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goamules
19-May-2016, 17:23
OK, i'll show my ignorance here. There is a thread on the Rangefinder forum where a guy is asked by a client to make a 6 foot print. Yes, from 35mm. Besides the obvious grain problem of enlarging a postage stamp that big, what is the largest size silver gelatin photo paper you can easily get? Come to think of it, how did LF photographers in 1940 make a giant print, say, Ansel Adams? I've seen 5x7 enlargers, but that's all. And I only contact print. But say I have a beautiful 8x10 B&W negative, what is the procedure today (or back in the day), to make it 3 or 4 times larger? Thanks.

Argentum
19-May-2016, 18:01
paper size is not a problem. Ilford make roll sizes that will easily cover 6ft X 4ft

The question is how does he want to do it. If he's thinking of doing it himself then he needs a lot of space with enlarger that can best be set to horizontal and paper position on wall at correct distance. Then he'll need the right lens, a rodagon-g 50mm. But even that lens is right at its limit at 50x magnification so print won't be very sharp.
Then he needs to be able develop, stop and fix. Those will be big trays but instead you can use troughs and roll the print back and forth through the troughs. Then some where to wash it, mabe a shower wall if it big enough. All the while taking care not to crease the print. Then somewhere to dry it and somewhere to mount it etc. It can be done but would require some meticulous planning.

However, if its for a commercial client then I would opt for getting it drum scanned. An ICG scanner can now do 12000 dpi so that would give you a 17000x11338 pixel image file. That file can be taken to a pro lab with a Lamda or lightjet printer (both laser printers) which can print to real silver gelatine paper. The benfit is you get the chance to work on the image before sending to print and you get people who really know what they are doing to actually produce the print. Persoanlly I think you'll get a better result this way if he's never done anything like this before. And if its a commercial client then they have to pay what it costs which won't be cheap.

On the other hand if he's up for it and has the space and tools to do it then why not. Enlarger alignment will be critical. But again, I'd say scan to print will probably yield a sharper and better looking result on real silver gelatin paper.

One other thing. You better make sure the neg is of the absolute finest quality. Perfectly focussed with zero camera movement and very fine resolution and preferably fine grain so that either doing it himself or scanning has at least a chance of creating something half decent.

axs810
19-May-2016, 18:10
151068

When I worked at Contact Photo Lab this is what they used for large black and white prints. Everything was evenly developed

Randy Moe
19-May-2016, 19:21
I have no advice how, but it was done all the time.

I have a cheap poster 24X36" enlargement from a shaky friend shooting 35mm handheld. It seems to be printed on newsprint.

It looks fantastic, done in 1986, under plastic, it's like the day I got it.

Shot with Leica III.

LabRat
19-May-2016, 19:44
Well, it depends on the roll paper size, and how to handle/process that piece... Over that, it was a common practice to "tile" overlapping pieces to make a billboard etc...

The largest print I ever saw was at the old Denver airport, that (up as close as I could get) looked like a 35MM Kodachrome slide image of a shot by Galen Rowell of the Rockies, that was at least 50-75 feet wide, but I did see that it was tiled... From a distance it looked great!!! Then there's those old Kodak Coloramas (I think tiled)...

For digital printing, GP Color in LA can produce murals that can (and do) cover the sides of skyscrapers...

Steve K

David Lobato
19-May-2016, 20:51
20 odd years ago my friends at Gerard's Photo Lab in Colorado Springs made wall size enlargements as a normal routine in the lab. They had an 8x10 horizontal enlarger with a 300mm lens on floor rails. There was a 10x10 foot wall mounted vacuum easel to hold the enlarging paper. They were very adept at making mural size prints, and impressed me with how much volume they ran.

Willie
19-May-2016, 21:00
Eastman Kodak used to make billboard prints from Kodachrome 35mm film. Making large prints from 35mm is not a problem and in many situations the grain structure is part of the planned image.

Not everyone wants 8x10 enlarged grainless prints.

Brian Schall
19-May-2016, 22:23
Check out this: http://clydebutcher.com/about-the-artist/technical-information/. I've seen Clyde's old darkroom in person; that big enlarger is something to see.

