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    Default OT: Blowing up Photo Negative

    Have an old school negative, large format about 2" x 3". Photo was probably taken about 1920. Would like to print this in poster size, say 2' x 3'. What are my options? Do they still have photography shops where they do this? Seems doubtful. Can the negative be scanned, inverted, and then printed digitally? What quality might I expect? Ideally I'd like to find a walk in store that could do this for me rather than mail it off to who knows where never to be seen again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adh2000 View Post
    Have an old school negative, large format about 2" x 3". Photo was probably taken about 1920. Would like to print this in poster size, say 2' x 3'. What are my options? Do they still have photography shops where they do this? Seems doubtful. Can the negative be scanned, inverted, and then printed digitally? What quality might I expect? Ideally I'd like to find a walk in store that could do this for me rather than mail it off to who knows where never to be seen again.
    "Large" format are five and ten inches a side. And more. Think "view camera" or aerial photos of pre-digital era.

    Scanners work line by line, so that's your best bet. Common, everywhere, too. The output size isn't "copy shop" work, but rather sign, poster, and industrial graphics firms. No sweat. They can work from a file sent over the 'net or on electronic media. Output goods arrive rolled up in a tube.

    Photo optical, no electronics? I once had access to an ancient Eastman C3 enlarger over eight feet tall that could easily do that. Output tray-processed by hand.

    Digital has pretty much relegated that sort of gear to the tiniest of niches, though.

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    Thermite is correct. 2"x3" is a medium format size of film. There are places that will do a print for you, but having a 24x36 printed in house is not all that common. A 24x36 print that was done in house (as a photo shop and not a studio) was uncommon back before the days of digital. You will likely need to send it off to a major player to get that done. If you are looking to have it digitized and then printed onto a poster, then your options are varied. Drum scanning is much more accurate but is much less common and costs a bit more. The other option would be standard scanning using a medium format scanner. A quick google search shows a place or two in Milwaukee that do that kind of thing.

    This is coming from someone who actually owns a medium format camera and has rolls of 120 film in my office.

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    A good flatbed scanner made for negs and transparencies (Epson has a few) can do a decent job with medium format film, but you want a pretty big print, so a proper film scanner would give better quality. OTOH, how good is the neg to begin with? It may not be worth that level of scanning. Low cost way might be to tape it to a window and shoot it with a dSLR. Most photo editing programs can reverse it to positive. There seem to be a lot of people around that can do large inkjet prints/posters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by medsar View Post
    This is coming from someone who actually owns a medium format camera and has rolls of 120 film in my office.
    Still have one somewhere up in the attic meself. Dad's Kodak foldout from somewhre around the time he was at NACA, Langley 1931-1936. Uses "620" film, IIRC. Metal spools, not wooden.

    The bellows SHOULD be dust by now, but who knows. I was using it even after Dad had gone over to Leica (1952, IIIf) and I migrated to Mamiya-Sekor (1968 1000TL) in 35mm format.

    Largest blow-up I did off the old C3 were 16" x 20". It's what we had the most paper for!

    One test set, lawn of the Capitol, was off the Mamiya-Sekor, H&W Control's modified microfilm. That matched the 5 X 7 Gundlach 90 mm Schneider for fine detail, but not for the "warmth" of the Agfa 125 B&W we used for tourist groups.


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    Most scanners can do it.

    If you are going to do it yourself you need to be aware of some things. They make devices with mirrors in them to backlight the negative as you need the light to go through a negative, not just reflect off of it as with a print. You place the negative on the glass of the scanner and the mirror device over it. Probably best to read the instructions. You would want to set your scanner software for the maximum resolution (dots per inch). But not many printers will go up to 2' x 3'.

    There are places which do this and an internet search should find them. I see that others have already suggested some. You may even find a local drug store that can get it done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adh2000 View Post
    Have an old school negative, large format about 2" x 3". Photo was probably taken about 1920. Would like to print this in poster size, say 2' x 3...
    Find a friend or a local camera store to scan it at a minimum of 1200 pixels per inch resolution. This will result in a 100 pixels per inch in a 2ft x 3ft print, which is about the minimum resolution required, considering the average viewing distance for a print of that size. Assuming this is a monochrome (black & white) negative, be aware that a print from your average printing service will likely have a slight color cast to it, because color inks will be mixed to achieve shades of grey. For a print with no color cast you'll need to send the file to a fine art printer who will utilize monochrome (grey) inks to print it.

    Mike

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    I think scanning will give disappointing resolution when enlarged
    I think you want to enlarge optically before going digital

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    I think scanning will give disappointing resolution when enlarged
    I think you want to enlarge optically before going digital
    That’s what I was thinking. But it turns out scanners have more resolution than I thought:

    Q&A: What's the Best DPI or Resolution to Scan Your Film Negatives? • Scan Your Entire Life

    Up to 12,800 dpi, wow. What is the resolution of the silver iodide crystals or whatever that’s on the negative?

    I’ll try some places tomorrow, but the usual problem with any of the services is finding someone that knows what the equipment is doing or any technical knowledge. The person behind the counter has been trained to push the button. That’s about it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    a slide light box if placed over negative will shine light through it for scanning.
    .
    typical film resolution. if you take average 35mm camera with average high quality lenses and tried to photograph a full size newspaper opened up on the floor when you put negative in enlarger and tried to make as big as the newspaper was you will normally not be able to read the newspaper image.
    .
    unless camera and film setup as microfilm photograph a typical photograph negative is in the 1200 ppi range. if you enlarge 10x bigger you night be down to 120 ppi resolution, most people can see differences below 150 ppi resolution and 200 ppi and higher pictures, microfilm usually at least 2400 ppi

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    Quote Originally Posted by adh2000 View Post
    ................

