Can people differentiate between 200 & 300 dpi?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by plastic_razor, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. I'm curious:

    How many people here can reliably differentiate between two prints: one
    made from a 200 dpi source, another from a 300 dpi source? Assume a
    reasonable viewing distance --- like 12 to 18 inches, with typical
    indoor lighting.

    Personally, I can't tell the difference from that distance. But that
    probably has more to do with my aging eyes than anything...
    plastic_razor, Sep 17, 2006
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  2. plastic_razor

    Scott W Guest

    I find it very easy to tell the differance.

    That is close to printing an 8MP image at 8x12 vs. 12x18, the 12x18
    prints are clearly getting soft.

    But then I am pretty near sighted and so tend to see things many others

    Scott W, Sep 17, 2006
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  3. plastic_razor

    Mark² Guest

    Can you differentiate between...people??

    Many will never notice. Others will...with some caring and others not.
    Much of it depends on the nature of the subject.
    Images with small, interesting details in the subject will cause difficulty,
    while less-complex subjects will look comparatively great. These are just
    examples of why there is no hard and fast "rule" for printing dpi.
    Mark², Sep 17, 2006
  4. plastic_razor

    tomm42 Guest

    As a former large format printer a couple things to note first I used
    Epson printers and they tend to like their ppi to be divided by 60. So
    between 200 and even 240ppi there is a difference especially on a
    smaller print like a 12x18. Beween 240ppi and 300ppi less of a
    difference, but between 240 and 360ppi there is a noticeable
    difference. I worked mostly with 6mp files from Kodak DCS760s and
    scanned 35mm and mf files.

    tomm42, Sep 18, 2006
  5. plastic_razor

    Stacey Guest

    It depends on the subject matter.
    Stacey, Sep 19, 2006
  6. plastic_razor

    Lionel Guest

    My eyesight is extremely good. For me, spotting the difference between
    200 & 300 DPI depends a lot on the medium, the image, how the image
    was processed, & whether I have the full-res original onscreen to
    compare to the print. For most people, most of the time, the
    difference is fairly academic.
    Lionel, Sep 19, 2006
  7. plastic_razor

    ColinD Guest

    From a comfortable viewing distance, i.e. taking in the complete
    picture, you would be hard pressed to see any difference.

    Pixel-peepers who leave nose smears on the print will claim they can see
    a difference - but they're not looking at the picture.

    Reminds me of the story about a hi-fi fanatic who was always complaining
    to the store about how his system sounded. Finally, the salesman said
    "Quit listening to your amplifier, and instead listen to the music" The
    moral applies to photogs as well.

    Colin D.
    ColinD, Sep 19, 2006
  8. plastic_razor

    Craig M Guest

    I think that moral can be applied to a lot of techonolgy in life, I service
    copiers, and it can be applied to them as well.
    Craig M, Sep 19, 2006
  9. plastic_razor

    Scott W Guest

    It depends on the person looking at the photo, being near sighted I
    tend to look at prints a bit closer then many people do, no nose prints

    Where as I have a lot of prints at 200 ppi that I like a lot all of
    them seem soft to me.

    Whereas it does not bother most people when I view a photo that does
    not look sharp it gives me the uneasy feeling that my eye aren't
    focusing right.

    Scott W, Sep 19, 2006
  10. plastic_razor

    Alan Browne Guest

    At normal viewing distance, not many can. Print up two the same end
    size at both printer resolutions and see what _you_ think.
    Alan Browne, Sep 19, 2006
  11. plastic_razor

    Scott W Guest

    A word of caution here, resizing a photo from 300 ppi down to 200 ppi
    is not the same as comparing a 300 ppi source to a 200 ppi source.
    This is because downsized image will be sharper pixel for pixel then
    the original.

    As an example if I down size from 8MP down to 3.5 MP and print both
    the 8 and 3.5 MP image they will look close to the same. But if I take
    a photo using a 8 MP and a 3.5 MP camera there will be a big

    Scott W, Sep 19, 2006
  12. Assuming that the 300 dpi source is not intentionally
    blurred, the answer is a resounding yes, they can tell. I'm
    assuming here that you have say two 8x10 prints, one from
    a 1600x2000 pixel source and one from a 2400x3000 source,
    and a suitable test subject, like a photo of a printed book,
    or a scenic picture all at infinity with lots of detail. Now
    if the photo is a portrait with a narrow depth of field,
    then the average person may very well see no difference. The
    portrait pro may look at the eyes and see a difference,
    or maybe even they won't, depending ....

    Now 300 dpi to 500 dpi is much harder to tell apart, but for
    flat macro subjects or scenics, even there the difference
    is present, if the originals are sharp. A good subject
    here would be to compare 300 and 500 dpi scans of a
    low-speed Fuji positive film 8x10 original transparency
    of a scenic, or a scan of a printed page from a fancy
    medieval manuscript.

    Doug McDonald
    Doug McDonald, Sep 19, 2006
  13. plastic_razor

    ColinD Guest

    Do you not use glasses to view at a comfortable distance? or put another
    way, most people would view an 8x10 from about 12 to 15 inches away.
    What distance would you view such a print at?

    Colin D.
    ColinD, Sep 20, 2006
  14. plastic_razor

    Scott W Guest

    Without my glasses my far point is 10 inches, which is a good distance
    to view photos from, gives a nice wide screen feel.

    With my glasses I have to use the bifocal part and that is not very
    good at all for viewing.

    Scott W, Sep 20, 2006

  15. I've thought about that.

    But it's hard to find two photos of the same subject taken under
    identical conditions, except one was done a camera giving approximately
    200 dpi, another at approximately 300 dpi (or even 250 dpi).

    Any ideas where I could find such photos?
    plastic_razor, Sep 20, 2006
  16. plastic_razor

    Alan Browne Guest

    I really can't help it if you misinterpret what I write.
    Alan Browne, Sep 20, 2006
  17. plastic_razor

    Scott W Guest

    I did a test very similar to this when I was looking at up grading from
    a 3mp camera to an 8. I wanted to know what the impact might be on the
    quality of an 8 x 10 print. What I did was mount my camera on a
    tripod and take a photo of a scene, then zoom in closer and take a
    second photo, say from about 50mm to 82mm. I then printed the first
    as an 8 x 10 and the second as a 4.6 x 6.15, this makes the two photos
    look the same with the second one being a crop of the first. After
    doing this test it was not long before I bought an 8 MP camera, to my
    eye the 300 ppi print was far more pleasing.

    Scott W, Sep 20, 2006
  18. plastic_razor

    Arthur Small Guest

    Arthur Small, Sep 20, 2006
  19. plastic_razor

    Scott W Guest

    But going from there, if 300 ppi looks better 200 ppi then 300 ppi is

    Why settle for good when you can have better?

    Scott W, Sep 20, 2006
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