Large format pertains to any degree of imaging format from 4×5 inches which is 102×127 mm or larger. The main service of a large format, a film or anything digital, is a higher resolution. The higher resolution, the better the details of a captured moment is, so it has better quality photos. But large format photo printing can sometimes be unpredictable and tricky. So here are some tips that should be able to help avoid would-be problems.
Wide format printers are getting relatively low cost and economical, so making large prints like 20×30 and larger are doable, even for the amateurs. Logically, a wide format inkjet printer is nothing more but a big printer which is printing a large format photo. It should be no different than printing in your own typical inkjet except that it lets you create with a larger page sizes. Alas, there are a lot of obstacles that you may come across when doing a large format photo printing.
For the most part, it involves the printer/driver setup. While this is easily corrected; others may necessitate you to rethink on how your equipments are connected, the type of equipments you’re using to print, whether your current hard drive has the capability for a large format photo printing, if you require extra RAM, etc.
A large format printer time and again handles paper or page size differently than your standard inkjet, for the most part with respect to borderless printing. First, it is essential to realize that there are two methods that drivers use to perform borderless printing: expand page and expand print. In the expand page approach, the driver simply increases the size of the page so that it is larger than the physical paper size. In this printing mode, the driver will in fact give you an idea about a printable area larger than the physical paper size. For example, a 16 inch wide roll may present as 16.23 inches across on your printing software. The phenomenon is that the driver is printing approximately .12 inches off the left and right edges of the roll.
With this method, it is important to print your large prints in the centre of the page. For example, use “centered” or “optimal/spaced” in Qimage. This will ensure that the “overspray” that extends off the edges of the paper is minimized and you won’t lose the edges of the print because they are printing up against one edge or the other. If you use something like “compact” or “optimal”, Qimage will place the print at the left edge of the paper and .12 inches of the print will be off the page, which will then crop the print to some extent.
The term Epson use for the expand page mode “Retain Size” in their latest wide format drivers. In the older drivers, this was the single option offered so no choice were available. You need to keep remember is that with the expand page mode is that the driver expands the page size so that it continues slightly further than the edges of the paper. In doing so, it is likely to print off the edge of the paper and lose some of your prints. Try to avoid this “clipping” by not printing anything all the way against the left/right edges of the paper when aligning your prints on the page preview on screen.