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Author Topic: iPF5000 & PhotoKit Sharpener?  (Read 10786 times)
thompsonkirk
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« on: December 22, 2006, 08:55:52 PM »
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There's a thread on the PixelGenius PhotoKit Sharpener site where a few of us are trying to figure out how to use the sharpener, with its highest resolution setting of 480 ppi, to print 600 ppi images thru the Ipf5000 plug-in:  

http://forums.pixelgenius.com/showthread.php?p=7115#post7115

We understand there's not likely to be a 600 ppi fix by PixelGenius very soon, because the sharpener was Bruce Fraser's inspiration.  This is but a small aspect of a much larger loss.  

So far I've determined that it doesn't work to sharpen a 300 ppi image at the PKS 300 setting & then up-res afterwards.  Others are trying res-ing up first & then using 300 or 480 settings.

Michael, when you made those 2000(!) 11x17 prints last month, did you make any use of the PK Sharpener?  If so, how did you set it - or if not, what did you choose for an alternative?

Kirk
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2006, 09:42:49 PM »
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I use PK Sharpener all the time.

Don't confuse printer output settings with file resolution. Set the iPF5000 to its highest res output and then forget about it.

Sharpen your files with PKS based on their actual output resoution.

Michael
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2006, 09:43:17 PM »
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There's a thread on the PixelGenius PhotoKit Sharpener site where a few of us are trying to figure out how to use the sharpener, with its highest resolution setting of 480 ppi, to print 600 ppi images thru the Ipf5000 plug-in: 

http://forums.pixelgenius.com/showthread.php?p=7115#post7115

We understand there's not likely to be a 600 ppi fix by PixelGenius very soon, because the sharpener was Bruce Fraser's inspiration.  This is but a small aspect of a much larger loss. 

So far I've determined that it doesn't work to sharpen a 300 ppi image at the PKS 300 setting & then up-res afterwards.  Others are trying res-ing up first & then using 300 or 480 settings.

Michael, when you made those 2000(!) 11x17 prints last month, did you make any use of the PK Sharpener?  If so, how did you set it - or if not, what did you choose for an alternative?

Kirk
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I've been using PK Sharpener Pro since it became available and tried a great many aspects of it. I find the most critical stage for successful operation of this program is at the Capture Sharpen stage. Here it really is important to properly judge whether the image would do best with Wide, Medium, Narrow or Superfine sharpening - that is, most carefully aligning the kind of edge in the image with the choice of edge sharpening in the menu. By examining the image on the monitor at 50% (a recommendation from Bruce Fraser) I find I can get an approximate comparative impression of what to expect from the printer, but Bruce always warned that viewing sharpening effects on a monitor is not reliable.

There is much more latitude with Output sharpening. I almost NEVER resize an image by changing the native resolution. I re-dimension images all the time of course, with resampling turned off, so the PPI changes from one image to another - anywhere upwards of 180 depending on the crop and the print size.

Normally I select the PPI in the Output Sharpen menu that is closest to the PPI of my image - but it may not even be all that close and the results are fine. For example, there is nothing in the Inkjet Output Sharpener menu between 360 and 480 - where the mid-point is 420. If I output sharpen a 420 PPI image at both 360 and 480 and compare them, generally speaking I have a hard time seeing a significant difference on paper. The 480 may be a trifle crisper. So you can use these settings to control very fine adjustments of crispness.

As I look at digital photos in craft shows and other places, I find many people have a tendancy to over-sharpen - when that happens the prints don't look natural any longer.

That is all by way of an approach to using this program, but it leads into your question about 600 PPI. Firstly, have you actually tried and compared sending 600 PPI and 480 PPI of the same image to the printer and compared the results (without Output Sharpening)? I strongly suspect you will have a hard time seeing any obvious improvement from 480 to 600. There has been a general consensus amongst many experts in this field that depending on print size anything between 300 and 480 will be equally good, and it is pointless sending anything more than 480 PPI to an inkjet printer. I believe that is why PixelGenius limited the tool to a maximum of 480 PPI.

Secondly, have you sent 600 and 480 to the printer using the 480 setting? What difference did you see on paper?

