October 22, 2014, 11:54:33 PM

Author Topic: Large Prints from RAW files  (Read 3738 times)

TexPhoto

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 951
    • View Profile
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 12:28:30 PM »
A bit snippy in here!

To the original poster.  What are you making posters?  Seriously, it not clear iic you are printing something at walgreens to go on your awl, or or ordering 10K prints for a national advertising campaign.

Have you taken steps to calibrate your monitor via software?  Have you had some sample size prints done and found they did not match?  These do not have to be the same size to check colors, just the same process.

Hi TexPhoto,

Thanks for the response.  Really stupid question but what exactly is the definition of poster?  Is it basically just a much bigger 4x6 photo you get from CVS?  Does a 20x30 print count as a poster? (I'm not trying to be a wise ass btw, I'm really asking).  I'm basically just printing for my own home, for me to look at and possibly give out these larger prints to family and friends as gifts.

I have not taken steps to calibrate my monitor.  I realize this is a must and if I don't do it I'm basically waisting my time trying to guess what the prints will actually turn out like.  It doesn't seem like there's a way around this and I will just have to bite the bullet and spend the money to get a calibrator.

Both Mac and windows have preference panels that will let you calibrate your monitor.  Is it as good as a hardware calibration device? No.  Is it better than nothing yes, way better.  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/calibrate-your-display

Prints are cheap.  Go have some made using the process you intend to use for the big ones.  You are trying to diagnose a problem you don't have yet. 

Or to sum it up.  You will never learn to swim standing on the pool deck.

What is a poster?  It is that sheet of paper on the wall that makes life worth living:
 

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 12:28:30 PM »

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2014, 12:54:39 PM »
Tex, nice flashback there, and I understand your suggestions, but prints are not cheap once you get to 8x10" or larger.  All big prints aren't posters - most posters are printed large on cheap paper using 4-color printing - large prints are printed on heavy paper using more sophisticated printers.

Also, sure OS-provided calibration tools are better than nothing, but are pretty worthless in terms of getting accurate prints.  For $80 or $90, you can assure yourself of accurate prints, vs. spending that much on wasted prints that you're not happy with because they are too blue, yellow, red, dark, light, etc.

Also, I don't see it as diagnosing a problem he doesn't have because an uncalibrated monitor will lead to problems, and the bigger you print, the worse it gets.  While most people don't need a full-blown ICC workflow, I think monitor calibration and a printer who uses ICC profiles is the minimum you need for good quality prints.  For many years, that's all I could afford, and I never had to re-do a print. 

cayenne

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1212
    • View Profile
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 01:48:01 PM »
I regularly make large prints and can help you with workflow questions, but please let me know what your specific questions are - capture, upsizing, sharpening? Generically, the capture is most important - you need to use a tripod, timer/remote release, and the best apertures and techniques to get the sharpest capture possible.  Mild sharpening should be done in Camera RAW and after re-sizing to the printing size (usually at 300dpi) for the appropriate printing media.  Photoshop CC has much improved re-sizing quality and sufficient for most printing. 

Also, if you are serious about printing, then yes, a calibrated monitor (using a colorimeter or spectrophotometer) is necessary.  You can calibrate other ways for free, but you'll still end up with color casts and brightness issues.  The easiest way to make high-quality large prints is to calibrate your monitor, work in AdobeRGB, and use a printer who supports ICC profiles.  If you're printing yourself, the difficulty and expense goes up considerably.

Just curious, why would you not do all your work in the best possible color space, like ProPhoto RGB....?

Thanks in advance,

cayenne

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 02:00:23 PM »
I regularly make large prints and can help you with workflow questions, but please let me know what your specific questions are - capture, upsizing, sharpening? Generically, the capture is most important - you need to use a tripod, timer/remote release, and the best apertures and techniques to get the sharpest capture possible.  Mild sharpening should be done in Camera RAW and after re-sizing to the printing size (usually at 300dpi) for the appropriate printing media.  Photoshop CC has much improved re-sizing quality and sufficient for most printing. 

