Going from 11x14 to 16x24 or 20x24
evening to all- am pondering moving larger from current 11x14 to 16x24 or 20x24 which seems to be next size available given the 6x7 negs I can now produce thanks to RB67 and P67. I have a beseler 23c with the neg carrier but only a 75mm lens...will that be a limitation? I see posts recommending 90mm and up, but does anyone have thoughts on just how necessary it really is? I also need the appropriate developing trays I realize, but other than increased usage of developer and fix, any other issues you ran into making similar jump? I am still giving thought to options for making an easel for example. i desire to print larger and less frequently and want to simplify as much as possible. thanks.
It seems to me that the next step up from 11x14 would probably be 16x20, if you are working with a 6x7 negative.
Although the slightly larger 12x16 option is worth considering, if you can source paper.
Here are some things I would consider first:
I'm not aware of any top quality 75mm lenses that are intended to cover 6x7 negatives. It may be that the lens you are using is at the edge of its rendering capacity with 11x14 enlargements, and you would definitely see an improvement if you switched to a top quality 80mm or 90mm lens that is designed for 6x7.
And you definitely need to be sure to align your enlarger correctly.
Are your print drying facilities able to handle the larger print sizes?
Have you examined the framing and presentation issues as well?
Do you use a paper safe? If so, is it large enough?
Do you have a print trimmer that is large enough?
Is your work area large enough to use larger trays?
Do you have a place to store the unexposed paper? Do you have a place to store the unframed prints?
Hope this helps.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
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Perhaps you could buy a 20x24" ULF camera and simply contact print?
Seriously, though, are prints of that size from such a small neg really going to look any good?
My advice would be to try before you start looking for a new lens. Sufficiently large trays are of course a nice thing to get but apart from that I would make some prints before I would go out and buy anything else. 20x24" might be a bit too large from a 6x7cm neg but it could work (about 8x enlargement which is a little more than I would do but then there are people making 11x14" copies from 35mm negs and being happy about it so why not).
Best of luck
After years of making small prints (nothing larger than 8x10), I set up to do 11x14. I did it because I had an image that screamed at me that it needed to be larger. It was right, it did. The image always knows best what size it needs to be.
Even going from 11x14 to 16x20, I think you will notice the difference in the quality of your prints.
Try this. Raise your enlarger head to the height it needs to be to make a 16x20, then print an image (one you think looks really good at 11x14) on four sheets of 8x10 paper. Process, dry, and put together to make a sorta-16x20. Do you like it more or less than the 11x14?
I wouldn't go up in size unless I had images screaming at me that they need to be larger.
Technically, you'd be better off with a 100/105 than your 75mm lens. The longer the lens, the more of the negative that's covered by the middle of the lens, rather than the edges. The flip side of that coin is, longer lenses require more distance between the lens and the paper to make the same size print. At some point, you can't raise the enlarger head high enough to make the size of print you want. But you would be fine with a 105.
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The Beseler 23C has the ability to project horizontally. In this configuration you can enlarge any size for which you have projection space and that’s practical to process.
A 75mm lens is designed to fully cover a maximum format of 6 x 6cm. At large print size magnification, it won’t properly cover the corners of a 6 x 7cm negative. You need a lens specifically designed to cover 6 x 7cm negatives. A lens designed for a larger format than 6 x 7cm can be used but gives less magnification.
With a standard-column 23C projecting vertically, you get the following focal length and magnification combinations:
60mm (wide-angle), 12.7X
With the XL-column 23C projecting vertically, you get the following focal length and magnification combinations:
60mm (WA), 16X
To determine the approximate maximum projection size, simply multiply the dimensions of the window opening of the negative carrier by the magnification.
For example, the 80mm lens on the standard-column 23C gives 9X. If the window of a 6 x 7cm carrier is 55.4mm x 71.2mm, then the dimensions of the 9X projection are
498.6mm x 640.8mm = 19.6” x 25.2” (approximate size).
The 75mm may or may not cover the larger negative, you won't know until you try. A 75mm lens would likely be designed to enlarge 645 or maybe 6x6 negatives. Going from 6x6 to 6x7 you're increasing the image circle by roughly 18%, so that's how much more you ask of your lens to cover.
I recommend testing it, with four 8x10 sheets like 'seadrive' above suggests. See if you have coverage and sharpness all the way out to the corners.
The whole print size thing is interesting. I print most of my work on 11x14 paper, but some on 16x20 and some on 8x10. Whatever the series of pictures dictate. I'm printing a series of forest scenes on 16x20 because they possess a certain grandure that I think would be lost in smaller size. Neg size from 35mm to 5x7. I'm also printing some 6x6 pinhole shots as 8x8" on 11x14 paper, because they seem to just look better that way, and communicate the ethereal quality of the pinhole more effectively. And on and on.
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This is a great tip! Thanks seadrive... It's moments like these that make me love APUG more and more
Originally Posted by seadrive
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all...thank you very much for taking the time to respond. such great input and suggestions. i agree that apug is just awesome for input like that. i will ponder and give the suggestions a try. never would have come up with half of them on my own. cheers!
....but wait, there is more.
I found that what was tack sharp at 11x14 occasionally had a soft focus spot at 16x20. These were more frequent at 20x24. Where little or no spotting was needed at 11x14, more was needed as size increased.
For me there was nothing wrong with the Mamiya RZ and it’s lenses. Age (72) had made it more difficult to sharply focus the 6x7 image. I shoot 8x10 negatives now focusing with a loupe and rarely have a focus problem at these sizes. A larger negative means fewer enlargements to that size so spotting is also less of a problem.
In 7x17 I only do contact prints. Here it is all about composition. It will be in focus. I rarely spot. You can not crop a contact print. What you print is what you composed.
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