Your Preferred Print Size for 35mm for Display?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by nocrop, May 11, 2009.

  1. nocrop

    nocrop Member

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    I'm curious what size you most often put up on walls when using 35mm film. For me, it's 8x10. I'm way behind on printing, so I thought I'd canvass the collective wisdom of APUG members before I embark on a big printing project later this summer.

    Variables welcome: traditional versus digital prints, gear, color/b&w, etc.
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    for me, the image determines the size.

    i tend to use either 16x20 or 14x18 frames. window cut to fit the image
     
  3. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    Most common for me is 5x7 on an 11x14 mat, then 6x9 on the same size mat.

    For viewing prints in hand and stored in a box, I lean to 5x7 or smaller on an 8x10 board.
     
  4. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

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    5x7 as far as I'm concerned. No more space on walls!!
    :D
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    anywhere between 2x3 ( or so ) inches
    and 5x7 printed on an 8x10 sheet.

    i have printed larger in the past,
    but find small photos to fit my work better ...
     
  6. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    My standard size for 35mm is 8x10, whether it's for holding in the hand or putting on the wall, but when I do exhibits I print at 11x14 because the pictures are seen from farther away and that's the biggest I can print. I would probably do 16x20 for exhibits if I had the easel for it (someday...).
     
  7. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    5"x7" on an 8"x10" sheet if it's going to be hung. 5"x7" on a 5"x7" sheet when it will be handled.
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It depends on how big I want the print to be, as I don't decide my print size based on my negative size. However, 6x9 and 8x12 seem to be the most common for me. I am very fond of 8x12 and 12x18. I think the image starts to "break up" very nicely at that point; especially with a 400 film. OTOH, for a book I am working on, prints range from contact-sheet size to a 20-inch double truck.
     
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  9. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    One of the problems with the 24x36mm format is that it is has become so normal to millions of people that they routinely accept prints which are much too big for the size of the source negative. In other words, they think that these grainly, overblown prints look good, because they have come to accept work of inferior technical quality as normal. It is only a matter of time before someone claims in this thread that any size print from 35mm is acceptable if the artist likes it, with claims about 16x20 and larger prints from 35mm which supposedly looked excellent. Just wait and see if it isn't true!
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    ...and those "claimants" would be absolutely correct. Things that are "inferior technical quality" to some people are excellent tools to others. There's no such thing as plainly-and-simply "too big" a print from a film format. There is only "too big" to get the qualities you would like to have. For lots of things, I deliberately shoot small format when I intend to make a big print. What's it to you?

    The question was what sizes do we normally print. So, what sizes do you normally print?
     
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  11. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    12X18, 8X12 and 11X14 printed full frame. The 12X18 and 8X12 are full frame to begin with. I like 8X10 to if I am okay with the cropping.
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    IMHO, there's no question of wisdom here. It's a matter of personal preference, combined with the question of where and how the print will be displayed. Do what you think looks good for your display area. If anybody disagrees, that's their problem.

    The preceding comments presuppose, however, that you're making prints for your own use. If you intend to sell them, then the question of what the market wants is an important one. As I don't sell my prints, I can't comment on that.
     
  13. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    18x24 cm when I want to scan the paper and put it on web.
    20x30 cm and 27x40 cm for putting them on wall.
     
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  15. nocrop

    nocrop Member

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    Thanks for your responses. Your justifications for your choices are helpful. I'm strictly an amateur intent on pleasing myself and others via gift-giving. Srs5694, personal preference was exactly what I was interested in, together with the reasoning that went into those choices. My question may seem too open-ended--meaningless even--but I think your answers can be informative and useful. Printing is time-consuming and expensive and important, so I'd like to be able to have a solid plan before plowing ahead.

    It seems to me that many amateur photographers don't put enough thought into displaying their work. Pros know better; even art students know better. I promise I won't open the can of worms relating to viewing space and lighting and framing choices.
     
  16. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    Oooooh...glad you didn't start the Matt Vs Glossy question :D .. I print whatever size takes my fancy to match the image when printing for myself, and often exhibition prints are a function of the viewing distance,and if an exhibit organised by the gallery/space hanging options etc have been set by them...with advice from me if the print will print to that size (never been bigger than 16x20 to date) for me. Rgds, Kal
     
  17. largely

    largely Subscriber

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    It seems to me that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" might apply here. We're talking about art.
    Nothing is more destructive of the appreciation of art than someone else's idea of rules.

    Larry
     
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  18. nocrop

    nocrop Member

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    Okay, Larry, you're right! It is practically meaningless to ask. How about simple curiosity then?
     
