60x54 print and mounting, NYC.

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by dvornik, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    I am usually a traditional b&w print photographer and I can print up and frame up to 20x20.

    I had a request from a client to buy one of my 6x6 prints enlarged to 60x54. It ruled out a darkroom print. I found a couple of options for either wet or dry scanning that would work for this size.

    Now I'm trying to come up with proposals for printing and mounting that big and mounting seems to be an issue. They want an unframed print and they saw smaller prints on masonite and that's what they asked for. No one seems to mount anything that large on masonite. But I looked at some other solutions at print shops in NYC and at that size it looks like other backing boards like sintra and dibond or whatever usually require face-mounting to a plexi and a brace on the back.

    So far the quotes I'm getting are in the $2000 range, including the c-printing costs (non-glare plexi face-mount, aluminum or sintra+aluminum backing, aluminum or wood brace) which makes sense from my point of view but I'm not sure about my client.

    Is there a way and a place in NYC/Brooklyn to mount this cheaper but still maintain some quality?

    Thank you.
     
  2. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I am assuming you are not interested or don't have the facilities to DIY. It would not be a one person job, however mounting it on masonite would seem possible. The ones I have done in the past were mounted on a box I build from 1X4 lumber with a masonite face. The size was about 1 ft X 6 ft. Your print could be made with any number of wide format printers. If you are not doing your own prints, you would likely be much better off getting a turn key job from a lab.
     
  3. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    I can't either print or mount that big.

    It's actually hard (so far impossible) to find a lab that would do the original request of 60x54 on masonite.

    I was encouraged to find a lab that can do a lambda-printed fiber 60x50 print (as opposed to chromogenic RC that most everyone else is offering, never mind inkjets).

    Every lab I talked to seems to be opposed to an exposed print mounted to any kind of board without framing or face mounting because the paper and the board shrink and expand differently depending on the environment. Dibond seems to be best choice for the backing (two thin aluminum plates with some foam in-between). Most labs would suggest face-mounting to plexi as well. So far the lab i liked the most (that showed me the most options and was really understanding of the aesthetics of traditional silver halide printing) is OK with exposed fiber paper but suggests thin framing to cover any shrinkages that might appear on the sides over time.

    I don't know if I can convince my client to invest into a museum quality print though.
     
  4. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Modernage and Lamont can do that size in fiber. They will, however, want to make a drum scan. If you choose to go fb it makes no sense to mount to masonite as it's not archival. Dibond is the superior choice. $2k is a good estimate.

    Recently a lab opened up in boston that specializes in large fb. Might be worth the research as then you won't be paying nyc prices.

    Face mounting makes no sense as you'll get orange peel effect on anything other than an "f" rc surface. They're trying to up-sell you.
     
  5. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    Thanks frotog.

    I'm happy you've mentioned Laumont because this is the studio I was most impressed by. Mr Laumont had showed me around and they do have some really nice fine art prints hanging over there. And the prices are on par with more mass-production oriented studios. He's really knowledgeable but is kind of in the same situation as all of us - there's not that much reliable info on the longevity of the new printing technology. They are kind of snobbish about scanning and want to have a closed-loop production cycle. I think I know my 16 bit levels and curves better than them - I knew it long before I loaded my first filmholder. I don't know how it would work as far as me directing their printing guy to adjust the curves and all of that. Kind of weird. But the prints they have on display and just spread around are gorgeous.

    They also brought to my attention that most Lambda RC prints out there (including theirs) are chromogenic - I didn't think of it. They could print on a true B&W RC but i would essentially sponsor them buying a roll. More expensive than fiber. They didn't suggest face-mounting fiber paper, obviously, it's an RC option.

    Thanks for mentioning Modernage - I didn't know about them. I will check them out next week. Their prices are a bit cheaper but I think Laumont would try to match them.

    Fiber prints are limited to 50 inch width (more like 48 in real life) but i hope my client would play along.

    After i started looking into it I am convinced that if it's over $1000 I want to go local. I really want to see the test prints and what the real life mounting options look like.

    Thanks again,

    Serge.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2014
  6. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Hey Serge,

    I've seen the work lamont does with fiber lambda's - it's top quality. If it's your first time working with them they usually throw in the scan for free. Also, they should be amenable to pulling tests and showing you a range. They'll work with you before pulling the final - you just have to be persistent and not be bullied by them. Good luck.

    PS... face mounting plexi is not necessary and adds a huge cost to mounting (again, lamont is trying to upwell you). Besides, it was a look that had it's day before the great recession and has since largely fallen out of favor. It can look garish with the wrong subject matter, IMHO.
     
  7. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    Thanks.

    On the contrary, Laumont was against face-mounting for aesthetic reasons, unlike many other labs in Manhattan. So we're on the same page with them.

    I asked an acquaintance of mine who runs a traditional B&W lab in DUMBO and he sort of approved the lambda fiber print idea. So it's all coming together, I need to work on my sales pitch.

    Serge.
     
  8. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    So far my client is fine with the quotes she's getting. She understands that the size creates all kinds of issues here.

    What I didn't realize is that her main reason to suggest a bare print on masonite was that they want it really flush with the wall because of the interior decoration reasons. They want as few layers of material as possible.

    So I guess now the question is - how do you mount a print as flush to the wall as possible while preventing warping in the future? Other than gluing it to the wall...

    Usually there's a brace behind large prints to make them more rigid and to offset them from the wall but here they want the opposite.

