prints we do is like a new couples painting their kids bedroom. The kid wants Barbie Pink or Barnery Purple. It looks great and OK on the *small* sample or paint chip.
    Then when the entire room is painted it "sucks the light" out and it is a dark cave like room.
    ***This happens too with a giant print that covers a wall. It can look a LOT darker it if overwelms the room and thus folks are upset.

    After 9/11 I printed for a dentist a night shot he had of the twin towers to fill up his wall; a giant 42" by 10 foot thing. We printed a small 24x36" cropped section to show what details would look like. *ALL* the warnings about "sucking the light out" were ignored by the dentist. He ended up adding extra lights in that room; since the giant DARK print "sucked the light" out of the room.
    This "issues" is common to folks who have never painted a house before; or made giant posters too.
    BR>
    (2) Typically customers who worry wart about pixels, resolution, and upsizing create *THE ABSOLUTE WORSE* inputs for giant prints.

    This is based on printing big stuff like this for 17 years. *STRIVE* to use a few percentage of your brain power on an image with impact. Folks who get into a huge tar baby about pixels and resolution about always get wrapped up in a massive concern over stuff that often rarely matters.
    BR>
    (3) Endless debates. One can debate until the end of time whether the input required is a 16mm HIT camera; or our 24x36" negative off our process camera. At some point you have to be professional and consider what the heck is your actual goal. Amateurs and PROS too get into a MASSIVE tar baby about this; their is NO goal; NO client; this NO viewing distance. Thus the lay peanut gallery debates film size and megapixels endlessly ; when there is no goal defined yet; thus it is an endless dumb wizzing contest.
    BR>
    (4) None of this anything new; it goes back probably many centuries to paintings on ceilings ie middle ages.
    BR>
    (5) Making big prints is not anything new in digital printing either. It sort of was a rage when Bush-1 was in office say 1992 ish at print shops.
    BR>
    (6) **MAKE SAMPLES** ; Instead of farting around and talking; make some cropped samples at the target print size. This was probably new in "how to" seminars with big printing in the early 1990's.
    BR>
    (7) BLOAD you cannot polish a turd-Thuman. If your original does not have the details; upsizing to the moon just creates the common dumb stupid giant bloaded files we printers get about every time for a big posters. Upsizing to us printers is as new as water is to farming; or wood to a carpenter.
    A good part of dealing with the public in digital printing is set up.
    If I have printed big stuff like this for 17 years and Client A's stuff is always easy and Client B's stuff is always a PITA; typical bloaded mess with his 2 hours lecture on pixels; calibration and upsizing and meddling; at some point I Have to charge Mr ego/meddle ie Client B more; since time is money.

    What you want to do is talk to the printer and *not tie their hands or make the job a hassle.* Talk to your target printer; find what works on their machines. The last thing we want is each print step micromanaged by the lay public; dictating to do wonky things that create no value but waste boatloads of time.
    There is really no end to the totally screwball things folks will do with inputs; their 3 megapixel Jpeg image off their camera comes to us on a DVD; a tiff so big it will not fit on a CD. Folks do dumb stuff ; then take that 3 megapixel image; print in on a crappy 8x10 printer then flatbed it at a zillion dpi and you get bloaded GIANT images with no shadow details.
    Thus one has to tactfully try to get the original Jpeg without Mr Egos head exploding; since they are Photoshop certified; took XYZ college courses and are experts. Bload and doing dumb things is an issue but it seems to be taboo on photo.net; since it bothers folks to talk about this giant elephant issue.
    BR>
    (8) Shipping, Mounting and Laminating Costs on BIG stuff. Theses can be large; thus a LOCAL shop can save you GOBS of money. Do Not assume that shipping a giant mounted print is low in cost. It can require crateing and trucking costs.
    BR>
    (9) there were 35mm film frames at some Galleries in the 1960's of the Vietnam war that were HUGE
     
  30. Kelly, a bit too much caffeine this morning perhaps? ;-)
    Dan
     
  31. @Dan South
    So, I walked toward the print to read the notes posted beside it and, whoa! Suddently, the print was all blurry and in splotches! The camera used? 35 mm film. In disbelief, I walked back over to the other side of the room and to the position where I had spotted the photo initially. Sure enough, it was sharp, sharp, sharp!​
    I went to the movies recently after a long spell of watching DVDs exclusively and I couldn't believe how blurry the movie was - and this was sitting in the back row. It was a little better without my glasses on - with my glasses, I was starting to get a headache.
    I once walked up to an Adams lithography print, you know those posters, and stuck my nose up to it. Aside from the funky little litho dots, it seemed as though I could look back in the distance for ever. I can only imagine what his silver prints must be like.
    Photo quality according to the printers is 300dpi. You cannot do 6' by 6' in digital at 300dpi with any camera on the market without stitching.
    If you consider the costs of 50MP Hasselblads, getting LF cameras and disposing them after use would be cheaper.
    At such large prints, film rules - digital drools.
     
