Poster Size print with Reala?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by sanjay_chugh|1, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. Hello, I am quite happy with a lot of the pictures of my trip to
    DisneyWorld. I used mostly Fuji Reala. When I got back home, I got a
    few 12 X 18 prints which look very nice. Then then I got crazy and
    ordered a large 24 X 36 print of one picture. Off course I realize
    that's quite large for ISO 100 film. But from about 12 years ago, I
    have a couple of large prints I think about 20 X 30, taken with either
    a point and shoot or my Dad's Pentax ME5 (can't remember). These
    prints look alright to me. There is some grain when you look close,
    but otherwise they look fine. However, the new 24 X 36 print when I
    went to pick it up yesterday, it looked completely horrible. It was
    printed with Inkjet and the faces of my family members including me
    were all splotchy and blocky etc. I expected to see grain but nothing
    prepared me for this.

    Could the lab have screwed something up? I didn't pay for it, but I
    wasn't sure what to tell them if I thought they screwed up. Or is it
    that my expectations are out of line? I orderd a 12X18 for now, but I
    would have liked to have the 24X36 just for something different. Can
    you get large prints like this without InkJet? I expect it would cost
    more in that case.


    -- Sanjay
  2. The problem is neither the film, nor the ink-jet print. It's the fatality of a mediocre scan combined with an obviously bad printer profile.

    Color negative film has the catch-22 of being more difficult to scan the greater the enlargement size. This is why I'm still a fan of conventional optical enlargements for *big* prints from negs while I'm cautious about the digital scan and print option unless I'm personally doing the final print. Slides on the other hand are where the digital scan and print process shines and is less erratic.

    You should be able to find a lab that does conventional, optical prints from negs if you shop around. There *are* labs that know how to get a 24x36 from Reala via a digital scan and print process, even ink-jet, but they are the unfortunate exception and not the norm.

    One strong point to add. If you supply a guide print, even a 4x6, *any* commercial labs is obligated to match that print fairly close to a bigger enlargement, or you don't have to pay for the final print. You likely should have let the lab use the nice 12x18 as a guide since now you to rely on their good intentions if you want your money back. With no guide print they can make the print look as they wish, and you've just seen the result.
  3. IMO it is not the use of inkjet, per se, which is the problem but probably the quality of the scans that they used. Some years ago I got a poster sized print from Clark laboratories which was not bad for the money and way back in '96 it had to be a conventional print, they could still be doing them. Another way to go is to have a print from a scan that you provide, if you have access to a film scanner. I've had a few poster-size prints from my own scans on CD at a branch of "The great American frame-up" which had a half-price sale this time last year. At that time I was paying only $12.50 for a 36" x 24" - the m/c took quite a while to read the 60MB files I fed it but the results were not at all bad and 3 of them are in the window of a local shop even as I type. Neil Ralley Stained Glass Photography
  4. I would have serious doubts about printing 36x24 from 35mm unless you used tripod and nice optics, but what "looks good" is a subjective topic, so if u feel it's ok for you - "spotchy" and "blocky" - order a drum scan with 5000 dpi (50-70$).

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