11 Replies Latest reply on Sep 13, 2012 9:01 AM by TᴀW

    OT:Photograph resolution

    TᴀW Adobe Community Professional & MVP

      Hi,

       

      Is 300 ppi enough for developing photographs on photographic paper that

      were taken with a digital camera? I'll be doing this at a photo shop

      rather than on my home printer.  Or should the resolution be higher? I

      would like the photos to come out as good as they used to be when we

      took our holiday snaps on cameras with real film, if that's still possible!

       

      Anyone know? (I could ask at the shop, but I doubt that they really know.)

       

      Thanks,

      Ariel

       

        • 1. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          300 ppi has become the default image resolution in the print industry (it's 2x the most common halftone screen). It is enough resolution for most photographic images, but not all—it depends on what's being resolved, 8 pt black type on a white field would need considerably more. Or it might be  more than what's needed—think soft clouds with no clearly defined edges.

          • 2. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
            TᴀW Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Thanks Rob.

             

            My question pertains to actual photos printed at a commercial photo shop

            on regular photo paper. I think that that paper is at least as high

            quality as a good art book, and for those more than 300 ppi is recommended.

             

            In other words, don't the printers at commercial photo shops that print

            photographs actually use a denser halftone screen than a regular

            printing press?

             

            Ariel

            • 3. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              My overall point is that 300ppi is an arbitrary number. You are right the output device could be a dye-sublimation process which approaches continuous tone and eliminates the interference you get with a halftone screen, but what you are trying to resolve still matters. The best approach would be to test the printer with the same image at different resolutions (sampled down not up). Your test image should have details that are difficult to resolve.

              • 4. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                What's the printing method? Is it offset, or are we talking about an inkjet of some sort, or a laser?

                 

                Keep in mind that real photograph isn't printed halftones. Old fashioned photographic emulsions resolved around 40,000 dpi, if my memory is right, but your digital captures ar nowhere near that dense, and the closest you'll come to that sort of resolution on a a non-photographic device is probably an imagesetter and offset press. Typically you'd boost photos for an art book up around 400 ppi effective for a 200 line halftone, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find any inkjet printer that could make full use of a 400 ppi continuous tone image.

                • 5. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
                  TᴀW Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I'm talking about printing holiday snaps at a commercial highstreet

                  photography shop vendor -- to put in a family album. I'm actually not

                  sure how they print photographs these days. I don't think it's offset --

                  some sort of digital, but I should imagine that as it's a dedicated

                  printer for photos they can use a fairly high resolution.

                   

                  Just called the girl in the shop and she hadn't a clue what I was

                  talking about.

                   

                  Ariel

                  • 6. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    Unless this is a place that caters to professional photographers it's probably just a high-end inkjet printer. I think Rob's advice is good -- try a couple of samples of a detailed photo at various resolutions.

                    • 7. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I'm talking about printing holiday snaps at a commercial highstreet

                      photography shop vendor

                      Photolabs usually are using dye sub printers so there's no  screen pattern—they are effectively continuous tone. If you look at a dye sub print under a loupe you won't see a dot pattern but with enough magnification you can see the image pixel edges. Search Wiki for dye sublimation

                      • 8. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        I'm going to defer to Rob on this one. I don't actually use or see photos from that sort of establishment.

                        • 9. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
                          TᴀW Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          The photos are just regular casual photos of people, scenery, etc. No

                          small black and white print or anything.

                           

                          So for "dye sublimation", would 300 ppi be enough to more or less match

                          the quality of an old family photo taken on a film camera, or would I

                          need something higher, say 600 ppi or more?

                           

                          Thanks,

                          Ariel

                          • 10. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            would 300 ppi be enough to more or less match

                            It probably is. Over 300ppi and your eye sight will come into play.

                             

                            Here's a high res scan from a dye-sub print. If I zoom in on the lettering you can see the pixels (there's no printer dot), so more res is potentially better. Enlarging the clouds I can see that more res wouldn't make any diffference because there's not much to reslove:

                             

                            Screen shot 2012-09-13 at 11.15.34 AM.png

                            Screen shot 2012-09-13 at 11.16.56 AM.png

                            Screen shot 2012-09-13 at 11.17.39 AM.png

                            • 11. Re: OT:Photograph resolution
                              TᴀW Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              That's great. I can't see your pictures now, but will take a look tomorrow.

                               

                              Many thanks for your help. Thanks Peter, too.

                               

                              Ariel