I was always a little disappointed with the image quality of my D100, despite using two pro-level zooms (28-70 2.8 and 80-200 2.8). I chalked it up to the inherent superiority of film over digital. Over the weekend a new Epson 2200 printer arrived on my doorstop. All I can say now is WOW! I'm printing 8.5 x 11 photo-quality "enlargements" that are virtually indistinguishible from film-based prints. The quality of my images are extraordinary. I now realize that there was nothing wrong with my camera or lenses, but that viewing images on a monitor, or printed out on an inferior printer, does not do the camera justice. I feel like a have a new camera! Thanks, Epson.
printing costs. I'm running about US$1.90 when I average out all the ink and paper costs (that includes the sales tax at time of materials purchase. I've used the enhanced matt, velvet and semi gloss paper and gotten nice results with each. My average cost may go down in time, since I've got several spares for each color.
I also have been very happy with 8x10 prints from my D100 and Epson 870. Even cropped images hold up well when upsized correctly. I used to spend lots of time scanning 35mm film in a dedicated scanner. The amount of grain, dust and scratches would make you nuts when you viewed it at 100%. Prints would look fine after some work (scratch and dust removal). All of the current APS sized cameras (D100/S2/D60/SD) are amazing achievments IMHO. I'd also love to get my hands on a Epson 2200
I have the Epson 2200 as well. It is incredible! I keep telling friends of mine that are into digital that they need to upgrade their printers. As soon as I printed my first print off the 2200 -- I knew right away that my days of shooting film for fun were limited.
That said -- I am still in the market for a Nikon F3HP!!!!!
Are these great results from the 2200 obtained by printing images straight from the camera, without having to tweak color, contrast, etc?
Got my D100 yesterday. No printer, so all of my test shots were viewed on monitors - the LCD on a laptop, and a 17" Sony CRT. I was surprised at how much of a difference setting tone to + or - made. I was also very pleasantly surprised at how litle tweaking it took to give dull out-of-camera images (ones shot at low contrast) a nice bright look on the screen.
I photoshop everything -- even the "perfect" shots. At a minimum I resize them (size, ppi etc), sync the printer color to what you are seeing and at least throw a slight unsharp mask on. I think any digital image requires at least these three in post processing. That is my opinion. Others may get good results without them.
In PS I open everthing in RGB and have my monitor color profiled so it is synced with the Epson. I just choose the proper profile -- it defaults to it after picking it once.
For standard imaging -- I think you'll pretty much do the following in the worse case scenario: Open image in colorspace Save orignal file for archive (If the color is real off -- I will save it after color-correction as a psd file with a layers for each adjustment level) Levels Hue/Saturation Selective Color Curves Crop(if needed) Resize Image/OPtimize size and resolution for output Curves (if needed after resize) Unsharp Mask
Of course, this is just what works for me. I have no clue if it is standard or neccessary. But with "perfect" shots -- I still at a minimum do the three I mentioned above. Takes only a couple minutes when you have your workflow routine down.
I actually approached the image quality issue from the opposite direction: I'd owned a D1 for over two years before buying my D100 and I'd got used to how the D1's 2.75MPixel images looked on my monitor. I was rather disappointed with my first round of D100 shots: when viewing them at full resolution on the computer they looked somewhat soft in comparison to their D1 counterparts.
Printed images (using the Epson 2000P) were the exact opposite. A D1 image at A4 size is perfectly acceptable, but put it next to a D100 image of the same size and you can clearly see the advantage of that extra resolution.
A full res 6 megapixel image can't be seen without scrolling even with a very high res display. When you scale the image to fit within a window, the display is interpolated and often not very well. That's one of the disconnects people have working with high res images using a low res visual interface.
I have an eMac, so my monitor is already calibrated for color. And I have to say that I always like my prints better (more definition, detail and brightness) than I do on my monitor. It probably has to do with not seeing all of the resolution in the window like BJ says here.
I used to use Fred Miranda's digital velvia on all of my photos. But now that I print them out I realize that it is unnecessary except where you really want more punch. There is plenty there, especially with people shots.
The Mac's ability to color=calibrate the monitor as a standard function is an awesome feature. I am buying my friends iBook off him and I really liked that feature of the display properties. I might just plug the printer, a mouse and the monitor into the iBook and see how I like working with images then.
You're right -- but I don't have $2-3000 to lay down on a G4 powerbook right now. I just need to take something on the road with me to write with, check the internet with and clear my memory cards with. I'll most likely keep using my desktop for digital darkroom stuff. But the iBook will be a nice travel companion in the Loweprow Stealth backpack. My next "big" purchase will be a D100 w/MB-D100.
The one thing that all Ibooks and Powerbooks need is an Airport 802.11b network card! I have a T-Moble Hot Spot account, and can go to any Starbucks and most airports and connect at T-1 speeds. Even just being cordless at home and the office is great!
I have been told the airport card and base unit (a white one) is included in the package. I was really into the idea of having my house wired the most. I drive to most places I need to go and don't drink coffee -- so it will be most useful for me at home.
IF I had the cash -- I'd like a loaded 15" titanium G4 Powerbook.
...take an image, scale it to A3 (10.7x15.5" with 1/2" margins) at 240 dpi with the proper sharpening and let 'er rip. Most other photographers won't believe it's a digital SLR. I took some of these size prints to a competition and there were many who insisted they must be scanned film, maybe medium format.
I've also been stitching together 5-8 vertical images with MGI Photo Vista and getting huge files sizes. I haven't tried a 20x30 print yet but I'm sure it will hold up as well as a medium format scan because I just looked at the size of my last stitching and it was 5924x2782 pixels! The details are simply amazing!
I use a Kaidan KiWi-L panorama tripod head. I've always done 360 panoramas with my fisheye but I was curious to see what would happen if I used my Sigma 15-30. The results are way better than I expected. Fred
...are a really nice way to "extend" resolution of digital cameras. I've printed several 8.5x44" panoramas on Epson's panorama paper and the results are stunning. (I wish they sold better stock in this size, though--they only offer the traditional "photo paper" in this size). While the panoramic head simplifies things greatly, you can also be quite successful with a level tripod and simple stitching software. I'm using Panorama Factory, a nice sharware package with many options that can cope with a variety of image distortions pretty well. A wide angle is not necessary, and in fact may be more complicated than using a normal focal length and lots of overlap. I shoot a lot of smaller format panoramas (e.g., a garden) at about 60-90 mm.
I love my d100 and Epson 2200 combo as well. As long as you stick with quality paper and Epson ink you can't go wrong. I just wish I could get the papers I need as easily as I did in Japan. It seems the market there is really focused on quality and here it is hard to find the paper you want. I look the love the look and feel of the Epson Pro Semi-Gloss. Great saturated colors.
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