Leszek Vogt
19-May-2016, 23:00
Garrett, if this guy can't do it, not sure anyone can. He's in Portland, OR.

http://www.commercialfineart.com/roman-johnston-shop/roman-johnston-under-the-canopy.html

Get this, the images were shot with D300, which are appx 43% of full frame (35mm)....and he did fantastic job on creating huge posters out of them.

Les

IanG
19-May-2016, 23:05
OK, i'll show my ignorance here. There is a thread on the Rangefinder forum where a guy is asked by a client to make a 6 foot print. Yes, from 35mm. Besides the obvious grain problem of enlarging a postage stamp that big, what is the largest size silver gelatin photo paper you can easily get? Come to think of it, how did LF photographers in 1940 make a giant print, say, Ansel Adams? I've seen 5x7 enlargers, but that's all. And I only contact print. But say I have a beautiful 8x10 B&W negative, what is the procedure today (or back in the day), to make it 3 or 4 times larger? Thanks.

There's still plenty of 10x8 enlargers around and a handful larger.

A six foot print is relatively easy even with a 36mm/MF enlarger, the heads on my Dursts can be rotated to work horizontally and as been pointed out Ilford make large rolls of paper.

In the 70's/80's I was regularly printing very much larger and had a horizontal 5x4 enlarger the largest from a 35mm negative was about 15ft long but used an inter negative.

Ian

giorgiospugnesi
20-May-2016, 03:44
What about this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Picture It's not an enlargment but it's big enough.

goamules
20-May-2016, 04:56
Thanks everyone.

Bruce Watson
20-May-2016, 07:56
But say I have a beautiful 8x10 B&W negative, what is the procedure today (or back in the day), to make it 3 or 4 times larger? Thanks.

8x10 enlargers were more or less common in the past. Saint Ansel used a horizontal one.

That said, the question you and your Rangefinder forum guy should be asking, but are not asking, is: how are you going to display that print once you've made it? And how will you transport it? Best have answers to those questions before you go though the trouble of actually making a print that size.

Drew Wiley
20-May-2016, 09:50
This is what billboard companies routinely did. Now they mostly do huge digital display boards which revolving ad content. And all the full-service custom labs had their own horizontal enlarger setups with big magnetic wall easels, typically Durst or Devere 8x10 units. For lesser budgets, there was a chain of "Giant Print" franchises, which had 3-story silo-like enlargers which only did huge prints from small negs, but of predictably mediocre quality. Staging color miniatures to big sizes is tremendously facilitated by making a precision sheet film interpositive or interneg. None of the labs really took this to the ideal level of quality, though they did offer nominal internegs. From a commercial standpoint, digital biggies just make more sense. From an aesthetic standpoint, there are still options.

Drew Wiley
20-May-2016, 09:58
... and 8x10 enlargers are more or less still common today. I have to run the gauntlet around several of them just to get into my film room.

barnacle
20-May-2016, 11:11
I recall making a composite enlargement from 35mm onto 16 off 16x20 papers as part of a photographic club 'how to print' discussion.

All the sheets stuck to the wall with blu-tack, exposed (several minutes at a guess though I no longer remember - this was nearly thirty years ago) in one shot, then peeled off in order; as soon as the first was out of the dev and into the stop, the second was in the dev and so on; all eventually ending up in the final wash in large trays.

It worked a treat - the shot was of a friend playing guitar in a pub, available light, pushed to something like 6400ASA. Grain like golf balls, but a stunning result.

Neil

stawastawa
20-May-2016, 22:49
wow! cool examples everyone. I want to work on such a project. I Wish U-Develope was still here in Portland they had some nice facilities I hear.

Michael Wesik
21-May-2016, 08:41
OK, i'll show my ignorance here. There is a thread on the Rangefinder forum where a guy is asked by a client to make a 6 foot print. Yes, from 35mm. Besides the obvious grain problem of enlarging a postage stamp that big, what is the largest size silver gelatin photo paper you can easily get? Come to think of it, how did LF photographers in 1940 make a giant print, say, Ansel Adams? I've seen 5x7 enlargers, but that's all. And I only contact print. But say I have a beautiful 8x10 B&W negative, what is the procedure today (or back in the day), to make it 3 or 4 times larger? Thanks.

