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Author Topic: Favorite Print Sizes  (Read 16384 times)

Stephenaweiss

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Favorite Print Sizes
« on: June 11, 2006, 10:59:29 AM »

Could people let me know what their favorite size is to print landscapes, and what image size you print, with what paper size, and what frame size?

I use the Epson 4800

My favorite landscape size is 16 x 24, on 17"  roll paper, matted and framed at 22 x 30

With 13 x 19 and 11 x 14 size paper, What image size do you use?

Is the 11 x 14 size just for portraits in your experience, or can you use it for landscape, and what image size or margins do you use?

thanks, sw
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2006, 02:34:40 PM »

Stephen,

I'm an old fogy, for whom "large" means 11x14, and "normal" means 8x10. In my collection I have photos by a number of 20th century photographers, most commonly about 8x10 mounted on about 14x18 mats. By Minor White I have prints 11x14 mounted to 16x20, and a number of 4x5 prints mounted on 8x10 mats. So that shows where my prejudices come from.

For my own photographs, landscapes and others, I usually print initially on letter-size (8.5 x 11) paper, and for exhibits or for hanging on walls I print 10x15 on 11.7 x 16.5 paper and mat/frame to 16 x 20. On rare occasions I print on 13 x 19 paper (the biggest sheet size for my Epson 2200 printer) and frame to 20 x 24, but that is too big for any of the walls in my own house.

My current main camera is a Canon 10D (6.3 MP). If and when I get a 5D or master the art of stitching, I'll probably make more prints in larger sizes. So far, in almost 50 years of photography, I have made exactly two prints (conventional darkroom prints) at 16 x 20. I like large landscapes, but not so big that I can't enjoy them when I get as close as about two feet from them.

There, I've stood up for the "little" print. Now let others tell you that it's not worth printing anything smaller than 48 x 60    

Eric
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Mark D Segal

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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2006, 06:21:44 PM »

Alain Briot contributed an interesting essay to this website on the topic of print size. Personally, Most of my prints are on Epson Enhanced Matte 8.5 * 11 inch sheets with about a one inch border all around, but this varies depending on the cropping of the photos. If I think certain images deserve larger treatment, I make A3s with actual image size depending on the aspect ratio emerging from any cropping. They fit nicely into manageable-sized portfolio boxes and they are convenient to view without hanging them on a wall. My approach to print size is intuitive - just based on what I think would look better bigger or smaller; this can depend on the subject matter, the amount of detail one wants to easily see, the mood and impression one wants to convey etc. However one judges it, the key thing is to "right-size" the images, rather than stick with one size or another dogmatically.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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sgwrx

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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2006, 08:08:58 PM »

on the R2400 i was quite excited about as big as possible. recently with all the 8.5x11 samples i've been trying, i really kind of like that size but i haven't figured out the matting or framing dimensions. i have one landscape i've given as a gift, 10x14 matted to 16x20 and i like that size. i try to keep even matting, but have also seen a lot where the matting is thicker on the bottom than the top.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2006, 08:40:52 PM »

Quote
My approach to print size is intuitive - just based on what I think would look better bigger or smaller; this can depend on the subject matter, the amount of detail one wants to easily see, the mood and impression one wants to convey etc. However one judges it, the key thing is to "right-size" the images, rather than stick with one size or another dogmatically.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=67932\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
As usual, Mark, you have hit the nail on the head with great clarity. "Right-sizing" the images and the mats is definitely the key.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Stephenaweiss

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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2006, 11:46:54 PM »

Quote
Alain Briot contributed an interesting essay to this website on the topic of print size.

However one judges it, the key thing is to "right-size" the images, rather than stick with one size or another dogmatically.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=67932\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Mark, do you have a link to that article.

I am trying to sell landscapes, and I do not cut my own mattes, so to save money I am trying to stay with one large: 16 x 24, one medium 11 x 14, and 8.5 x 11 for small sizes...s


BTW, do you have any information about how to make the epson print driver give an even 1" margin on sheet paper?

thanks, s
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Mark D Segal

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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2006, 08:13:44 AM »

Stephen,

Here is the link to the Briot article:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/reflections2.shtml

If you are printing on an Epson 4000, there was one version of the printer driver that failed to center the prints. Epson then released a new driver version that fixed the problem - mostly. So first thing is to check whether you have the latest driver version. Even with the newest driver, be it on the 4000 or the 4800, there is a very slight mismatch, but it is not bothersome.

