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Author Topic: Best Print Rez for Color Enlargements on Matte Paper & Epson 3880?  (Read 2424 times)
*Rich
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« on: August 25, 2013, 05:04:39 PM »
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I have read several threads here and elsewhere about ideal print resolution settings -- most of them about printing a single image from LR.

Since I do a low volume of compositing photos w. digital art, I prefer not to use LR. My workflow goes from ACR, where I prep RAW images to be composited, then load each as a layer into Photoshop CS6. After combining and editing, I usually print 13" x 19" color from PS on smooth Matte paper w. my Epson 3880.

I don't start with a single image's native resolution, which is where most print rez discussions begin. I start w. setting resolution and canvas dimensions in PS's New File dialogue (below).

What is the best resolution to set here? Relative to dot-gain issues on matte papers, I have heard 240 or 280 PPI is recommended, with 360 PPI being ideal for glossy and luster papers. Or is this setting irrelevant, and final resolution is determined elsewhere?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 05:13:50 PM by *Rich » Logged
hugowolf
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 05:22:42 PM »
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360 or 720 ppi is best, it really doesn't matter what the paper, matte or glossy. The output resolution, 1440 or 2880 dpi, is more paper dependent. I find 1440 to be preferable to 2880, for most papers and especially matte fine art papers.

Brian A
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 05:40:14 PM »
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360 or 720 ppi is best, it really doesn't matter what the paper, matte or glossy.

Hi Brian,

I agree, that's correct. To use 720PPI you'd also have to check the 'finest details' option in the printer driver though.

Any other setting will cause the printer driver to do that resampling, and it won't use the best possible algorithm for that. So one is better of by resampling to either 360 or 720 PPI first, and do output sharpening at that native printer resolution. Sending that data to the printer driver will produce better quality.

Cheers,
Bart
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JRSmit
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2013, 09:41:22 AM »
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I agree with above comments, in addition the choice to go for 360 or 720 also depends on how many pixels per inch there are when setting the print for a 13x19 print. If it is way more than 360 then going for 720 - and finest details on - is the best option if your choice of papers (rc or fine art) can handle this. You can check aaron dygart's website , he has published for quite a few papers how they react on 1440 versus 2880 setting. Most papers he checked are not optimal for 2880 on his printer which i believe is a 3800. For my 4900 it is sometimes even on smooth fine art paper worthwhile to go to 720, but then my experience is that a 4900 does behave different when going for 2880 than a 3880 (looks like it lays down less ink). Perhaps a printerprofile specific for 2880dpi can be of help.
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Jan R. Smit
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 04:52:39 PM »
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A resolution setting of 360 or 720 PPI is not optimal if you are printing borderless-auto-expand.

Whenever auto-expand is enabled, the print driver adds some extra magnification to the image.  You need a higher resolution file in order to get 360/720 after expansion.   A big issue is that Epson doesn't document exactly how much magnification you get.  This makes it difficult to properly compensate for this expansion.

If you are trying to prepare a file with optimal resolution, do not use any of the auto-expand options.
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jrsforums
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 05:44:31 PM »
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A resolution setting of 360 or 720 PPI is not optimal if you are printing borderless-auto-expand.

Whenever auto-expand is enabled, the print driver adds some extra magnification to the image.  You need a higher resolution file in order to get 360/720 after expansion.   A big issue is that Epson doesn't document exactly how much magnification you get.  This makes it difficult to properly compensate for this expansion.

If you are trying to prepare a file with optimal resolution, do not use any of the auto-expand options.

Qimage shows that the 3880 using borderless letter paper has an optimal PPI of 369/738.  It receives this info from reading the driver info.





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John
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 06:16:58 PM »
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Qimage shows that the 3880 using borderless letter paper has an optimal PPI of 369/738.  It receives this info from reading the driver info.

Hi John,

I agree, Qimage is a life saver in many situations, and Mike Chaney is a great source of information. However, I'm not 100% sure that sending 369/738 PPI data will be gracefully handled by the Epson printer driver. I am somewhat suspicious that the data might be down-sampled to 360/720, and then interpolated back up to 369/738.

It's safer to avoid that, and stick to 360/720 PPI. I remember Mike warning for the use of borderless printing, but since I do not own an Epson, I have not followed the specific Epson discussions about that in detail.

A test would be to print an alternating line-pattern of some length, 1px white 1px black, running horizontal and vertical, and set the image PPI to 738 and print with 'finest detail' selected. Downsampling will produce a low frequency aliasing pattern and should be easy to spot.

Cheers,
Bart
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jrsforums
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2013, 07:01:29 PM »
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Bart,  you could be right.  I never print borderless so my settings in Qimage might be set improperly...as Qimage gives options to modify the response to overspray....+or - I believe.

I sent a note to Mike.  He will probably respond if he can.  I do not know anyone who know more about the "under the covers" of printing....or who is more responsive with his customers needs.
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John Chardine
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2013, 04:12:23 PM »
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Is the 360/720 multiple specific to the 3880 or would that apply to other Epson printers such as the 7600?
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hugowolf
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2013, 04:32:12 PM »
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Is the 360/720 multiple specific to the 3880 or would that apply to other Epson printers such as the 7600?
It isn't 3800/3880 specific, it should apply equally to the 7600.

Brian A
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2013, 04:55:02 PM »
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I have read several threads here and elsewhere about ideal print resolution settings -- most of them about printing a single image from LR.

Since I do a low volume of compositing photos w. digital art, I prefer not to use LR.
Many of us that a print from LR do extensive work on our images in Photoshop, but still move back to LR for output.  LR prints a layered PSD or tiff file perfectly ... in whatever state the file was in when last saved - identical to printing it from Photoshop.

the reason LR is nice is because it can be used much like a RIP in it's layout features. Print presets are fantastic ...   I can open any image in my LR library, go the print module and in 2 clicks have a print headed to one of my two printers which includes paper size, path and type, profile, any borders or borderless, output sharpening settings and more.  I have about 8 presets for each of my two printers, and those presets will include all the properies of your print dialog box.  You click the preset you want, if you have a watermark or signature you may need to move it to a better location depending on the image aspect ratio, and you click the print one button.  No dialog boxes.

I also prefer Lightrooms interface to work with RAW images instead of ACR, although it's not like ACR is horrible.  I just let the printer driver handle the resizing.  I don't change the files size at all and don't worry about the DPI or PPI stuff.  Whatever the native size is determines whether I choose 360 or 720, if it's greater the 360 then I will choose 720 and make sure I use the finest detail setting in the dialog box.  If it's less then 360 I input 360 and leave that option off.  LR takes care of the rest including the resizing and output sharpening.


If you don't have LR you may still just want to send the file to the printer at it's native size and let the driver handle the resizing as part of the screening and dithering.
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John Chardine
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2013, 06:07:34 PM »
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The problem I would have with letting something else do the resizing is that you do not have an opportunity to resharpen the image in its new size and before it's printed.
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2013, 06:08:29 PM »
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The problem I would have with letting something else do the resizing is that you do not have an opportunity to resharpen the image in its new size and before it's printed.

In the case of Lightroom, output sharpening is applied after the resampling...
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John Chardine
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2013, 06:22:20 PM »
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OK, thanks, I didn't know that.
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