Whats the maximum print size from 35mm?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by ebwitwicki, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. ebwitwicki

    ebwitwicki Member

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    largest print from 35mm neg

    What is the largest print that can be enlarged from a 35mm negative? With 400 iso.
     
  2. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    that is a very tough question...
    It depends on how much grain is aceptable, what do you want to show, etc etc.
    16x20s shouldn;t be bad if you don;t look at them from 2 inches.

    I think you should analyze your megative carefully and decide what is acceptable for your project.
     
  3. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Hmmm...Depends on the film and the developer. And your tolerance of grain and sharpness.

    I do wonderful 16x20 on Agfa Classic (fiber paper) from a Pan F+ developed in Rodinal 1+50. Grain is small an sharpness is overall acceptable.

    From 400 iso I go up to 12x16 (Delta 400 in HC-110).

    Morten
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2004
  4. bmac

    bmac Member

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    for some subjects, I won't go over 5x7, for others, I have gone to 16x20. It all depends on the look you are looking for, and what your opinion of grain is.
     
  5. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    The prints of Sebastio Salgado I've seen on exhibit are quite large (as much as 20x24 in some cases I think). I believe he shoots 35mm (Leica). They're grainy, but extrraordinary. His subject matter lends itself to such a style of course, and it works extremely well.
     
  6. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    As the posts above suggest it varies on numerous factors. In my case, I use TMY developed in FX-39 and I find that 8"x10" is the maximum I am comfortable with, especially when it comes to portraits. I do go up to 11"x14" for Landscapes and cityscapes, but that's very rare. I use semi-matt paper most of the time.
     
  7. fred

    fred Member

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    size of the paper

    It's depends only of the size of the (baryte) paper.

    And of the courage that you have.

    And off course of your darkroom that you will use.

    I've seen very beautiful prints on FB 110cm * 165cm (43*65inch)
    Even from ISO 3200.

    Kind regards.
    Fred
     
  8. garryl

    garryl Member

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    Well if you hadn't said asa400, i would've said 30x40(Pan-X). The largest I've gone with Tri-X(developed in Microdol-X) was 16x20.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Billboards have been made from 35mm originals, so the limit really depends on your goals, standards, and the viewing distance for the final version.
     
  10. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    As the print size goes up, the viewing distance tends to increase which helps to compensate visually for the increase in grain size. I don't often print larger than 11x14 but wouldn't hesitate to go 16x20
     
  11. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    5x7 is the biggest... If you want bigger, shoot a bigger negative.

    Just kidding (sort of),

    joe :wink:
     
  12. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    Colorama, the world's largest photograph, an 18 x 60' backlit photograph in Grand Central Station, sponsored by Kodak from 1950 to 1990, was at least once an image from a Leica 35mm. Viewing distance is considerable.
     
  13. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Joe is hopelessly conservative. 5x7 indeed! I would not hesitate to go all the way up to a 6x9 inch print. :smile: (not kidding)
     
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  15. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    As some have said, it depends on the look. I have seen Salgado (spelling?) exhibitions and was stunned by how well many of his prints work at large sizes. I almost think that with 35mm going really big as Salgado does, works as there is no attempt to hide grain, there is no 'kinda grainy'. They are grainy, but the ones I saw were stunningly good prints and worked well because of teh viewing distance. Unlike a 10x8 neg used to print a detailed lanscape where people walk up close to see if the bird on the tree 3 miles away was male of female, there would be no desire to do this with these prints. I normally do not exceed 16x20 even with 5x4 for landscapes, but felt that these reportage images were fine at 30x20 in some cases! The subject dictates. When 35mm gets grainy it becomes more graphic (Lith prints are grainy and work because of their 'look') and this can be to your advantage.

    Tom
     
  16. AndrewH

    AndrewH Member

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    16x20

    I have some 16x20 prints from Tri-X that are very nice, and not too grainy, and can be viewed from close (1'). I developed in Microdol 1:3 and I love the look. I also have some TMAX100 in Diafine at the same size, also good.
     
