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Question about DPI, resolution, PP & printing.

Discussion in 'Printing' started by Livnius, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    G'day guys.

    This last week I've begun going through my entire catalogue of images with the aim of selecting my favorite 100 which I will reprocess in LR and ultimately, use in my first ever photobook. I've looked into a few companies and like the look of the product offered my MyPublisher...I will make 4 or 5 copies for myself, family and some close friends. I chose MyPublisher because it sounds like they use really high quality archive grade paper and top notch materials throughout.

    Just wondering if there is any specific advice you guys may have from your experiences making photobooks and printing. The first issue that got my attention was DPI values. I have my EM5 set to 350dpi and sRGb...my iMac monitor is also set to the sRGB color space, Lightroom is also set to sRGB and 350dpi, and, when I edit a tiff in one of the NiK plugins I always ensure that it is also set to 350dpi. My question....does any of this matter and why ?

    I've noticed looking at the exif data from others on Flickr that although 240-360 is a common range....many vary from this range, and quite dramitically too...I think I've seen as low as 70dpi and as high as 4000+dpi. Why is this ?

    Am I doing the right thing by keeping everything throughout the process at 350dpi ? Is there a "better" value to work with given that I will send these to print ?
    Note: I will be using the 'deluxe' sized book which is approx 15" by 11" if I recall correctly.

    Any help/input would be appreciated as I quite literally don't have a clue with this stuff.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    Hey Joe,

    Pre-press is a whole world on its own. But ill do my best to be as clear (simple) as possible,

    For what you want to do, anything in between 250-350dpi is fine. Most common preset is 300 dpi for almost everything up to A1 or A0 (this is handy to understand international paper sizing Dimensions Of A Paper Sizes - A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10 - In Inches & mm) Anything bigger than A0 dont require 300dpi as no one is going to stand that close to the print. For you to know, a massive billboard on the road or streets are usually as low as 72dpi or less.

    dpi stands for "Dots per inch" so the logic behind this the more dots (of ink injected into the paper, thats what "dots" stands for here) the better the details. Also called resolution. But that doesnt stop there, those dots per inch, goes into a sustrate called paper. So depending on the type and thickness (measured by weight) of the paper you can get better or worse results.

    So what if you print a 300dpi image into a common A4 paper (usually 80grms), most likely you will dissolve the paper and the result will be a mess. why?. cause that paper doesnt have the "thickness" or weight to absorb that amount of ink.

    But then you print that a 72dpi image into a heavy stock A4 paper (lets say anything in between 200-300 grms), you will get also a mess, why? because that paper is able to absorb much more ink, therefore able to capture much more details, and since you are injecting less "dots per inch" you are not printing enough details to get a so called "crisp" image.

    So the common printing process for anything in between A4 and A2 is 300 dpi. ALWAYS!. specially with photography.

    Now a different thing is color profiles. I personally always use Adobe 1998 or ProPhoto color profiles, as I shoot raw, i also want to get the same info in my colors.

    To put it somewhat simple, lets say sRGB = JPEG while Adobe98= Industry standard and Prophoto RGB = RAW.

    Basically sRGB uses a less amount of color information in its spectrum, while Adobe98 is an industry standard set by adobe in 1998. ha!. Then professional cameras (usually FF - MF) and photographers also use ProPhoto RGB for their raw images since it has a wider color spectrum compared to Adobe 98 and sRGB.

    Internet uses sRGB, but Printing uses Adobe98-Prophoto RGB-or any custom color profile (ask your printer) and of course the actual printing INTO paper is not RGB but CMYK, which adds another dimension to this but i wont go as far as that.

    I would recommend the following.

    shoot all your images in AdobeRGB set in camera and in RAW (if you want to edit them much more). Do all the editing in a Adobe98 environment and then you have two options, convert into sRGB for anything internet and low res related. And keep another high res copy in Adobe 98 for your printer and let HIM to do the CMYK conversion.

    not sure if i cleared any of your doubts or did a confused you more Joe, but please do not hesitate in getting in touch internally if you want more details!.
     
  3. JStheoriginal

    JStheoriginal Mu-43 Veteran

    271
    Mar 9, 2013
    Canada
    Justin
    question for you chris...if you only were to print the VERY odd photo...would you recommend just keeping it sRGB in camera? or still AdobeRGB? what changes are needed to workflow if you use sRGB and want to display photos online other than just having sRGB be the export format for jpg?
     
