19 Replies Latest reply on Oct 23, 2014 10:58 AM by bob frost

    Question about print resolution

    TurnstyleNYC Level 1

      Hi all,


      My printer spec reads: "Maximum Print Resolution: 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi"


      In Lightroom's Print module, down under Print Job, resolution was set to 240ppi.


      So would that mean LR is actually throttling the print detail?


      I tried raising the LR Print Job resolution, and the highest number it would accept was 1440.


      Is this the right way to set this up?


      Thanks kindly!

        • 1. Re: Question about print resolution
          dj_paige Level 9

          Set what up? You haven't told us what you are trying to do.

          • 2. Re: Question about print resolution
            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            The easiest way to set up the print job is to leave the resolution setting unchecked and let Lightroom take care of it.

            • 3. Re: Question about print resolution
              Lr5user-pt Level 2

              DPI and PPI are not the same and are not interchangeable, they are different units. Your printer resolution is expressed in DPI, that's dots per inch, actually the number of colored ink dots the printer needs to put on paper to reproduce the various colors. Your image file resolution is set in PPI, pixels per inch. The two units DPI and PPI cannot directly be converted, only the printer driver knows how many dots on the printer are needed to make a pixel of your photo.

              So, no, LR is not limiting your resolution. The pixel dimensions of your file limit the size of your printed photo, being generally accepted that something above 240 PPI produces good quality prints in an inkjet printer, 300 PPI is (was?) traditionally the norm for offset printing, and anything over 360 PPI is overkill.

              • 4. Re: Question about print resolution
                TurnstyleNYC Level 1

                Thanks everybody for the conversation. (I'm just trying to print 4x6'es on a new Epson pinter.)


                When you say "anything over 360 PPI is overkill" -- is that because you don't think higher resolution adds "aesthetic value"?


                Does setting it to 1440 have a downside? (fyi, print speed doesn't actually seem to be longer.)


                Or if I uncheck resolution -- is there a way to know what resolution it picks?


                Thanks again to all,  -Scott

                • 5. Re: Question about print resolution
                  DdeGannes Adobe Community Professional

                  @ TurnstyleNYC, if you are printing directly from Lightroom, even directly from a raw file, you do not have to resize the image, the resize of the file will take place automatically when the file is sent to the printer driver.


                  Do your normal edits and crop if necessary at the print dimensions. If your New Epson is a photo quality printer, in the finest quality it will print at 720 PPI.

                  Lightroom knows this and will present the appropriate processed file to the printer driver. All can be handled automatically from Lightroom so you never have to actually create an additional file for printing.

                  If you choose to go through the process of creating additional files for printing at large sizes e.g. 13" x 19" and larger with noise reduction, sharpening and other advanced retouching using other software then that is your choice. 

                  • 6. Re: Question about print resolution
                    TurnstyleNYC Level 1

                    Thanks -- does that mean you also think it is best to leave resolution unchecked? (assuming I'm printing from Lightroom to the printer, in this case an Epson XP-620)


                    Or set resolution to 720?


                    (I'm still not quite clear if there is a downside to leaving it at 1440)


                    Thanks kindly!

                    • 7. Re: Question about print resolution
                      Lr5user-pt Level 2

                      Yes, above 360 usually there is no visible increase in output quality. Opinions may differ tough.

                      If you mean a downside of setting 1440 ppi in LR, the answer is yes and no, depending on your file size. As JimHess said it is better to leave the "Print resolution" checkbox unchecked.

                      Imagine you have a 4500x3000 pixels photo you want to print at 15x10 inches (just an example to simplify the math). If in the Print module you keep "Print resolution" unchecked, LR will divide the pixel length by the paper dimensions and figure out the resolution (4500/15=300 ppi in this example) and send the file at the appropriate settings. If, OTOH, you specify 1440 ppi, the file will be up-sampled to the huge required size to respect the 1440 ppi, sent to the printer driver and, most probably, down-sampled there.

                      If you have big files, let's say 8640x5760 pixels to print at 6x4 inches (that's exactly 1440ppi), then there is no downside.

