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  1. #1
    nsurit's Avatar
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    How large have you printed with a pinhole negative?

    I've done a bit of pinhole photography and the largest I printed to date was an 11X14. My son-in-law has asked if a large mural size print might be produced with reasonable quality from either a 4X5 or 6X17 on 120 negative. I have the ability to produce either however would be interested in knowing what others have experienced. He is thinking color and perhaps 4 feet by 5 feet or perhaps 3 feet by 8 or 9 feet from the 120. Any ideas or experience with going large out there? I would have to have a lab print one this large in color. Bill Barber

  2. #2
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    At best a 4x5 pinhole contact print will appear slightly unsharp at a normal reading distance. Therefore, a 4x5 foot enlargement will appear slightly unsharp across a small room. Perhaps this is acceptable to some viewers. Getting a mural size color print made to determine this seems expensive to this tightwad. Perhaps a less expensive poster print will settle the question.

  3. #3
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I have printed 30x40 lith prints from 35mm pinhole negs.
    they look wonderful

  4. #4
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    I have seen ~4 ft prints from 4x5 pinhole, taken on acros. They certainly looked credible to my eye. Scott (Flying Camera) may recall who that was, hit was a photographer had a small show in DC. Federal scenes, as I recall. N.b. the final prints were not analogue and I was too polite if they were digitally sharpened, but they looked undoctored and quite effective.

    Anyway, roughly speaking, at enlargements bigger than ~1:1 (contact print), the lack of detail will become evident. But that doesn't mean that the image falls apart.... if the method is suited to the subject, you can go much larger.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #5

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    I have a friend who routinely prints his 4x5 pinhole shots at 16x20. They look fine.
    Pinhole shots always lack detail, it's the nature of the beast, but at a reasonable viewing distance for the print size it's not something you notice any more than you would with a smaller print viewed closer.
    As Keith says, if the method suits the subject the print size doesn't matter much.

  6. #6

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    i hear guillaume z's 35mm pinhole work is printed HUGE and looks fantastic.
    im empty, good luck

  7. #7
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Yes they do, got a couple of them hanging in our space.
    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    i hear guillaume z's 35mm pinhole work is printed HUGE and looks fantastic.

  8. #8

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    I’ve had a pro lab printing 1,5*2 meters (6 ft * 8 ft) from a 120 (6*7) pinhole for an exhibition a few months ago - printed on aluminum. Sold the picture for about 820 $ (5000 Norwegian Krones) to a couple who to have it in their living room.
    I guess the price they were happy to pay kind of indicates the quality.....

  9. #9

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    Anyway, roughly speaking, at enlargements bigger than ~1:1 (contact print), the lack of detail will become evident. But that doesn't mean that the image falls apart.... if the method is suited to the subject, you can go much larger.
    I think you hit it on the head Keith. There's no answer to this question; it just depends on whether the image is suitable for such a big display, taking into account the appearance the pinhole capture method will lend to it.
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
    .

  10. #10

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    Totally agree with walter on the suitability of the image. I print conventionally and lith to 16X20, but stick to scenes where cloud motion is the main subject. Those are great. If the subject requires any detail, I forget about it. Might have something to do with my pinholes and camera motion.

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