I think 10" by 15" prints from 35mm is about a practical limit, whether from handheld or tripod mounted shots. While it is possible to get larger prints, the subject matter, contrast, and colour (or tonality in B/W) will start to become greater factors on whether the larger print will still remain compelling. As a few have mentioned, 6x4.5 is slightly easier to fit into the same, or just larger print sizes; and many of the cameras that allow this film size are not that much larger and heavier than some top of the line 35mm gear.
If you look at some of the very large prints from Galen Rowell or Thomas Mangulson, then 35mm does indeed work well for some subjects. Consider that every aspect of your approach should be nearer to optimum, and then perhaps it is more realistic. Just because something is possible does not always make it the best choice.
Gordon Moat Photography
Thanks for your reply.
In my ignorance I assumed that if I couldn't see the grain when viewing a print then I also shouldn't be able to see any difference in tonal smoothness when the negs are different sizes.
That wrong assumption led me to wonder what on earth people were talking about in this thread when they said that MF and LF prints have smoother tones. (i.e. If viewing two prints of the same size, one from a 35mm neg print and the other from a larger neg print and assuming no grain was visible on either print, then the larger neg print has smoother tones)
When Tim replied to my question, he wrote:
(my emphasis added)
Originally Posted by thuggins
I then saw NO reference to grain in Tim's answer which further reinforced (in my mind) the bad assumption that the difference in tonal smoothness was unrelated to grain !!
In fact I was on the verge of writing back to tell Tim that it has nothing to do with photons clumping or spreading (as I was a tad suspicious) . But I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt (silly me), assume his explanation was right and request clarification on the matter by forcing people to exclude grain from their answers !!!
Now everyone has written back and told me it's mostly all about grain !!!
Thanks to those who set me straight.
Regarding the "spatial resolution" of the lens, usually the term refers to the image generated by the lens, but it is sometimes loosely used to refer to the properties of the lens that govern the spatial resolution of the image formed. see here . Although I probably should have used a more appropriate term such as the lens' "resolving power"
Originally Posted by rob champagne
Last edited by PeterB; 01-14-2008 at 10:44 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: changed underline to italics as it wasn't a link
Thanks Keith. You are correct. See my reply (to Rob) for full clarification of my misunderstanding.
Originally Posted by keithwms