                      • 8. Re: Question about print resolution
                        TurnstyleNYC Level 1

                        Thanks everybody -- I'll just set resolution to unchecked.


                        It's the first time I've tried to print from Lightroom, and I think some of the default settings threw me -- 'draft' was on by default, and resolution was checked and set to 240 -- so it wasn't immediately obvious I had to turn off resolution to get 'optimal' results.


                        So thanks again.


                        I don't mean to open a whole can of worms, but can anybody point me to a modest procedure to calibrate color? I'm working on a retina MacBook (Yosemite), and printing to Epson 4x6 semi-gloss on an Epson XP-620. I'm not quite sure how I'm supposed to set that up -- or is that also "just automatic"?


                        I'm grateful to be making progress!

                        • 9. Re: Question about print resolution
                          Lr5user-pt Level 2

                          But you are, you are opening a big can of worms. LOL

                          First of all, your monitor needs to be calibrated both for color accuracy but also brightness, so your prints match your screen.

                          For this get a colorimeter, something like the ColorMunki from x-Rite or the Spyder4 from Datacolor. With the screen calibrated, you have two choices to manage your printer. The first is to download color profiles from the paper manufacturer that were specifically made for your printer/inks/paper combination and soft proof in LR. If you are using an Epson printer and Epson papers there should be no problems in finding reasonably good profiles. For the utmost quality, and if you don't mind the cost, you need a spectrophotometer to make your own color profiles. For my needs, the manufacturer's profiles are good enough.

                          • 10. Re: Question about print resolution
                            TurnstyleNYC Level 1

                            Thanks for chiming in.


                            I thought I had read that the rMPB screen was calibrated (or at least reasonably so) "out of the box" -- not true?


                            Where would I look to download profiles? I tried variations on [epson xp-620 color profiles], but didn't really seem to find anything.



                            • 11. Re: Question about print resolution
                              Lr5user-pt Level 2

                              Unless there was a recent technical breakthrough that I am not aware of, all monitors benefit from calibration. MBPs tend to be set too bright by default, what is really nice to a general use, but a bad idea for photo editing. Monitor brightness should be set according to your working environment and in this only a colorimeter capable of ambient light reading can help you with.

                              Sorry for misleading you, but only now I realized that Epson does not consider your printer a "photo printer" (they call it a "all-in-one") and so does not provide any profiles for it.

                              • 12. Re: Question about print resolution
                                bob frost Level 3

                                Jeff Schewe who is a constultant to Adobe has said that:


                                "Just to be clear here...if your "native resolution" (which means a
                                certain PPI at a certain print output size) is less than 360 PPI, you DO
                                want to upsample to 360 PPI (with Epson, 300 PPI for Canon/HP).

                                    If the native resolution is less than 360/300, you won't get any real
                                benefit from upsampling to 720/600 PPI. But if the output size results in a
                                resolution that is above 360/300 then there is a benefit to upsampling to
                                720 (with Finest Detail selected) or 600 (with the correct Canon/HP
                                resolution                 driver setting) when printing–assuming the
                                correct output sharpening is applied to the post-upsampled image–which is
                                easy to do in LR (tougher to do in PS).

                                    And all of the above really only applies to images printed on glossy
                                type media...if you are printing to a matte/watercolor/canvas media then
                                360/300 PPI is the visible limit."



                                The native resolution of your image (at the size you have set to print at) is found by unchecking the print resolution box and looking at the info at the top of your image in the Print module. Then you decide which value to use in the print resolution box (having rechecked it).


                                You set the printers dots resolution in the printer dialog (not the LR print dialog) and you should set it at the highest resolution it offers (why spend money on more pixels for your camera, and then throw them away while printing?). This is usually PhotoRPM in Epsons photo printers.


                                If you are printing small (6x4) you will almost certainly have more than 360 ppi at that size, so you set the print resolution in LR at 720ppi, with Finest Detail checked back in the Printer Dialog. Sound complicated, but once you have done this you save the settings as a LR 6x4 preset on your particular paper, and you don't have to do it again - you just click on that preset and it all comes back as you set it previously. I have dozens of print presets in LR for different sizes on different papers. It makes life very easy compared to Photoshop printing.