  32. I once walked up to an Adams lithography print, you know those posters, and stuck my nose up to it. Aside from the funky little litho dots, it seemed as though I could look back in the distance for ever. I can only imagine what his silver prints must be like.​
    Interesting. The Adams lithographs that I've seen weren't particularly detailed. To me, their beauty comes from his brilliant compositions and the amazing contrast between his highlights and shadows. I have yet to see a B&W print from digital capture that compares in terms of contrast. Detail, certainly - digital capture holds lots of detail when properly sharpened. But digital B&W tends to look like so many shades of gray. In an Adams print, black and white are REALLY black and white.
    You cannot do 6' by 6' in digital at 300dpi with any camera on the market without stitching.​
    As many have stated, it all depends on the viewing distance. Billboards have been made from CROPS of 35mm film images. A 5D2 or a D3x is going to give much more detail than that little piece of film, but if you stand within 10 feet of a billboard it's going to look grainy and soft no matter what camera you use (even 8x10 film or MF digital).
    Dan's fine example notwithstanding, most subjects aren't rendered well by stitching unless all of the detail lies on a single plane. You can stitch a flat wall ad infinitum because no depth perception is expected.
     
  33. G Dan;

    I get several calls every day on how big can I enlarge. After perhaps 10,000 times there is always another call where folks are so darn confused. It is really quite sad; they just went to a seminar and some guru has them all worried about a non issue. The view here for 2 decades plus is to try to get folks to see actual examples.
    Dave;
    the 50 megapixel 4x5 scan back here makes a fairly decent input for Big poster; so does a drum scan of a 4x5 negative.
    It really does NOT matter a rats rear if the input is film or digital; either can be rich with info or all fluff and useless. Some of us got over this concern 17 years ago. Again folks who dwell on the input type about always create the worst inputs; the loose sight of using an image with impact.
    What really matters is the quality of the image; NOT if it is film or digital. There are folk in both camps that make crap and great images
    The input for a giant print does NOT have to be a camera; it can just be another print scanned on our 36" wide 600 dpi RGB scanner.
    The 50 megapixel back here makes a 8400 by 6000 pixel image ; thus without even upsizing it makes at 84x60 inch print at 100 ppi. That is 7 by 5 feet. With a mild in house upsize to 150 ppi and a tad of sharpening this makes a fine print that looks sharp at say 20 inches
    Most all folks would be better to stop asking and just try something as an example. It basically about as hard as figuring how much ketchup to place on fries; you do not need any gurus or a Mettler balance.
    For our old Process camera; a 2x enlargement from its negative is a 4x6 foot print. The typical common roll materials we used were 36, 42 and 54" wide.
    In Mapping the giant wall maps I print are all digital. With a 4.5 x6.5 foot print the "ppi" I have to use really depends on the smallest alleys street spacings; the street name length and font used and size. Sometimes 300 ppi is not enough 350 to 400 has to be used.
     
  34. Obviously the 300 delivered far more compression than the 90mm. Conversely, 90 and 105 mm options were often far too wide for some subject matter.​
    Exactly, but with the Fuji panoramic camera you're not trying replicate the angle of view of the 75 mm lens with multiple shots from the 300 mm. That's effectively what digital stitching does. It's a combination of telephoto compression over a wide angle of view. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. Combining this phenomenon with the flattened arc effect can yield an Escher-like quality of spatial dimensions gone haywire.
     
  35. In many BIG commercial jobs there is a mixture of details.


    The final print has a BIG image to draw you to it; it has small print showing where to buy it.


    The LAX airport backlit transparency might be of Britney or Miley hawking a new 5G iPhone; the small text shows who sells it in each state. Thus transparency might be a 300 ppi image required for the text; and the models image really was upsized from 30 to 80; up to the 300. This is extremely common in commercial work. The models eyes or face be from a closer shot; or made to have sharper eyelashes thus it appears sharper . Thus if at LAX and you are outbound to MSP and have time to kill; you while at Terminal 5 you check out the new 5G with nanoburst and note that Acme sells them in the Twin Cities.


