Going from 11x14 to 16x24 or 20x24

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by sharris, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. sharris

    sharris Member

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    evening to all- am pondering moving larger from current 11x14 to 16x24 or 20x24 which seems to be next size available given the 6x7 negs I can now produce thanks to RB67 and P67. I have a beseler 23c with the neg carrier but only a 75mm lens...will that be a limitation? I see posts recommending 90mm and up, but does anyone have thoughts on just how necessary it really is? I also need the appropriate developing trays I realize, but other than increased usage of developer and fix, any other issues you ran into making similar jump? I am still giving thought to options for making an easel for example. i desire to print larger and less frequently and want to simplify as much as possible. thanks.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It seems to me that the next step up from 11x14 would probably be 16x20, if you are working with a 6x7 negative.

    Although the slightly larger 12x16 option is worth considering, if you can source paper.

    Here are some things I would consider first:

    I'm not aware of any top quality 75mm lenses that are intended to cover 6x7 negatives. It may be that the lens you are using is at the edge of its rendering capacity with 11x14 enlargements, and you would definitely see an improvement if you switched to a top quality 80mm or 90mm lens that is designed for 6x7.

    And you definitely need to be sure to align your enlarger correctly.

    Are your print drying facilities able to handle the larger print sizes?

    Have you examined the framing and presentation issues as well?

    Do you use a paper safe? If so, is it large enough?

    Do you have a print trimmer that is large enough?

    Is your work area large enough to use larger trays?

    Do you have a place to store the unexposed paper? Do you have a place to store the unframed prints?

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Perhaps you could buy a 20x24" ULF camera and simply contact print?

    Seriously, though, are prints of that size from such a small neg really going to look any good?
     
  4. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    My advice would be to try before you start looking for a new lens. Sufficiently large trays are of course a nice thing to get but apart from that I would make some prints before I would go out and buy anything else. 20x24" might be a bit too large from a 6x7cm neg but it could work (about 8x enlargement which is a little more than I would do but then there are people making 11x14" copies from 35mm negs and being happy about it so why not).

    Best of luck
     
  5. seadrive

    seadrive Member

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    Wow, 20x24...

    After years of making small prints (nothing larger than 8x10), I set up to do 11x14. I did it because I had an image that screamed at me that it needed to be larger. It was right, it did. The image always knows best what size it needs to be.

    Even going from 11x14 to 16x20, I think you will notice the difference in the quality of your prints.

    Try this. Raise your enlarger head to the height it needs to be to make a 16x20, then print an image (one you think looks really good at 11x14) on four sheets of 8x10 paper. Process, dry, and put together to make a sorta-16x20. Do you like it more or less than the 11x14?

    I wouldn't go up in size unless I had images screaming at me that they need to be larger.

    Technically, you'd be better off with a 100/105 than your 75mm lens. The longer the lens, the more of the negative that's covered by the middle of the lens, rather than the edges. The flip side of that coin is, longer lenses require more distance between the lens and the paper to make the same size print. At some point, you can't raise the enlarger head high enough to make the size of print you want. But you would be fine with a 105.
     
  6. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    The Beseler 23C has the ability to project horizontally. In this configuration you can enlarge any size for which you have projection space and that’s practical to process.

    A 75mm lens is designed to fully cover a maximum format of 6 x 6cm. At large print size magnification, it won’t properly cover the corners of a 6 x 7cm negative. You need a lens specifically designed to cover 6 x 7cm negatives. A lens designed for a larger format than 6 x 7cm can be used but gives less magnification.

    With a standard-column 23C projecting vertically, you get the following focal length and magnification combinations:

    60mm (wide-angle), 12.7X

    80mm, 9X

    90mm, 7.75X

    105mm, 6.3X


    With the XL-column 23C projecting vertically, you get the following focal length and magnification combinations:

    60mm (WA), 16X

    80mm, 11.5X

    90mm, 10X

    105mm, 8.2X


    To determine the approximate maximum projection size, simply multiply the dimensions of the window opening of the negative carrier by the magnification.