                                Jeff has written a book on this - The Digital Print - but that is probably more than you want at the moment.


                                The other thing you have to get right is selecting the right paper in the Printer print dialog, easy if you are using Epson papers, and then select that paper's printer profile in the LR print dialog, instead of the Printer Manages Color option. The profiles for the common Epson papers are installed automatically when you install the printer.


                                Hope this helps.


                                Bob Frost

                                • 13. Re: Question about print resolution
                                  TurnstyleNYC Level 1

                                  I don't seem to have an option to check "Finest Detail" -- perhaps it's for the same reason Epson doesn't seem to offer color profiles, seemly that they call it "multifunction" rather than "photo printer."


                                  Anyhow, I definitely see sharper results when I print at 360 (as compared to not checking resolution) -- and 360 is also clearly better than 720 -- and I'd like to be able to use 720 if possible -- but I gather I need "Finest Detail" -- and I don't see where I can turn that on.

                                  • 14. Re: Question about print resolution
                                    bob frost Level 3

                                    Is there a Basic page and an Advanced page in the Epson printer dialog? If not, you may be right and its not an option on your printer. On my recent R3000, it under Quality Options, but is often greyed out!


                                    bob Frost

                                    • 15. Re: Question about print resolution
                                      bob frost Level 3

                                      My understanding of the Print Resolution box, is that, assuming you are using an Epson desktop printer,


                                      1     if it is left unchecked, LR sends the image to the printer as it is, with whatever the resolution is at your selected print size. The printer itself then upsamples the print to 720ppi internally, which may lead to a loss in quality since the printer upsampling routines are not as good as LRs.


                                      2     If the box is checked and 360ppi is selected, LR upsamples (or downsamples if it is more than 360ppi already) the image to 360ppi by a superior method to that used in the printer. Then it sends it to the printer, and the printer again upsamples it from 360ppi to 720ppi, which, as a simple doubling, is easy for the printer and involves no loss in quality.


                                      3     If you already have more than 360ppi (which you may well have at 6x4 print size), check the box and select 720ppi. Then LR does all the upsampling and the printer does not have to do anything to the size. Some seem to say that Finest Detail in the Printer dialog should also be checked, but that may not be an option if you are already printing at the highest resolution the printer is capable of in the printer dialog (5760x1440dpi in my print dialog for the R3000).


                                      Clear as mud?


                                      Bob Frost

                                      • 16. Re: Question about print resolution
                                        TurnstyleNYC Level 1

                                        Thanks, I actually tried three tests (hi-res source to 4x6)...


                                        1) resolution unchecked


                                        2) set to 360


                                        3) set to 720


                                        360 was clearly the best -- so now I need to find out if there is some way to enable Finest Detail and try 720 again.

                                        • 17. Re: Question about print resolution
                                          Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                          Finest Detail (the setting required for outputting at 720 DPI) is only available on the pro line of printers. 360 is the optimal setting for desktop printers.

                                          • 18. Re: Question about print resolution
                                            TurnstyleNYC Level 1

                                            Jeff Schewe wrote:


                                            Finest Detail (the setting required for outputting at 720 DPI) is only available on the pro line of printers. 360 is the optimal setting for desktop printers.


                                            That seems to be the case -- it's odd that they advertise the high ppi, but then seemingly hobble it by leaving out the Finest option. I'm going to ask Epson, see if they have anything to say.


                                            It seems like this detail -- 360 or 720 -- is the more important detail to have in the product spec.

                                            • 19. Re: Question about print resolution
                                              bob frost Level 3

                                              Hi Jeff,


                                              Hope you didn't mind the plug for your book, and I hope I got most of this stuff correct. Can you say what Finest Detail does that simply choosing the Highest Resolution doesn't do? I thought Finest Resolution was something special for text, graphics, or line art, and assumed it involved special sharpening. Not so?


                                              Bob Frost