Making large prints...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by AbidingGuy, May 13, 2017.

  1. AbidingGuy

    AbidingGuy Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Feb 21, 2017
    M43 Gods,

    Now that The Boss (wife) has expressed a keen interest in getting into photography with me, I'm thinking about making large prints; like the kind that could hang on a wall. We are redecorating, and after seeing what large photo prints are selling for, I figured I could make my own using any one of the services out there in the ether that exist to do just that.

    But here's my conundrum...do I by another M43 body like I've been considering, or do I get a FF? I only ask about FF because I have access to a mint Nikon D700 with less than 100 actuations that I could get for a song, and was thinking that may be the way to go. I'd have to get a good wide angle lens for it, and it has no IBIS (unless the lens has it), but the reviews have been uniformly great. Thoughts? Tried searching for a similar thread but couldn't find anything similar...thanks.
     
  2. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    How large?
    How close would people be viewing them?
    Does your camera have a High Res mode?
     
  3. AbidingGuy

    AbidingGuy Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Feb 21, 2017
    Forgot to add that if I went with the D700, that would be the camera I would use primarily for the landscape/vista/architecture-type photography niche I've taken to, and The Boss would use the M43 gear I already have. I'm not opposed to investing in a FF system if I'll be able to make wall-sized prints with it.
     
  4. AbidingGuy

    AbidingGuy Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Feb 21, 2017
    Wall-sized, up close, and the EM5II does have the hi-res mode....so that mode works well with wall-sized photos? And what I mean by "wall-sized" is like 24"x48".
     
  5. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Yes, the high res mode would be fine for at least that.
     
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  6. AbidingGuy

    AbidingGuy Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Feb 21, 2017
    That was easy...EM1 it is!
     
  7. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    The E-M1 does not have hi-res mode. The only Olympus cameras that do are the E-M5 II, Pen-F, and E-M1 II.

    I have a number of 30"x20" prints from my GH4 hanging on my walls and the detail is fantastic. I have a 72" wide print that's a stitched panorama from my GH4 as well, and the same applies. Excellent detail.

    Personally, I wouldn't spend the money on a FF camera. Despite what the internet tells you, you don't need a FF camera to make "wall-sized" prints. Even the 16MP m43 sensor is fine for that.

    Instead, use the funds to take a trip to someplace cool, put the camera to use, and print out some images from the trip.
     
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  8. I've made large canvas prints around that size with SOOC jpegs from my GF1...


    The EM5 mkII will do it with ease...
     
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  9. AbidingGuy

    AbidingGuy Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Feb 21, 2017
    What I meant was The Boss will get the latest and greatest (per usual), and I'll get the "2nd tier" stuff. I'll still use the EM5II for things like the hi-res capability, but for everything else the EM1 should work for me.

    Thanks for the info on the print capabilities of M43...happier by the day that I invested in this system.
     
  10. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    463
    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Printing large is a matter of the number and quality of pixels. The cameras that shoot sensor-shift hi-res images really shine here. Not that it makes much difference once the talk turns to stitching, but the D700 is a 12Mp camera. Theoretically, you should be able to print larger from any of the 16Mp m4/3 cameras. Not amazingly larger, but modestly substantially larger. Then you have to provide the D700 with lenses. FX lenses are big and heavy. Where the D700 will have an edge is at higher isos. That's why I keep my 24Mp D600 (the camera every one loves to hate), lenses, too. But when I have to carry gear any distance on foot, I take the m4/3 and print large anyway. I can carry double the variety of lenses with no diminution of quality for less weight and volume. What's not to love?
     
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  11. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    400
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    I print quite a bit, but generally not larger than 16x20. But even at that size, I think the quality of the optics is at least as important (if not more so) as the sensor size and MP count. The O75 certainly never disappoints, and yields results at 16x20 that rival FF. I've done some informal side by side comparisons of consumer level m4/3 primes and their FF counterparts with the O25/1.8 and P42.5/1.7 and the FF print results are noticeably better.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  12. Jda67

    Jda67 New to Mu-43

    Maybe, instead of thinking about buy a new camera, should you give a try to "Blow Up" from Alien Skin Software (Blow Up - Alien Skin Software). There is also a resize module inside ON1 Photo Raw 2017, but I never try it.
     
  13. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I'll just add that you can get larger prints that look good out of almost any modern digital cameras these days. I had a poster made from a 4MP shot out of my old Oly C-770UZ that looks great.

    So if the original post was wondering if by printing large if you also needed a FF camera to do so, then the answer is NO.
    If you simply want to get it for a second camera to play around with, then go for it.

    BOTH cameras will produce great large prints for display in your home.
     
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  14. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    It's been shown many times that in blind testing of prints, even large prints, that most people can't tell them apart when things like resolution is close. Now a 50mb FF image will have more data allowing you to count the leaves on the trees 200m away but do you need it to print a large image.... maybe :)
    Lenses do matter as a crap image remains a crap image regardless of output but typically landscapes are shoot in the sweet spot of nearly every lens
    Now the potentially controversial comment
    The paper you chose to print the image on can have a far greater impact than lenses and cameras and paper should be chosen to suit the image.
     
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  15. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    What type of media are you planning to use? Canvas, print on metal direct, metallic paper print, standard photo paper? I find that anything over 18x24, I want to go with canvas or a metal direct, so I don't have to deal with non-glare glass. If going with canvas you generally don't need more than 150ppi. I've done a 36 x 60 print before with my em1, but it was also a 4 image horizontal stitch shot in portrait. Looks great. For metal prints, the largest single shot I've done is 20x30...and it looks like it could have been printed larger with negligible image quality loss, given the distance it's viewed at.
    As to printers...I love the quality from cgproprints.com (canvas and metal prints)
     
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  16. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    I've got a 24x36 from an E300 with a massive 8Mb of pixels. I've got lots of 17" wide prints from the same body. Sadly my printer has been broken since I've had the EM1 and mk2 so haven't printed any from them but expect them to be improved due to extra pixels. Doesn't make the 8mb images bad though

    Seriously a bog standard 65" 4K display is larger than the OP wants to print an 8mb is all that used to display stunning images
    I now use a 55" 4K display for editing so any image that looks great on it should look great printed 27x48
     
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  17. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    400
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    I guess that was my point. I'll concede that my objectivity is imperfect in evaluating the side-by-side results from a handful of scenes using the m4/3 lenses that I used to own (the O25/1.8 and the P42.5/1.7) against FF equivalents. As I understand it, the resolving power of high-end m4/3 optics such as the O25mm/1.2 and the PL42.5mm/1.2 has to be (and is indeed) superior to their FF equivalents to produce similarly sharp images on a smaller sensor. But since they are relatively expensive compared to the f/1.8 offerings from Nikon at 50mm and 85mm, which, when stopped down to f/2.5, are simply outstanding. Of course they are bulkier to carry (but not that much heavier).

    I have been using Nations Photo Lab in Maryland. They print on Kodak Professional Endura paper and the results are quite good, IMO. What are people's thoughts on paper choice?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  18. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    How have people managed wall space? I started printing somewhat large but quickly ran out of wall space... I kind of prefer a well-curated photo book these days.
     
  19. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Buy a bigger house ;) lol

    The smallest print I have is 24x18. The majority of 30x20, and I have a few that are larger. I agree that wall space is the biggest issue when you start printing large. It just makes you that much more selective when it comes to choosing what images to print.
     
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  20. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    400
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    The walls in my office are pretty much completely covered in prints!