Stephen, I'm not not sure what aspects of your 8x10 prints you are unhappy with. Every format has it's has it's own unique characteristics but I love 35mm SLR photography. Other formats make me feel like I am working a camera while I find shooting 35mm is as natural seeing or speaking. It is a wonderful expressive tool that is unashamed to display the attributes that are inherently photographic. The Grain, the contrast, the compression and razor thin DoF of the long, fast, lenses, the wild perspectives of the wides the spontaneity of working hand held. This is beginning to sound like a "why i love SF photography..." thread.
You're the boss. Print smaller or shoot larger. When it looks good to your eye, that's it.
This shot was taken on 100 speed film and printed 8x10, I wouldn't hesitate to go 11x14. If you get close enough, you can see grain in the smooth areas but nothing that would distract from the photograph even if you were looking for it.
Last edited by Flotsam; 03-06-2005 at 06:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
I guess everyone has pretty much run the gamut between '8x10 is fine' and '5x7 is max'. I enlarge until the width is 10 (the long side of the negative is enlarged until it reaches 10"). I find that I get pretty sharp images with less grain. I shoot a lot of landscape-y things.
BTW...I really like that shot of the shadows on the street! Cool stuff!
...got back from a holiday visiting my in~laws(Chile-AMAZING country!),and my wife and I wanted to give them something which showed them something about my home town.
We decided that I'd do some photos of some of the more attractive local buildings.
I shot on 35mm format foma 100 and printed at 8x10 on Ilford MGIV.
The result was beautiful!
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Both said by Doug Adams
Only put off until tomorrow that which you are prepared to die having not done-Pablo Picasso
Originally Posted by Stephen J. Collier
Are you printing with a condenser enlarger? The collimated light, while it gives apparent sharpness, highlights grain and chops up tonality; a cold light would make a big difference. And there is certainly nothing wrong with smaller prints. I would recommend using an easel that crops on 4 sides, and make larger margins; that will help you to better see the tonality; especially in highlights near the edge.
Finally, if you are still unsatisfied, but committed to 35mm, you might try a Pyro developer. That masks grain and gives amazing tonality, as well as "edge effects" that give better sharpness. Of course, there are drawbacks to Pyro, but it is one possibility.
Thank you all for your suggestions. For those who asked, I am using a Vivitar VI condensing enlarger (not a great enlarger by any standard, but it was had for the right price) with a Rodenstock 50mm f3.5 lens.
Looking back at my prints I can see that the ones that I didn't like were most often either incorrectly exposed or they were shot in very low light situation where I had to open the aperture past f/2 and slow the shutter speed down to 1/30 or 1/60. I have an aversion to using a flash (I hate the harsh shadows) so during the winter when I am shooting indoors there is little more I can do than shoot slow and wide... Oh well, Iíll just have to wait for better weather and better light.
[COLOR=DarkOliveGreen][SIZE=2]"We are not at War, we are having a nervous breakdown". Hunter S. Thompson[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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Try Delta 3200. I've been shooting a lot inside too, in low light. (Hate flash!), and I've been getting some interesting images with this film. Yes it's grainy, (love grain!), but it might be something to experiment with during what seems like an endless winter. For us in snowy New England, at least!
I regularly make 35mm prints on paper up to 16 x 20, although I print at or near full frame, so they are actually 13-14 x 20. People tend to look at larger prints from further away, so the apparent quality evens out to some degree. That said, I use 6 x 7 if I want real quality. Assuming you have good negs to start with, a good condenser enlarger and lens also helps as does developing the prints for longer than the full minute recommended and at a proper temperature.
What has changed in 69 years? I just got a collection of American Photography magazine from 1938-39. I also got 1 issue of Minicam from 1940. In them are people showing off 20-40x enlargements from 35mm. They seem awful happy to me with their DuPont Valour Black prints from their Agfa Finopan negatives. Have standards changed that much or has technical excellence replaced esthics? Or are we expecting to much LF qualities from our "miniatures"?
I myself have printed excellent( subjective opinion) 16x20 prints from PanF negatives that were - very low grained, sharp, and full of gradation. I can't see the problem.
Stephen- out of focus areas, camera movement, and incorrect exposure are all contributer to grain. So to quote another poster- "it's supposed to be there".
"Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect."
Hmm... I think Rodenstock's 6 element 50mm is a 2.8 and has been for a while. Your lens may simply not be up to 8x and 10x enlargements, and the subject motion is simply exacerbating that. You should see if you can beg/borrow a more expensive lens and see if that does better in 8x10s.
A Canon F-1 and its FD lenses are as good as one can hope for without obsessive and massive spending. No reason why one cannot get good 8x10s or 11x14s with that equipment and Good Ol' Tri-X. As others have said though, expectations are subjective and you may be at the point where you feel you need better. Having crossed this bridge myself a couple years ago, my recommendation is to go directly to large format. I found the investment is quite less than one would suspect. I wouldn't get rid of the F-1 though. Its too good a camera to part with unless one just has to have the money it would bring. And the only downside to LF is that you can't hang the camera around your neck and peel off that quick shot. Both of these attachments were shot on 35mm Tri-x, spur of the moment, and enlarged easily to 11x14. The 8x10 camera was still in the truck, no possibility of getting it set up for these.