Print to the grain is what I learned coming up. I usually shoot 100 B&W 120 film that gives me more latitude for larger print sizes.
Thanks quitstik I'll keep that in mind. That is what I shot in the Argoflex. The next round will be taken in the Ciro-flex. It's so ____ hot here to get out, but I gotta if I want to enter the state fair.
Thanks Matt I visited the link and enjoyed. My problem is white specs... so a 2 1/4 print would only work. As far as "Viewing distance is quite important"... it sure is. I had to get real close to Ansel's prints to see what all the hubbub was about. I'm thinking I should rename my recent street shot with the argo " Speed Hump Sign".
Here's something I think about when I consider maximum print size:
Any format has a certain necessary viewing distance to get it all in - and then you just might want to take a few more steps back for it to be comfortable. It's kind of a strange practice to walk around looking at pictures from a distance of two inches. And even though some people do that (as it also was fairly common in the days of salon painting), you can just as well use a magnifying glass for a smaller print if all you care about is grain.
If it's a decent enough negative size and grain, which in my opinion is 400 on medium format, and 100 ISO on 35mm. I wouldn't worry about such things as maximum print size. Painters also often chose to "limit their resolution" in modern art - like the impressionists did compared to the classical style of 50 years earlier for effect, and if you really want a huge banner like print you can walk two inches up to and still see the details - maybe large format's a good idea - but remember that's for effect, and not necessarily a technical criteria.
You took a picture of your willie? Please don't post it here.
Print size is subjective and there is no limit other than space. If you can't tell what the subject is because the grain is so large, it's art.
There are limits in optical projection printing very large magnification ratios that are related to diffraction. These limits can be minimized by internegatives. I don't know of any debate over those well established optical principles.