Blowing up 35mm Negs

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Catmando, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Catmando

    Catmando TPF Noob!

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    I'm interested to find out peoples experience with blowing up negatives

    what sort of sizes can I realistically go to when shooting 100 iso Film?

    What about using 35mm slide film


    If you have an opinion
    i'm keen to hear it:playball:
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    As a generalization I say 8 to 12 times original size, or somewhere between 8"x12" and 12"x18" for 35mm, before I start to notice. There are a lot of other things that influence this though. From what I can tell I'm pickier than most.
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would agree with Matt here. As long as you stick with these slower films (100-120 ISO) you should have no problem with enlargements of this size.

    400 speed film and over you might not be as satisfied with a large print.
     
  4. Catmando

    Catmando TPF Noob!

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    Is that for negative or slide?
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Either. ISO and camera shake will effect enlargement quality much more than whether it's from slide or neg film.

    There are many factors that influence enlargement quality. Two huge variables are the opinion of the photographer and the viewer. You should make your prints the size you think they look good. HCB said "Sharpness is a bourgeois concept", and I figure he knows a thing or two.

    Viewing distance matters a lot. If a photo is on a billboard 100 feet away you can get away with huge enlargements; it would look very low res at 15 feet. The anecdotal advice is that people naturally view smaller photos closer, and don't get so close to big photos, so it all works out on it's own.

    I've made 16"x24" prints from 35mm Tmax 100, and I think most people would think they look pretty good. Probably the main reason I don't enlarge 35mm much past 8"x12" is because I don't have to. If I think that I'll be printing larger than that I shoot medium format or 4x5.
     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    My experience with 8x10 enlarging from 35mm is limited to Ilford Delta 400, but I can tell you, that I could see the image breaking up already, and it was from a sharp, well exposed negative. Like Matt, I may be pickier than others, and I do like to look at an 8x10 fairly close yet, to see details.

    It doesn't cost very much to go to MF these days, via the used market, and the improvements in quality are significant, even with 6x4.5 cm.
     
  7. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    It depends on the processing and the kind of film you're using. Also the lenses start to matter a LOT because you're viewing whatever you're getting on the negative.

    And the quality of wash and processing, the selection and the concentration of chemicals... etc.

    I am not as picky as ksmattfish, I have to admit. I have some enlargments cropped to 8*10 and they'd work out larger than 20*24... it looks good to me.

    HCB and "viewing distance increases as it gets larger" is about right IMO.
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I just sold a dozen 20"x24" landscapes to an agency that was redecorating a business office. Half of them were from medium format or 4x5, and I had no doubt they'd look fine that big. The other half were from a Canon 20D, and I told them I was afraid they wouldn't enlarge to that size (I usually try to keep it to 12"x18" or smaller). They were familiar with enlargements of that size from APS sensor cameras from other photogs, and said to go ahead and do it. They really didn't look as bad as I thought they would, the big film was better, but the client loved them all.
     
  9. Catmando

    Catmando TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the input, some good stuff to take away. I have experiance in the darkroom and know what you mean about the difference between a 100 and 400 film, although so far have not gone above 10x8

    I agree that MF is the way to go for big enlargements, but i'm only a couple of years into photography and want to improve my skills before moving up.

    My main reason for asking this question is that I will soon be returning home (NZ) and want to get some interesting shots of where i'm now, with the plan of enlarging and maybe selling, as i've seen some interesting ideas in markets.

    Again thanks for the feedback, gives me an idea before blowing a lot of cash....

    Cheers
    C
     

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