Printing large/tonality Fuji bw 690iii vs 4x5. MAYbe even 6x6/7

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by crumpet8, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    hi,

    So I am currently printing landscape pictures up to 16x20 with 35mm and 6x6 120 negatives and have had some comments regarding tonality and detail that was not up to scratch. Someone I respect suggested to only shoot 4x5 and above, even if only printing 8x10 or 16x20. Mainly I’ve only used my 4x5 in studio for portraits so far.

    Granted there’s always some finer development I could be doing, but assuming that area is ok, I was wondering if I could get away with the gw690iii instead of the 4x5 all the time, and if id see differences between those prints and the hasselblad?
     
  2. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    It's more a logistical issue, and whether or not you'll need the controls, movements, and lens selection a view camera provides, versus the more spontaneous use of a rangefinder. Over the last six months I've been printing a lot of 16X20's from 4x5, 6x9 roll film backs, and from my GS690ii rangefinder. Sheet film is easier to print from, while in the field, roll film backs can seem finicky at first, but excellent prints can be made from all the above if you are intelligent about film choice. I really like the proportion of 6x9, so tend to replicate that longer rectangle proportion in the print. But I don't like going larger than nominal 16x20 from 6x9 b&w film or it looks not quite right in a portfolio that contains 4x5 and 8x10:enlargements too. With Ektar color neg film, I can get clean 20x24's from 6x9 without conspicuous grain.
     
  3. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Oh yeah, 6x9 gives a visibly richer print than even 6x7, and quite a bit more than a Hassie. If you don't mind working with a fixed single lens, that Fuji is a gem. Last fall I walked over a hundred miles with one in the mtns, simply because I couldn't find room in my pack for my 4x5 plus all the necessary food and mtn gear. Got snowed in awhile, and I'm not in the mood for a 90 lb pack like back when I was a 40 yr old teenager. I carried both Acros film and TM400 for the 6x9 rangefinder and got wonderful shots. I can hand-hold it at slower speeds than my Nikon, but had along a tripod too.
     
  4. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    Printing a 35mm at 16x20 is something I would never attempt. To me, 8x10 is about as far as I can take a 35mm negative, if we're talking about a landscape where detail is important. If we're talking about street photography where you don't need to see the pores on a person's face and the grain can add a mood to the shot, then obviously we can get away with much larger prints. On the flip side, I don't think you need to go for a full on 4x5 (unless you want to, which I do). I should think a 6x6 120 should give you good enough detail and tonality on a 16x20 print. You're kind of pushing the limit there (in my opinion) but if your camera, development, and printing techniques are good, I don't think that would much of an issue. Of course that also depends on the lens (both taking and enlarger), developer, and film that you use (garbage in/garbage out). That's one reason I love TMX for landscapes. It's a very fine grain film with good tonality.

    One of the advantages to a 16x20 print over an 8x10 is the print is so much larger (4x's the size) that you don't view it as close. A 6x6 negative has about 3.5x's the surface area of a 35mm negative. So 35mm enlarged to 8x10 isn't too far off from a 6x6 120 enlarged to 16x20. And 8x10 is so small, that you want to stick your nose right up on it, so high resolution of every tiny detail is very important. But at 16x20, you tend to stand back about 5 feet or so when viewing it, so you don't need the same amount of resolution. So I usually don't have much of an issue with 6x6 120 film shots blown up to 16x20. Of course, technique and equipment will matter because, in my opinion, in either situation you're approaching the reasonable limits of the format.

    Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules with any of this. Every image is different. Every photographer is different. And ever critic will want different things.
     
  5. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    I had 20 x 30 inch prints made from my 6 x 9 negatives. They look great to me.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you are printing to a 4x5 aspect ratio (16"x20") than there won't be a significant difference between a 6x7 negative and a 6x9 negative, unless there is a significant difference in the qualities of the lenses.
    It is different if you are printing to a 2x3 aspect ratio.
     
  7. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Indeed. Think more like 14 X 20.
     
