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andreas_thomsen

M9 18 mp prints A2 format

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I disagree with the M8's pixel count being sufficient for perfect A3. It cannot be, considering a 300 DPI print needs 100% MTF up to about 5000 pixels which is pretty much impossible to achieve with all current 35mm and smaller sensors, including Sony's 24MP model (plus some commercial printing gets up to 350 DPI).

 

A3 is very good but not perfect with a 5D2's 21 MP. A4 images look slightly sharper when both prints are viewed from ~20 cm (laser prints from a Fuji lab in this case).

 

So why this fascination with numbers and dpi/ppi as a way of measuring the qualities of a photograph? And especially in light of what some of us used to do in the darkroom?

 

Simple.

 

Why do dogs lick themselves? Because they can.

 

Why to some people spend so much time measurebating their digital output? Same answer.

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I disagree with the M8's pixel count being sufficient for perfect A3. It cannot be, considering a 300 DPI print needs 100% MTF up to about 5000 pixels which is pretty much impossible to achieve with all current 35mm and smaller sensors, including Sony's 24MP model (plus some commercial printing gets up to 350 DPI).

 

A3 is very good but not perfect with a 5D2's 21 MP. A4 images look slightly sharper when both prints are viewed from ~20 cm (laser prints from a Fuji lab in this case).

 

Of course at normal viewing distances, the M8 is good enough for A3 and the M9 will be for A2.

 

Then you and the OP are doing something wrong.

Here are 2 images of 2 12x18 inch prints printed on 13x19 (B+) paper made from M8 files on a HP B9180 using Qimage.

These are straight out of the camera and then made into JPG's using my normal action for posting to this forum. In my eyes they are spectacular and if I had a bigger printer I have no doubt I could print them even bigger without any problem.

 

 

 

Maybe you and the OP need to take a class in printing or get a better printer or print service.

 

Oh by the way the images of the prints were made with a M8, 50 Lux ASPH, using a Leica SF58 flash bounced off my front door with the prints laying on my living room floor hand held at 1/125s f/4.

 

For comparison here are the 2 shots the print were made from.

 

 

Edited by Shootist

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M8 images have the advantage of fewer digital artifacts because of the absence of AA filter. After that, it's all in the workflow. I consistently print 14x21" on roll paper & am fairly often asked which MF system I work with (once by Mary Ellen Mark, no less).

 

Going back to the OP's issue: we'd need more info about his workflow to understand why he can't produce a first-rate A3 print. Not much point discussing further without this info.

 

Kirk

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Then you and the OP are doing something wrong

Not really. Insufficient resolution to fill A3 remains insufficient resolution, no matter how you bend and turn it. You'd need a high MTF value at ~5300x3500 pixels for 30x45 cm at full 300 DPI, meaning you'd need something like an 18 MP Foveon sensor. The 5D2 reaches 80-100% MTF in most cases up to about 240 DPI for 30x45 and 0% at 280. This is very good, but not perfect.

 

Just like the calculations suggest, I can see the difference to an A4 print at 15-20cm distance. I know that this is not a normal viewing distance and that it's nitpicking, I just wanted to say there is a value in higher pixel counts for A3 and you don't necessarily need giant poster sizes to see it. I also know that artistic value is independent of image sharpness.

 

As for your low resolution examples of prints, I don't know what they're supposed to contribute to a discussion about print resolution. Scan A3 and A4 prints of the same image with a flatbed and we'll be able to see the difference..

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The technical details and intricate calculations are not so interesting. The important part is that if you print an M8 photo on A3 well, it looks great.

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Not to mention the fact that the guy does not know that 300 DPI is the resolution roughly nbeeded for A4 seen at reading distance and that the bigger the format, the lowest it is.

 

And that image sharpness is not judged by scanning but by human eye. If not, watch any format under a microscope and you will see it is not sharp but made of little color dots.

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LOL>.. Bernd, I did NOT start this discussion..!

 

I had film images from italy on display 20 years ago at this print size, never realized they did not hold up (neither did the gallery owner).. and was just now looking at some B3 prints from last week... even with my nose in the print, its still very satisfying. though normally I view images from at least enough distance to see the entire image.

 

Robert Frank's images was scrumptious, very grainy but wonderful and great. the M8 beats the quality of the media he was shooting on, hands down.. its all about taking some meaningful images with the camera and forget the rest.

 

 

.

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Not really. Insufficient resolution to fill A3 remains insufficient resolution, no matter how you bend and turn it. You'd need a high MTF value at ~5300x3500 pixels for 30x45 cm at full 300 DPI, meaning you'd need something like an 18 MP Foveon sensor. The 5D2 reaches 80-100% MTF in most cases up to about 240 DPI for 30x45 and 0% at 280. This is very good, but not perfect.

 

Just like the calculations suggest, I can see the difference to an A4 print at 15-20cm distance. I know that this is not a normal viewing distance and that it's nitpicking, I just wanted to say there is a value in higher pixel counts for A3 and you don't necessarily need giant poster sizes to see it. I also know that artistic value is independent of image sharpness.

 

As for your low resolution examples of prints, I don't know what they're supposed to contribute to a discussion about print resolution. Scan A3 and A4 prints of the same image with a flatbed and we'll be able to see the difference..

 

Oh sure we will: we'll be able to see what your flatbed scanner does through a browser LOL!!

 

Are you for real? Do you actually make anything like prints for a living or something?

