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large printings questions...


Active Member
Hi dear community members,

Well I read some time ago while wandering from posts to posts on the forum that one of you (sorry for not being able to find the name of the member) was able to output A2 format prints in offset format... then I was wondering which was his process to make such large formats from our dear X3 sensor which everyone knows that if it is color powerful and sharp like a japanese sword is still limited to a 4,6Mp file format natively....

I tried then to fight a bit of answer while googling it and find some 'old' sites from sd9 period that using for example QImage was great for achieving this... but are enlarged picture as sharp as a A4 or A3 print ? how much do you grade the quality decrease ?

Well thank you for having spent time reading my questions and message,
looking forward to hearing from you all soon

best regards



Well-Known Member
Greetings from Wodonga, Pedro ...

... I hope you meant Ink-Jet printing and not off-set (printing press) as I have no large format experience with the latter. With Ink-Jet I have gone beyond AO with excellent results.

Off course, the more enlargement you employ, the further you can increase your view-point to print distance. Pixel peeping, as it's known, is not the intended purpose of my enlargements, although having said that, the results can be described as "awesome" and "magnificent", as I have witnessed expressed by viewers of these prints.

I have also been questioned about the amount of pixels I must have in my digital camera. When I explain that the "spatial" pixel locations are 3.4MP and 4.7MP respectively, I am met by silence as people find that a little puzzling after having been fed for years on the hype "more MPs are better" principle.

As with most of my work, I use a good solid tripod as I don't even trust my heartbeat. :) Please see my samples @ my humble gallery below. The first one (Murray River @ Albury Wodonga) was taken with the SD10 and involved stitching 9 frames together.

When processing my images in SPP, I save them as ColourMatch RGB and Tiff 16 bit. This I then import into Adobe Photoshop (PS) for enlargement. No tricks, just select Image > Image Size, to bring up the appropriate dialogue box.

Firstly, I remove the tick in the Resample Image box and then increase the resolution (dpi) from 180 to 300. Then I reactivate the Resample Image option by restoring the tick.

Secondly, I increase the size of the image to the desired print size, by using increments of no more than 10% each time. For eample, if the longest side measures 433.49mm, I add 43mm and round it off to the decimal point by typing in 476mm and so on.

Note that this works fine for me. Others have mentioned that you can nowadays just increase size to required print dimensions without using 10% increments, without any noticeable image quality loss, but (and there's always a but) I'm known for my Dutch stubborn nature, OK? ;)

Incidentally, that Murray River shot was done with the 18 - 50mm kit lens.

Hope this helps you in your quest, but don't forget, you are always welcome to lodge further questions.

Sincere regards, Jim Roelofs

Please visit my humble gallery @
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Active Member
Good evening to you Jim,

and thank you for your fast and clear answer, in the same time please forgive me for not having been able to answer earlier due to the fact that working in the automotive sector is not easy in these times...

I must confess that I had already seen your works and large printings on pbase that amazed me with some others and made me make the decision to definitively buy the sd14 now 1 week ago :D

By the same time, as I wrote earlier, I was a bit puzzled with the MPs as you clearly said, this due to the fact by having had print industry related works they always seemed to be precise on which kind of dpi they had to use and then the resolution (size and dpi) they needed and in the moment the question of scaling in quite lossless manner never passed through my mind till the moment I saw your works...

I took your statement for true that enlarging is made to increase also the eye distance toward the photo and for this I remember well my experience for example in a movie theater by trying to see the film on the first range of seats... and the headache that it gave me lol

By the way I never heard the incremental 10% scaling that you used till now (as I said also that this question is really new in my mind too) and tried it just few minutes ago in Photoshop... and it is AMAZING ! nothing compared to a raw scale directly to the output desired format and it is really easy and logical to figure in the end that many little loss in quality ard better than a big one by doing an increased interpolation of pixels...


well I really want to thank you for this tip and for having cleared my mind from this question and in the same time definitively sweeping away from me the 'More Mp Is Better' syndroma that other brands try to teach us...
One more time thank you Jim, hoping to show you soon some nice enlarged pictures when our strange weather will enable me to have light and not dark rainy clouds and its cold rain that we have in the past days...

Best regards


p.s. : yes you've read well in seeing inkjet and not offset :p although I'll dream to have access to offset printing at home... but sadly not the room for it :), cheers


Active Member
oh yes one other question just pass through me...

how do you compare the SD10 to the SD14 ? Not having tested the SD10 I can't figure if the statements of different and more realistic color balance of the SD10 is better than the one of the SD14 ?

I know it is not really a problem developping from raw though, due the quite absolute control it gaves us on the shot but just a matter of curiosity :)



Well-Known Member
Well, Pedro, I see you work in the auto industry and that you have aspirations of working in off-set (OS) printing. As a freelance designer and photographer, I have worked with OS printing companies since 1992 and in that time I have witnessed first hand a great number of OS printers close their doors because of a number of reasons and no new companies starting up to replace them.

The main reason (at least here in Australia but I suspect also worl wide) is the need to invest in new and larger plant and equipment and digital technology. I have just visited Australia's largest printing industry expo and it amazes me how technically advanced the printing presses are when compared to presses that were "state of the art" just a few years ago.

It is not unusual to see 6 colour presses being used by all the printing companies I visit to have my printing work completed for clients. And the financial investment required to procure these machines is astounding. So, in my opinion, unless you can afford to invest lots of capital, (meaning you must be confident of having sufficient work to warrant that investment) your future in that industry cannot be guaranteed.

As for large format Ink-Jets, I intend to invest in one very shortly for my fine art prints. The only decision still to be made is the output width of the machine. It is already a foregone conclusion that the type of ink it uses, must be pigment based long life, to enhance customer confidence.

Comparing the SD10 to the SD14 is easy. The SD14 was a step in the right direction. :) It is a more forgiving camera if you misjudge the highlight exposure, because of increased "headroom". But I readily use both in my work.

Hope this helps.

Sincere regards, JR

Please visit my humble gallery @
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Well-Known Member
SPP Double size

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Yes, SPP's Double size option is not considered very useful.

The guys who print Sigmas A0 prints for Fotokina, PMA and other trade shows, do not use this option. They upsize using various tools, as each tools have various strengths. Then they do som magic if "jagged lines" appear.
Of course, the original must be very good, both on exposure and sharpness.
Also, they advise to lower the sharpness to -0.8 in SPP, as 0 means that some sharpness is applied in RAW processing. The claim is that it is best to leave sharpness to the final stage. This advise is contested by a professional photographer, who are successful in selling large prints from SDx cameras, Gary Mercer. (I think he is registred here)
Mail me at oyvind.strom(at), and I'll dig up some links for you.

To find the best way to do the upsizing/postprocesing, you could use your own A4 or A3 printer, and upsize a crop until the upsizing match A0.

kind regards