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A PPI/DPI Question - Printing 11x11" from a D4

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  • A PPI/DPI Question - Printing 11x11" from a D4

    Hello youngsters,
    I am once again getting confused by the digital world. 90% of my prints are 11x14" and I recently switched back from a D800 to a Nikon D4 which has 16,2 MP and a pixel size of 4928x3820 meaning that if I want to print at 300dpi I can only print 16,4x10,9". So my question is this, shouldI change the default settings in Lightroom for exporting to photoshop (300ppi) as well as those in photoshop that set the default at 300ppi to something less such as 280ppi or is it OK to let my software resample to achieve 300ppi at 11x14"? What will get me the best quality?
    I know there are articles out there but they really made my head spin and I remain confused as for the best solution.
    I'd be most grateful if someone could enlighten me as to the best way to go about my D4 workflow with 11x14" prints of the best quality in mind.
    Thanks ever so much!


    PS: I just realised the title says 11x11" but I do mean 11x14", sorry about the typo!
    Last edited by The Old Man; 07-09-2015, 01:49 PM.

  • #2
    Re: A PPI/DPI Question - Printing 11x11" from a D4

    The quality and content of the original capture are obviously important but to generalise the best quality should be had by re sampling via Lightroom to the printers required/ declared resolution. It is not usually optimal to let the printer driver handle the sampling

    If you are printing yourself then you should ideally re sample to your printers required resolution. In the case of Canon/HP this would be 300 / 600 ppi or Epson 360 / 720 ppi. If going via a lab ask for their requirements

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    • #3
      Re: A PPI/DPI Question - Printing 11x11" from a D4

      Originally posted by Tony W View Post
      The quality and content of the original capture are obviously important but to generalise the best quality should be had by re sampling via Lightroom to the printers required/ declared resolution. It is not usually optimal to let the printer driver handle the sampling

      If you are printing yourself then you should ideally re sample to your printers required resolution. In the case of Canon/HP this would be 300 / 600 ppi or Epson 360 / 720 ppi. If going via a lab ask for their requirements
      I appreciate your response, thank you! We have an epson 7890 here but sometimes (often?) I send my files to a lab for printing and they ask for 300. So does this mean I should change the default settings in both lightroom and photoshop to 360? Also should I always leave resample ticked? Which resampling option is best? Or do I just leave it on automatic?

      By using the D4 which I prefer for reasons I could not explain do I lose out on a lot of quality by not using the D800 since I have to resample a bit when doing my 11x14 prints?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A PPI/DPI Question - Printing 11x11" from a D4

        This issue has been debated for years and you will still get conflicting opinions. Some swear by resampling to reach a specific printers "optimum" or "native" resolution. Some say nonsense, just let the printing software do it's thing.

        I'm in the latter group. In my experince, as long as the PPI is 150 or greater you're OK. Resampling won't help, might even hurt depending on what method and sharpening you use. Tony W is clearly in the former group.

        So how do you decide? Just do your own tests. Make the small investment to generate sample prints at various resolutions. See if you can tell the difference.

        My decision was made for me at a workshop a few years ago. The workshop leader displayed several identical prints (16x20) made at various resolutions between 150 and 700+. They were from a high-end Epson, can't remember the model. Some were resampled to the printer native resolution, most were not.

        About 20 workshop attendees scanned the prints. Some even used loupes to pixel peep. These were all advanced photographers and digital processors. Nobody could tell the differences. Some who thought they could were tricked by shuffeling the prints and making them try again. None could pick the "optimum" ppi print twice in a row.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A PPI/DPI Question - Printing 11x11" from a D4

          Originally posted by redcrown View Post
          This issue has been debated for years and you will still get conflicting opinions. Some swear by resampling to reach a specific printers "optimum" or "native" resolution. Some say nonsense, just let the printing software do it's thing.

          I'm in the latter group. In my experince, as long as the PPI is 150 or greater you're OK. Resampling won't help, might even hurt depending on what method and sharpening you use. Tony W is clearly in the former group.

          So how do you decide? Just do your own tests. Make the small investment to generate sample prints at various resolutions. See if you can tell the difference.

          My decision was made for me at a workshop a few years ago. The workshop leader displayed several identical prints (16x20) made at various resolutions between 150 and 700+. They were from a high-end Epson, can't remember the model. Some were resampled to the printer native resolution, most were not.

          About 20 workshop attendees scanned the prints. Some even used loupes to pixel peep. These were all advanced photographers and digital processors. Nobody could tell the differences. Some who thought they could were tricked by shuffeling the prints and making them try again. None could pick the "optimum" ppi print twice in a row.
          Thank you redcrown! So your opinion is that I should untick resample (or should I let it on?) and set my ppi to something that garantees I can print from my D4 files without having to resample, something such as 280ppi, which means that with my D4 I would be able to print up to 17,6x13,6" quite comfortably thus making it a walk in the park to print my 11x14" prints?

          Is there any visible difference between 280dpi and 300dpi?

          Also wondering if printers resample when they print? For instance I think my printer the 7890 has the abimity to print at 500dpi, does it mean that a 280dpi file will be converted to 500dpi during the printing process?

          Thanks ever so much!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A PPI/DPI Question - Printing 11x11" from a D4

            Originally posted by The Old Man View Post
            ......We have an epson 7890 here but sometimes (often?) I send my files to a lab for printing and they ask for 300. So does this mean I should change the default settings in both lightroom and photoshop to 360?
            Ideally you would be looking to upsample differently for each printer i.e. in the case of the lab you should be looking at 300 ppi and when you are printing to your Epson 360 ppi.

            Also remember in the case of the Epson it is likely that you will have the option to print in fine or best mode and the required ppi would be 720. Not sure what your labs options are for finest quality.
            Also should I always leave resample ticked? Which resampling option is best? Or do I just leave it on automatic?
            Using LR to upsample click Print resolution checkbox and input required number i.e. either 300 or 360, LR will handle the rest
            In PS you will need to leave resample ticked to allow the upsampling algorithm to work and increase the pixel count. Generally the Bicubic smoother but automatic may be just as good if you are not making a huge upsample.
            By using the D4 which I prefer for reasons I could not explain do I lose out on a lot of quality by not using the D800 since I have to resample a bit when doing my 11x14 prints?
            In theory the D800’s higher pixel count should have benefits over the D4 in resolving detail. In practice this may not always be perceived due to many variables. Assuming all things equal (sensor, lens etc.) it is worth considering that to get double the resolving power you need to quadruple the pixel count. So I doubt that you will loose much that is noticeable.

            Also remember that 'correct' viewing distance has an important role to play in how we perceive detail

            EDIT: I agree that you should do some practical testing to establish best course for a particular print. The difference may or may not be noticeable as subject matter plays a role. For instance images that contain circles or angled lines may highlight staircasing artefacts due to odd pixel count.
            Also wondering if printers resample when they print? For instance I think my printer the 7890 has the abimity to print at 500dpi, does it mean that a 280dpi file will be converted to 500dpi during the printing process?
            AFAIK the printer reports its requirements to the OS 300/600 ppi (HP/Canon} 360/720 (Epson) base on the print head nozzle count. Resampling therefore must occur somewhere in the pipeline if you have not resampled using LR or PS. LR and PS resampling algorithms are superior to the printers own.

            I think you may be confusing ppi with dpi. DPI in this case refers to the printers ability to lay down in in droplets per inch. This is a measure of volume not size and there may be many ink droplets laid down to equate to one pixel.
            Last edited by Tony W; 07-09-2015, 03:32 PM.

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