 

To me, anyway, your calculations are immediately off because you're talking about dots per inch as though they're discrete points of ink or grain; and you don't seem to be taking into account the fact that any modern print mechanism you're printing with uses actual paper (coated or not) and what gets laid down gets that way through a driver and a hardware translation (dithering mechanism). Consequently, there are not many pictorial media that would actually resolve anything like the MTF you're calling for (and very few printing mechanisms to boot).

 

There is no difficulty whatsoever printing A3 with an M8. 30 * 40 inch prints don't look too bad either. And I'm loathe to trot this out again, but I honestly wish some people would use the search function from time to time:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/9022-30-x-40-inch-m8-prints.html

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/27254-david-adamsons-graciousness-skill.html

 

And though you never know for sure, I suspect David Adamson knows more about large photographic printing than anyone else on this forum

If you're having trouble printing small-ish from the m8, then you don't know how to print, IMO.

 

Again, IMO, the M9 will be marginally better at 18MP; I've also worked with the 5d2 and it produces very nearly indistinguishable prints from an M8 (or from a 5d, for that matter) on something like a Durst Lambda printer up to 42 inches wide.

 

When you've got a Canon 28 mm lens on a 5d2, of course, they are noticably worse than an M8 with a Summicron

Edited by Jamie Roberts

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If it is really true that an M9 will be released in September, my "pusher" will have one ready for me I'm sure. I may have to run to A Leicaphiles Anonymous meeting because you guys certainly are as bad as hanging out with Courtney Love to get off drugs.

 

Seriously, of course I'll buy it if there are any significant improvements. And by that I mean, better high ISO performance by at least a stop or 18-20mp resolution. And I want either of these without compromise of the things the M8 did well. I will not go for an internal IR filter with decrease in image sharpness etc. If it is an M8.3 in disguise, I'll just say no!

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My 3 grosze.

The actual resolution of lens/camera combo is ca 2600LPH in the case of M8. (LPH=lines per picture height). Thats close enough to D3x, 5d2/1D3, a900 2700LPH. Best primes used in each case for testing. At print height of 10 inches you get 260-270 ppi of real resolution in each case. Anything bigger is interpolated detail, whether by the printer driver or your best uprezzing software.

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Andreas there are more factors than the numbers of pixels of course. Focus accuracy, shutter speed (tripod support?), correct exposure technique. Certainly a larger print will tell you all about your technique if you make mistakes. The 300ppi figure is commonly considered a standard for say, A4 size but it does not tell the whole story. Digital files scale completely differently to film scans.

 

Really there are two approaches if you are preparing an image for a large print. You can accept that a lower PPI is workable for larger prints or you can scale up the existing pixels if you feel you have to have a specific PPI. Try both and you may be surprised.

 

The M8 sensor with a Leica lens and good technique will certainly produce superb enlargements bigger than A3. The best examples I have seen are hanging on the wall at the Solms factory. They have a series of commercial prints to illustrate the Summarit performance and those are around one metre across. Even viewing them from abnormally close up they hold up extremely well.

Try for yourself, if you have the M8. Put it on a tripod with your best lens and make a careful exposure. Get it printed large commercially and take a close look. Remember too that viewing distance is meant to increase as prints get larger. That is the whole principle of the Circles of Confusion that are meant to be resolution benchmarks. Putting your nose up against the print or pixel peeking may tell you about theoretical limits but not what is real world application. Give it a try and tell us about your experience. Then if and when a 24x36 sensor arrives you will be ready to wow yourself with more prints too

i really be

lieve an M9 will be realeased in sept.

i only shoot in B/Wi

at iso 160 its oki but not great to print up to a3.

 

do you think the larger sensor will help to print great shots up to A2 format or is the sensor still to weak for that format.

 

cheers

andy

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All this discussion about resolution and image quality is well and interesting, but it completely bypasses the fact that for the impression of sharpness extreme detail is not the most important factor. The optical industry discovered in the 1960-ies that the human eye perceives a higher resolved low contrast image as less sharp than a lower resolution high-contrast image. That was the reason Leica and Nikon and in their wake all other optical companies started building high-contrast lenses from the mid-sixties onwards. The same holds true throughout the whole photographic process including printing.

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Now that you mention DOF, an image with a deep DOF will appear sharper as well, as the human eye is drawn to sharp parts of the image. And for resolution - if the brain does not know there is a fine structure somewhere, does it matter that the eye cannot discern it?

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Don't forget too, that the type of paper used for printing can have a very great effect upon how 'sharp' the image may appear to the human eye. Remember how textured 'matte' or 'satin' papers were used some years ago to help hide the shortcomings of holiday snaps?

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It's high resolution that allows big enlargements otherwise we could print sharp billboards with contrasty P&S. Depends on tastes a well. To me A2 is not acceptable with anything smaller than MF so far. Never tried 20+ MP DSLRs though.

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I've had M8 files printed over 1 m wide It is perfectly sharp and well resolved at any reasonable viewing distance, say from 40 cm upwards. And even close up - I can read the number plates on cars that are quite a distance away.

Edited by jaapv

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A billboard campaign was made recently with shots from LX2.

The photographer wanted the look, especially P&S DOF.

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The M8 is sometimes compared to an MF camera as if 10MP could do miracles with the red dot. I'm pretty sure some of us will compare the M9 to a Linhoff next month.

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