Preferred general print size

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by cliveh, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    What size do you prefer to print for general printing? and this will of course depend on the format size you are printing, but for 35mm negs, I quite like the old full plate size of 8.5” X 6.5”.
     
  2. omaha

    omaha Member

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    For general family photos, the ones I shoot on film (which means a 6x6 negative from my Agfa) get printed on 5x7 sheets with a 2" margin on the side I use to write notes. The ones I shoot digital get sent to Adorama for 5x7 prints.

    For more serious (such as it is) shots, the ones I shoot on B&W film (6x7 format off my Mamiya) I enlarge to 8x10. Color film gets scanned and printed REALLY big (24"x36" or so) digitally.
     
  3. Maris

    Maris Member

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    What factors and considerations lead you to this choice? Is full plate the cropped image size or the paper size bearing an uncropped image? Are vertical (portrait orientation) 35mm images arranged on the paper differently to horizontal (landscape orientation) images.

    I ask because the mis-match between photographic paper shapes and negative shapes is even today a point of tension when trying to present elegant work.
     
  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I don't know, but just like this size and 24mm X 36mm fits it quite well.
     
  5. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    I find that the 9.5" x 12" with cropped 35mm neg is conveniently large and not too expensive. It always has been my favourite. However I much preferred the 10"x12" format when it was available, but that went by the way a long while ago, (except Fuji RA4 colour paper). I suppose the answer is to buy it in rolls then cut it as I need it.

    I also quite like the A4 size produced by Ilford (is it still available) almost a perfect match for all of a 35mm neg.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I find for rectangular that I am drawn to a 3x4 aspect ratio. Luckily, this fits very well with 8x10, 11x14, and 16x20 inch papers, where I make a 6x8 on 8x10, a 9x12 on 11x14, and a 13.5x18 on 16x20, and get in all cases (but one) exactly one inch border on the paper.
    For normal printing I use the 8x10 paper.

    If I shoot Hasselblad or pinhole, both of which make 6x6 negatives, I prefer to print those square, unless I find a reason not to, in which case I fall back on the 3:4 aspect ratio mentioned earlier.
    5x5" on 8x10, 8x8" on 11x14, and 12x12" on 16x20 paper for square, which I think makes a print that stands very well on its own, without even needing to be mounted and overmatted.

    And lately I have also started a series of photographs that are panoramic prints from 35mm negatives, where I make prints that are 8x18" on 16x20 paper.

    But for the most part I just make prints on 8x10 paper, so I print a lot of 6x8" and 5x5".
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    My preferred print size from 35mm is 11x14 (28x36cm); when framed this is a very good balance of proportion and elegance — neither too big nor too small. With 35mm there will be a certain point where a large print size will exhibit the inherent deficiencies of the format size. Latterly I am printing "postcard" sizes of 5x7 on Museo Rag as part of a "pocket portfolio" when people enquire about my work. I never, ever crop 35mm. I print much, much larger from 6x7 but it is quite a challenge to find suitable wall space for an 80x60cm print, framed... :confused:
     
  8. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    For medium format negs, usually 8x8 on 9.5x12 paper, and 35mm negs get printed to 5x7 on 8x10 paper. I do this primarily to have a consistent size to my photographs, but I find I really don't like cropping my photos to the 5x7 ratio, so may go for something 6x8 like others have mentioned.
     
  9. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear cliveh,

    General printing???? What's that? ;>)

    The vast majority of the prints I make are on 8x10 RC. It's cheap and fast and you can work out all sorts of dodging and burning schemes. For something to hang, I find that 11x14 seems to fit best most of the time, but the final aspect ratio is always cropped to taste.

    Neal Wydra
     
  10. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The shape of the negative determines the print dimensions. I tend to maintain composition integrity and avoid throwing away neg real estate. The subject often determines what shape format I use.

    When I instructed new students I steered them to make speed easel 5x7s from small format. For practical reasons that size reduced paper cost for them and chemistry cost for me. 5x7 can be placed in unframed 5x7 window cut from a 8x10 mat for table top presentation. You can also mount in hand made books.

    A common student mistake is not enlarging tight enough around the subject. An old David Vestal technique was to not re-enlarge but use a 4x6 window mat to crop the original 5x7. The quality of a 5x enlargement if using good technique, good optics, and 125 iso film rivals medium format.

    For 645 negs 6x8 or 6.5x8.5 on 8x10 or 9x12 paper can be wall mounted in 14x18 frames and look good in a typical size house or exhibition. For wall presentation small format is fine at viewing distance if enlarged to 8x12 on 11x14 paper. Providing clear 1 inch borders around the image area has many advantages for serious work. The loose print is nicer to look at, there is a archival safety margin, and you have a framing option.

    For some time the trend is to print big. I would print digitally before I printed chemical 16x20s. The Jeff Wall type constructed image is driving this trend.

    Weston did not feel he needed to print larger than 8x10. HCB prints are often 9x13. Andre Kerteze has displayed prints as small as 4x6 inches. I take comfort in that.



    But if your subject is landscape the prints tend to look better larger than 8x10....not to say they need to be 16x20.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2014
  11. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The shape of the negative determines the print dimensions. I tend to maintain composition integrity and avoid throwing away neg real estate. The subject often determines what shape format I use.

    When I instructed new students I steered them to make speed easel 5x7s from small format. For practical reasons that size reduced paper cost for them and chemistry cost for me. 5x7 can be placed in unframed 5x7 windows cut from a 8x10 mat for table top presentation. You can also mount in hand made books.

