Print Size

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by peter_schaefermeier|2, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. I just took the first photo with a medium format camera (Mamiya RZ 67). It's a
    6x7 slide (Kodak E 100 VS). What is the maximum appropriate format for a print?

    Thanks for your help.


  2. The maximum print size is limited only by your attention to composition, technique, enlarging or scanning equipment and good taste. A 24x30 inch print would not be a stretch, given due diligence.
  3. david_henderson


    It depends also on how you're going to get the print made and viewing distance. If you're going to get an analogue (conventional) print such as an Ilfochrome and people will be able to get close to it, then I wouldn't personally go above 24 x 20 from even the best 67 transparency. Across a room and I'd stretch that to 30 x 24.

    If you're scanning and printing digitally then with a well made drum scan, excellent file creation skills and a LightJet or similar then frankly you could just about have whatever size you want given that people won't get too close to very large prints. Your limit here effectively becomes the capability of the machine and most LightJets etc max out at 50" wide. I have 36" sq prints here made that way that appear sharp without needing to be far away.

    If you're using a film scanner such as a Nikon 9000 then IMO you could go to 30x24.

    All of this assumes that whatever processes you follow are performed at best quality. If the transparency isn't really sharp, or impossibly contrasty, or the scanning method/quality you use isn't right for the size you choose, or you push to the limit and then let people view it with their noses to the glass, all bets are off. Likewise, the cheapest route available will not allow you to conclude whether the higher quality options would work or not.
  4. I have had 60X60s made frome Hassey neg. film....depends on what you are looking should be able to get bigger from the larger neg.....but you must use a tripod, and good exposure....not under exposed. I have never done digital, so no nothing about scanning and printing from scanned file.
  5. My experience is that digital 24x28 inch prints, via scanning film using Nikon 9000, are routine. BUT the nature, detail, tonality and contrast of the subject itself is critical. The human eye (and mind) can be fooled, yet it also notices, quite automatically, when faults or artifacts popup in flesh tones or extremely fine detail such as fur or feathers. Conversely, cityscapes are more immune to fault recognition. Clever post processing, careful printing and/or professional drum scanning can yield gallery quality prints beyond 46x54 inches, if the subject is conducive. Good Luck!
  6. ldw


    I have made many 20x20's with excellent results from 6x6 slides (mainly Velvia 50) both conventionally (ilfochrome) and from drum scans with a Lightjet. I am confident I could easily go up to 30x30 with little challenge.
  7. Hi there,

    I typically will easily print 16"x20" images w/ a 6x7 transparency or negative. But, those prints are typically using my best technique - MLU, tripod, etc. If I feel that the quality is there, I've readily gone larger. I do have one photo that was taken hand-held and I've gotten a 48"x60" print out of it, but I feel very lucky with that one...

    Good luck,


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