  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Joe,

    In short, this value is not really useful except by software/hardware that looks for the value. What really matters are two things - the actual resolution of your image and, to a lesser extent (based on my experiences) the re-sizing of the image for the printing equipment.

    In general, you want to maintain as much of the original resolution as possible when printing. The "gold standard" in printing is approximately 300-360 PPI. Anything above that figure is fine. You can print at lesser DPI's, but things start to fall apart on close viewing distances (like a book) when you are less than 200 DPI, IMHO.

    So, when you are done post-processing your files in LR, you have a couple of choices when you export your files to be shipped to the printer. You can send them the full file resolution and let their printer software do the work of fitting it on to the page. Or, you can tell LR the size of the printed image, and let it do the work. Many say that LR has better algorithms than some of the printer drivers, and that may be true, but I had the same file printed to 20" x 30" with one being re-sized by LR and the other by the software driving the Epson 7800 series printer, and I could not tell the difference.

    See what My Publisher recommends/requests. I am assuming that they will want sRGB Jpeg files, but find out to be sure so you can export out of LR properly. Also, make sure that you have calibrated your monitor with the proper hardware/software. There are very affordable set-ups (e.g. Datacolor's Spyder), and this is no place to skimp if you are printing that many images.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    If you are working with Lightroom as your primary post-processing software, I would suggest shooting raw (which has no assigned color space) and executing your edits in LR in the software's native ProPhoto color space (aka Melissa). When exporting files outside of LR, export with the appropriate color space. Some printers can read AdobeRGB files, but many still request sRGB. It is always best to ask and never assume.

    --Ken
     
  6. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Yeah, I shoot RAW...and I have all my software set to the same parameters as what i have set in camera as follows:

    (Camera=sRGB @ 350dpi) + (LR+NiK plugins = sRGB @ 350dpi) + (iMac monitor = sRGB)

    So its safe to assume then that doing the above, MyPublisher printing my images to fit a 15" x 10" book on high quality satin archive paper with a weight of 185grms is fine ? (assuming of course that i send them appropriate size/type files of course)


    WRT to color space, I have up to this point set everything in-camera to sRGB and have done the same with all my software/monitors etc. If I were to now change all of that and implement AdobeRGB into everything....saving the AdobeRGB stuff for printing and converting to sRGB for web etc....wouldn't all of my post processing work immediately take on a slightly different look after conversion ? Am i not better off just keeping everything uniformly sRGB...even at the cost of slightly less colour depth when printing ?
    At least that way when i work on image in LR and Nik, when i complete an image and get a result i like the look of...it will more or less look the same whether or not I view it on the web or email to a friend or print it ?
     
  7. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    Well, thats the thing if internet is your thing. sRGB is more than fine and its the common color profile used in most devices.

    But, if you intend to print, or work on your images for something else, you want to keep as much "raw" info as possible from the camera. So i personally use Adobe 98 set in my OMD, since the OMD doesnt have ProPhoto RGB, if it did, that would be the one I'd use.

    So with Adobe 98 and shooting raw is likely you PP your images before printing or uploading it to some website, right?, like i said before, every time i upload any images to flickr, mu-43, my portfolio website, or anything internet related i always do a jpeg low res conversion and switch to sRGB as 99% of the world use that profile in their screens so they would see the colors just like i want them to see them.

    If im going to print, id send the printer adobe98 or in my case (as i work as a senoir designer) i do the CMYK conversion and send it to the printer, prior knowing there set ups and printing profiles.

    The easy way to understand Color Profiles is the following:

    Imagine that any Color profile is a sunglass, so i shoot this awesome landscape using my camera with the XXXX color profile. After im happy with my image, i send it to you like "hey man check this awesome landscape" so i send you the image but not the sunglasses that i used for me to see-capture-edit my photo. If he doesnt have my EXACT same sunglasses he is NEVER going to see the image as i do.

    easy right?.

    so there are some world-known "sunglasses" those are sRGB most used, and Adobe 98.

    Since i shoot with adobe98 everytime i want to share my "awesome" images with someone, i have to make sure that i send the image with the sRGB sunglasses to make sure everyone is going to see it that EXACT same way i see it.

    then a different story is to try to always work with a calibrated monitor. but you get the idea. hopefully?.
     
