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by Craig Lipski on Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:58 pm
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I'm afraid this is similar to, (but slightly different from,) a question I asked some time ago.

I don't normally have prints made, but I'm going to be a grandpa soon, and the granddaughters room is going to be nature themed, with foxes being a big part of it, and I recently took some fox pics that I'm happy with, so. . . .

When I last printed, (literally years ago,) I used White House Custom Color, and was happy with the work they did, as well as price and turnaround time.  Since then, I've upgraded my computer, (my laptop monitor is soooo much better than my old Dell hand me down,) as well as my workflow.  I contacted WHCC about some questions, and their answers have me even more confused. You all are very knowledgeable and helpful, so I thought I'd try here; I seem to be challenged in this particular area.

I mentioned that my current sharpening program is Nik Smart Sharpener Pro 3 (I've also worked with Smart Sharpen in the past, and could revisit that if preferable.)  I mentioned that the sharpening modes are "Display, Inkjet, Continuous Tone, Half Tone, and Hybrid Device."  The response I got was that they use the "Chromogenic or C-print process" and typically don't see additional sharpening needed.  Additional to what?  To what I see on my laptop screen? (It's an "HD Display", and I can probably come up with more specifics if I know what to look for - I'm on a Lenovo ThinkPad W540).  So, "Sharpen for Display?"

Directions also say to size the file at 300 ppi.  I asked if they meant dpi.  The reply was, "Since we are using the photographic process and the photo paper is exposed using lasers (versus inkjet) we do use pixels per inch."  I don't get it, but OK, until I'm playing w/ Nik, and the only place I see to do such a thing is under the "continuous tone" option, and that's dpi (not ppi) - in this case, are there no "dots" in the process, and if yes to continuous tone, how do I do "ppi"?  With no printer "dots," are they the same and this becomes a matter of semantics?

Obviously, I'm seriously lost.  I don't know how I managed this before.  I'm also open to other very user-friendly options; of course I want a nice print, but I'm not displaying in a fine art gallery, and I feel like I'm over my head here.  I'm a fair photographer, and can do OK w/ PS, but evidently I'm way out of my element here.  Just to make a print.  Jeesh.

Thanks for the patience and hand holding!
Good light,
Craig
 

by aolander on Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:41 pm
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DPI, dots per inch, is what an inkjet printer does, make dots on paper.  You don't need to worry about that.  PPI, pixels per inch, is what tells a printer how large to make the print.  For example, if you have a 4000 x 6000 pixel image, and you tag it with 300 ppi, you'll get a 13.33" x 20" print (4000/300 by 6000/300).  You would do this this in your editing program.  I think you would use continuous tone for sharpening as that is what a light jet print on photographic paper is.
Alan Olander
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by Craig Lipski on Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:10 pm
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aolander wrote:
DPI, dots per inch, is what an inkjet printer does, make dots on paper.  You don't need to worry about that.  PPI, pixels per inch, is what tells a printer how large to make the print.  For example, if you have a 4000 x 6000 pixel image, and you tag it with 300 ppi, you'll get a 13.33" x 20" print (4000/300 by 6000/300).  You would do this this in your editing program.  I think you would use continuous tone for sharpening as that is what a light jet print on photographic paper is.


Thank you; that confirms everything I’ve been thinking, but this has me questioning what I thought I knew: In the Nik Sharpener, if I select lcontinuous tone”, a drop down appears with options of 150, 200, 300, 400, and 500 dpi or user defined dpi.  ???
Good light,
Craig
 

by aolander on Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:13 am
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What's your camera's resolution (pixel dimensions)? What size prints are you going to make?
Alan Olander
Minnesota
 

by Craig Lipski on Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:48 am
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aolander wrote:
What's your camera's resolution (pixel dimensions)?  What size prints are you going to make?



5DIV - full frame dslr sensor, 30 Mpx
Print would be in 10x14 - 12x16 range, after some cropping, if that matters.
How does that figure in?
Obviously this whole thing has me flummoxed.  It’s for a nursery, I’m half tempted to go to WalMart w/ a tiff on a flash drive and see what it looks like, but 1) that would be admitting defeat, and 2) I take a lot of pics, I’ve printed in the past, and this should not be beyond me!!!

Thanks
Good light,
Craig
 

by aolander on Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:16 am
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I think the Nik Sharpening is making it overly complicated for the small prints you're going to make.  I just use Lightroom and export at the size and ppi I want for a print and use Lightroom's sharpening , or print through Lightroom's Print Module.  Your camera would produce approximately 15" x 22" prints @ 300 ppi so I'd use 300 ppi in the Nik software.  Even cropped some, you would get a big enough file for the print sizes you want.
Alan Olander
Minnesota


Last edited by aolander on Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
 

by Craig Lipski on Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:18 am
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aolander wrote:
I think the Nik Sharpening is making it overly complicated for the small prints you're going to make.  I just use Lightroom and export at the size and ppi I want for a print and use Lightroom's sharpening.  Your camera would produce approximately 15" x 22" prints @ 300 ppi so I'd use 300 ppi in the Nik software.  Even cropped some, you would get a big enough file for the prints sizes you want.




Thank you!
Good light,
Craig
 

by E.J. Peiker on Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:49 am
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For print sharpening, I use the now free tools from Pixel Genius. It's super simple and is pretty much dead on every time:
http://www.pixelgenius.com/
 

by Larry Shuman on Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:51 am
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EJ- I just downloaded Pixel Genius to my desktop. Now do I put it (whole file) into the plugin.ill file of photoshop?
Thanks
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by E.J. Peiker on Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:50 pm
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I'm pretty sure there is a redme file included that gives you exact instructions of where it goes. Once you have it in place, you will it under File > Automate in Photoshop, not in plug-ins or filters.
 

by Larry Shuman on Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:04 pm
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Thanks Ej. In the read me file the line goes like this C:\program files\adobe\adobe photoshop CC\plug-ins. Is the CC telling me creative cloud? I'm standalone with photoshop. Or am I wrong?
 

by E.J. Peiker on Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:44 pm
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Just replace the CC with whatever version of Photoshop you are using - if it's CS6 you have a similarly named folder that says Photoshop CS6. Navigate to that and find the plug-ins folder and then stick it there. The Pixel Genius stuff works all the way back to CS3 at least.
 

by Bill Chambers on Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:39 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
For print sharpening, I use the now free tools from Pixel Genius.  It's super simple and is pretty much dead on every time:
http://www.pixelgenius.com/


Wow, E.J., I was kinda surprised when I read you're now using Pixel Genius (I assume that is still PK Sharpener).  I used PK years ago and liked it just fine but figured the newer Topaz Sharpener AI or NIK Output would be "newer", meaning more refined and better, so I have been using those (NIK for several years now and Sharpener AI for the past few months, when it's better than NIK).  

Did you decide to use the PK simply because it's easier or do you feel it's that much better than the others out there?  Personally, I've never had any real issues with NIK Output Sharpener 3, but have found 2-3 times when Sharpener AI did a slightly better job than NIK, but most times NIK seems to do better.
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by Ed Cordes on Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:16 pm
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HMMM! I might be using all of these things wrong. However, I use Topaz Sharpener AI on files that are not quite "right" as my first step in processing. I then go through my normal work flow and use PK Creative Sharpener, followed by PK Output Sharpener as needed for the output I want. I view the Topaz Sharpener AI as a problem solver not a standard sharpening step.
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