there are a lot of factors involved ..
so "it depends"
you can easily enlarge with an enlarger
or a numeric gadget and make very large images ...
It depends on how big the print appears from the distance it will be viewed at.
A print the size of the moon will look the same as an 8x10 print, when both are viewed from respective distances that make them both 'cover' the same proportion of our field of view.
One photographer once said to me that negative from his RB67 could be enlarged indefinitely. You just look bigger pictures from a greater distance.
How far can you move back? Anyways, it's not so simple - and by all means bigger is quite often not better.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
Depends on what makes a print good.
Somethings look best in small sizes and you really can't enlarge them.
Some times all the "defects" from enlarging improve the image. Grain etc can be a positive.
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As a professional graphic designer, I have to say this isn't good practice. No application can create detail in an image that is not there. Scanning a MF neg, for example, at low resolution and then blowing it up is something like taking a picture of a MF photo in 35mm and blowing it up. You should scan at the highest resolution practicable for the application you intend. If you need a higher resolution later, it's far better to rescan it at a higher resolution.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
Where did I state to try and do that? I said exactly the opposite: Do not reduce or enlarge using the percentages on the scanner. To scan at 100%, to use variations in ppi while scanning to control image size, and to use a dedicated resampling program if other changes beyond the capability of the scanner are needed are the things I suggested. I did not suggest scanning at low resolution and upsampling unless the limits of the scanner are reached (1x1.5 in. @ 4000 ppi for my particular scanner), and I never claimed that upsampling creates detail. I simply said that if you must upsample, don't do it during scanning, as there are choices that will give much better quality.
Originally Posted by mrdarklight
How far a good photograph can be blown up is 100% subjective, unless criteria are listed.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 09-11-2009 at 05:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
I guess I just dont get "scanning", To me, scanning a negative involves a light table, loupe, and a negative. At that point, enlargement size is determined, and how much grain visibility is factored in. If graininess is part of the "look" I'm after, then I shoot for max enlargment. If minimal grain is desired, then I limit enlargment to where the grain is almost visable. The process is very subjective, its a matter of personal taste, and what you want to portray.
I am shooting both MF and 35mm so this question is about both. Of course with all things being equal the RB67 negative will look better than the negative from my Nikon 35mm.
Chan seem to understand my jibberish as I tried to ask the question.
For us to communicate on this forum and share our images we have to somewhere along the line convert to digital. I am not trying to start a digital vs. analogue thing here I LOVE my film cameras. I love the experience of processing my on film and I do have an enlarger so I can print my on B&W images. But again for us to share on this forum we have to convert to digital.
So to try and narrow my question down more, after scanning my negative at what % should I be "reasonably expect to view the image? I will ask the question on the Hybrid forum as well. But I have learned to trust the advice of my of the talented people on this forum. Sorry again for asking this question. The more I shoot film th moe I lose interest in my digital gear.
For many years, Kodak had a display in Grand Central Station in New York that was called the "Colorama". This was a 18x60 FOOT backlit transparency. For most of the 40 years this was in place, the images were created using a larger format original, but there was a classic instance in the 1970's when Kodak bragged that they had used a 35mm Kodachrome transparency to create the image.
That means that they enlarged a 1 x1.5 inch film chip to create an 18x40 foot display transparency - an enlargement of over 200X (that's 20,000%).
As Denis points out, a critical factor that governs how much an image can be enlarged is what is the viewing distance. In the case of the Colorama, the display transparency was hung high over the main hall of Grand Central Station, so viewers were 60-80 (and that's just my guess) feet away. If they had been closer, they likely would have been able to see some image deterioration, but at that viewing distance, the granularity in the image was smoothed out to an acceptable degree.