What magnification would you write?

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clarnibass
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:33 pm

What magnification would you write?

Post by clarnibass »

Hi

I'm printing a bunch of photos for a project and first time I need to write details on them like the magnification used.

I think it is usual to just write the magnification of the lens used?
In this case photos were taken with both full frame and APSC cameras. It makes sense but "feels" weird to have the same magnification for photos taken with the different cameras. It's not really the sensor size, but pixel density that gives a higher resolution ("magnification").

In reality I can make up random magnifications and no one would care, it doesn't really matter. It's more a matter of feeling correct in my head :)
The higher resolution per area really feels equivalent to e.g. a higher magnification eyepiece on a telescope (and I'm guessing a microscope?).

I rather not write sensor size and/or resolution of the sensor on the photo.

Scarodactyl
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Post by Scarodactyl »

I think giving field of view is more useful/universal in general.
I am not sure exactly what you mean about the link between magnification and resolution. Higher resolution certainly allows you to look closer and see finer details but I don't think it will make an image look more magnified unless you print it larger or crop out a smaller area of interest. A higher mag eyepiece is equivalent to zooming in and cropping.

rjlittlefield
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Re: What magnification would you write?

Post by rjlittlefield »

clarnibass wrote:I'm printing a bunch of photos for a project and first time I need to write details on them like the magnification used.
Ignoring esthetics, scale bars are good because those stick with the photos and remain valid no matter how they are reproduced.

But I assume you don't want to clutter up the photos by including scale bars.

Field of view is also safe, as Scarodactyl suggests. However, where FOV is very small it can be difficult for the viewer to make sense of.

Because you're making physical prints, you could reasonably state the final magnification, that is, size of subject on print divided by actual size of subject. Something like "shown here at 350X life size".

In some situations I like to describe images with words like "This is about what you'd see through a 100X microscope." For people who have some experience with microscopes, that gives an immediate feel for how big something is, with no mental gymnastics required.

--Rik

iconoclastica
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Post by iconoclastica »

I have seen too many dawings and photos with varying reproduction sizes but still accompanied by the same captions and magnification statements that I never take much notice of such indications any more. Moreover, authors that submit images for reproduction in printed journals or books rarely know up front what size their illustrations will be reproduced. There may be paperback and folio editions. Electronic publishing makes this even worse.

So unless you are doing your own printing to have your photos exhibited, I discourage the practice to include 'somany x' information.

For jourrnals and books, scalebars are much better. The scalebar need not be overlaid within the photo, but you can add a white margin and add the scalebare to that margin. Normally the print is on white paper, so the scalebar is physically linked with the photo and the margin won't be vissible in print.

Another reason for this practice is that scalebars don't scale well, graphically. When you reproduce a photo with a scalebar, and possibly text such as "0.05mm", at, say 50%, the scalebar not only gets shorter, but also thinner. A mixture of thicker and thinner scalebars on the same page is an ugly sight - not the mention the text. When the scalebar is in the margin, the graphic designer can easily crop it off and replace it by a standard weight bar and text.
--- felix filicis ---

clarnibass
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Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:33 pm

Post by clarnibass »

Thanks. I am printing the photos myself, and it would be for a book now and larger prints in the future. No borders for either the book photos or the other prints.

Basically I'm trying to have as little as possible written on the photos, but have enough to give some idea to whoever is looking what the actual size is. I think it would be more interesting that just the photo itself.
Scarodactyl wrote:I think giving field of view is more useful/universal in general.
I'm not sure what this means? How do you know the FOV? Or do you mean the angle of view? Though that would be the same for any FL/sensor that is the same, so wouldn't account of distance/magnification, no?
Scarodactyl wrote:I am not sure exactly what you mean about the link between magnification and resolution. Higher resolution certainly allows you to look closer and see finer details but I don't think it will make an image look more magnified unless you print it larger or crop out a smaller area of interest. A higher mag eyepiece is equivalent to zooming in and cropping.
That's what I mean. The higher resolution (or pixel density) is similar to a higher magnification eyepiece (or zoom, like you say). An extreme example could be 1MP vs. 100MP. It would seem pretty ridiculous to me to have them both marked as e.g. x5 magnification. You would see a lot with the latter and next to nothing with the former.
rjlittlefield wrote:Ignoring esthetics, scale bars are good because those stick with the photos and remain valid no matter how they are reproduced.

But I assume you don't want to clutter up the photos by including scale bars.
Thanks, I'm considering this though it would be a lot of work I guess. I have to think how much I want to have written on the photos. There is a name (one or two words) and I thought adding one thing. This could be magnification, a scale bar, etc.
rjlittlefield wrote:Because you're making physical prints, you could reasonably state the final magnification, that is, size of subject on print divided by actual size of subject. Something like "shown here at 350X life size".
I really like that idea but I guess it's the most work (I would have to change depending on print size).
I think a scale bar might be clearer, but an actual size vs. RLS is more interesting to the experience of looking at the photo... for lack of a better way to explain it.

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