Large Prints & Film


TPF Noob!
Nov 4, 2006
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Here is the question. Does it matter what kind of 35mm film is used if I want to have the images printed 20x24 and larger?

What is the best kind to use for color and black & white?
You'll need a very very fine grained film to go that large in black and white if you want the prints to be really sharp at a minimal viewing distance.

In black and white, the top of my list would be Adox ORT 25, available from Freestyle Photographic.

Beyond that, Efke/Adox 25 or Ilford PanF.

In color, Velvia 50 or Astia. Maybe. Maybe. You'd have to have them drum scanned.
In color, Velvia 50 or Astia. Maybe. Maybe. You'd have to have them drum scanned.

How much are drum scans running these days?

I remember during my years in the ad agency world that we paid quite a bit for drum scans. 'Course, the smallest we'd ever have scanned was medium format--and that was mainly for ROP (newspaper) ads. All of the food and beverage photography we shot for clients like Pizza Hut and Pepsi was done on 8x10 transparencies.

Those weren't cheap to scan.

i don't know if I would recommended printing that large from 35mm. Even if you use a low ISO film. It would be considerably grainy. ISO is the film speed and the lower the ISO the less sensitive to light the film is which generally mean longer exposure time, which for taking some pics is unrealistic Like for action shots for where you want to stop action.

If you are serious of printing large I would consider switching to medium format. Even with using the same ISO film and printing on the same size paper it will looks extremely sharper.
I've made mural prints (30in x 40in) from a 35mm Tri-x negative. The images were grainy, but I like the textural quality of film grain, and push my film to enhance the grain structure. As long as the image is sharp, I believe you can use 35mm to get the large prints you are looking for.

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