Also, if you are serious about printing, then yes, a calibrated monitor (using a colorimeter or spectrophotometer) is necessary.  You can calibrate other ways for free, but you'll still end up with color casts and brightness issues.  The easiest way to make high-quality large prints is to calibrate your monitor, work in AdobeRGB, and use a printer who supports ICC profiles.  If you're printing yourself, the difficulty and expense goes up considerably.

Just curious, why would you not do all your work in the best possible color space, like ProPhoto RGB....?

Thanks in advance,

cayenne
That's a great question and while ProPhoto RGB is considerably larger than AdobeRGB, there are very few printers who can take advantage of the extra gamut that it offers.  This is especially true of commercial CMYK presses since Hexachrome never really caught on (due to cost).  When the full imaging chain - camera, software, monitors, and printers are all true 16-bit devices, it will make sense, but the reality is that even Adobe RGB's extra colors get clipped along the path in most cases.  I'm not saying it's not possible to get the full benefits of the ProPhoto, but it takes a very sophisticated set up and most of the industry has adopted AdobeRGB (and sRGB for consumer work) as the standard.  There's certainly no harm in using ProPhoto and saving files in it, but the real-world advantages aren't really there in most cases. 

It's sort of like 4k video - sure, you can record in it, but it gobbles up lots of space, takes much more horsepower to edit, and in the end, there are very ways to distribute and view it.

The great thing about shooting RAW is that you can go back five years from now (if ProPhoto catches on) and export into that space  :)

Halfrack

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 480
    • View Profile
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2014, 04:29:36 PM »
Generally speaking, start with the end product and work backwards.  Work with a printer that has ICC profiles - check out http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/ for places that are already profiled.  I print huge stuff and love it, but I work with a local shop and enjoy the items he prints compared to what i pull out of Costco even with their ICC.

If you want to play with ProPhoto RGB, check out Roger's post - http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/08/fun-with-color-vision
"Me owning a lens shop is kind of like having an alcoholic bar tender." - Roger Cicala

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2014, 04:35:39 PM »
If you want to play with ProPhoto RGB, check out Roger's post - http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/08/fun-with-color-vision
I was tempted to mention LAB in my previous post, but didn't want to go too far out there.  Thanks for the post and links.

cayenne

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1212
    • View Profile
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 05:28:07 PM »
I regularly make large prints and can help you with workflow questions, but please let me know what your specific questions are - capture, upsizing, sharpening? Generically, the capture is most important - you need to use a tripod, timer/remote release, and the best apertures and techniques to get the sharpest capture possible.  Mild sharpening should be done in Camera RAW and after re-sizing to the printing size (usually at 300dpi) for the appropriate printing media.  Photoshop CC has much improved re-sizing quality and sufficient for most printing. 

Also, if you are serious about printing, then yes, a calibrated monitor (using a colorimeter or spectrophotometer) is necessary.  You can calibrate other ways for free, but you'll still end up with color casts and brightness issues.  The easiest way to make high-quality large prints is to calibrate your monitor, work in AdobeRGB, and use a printer who supports ICC profiles.  If you're printing yourself, the difficulty and expense goes up considerably.

Just curious, why would you not do all your work in the best possible color space, like ProPhoto RGB....?

Thanks in advance,

cayenne
That's a great question and while ProPhoto RGB is considerably larger than AdobeRGB, there are very few printers who can take advantage of the extra gamut that it offers.  This is especially true of commercial CMYK presses since Hexachrome never really caught on (due to cost).  When the full imaging chain - camera, software, monitors, and printers are all true 16-bit devices, it will make sense, but the reality is that even Adobe RGB's extra colors get clipped along the path in most cases.  I'm not saying it's not possible to get the full benefits of the ProPhoto, but it takes a very sophisticated set up and most of the industry has adopted AdobeRGB (and sRGB for consumer work) as the standard.  There's certainly no harm in using ProPhoto and saving files in it, but the real-world advantages aren't really there in most cases. 

It's sort of like 4k video - sure, you can record in it, but it gobbles up lots of space, takes much more horsepower to edit, and in the end, there are very ways to distribute and view it.

The great thing about shooting RAW is that you can go back five years from now (if ProPhoto catches on) and export into that space  :)
Thanks for the reply!!