Beyond using a horizontal enlarger, there are several ways to process silver gelatin roll paper, the largest of which - to my knowledge - is 56" wide. It also comes in 50" and 42" wide as well. All made by Ilford. Personally, I prefer to process my large prints using a single tray but I've heard of others who use different scrolling techniques or dragging prints from tray to tray. I found that those two methods were problematic because they use large volumes of chemistry, risk damaging the paper from over handling and are limited in printing and toning capabilities, particularly using 56" wide paper which is an animal unto itself.

I've made a lot of prints with an image size of about 52"x70" enlarged from 8x10 and 11x14 negatives. I'm only really limited by the paper width available and size of my tray which is about 88"x60" I think. The tray itself sits on a platform so that it can either lay flat for be raised to an incline for draining and pouring. It has holes drilled into the draining end where plugs can be inserted. A system of a gutter and ABS pipe can be placed under the draining holes which allows chemistry to be returned back to me. I pre-soak the exposed paper, drain, raise the tray to a slight incline, affix a weight at the top of the paper, and then pour my developer (8L), Stop (8L), and Fix (8L) after which the print is hypocleared, washed and toned with everything from gold, to selenium to bleach redevelopment applications. I have sepia, gold and selenium toned several of these prints. Most of the chemicals are used only once. Essentially, I can make a 52"x70" print (image size) in the manner of an 8x10.

151100
151101
151102
151103

Randy Moe
21-May-2016, 09:32
You have shown this room and technique before.

NOW it is sinking in, tilt and drain into a normal size sink. I can do that and one tray will be better for one guy.

Big rolls are not crazy expensive either.

Maybe next year...:)

Ron McElroy
25-May-2016, 13:58
Beyond using a horizontal enlarger, there are several ways to process silver gelatin roll paper, the largest of which - to my knowledge - is 56" wide. It also comes in 50" and 42" wide as well. All made by Ilford. .........



How do you dry prints this large?

Michael Wesik
25-May-2016, 14:12
How do you dry prints this large?

All of the prints I make are dried in a tented drying rack that has one or two humidifiers placed inside (not the kind that produces steam). After being carried by its corners out the tray (I don't roll any of my prints at any time), a print is placed on a sheet of angled plexi emulsion up, squeegeed and picked up by the corners again and placed onto an archival screen which is then inserted into the drying rack which is zipped up for most of the drying time. The process takes two people unless the prints are small like 30x40s. I found that if you can create a fairly humid environment - between 70% - 90% humidity - it allows the emulsion and the paper base to dry slowly, at the same time, over the course of a few days depending on the time of year. I get minimal rippling and have had virtually no issues mounting the largest of my prints on dibond. It took a while to figure this out though...

151202

Argentum
25-May-2016, 14:30
what do you use for mounting to dibond?

Michael Wesik
25-May-2016, 14:34
what do you use for mounting to dibond?

I'm not sure to be honest. I have everything mounted by Hieu at the Lab in Vancouver. He's about the only person I trust with mounting my stuff. They're fantastic.

Drew Wiley
25-May-2016, 16:06
I have a several big patio door screens for drying - alum frames with fiberglass mesh. I got them free due to where I work (we sell lots of big windows etc, and
size mistake or warranty issues arise from time to time), but you could make your own. Dibond is nonporous, so you'd have to use a cold laminating adhesive with a pressure roller system. Not a do-it-yourself procedure. It's tricky. But I don't know why Dibond would really be needed unless you require an exceptionally smooth substrate for high-gloss prints. Big fiber-based prints can be done wet mounting, with or without a vacuum press. This is far less expensive, but requires practice, a low humidity comfortable workspace, and suitable board. Working by yourself requires forethought, or in my case, a suspension system that keep the
print taut, but allows it to be very gradually lowered while being simultaneous applied to the board. A certain number of horror stories are just part of the learning curve. So save up some of your "dud" work prints just for practice.