  8. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    MyPublisher looks like it uses its own custom software. In that case output ppi (pixels per inch - we haven't made any "dots" yet) is irrelevant. The software will do it when you import the images. Exporting your images at their maximum native resolution will probably be the best you can do in this case. If you divide the longest dimension of the file (in pixels) by the longest side of the page (in inches) and come up with a number greater than 240 then you should be fine. The average adult won't resolve more than this at normal viewing distances.

    The website doesn't mention which colour space the images can be. sRGB is a given. aRGB is possible. Anything larger doesn't stand a chance of being offered. I'd ask support if the software doesn't tell you. If they don't know use sRGB.

    This won't be a pre-press print process. That's too expensive for a single run. It's more likely to be printed on either a HP Indigo or a Llambda laser line printer. These two printers have slightly different file resolution requests, however the software will sort that out and you're unlikely to see any real world differences anyway.

    Lightroom can only use a 16bit workspace in the Melissa colour gamut. However you'll output to either sRGb or aRGB depending on what the book software can deal with. Adobe RGB can show more saturated colours (especially in the greens/yellows) than sRGB. However if you're not using a wide gamut monitor or you're outputting the an 8 bit file you may be better off sticking with sRGB which will trade off slightly less colour saturation with smoother transitions between tones. Make sure you set the quality of the output jpegs at the maximum.

    Gordon
     
  9. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    If you shoot raw setting a colour space in camera is mostly irrelevant as a raw file doesn't use one. Setting a colour space in camera affects the jpeg output and the histogram only. In a raw workflow you only need to set the colour space either while you are soft-proofing or upon output of the file to a baked format (jpeg, TIFF, PSD). Capture One lets you set a working space but Lightroom doesn't and always opens raw files in the Melissa colour space, regardless of the settings in camera.

    Personally I shoot RAW plus a sRGB jpeg. I have the raw for larger colourspace use and the jpeg is ready to upload directly to the web or email to a lab.

    Gordon
     
  10. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    Thats fine Joe, do you know the type of paper they used? you mention a style of paper, but have you actually seen it?, Thats the reason you could ask for test prints, as im not sure you can ask for one, or maybe not interested as their might be some costs involved in such low volume of copies of your book is not worth it.

    BUT, for you to understand ROUGHLY if the paper is fine or not for your purposes, you mention they offer you a 185grms paper, that is the exact same paper used in most regular CD album artwork booklets.

    Most fashion magazines, use a 200grms cover and a 120-130grms glossy paper.

    So now you get more less the idea of how thick or thin the paper is going to be without seeing and touching it.

    If you ask me, for a 50 or 100 pages book i think anything in between 190-220 grms is perfect. more than that becomes a "cardboard" making it WAY to heavy for a book.


    If you have one already set up environment thats perfect Joe. nothing wrong can happen. And that is key, to work using ONE color profile across all your platform.

    If you switch color profiles will that change things?, YES it will. That what are color profiles for. They were invented to somehow keep a standard in terms of, If i use X and you too, we are both going to see the EXACT SAME IMAGE. But if use X and you use Y then you are going to see things differently (considering i took the picture with X color profile).

    makes sense?.

    In your case the only difference you would see by switching your color profile from sRGB to Adobe98 is a wider color spectrum aka "more" colors in your images. Now, how much?. only you can tell that.

    theres no right or wrong when it comes to printing. there are suggestions with a lot of "why's" but thats it.
     
  11. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    The paper they use they comes from 2 apparently 'premium' paper mills in Europe... "Sappi" of Finland and "Fedrigoni" of Italy. And I was wrong....the paper is 252grms NOT 180. (BTW...I will choose the re-inforced edge 'lay-flat' binding option as opposed to regular binding)



    Gordon. Yeah i will definitely get in touch with MyPublisher support and glean as much info as I can as to what they need from me to get best possible results.
     
  12. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    Thats correct, but i set the color profile in camera to check every time i chimp as the image in the LCD back is a JPEG, which is affected entirely by the color profile and the histogram to correct anything if needed. :2thumbs:
     
  13. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Also, forgot to add.....I will select up to 100 images...but not every image will be on its own individual page, although some may. There will however be many pages that have 2 or 3 images. In the end, I imagine that the whole book will be approx 30 pages.
     
  14. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    That sounds fine. I have access to an Australian lay flat book maker and they use 300gsm stock. Id actually prefer something just a tad lighter. 250 sounds very nice. More like a bound set of prints than a book, as such.

    Usually this type of in house software will give you a warning if the resoloution is low. However that shouldnt be an issue at the sizes youll be using. Even if you're using 12MP files you should be more than fine. I have prints to 19" from an EPL2 and they're perfect.

