Sharpening for printing

I’ m close to buying a new printer (Canon Prograf Pro1000). I wonder if there’ s anyone who has experience with (extra) sharpening for printing? Is there some kind of a guideline to huw much a file should be (extra ) sharpened to get a solid print result? I don’ t like over sharpening ofcourse, but I do like to look at an A2 print up close.
Ow and I will probably export files as Tiff into Affinity Photo for soft proofing . Maybe sharpening should be done there as a last step (?).
Thank you!

I am not into printing but if you have the Nik collection you could try Sharpener Pro

Thank you Sigi. I do not use the Nik collection. I know I have to sharpen a little extra, but the question is, how much? Curious about personal experiences here.

I’d like to know what other DxO users think about this, too. Personally, I’ve not found a need (so far) to do any extra sharpening for printing beyond what PhotoLab/OpticsPro does semi-automatically with supported lens/camera modules for RAW files. It seems to me a matter of taste. I see way too many pictures out in the wild that I consider over-sharpened, with edge artifacts, halos, and eye-searing microcontrast. I think “how much” depends also on the image and how big you want to print it. Some say zoom in on your image on your computer until it’s the size you want to print and sharpen as you like it using whatever method you like. A quick search turns up a variety of opinions and recipes.

Thank you Greg. I agree…it all (also) depends on the image. But also on what kind of paper probably. Zooming in is a good idea. Might try that. I’ m not sure that’ s the best way though; paper ofcourse still differs from a monitor screen. There could me more in the translation from screen to paper. Let’ s see, if more ideas come up. I will probably print A2 most of the time.

I suspect a major concern is DPI on paper. Downscaling an image loses detail and so can lose edge definition. This might be a major reason to “sharpen” extra - if sharpening is the right term.

That’ s what I think as well.

I share your experience Greg.
First because DxO annonunces the Sharpening depends on output. That is the “philosophy” of DxO.
In my case, TV HD and print but small format, I work on 75% zooming and the bicubic output is on.


Hello mujabad,

I would just look the best fine-art printing shop in the area you are living, stop by at their location and have and in-depth discussion about your printint needs.

I would assume they would be more than happy to share their know-how - especially if you are a potential customer

Thnx Sigi!
I’ ve used pro print shops in the past, but when I start printing myself…then I’ll hardly be a new customer anymore.

Thnxs Pascal!
75%zooming and bicubic on. Worth trying! Although I will print A2 (maybe A3). Maybe zoom in at 100% ? I usually do this when editing images in PL.
Ow and I like to look at my prints up close.

But then there’ s also a second question. I guess I’ ll be exporting Tiff files from DXO PL into Affinity Photo (because there’ s no softproofing in DXO PL). In any program I tend to sharpen my files as a last step. In this case, that could very well be Affinity Photo. Don’ t know if it’ s wise to sharpen files before exporting as tiff to AP (where I ofcourse can sharpen them as well…as a very last step).

I use Qimage and it takes care of the sharpening depending on paper size and type. Does a masterful job. One of the best software packages I own. I process in On1 or DXO and export a jpg to a print folder and the use Qimage to print. Works like a charm. Can do multiple layouts, saved print jobs, text, all kinds of nice features.

Thank you Mike! I’ ve read a that many use Qimage. Maybe I should read more about that program. Sounds interesting! I thought of getting the (free) Inkjet Plumber. Seems to do a nice job programming a printer to print anything in a certain schedule. I know, not as complete as Qimage though.

Download a free trial of Qimage Ultimate and test it for yourself.

The sharpening / optimisation for print size (up or down) and type of printer is why so many recommend Qimage. Once off purchase, one of the best software investments I have made.


Thank you IanS!
Does it integrate with the Canon Prograf Pro1000? (or does the Canon Pro1000 integrate well with Qimage). If so, in what way (to get a simple workflow)?

Qimage works with any printer and can even enhance the native printer driver capabilities under certain circumstances i.e. remove restrictions inherent to the printer driver. It can handle poster printing, canvas printing, layout of multiple photos/sizes, put cut marks on the paper etc.

The UI for Qimage is a little daunting at first but there are plenty of YouTube videos available to help you get going.

I used LR from V1-6 and it has a very good printing module but I never used it in earnest as I much prefer Qimage.


Thank you! Sounds good. But…working on Mac here. So only Qimage One is possible (which could be fine, because I’m only looking for print software…nothing else). Not sure yet how good Qimage One works, but I can find out.

I print on my Epson Pro 3880 straight out of DxO after ‘optimizing’ without any sharpening up to A2+. My photos are from either a Sony A1000iii or A7Rii. They look fine, even close up. They are mostly landscapes or city architecture. I work on an iMac.

Thank you Stephengoulden. I guess I’ ll have to try then.