    For example, the 80mm lens on the standard-column 23C gives 9X. If the window of a 6 x 7cm carrier is 55.4mm x 71.2mm, then the dimensions of the 9X projection are

    498.6mm x 640.8mm = 19.6” x 25.2” (approximate size).
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The 75mm may or may not cover the larger negative, you won't know until you try. A 75mm lens would likely be designed to enlarge 645 or maybe 6x6 negatives. Going from 6x6 to 6x7 you're increasing the image circle by roughly 18%, so that's how much more you ask of your lens to cover.
    I recommend testing it, with four 8x10 sheets like 'seadrive' above suggests. See if you have coverage and sharpness all the way out to the corners.

    The whole print size thing is interesting. I print most of my work on 11x14 paper, but some on 16x20 and some on 8x10. Whatever the series of pictures dictate. I'm printing a series of forest scenes on 16x20 because they possess a certain grandure that I think would be lost in smaller size. Neg size from 35mm to 5x7. I'm also printing some 6x6 pinhole shots as 8x8" on 11x14 paper, because they seem to just look better that way, and communicate the ethereal quality of the pinhole more effectively. And on and on.
     
  8. toro_mike

    toro_mike Subscriber

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    Excellent tip!

    This is a great tip! Thanks seadrive... It's moments like these that make me love APUG more and more :smile:
     
  9. sharris

    sharris Member

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    all...thank you very much for taking the time to respond. such great input and suggestions. i agree that apug is just awesome for input like that. i will ponder and give the suggestions a try. never would have come up with half of them on my own. cheers!
     
  10. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    ....but wait, there is more.

    I found that what was tack sharp at 11x14 occasionally had a soft focus spot at 16x20. These were more frequent at 20x24. Where little or no spotting was needed at 11x14, more was needed as size increased.

    For me there was nothing wrong with the Mamiya RZ and it’s lenses. Age (72) had made it more difficult to sharply focus the 6x7 image. I shoot 8x10 negatives now focusing with a loupe and rarely have a focus problem at these sizes. A larger negative means fewer enlargements to that size so spotting is also less of a problem.

    In 7x17 I only do contact prints. Here it is all about composition. It will be in focus. I rarely spot. You can not crop a contact print. What you print is what you composed.

    John Powers
     
  11. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

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    My experience is similar to that mentioned in Post #7 by Thomas.

    I will only summarize my experience with this format (6x7cm neg) and 20x24 prints:

    You will need a 90mm enlarging lens - a 75mm will not cover 6x7 - a 100mm or 105mm would be even better. These lenses may or may not allow you to project a 20x24 image onto the baseboard, especially if cropping is required; as already mentioned, there are ways around those limitations.

    20x24 trays take up a lot of room! Toning and washing has to be done pretty much one print at a time unless you have a 20x24 archival print washer (a monstrosity). You need a lot of chemistry - I use 3 Liters of solution per tray, some trays with deep bottom ridges require more.

    Handling prints - moving them from one tray to another, takes slightly more effort to avoid paper damage; I have creased a few.

    A 6x7 negative has enough information to print onto 20x24 without degrading the image, especially if you are using films like T-max, Delta or Fuji ACROS. I have printed a few 6x7 and 6x9 negatives to this size with very good results.

    Sometimes you need to print large to see what size limitation you image has - not every subject matter looks good printed large.
     
  12. sharris

    sharris Member

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    Printed and framed my first prints of a local scene - the huron river and bridge landmarks nearby at a metropark. Went with 16x20 as suggested and am enjoying the process. here are some thoughts that may help others in future perhaps.

    The Ventillation I installed still requires additional work even after the $100 invested. The newly installed outflow requires more inflow than my space affords naturally for sufficient change over so will need to pipe in air; printing to this size really fills the space with fumes. I installed an 8" 500cfm inline duct fan and descended two 6" drops to just above trays. The suction is weaker than i anticipated, barely holding a piece of paper in place when covering the inlets.

    For water, I was able to use an existing cold water outlet and bought an inexpensive hot plate to warm the water in an aluminum pitcher in order to mix developer batches without bringing water in as I have done previously. I was given trays by a friend as well as two plastic 2000ml beakers needed to make sufficient quantities of dev and fix; it takes 2x as much minimally.

