Printing – The Details

Printing of photos always seemed to me a large, mysterious realm to be explored in a distant future. Now, this distant future has arrived and I have spent some time and money in order to learn and test printing of my photos. 

I also learned about printing to make sure that the resolution of the photos offered in my shop is good enough for pleasant prints without limiting my flexibility cropping the original shot for best image composition.


Sizes & Formats

I looked at different print formats using a resolution of 300dpi and compared it with my camera file size output. It turns out that if the original shot is not cropped, I could print up to 12R/S12R with 300dpi.   

Format Code4R6R8R10R12R
Height “4681012
Width “68101215
Height px12001800240030003600
Width px18002400300036004500
Format Code4RS8RS10RS12RD500
Height “48101212.37
Width “612151818.56
Height px12002400300036003712
Width px18003600450054005568

At this size 300dpi is overkill. I printed a few shots in S12R and at about 150dpi still looks good. What if I want to print even larger?

Below inches vs pixels for 24″x36″, with ratio 2:3, may preferred. 110dpi may be a the lowest resolution for this format, allowing me to crop to 2/3 of the original image size.

Height “242424242424
Width “363636363636
Height px144026403600432052807200
Width px2160396054006480792010800

Out of curiosity, I also looked into file sizes for optimal display on iMac and MacBook Pro.

MacPro 13″Pro 15″iMac 21.5″iMac 27″
Height “7.057.9310.4713.09
Width “11.2812.6918.6223.27
Height px1600180023042880
Width px2560288040965120

If compared with the D500 file size, i am able to create files for optimal display even on full size iMac 27″ as long as I don’t crop the photo.

Cost for Print and Frame

Printing is not that expensive. Nevertheless, I cannot afford to print every photo: 12″x18″: 20 CAD; 24″x36″ CAD: 30 CAD. 

With fram, printing gets more expensive. I prefer canvas print so that the print is mounted permanently and without having to decide which frame color matches the photo. 12″x18″: 100 CAD; No data for the larger size yet.


How large do I want to print my photos? 12″x18″, mostly, a low number of selected photos at 24″x36″ (one /year?).
How much can I crop a photo and I still get a nice looking print? Aiming for best display on iMac 27″, no cropping, for other situations up to 2/3 of original photo. 
How much will printing cost me? 100CAD for a framed 12″x18″ including printing.

Update (2/6/2019)

When preparing a photo for print, I start having creating a new document with the dimensions of the final print and the dpi required. I then copy paste the previously prepared photo into the new document and adjust size to fit the document dimensions. If the resolution of the photo is too low, it would have to increase size of the photo. I learned about this approach watching Affinity Photo tutorial videos.

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