View Full Version : RD1 Print size

MP Guy
03-05-2005, 08:15
I would like to know what size prints people have been getting out of their RD1 with STUNNING results. I mean stunning and not just ok. I am considering a switch to this camera and would like to know how big i can go for enlargements of fine detail.

03-05-2005, 10:35
IMO, depends on the ISO, type of lighting, lens, and how well the exposure was made Jorge.

ISO 200, Leica ASPH glass, studio strobes .... probably a really nice 12X17 inkjet.

I've been pulling pretty detailed 8X10 wedding prints @ ISO 800 with a M 35/1.4 ASPH. ( from available light). ISO 200 in daylight, M28/2 ASPH got me a nice 10 X 13.

03-05-2005, 12:11
just buy the software "Genuine Fractals" it allows you to interpolate to massive prints sizes without loss of image quality!

http://search.netscape.com/ns/boomframe.jsp?query=genuine+fractals&page=1&offset=0&result_url=redir%3Fsrc%3Dwebsearch%26requestId%3Da cd0fa64ce3981e6%26clickedItemRank%3D1%26userQuery% 3Dgenuine%2Bfractals%26clickedItemURN%3Dhttps%253A %252F%252Fwww.lizardtech.com%252F%26invocationType %3D-%26fromPage%3DNSCPTop%26amp%3BampTest%3D1&remove_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lizardtech.com%2F


David Kieltyka
03-05-2005, 17:45
I don't print larger than 8x12" or 9x12" except for the sake of curiosity. The R-D1 can handle this with ease provided you get the technical stuff right. At lower ISOs 12x18" with a bit of up-resing looks very good too. Again you must use a good lens and nail the focus & exposure.


03-05-2005, 22:14
I would like to know what size prints people have been getting out of their RD1 with STUNNING results. I mean stunning and not just ok. I am considering a switch to this camera and would like to know how big i can go for enlargements of fine detail.

I guess that depends on what stuns you! And that's not a frivolous answer -- a lot of factors go into the subjective impression of print quality, including color saturation, contrast, fineness of subject detail, type of paper stock, etc.

A lot of things besides camera type contribute to those factors -- so to me, the only sensible way of answering this question in a way that's specific to the R-D 1 is to consider the characteristics of its imager.

Here's a rule of thumb from the graphic arts industry that I've found useful when applied to any type of continuous-tone digital image:

-- When viewing critically at normal reading distance, the eye is incapable of distinguishing between elements smaller than about 1/300 of an inch. That's why 300 dots per inch was the magic number for commercializing laser printers. It means that even when looking carefully, you won't be able to distinguish between a pixel image and a continuous-tone image as long as the pixel image has at least 300 pixels per inch.

Since the R-D 1 (or any other 6-megapixel camera) produces an image roughly 3000x2000 pixels, that means you can get prints up to about 6.7 x 10 inches that meet this criterion of being indistinguishable as pixel images.

-- For normal (non-critical) viewing at normal reading distance, the criterion drops to about 180-200 pixels per inch. This corresponds roughly to the rosette size you see from the very highest quality printed materials (by "printed" I mean "reproduced on a printing press.") If you think about photographs which you've seen reproduced in high-quality publications, you'll see that this image level is still capable of producing what many people consider "stunning" quality.

At this quality level, a 6-megapixel image can be enlarged to about 10 x 15 inches. That's been my experience in doing advertising posters with both the R-D1 and a Nikon D100 -- a tabloid-size (11x17 inch) poster is about the biggest I feel comfortable going with a 6-megapixel image, since I have to assume that the poster may be viewed from reading distance (by people who want to read the text.)

-- For viewing at greater than reading distance, the data requirement drops farther; my own experience has been that fine-art prints for wall display (which usually are viewed from a distance of at least two to three feet) can produce what most viewers would regard as "stunning" quality with data sizes as low as 100-120 pixels per inch!

This means that most people would be impressed by a good 6-megapixel image as large as 20x30 inches, as long as they were viewing it from a few feet away.

Note that reproduction method plays a role too -- and that's especially important in the case of a digital camera, since there's no NON-digital way of reproducing the image!

Specifically, for photographic display, you're probably going to be making your larger prints on an inkjet printer, which does not produce a continuous-tone image; instead, it simulates continuous tones by overlapping different ink dots.

My own observation has been that even on critical viewing, I can't detect any difference between inkjet prints at image densities of 300 pixels per inch and 240 pixels per inch. This means that if you consider an inkjet printer capable of producing "stunning" results, you can probably push all the above size ranges about 25% larger.

Sean Reid
03-06-2005, 08:50
Hi Jorge,

Do you want me to send you a sample file? (Tripod, ISO 200, Leica 35/2 ASPH) You can then judge for yourself.


Sean Reid
03-06-2005, 08:52

Don't forget (because I imagine you know this) that one can have continuous tone chemical prints made from digital files.


03-09-2005, 02:34
Made "Stunning" prints of this 17x11 RD-1/ VC 28/1.9 Minsk, 2005

scott pruett
03-10-2005, 11:19
Hi Jorge,

Do you want me to send you a sample file? (Tripod, ISO 200, Leica 35/2 ASPH) You can then judge for yourself.

hey Sean - would you mind sending me a sample? I've been shooting pretty consistently w/ a Canon D60 & am interested to see how the two compare. I'd love an RD-1 b/c of the physical size, but the sensor in there makes me hesitate a little.

Anyone - have you actually printed around 20x30" from the RD-1? If so... what were your impressions?

~ scott

Sean Reid
03-10-2005, 11:32

E-mail me and I'll send you a JPEG straight from RAW. Why do you hesitate about the sensor?


MP Guy
03-10-2005, 11:39
Scott, that would be great if you dont mind. just send it to a d m i n @ rangefinderforum . com

get rid of the spaces. Its just to avoid automated spams.

scott pruett
03-10-2005, 11:53
Sean - will email you in a few min, thanks. I hesitate about the sensor b/c if it's the same as what's in the D100, $3k is awful steep, considering what else is out there these days. I used to work at a studio that had a D100 & I always tended to like my Canon images better. It could've easily been the lenses they used w/it though (95% of the time a cheap 28-105mm nikon zoom whereas I use L glass on my stuff).

Jorge - what do you want me to send you? I assume that was directed towards Sean instead?

03-10-2005, 12:36
I regularily use the D100 and Canon MkII... very subjective, but I don't think any 6 MP camera I've used can make a decent 8x10. Using an 8x10 contact print for comparison, the D100 print just doesn't sparkle. Remember, we all see 'em differently. The MKII, with double the pixels, makes beautiful 8x10s on the 2200 IMO.


Sean Reid
03-10-2005, 12:56

Is there a place on this site where you could host some samples? That way could download as desired. Too much bandwidth?