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Author Topic: do epson printers use 360/720 ppi no matter what you set in photoshop ?  (Read 17009 times)
Aristoc
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« on: November 19, 2010, 01:28:27 PM »
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I can't find a  conclusion to my question.  

Is it true that if you resample an image in PS before printing to say 300 ppi and hit print, then the epson driver is going to interpolate and actually use 360 ppi ?

Some have said that this is true and that for best quality you should set your resolution, when resampling in PS to either 360 or 720 ppi and not use anything else below or in between. the place where the 360 and 720 comes from is that if you select the 'finest detail' setting in the epson printer driver window that the 720ppi will be used. if the 'finest detail' is unchecked then 360ppi will be used no matter what you set it too in PS. This has something to do with the way the epson printer drivers work.


True or False?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 01:30:13 PM by Aristoc » Logged
BradFunkhouser
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2010, 01:58:50 PM »
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I took a close look at this years ago.  My question was whether I could actually see better fine detail (given a good quality image) if I resampled in Photoshop and always sent 360ppi to the printer.  The answer was a definite yes.  This was true whether the image needed upsampling or downsampling.  Letting the driver resample to 360ppi gave visibly lower quality.  But that was back on a 1280, and I haven't ever retested with 4000, 7600, 9800, 9900.

Since then, for consistency, I've always done my own sizing to 360ppi before sending any file to an Epson.



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Aristoc
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2010, 02:08:48 PM »
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Thanks Brad. This is very very strange to me as I have had some tutorials where the photographer said that for regular desk top ink jet printing with 6 or more carts, you are safe to send the printer no more than 300ppi to maintain image quality. Smaller resolution of about 240 ppi is acceptable for larger images.

I thought that in photoshop, you should therefore set your ppi to no more than 300. If you send more than 300 than it is not that necessary and might affect the time to print the image etc etc. This was from a lynda.com tutorial for CS5 with Ben Long.

Anyway for anyone interested in getting in on this, please read the following nikonians pdf file. Especailly page 19,20 and especially at the top of page 21. IT seems to say to set you resolution in photoshop to 360. In otherwords. not 300 as I have learned so far.

http://www.nikonians.org/html/resources/reference_library/epson/print_quality_how_to_cure.pdf


What all this apparantly means is that if you set something to other resolutions in photoshop, then the printer driver is going to throw that out and do it's own interpolation and change it to 360. Apparently you dont want the printer to do this because it doesn't do it as good as PS. SO better to set it to 360 in PS. IS this true ?

(by the way I am talking about Epson. In particular I have the R2880).
Anyone else ?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 02:11:48 PM by Aristoc » Logged
BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2010, 02:30:12 PM »
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I can't find a  conclusion to my question.  

Is it true that if you resample an image in PS before printing to say 300 ppi and hit print, then the epson driver is going to interpolate and actually use 360 ppi ?

Depending on the printer and paper choice (and other driver settings), Epson printers usually resample to 720 PPI whatever PPI you throw at them. Since the printer driver's resampling method is unknown (it apparently used to be something like bilinear), I prefer doing the resampling with a better algorithm, and then sharpen for output.

Canon and HP printers usually resample to 600 PPI native resolution with glossy paper.

The rationale behind it that it's easier for the printer driver to optimize the dithering, and weaving, and what have you, for a known source PPI. Whether the printer driver does some sharpening after resampling to its native resolution is unknown, but you can do it if you resample yourself.

Cheers,
Bart
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BradFunkhouser
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2010, 02:33:18 PM »
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After doing my test, I eventually purchased ImagePrint and found that the ImagePrint driver has you choose either 180ppi or 360ppi.  They'll do the resampling for you, using bicubic interpolation.  Though for consistency, I still always size to 360ppi myself in Photoshop.

Thanks for the link.  A quote from their paper...  "When printing an image at only 180ppi, there is a risk of losing some sharpness in the final print.  However this should not be a problem for very large prints since the viewing distance is further."

I generally agree, but I have to laugh as well, because many times I have seen my artist customers craning their necks to inspect (from 4 inches away) the level of detail in one of my 40" x 60" prints.

- Brad



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NikoJorj
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2010, 02:37:36 PM »
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True or False?
You can test that on you own : http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/01/how-sharp-is-your-printer-how-sharp-are-your-eyes.html

I personally didn't find any useful gain to set the LR interpolation at 360dpi with my R1800.
However I agree that 180dpi is less than the optimal.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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Aristoc
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2010, 02:41:02 PM »
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Brad I have heard about imageprint in eric chans web site about his 3880 but i have little knowledge about that program yet.