    In GAG stuff for parties "go for it folks" take YOUR high school annual where you look like Pee Wee with a bow tie and Plaid Pants and all. I scan whatever image. Then it is printed like you are 5 to 6 feet tall; images that are postage stamp size. Thus beware if your wife or kids borrow this stuff; you might be on foam core as cut out figure in a day or so.


    For the women at one LA car dealership we took the owners postage stamp Pee Wee like Junior High photo and printed it about 3.5 by 5 feet and laminated it. Then at night the repair guys placed it way the hell up on the building so visible from the freeway; thus the KFI guys on the radio were talking about it; when the owner was driving to work the next morning.
     
  36. Exactly, but with the Fuji panoramic camera you're not trying replicate the angle of view of the 75 mm lens with multiple shots from the 300 mm. That's effectively what digital stitching does. It's a combination of telephoto compression over a wide angle of view. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. Combining this phenomenon with the flattened arc effect can yield an Escher-like quality of spatial dimensions gone haywire.
    90 or 105 mm lenses, actually. Unless I'm specifically trying to use compression for effect, I seldom use beyond 70-80MM and most of the time I use 30-40mm range, camera oriented vertically. The resulting image is very similar to the field of view from the 105mm lens on the Fuji, when 5-6 vertical frames are stitched. I'm pleased with my results and neither my customers nor I lose sleep over the final images.
    Whether it be music/audio reproduction or photography, the reproduction of music or images is an illusion at best. Colorations and distortions are added electronically or optically. I've long accepted the fact that perfection is impossible and simply try and use those perfections to enhance my efforts rather than detract.
     
  37. Not sure if this has been mentioned yet but as far as a test print is concerned just do some math and give them a crop of the frame to print on an 8x10. Get your math right (just division) and this works perfectly. Example (rough): you want to see what a 2000px x 3000px image would look like at 50" wide. just give them a 600px wide crop of the frame and tell them to print on an 8"x10" landscape format.
    Also, I have had images off my d3 printed by Graphik Dimensions up to 48" wide on canvas and they look perfect. Their website is a little hokie looking but I've toured their facilities and they do first class work! Their guy working the computers has an impressive display of degrees on the wall and really knows his stuff.
    If I were you I would send them a crop (explain to them what you're doing) and see what kind of final product they can come up with. Only cost ya a couple of bucks to see. From my experience all the people that say you can't enlarge to such n such size for whatever reason are full of it. I have really high standards and I've seen some awesome large prints come from some small files.
    Good luck!
     
  38. Whether it be music/audio reproduction or photography, the reproduction of music or images is an illusion at best. Colorations and distortions are added electronically or optically. I've long accepted the fact that perfection is impossible and simply try and use those perfections to enhance my efforts rather than detract.
    Being a photographer with a career in music - it is a long story - this caught my attention. There are two issues:
    • I agree strongly that perfection is impossible. It is something to strive for, but we don't achieve it. I'm not even certain what perfection in a performance, recording, or photographic print might mean.
    • Given that, what we sometimes think of as "imperfections" may well simply be characteristics. The primary goal of a photograph - at least in most situations - is not to be free of "distortions" or to look "exactly like reality." The first is obsessive and the second is simply impossible.
    Dan
     
  39. Your printer company can size you image to 6x6 feet and crop out a section and print it.

    Many of us do this to end the ****countless confusion.****

    He crops out some detailed section or a strip and that is what the client signs off on.

    It is really in the BEST interest of a film lab or digital inkjet lab to do this.

    It is a massive equalizer.

    One has a tangible real life part of the 6x6 foot image to play with. It can be looked at; loved or cursed.

    It is like asking does this Beer taste good; here is a real sample. NOT a rats nest of stupid numbers and massive gobble gook. Having something real has a Great weight.
    The sad thing is most folks here have as small printer; or have a store who has one. Thus make a cropped A or B sized section of the 6x6 foot poster and place it on wall and look at it at different distances. It really is not rocket science.
     
  40. As others have pointed out it is best not to get too wrapped up about resolution, and certainly not pixel count. Almost all people are going to want to stand where they can take in the whole photos at once. After a certain point more resolution simply does not add that much to a photo, unless you are trying to impress other photographers with how much detail is in your photo.
     
    Of course even a small error in taking a photo can reduce the effective resolution of your camera by a huge factor. It is not hard to turn a 15MP into effectively a 1 MP camera with just a bit of hand shake.
     
