Getting desperate. How do I get a 35mm Negative enlarged to a 16x20?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by keith204, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I recently began to like B&W film. I would like to shoot more, but absolutely won't if I can't get any bigger pictures!

    Problem: no decent labs within 2 hours.

    Solution? Mayyyybe a film scanner? Scan the prints high-res and send them off to Smugmug, etc? An acquaintance recently told me that he has some sort of film scanner that was able to use to get a 40"x40" out of a 35mm and it looked decent. This seems extreme.

    All I want is the ability to make at least 16x20's from my B&W negatives.

    Will a film scanner do the trick? How should I go about this!?

    Please help!
     
  2. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH TPF Noob!

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    A 4800dpi scan would just barely give you 16x20@300dpi, so that's doable with fairly inexpensive equipment. The problem with a flatbed will be getting a clean and perfectly focused scan at that res. A dedicated film scanner can do it, or you can look at a flatbed and a good quality fluid mounting kit to keep the negs perfectly flat and allow you to make tiny adjustments in the height above the scanner glass for focus.

    I haven't really printed anything over 8x10 from mine, (Epson 4490) since I only have a Canon Pixma 2600 printer (8.5" width is all it can handle) so you'll have to find someone else to get suggestions on which scanner to use.

    While we're on the subject of bigger prints, has anyone ever tried to trick the Pixma series drivers into using longer paper? I was thinking about cutting down some 11x13 to 8.5x13 and using it to print 8x12s.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I'd actually see if I can mail them to a lab who can do high-res scans.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Darkroom equipment is cheap and plentiful now... buy yourself a medium size Durst or Omega enlarger, a few trays, timer, print-washer and do it yourself. 16x20 is pretty ambitious from a 35mm negative... unless you're shooting 50ASA or lower (and even then...) you're going to have some serious grain to deal with.
     
  5. dinodan

    dinodan TPF Noob!

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    I used to do 35mm 16x20s, but only with Kodachrome 25 or Panatomic-X (B&W), which of course have not been available for some time now, regrettably.
     
  6. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    so, you're telling me in this thread that film is supposed to be much better than my 40Ds as far as IQ.

    BUT, now everyone's saying that I actually can't get even a decent 16x20 out of a 35mm frame?
     
  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I would have an 8x10 printed, see how it looks. If you think you could go 4 times larger, mail it off to a lab that can do the 16x20.
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    16x20 is certainly possible with 35mm depending... but IMO, the easiest would be through a traditional darkroom rather than a scan then print.
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I would never print a 16x20 from a scanned 35mm frame unless it was a drum scan. And I would only do that for color.
     
  10. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Makes sense, thanks for explaining. I will limit my film shooting to 8x10s or smaller probably.
     
  11. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    You can print 16x20, I just wouldn't do it from a scan unless you're prepared to shell out some cash for a drum scan. And I would spot check a smaller print first.
     
  12. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ok, thanks. So, when my local lab says "16x20's a little big for our negative scanners" does that mean that all they're doing is scanning them?
     

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