Bart above has said epson usually uses 720. So here again is another number that is not consistant. 720 is double the 360 and I think that I read in eric chans site about his 3880 that if you check of the tick box that says 'finest detail' , the the 720 ppi resolution is used by the printers driver. If you leave that tick box unchecked, then it just uses 360ppi.

I guess what I am trying to figure out really is , what image resolution should I set in PS before I send to my printer ? (180 ?  360 ?   300 ?)  and why ?. And, what is the 'finest detail setting' really going to do ?
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BradFunkhouser
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2010, 02:55:35 PM »
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I haven't ever tested 360ppi versus 720ppi.

720ppi hasn't been an option for me as I've been using ImagePrint for quite a while, and there was no talk of 720ppi when I last used the Epson driver.

But with my new 9900, I've evaluating the Epson driver capabilities versus ImagePrint, so I need to look into the possibility of getting finer details with the Epson driver by sending it 720ppi.  Interesting.

I imagine that those finer details would be visible primarily with papers that hold tight dot patterns, like glossy photo, or high gloss film.

- Brad
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2010, 03:25:19 PM »
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I imagine that those finer details would be visible primarily with papers that hold tight dot patterns, like glossy photo, or high gloss film.

Hi Brad,

That's correct. Also, output sharpening at 720PPI will boost all high spatial frequency detail. The radius used determines the frequencies that benefit the most, but a small radius will also lift other/lower frequencies. Because you can use a higher amount at the pixel level, you also influence more of the lower frequencies, something that non-glossy paper would also benefit from. It also opens possibilities for again masking out smooth areas if needed, and or adding very fine noise.

Cheers,
Bart
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Farmer
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2010, 04:17:56 PM »
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Depending on the printer and paper choice (and other driver settings), Epson printers usually resample to 720 PPI whatever PPI you throw at them.

Only for the consumer-grade printers.  The pro range are 360 unless you set the driver to "finest detail" in which case it changes to 720, which is really only useful for vectors, although some very fine lines in a photograph may benefit but only if you have enough detail to begin with.

A lot of people claim to be able to tell the difference by looking at the images, but without a loupe I doubt it in most cases.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2010, 04:27:05 PM »
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I guess what I am trying to figure out really is , what image resolution should I set in PS before I send to my printer ? (180 ?  360 ?   300 ?)  and why ?. And, what is the 'finest detail setting' really going to do ?

If you do your own resizing, using 180/240/360/720 would probably be the best, although most of the time just sending the image data at it's native size and allowing the printer driver to resize as part of the screening/dithering process will yield very good results. Personally I print almost exclusively from Lightroom, because the biggest challenge is resizing and sharpening correctly which just works with LR 3.

As far as 'finest detail' ... don't use it for photographs.  Here is a quote from the user manuals

Finest Detail for sharper edges on vector-based data including text, graphics, and line art.  (This setting does not affecdt photographs and is not recommended for large files).
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gromit
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2010, 04:36:52 PM »
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As far as 'finest detail' ... don't use it for photographs.  Here is a quote from the user manuals

Finest Detail for sharper edges on vector-based data including text, graphics, and line art.  (This setting does not affecdt photographs and is not recommended for large files).

How does the driver differentiate between vector/text/line art and photographs? Answer: it doesn't.
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Christopher
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2010, 05:14:23 PM »
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I would probably say still to leave it off. Even though I have't tested it.
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deanwork
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2010, 09:48:54 PM »
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Well if you are determined to think that sending 720 to the printer is going to help you with small photographs ( for large prints the file size is out of the question) then do a quick test on your favorite gloss paper using your sharpest photo file, well sharpened, and see for yourself. I don't think you can see any difference with your eyes. But if you do, then go for it. I agree that proper file handling and output sharpening is the more significant variable.

My procedure is to use the best you can SEE for gloss papers, and for matte media you can get away with what is practical file size wise, often less than the "native" resolution.

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langier
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2010, 10:05:18 PM »
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Simple solution and a simple test:

Take your favorite file.

Resample downward and save: as a 90 dpi, 180 dpi, 240 dpi, 300 dpi, 360 dpi, 480 dpi, 600 dpi, and 720 dpi files and print each at the same size, say an 8x10 sample of each file. Mark on the back the res you did and put them away overnight. Next day shuffle them take a look and see what you think is the best.

You'll then know which res works best for you with your printer, workflow, files, and paper choice.
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Larry Angier
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2010, 03:05:54 AM »
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Well if you are determined to think that sending 720 to the printer is going to help you with small photographs ( for large prints the file size is out of the question) then do a quick test on your favorite gloss paper using your sharpest photo file, well sharpened, and see for yourself.

