Hi,

I am considering the best way to go about very large (30 x40 inch plus) monochrome prints of the highest quality. While I will stay with traditional for smaller more intimate original prints (for homes rather than corporate premesis), I am wondering how to go about the big stuff. Wet methods cause me too much headache (I can do no larger than 20x24 without severe problems) and am interested in the possibility of scanning ULF and printing via lightjet once the dodging/burning etc have been sorted by computer. I am aware that B&W is not easy to scan and does not hold quality at great enlargement in the way that colour does (that tonality thing again) - so what if the neg was ULF? Would an expensive drum scan be the only option? From what I have seen, most labs cannot scan over 10x8 and in any case scan 10x8 negs/trannies to a lower res than 5x4 so you end up with identical file sizes - defeating the object. My objective is all the detail in a giant print that I can possibly attain. I saw Sandy King mention somewhere about huge prints from scanned ULF on an A3 flatbed? What quality can be obtained here? 7x17 looks handy as he states that it can be done in one pass on an A3 scanner....but from what I can see there are no affordable home flatbeds at A3 that come close to an A4 Epson 4870 for example. A 7x17 inch neg at 1200dpi (typical for an A3 flatbed?) barely beats a 5x4 at 4800 dpi it would appear!? Does this mean we are back to drum scans?

Sorry for the rambling...head overheating. Question in short: How do I get the largest, best quality monochrome prints without using wet methods?