    As far as stitching is concerned, I am a big fan of stitching and I have to point out that Dan S. really does not know much about the subject. A good program like PTGui works out the geometry such that the final image is the same as if you were using a rectilinear lens. But the resolution is not needed and really is wasted on a large print. Take this image for example
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36939621@N06/4632302358/sizes/o/
     
    If it were printed 6 feet high it would be printed at 122 pixels / inch. There is a sign on the fence on the left-hand side that is easily readable in the image. The text on that sign is 7 pixels high, so at 122 pixels / inch we are talking about text that is around 0.57 inches high, or right around 4 points. I can tell you from experience that virtually no one would ever get close enough to a print that large to even come close to being able to read the text on that sign. A good clean 6 Mpixel image printed to the same size would have almost the same visual impact.


    My message is this, it is really pretty easy to get images with insane levels of detail, but this detail has little impact on the final print.
     
  41. Here shot 10 years ago back east ; 35 megapixels in Infrared ; full frame and cropped sections:
    Used Lens cost 5 dollars in the early 1960's
    Cell Tower is about 5 Km away.
    It was shot through a client's houses dirty window that also had plexiglass windows covers to reduce heat loss.
    The lens is considered on the LF board to be a dud.
    It is not even a lens that folks follow yacking about lines per mm tests either.
    It is your basic 5000 x 7000 pixel image from a scan back from 1996; 14 years ago.
    The Canon 50D is 15.1 megapixels; the other scan back here is a 50 megapixel back
    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  42. The text on that sign is 7 pixels high, so at 122 pixels / inch we are talking about text that is around 0.57 inches high, or right around 4 points. I can tell you from experience that virtually no one would ever get close enough to a print that large to even come close to being able to read the text on that sign. A good clean 6 Mpixel image printed to the same size would have almost the same visual impact.
    I would generally agree although I have a panorama file of a wall of several hundred license plates flanked by antique gas pumps on each side. The detail is good enough that you can barely read some of the serial numbers on the adhesive renewal tags on many of the plates when it is printed to about a four foot width. Some of my gallery visitors spend a fair amount of time, squinting, doing just that. :) It's an image that usually winds up in young boy's rooms, a dad's den or game room or a garage wall and proves that anyone can become a pixel peeper.
     
  43. This was taken with a cheap point and shoot camera, all 357 MP of it. The red square is shown below as a 100% crop
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The full image is 14316 x 25000 pixels, a print at 300 ppi would be around 4 ft high by 7 ft wide, and unless you are really into front loaders not all that interesting of a print.
    The point is raw resolution in this day and age is very cheap, but resolution by itself is not going to make a large print good and lack of super high resolution is not going to ruin an otherwise good print, at least IMO.
     
  44. OP,
    Print my sample sheet below at 180 dpi and you can evaluate how MF film and the 40D look printed at 60" x 80".
    http://www.photo.net/film-and-processing-forum/00WErk
     
  45. Steve;
    Now, after all the above, what would you like to do? It certainly sounds as if you are developing clients and have a good start on an exciting business. I have a feeling work will continue to come your way and you will develop techniques at least adequate to please both sides of these transactions.
    Look, I remember an article in a popular photography magazine back in, I think, the 70's. It reported on a young man having the time of his life going out in the field and photographing landscapes . . . with a 35mm camera. He had found a company who would transfer his transparencies not through the medium of sensitized papers, but through dyes sprayed onto common papers from large print to wall size. Examples were given of institutional placement of his images in hospitals, commercial buildings and on the walls of delighted client's homes. Importantly, the article described not only how happy he was, but how his images enlivened and cheered so many who passed through these buildings. Can you imagine just giving yourself up to a process you love and having plenty of people delighted in your work?
    There are inevitably those who would call work like this that of a hack. But the world is not lacking in artists and individuals with extraordinary technical achievement in our field. I'm stunned and overwhelmed by the abundance of spectacular work found on this web site. If you are finding some satisfaction with your endeavor, and especially resolve yourself towards study in excellence over the coming years; if you have people who want your work right now; who especially are giving you referrals, don't miss a beat. Go for joy in your life and pass it on.
     
  46. This may be better addressed in the Digital Darkroom forum, as it will probably have a wider audience than in our venerable Canon one :)
     
  47. Dear Scott:
    Can you tell us what 'cheap point and shoot' camera you use to take the 357MP shot? Thanks.
     
  48. It was a Canon PowerShot SX100 IS, used on a Gigapan panoramic head. I don't remember exactly but there were a few hundred photos stitched together to make that one. The whole think is automated so I just got it set up and let it go.
     

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