Indeed. That is when so many people experience such an increase in quality by printing with Qimage. Even some on a MAC platform go through the trouble of running it via Parallels, or setting up a dedicated Windows system to handle the printing needs. The benefits outweigh the initial hassle.

The better upsampling quality, plus the automatic sharpening after the resampling, plus the fact that there is no need for a resampled file copy, makes for an efficient printing workflow. This becomes even more evident when printing different sizes  of the same file, perhaps on roll paper where Qimage will also take care of the nesting to save paper. Qimage feeds the printer spool file just the data that's needed as it's created, so no need to create a gigantic output file first. It's only limited by the speed of your printer, and the maximum output size of the printer driver, if there is a hardcoded one. There are even ways to overcome those size limitations ...

Cheers,
Bart
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2010, 07:29:12 AM »
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Maybe Jeff Schewe can weigh in.  In the newest LuLa LR tutorial he notes that images can now be printed at 720 in contrast to the previous advice.  I can't remember if he was speaking about images from MF cameras or the smaller DSLRs.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2010, 08:31:30 AM »
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In the newest LuLa LR tutorial he notes that images can now be printed at 720 in contrast to the previous advice. 
As far as I've understood, the main difference is that LR3 can now send up to 720dpi to the printer, and he said it could be useful in some cases (don't remember which, but I'd guess images with very fine linear detail from my personal experiments based on Ctein's article hereabove).
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2010, 11:01:40 AM »
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Yea, I agree, and that is why I use a PC just for output so I can use Q-Image. It is an amazing program for the money. Lightroom is also excellent.

I prefer Q-Image personally, especially for upsizing digital slr files. I've done a lot of things 40x60 from files of Canon 5DM2 and IDS files on semi-gloss media and I was totally impressed when I first started using Q-Image for that kind of thing.....sending the file over there at like 150 ppi and letting it resample for output.

One thing though to watch out for, you can easily over sharpen if you get carried away with cranking the output sharpening slider option. I do tests on a swatch of the big file to observe the edge sharpening results. This is not something that can really be seen on a screen.

john
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Schewe
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2010, 12:05:36 PM »
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Maybe Jeff Schewe can weigh in.  In the newest LuLa LR tutorial he notes that images can now be printed at 720 in contrast to the previous advice.  I can't remember if he was speaking about images from MF cameras or the smaller DSLRs.

Yes, Lightroom 3 can now upsample to a max of 720PPI and then output sharpen. It was put in because, well, I could get better output from my P65+ images in Photoshop because there I COULD keep the native resolution of the file and output at the dimensions I wanted. Lightroom 2 capped the resolution to 480PPI. So, yeah I kinda got the engineer working on the LR Print module to increase the cap to 720PPI.

As for why? If the native resolution of your file is above 480PPI at the final print size (and this will depend on your camera and print size) it's silly to waste the resolution and force a downsample (which softens) and then have to output sharpen.

Also, what I have found in my own work is that if the native resolution of your image is on the low side of the old 180-480PPI range Bruce Fraser said was useful, adding about 50% in pixel density (upsampling) can help the print when printing from Lightroom. You can do the same thing in Photoshop as well but it's not as easy/efficient. So if your image was at 200PPI at the final print dimension adding 50% (100PPI) in Lightroom would produce a better result for high frequency texture and certain high contrast diagonals or curves...

What I have not found is that taking an image with the low end of the resolution range and upsampling to 720PPI producing a consistently better result.

And taking image's whose resolution is already on the high side (360PPI and above) will not get much benefit at all. Upsampling to 720PPI won't hurt anything...but the returns do diminish. And, you are pushing a lot more pixels which means slower spooling although the actual printing speeds seem about the same.

This all presumes Epson printers like the 2880/3880 and higher. If you are printing to Canon or HP, the numbers to hit would be 600PPI not 720PPI.

I still believe in Bruce's old 180-480PPI range as being able to produce good printed output on inkjet printers...but printers, resampling and output sharpening have improved since he did his trial and error tests a few years ago. So, for images whose native resolution is already over 480PPI, don't downsample. For images on the low end of the range, some images can be improved by adding 50% or so. I do think it's important for people to avoid doing arbitrary resmapling of images to try to hit some magical PPI numbers though. The old saw of resampling to numbers divisible by the "native resolution" of the printers is, I think wrong-headed. And downsampling any image for inkjet printing is simply wrong. However, the same can NOT be said for halftone printing...for halftone printing sending too much resolution can actually produce inferior results...but that's a different discussion.
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