  17. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    On my equipment 400asa 35mm can be enlarged to 24x36 very sharp and 36 x 48 sharp.
     
  18. Dorothy Blum Cooper

    Dorothy Blum Cooper Member

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    I've been able to enlarge and exhibit my work at 16x20 with beautiful results. We have gone up as far as 20x24 (from a 35mm neg), but I felt it was just a bit too grainy at that size. Just me. I agree with what others have said though...you can enlarge to whatever you feel comfortable with and gives you the 'look' you are wishing to achieve (billboard size and all) :wink:

    Dorothy--
     
  19. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    As been mentioned before it is a matter of what is acceptable which is personal to the viewer or photographer. Also previously mentioned is the viewing distance. Grain which might be noticeable on an enlargement from 2" won't be at 10 feet.

    Movie theaters use a form of 35mm film I believe. Maybe 70mm. But the point is if you sit in the front row the movie is blurry but sit farther back seems sharp.
     
  20. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I think there is some confusion about the idea of sharpness. At 30x20, assuming proper darkroom technique, should produce sharp grain from 35mm, but this is not easy unless alignment of everything is spot on. Yes, sharp grain, But the image will be limited in resolution by the grain and will not actually be that sharp itself. I sometimes hear people talking about 'grainless' 20x24s from 35mm FP4/TMAX100..... This aint happening! It will only be so if your darkroom practice is such that you end up with a soft image and the grain is not focused sharp, or you use a diffuser under the enlarger lens. Some of Salgados images were from 400 film and were printed big. However, this was in a gallery where the viewing distance was far more than the average home, so there was no issue.

    Tom
     
  21. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    It depends a lot on the picture. If it entices the viewer to sniff the grain, there may be something wrong with the artistic content. I have some 11X14's in which everything I wanted to show is quite visible at 20". I have a feeling that if someone needs to get closer than the viewing distance for proper perspective, I should have come closer in the shooting so that the proper viewing distance would still be about 20".

    Grain is not always the limiting factor. No matter what you think about acutance, actual resolving power enters in at some point. Enlargement requires an extra lens, so a large contact print may have higher resolution than an enlargement of the same size and perspective. Gradations are another source of difference. IOW, it is not size alone that makes the difference. I heard that somewhere else in another context, but I'm to old to remember what it was.
     
  22. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    Personally, I don't go above 5x7 for my 35mm negatives, no matter what the ASA of the film is. I tend to view at a close distance and I'm picky about grain, mostly because it ruins smooth creamy tones that I like so much - very subjective, I know. My personal gallery prints are all 5x7 (the negatives are 5x7 negs, but the prints for the most part are 35mm). Comments about viewing distance are true, too.
    I saw the one in Grand Central and it was great, but it was color which could always handle enlargements better than b&w silver negatives.

    Just my $.02

    -Mike
     
  23. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    I usually print 8x12 inches as it matches the proportions of the negative and the grain gets intrusive at larger sizes to my eye. I tend to do a lot of landscape work with plenty of sky so unobtrusive grain is important to me.

    Adrian
     
  24. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    IMHO grain is a part of photography, it just exists.
    The content of the picutre comes first, then matching the tonality to the subject, then.... and finally grain
     
  25. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Grain is one of the things that put me into black & white. I saw a lot of great pictures in BW and wanted to make photo like those...and the grain was the thing that attracted me. Without the grain the picture would just be flat and boring...!
     
  26. Dorothy Blum Cooper

    Dorothy Blum Cooper Member

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    Grain is one of the things that put me into black & white.

    Me too! That's one of the reasons I still shoot film. However, using the term 'too grainy' or 'too much grain' in my previous post might have been an inaccurate statement on my part. What I should have said was the larger I've gone in printing (from a 35mm neg) the less apparent some of the detail is. We have clean glass, sharp, in focus prints...but the larger you go, the less detail you will see in some of your print work. Again...this is speaking from an 'opinion' of our work in the darkroom. If you want billboard sized prints...go for it!!! Like most things in photography, it's what you want in the end.

    Dorothy--