Would you recommend maybe doing your work within PS/LR...doing ProPhoto while manipulating the images, but when exporting to print...sending it out as CMYK?

I'd think that way, you'd have the best of both worlds...keeping large color space while working, and archiving for maybe later higher quality printing abilities to come as you alluded to, but only drop in color space quality when sending to print, and dropping to appropriate levels as can be handled by print shop?

Thoughts?

cayenne

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 05:28:07 PM »

TexPhoto

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 951
    • View Profile
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2014, 06:50:29 PM »
Tex, nice flashback there, and I understand your suggestions, but prints are not cheap once you get to 8x10" or larger.  All big prints aren't posters - most posters are printed large on cheap paper using 4-color printing - large prints are printed on heavy paper using more sophisticated printers.

Also, sure OS-provided calibration tools are better than nothing, but are pretty worthless in terms of getting accurate prints.  For $80 or $90, you can assure yourself of accurate prints, vs. spending that much on wasted prints that you're not happy with because they are too blue, yellow, red, dark, light, etc.

Also, I don't see it as diagnosing a problem he doesn't have because an uncalibrated monitor will lead to problems, and the bigger you print, the worse it gets.  While most people don't need a full-blown ICC workflow, I think monitor calibration and a printer who uses ICC profiles is the minimum you need for good quality prints.  For many years, that's all I could afford, and I never had to re-do a print.

Ok, so in your initial post you say 'Are colorimeters really necessary?", and now you are lecturing me about how necessary they are.  I have a Spyder 4 pro, and use from time to time.  I think the type and grade of monitor are just if not more important.  There you win, you have convinced me!  My largest print is 25 feet wide and hangs over the tourism bureau at the local International  airport.  I did not make the print, they just bought the image.  I hope they did not print any 4x6 or 8x10 test first, those can be expensive.

If you want seriously want to argue with someone about "the definition of a poster", you have the wrong guy.  I am more the photographer type.

 

PaulTopol

  • Power Shot G7X
  • **
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2014, 08:01:50 PM »
Here are my 2 cents worth:
 Critical for me is
1. Calibration of monitor. Then I know the colours I see, even if I stuff them up, have a chance showing up as the same colours on somebody else's calibrated monitor.
2. Calibration/profiling of printer with the paper of choice. Each paper/printer combination will need it's own profile. Then I know I have the best chance of producing, to my eyes, the same colours that I see on my monitor.

My workflow is roughly:
Shoot raw
Adjust in Capture One.
process out to:
a. Tiff AdobeRGB for me to print myself on my Epson 7900 or do adjustments in Phototshop.
    I don't like adjusting in jpg because you do not have 100% of the pixels to play with.

b. JPG Srgb for my customers/friends because most monitors are roughly calibrated for Srgb.
    Print  the tiff file using Qimage..THE BEST!! (Totally calibrated/profiled for giving you the best chance of
having great prints.)

I also save, sometimes, into Prophoto. But, as others have mentioned, the best our available equipment can handle is AdobeRGB.
My Eizo monitor shows almost the same as AdobeRGB. My printer will print roughly AdobeRGB.

Printing, like anything else, takes practice. Some learn quickly, other learn a bit slower.
Start doing the stuff you understand, if that means only knowing how to turn the printer on.
same way you and all of us are learning photography...push a button..see what happens.

Printing BIG on your own printer is awesome!!

Have fun
Paul


CarlTN

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2227
    • View Profile
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2014, 06:20:47 AM »
Does anyone have a good workflow from RAW files to large prints (i.e. 16x20, 20x30, 24x36, etc...)?  I'm shooting from a Canon 6D and am using Lightroom 5/Photoshop CC to do post processing.  I am using a 2009 iMac.  Are colorimeters really necessary (I don't really want to spend ~$100 just to calibrate my screen)?

As for scaling to sizes larger than the 6D's native, I use On One's "Perfect Resize 7.5".  It looks a bit better than CS5 or LR.  I have not tried CC. 