  19. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Cibas, black bordered 30x50 from Velvia 50, Velvia 100F or Provia 100F. Any bigger prints than this are even more expensive to matt and frame. I've done just one to 50x75 in February - a size that is just about the limit for me when viewing a 35mm image without pronounced 'fuzziness' of the smaller format image. Compared to 30x50, that much larger size is not as good, but the client liked it.
     
  20. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Oh, do the pros ever!
    Mind you, many art students struggle to put food on the table with what money they get; it wasn't an easy existence for me and it still isn't.

    Without exhibiting or showing their skills in their work, there is no food on table, no petrol in the car, no money for bills... Taking an holistic approach to quality imaging from visualising the image in-camera to printing and framing and then 'getting word out', but it is a hard slog.
     
  21. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Postcard, which is 100x150mm paper, is great for small personal prints that you may wish to send anywhere in the world via the postal systems. Plus Ilford postcard stock, is on a thicker than normal base.

    5"x7" paper is great for a brag book that you can carry around, plus it is about the minimum size you can hang on a wall and still be looked at without having to stand too close to.

    8"x10" paper is a staple format, full frame 35mm stuff centred with a smaller gap top and bottom than the sides, actually looks quite nice in a frame. I've been using this for a little while for my personal stuff at the suggestion of the missus and it works.

    A4 format is really the better of the smaller paper sizes for hanging on a wall. The proportions very closely match 35mm and A4 frames are everywhere, so the choice is great.

    After that I use 12"x16" paper which doesn't really match the neg proportions, but looks great from a distance.

    These are the sizes I use for my own work to hang up in my own place. If I was to suggest a minimal outlay situation with the greatest possibility, it would be 8"x10" paper.

    Apart from what I have already mentioned with this paper size, if you split it in half and print to 5"x8" then you get two prints that are virtually full frame proportionally. This size is the most popular print size with my extended family and friends.

    A Jobo Varioformat easel is designed to allow you to do wonderful croppings with various paper sizes, with 8"x10" paper and this easel, you have about the most versatile printing system around.

    There are other variable format easels, but I have never seen one as good as the Jobo Varioformat for simplicity and ease of use.

    Mick.
     
  22. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    These days, as I don't have my own dark room, I print very little. I save printing for what I regard as the best of the shots I take - and print them as large as I feel they will go / to fit the space ear-marked for them. I'll usually have a 35mm neg printed up to 16" x 20" or 18" x 24" if the grain / sharpness allows.

    Some years ago (when I did have a dark room) I used to experiment with aspect ratios. Having owned a Mamiya C330 and had access to my dad's Rolleiflex, I got used to composing for and taking a lot of square format shots. Even when using 35mm, I often cropped the print to square.

    The funny thing was that people who looked at the square photos on our living room / dining room walls used to ask 'were these taken with a Hasselblad'. I had to come clean and tell them they were taken with an OM1 or OM2n (which confused the hell out of them) but it just goes to prove a couple of things:

    First - that it's almost impossible to distinguish what camera took what photo

    Second - people assume that you always print using the same aspect ratio of the camera.
     
  23. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Paul, I agree with you regarding actual print format as opposed to the film format, often being different.

    However I noted the moniker of the OP, I figured cropping wasn't really an option. :D

    Mick.
     
  24. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

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    Surprisingly ( :smile: ) I do agree with Ann and Mike.
    I usually do not go big with 35mm (or anything else) due personal tastes, rarely bigger paper than 16x12. and I tend to do not crop the stuff unless it's really required, I also tend to respect the format and ratio on the print, that's the reason why I do not use some lenses like the 28mm in 35mm or the 43mm in 6x7, I do not like the ratio over the negative.

    /me the green dog :smile:
     
  25. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    I agree! Years back, when I first read David Vestal's book, he suggested that the "image tells you what size to print it." My first thought was that this was a load of pretentious bull.........he was right. Somehow there's a size that works. I have a studio shot of a broken shell which just didn't work - 5x7, 8x10, 11x14 or 16x20 - until I printed it at about 7x10 on 11x14 paper. Now it's one of my favourites. Strange, but true!!

    Bob H
     
  26. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    Hi Mick.

    I'd assumed the same - but it's impossible to print 36x24mm negs to 8"x10" without cropping, as the aspect ratio is completely different (3:2 compared with 5:4) - unless the whole of the 3:2 image is printed inside an 8"x10" sheet with an odd-shaped border!

    Regards, Paul.