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NZDavid

M10 vs. M9 for big prints

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What is the maximum size print you can get and still maintain good quality? (I am especially interested in landscapes.) Is the M10 noticeably better in this regard than the M9? Does 24MP knock the socks off 18MP? With printer resolution, do you print at 300 dpi or do you find 200 dpi is OK?  

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I print at A2 and have noticed nothing remarkable about the M10 prints after printing 7 years M9 prints, except of course the colors which are a bit fuller from the M10. But sharpness, no. I don’t think people can pick an M10 print out of several others on the basis of sharpness alone.

Edited by otto.f

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I print M9 files to 200dpi so just under 30" x 20" including landscapes. I suspect that they could go a tad larger. I have viewed them side by side with same sized prints from a 30+ MPixel Nikon and there is nothing to distinguish between them. Realistically the increased MPixels of the M10 might enable a little larger printing but its not a huge difference and I can't justify an M10 until one of my M9s has terminal problems (they are running well though).

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I even had some M9 prints made for a commercial display (selected photos from an organization's annual report I shot, laminated to foam board as it were) that were around 4 feet by 3 feet (black and white, and most had been shot at at or near the upper limit of M9 ISO) and they still looked great at the right viewing distance. Of course if you pressed your nose up against them you'd likely see some flaws but no sensible person does that.

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M10 has 1.77 area covered as  M9.    

 

At some size depending on print size/viewing distance/native printer DPI, iso used,  there will be a quality improvement.    I think at 11x14 you will not see a difference.    As print size gets bigger,   there will be a difference if viewing remains the same.    I printed with laser printer8x12 from 12 MP Nikon D3 and they leave nothing to be desired in way of print quality.  The lenses do image differently however.    

 

I would say make files with 35 and 50 mm lenses, crop the 35 to same angle of view, and then have them printed  at size you are interested.  

 

More accurately figure out the areas and use those numbers.  Making section enlargements,  will save money.

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Reason I asked was a request for a large panoramic image for a boardroom. I guess the M9 should be fine up to 36 inches. M10 probably has other advantages, like better higher ISO, possibly easier rangefinder focusing, etc.

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Above comments are true enough, but IMO the quality of the light used to expose the image is far more important. The right light, properly exposed, will allow you to 'double' the image size.

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For a panorama I will resort to stitching. I made one a few weeks ago (on the CL, but that does not make any difference) - I yet have to send it in for printing - in fact I have to find a wall first...

 

It is 14.500 x 4000 pixels.  I guess I can print it at any size.

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Above comments are true enough, but IMO the quality of the light used to expose the image is far more important. The right light, properly exposed, will allow you to 'double' the image size.

Light is the core of photography, not merely in relation to print size. As George Eastman said, “Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. However, above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”

 

Jeff

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Indeed it is, but how about bank accounts?

 

I'd still be keen to hear a precise answer on how big you can go with M9 and M10 at both 200dpi and 300dpi. If I size an M9 file using Graphic Converter (or another imaging program) it tells me it is 17.387 inches x 11.573 inches at 300 dpi. That's the same as 26 inches by 17.3 inches at 200 dpi (a factor of x1.5). Will a larger MP sensor produce a much larger print?  

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Indeed it is, but how about bank accounts?

 

I'd still be keen to hear a precise answer on how big you can go with M9 and M10 at both 200dpi and 300dpi. If I size an M9 file using Graphic Converter (or another imaging program) it tells me it is 17.387 inches x 11.573 inches at 300 dpi. That's the same as 26 inches by 17.3 inches at 200 dpi (a factor of x1.5). Will a larger MP sensor produce a much larger print?  

 

It depends.....

 

I print at 200dpi (26" x 17.3") from my M9s and these prints do sell as 'fine art' prints at reasonably 'good' prices. Some of the files are marginally cropped (to straighten horizons by 1~2 degrees) and 'uprezzed' to this size for consistency, but not by more than 5~10% at most. So the full file might be up to 20" x 30" in effect. Is that precise enough?

 

I have other higher MPixel cameras which I could use to print larger from but its not as simple as the numbers as erl says. And its usually a combination of factors (I rarely find that just one parameter is responsible) which enables a large print - subject, lighting, composition - but also the processing of the image. I still find that with accurate exposure, careful processing and an understanding of what will look acceptable and what won't in terms of adjustments to the file, the M9 is actually, in some cases, more capable of being printed at 200dpi than files from some more highly specified cameras with more MPixels - although a lot of this has to do with knowing the characteristics of the M9 and its files I fully accept.

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I think sometimes we get too hung up on the numbers in this regard.

 

Allow me to refer to a an example of a print I had made about 5 (or more) years ago. The image was shot on a 5MP camera (Panasonic with Leica lens) and was printed to approx. 15 feet x about 6 feet. It was for a local traders external shop display. It was of various vegetables that I shot in the studio with careful lighting, water sprays, etc. The clarity and detail in the image is astounding. It convinced me that megapixels are just the garnish in the picture, not the picture itself. I still walk past that image nearly every day and marvel at it, technically speaking.

 

I have done other huge prints, reaching beyond what I thought reasonable and been blown away by the result. Imperative is faultless technique in both shooting and PP. Nothing is impossible.

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I think sometimes we get too hung up on the numbers in this regard.

 

We do - I had a 6MPixel image from a Fuji S2Pro used on the back of a bus many years ago - worked absolutely fine - but the image was about content (a young seal in a rescue centre looking up, into the camera with its big, brown, doleful eyes) not pixels. Numbers are guidelines not rules.

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Indeed it is, but how about bank accounts?

 

I'd still be keen to hear a precise answer on how big you can go with M9 and M10 at both 200dpi and 300dpi. If I size an M9 file using Graphic Converter (or another imaging program) it tells me it is 17.387 inches x 11.573 inches at 300 dpi. That's the same as 26 inches by 17.3 inches at 200 dpi (a factor of x1.5). Will a larger MP sensor produce a much larger print?

I was serious in my first response.

 

Jeff

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