  8. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Well, a 30 X 40 inch print from 6x9 might be fine across a hallway, but it will be mush up close. The Marlboro Man was a 35mm shot poorly focused, and it looks fine on a forty foot wide billboard viewed from a third a mile away. But I don't subscribe to that "normal viewing distance" nonsense when it comes to my own prints.
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    I'm actually thinking the 690 will replace my 35mm camera for walk around (without target) shooting, whilst the 4x5 I can take out to more specific sites. The 35mm I can keep for family/fun.

    I also like the 6x9 proportions. Good to hear that up to 16x20 you feel the look matches a portfolio with larger negative enlargements. Maybe a GW690 is in my future :smile:

    Interesting point about tendencies in viewing different paper sizes. Im going to reprint some of these to continue to see how much I can get out of the negatives and get more aesthetic variation, but maybe limiting them to 8x10 is also a good idea, thanks. Later photos can always be larger.

    Will probably print the native 6x9 ratio with the 690 as I already like the 35mm framing. And yep, I find photographers really like to get in close to a print compared to the general public :smile:
     

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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    apologies for the poor lighting on the prints, in my apartment, on the chairs. Thought I'd just show what pictures I'm taking rather than quality/detail.
     
  11. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    As you know, the Hasselblad is an SLR, most 4x5s are view cameras and the GW690 is a rangefinder. The Fuji GW690 has a very sharp lens but you're stuck with a 90mm lens if you're fine with that. The 6x9 format is slightly longer format than a 16x20. If you like full frame, and print 16x20, you might consider 6x7 format. But the Fuji rangefinders are extremely light and great for hiking and landscapes. I've printed 16x20 prints off of a 6x7 negative with Ilford XP1 and it's virtually grainless.
     
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Fuji made em 6x7, 6x8, and 6x9. The 90mm lens is superb. To complicate the discussion, a Mamiya 7 does offer lens interchangeability, but there's a huge jump from 80 to 150 with nothing equivalent to a "normal" focal length. Fuji did make interchangeable lens 6x6 rangefinders. But I really prefer the wider aspect of 6x9, similar to 35mm. I would have gotten a 5x7 view camera if that size of film was commonly available in both color and b&w, but it wasn't. There are also technical reasons per masking equip why 8x10 prints better. But 6x9 is a nice compromise when portability and rapid use is a priority. I seldom shoot a Nikon anymore.
     
  13. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Fuji made em 6x7, 6x8, and 6x9. The 90mm lens is superb. To complicate the discussion, a Mamiya 7 does offer lens interchangeability, but there's a huge jump from 80 to 150 with nothing equivalent to a "normal" focal length. Fuji did make interchangeable lens 6x6 rangefinders. But I really prefer the wider aspect of 6x9, similar to 35mm. I would have gotten a 5x7 view camera if that size of film was commonly available in both color and b&w, but it wasn't. There are also technical reasons per masking equip why 8x10 prints better. But 6x9 is a nice compromise when portability and rapid use is a priority. I seldom shoot a Nikon anymore.
     
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  15. mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    I have 3 Fuji 6x9s. A 65mm and two 90mm. I love these cameras. If I could only have 1 camera, GW690III. I have tons of beautiful old Nikon stuff, never use it. 4x5 usually means a tripod which helps a ton on vibration and camera shake. I rarely print bigger than 11x14. Which is something around 4.5X print from a 6x9.

    16x20 from an 8x10 negative is 2X :smile: Sweet!
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Ok with one lens, thanks for the tip regarding 6x7.it seems a couple of people have excellent, clean 6x7 or 6x9 prints up to 16x20 so may well worth be considering. I guess 6x9 takes less enlargement on a 16x20 sheet though, but loses height (assuming side margins are the same. I guess this would mean it’s going to have a small gain compared to 6x7?

    I think I’m putting my Nikon on a shelf for a while too. Shame, because that f3 and 50mm 1.2 is such a nice combo. The mamiya 7s are out of Mymensingh price range. Twice as much atleast...
     
  17. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Oh, I think full 6x9 on 16x20 (about 14x20) is a noticeable improvement over enlargements from 6x7, and my darkroom gear and protocol is about as good as it gets. This is especially the case when you opt for something a bit grainier than medium speed film, namely TMY400. It's impressive.
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Thanks Drew. Looks like ill borrow one this week and probably end up buying one the following week. Then the question will be if i end up keeping my hasselblad or newer 645 system... I think both have decent macro capabilities, and I find most of my macro/close focus shooting is not in square format in the end...
     
