Nikon D40 Print Size Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jovian9, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Jovian9 macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    A couple of months ago I bought a Nikon D40. I have been asked to shoot some landmarks around town for a local business. They want to frame them and hang them up along the walls in their building. The first question they want to know is what size prints I can get from this that are of great quality.


    knowing that I have a D40 and stock lens (for now), what is the max size of a print that I should not exceed. I understand that it could depend on the photo and my cropping/editing...but I want a basis for when I begin doing this.

  2. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    You don't mention a tripod - for what you intend to do, you need to shoot off a tripod. Preferably using a remote shutter release as well.

    A lot of people recommend printing with at least 250dpi. If your photo technique is good, you can probably blow up your photos further than you think (just based on that 6MP sensor). Resize your images using Photoshop or a similar tool, with bicubic resampling turned on.
  3. maxi macrumors regular

    May 23, 2006
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Depending on how people will view them.

    250 dpi stands up to close scrutiny, it is about the maximum quality the human eye will distinguish. Given the sensor size, 250 ppi will give you roughly 12" x 8" prints.
    If the pictures will be viewed from a distance of about 3 feet or more, you can print from 72 to 150 ppi. this will give you up to 42" X 28" prints.

    I have seen big posters printed from a D40 and they really hold up well. I'd say that you can print up to any size you want with it, larger prints mean larger viewing distance, which will smooth out the loss of dpi's.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    As others have said. 250 pixels per inch at arm length. Half that many pixels if the viewer is standing twice arm's length and so on. You could make a billboard if your viewers would only stand back 1/4 mile.

    But if the client needs 48" wide shots that will withstand close up viewing. Rent a Hasselblad medium format film camera, have the film scanned in a pro lab and get 100 megapixel images. Renting does not cost a lot $100 will get you a basic camera system. Renting for a paying job always pays for itself.

    I've been working with scans from medium format. They are incomparable to anything my D50 can do but you do need a fast computer, those files are huge. The 6x7cm Velvia transparancies are unbelievable.

    Don't let your equipment limit you, not for a paying job.
  5. Jovian9 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    Thanks for the tips. Yes I will be using a tripod. I don't plan on going medium-format-film though. I just got rid of my film SLR a couple months ago and bought this D40 so it needs to do the work :) My film and darkroom days are gone for at least awhile as I get some use out of my new camera.

    There is no pressure on me to produce larger prints. Really I just wanted an idea of what I can get out of this camera to let them know. The photographs will be in some offices and a hallway so they can be viewed up close whenever someone would like to do so.
  6. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    11x14 is about where I'd be looking for fine-art prints. You can go over that, a lot of it depends on how the pictures are upsized, a good RIP will do wonders, but it'll cost to have them printed somewhere that does good work.

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