    Gordon
     
  15. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    I know Fedrigoni and its an awesome paper for sure. And 252gsm is more than enough! Also note if its uncoated or coated paper.
     
  16. marcsitkin

    marcsitkin Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Jan 24, 2013
    Harwich, MA USA
    Marc Sitkin
    Regarding MyPublisher, a friend of mine sent me this response to his inquiries:
    To ensure that your images are printed to our highest standards, it's crucial that they conform to the following specifications:

    --- FILE FORMAT ---------------------------------

    Your images must be saved as JPEG files (file ends in .jpg or .jpeg)

    --- IMAGE SIZE ---------------------------------

    Image size requirements (in pixels) ultimately depend on the desired printed size.

    The software will warn you if you have used a photo that has insufficient resolution for the size you have chosen. These images will be outlined in red as opposed to blue. Reduce the size of any red outlined images (by using the Zoom Out button) until the outline turns from red to blue; otherwise, images will not print clearly and may appear pixelated.

    If, on the other hand, your images slightly exceed the specs, or are used in a smaller size in the book (in a four per page layout for example), your software will downsize them accordingly – no adjustments are necessary.

    The following image sizes (in pixels) represent the minimum dimensions for the largest images (one photo per page) in each of our products:

    - PocketBooks: 2349 x 1749 pixels
    - Classic Hardcover Books: 3324 x 2574 pixels
    - Deluxe Hardcover Books: 4524 x 3474 pixels


    --- RESIZING ---------------------------------

    If you have a lot of large images that exceed the maximum specs listed above, you may want to consider resizing them with a third party image editor prior to bringing them into your software.

    While your software is capable of sizing the images accordingly when the book is purchased, resizing them first using a dedicated image editor will give rise to better performance while making the book, as well as faster uploads.

    --- USING THIRD PARTY IMAGE EDITING SOFTWARE ---------------------

    If you are using photo editing software to create or edit your images, please keep these points in mind:

    ~ Use sRGB or RGB when enhancing photos – no CMYK.
    ~ Use sRGB or RGB for black and white photos – no Grayscale.
    ~ Remove any vectors, slices or layers from your images.

    IMPORTANT: Please allow a 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch 'gutter' around all sides of these images to allow for cropping. Without this allowance, any text or image elements near the edges of the image will be cut off when the book is printed.

    --- ASPECT RATIO ---------------------------------

    If you want to use square images in your book, we recommend that you use a third party image editor to create a rectangular document that maintains a 4:3 aspect ratio, using at least the minimum specs listed above.

    You can then place the square image into this rectangular document, allowing a border or background to occupy the remaining space in the rectangle.

    Inserting this rectangular image with the 4:3 aspect ratio into the templates in your softwarewill ensure that images with differing aspect ratios are printed without distortion or cropping. This also holds true for any image whose aspect ratio differs from that of the book – ie, panoramic or widescreen images.

    --- VIEWING IMAGE DETAILS -----------------------------

    To verify specific information about your images, you'll need to take the following steps. Please note that you cannot do this from within your software– this information can only be acquired from the original image file.

    PC Users

    ~ Right click on the image
    ~ Left click 'Properties' from the menu that follows ~ Left click on the Summary tab ~ Left click on Advanced

    Mac Users

    ~ Right (or ctrl) click on the image
    ~ Left click 'Get Info' from the menu that follows ~ Left click on the 'More Info' arrow

    From here, you can view an image's pixel dimensions.

    Please contact us if you need further assistance.

    [Top of Page]
    Create own images or layouts createownimages Send in current chat
    Thank you for taking the time to contact the MyPublisher customer service team.

    If you are interested in creating your own jpeg images in photo editing or photo management software, you are more than welcome to do so! This allows for more creative flexibility, such as embedding text in the jpeg image or placing a background behind the photo.