  19. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber

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    A good 6X9 with Tmax or Delta 100 can produce great results to 16X20, as good as 4X5, in terms of weight, my Crown Graphic is a little lighter than my Mamiya Universal, not much bigger, and if need movements then I pack it. But, the roll film backs holds the film in aliment while a sheet film holder can be prone to some buckling. Not sure how common in your part of the world, but I have grown to really like my Kodak Tourister, scale focus 6X9 that uses 620 film, I rewind Tmax on to 620 spools. As a folder easy to carry on a hike. My Tourister has a 4 element lens. I shoot on a tripod or monopod F11, set to infinity.
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Thanks :smile: havent heard from that Kodak camera before, but I probably couldn’t be bothered rewindining 620 film onto 120. I have an old 6x9 folder with zone focu only, but mainly just use it on holidays where I pack super light.i may as well just shoot 4x5 if I’m going to be respooling film.

    Was actually out in the sun shooting a couple of shots on my horseman today actually! Hope the good weather sticks around :smile:
     
  21. cramej

    cramej Subscriber

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    Those prints look horrible! The tonality is way off and I can see the grain from a mile away. At that size, you should only be making contact prints!:wink:

    Seriously, what's the reason this person says you should only be printing from 4x5 (or larger) even at a 8x10 print size? IMO that's pure snobbery. Respect or not, everyone's standards are different and this person just wants you to conform to theirs.

    Do YOU like your work? Should you print 16x20's from 35mm? Maybe not, but if you really want a 16x20 of something you shot on 35mm, then by all means print it.
     
  22. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber

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    Perhaps folks are reading old how to do books and scanned magazine articles from the now distant past, even the 70s and 80s are now vintage. In the old days meaning the 30 and 40s of AA time film was very different, grain was a problem, lens were not what they are today, (there were indeed great lens but most were just adequate) and a professional camera was a 8X10, 35mm was miniature. Tmax and Delta are much different than 50s vintage Plus X and Trix, modern Trix is not the same film as Trix from the 80s. I print 35mm to 11X14 without noticeable grain. What I get from 4X5 is movement, much more detail, shooting Tmax 100 at around 200lines PM you get many more lines of detail with a 4X5 negative than with MF or 35 of the same scene with same angle of view. What I get from 35mm is long and very wide lens and motor drive. I like 6X9 as midpoint, light enough to carry, larger negative.
     
  23. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    My 16x20 prints from last week are under the flattening plate glass right now, with a very nice 6x7 print at the top of the stack. But if you lift that up and look at the prints made from 8x10 film underneath, you'd ask what is wrong with the first one? So rather than fight the inevitable, when I shoot 35mm, I deliberately choose grainier fast films like Delta 3200 for their poetic effect. Lots of detail just won't be there anyway. With 6x9 I can go either way, up to a certain point. But if I don't switch hit from time to time, I seem to go stale. I shot 6x9 for six months and got very nice images. But now I'm back to 8x10 very productively. A change of format from time to time can work wonders, just like a vacation.
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    Yep, I think I’m going to be using my 35mm in a similiar way going forwards. the whole thing hasn’t inspired me to shoot more 4x5 outside. Was out today shooting and will develop and pick up a gw690 to test out tomorrow :smile:
     
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    crumpet8

    crumpet8 Member

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    should say HAS inspired me
     
  26. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I shoot 3mm, 120 [6x6] and 4"x5". I have a few 35mm negatives that have made stunning 24"x36" prints, but those are rare. I have made many large prints from 6x6 and 4"x5" and those are much easier to make than with 35mm. The improvement from 35mm to 6x6 is greater than 6x6 to 4"x5". I have more choices of lenses, for myself, in 6x6 than 4"x5" and yes I could buy more lenses for the 4"x5" cameras. I prefer the flexibility and lens choice in 6x6, especially the rectilinearly correct SWC, over 4"x5". I have rarely needed the shift and tilt capability for landscapes. I use a fine grain developer, replenished XTOL, and Tri-X film for black & white and Kodak's Portra, VividColor and UltraColor 400 speed films for color negative work for prints from 11"x14" to 30"x30".
     
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