Print size?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by gandolfi, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    I sometimes wonder how big or how small prints other photographers make. I know it depends on motive - negative and so on.

    In addition to this I have always been restricted by the sizes of my developing trays, which make prints larger than 50x70 cm problematic..

    However, tonight I thought to He"" with it - I am not going to let that hinder me, so I have just made my biggest prints ever...

    Messy, but rather addictive, I think.

    Liquid emulsion on 600 grms paper - size of paper: 70x110 cm (ca 27,5x43,3").

    what about you? how big do you go - and how do you print larger than large?
     
  2. markrewald

    markrewald Member

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    I've taken delta 400, tmax 400 and hp5+ up 16x20. But you have to really enjoy the grain. :smile:
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    usually 11x14, sometimes 16x20. I like sharp prints so much of the time bigger prints don't have the detail I'm looking for so I go only as big as I can. That was with a 4x5 enlarger. Now that I have my 10x10 set up I plan to do some larger work until I run out of money. I'm going to try doing them in my 3063 jobo drum and wallpaper trays. Washing becomes the issue so I may make one large tray from 1/4" ABS.
     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I can print up to 16x20.

    Usually, I print 8x10 or 11x14. Anything larger, I'll have issues finding a place to display it. Also, being 35mm film user, I'll need to know I'm going to print BIG before I shoot so that I can choose an appropriate film. My practical limit is 11x14.

    I do print small sometimes, usually on request.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've done the extremes printing 5"x4" smaller than the negatives by reduction (about 3" wide) and up to about 18ft wide, The larger images were using a commercial liquid emulsion designed specifically for spray application, it needed airline respiration and fume extraction, so not normal darkroom use.

    These days I make a few exhibition images 20"x24 but if I had a specific project I'd go larger if it made sense for the project.

    Ian
     
  6. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I have some trays for 32x40 inch prints. The trays are about 34.5x42.5 inches. They weren't cheap (about $125 each, when buying 6 at a time), but they work better than my old roll 'em method. Roll 'em works fine for RC, but is much more difficult with fiber. I also do some which are about 21x58 inches. I have no problem rolling them, even in fiber.

    Emil- I'm still working on getting my liquid emulsion right, but the goal is very large prints.
     
  7. moki

    moki Member

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    For regular prints from 35mm film, I use 13x18cm (5x7") and 30x40cm (12x16") for the very best ones.
    The biggest one was a 50x50cm (20x20") from medium format film, but that's as far as I can go with 40x50cm trays. Moving the print evently all the time wasn't exactly easy, but in the end, it came out ok. I don't find this kind of size neccesary unless you actually present your work in a big gallery. What good is a 24x36" print when you put it in your living room and view it from from an arm's length away. I prefer a well-made 5x7" or 8x10" that you can hold in your hand and view up close.
     
  8. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    You can't (or I can't) make rolling development with liquid emulsion - and certainly not with 600grms paper...

    We can get large trays for graphic purposes here in DK, but I think the price you payed for 6 would be less than the cost of one here....

    Liquid emulsion ROCKS!
     
  9. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I am quite fond of the old whole plate size, but with photography size does not really matter as you can print as small or as large as you like.
     
  10. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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  11. vic vic

    vic vic Member

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    about 8x10" is great to hold in hand, portfolio, samples etc and some may look good on the wall too.
    normally, bigger than 20x24" is challenging to do in the darkroom. rolls are needed instead of sheets, trays are not big, and those for 20x24" are already not easy to handle, especially if done alone.
    but in the right mood (experimentalism, passion, vision, need) everything can work - different materials, odd sizes etc. the endeavor itself is cool, and the results are exciting many times.
    size and printing technique depends on the content and the desired aesthetic rendition. theres something "photographic" in the darkroom crafted print that is big enough to engage, but not too big to loose the contact with the frame. so besides the experimental vibe, the 8x10 to 20x24 sizes work very well actually.
    presentation, lighting, and other viewing aspects are important too for a complete impact of the print.
     
  12. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I tend to stick to smaller sizes -- 8x8 inch images on 9.5x12 paper is my most common, and that's with MF film. 35mm I tend to stick to smaller papers sizes like 8x10. Part of it's practical -- I'm far from being an advanced printer in the darkroom, so I still feel I'm in learning mode, and that it's more cost-effective to work with smaller sizes. Also, as I often have to work in community darkrooms, it's usually best to stick to papers that can easily fit in 11x14 inch trays (or smaller in many cases). Aesthetically though, I prefer smaller prints anyway -- I like getting up close and personal with prints (mine or others) and I can't really do that with larger sizes.
     
  13. vic vic

    vic vic Member

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    thanks for the tray link eddie.
    gandolfi, i also dont think the roll method will work with hand coated papers. they are different to handle and should be done with more care.
     
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  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I think it was 1989 when I saw a huge Ansel Adams exhibition in London at te Barbican, some prints were quite large. In the bar gallery there were small jewel like Kertesz prints they had an intimacy and also intensity. These were original contemporary prints not those made many years later and printed larger which looked terrible in comparison.

    Ian
     
  16. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    I've used frames of 1x4 on the floor with a layer of heavy poly sheeting (Vis-Queen) draped into it. Empty it with a sponge :sad:

    s-a
     
  17. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    11x14, 16x16, 16x20, 20x20 and 20x24 are the only sizes I print in right now from 35mm and 120 format. I don't shy away from 20x24s from 35mm negs unless they're really thin and the contrast filter needed is beyond #5 plus cold developer. I sometimes do 8x10 RC prints for snapshots for friends, etc. but for my exhibition stuff, I go 11x14 and above on fibre. I'd love to go bigger, but I just can find time to custom build a 30x40 easel or money to buy large rolls of FB paper in that size. I then start thinking of the matting I'd need to use for it and then building the frames and cutting the glass for it and I loose interest. Maybe one day though.
     
  18. ROL

    ROL Member

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  19. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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  20. matti

    matti Member

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    I have some really large Agfa papers in the basement. Since they are so old I plan on doing some lith work with them when I figure out the tray problem. /matti
     
  21. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    If it is the AGFA classic, MATT, then you could sell them... fantastic for bromoil printing I hear....
     
  22. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I'm in love with 9x12" print size on 11x14 paper. It just looks so damned good. :smile:
     
  23. matti

    matti Member

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    No Brovira. Don't know how it liths though. /matti

     
  24. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Brovira will give you a very grainy print, like most bromide papers.
     
  25. ROL

    ROL Member

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    I was just offering another contemporary resource. In fact, I spent quite a bit less than that 10 years ago. These are Cesco, a very good (best?) durable plastic not used in cheaper, more brittle trays.
     
  26. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I made some 50x60cm ones (20x24") just to see if I could.

    Then I went back to my old "standard size", 24x30cm.