You can center the prints "by hand", which requires that you take account of the fact that the native maximum margin on a cut sheet is thicker at the bottom than at the top of a portrait-oriented page, and go into "print with preview" and do the arithmetic necessary to get the image centered. Here is a link to an article that shows how to do it:

http://www.computer-darkroom.com/ps7_page/page_layout.htm

While this article uses Mac OS and Photoshop 7, the principle is generic. I have also seen another article on this, but I forget where. With a Google search doubtless you will find additional material.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml

Ray

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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2006, 09:19:45 AM »

My favourite prints size is the largest my printer is capable of producing which, in the 3:2 format of 35mm, is 36"x24", on my Epson 7600.

Photographs, from a very early age, have always seemed too small to me. The reasons for this are partly due to the expense of producing large prints in a chemical darkroom and partly due to the fact that large 'darkroom' produced prints are not sharp on close inspection.

The same reasons are carried forward in the digital age. We don't expect impressionist paintings to be sharp on close inspection, but for some reason we do expect photographs to be sharp. We are trapped in a paradigm that insists that a photo should be sharp, viewed from a distance of 2 feet, whatever the size, but a painting can be as blurred as fashion dictates.
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Mark D Segal

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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2006, 09:34:07 AM »

Sharpness and the rendition of fine detail are two inherent distinguishing characteristics between photography and painting as art forms, (though the "Old Masters" did some incredibly detailed work with a brush - but that is only one school of art amongst a great many more for which "sharpness" is a non-issue). Because the art forms are different in these ways, people have differing expectations of them, and many photographers naturally try to exploit the maximum of the medium's potential as appropriate to the intended effect.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Geoff Wittig

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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2006, 04:00:36 PM »

There's always a temptation to print as big as you can given the limitations of your image file quality and/or your printing method. Having said that, at least my photos seem to settle into discrete categories. Portraits of people seem to work very well as 8x10 or sometimes 11x14" prints; anything bigger really starts to look self-consciously showy, at least to my eye.
Using an Eos-1Ds II, I'm happy with landscape image quality up to 24x36" prints, but practically speaking for glass-covered, matted and framed prints it's too difficult to handle something that big. I have settled on 20x30" prints matted inside 24x36" frames; these frames are widely available (i.e. cheap) and this image size is big enough to have impact.
Of course, all bets are off with stitched images. I have been very happy with the quality of panoramic prints as large as 23" high by 80" long. The 23" width is the limit for my Epson 7600 leaving a small margin for handling, while the 80" length is the biggest my local service bureau can contact-mount on a board. This method yields a durable coated print that is rigidly mounted yet still light enough to move around.
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Ray

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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 01:06:18 AM »

Quote
Sharpness and the rendition of fine detail are two inherent distinguishing characteristics between photography and painting as art forms[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=67983\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's true. But you never see less detail as a result of enlarging a print. In fact, the reverse is often true. Unless you have very keen eyesight or are very shortsighted, you are likely to miss detail in small prints. I like my prints to be large, just as I like my TV screen to be large. Even a low resolution (standard definition) broadcast looks better to me on a 36" screen, and when it comes to high definition broadcasts, which are actually much lower resolution than any Canon DSLR produces, a 36" screen is too small.
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DerekKemp

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Favorite Print Sizes
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2006, 11:52:55 AM »

Finding this thread a little late perhaps, but I thought the subject begged the voicing of a pet peeve that has often got to me.

Owning only an A4 size printer, and an Epson, I am constantly annoyed at the inability to easily print a full frame , that is  2:3 ratio, at the full printable width of 8.3". This requires paper longer than 11" and is virtually impossible to find precut.
Epson make only two papers 14" long, neither of which are ideal.

It would seem the only way is to buy non-Epson papers that are 17" wide and cut your own. ( 2 x 8.5").
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gryffyn

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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2006, 01:52:11 PM »

Quote
I am trying to sell landscapes, and I do not cut my own mattes, so to save money I am trying to stay with one large: 16 x 24, one medium 11 x 14, and 8.5 x 11 for small sizes...s

I subscribe to Michael's viewpoint that images need to be cropped the way they need to be cropped for optimum effect.  I crop the way I feel is best for each image...which means that I cut custom mattes for all large prints I do.

I feel the "standard" sizes (8x10, 11x14, etc) are too limiting, and also do not map well to the 2x3 sensor ratio (if you've composed perfectly and no cropping is needed or wanted, something I find rare!).

Cutting your own mattes is pretty easy.  You can get some relatively inexpensive matte cutting jigs ($bit over 100 or thereabouts for the Logan Compact cutter).  This reduces your matte costs substantially and gives you a lot more flexibility to present your images to their best advantage.