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2014, 12:41:21 PM »
Tex, nice flashback there, and I understand your suggestions, but prints are not cheap once you get to 8x10" or larger.  All big prints aren't posters - most posters are printed large on cheap paper using 4-color printing - large prints are printed on heavy paper using more sophisticated printers.

Also, sure OS-provided calibration tools are better than nothing, but are pretty worthless in terms of getting accurate prints.  For $80 or $90, you can assure yourself of accurate prints, vs. spending that much on wasted prints that you're not happy with because they are too blue, yellow, red, dark, light, etc.

Also, I don't see it as diagnosing a problem he doesn't have because an uncalibrated monitor will lead to problems, and the bigger you print, the worse it gets.  While most people don't need a full-blown ICC workflow, I think monitor calibration and a printer who uses ICC profiles is the minimum you need for good quality prints.  For many years, that's all I could afford, and I never had to re-do a print.

Ok, so in your initial post you say 'Are colorimeters really necessary?", and now you are lecturing me about how necessary they are.  I have a Spyder 4 pro, and use from time to time.  I think the type and grade of monitor are just if not more important.  There you win, you have convinced me!  My largest print is 25 feet wide and hangs over the tourism bureau at the local International  airport.  I did not make the print, they just bought the image.  I hope they did not print any 4x6 or 8x10 test first, those can be expensive.

If you want seriously want to argue with someone about "the definition of a poster", you have the wrong guy.  I am more the photographer type.
Tex, I honestly didn't mean to offend or "lecture" you, but hey, you're the expert so I won't argue.

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2014, 12:44:21 PM »
Does anyone have a good workflow from RAW files to large prints (i.e. 16x20, 20x30, 24x36, etc...)?  I'm shooting from a Canon 6D and am using Lightroom 5/Photoshop CC to do post processing.  I am using a 2009 iMac.  Are colorimeters really necessary (I don't really want to spend ~$100 just to calibrate my screen)?

As for scaling to sizes larger than the 6D's native, I use On One's "Perfect Resize 7.5".  It looks a bit better than CS5 or LR.  I have not tried CC.
+1 on Perfect Resize - it's by far the best for the money - the $50 stand-alone version is all you need - though CC's resize feature is catching up, but not quite there yet for major enlargements. 

fatmanmedi

  • Guest
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2014, 10:24:42 AM »
Hi,

The workflow that i do for large prints (anything over A3) is as follows:-

If it's a studio shot with the tethered H5D-60 it's capture image - Process image in Lightroom/PhotoShop - print on S70600.

If it's an Outdoor/off studio shoot on the 1dx then it's capture image - Process in PhotoShop/lightroom/ - resize in Perfect resize (to scale it up to the print size) - print on S70600.

Through the whole process the image will go from RAW (or FFF for the H5D) to PSD, at no time do i save or process the image to JPEG.  That is the single biggest mistake people make when processing images, not only do you loose quality, but you also impose a colour space to the image that cant not be changed easily.

If i have to send the client the images files then it's only CMYK 24bit TIFFs (i've been asked for 48 bit TIFFs, but that's very unusual).  If the client asks for images for web use then i supply them Jpeg's at 90 DPI at 2Mbit in size, great for onscreen viewing not great for printing.

Hopefully this will help you understand my workflow on printing large images.

Fats


canon rumors FORUM

Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2014, 10:24:42 AM »

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2014, 10:29:50 AM »
at no time do i save or process the image to JPEG.  That is the single biggest mistake people make when processing images,
Agreed - the only reason you ever want to do this is if you are producing the final version and have to upload it to a printer who only accepts JPEG, but even then, there are plenty of printers who accept AdobeRGB JPEGs.  If you're printing yourself, printing directly from PS or through a RIP is the way to go.

privatebydesign

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2567
  • Ermintrude says "moo"
    • View Profile
Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2014, 12:11:57 PM »
Can one of you guys post a comparison between PS and your preferred resizing tool? I have seen many claims but have always been happy with PS, it would be nice to see some real world differences, thanks.

As for RIP's, I'd be very wary about suggesting them to people, even for large prints of single images. I'd go further and suggest that only a handful, if that, of users here would get any practical use or value out of a RIP.
The best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2014, 12:11:57 PM »