    A common student mistake is not enlarging tight enough around the subject. An old David Vestal technique was to not re-enlarge but use a 4x6 window mat to crop the original 5x7. The quality of a 4-5x enlargement if using good technique, excellent optics, and 125 iso film rivals (does not exceed) medium format.

    For 645 negs 6x8 or 6.5x8.5 on 8x10 or 9x12 paper can be wall mounted in 14x18 or 15x19 inch frames and look good in a house or exhibition. These mount sizes fit in 16x20 storage boxes.

    For wall presentation small format is fine at viewing distance if enlarged to 8x12 on 11x14 paper. Providing clear 1 inch borders around the image area has many advantages for serious work. The loose print is nicer to look at, there is the archival safety margin, and you have a framing option.

    For decades the trend is to print big. I would print digitally before I printed chemical 16x20s. The Jeff Wall type constructed image drove this trend.

    Weston was satisfied with 8x10 prints. HCB prints are often 9x13. Andre Kerteze prints were as small as 4x6 inches.

    image.jpg

    But if your subject is landscape the prints tend to look better larger than 8x10....not to say they need to be 16x20.[
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2014
  12. ROL

    ROL Member

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    I print generals exactly as large as they order me to.











    …WTF? What inartistic notions.
     
  13. papercrate

    papercrate Member

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    Usually 8x10 or 11x14 when making work prints from my 6x7 negatives. Final prints usually on 20x24 at least. That is when I'm working in the darkroom with a color processor. When it comes to digital scans for final prints I'm not tied to a particular paper size and have recently enlarged 6x7 scans to 42x50 with pretty good results.

    4x5 negatives I've done up to 30x40 in the darkrrom and loved the results. I'm very much hands on and enjoy the process better than digital.
     
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  15. Bob Marvin

    Bob Marvin Member

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    I usually print 11 X 14 (actually 10 X 13, with 1/2" borders) but lately I've been printing 16 X 20 (14.5 X 18.5, with 3/4" borders) for exhibition. I usually shoot 6 X 6 negatives, sometimes 6 X 4.5, rarely 6 X 9. I'm one of those Philistines who likes rectangles and lets the size of the paper determine the print size :smile:
     
  16. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    From 6x6" to... whatever size the image wants to be!

    For exhibition, 16x12-20x24 is standard really, with a few larger images thrown in.
     
  17. MDR

    MDR Member

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    I like my prints on the small side even for exhibitions so 4x4in and 4x5in to maximum 12x12 and 12 x 15inch. Very very rarely and only if it fits the image I go as large as 20x24. My current favourite sizes are 6x6in and 6 x 7.5 inch
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Iprefer either 11x14 or 16x20 paper
     
  19. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    If full plate size is what you like, that is what you should print. I generally print 8X10 when messing around and 11X14 for display. But there is no rule for this. Sometimes the negative requires cropping to different dimensions. Sometimes I just want 5X7s. I rarely print bigger than 11X14 simply for logistical reasons.
     
  20. xtolsniffer

    xtolsniffer Member

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    I have standardised to 10x8 paper as I like to use both standard and warmtone multigrade and keeping both in stock in a range of sizes was just too expensive. My house is quite small, and anything larger on the walls looks a little too big, though I do sometimes print to 12x16" which is the biggest I can do on my easel anyway.
    I like to print 35mm to 7x5" or 7.5x5" onto 10x8" paper which seems a little wasteful but you get a nice big margin that gives a number of options for an overmat. 6x7 prints onto 10x8" with a 1/4" margin. I like sticking to one size paper - keeps stock down and removes one more thing to worry about in presenting. The 7x5" option onto 10x8" paper leaves a nice 1.5" margin all around the print that works really well if slipped into an album rather than framed as is not too far off full frame 35mm aspect ratio, so not too much cropping.
     
  21. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I'm a big fan of 11x14 in an 18x22 frame
     
  22. xtolsniffer

    xtolsniffer Member

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    11x14 is not a size of print that I have really considered, I might give it a go...
     
  23. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    18x24cm/8x10" or 24x30cm/11x14", with 35 mm.
     
  24. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    16cmx16cm on 8"x10" from 6x6 negatives. Since my easel allow only 2cm on both sides.

    16cmx20cm from 35mm.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  25. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I like 13 inches on the long side for all my portfolio prints

    Since I work using 8x10 and 4x5 these days I have two sizes of exhibition prints.

    18 inches long side

    28 inches long side

    I have been producing in this size and all my frames are suited to these sizes.



    I am now working on a series of prints that will be 48 inches on the long side, I am photographing very simple small objects in this wonderful light tent using an old Century Camera with a beautiful 480mm lens.
    I am about to turn my Durst 2000 on its side to get this magnification , I already have the sinks and trays . Vertically enlarging is too difficult
    with this large size as it means a lot of bending down to the floor and putting the paper in place.
    Horizontal printing is much more eloquent and it avoids the embarrassing plumbers backside if I have assistants in the room watching me .


    I thing the contradiction of small object to very large final image is quite beautiful to behold.


    For my medium format negatives and 35mm negatives I am planning to make pt pd or Colour gum over pd.

    these will be in the following sizes

    8 inches on the long side

    13 inches on the long side

    and if I get really ambitious 22inches on the long side.
     
  26. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    My 6x6 negs get printed to 5x5" or 6x6" on 8x10 paper. 10x10" on 11x14 paper and 14x14" on 16x20 paper.

    6x4.5 and 35mm gets printed to 5x7" or 5.25x7" or 6x8" on 8x10 paper. 9x12" on 11x14. And 13.5x18" on 16x20.

    The hardest part for me is deciding how big of a print I want from a negative!