YMMV, of course.
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mikeseb

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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2006, 07:50:01 PM »

I've taken a middle ground approach. I crop according to the dictates of each image, rather than trying to shoehorn them all into precut mat windows. On the other hand, for my show of 16 images back in the spring I wanted a visually uniform look to all of the matted and framed works. This approach has economic advantages as well, because my framer was able to offer me a significant volume discount on framing materials and mat board.

So we standardized on 20 x 24" external size, enabling her to place case orders for materials; any larger would have entailed a much higher marginal cost for framing. She was then able to cut all mats to this external size, and custom cut the windows. It turned out, without conscious thought on my part, that there were only about 4 different sizes of window needed. This required some compromises in mat dimensions, but it came together beautifully.

Good thing to take up with your framer, if you intend to mat and frame a large series of works.

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jimhuber

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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2006, 05:34:52 PM »

Primarily I print my landscapes at 12x18 on 13x19 paper, and most portraits at 6x9 on 8.5x11 paper. Occasionally I'll print something at 10x15 on 11x17 paper, but I can't recall the last time I bought 11x17 paper so the intermediate size doesn't seem to get used very often.

I buy my mats and frames from Frame Destination, who sell metal and wood frames in the 3:2 aspect ratio, and I mount them myself. The 6x9 shots I generally mat to 11x14 and the 12x18 shots I generally mat to 20x26.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2006, 05:36:34 PM by jimhuber »
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rsamco

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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2006, 09:51:30 PM »

Because I can display far fewer photos (principally because of limited wallspace) than I have pictures that I wish to display, I have standardized on the following sizes so that I can quickly and inexpensively change displayed images.  It also helps to decrease cost and inventory.

frame / image
16x20 / 10.5x13.5
18x24 / 11.5x17.5
22x28 / 15.5x21.5
30.5x38.5 / 23.5x31.5

By and large, I have been very happy with these sizes -- finding that I am able to crop most of my images to meet these aspect ratios.  However I typically do resize and stretch/shrink one of an image's dimensions by a few percent to optimize the crop.

The first 3 frame sizes are standard and the first two mats are also commonly found precut (e.g., from Light Impressions).  The last size is dictated by my HP DJ130 printer with a max. width of 23.6"

- Rick
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sgwrx

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« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2006, 09:58:31 PM »

speaking of frame sizes... here's a little guide i put together for the R2400 showing crop size in relation to matt size and frame size (two "standard" US frame sizes)


target frame size: 20x24"

3.5" border   13x17" print size      2.5" width crop
4" border        12x16" print size   2" width crop
4.5" border   11x15" print size      1.5" width crop
5" border    10x14" print size   1" width crop

target frame size: 16x20"

1.5" border   13x17" print size   2.5" width crop
2" border    12x16" print size   2" width crop
2.5" border   11x15" print size      1.5" width crop
3" border    10x14" print size   1" width crop
3.5" border   9x13" print size   .5" width crop
4" border    8x12" print size    zero crop
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Ben Rubinstein

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« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2006, 02:04:46 PM »

It's different now from when I shot with medium format when I was printing at 8X10"/12X10"/16X12"/20X8" (pano). Now it is mainly 8X12"/10X15"/18X12", I matt them with a double extra thick white matt 4" on each side. That in a frame is pretty impressive and the clients like it.

That is of course for my landscape work, for wedding/portraiture stuff, sometimes the 4/3 crop works well such as in group/family photos, sometimes the 2/3 crop is better, for vertical portraiture for example (I actually think of the 7/5 crop as my 'ultimate' it is how I see photos!). It really depends on the photo and the sizes the client wants to buy. I don't always shoot for a 4/3 crop though I should really but the 4/3 crop as standard in the wedding world is disappearing rapidly with modern storybook albums and the fact that far more people are shooting 35mm DSLR's in the market these days than the almost compulsory 'blads that used to be the trademark of the industry.

stever

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« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2006, 08:56:14 PM »

for my own use, i mount on acid free foamcore with photomount - mounting a blank piece of the same paper to the rear to so it stays flat over time, trim borderless and hang on a white wall  - with little enough invested, i can hang lots of prints and rotate them

i print whatever proportions i think are right for the subject

i'm often not happy with the size/proportions of 8 1/2x11 and have been using 11.7x16 and 13x19 cut in half for smaller prints
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thewanderer

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« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2006, 12:07:15 PM »

as a wildlife photographer, i think big animals, should be printed big,, 24x36,, but a sparrow maybe not so,,,i feel the large mammals or equiv lose there place in an 8x10,, granted no one or few want something that big, but they do look good,, rocks flying look like rocks flying, not bugs,,etc,,so big is my mantra
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