    I’ll try some places tomorrow, but the usual problem with any of the services is finding someone that knows what the equipment is doing or any technical knowledge. The person behind the counter has been trained to push the button. That’s about it.
    Then you are in the wrong store. There is a place near me that is a specialty shop that does this kind of work. If you can't find one up your way send me a PM and I'll send you the link for this place.

    Steve

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    You definitely want to take the negative to a modern digital photo lab and have them do a high resolution scan, make adjustmenst and print from the resulting file. It will cost you a bit but the quality will be extremely high. This is a pretty standard procedure for the last couple of decades. It may be especially useful if the negative is not so great or has any damage.

    These folks can help— CHROMATICS NASHVILLE - HOME

    Depending on the negative, you might have it printed in a traditional wet darkroom. If its a good piece of film, a good printer can make you a nice print.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adh2000 View Post
    That’s what I was thinking. But it turns out scanners have more resolution than I thought:

    Q&A: What's the Best DPI or Resolution to Scan Your Film Negatives? • Scan Your Entire Life

    Up to 12,800 dpi, wow. What is the resolution of the silver iodide crystals or whatever that’s on the negative?

    I’ll try some places tomorrow, but the usual problem with any of the services is finding someone that knows what the equipment is doing or any technical knowledge. The person behind the counter has been trained to push the button. That’s about it.

    .
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    from your link

    12800 dpi is the “maximum interpolated resolution” that our Epson V600 scanners will scan. But, this is interpolated, which is a fancy way of saying “digital.” The scanner actually only scans up to 9600 dpi (the optical resolution). But using some technical “magic”, the software takes the 9600 dpi image and creates a higher resolution scan out of it

    pixels it seems are also less sensitive than photo IOW each pixel is less useful than the equivalent area of film

    the point is he is enlarging, and enlarging is where the probelm comes

    try this

    dunno if I understand it

    from your link

    12800 dpi is the “maximum interpolated resolution” that our Epson V600 scanners will scan. But, this is interpolated, which is a fancy way of saying “digital.” The scanner actually only scans up to 9600 dpi (the optical resolution). But using some technical “magic”, the software takes the 9600 dpi image and creates a higher resolution scan out of it

    BTW I tried scanning a negative on my multifunction years ago and is was terrible

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    i have scanned negatives before (with a slide light box to shine light through it) but dont expect miracles. my old company had all microfilm drawings scanned to tiff files.
    .
    bulk scanning by the 10,000's and system probably had easily 1/2 million scanned. what we found out is maybe 2% scanned images were either tool light or too dark and needed to be sent out again for rescanning with a note to manually confirm the scanned tiff image was readable
    .
    apparently when auto scanned normally no human is looking at the drawing images close up to see if each one is readable

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    It is common for fine art and commercial photgraphers to capture images on film, scan the negative and print digitally. The work produced is equal to the best photo/optical systems common 15 to 20 yrs ago that I was doing then. Finding a shop capable of doing this work should not be difficult. We have a place here in the town of 80K people where I e that does superb work. Get on the phone. Call a local commerical photographer for advice in your area. They will point you to a lab that can do the work.

    Denis

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    I'm thinking he is asking on a machinists website because he is unwilling to pay artisan rates

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    I'm thinking he is asking on a machinists website because he is unwilling to pay artisan rates
    Could well be the case. Every once in a while an acquaintance will ask if I could just make this “simple little part” (for a six pack or similar). Since they are not familiar with machining or design, often they really are asking me to reverse engineer a part that actually is fairly complicated, perhaps precise, and maybe associated with potential injury in the event of failure. I usually dream up a polite excuse and point them toward a commercial machine shop. That usually ends their “need” for said part. For real friends who have clue, I will do what I can safely do.

    Denis

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    I have a lot od 35 mm color slides. Last year, I scanned a few of them on my Canon 9000F flatbed scanner, which came with holding devices for slides and negatives. There was no mirror thing needed. The max resolution is only 600 dpi. I think the results are very good for my purposes and I made some good 5x7 prints at a CVS.

    Here is a sample, my 1967 MGB shot in February, 1968. Note, you need to blow off dust and such before scanning if you need professional results.

    img00017.jpg

    My local FedEx Office (used to be called Kinkos) can make very large prints from digital files.

    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by L Vanice View Post
    I have a lot od 35 mm color slides. Last year, I scanned a few of them on my Canon 9000F flatbed scanner, which came with holding devices for slides and negatives. There was no mirror thing needed. The max resolution is only 600 dpi. I think the results are very good for my purposes and I made some good 5x7 prints at a CVS.

    Here is a sample, my 1967 MGB shot in February, 1968. Note, you need to blow off dust and such before scanning if you need professional results.

    img00017.jpg

    My local FedEx Office (used to be called Kinkos) can make very large prints from digital files.

    Larry
    Yes, any competent lab should be able to convert a slide or neg to a good print. And they should be able to scan at much higher resolution by at least a factor of 10 greater than 600DPI. In addition they should be able to adjust color shift like that seen in this Ektachome (Kodachromes from even from the 40’s are color stable to this day) slide to make it look much more natural.

    Denis


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