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Thread: "Maximum" Print Size?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    191

    Re: "Maximum" Print Size?

    4X5 negative 4X5 platinum print, 5X7..... you got it.

    Jan Pietrzak

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Aurora/Naperville, IL
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    Re: "Maximum" Print Size?

    That's true, Peter. It all is relative to viewing distance as well. I will just have to get shooting, developing and eventually printing this year.

    A side note, to print 5x7's would you think it a decent idea to get an 8x10 enlarger in case you want to go bigger someday or just stick with a 5x7 enlarger?

    Thank you.
    Portraits, Weddings, Landscapes
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  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    193

    Re: "Maximum" Print Size?

    It depends on the subject an feel you are after. I have no trouble enlarging a 35mm TriX neg to 20x24 if the subject suits the grain and look I will get. Equally, there are times I will keep 5x4 to no larger than 20x16 because the image needs sumptuous tonality. There are no rules.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    162

    Re: "Maximum" Print Size?

    I went through this exercise with my cameras & darkroom setup. I find I can get sharp prints (ones that look razor sharp when held at the end of my nose with no loupe): for 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 and 4x5 negatives I can get sharp 20"x24" prints. For 8x10 negatives I can get sharp 30"x40" prints (I haven't tried bigger prints from my 8x10 negatives). I can't get sharp 20x24 prints from 6x9 negatives, 16x20 prints are my limit for 6x9. I haven't tried this exercise for 5x7 negatives yet.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    435

    Re: "Maximum" Print Size?

    When we were in the studio business shooting in 6x7, most of our prints were from 8x10 to 20x24 size, however, occasionally, if the customer could afford four or five thousand we would deliver 30x40 or 40x50 with no particular problem.

    With larger formats there is no practical limit.

    Lynn

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
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    10,592

    Re: "Maximum" Print Size?

    HP5 and HC110 will indeed be a gritty combination. If you want that awful Avedon look you
    could use just about anything contrasty, provided it is viewed from a distance. What are
    you really after? - a print or a billboard?

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    8,213

    Re: "Maximum" Print Size?

    Quote Originally Posted by roresteen View Post
    That's true, Peter. It all is relative to viewing distance as well. I will just have to get shooting, developing and eventually printing this year.

    A side note, to print 5x7's would you think it a decent idea to get an 8x10 enlarger in case you want to go bigger someday or just stick with a 5x7 enlarger?

    Thank you.
    Durst made some fine 5x7 enlargers worth considering. I have an 8x10 Elwood in storage right now. Without room in my children's bathroom (and my dark room) it dosen't see much use these days, but Elwoods are bargains if and when you find them. These will pivot horozontally so you can go as big as the largest available wall if you wanted to. They are also old and most will need some fiddeling around with. For example. mine lost it's diffusion glass long ago.
    There are 5x7 Elwoods as well. My idea of a magic bullet would be something like a Beseler 45 with an an 8x10 head---reasonably sized and well built, but rare and with the 8x10 conversion, too pricey for me
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    10,592

    Re: "Maximum" Print Size?

    The Durst enlargers are in a class by themselves. 5X7 Dursts are fairly common, though it takes some luck to find a really clean one. They come equipped with sheave rollers on the
    stand suitable for floor track, and the entire head can be quickly and accurately pivoted
    for horizontal use. Making huge prints from miniscule 6x7 negs might warrant a condensor
    head, which is also fairly common. With colorheads you need to do quite a bit more homework, and would need 220V for a color mural unit (runs hot). There were all kinds of
    heads and accessories made for these things.

  9. #19
    SpeedGraphicMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    307

    Re: "Maximum" Print Size?

    As already mentioned you have a great many variables to consider.

    Viewing distance, maximum print size you can handle in your darkroom etc.

    If you have ever seen a billboard print up close you will notice the print quality is not very good.

    Several years ago I made a full size duplicate of a 9 foot x 17 foot antique map for a local museum.
    Unfortunately I did not have access to large format equipment at the time so I shot it in twelve sections using a Hasselblad 500 and Fuji Velvia 50.

    I am happy to say that the print quality was very good... Grain is only noticable at about a three foot distance.
    "I would like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do..."

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    469

    Re: "Maximum" Print Size?

    I did this backwards. I decided what size print I wanted, then got the format size to fit. In my case, I got a 5X7 so that I could make nice 10X14 prints.

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