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  1. #1

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    Enlargements from 6x4.5--how big?

    So, I'd like to enlarge some landscape photos that I took on a Pentax 645N. How big can I go, keeping them sharp?

  2. #2
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Depends how good your eyesight is, how close you want to get to the finished work, which film you use, and what you think is sharp.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  3. #3

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    You can enlarge them to about 3x the print area that you would consider acceptable from 35mm.

    For myself, I do not consider a bigger print to be better than a smaller print. If the print can be viewed as it is displayed at a given size that maxiimizes the clarity of the print then I would not wish to make any larger.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  4. #4

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    Whilst I don't know what you consider sharp, your viewing distances, your standards etc I can tell you how far I might go from a well exposed, sharp colour slide. And that would be 16" x 12" with high quality conventional printing onto Ilfochrome.

    If it were b&w I might feel I could go one size larger.

    If I were paying for a top quality drum scan, excellent file creation and printing on a LightJet or Chromira, then I'd put my limit at around 24" x 30".

  5. #5

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    Depends on whether mono or colour and also the type of image. Detailed landscaped will not tolerate big enlargement factors. Street images will. I have printed street images and environmental portraits at 20x16 from TriX and they look great. Lanscapes I would limit to prob 12x16 from a slow film or smaller still from a 400, perhaps 10x8 or 12x9.5.

    If it looks good, it is good.....

    tom

  6. #6
    raucousimages's Avatar
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    A friend of mine has a 30X40 of a steam locomotive from the Ely Nevada train yards and you can see detail right down to the bolts and rust spots. At first I thought it was shot on 4X5. It was shot with a Bronica 645 on a tripod on Ektachrome 64, exposure was dead on and printed by a master printer. It looks great at a viewing distance of about 10 feet any closer and it looses some sharpness and a 20X30 would look sharper but on this shot 30X40 works, the train looks massive, powerfull. The point is 645 will give a very large, sharp print if you do all the right things. On the other hand a very large print can look great full of grain. I shoor 35mm Tri-X dev in rodinol and print at 24X36. the grain looks like dots at 1 ft.
    DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

  7. #7

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    As has been brought up many times in this context...go see a Salgado exhibition. Many of his prints are very big from 35mm and 645 but becasue of teh subject matter and style it does not seem to matter on bit.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for all of the responses. I knew that my original post was overly simplistic, but that yielded varied responses, which I find helpful.

    The photos are from Alaska's Glacier Bay, and they will be in my home, so most of them will not be huge. My husband does enjoy some large prints, though, so it's within contemplation, hence the question.

    Again, thank you.
    Pamela

  9. #9

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    I used to create images of poster (24x36) size for regulatory agency hearings from the M645 (usually black and white) and they were tack sharp. They were plotted out w/HP ink jet plotter. These photos were, of course, taken using a tripod and metered properly.

  10. #10

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    You start to lose sharpness at about 4x and the limit is about 7x, this is all subjective of course.

    There are lots of other factors: How good a tripod did you use, fine grained film, subject matter, mirror -up and cable release etc.

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