    I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Thank you,

    Serge.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2014
  9. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I'm not a framer at all, but, can't you add some kind of non-standard material like give it a stainless steel border? That's thin and will hold the edges flat, and keep it tight? I'm trying to think outside of the box here, but as I said I'm not a framer. The stainless could then be coated with any other materiel to hide the stainless look, like wallpaper material or something? In fact if the room had wallpaper you could match that. That's the thinnest strong thing I could think of, and I know stainless steel counter makers could probably custom make a frame that big. That's the only reason I mentioned it.
     
  10. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Laumont is very good (and I'd actually trust their desire to do the scan themselves), but imo there are other labs worth opening a dialogue with.

    Did you talk to Griffin editions? They're good. And better still, they can print that optically for you if you wanted.

    http://griffineditions.com/

    BTW, if you've a chance drop by the Sugimoto show at Pace gallery (25th st) in Chelsea. Big fiber silver prints mounted on dibond with no face. Easily twice the dimensions your talking, which really aren't all that big, and I believe optically printed. But it's Sugimoto after all, so you can imagine how perfect they are.
     
  11. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Perhaps the thinnest rigid mount would be dibond, but would it be rigid enough at that size? Maybe not. Toughened plate-glass would be rigid but heavy (and expensive). And I definitely agree - masonite (hardboard) will be neither rigid nor archival. Then again, marketing materials and decorations tend not to have a long service-life anyway, so lasting more than a season or a year might be overkill.
     
  12. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    CRC or Duggal.
     
  13. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    A friend of mine forwarded me some pictures of Laumont mounting he saw in a gallery and really liked. It was sintra outer layer on masonite backing, no frames, but with a brace. I emailed them and the project manager emailed me back. I'm waiting to hear if it can be hung somehow with no brace.

    Now that I know what I want I emailed both Modernage and Griffin and will go visit them on Monday. I was encouraged to see that Griffin has a Brooklyn location not far from where I live and work, thanks so much for that info. Biking to midtown is really aggravating.

    Thanks again,

    Serge.
     
  14. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    I talked to Duggal. Costs more than the higher end work. Don't know about CRC but at least from the website doesn't look like something I'm trying to get. Looks like chromogenic paper up to 48 inches.

    Griffin can actually do an enlargement from a negative at this size (60x54). And reply to emails at 10 PM. I don't even know if it's a good idea because of dust and scratches that drum scanning gets rid of. Unless you are like me and like dust and scratches.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2014
  15. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    CRC is capable of just about anything you might need, give them a call, they're very easy to work with. Duggal can be pricey but they are the best of the best, and have a team that will take an attitude of "tell us what you want, and we'll do it. if we can't, it's not possible".

    I've never used Laumont, nor has anybody I know, but I have heard a lot of good things about them...I would say between the three shops you would be hard pressed to do any less than excellent with whomever you choose.
     
  16. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    Thanks Chris.

    Essentially at this point I'm looking for a silver halide fiber print of that size (or at least 48), and very few labs can do it. I actually got the impression that silver halide RC is even more difficult to get for some reason.

    Serge.
     
  17. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Lamount, Griffith Images and Duggal can do large silver prints from digital files, as Chris says all will do excellent work.

     
  18. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    Hmm... You're right, Duggal can do it too. I wonder why they didn't mention it when I stopped by. They didn't mention it to a friend of mine either when she visited them with the same question. I didn't know I can print silver halide fiber that large until I went to Laumont.

    Griffin is the only one that can do 54 silver fiber both enlarging directly from a negative and on a lightjet printer - I wonder why. Everyone else says the Ilford rolls are only up to 50. Heh. Brooklyn rules...
     
  19. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    I will try to stop by on Monday. There are frames around them to protect them though, but i guess they are not concerned with paper expanding. I've seen something with a tiny thin offset frame that sort of just protected the edges without overlapping them...

    So far my best idea for an unframed print mounted flush to the wall (suggested by Laumont) would be a board like masonite or MDF with a wedged slot cut out for a cleat. Then the next layer would be either dibond or sintra so it has a better surface and is more archival. I am kind of concerned about the edges though. Personally i would want to have some frame around it...
     
  20. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    There are frames at that show for protection, yes, b/c the prints are I'd guess like quarter of a million dollars, if not more. But you'll see that the mounting and bracing with no frame would be easily achieved, since they're big prints mounted on dibond then braced in a floating "box" type frame.

    Duggal imo is overpriced for what you get, as in they're a very commercial shop. I personally prefer smaller labs where you can work intimately with printers who are creative. As a disclaimer, I've worked with Laumont, and was pleased (though they weren't the best to communicate with) and I've never worked with Griffith, but I've talked with one of their printers and was impressed by his passion for both shooting and printing.

    There's also a lab in Red Hook that a some of the youngish famous guys are using...I'm forgetting the name of the lab...a small shop that's super creative, but I believe they're more color focused.

    RE optical: don't be worried about scratches or dust on a negative. They'll be able to solve that for you.
     
  21. dvornik

    dvornik Member

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    It turns out Ilford and other rolls do come in 56... In addition to Griffin there's a lab in East Williamsburg (Black and White on White, Sergio Purtell) that can do optical prints that large, and maybe one other place. But Charles Griffin seems to be the only one in the city who can do 56 fiber on a Lightjet. They use a framer that's 2 blocks from me in Sunset Park...

    The simplest way of mounting bare dibond to the wall is velcro, not very permanent though - Modernage's idea. The more permanent way is gluing an aluminum cleat to it - also Modernage's idea.

    http://govart.com/images/hwr_cleat-lt-demo1LG.jpg - frame shops have some more heavy-duty ones and the glue takes a couple of days to set in.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2014