Print big and crop, or crop first and then print?
Well, once more please,,,big moon today. I took some tests last night to get ready and can't decide which is a better way to go.
Im taking my shots with my 70-200, both with and without a Kenco extender and am having a hard time deciding which is inherently sharper.
taking auto focus and manual focus
f5.6 @ 1000 and
I struggle each time this comes up…
What happens to a nice crisp moon that fills a small amount of the frame .When i try to crop and print,when does the quality degrade to the point that the resulting picture looks less sharp?
Is this a time that we print to 24x36 and cut down to 12x18 to get the best result( the largest clearest moon), or crop until the moon is the size we like and then print?
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#1. "RE: Print big and crop, or crop first and then print?" | In response to Reply # 0MotoMannequin Registered since 11th Jan 2006Sat 05-May-12 04:01 PM
David, the reason your print doesn't look as good on paper as it does on screen, is that printing is done at about 4x resolution compared to viewing on screen. Think about it, a large HDTV with 1080p resolution looks fantastic and is displaying about 2MP. You want to print that big, you'd better have a lot more than 2MP camera! You won't improve your output by printing the whole frame and cutting the paper, you'll just waste ink and paper.
After your crop, you can view image resolution in your image editing program. It seems I get blasted on this site fore every time I say the kind of resolution you need to make a good print, but anyway... my rule of thumb is, 180-300 dpi means excellent quality, 120-180 dpi means good quality. Below 120dpi your print is degraded enough it won't look good. This is of course a generalization and an in-focus print at 150dpi might look better than a mis-focused print at 300dpi. But, after your crop, if your dpi at the desired print size is too low, you can either print smaller, or re-shoot with more focal length.
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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#2. "RE: Print big and crop, or crop first and then print?" | In response to Reply # 1
#3. "RE: Print big and crop, or crop first and then print?" | In response to Reply # 2RodW Registered since 25th Mar 2012Sat 05-May-12 06:52 PM
Yup, do that and you should get a good print. This issue was well understood in the printing and graphic arts industry well before the invention of the DSLR. Many photographers it seems have spent too much time working with screen resolutions and don't understand that hard copy requires greater resolutions.
There are some industry rules of thumb that apply but the advent of digital output devices with a greater Colour gamut than an offset printing press loaded with CMYK inks, these rules changed a bit. But in summary while printing, there is never any need for more than 300 dpi and for most devices 200 dpi is fine.
As with any rule, these rules can be broken, but only when you understand the consequences which have been pretty well summarized previously in this thread.
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
#4. "RE: Print big and crop, or crop first and then print?" | In response to Reply # 0
I am going to quote what I told Mike Southard earlier today and down this forum:
"OK... the moon is small, regardless of other factors. At this closest approach Saturday night (which is not much closer than Friday or Sunday -- but it is full moon) it will be about 14% larger than average, as it is at its peregee point in its orbit -- about 221,000 miles away. On average, it requires 2500mm efl to put a 1 inch image of the moon on your sensor. So a 200mm lens will deliver an image about 8/100 of an inch in diameter. For exposure, as stated before, the full moon is receiving the same light your earthly location would get at high noon. And the moon is a pretty good 18% grey. So your starting point for exposure is 1/ISO at f16. You'll probably have to open up some due to atmospheric absorbtion when the moon is close to the horizon. So maybe "Moony 8 will work!." When you shoot at other than full moon, you do have to open up.
With most camera lenses, the so-called super moon is going to render a very small image. Therefore, I recommend finding a foreground subject -- trees on a horizon, etc., to frame the subject for a pretty picture. You are not going to get an astronomical image, with countless craters and mountains.
I also recommend manual focus, as auto focus, unless it is a single point on the moon itself, will just hunt."
So... 200mm or 400mm -- you are NOT going to get an image that will fill a wallet sized print without a great deal of enlargement -- with all the detriment to your final product that that implies. It's not technique that will hamper you -- it's the laws of physics and their application to optics. Sorry.
Waterloo, IL, USA
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