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  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Preferred general print size

    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”.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2
    omaha's Avatar
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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.
    I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here) when I want to.

  3. #3
    Maris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    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”.
    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.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  4. #4
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    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.
    I don't know, but just like this size and 24mm X 36mm fits it quite well.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  5. #5

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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. #6
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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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".
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #7
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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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...
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  8. #8
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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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.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  9. #9

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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. #10

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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 Richard Jepsen; 02-19-2014 at 09:12 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    RJ

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