60x54 print and mounting, NYC.
I am usually a traditional b&w print photographer and I can print up and frame up to 20x20.
I had a request from a client to buy one of my 6x6 prints enlarged to 60x54. It ruled out a darkroom print. I found a couple of options for either wet or dry scanning that would work for this size.
Now I'm trying to come up with proposals for printing and mounting that big and mounting seems to be an issue. They want an unframed print and they saw smaller prints on masonite and that's what they asked for. No one seems to mount anything that large on masonite. But I looked at some other solutions at print shops in NYC and at that size it looks like other backing boards like sintra and dibond or whatever usually require face-mounting to a plexi and a brace on the back.
So far the quotes I'm getting are in the $2000 range, including the c-printing costs (non-glare plexi face-mount, aluminum or sintra+aluminum backing, aluminum or wood brace) which makes sense from my point of view but I'm not sure about my client.
Is there a way and a place in NYC/Brooklyn to mount this cheaper but still maintain some quality?
I am assuming you are not interested or don't have the facilities to DIY. It would not be a one person job, however mounting it on masonite would seem possible. The ones I have done in the past were mounted on a box I build from 1X4 lumber with a masonite face. The size was about 1 ft X 6 ft. Your print could be made with any number of wide format printers. If you are not doing your own prints, you would likely be much better off getting a turn key job from a lab.
I can't either print or mount that big.
It's actually hard (so far impossible) to find a lab that would do the original request of 60x54 on masonite.
I was encouraged to find a lab that can do a lambda-printed fiber 60x50 print (as opposed to chromogenic RC that most everyone else is offering, never mind inkjets).
Every lab I talked to seems to be opposed to an exposed print mounted to any kind of board without framing or face mounting because the paper and the board shrink and expand differently depending on the environment. Dibond seems to be best choice for the backing (two thin aluminum plates with some foam in-between). Most labs would suggest face-mounting to plexi as well. So far the lab i liked the most (that showed me the most options and was really understanding of the aesthetics of traditional silver halide printing) is OK with exposed fiber paper but suggests thin framing to cover any shrinkages that might appear on the sides over time.
I don't know if I can convince my client to invest into a museum quality print though.
Modernage and Lamont can do that size in fiber. They will, however, want to make a drum scan. If you choose to go fb it makes no sense to mount to masonite as it's not archival. Dibond is the superior choice. $2k is a good estimate.
Recently a lab opened up in boston that specializes in large fb. Might be worth the research as then you won't be paying nyc prices.
Face mounting makes no sense as you'll get orange peel effect on anything other than an "f" rc surface. They're trying to up-sell you.
I'm happy you've mentioned Laumont because this is the studio I was most impressed by. Mr Laumont had showed me around and they do have some really nice fine art prints hanging over there. And the prices are on par with more mass-production oriented studios. He's really knowledgeable but is kind of in the same situation as all of us - there's not that much reliable info on the longevity of the new printing technology. They are kind of snobbish about scanning and want to have a closed-loop production cycle. I think I know my 16 bit levels and curves better than them - I knew it long before I loaded my first filmholder. I don't know how it would work as far as me directing their printing guy to adjust the curves and all of that. Kind of weird. But the prints they have on display and just spread around are gorgeous.
They also brought to my attention that most Lambda RC prints out there (including theirs) are chromogenic - I didn't think of it. They could print on a true B&W RC but i would essentially sponsor them buying a roll. More expensive than fiber. They didn't suggest face-mounting fiber paper, obviously, it's an RC option.
Thanks for mentioning Modernage - I didn't know about them. I will check them out next week. Their prices are a bit cheaper but I think Laumont would try to match them.
Fiber prints are limited to 50 inch width (more like 48 in real life) but i hope my client would play along.
After i started looking into it I am convinced that if it's over $1000 I want to go local. I really want to see the test prints and what the real life mounting options look like.
Last edited by dvornik; 06-03-2014 at 10:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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I've seen the work lamont does with fiber lambda's - it's top quality. If it's your first time working with them they usually throw in the scan for free. Also, they should be amenable to pulling tests and showing you a range. They'll work with you before pulling the final - you just have to be persistent and not be bullied by them. Good luck.
PS... face mounting plexi is not necessary and adds a huge cost to mounting (again, lamont is trying to upwell you). Besides, it was a look that had it's day before the great recession and has since largely fallen out of favor. It can look garish with the wrong subject matter, IMHO.
On the contrary, Laumont was against face-mounting for aesthetic reasons, unlike many other labs in Manhattan. So we're on the same page with them.
I asked an acquaintance of mine who runs a traditional B&W lab in DUMBO and he sort of approved the lambda fiber print idea. So it's all coming together, I need to work on my sales pitch.
So far my client is fine with the quotes she's getting. She understands that the size creates all kinds of issues here.
What I didn't realize is that her main reason to suggest a bare print on masonite was that they want it really flush with the wall because of the interior decoration reasons. They want as few layers of material as possible.
So I guess now the question is - how do you mount a print as flush to the wall as possible while preventing warping in the future? Other than gluing it to the wall...
Usually there's a brace behind large prints to make them more rigid and to offset them from the wall but here they want the opposite.
I would appreciate any suggestions.
Last edited by dvornik; 06-10-2014 at 11:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I'm not a framer at all, but, can't you add some kind of non-standard material like give it a stainless steel border? That's thin and will hold the edges flat, and keep it tight? I'm trying to think outside of the box here, but as I said I'm not a framer. The stainless could then be coated with any other materiel to hide the stainless look, like wallpaper material or something? In fact if the room had wallpaper you could match that. That's the thinnest strong thing I could think of, and I know stainless steel counter makers could probably custom make a frame that big. That's the only reason I mentioned it.
Originally Posted by dvornik
Laumont is very good (and I'd actually trust their desire to do the scan themselves), but imo there are other labs worth opening a dialogue with.
Did you talk to Griffin editions? They're good. And better still, they can print that optically for you if you wanted.
BTW, if you've a chance drop by the Sugimoto show at Pace gallery (25th st) in Chelsea. Big fiber silver prints mounted on dibond with no face. Easily twice the dimensions your talking, which really aren't all that big, and I believe optically printed. But it's Sugimoto after all, so you can imagine how perfect they are.