    I am on septic so storing all that spent fix in 5 gal container until disposal is a pain and humping remaining water from the session upstairs is tiresome until i install final drainage into sump.

    I am hawking for a new enlarger lens; balancing max column height with focal length. I did figure out an issue to allow me to print imperfectly for now using 75mm lens with other members input under a separate post.

    I like the feel if not the cost of the double weight fiber paper i ordered; it holds up well to my manhandling. I can store in the box it came in being careful not to let it open accidentally and put vertically in the closed counter.

    Doing more than a print or two at a time or with any frequency would require me to solve the print wash problem, but for now manual soak and change during course of an hour is sufficient.

    I also bought a steel sheet sufficiently thick to work as my easel. i sprayed it with polyurethane to keep it from rusting/clean and used painters tape to mark the outer dimensions of the paper. I then bought a strip of magnet and cut it to required lengths to hold the paper flat and it gives me a small border too; all for $25.

    Tons of issues to perfect over time including spotting as mentioned and others, but am on my way

    The joy of printing the ratio afforded by 6x7 neg is great. I want to look further into frame options as not sure i like 18 x 24 frames with 16 x 20 prints ; at least in landscape orientation and even matting borders. Maybe portrait orientation prints with greater bottom border relief would be appealing.

    But Going from 11x14 to 16x20 is certainly a major overhaul that magnifies every step in the process. Great if you like a challenge, have the time, afford the investment, and have the wall space to enjoy the result. Has been a rewarding next step in the process. thanks again for all your input.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2012
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I only know of a few six-element 75mm lenses. Koumaron, and two Fiujinons. To know for sure if you have coverage for a 20x24 it would be wise to invest in a Peak-1 magnifier. If you don't have that magnifier, you can make little prints of the 4 corners and center of a 20x24 projection and compare them. You won't need 20x24 trays or paper to do that.
     
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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    [Emphasis added by me]

    I would be very careful about using aluminum for mixing chemistry. It may react with some chemistries.

    Otherwise, I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the step-up in size.
     
  16. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    I've decided that I'd print all my very best images on 20x24, a few months ago. I'm a 35mm shooter. And since then, I've printed about 150 20x24 FB prints.
    The results are outstanding and sharp. Just excellent.

    OK, I admit to using a Focomat IIC and a brand new and well performing 60mm focotar f4.5 and shoot almost exclusively with Leica's finest lenses. But even with the old glass and some Nikkors I'm quite blown away. But I'm always after a feeling, a mood, a character rather then perfection.

    Who says that 35mm film cannot go that big? :smile: Here's a shot of a 20x24 print shot with a F100 + 105 f2.5.
     

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  17. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    ^

    Fantastic!!
     
  18. sharris

    sharris Member

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    ..quick note..the aluminum is only for straight water to warm it up...don't mix anything in it and that is a very good point!
     
  19. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Balls that's some good work. What'd you do with the edging there?
     
  20. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Thanks Brian and Klainmeister,

    I hope you saw the man hiding which is what makes the image, IMO.
    The edges are from the negative holder being slightly wider then the negative itself. I never crop my images so all my prints have this border that I personally find quite appealing.
     
  21. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    I don't want to hijack this thread with my images but they just go to show how printing 35mm as big as 20x24 can be beautiful. Here's another one, shot on a Minolta X9 + 50mm f1.7 some 15 years ago.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2012
  22. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    !!!!!
     
  23. sharris

    sharris Member

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    great stuff...and is why i like to ask about experience here..find out what is possible. really like those images and the border is great. i've got a ccouple images i want to enlarge from a yashica g that are special to me amd i think the grain and imperfection will be glorious.
     
  24. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    That's exactly what I saw at the Diane Arbus exhibit. It's beautiful, and so much simpler than the stark white borders (which will always be ever-so-slightly misaligned). My only question is, where do you get a negative holder slightly larger than your negative? Mine barely leaves room for the edges.
     
  25. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    File it down.
     
  26. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    That's what I had guessed, but I almost hoped it wasn't quite so barbaric.