    --- IMAGE SIZES ---------------------------------

    FOR INTERNAL PAGES
    Classic Hardcover 11.08x8.58 inches at 300dpi = 3249x2574 pixels Deluxe Hardcover 14.08x11.08 inches at 300dpi = 4224x3324 pixels Pocketbooks 7.83x5.83 inches at 300dpi = 2349x1749 pixels

    FOR COVERS
    Classic Hardcover 11.33 x 8.83 inches at 300dpi = 3399x2649 pixels Deluxe Hardcover 15.08 x11.58 inches at 300dpi = 4524x3474 pixels Pocketbooks 7.83x5.83 inches at 300dpi = 2349x1749 pixels


    --- COLOR SETTINGS ---------------------------

    ~ Use sRGB or RGB when enhancing photos – no CMYK.
    ~ Use sRGB or RGB for black and white photos – no Grayscale.
    ~ Remove any vectors, slices or layers from your images.
    ~ MyPublisher does not currently provide ICC profiles for our output devices

    --- BLEED / GUTTER ----------------------------

    IMPORTANT: The MyPublisher program will display dotted lines around the edge of your pages to show you where the image would bleed off the edge or into the gutter. Please review your layouts carefully and ensure no crucial details are within the blurred area or they may be cut off during production.


    --- FILE FORMAT ---------------------------------

    Your images must be saved as JPEG files (file ends in .jpg or .jpeg) at the maximum quality setting.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Once you've created your images using a third party image editor, you can then use the Get Photos mode to bring them into the MyPublisher app. Then while in Make Book mode, you can select a '1 Photo' page type from the page menu for each page on which you'd like to place a custom image.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Please ensure you select a layout that has 1 image field on the page that covers the entire page surface area. For instance via the Page Layout button you can select BestSeller as your page style and 1 photo as your page type, then select this option under the Without Captions area.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    My best guess is sRGB is the preferred color space for this reproduction.

    As far as inkjet printing goes, I do not change the resolution of images to any fixed size before sending to an inkjet. The printer drivers will interpolate as needed, as part of the "secret sauce" in the driver. Usually, for photographic subjects requiring high detail, 200dpi at full size is fine. 150dpi is good for rough surfaced papers and canvas, where fine detail is obscured by media surface texture.

    If you run windows, you might want to look at a third party program called Q image. It is a printing utility (not a RIP) that works with your printer's drivers and allows you to nest images, add borders and EXIF data to captions, as well as a few other tricks. It's got a quirky interface, but I've found it to be very useful. Most importantly to me, I've found that it's able to apply significant sharpening to a file AT THE PRINTING stage, which really does improve the image quality of the print.

    The ppi size in camera is pretty meaningless. What really matters is absolute pixel dimensions. The page size is a convenience. If you have a RAW capture, you can post process to whatever color space you wish. Larger output spaces such as ProPhoto RGB can contain wider color gamut info, but should be ties to 16 bit images to avoid gaps in the histogram that can appear otherwise after manipulation. You'll not be able to display all the color using current displays, so Adobe RGB might be a wiser choice. Whatever (editing) colorspace you work in, remember to soft proof output if possible, as chances are your output device profile will be smaller than your editing profile.

    The 300dpi guide was originally established for offset halftone screens. Most inkjet and Estat printers use stochastic screens, which use much smaller dots, and can work well with less dpi going in from the original image.
     
  17. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    ^^^ :2thumbs:

    Brilliant ! Thanks Marc.
     
  18. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    What Marc said and i wasnt able to say this clear. Any help along the way, just 'Holla' back!
     
  19. PaulGiz

    PaulGiz Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Jan 3, 2013
    Rhode Island, USA
    Nobody has clarified this, so I will try. sRGB has a more limited gamut than AdobeRGB. lt simulates the range found in typical monitors and offset printing. Most inkjet and dye transfer methods can reproduce a wider range of colors. 7- and 8-color devices can do much better.

    If you work in RAW, you are not assigning a profile until you are ready to save your file in a printable format. Then you assign the profile that matches what your output will be.

    You can convert AdobeRGB profile to sRGB anytime and you only lose the data required for that profile.

    Converting sRGB to AdobeRGB cannot add data that is not there, so you gain nothing.

    P.
     
  20. marcsitkin

    marcsitkin Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Jan 24, 2013
    Harwich, MA USA
    Marc Sitkin
    Actually, if you convert from a smaller gamut to a larger gamut, you can add saturation to an image. Although not "accurate reproduction" of color, it can be used to increase the color saturation of an image.

    It's not uncommon to do this when dealing with files that for a variety of reasons (typically excursions into SWOP CMYk or other lower gamut spaces). It can dramatically improve the results.

    It's pretty amazing how many botched up color files I've seen over the years (from clients), and how much can actually be done with editing tricks. In the old days (10 years ago), most of the magic was done in LAB edits. Now, filters like NIK produces perform much of the same magic without the ritual.