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Tulips #10 @ f/13 Finished Print (Nikon D800E + Zeiss 135/2 APO-Sonnar)

Just back is a 36 X 24 inch gallery wrap canvas print with gloss finish made by Picture Element from the Nikon D800E + Zeiss 135/2 APO-Sonnar (no saturation has been added, that is the unaltered color).

I had a chance to examine both a 36 X 24 and 30 X 20 print of Tulips #10 f/13 side by side (made for clients, signed and numbered gallery wrap prints are available). I also had a 36 X 24 made for myself.

See the full aperture series of these tulips from f/2 through f/13 in my review of the Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar.

I am delighted with the final print. The finished canvas print imparts some texture which contributes to the effect of an oil painting rather than a photograph print, though the lack of brush strokes dispels that idea upon inspection.

The final image has a very strong visual impact due to the subject matter itself, with the canvas medium exercising a certain synergy with it. The color saturation contributes another level to this effect.

This style of presentation is distinctly different from other types of photographic prints; it is more 3D in effect and directly accessible to the viewer (no glass, no matte surround, nothing in the way). Walk into any public place, doctor’s office, etcetera and no conventional print has quite this type of impact. It is perhaps too strong an effect if the goal were for an innocuous photo that is hung but asks for no conscious awareness.

At 36 inches wide, the D800E resolution is ample at just over 200 dpi. But it’s clear that a 45 X 30 would be no problem on the resolution front; that’s not really an issue in the print quality. Appropriate viewing distance is at least one meter for a 36 X 24 print; if one wishes to stand 18 inches away this is no different than critiquing a zoomed-in version on a large computer display; it has little meaning on its own as a metric for a finished print.

See my Printing on Canvas article for details on the outstanding work done by Picture Element in Santa Clara, CA. I prefer my prints to be “gallery wrap”, ready for hanging.

Click for a larger version. Image below is a scan of a proof using my cheap Epson Workforce flatbed scanner. The scanner did a good job overall, but it picks up some reflections from the texture of the canvas (these are not seen by eye when viewing the print). Scan is slightly cropped since the scanner cannot accommodate 15 X 10.

Scan (partial) of “Tulips 10” of canvas print using Epson Workforce scanner
Nikon D800E + Zeiss 135m f/2 APO-Sonnar @ f/13
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