Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Brad Bireley, Jan 1, 2009.
How big of a print do you get from a 6x7 neg?
Roughly 20x24" depending on the Quality of your Neg/Slide.
As big a print as you decide to print. On one piece of paper at my local lab, this can be up to 48 inches wide by the length of the roll! If you want it bigger, you just have to make the print up out of smaller strips. This is how billboards are done.
I think in my personal experience that 16x20 is an *easily* obtainable "quality" print using a 100 or thereabouts film that is nicely exposed and developed. If using a high speed film, this size still looks good, just not *as* sharp from a technical standpoint. Personally, I like it, however. I like some grit, and it makes viewing the print a different experience at different distances. I assume that 6x7 could go to 20x24 easily as well, though I have never done it myself.
From 1:1 to as large as the enlarging equipment you have will permit.
If image quality at close viewing distance is not important you can print as large as you like.
However, I always answer this question assuming that the print will be viewed at close distance, and that the standard is a minimum of 5 lines per mm of resolution. If you accept these quality conditions most carefully exposed 6X7 cm negatives on fine grain film can be enlarged to 18X22" or 20X24". People using Mamiya 7 camea and lenses, where 80 lines per mm of resolution is not uncommon with good shooting practice, should be able to enlarge to 36X44" and maintain the equivalent of 5 lpmm.
As with so many questions , (What's the best-film/lens/camera/paper for ______ ?), the answer is, "It depends, it is a subjective judgement."
I have a 24X30" print from a 35mm negative that I find quite satisfactory. Is it as sharp or as grainless-looking as the same size print would be from 5X7 or 8X10 film? Of course not. However, for that particular image--it works for me.
Howzabout if you tell us the size print you want to make, what the subject is, and any other important information, and we talk about what format might suit your particular needs? It would be more informative than talking about "how big can you enlarge from......format.".
I'm getting reading to buy a RB67. I'm mostly photographing landscapes. I hoping to get at least 16x20's.
Great camera for that (and just about anything else)! It will get to 16x20 easily from a technically sound piece of film. Make use of its interchangeable backs to really get the most out of the system if using it in the "field" (each back marked with a different development), and start lifting weights.
IMO the only annoyance I have with the system is the distance scale and depth of field scale. Very difficult for me to use except with the longer lenses.
Camera on a tripod, lens hood, cable release, mirror up, fine grain film, correct exposure and development enlarged to no more than 4X. Excellent quality camera and enlarging lenses with an aligned enlarger and a glass carrier for negative flatness. The camera must be check for the correct position of the exchangeable viewing screens and backs for film plane agreement. If it's used equipment expect to clean it up, adjust it, and replace the seals.
Holy moly, man! You mean all those 6x9 and 8x12 prints I have from crummily exposed and developed 35mm negs and held in the open neg. carrier with masking tape in a non-alignable enlarger that is leaning forward slightly and uses a no name lens are no good? They look fine to me.
Wow, think of all those prints made with old Elwood or Solar enlargers, all junk.... maybe Curt's a little more exacting than the rest of us.
Of all the RB's I've owned through the years, I've never had an issue with the focusing screen not being in the proper position. The RB is a bit of a tank, but, like a tank, durable and just works.
And here I thought I was picky, preferring enlargements up to only around 6x or so....
With a good negative, 24x36 can easily be done. I do a lot of them using cropped 6x6 negs. But most important is the quality of your negs. If the neg doesn't look good under a 10X lube, forget it.
or just call it art.
You prints probably are very good. I had a Mamiya 645 for several years, bought it brand spank-in new, it wasn't until I got to Brooks where I took a weekend seminar specifically for camera adjustment and focus issues that I learned to check the mechanics. The screen on that camera was off, when adjusted the negatives went from good to excellent. I could not believe the difference. For a couple of years I was out of focusing and made some fine prints, after all I had moved up from 35mm so they had to be better, right? When I started to print in the very beginnings I bought an enlarger with a Voss enlarging lens. The lens can be had for a couple of bucks. When I bought my second enlarger, an Omega B600 I bought an El Nikkor 75mm and an Aristo Cold light head. It made another increase in quality, really remarkable. An old enlarger with an old lens would have been better than my first one.
Old equipment can be fantastic and new can be crummy, how you use it matters too, we sometimes develop workarounds for bad situations though, like making small prints because the larger ones are out of focus or grainy.
An Ansel Adams 2X enlargement of an 8x10 negative and a contact print from Edward Weston depicts quality to me but so does a lot of enlargements from small negatives to large print size. In the end you can make an enlargement to any size you can physically produce. The quality is in the eye of the beholder.
16 X 20 from an RB is a quite simple thing to do.
The print is quite sharp at that magnification (assuming you've done your part). It's a 7X mag, close to an 8X10 print from a 35mm (8X).
Using high-grade optics and doing our part with choice of materials and technique, enlarger alignments, etc, I've found that 35mm can do quite sharp 8X10's and acceptable 11X14. Each bump up in format size seems to hold the increment of print size that's sharp with the next size as acceptable for general proper distance viewing (typical indoor presentation). 645 seems to be capable of very sharp 11X14 and acceptable 16X20 with 6X7, 6X9 and 4X5 following up the trail in a like manner. Issues of pure optical performance (correction over greater image circles), film flatness issues, etc conspire to make the format advantage less than linear in pure resolution but the tonal gradation advantages also add some of the quality back.
This has been my experience and I imagine that it's likely consistent with most people. So many variables! The biggest may be our reference points and expectations..... As others have mentioned, I've also stretched these boundaries with surprisingly satisfactory results when the subject matter and presentation needs have demanded but generally try to stay to these general limits and select the right format for the expected enlargement size needed.
16x20 from 6x7 is realistic. Going beyond that introduces a lot of factors that may produce a print that you will not be satisfied with, like lack of detail or more grain than you want, and probably both. A reasonable guideline is to look at what you are satisfied with from whatever format you are currently using. For example, if you get 8x10's that satisfy you now from 35mm, you should be able to get something like 11x14 from 645 or maybe a little larger, and 16x20 from 6x7 on a fairly regular basis with good technique. Everyone's standards are different. If you don't need detail in your images and if grain is something that you want, the sky is the limit for enlarging. There really is a reason for using large format if you want large prints, if the tradeoffs like weight and slower work rate are acceptable.
It depends on the negative and the viewing distance. The negative, of course, depends on a lot of things - subject, film, camera settings, whether a tripod was used, processing, etc. 11X14 (roughly 5X) will work with just about anything from a 6X7, and 16X20 (8X) will usually be OK. With an exceptional negative, 20X24 (10X) will stand close inspection, and mural size enlargements will work for mural type applications.
To get technical, good eyes will resolve about 300 lines per inch at a viewing distance of 15 inches. Most MF equipment will give you a bit over 2000 lines per inch at the negative. A 7X enlargement from an MF negative is as sharp as your eye can see at a normal viewing distance. These things scale. If you move back to 30 inches, you can have a 14X enlargement with no loss in visual quality. But not all subjects need that kind of resolution. Large block subjects or soft subjects may work with much less, and therefore can stand more enlargement.
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