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11-13-2009, 09:50 AM   #1
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Help! Fuji Frontier minilab print posterized!

Hello All,

Yesterday I had the photo below printed by my local camera store via web upload on their Fuji Frontier minilab. The file was sized to print at 300dpi at 8x10, which it what I ordered. Link to the file *exactly* as I uploaded it is here:

Linkey-loo

The print came out with noticable posterization in the sky. In pixel-peeping the sky in the original file, I can see a bit of diffuse posterization, or perhaps de-mosaicing artifacts that I expect to be "normal" for a from-camera JPEG, but not the obvious horizontal bands of blue tones I got in the print.

What could have gone wrong? Is it something I did wrong, or something the "lab" did wrong, or just a limitation of the Fuji Frontier?

Please help! Thanks!

~Jon

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11-13-2009, 10:25 AM   #2
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I downloaded the file, are you sure it's really the full size???

It's barely 2MP which is 160ppi not 300ppi (you said dpi, dpi is a useless measuremnet, useless.)

You need 300ppi, your file should measure ......

10 inches*300 = 3000 pixels
8 inches * 300 = 2400 pixels

i.e 3000*2400 pixels which equals 7.2 megapixels.
11-13-2009, 10:26 AM   #3
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The problem BTW, is that photo processors still INSIST on using DPI which is WRONG WRONG WRONG, it's ppi ... PIXELS per inch ... not dots.
11-13-2009, 10:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
I downloaded the file, are you sure it's really the full size???

It's barely 2MP which is 160ppi not 300ppi (you said dpi, dpi is a useless measuremnet, useless.)

You need 300ppi, your file should measure ......

10 inches*300 = 3000 pixels
8 inches * 300 = 2400 pixels

i.e 3000*2400 pixels which equals 7.2 megapixels.
Are you sure you downloaded the full-size image? The full-size image is 2673x2133 pixels. I guess that's 267ppi, not 300ppi, but still should be more than adequate for printing as an 8x10 print.

And for print resolution the term is dpi = dots per inch, not ppi - since prints don't have pixels, they have dots, right? or am I confused?

11-13-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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Have them reprint it...since there are lines, I would expect it to be a macine error.

I don't believe I've ever seen a "vertical" line from any Frontier print...so there's my guess.
11-13-2009, 10:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon.partsch Quote
Are you sure you downloaded the full-size image? The full-size image is 2673x2133 pixels. I guess that's 267ppi, not 300ppi, but still should be more than adequate for printing as an 8x10 print.

And for print resolution the term is dpi = dots per inch, not ppi - since prints don't have pixels, they have dots, right? or am I confused?
I hit download and that's what I got.

No it's PPI, do some readin gon the topic, DPi is 100% useless, you need pixels not dots.

At 267ppi the printer will re-size the image itself so all your work was wasted, always, walys, always send a 300ppi file to an outside printer.
11-13-2009, 11:06 AM   #7
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Well the image I downloaded has block-like artifacts in the sky. The artifacts become more visible if the print is larger or contrastier than the screen image.

Ideally, there should be enough noise in the image to hide the artifacts (yes, noise is good sometimes). I wonder why you've got blocky noise instead of fine-grained noise?

Did you re-size an out-of-camera JPEG?
There's almost certainly no need to resize images for the minilab. Just send the highest resolution and quality you've got and let them deal with DPI.

Did you save this JPEG at a low quality setting?

Did you do any post processing (contrast, levels adjustment, or sharpening) to an out-of-camera JPEG?
DNG or PEF files work better than JPEG for this.

Edit:
QuoteOriginally posted by jon.partsch Quote
Are you sure you downloaded the full-size image? The full-size image is 2673x2133 pixels.
No, I'm not. Picasa's "Download" button serves me an image that's only 1600 pixels wide.

Perhaps picasa resized the image and saved it at a low JPEG quality setting to save bandwidth costs? That would explain what I'm seeing.

Last edited by troyz; 11-13-2009 at 11:20 AM. Reason: full size image
11-13-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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This explains DPI v PPi really well ......

DPI and PPI Explained

11-13-2009, 11:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by troyz Quote
There's almost certainly no need to resize images for the minilab. Just send the highest resolution and quality you've got and let them deal with DPI.
I disagree, I find it best to send a correctly sized image at 3000*2400 pixels.

PPI not DPI!!
11-13-2009, 11:11 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by troyz Quote
Did you re-size an out-of-camera JPEG?
There's almost certainly no need to resize images for the minilab. Just send the highest resolution and quality you've got and let them deal with DPI.
No

QuoteQuote:
Did you save this JPEG at a low quality setting?
No

QuoteQuote:
Did you do any post processing (contrast, levels adjustment, or sharpening) to an out-of-camera JPEG?
DNG or PEF files work better than JPEG for this.
I applied a very small contrast boost only
11-13-2009, 11:17 AM   #11
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How many times did you save the JPG?
11-13-2009, 11:20 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
How many times did you save the JPG?
Download from camera, crop, contrast and save. So that is one time, or two if you count downloading from the camera, or three if you count the camera saving it to the storage media card
11-13-2009, 11:23 AM   #13
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Nah one save is not enough to mess things up.

One of two things happened, either it was a faulty print or the printer made a mess of things when re-sizing to 300ppi. Minilabs will not print at any other ppi, if you submit something with less than 300 pixels per axis it will re-size the image automatically.
11-13-2009, 11:28 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Nah one save is not enough to mess things up.

One of two things happened, either it was a faulty print or the printer made a mess of things when re-sizing to 300ppi. Minilabs will not print at any other ppi, if you submit something with less than 300 pixels per axis it will re-size the image automatically.
Okay, then what I should do is resample the image to 300dpi (er, ppi) and resend it to the lab?

some "blocky" noise or noise-reduction artifacts are visible in the sky upon very close inspection (this can be seen in the original from camera as well), but these artifacts are not arranged in any kind of horizontal pattern and should not even be perceptible in an 8x10 print, I should think...

Next question: resampling algorithm? CS2 at work is messed up for some reason, so I have to use Gimp or wait to use CS3 at home.
11-13-2009, 11:30 AM   #15
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Okay, now I'm convinced that I cannot diagnose the problem from the Picasa image. Sorry for the confusion.

I'd try sending the original JPEG (no contrast boost or scaling) to the minilab to see if the problem goes away.
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