By the way, all these comparisons should be done on paper without a loupe and not by looking at images pumped up to 100% on a monitor, because normally we do not enjoy photographs with a magnifying glass - we just look at them - and from a further distance the larger the print. Some people get carried away with discussion of observed differences of quality by looking at pumped-up monitor images or prints through a loupe. None of this tells anything reliable or useful. The only real test is what you see looking at the print in the normal way. I'd be interested to hear of your observations resulting from printed tests of these various settings as suggested above. It may resolve a lot of the issue.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2006, 10:31:22 PM »
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I wouldn't send 480 PPI to the printer, as the driver or plugin will resize them to 600 PPI using Nearest Neighbor resampling (default) or bilinear (a choice available in the plugin).  Testing done by one of the posters to the IPF5000 Wiki showed a small, but noticeable difference in prints dependent on method of resampling.  Best was Bicubic Smoother done in Photoshop to 600 PPI, thus avoiding any resampling by the Plugin itself.

--John
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Tim Ernst
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2006, 10:45:07 PM »
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"Sharpen your files with PKS based on their actual output resoution."

"Best was Bicubic Smoother done in Photoshop to 600 PPI, thus avoiding any resampling by the Plugin itself."

Yes, exactly the point - I think that was the original question - your output file sent to the printer is 600ppi yet the highest output file resolution for Photokit Sharper is only 480....

I would assume that you would use 480 since that is as close to 600 as you can get...
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2006, 11:18:09 PM »
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"Sharpen your files with PKS based on their actual output resoution."

"Best was Bicubic Smoother done in Photoshop to 600 PPI, thus avoiding any resampling by the Plugin itself."

Yes, exactly the point - I think that was the original question - your output file sent to the printer is 600ppi yet the highest output file resolution for Photokit Sharper is only 480....

I would assume that you would use 480 since that is as close to 600 as you can get...

Exactly.  I agree and didn't miss the original point, but wanted to make sure no one was getting the idea that sending 480 PPI through the Plugin or driver was a good way to go.  That is how the previous post read (at least to me).

--John
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2006, 09:00:23 AM »
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I wouldn't send 480 PPI to the printer, as the driver or plugin will resize them to 600 PPI using Nearest Neighbor resampling (default) or bilinear (a choice available in the plugin).  Testing done by one of the posters to the IPF5000 Wiki showed a small, but noticeable difference in prints dependent on method of resampling.  Best was Bicubic Smoother done in Photoshop to 600 PPI, thus avoiding any resampling by the Plugin itself.

--John
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John, not being a user of the IPF5000 I was responding more generically. It seems from what you are saying that the IPF5000 REQUIRES the file to be 600 output PPI for printing (and for clarity I assume we ARE talking output image pixels per inch here, not printer DPI - correct?). If that is the case, it means that ANY file which isn't 600 PPI Output to start with will be resampled to that resolution by the printer software, and you are reporting others' experience that it is better to do this oneself in Photoshop. That's fine, but I think the advice stands in respect of PK Output Sharpener to use the 480 setting for anything 480 and upward.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2006, 09:07:56 AM »
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That's fine, but I think the advice stands in respect of PK Output Sharpener to use the 480 setting for anything 480 and upward.

Agree 100% on that.  Was just pointing out some other aspects of the IPF5000 to make sure others got optimal image quality.  I didn't do the testing myself, but the poster who did (apologies, can't remember who) appeared to have done a very thorough job in evaluating what variables had an effect on final print quality.

--John
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Tim Ernst
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2006, 10:36:32 AM »
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John:

I have always wondered why when using the 16-bit plugin you have a choice of either 8-bit or 16-bit input, however when using anything but "Plain" paper you only have 600ppi choice for the input and the 300ppi choice is greyed out.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2006, 04:55:22 PM »
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John:

I have always wondered why when using the 16-bit plugin you have a choice of either 8-bit or 16-bit input, however when using anything but "Plain" paper you only have 600ppi choice for the input and the 300ppi choice is greyed out.
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Wondered about that myself.  Probably another bu...   I mean "feature" of the plugin.

--John
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