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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-30-2021
Accepted Solution

Printed Image is not as clear as screen image

I have a Rebel EOS SL2 and I have a picture that I was submitting to an exhibit and the pixels under properties for this image is 3555 x 3983 pixels.  I used GIMP to confirm that the dpi for my 8 x 10 printed picture would be at least 300 dpi and it should be based on the conversion of pixels to dpi (3555/300 = 11.85 & 3983/300 = 13.28).  Basically I should be able to print up to an 11 x 13 picture with this image and still get a 300 dpi quality print.  However, when I received my printed image, it just doesn't look as good as it did on my screen, which I understand is 72 DPI.  I am not sure why my picture does not look as good when printed.  What am I missing?  Could it be related to my background blur or something else I am not considering?  I ordered my print from an online source and had it mailed to me, so I am not processing/printing images myself.  Can anyone provide any insight into what I might be missing. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,735
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Printed Image is not as clear as screen image

There are an infinite number of things that may be missing.

 

First your screen may or may not be 72 dpi, that is just an average number. Apple Retina screens are much higher resolution.

 

Next you generally need to sharpen for print output, and that depends on the printer.

Forum Elite
Posts: 14,001
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Printed Image is not as clear as screen image

[ Edited ]

I think output sharpening is what is off for you. You need a top-off pass of sharpening for the specific printer.  Also the size of the radius is important of the sharpening. Well focused images require a sharpening radius of 1.0 or less.  OFF (out of focus) areas might require a sharpening radius of more than 1.0+. Your radius almost never needs a greater than 2.0 radius.

 

You can and should apply sharpening selectively on especially important prints. These are Photoshop settings but I suspect all post editors have similar abilities. If you are using Lightroom one of the last steps in the Export function is Output sharpening.

 

The 72 dpi you see is a default value and has nothing to do with your monitor. Also keep in mind, dpi is a print specification.  It is almost impossible to judge whether an image is correctly sharpened for a given print by viewing it on your computer screen.  In fact correct sharpening can make the monitor image look contrasty. I do my own printing on a Canon Pixma Pro 100 dedicated photo printer.  I almost always have to make each print twice.

 

 

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 602
Registered: ‎02-23-2020

Re: Printed Image is not as clear as screen image

FIY: DPI values are often used by software on computers for the sake of displays.

 

e.g. on macOS, with an iMac Pro (Retina 5K display), any screenshots I make are marked as 144 DPI.  These will show up appropriately sized when I open them on this Mac.  If I edit them to be 72 DPI (pixel data exactly the same), the image will be displayed twice wide and twice tall and will no longer look as crisp.

--
Ricky

Photography: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
Videography: EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, Vixia HF G50
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,735
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Printed Image is not as clear as screen image

Don't forget that it could just be an incompetent printer.

 

I use a local service (not Staples or Office Max!) that will reprint an image if I don't like how it comes out.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-30-2021

Re: Printed Image is not as clear as screen image

Sounds l8ke I need to consider purchasing a post editor and my own photo printer.  Currently I do not have either.  What would be one of the best post editors for me to use that is not too expensive?  I am willing to spend a little more if it is beneficial.  

 

Also, what photo printer should I consider purchasing?  

I like lustre rather than glossy prints most of the time.  When submitting wildlife and flora photos for exhibits is one usually preferred over the other?  I have been submitting lustre to our local art gallery and all they have required is 300 dpi.

 

One last question, as it sounds like I have quite a bit to learn.  I have been considering getting a journal subscription to help with my leaning curve, but can anyone recommend any good photography classes that I can take online or that are offered as a camp for learning?  I have found a local photography group that meets once a month that I plan on join8ng.

 

Thanks for all the replies.  

Super Contributor
Posts: 175
Registered: ‎09-10-2019

Re: Printed Image is not as clear as screen image

kvb, who do you use? Staples, Walgreens and CVS have photo processing. Curious. We have some commercial printer here.

Thanks.

VIP
Posts: 8,017
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Printed Image is not as clear as screen image


@debaroo wrote:

Sounds l8ke I need to consider purchasing a post editor and my own photo printer.  Currently I do not have either.  What would be one of the best post editors for me to use that is not too expensive?  I am willing to spend a little more if it is beneficial.  

 

Also, what photo printer should I consider purchasing?  

I like lustre rather than glossy prints most of the time.  When submitting wildlife and flora photos for exhibits is one usually preferred over the other?  I have been submitting lustre to our local art gallery and all they have required is 300 dpi.

 

One last question, as it sounds like I have quite a bit to learn.  I have been considering getting a journal subscription to help with my leaning curve, but can anyone recommend any good photography classes that I can take online or that are offered as a camp for learning?  I have found a local photography group that meets once a month that I plan on join8ng.

 

Thanks for all the replies.  


If you want to start getting into post editing of your own images start with the free Canon Digital Photo Professional. You can download it at the canon support site for your camera.

 

There are a myriad of free phtot education videos on YouTube. No need to pay when starting out.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,735
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Printed Image is not as clear as screen image

Tintype:

Unless you are in Albuquerque it really does not matter, but I use PicturePerfect.

Forum Elite
Posts: 14,001
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Printed Image is not as clear as screen image

"...start with the free Canon Digital Photo Professional"

 

I totally agree. This is the place to begin and it is free. Plus it is a capable program. Somewhat limited but it is free so grab it today.  There are no other editors out there better than DPP4 except Photoshop and/or Lightroom. They are not fee but they are the industry standard. 

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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