Argentum
25-May-2016, 18:27
I am also curious to know how people would fix a dibond panel to a wall using hidden fixings. Is gluing a hanger to the back the only way? I'm skeptical of glue coming unglued over time.

EdSawyer
26-May-2016, 09:21
Damn, that is a really sweet set up for large prints (Michael Wesik). You must have a huge amount of space to work with. (I am jealous. ;-)

John Layton
26-May-2016, 10:30
Currently printing to 20x30 in homemade epoxy over birch ply trays.

Currently designing system to print to 40x60 - consisting of a single, large sheet of plexiglass, tilted to almost vertical above my darkroom sink, with slightly tilted trough underneath this - which will empty into an interchangeable one or two gallon container inside which is placed a small recirculating pump/rubber hose. Rubber hose will either have plain end, or I might affix a length of smallish diameter pvc into which a row of small holes have been drilled, to distribute solutions.

Long story short: exposed paper is taped on top edge to plexiglass. Pre-soak water hosed over print directly from sink mixing valve, then developer hosed from recirc. pump, evenly over print, until development is complete. Flush pump tube back into dev. container to clear. Replace dev. container with stop and submerge pump into this, then proceed to pump stop over print. Follow same procedure for fixing baths. Finally, carefully (!) transfer print into oversized wash tray and wash/tone/etc. prior to a very careful squeegee, then hang to dry.

Above setup will take up relatively little space, and avoids the less desirable aspects of handling logistics/fumes/etc. from chemicals sitting in large open trays. My guess is that oxidation might be somewhat greater - but then I can use relatively smaller amounts of solutions than I would with open trays, thus could re-mix when needed and still have this be cost effective.

I cannot wait to try this...and will report back with some photos of the setup and notes on results.

Drew Wiley
26-May-2016, 10:37
Argentum - there are some really nice thin anodized aluminum cleat options out there. No wires, no glue, very reliable. I made a clever picture hanging station
consisting of a handtruck modified to carry a stack of large framed pictures into location, with an attached little case holding wall anchors, screws, and my cordless drill, and best of all, with an attached adjustable-height story pole for my wall laser. The wall half of the cleat is just aligned to the laser beam and fastened to the wall. The picture side is screwed to the back of the picture frame or installed using appropriate frame clips. Up it goes completely and permanently level, yet easily removable too.

Randy Moe
26-May-2016, 10:45
Currently printing to 20x30 in homemade epoxy over birch ply trays.

Currently designing system to print to 40x60 - consisting of a single, large sheet of plexiglass, tilted to almost vertical above my darkroom sink, with slightly tilted trough underneath this - which will empty into an interchangeable one or two gallon container inside which is placed a small recirculating pump/rubber hose. Rubber hose will either have plain end, or I might affix a length of smallish diameter pvc into which a row of small holes have been drilled, to distribute solutions.

Long story short: exposed paper is taped on top edge to plexiglass. Pre-soak water hosed over print directly from sink mixing valve, then developer hosed from recirc. pump, evenly over print, until development is complete. Flush pump tube back into dev. container to clear. Replace dev. container with stop and submerge pump into this, then proceed to pump stop over print. Follow same procedure for fixing baths. Finally, carefully (!) transfer print into oversized wash tray and wash/tone/etc. prior to a very careful squeegee, then hang to dry.

Above setup will take up relatively little space, and avoids the less desirable aspects of handling logistics/fumes/etc. from chemicals sitting in large open trays. My guess is that oxidation might be somewhat greater - but then I can use relatively smaller amounts of solutions than I would with open trays, thus could re-mix when needed and still have this be cost effective.

I cannot wait to try this...and will report back with some photos of the setup and notes on results.

This does sound interesting. Please advise on pumps after your testing.

Patently waiting!

bob carnie
26-May-2016, 12:09
One needs Flow Bond for dry mounting fiber prints to diabond.. Heat not cold mount.

Very finicky process to do but will work... contact Luigi at Drytac Canada for specifications.

I have done a lot of this mounting but to be honest prefer to mount large prints to 4ply Rag or 2ply rag.

Argentum
26-May-2016, 15:03
just thinking off the wall, you could coat the dibond with emulsion and print directly to it thereby removing the need to mount to it:D