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Author Topic: Sports and posters  (Read 1847 times)

bdunbar79

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Sports and posters
« on: August 04, 2012, 05:51:32 PM »
Has anyone doing sports ever printed a poster size photo of a player in action, or just plain made a poster?  I need to make a few this fall of some players, and was wondering if the 1D Mark IV's 16mp (uncropped) will be enough or the 1D X's 18.  I was thinking maybe I should pre-plan the poster shots and shoot them with a 5D Mark III?  Has anyone done this?  Thanks.
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Sports and posters
« on: August 04, 2012, 05:51:32 PM »

Actionpix

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Re: Sports and posters
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 01:28:15 AM »
If you are good with Photoshop you can blow up smaller pixel count images of people to live size. But you really have to be good with it then. I use special filtering and tuned sharpening. If you do not come closer than a meter/3ft to the print it works. But I would consider renting a H4D-60 if the budget allows it. The H4D also would give shallower DOF. It also will depend on the amount of available light. An how close you can get. With the Hasselblad you would have to go for the 50 ISO setting with maybe f/8. I love that because of the longer exposure times with action shots. You might have to throw away more though and change support of the camera. Maybe even rent a Kenyon gyro. And the Hasselblad only produces one image every 2 second so that might prove too little in a very dynamic environment.

bdunbar79

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Re: Sports and posters
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 10:58:04 AM »
If you are good with Photoshop you can blow up smaller pixel count images of people to live size. But you really have to be good with it then. I use special filtering and tuned sharpening. If you do not come closer than a meter/3ft to the print it works. But I would consider renting a H4D-60 if the budget allows it. The H4D also would give shallower DOF. It also will depend on the amount of available light. An how close you can get. With the Hasselblad you would have to go for the 50 ISO setting with maybe f/8. I love that because of the longer exposure times with action shots. You might have to throw away more though and change support of the camera. Maybe even rent a Kenyon gyro. And the Hasselblad only produces one image every 2 second so that might prove too little in a very dynamic environment.

Ok.  Thanks for the reply!
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swampler

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Re: Sports and posters
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 02:29:59 PM »
Has anyone doing sports ever printed a poster size photo of a player in action, or just plain made a poster?  I need to make a few this fall of some players, and was wondering if the 1D Mark IV's 16mp (uncropped) will be enough or the 1D X's 18.  I was thinking maybe I should pre-plan the poster shots and shoot them with a 5D Mark III?  Has anyone done this?  Thanks.
You should be fine. How large a poster?

swampler

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Re: Sports and posters
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 03:44:28 PM »
In the photo below, the football pic hanging on the right side was taken from a 50D (15MP), cropped, exported at 2400 pixels on the long side and given to the school at that size. They took the 2400 pixel image and had it printed as shown. I don't know what processing they did, but I suspect it's larger than any poster you're talking about.

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Sports and posters
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 03:47:06 PM »
You can easily and cheaply answer this for yourself, right now.

Take a file you think you might want to make a poster out of. Do whatever post-processing you might do, including scaling it up to the full size of the poster.

Now, crop out a portion equivalent to the largest size you can cheaply print today, print the crop, and evaluate said print.

The answer, of course, is, "it depends." It depends on the quality of the capture, your workflow (including your skills at post-processing and enlargement), and also your standards.

However, chances are excellent that your posters will be about as good as everything else you do. If you're happy with your current work, you should be happy with your posters.

One last point to consider: a 5DIII file (the only type I have on hand) will make 40" x 60" prints at about 100 ppi, which is a typical monitor resolution. If you're happy with what you see when pixel-peeping, the print will look exactly the same. Now, zoom to 125% and you've got the equivalent of a 75 ppi file, which will print at 50" x 75", which is basically life-size for a head-to-toe portrait.

Any flaws in your technique will show themselves to anybody standing at a conversational distance from the poster, but, if your technique is good, the end result should be stunning.

...this assumes no (significant) cropping, of course....

If you walk through some similar math (Photoshop's Image Size and Canvas Size dialog boxes make it super-easy), you'll find that, in the big scheme of things, there's not a whole lot of real-world difference between 18 megapickles and even 36 megapickles. With poster-sized prints you're finally getting into the realm where the differences are visible in side-by-side comparisons...but, honestly, lenses, shooting technique, and post-processing are going to have a much bigger impact on final print quality than mere megapickles. A bad tripod / excessive wind / too slow a shutter speed can very quickly turn a 36 megapickle picture into an effective 18 megapickles, or much less.

That would bring me to my final point. If the gear you have won't cut the mustard, don't get something else in the 135 format. Assuming it's not your technique / lenses / whatever at fault, what you really need is a bigger sensor. Medium format should do the trick...damned few actually need medium format, let alone large format, but poster-sized prints is one of the cases where medium format starts to make more sense than 135 format.

And, no -- that has nothing to do with megapickles. You know how there're these 20-megapickle point-and-shoot cameras with a sensor the size of your fingernail? Would you even give a moment's thought to substituting one for your 1DX?

Medium format is to 135 format as 135 format is to APS-C, and automatically brings with it a comparable set of improvements (and hassles), regardless of sensor resolution.

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Sports and posters
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 05:15:18 PM »
I print these things on a daily basis - up to 1.5m x whatever. People get hung up on DPI. The only real question is 'how far away are people going to be when they look at it?' The further away, the lower the resolution you can use. I've printed billboards in sections from a single photo at 5dpi. Viewed from the road, they look fine. Viewed up close, they are trash. Think about it... :)

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Re: Sports and posters
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 05:15:18 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: Sports and posters
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 07:27:04 PM »
Thanks for the thorough responses guys.  I REALLY apprciate it.  Thank you!  I have a lot to go over and think about here, and also some testing to do. 
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Re: Sports and posters
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 07:27:04 PM »