Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2010/03/01

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Subject: [Leica] How big can you print a 35mm photo?
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2010 00:17:48 -0500

> Those of you older than a certain age who visited New York's Grand Central
> Station will remember the Kodak exhibit that occupied one wall in the
> concourse. Every month a seasonal scene was featured on a giant backlit
> frame measuring 30 by 20 feet. Almost invisible in the corner of the frame
> was the original Kodachrome slide which was enlarged to make the picture.
> Back of envelope calculation reveals that it was a 240X enlargement. Of
> course you had to look at it from 40 feet away.
> Larry Z

In a photo class I learned there is such a thing as a "viewing distance"
A kind of ideal distance to view a print with which to my amazement has
really something to be said for it . And no they are not saying it is not ok
to view a print at any distance you want.
240 x 2 if you're using a 50mm 2 inch lens.
Magnification x focal lens in inches in this case
240 * 2  = 480 inches viewing distance.
 480 / 12  = 40 feet viewing distance.

I tried this out and there is something satisfying from looking at a print
form the proper viewing distance.
At 40 feet your not going to be studying the grain clump formations like you
would be if you were  2 feet away.
But if you were shooting with a 24mm one inch lens your so called proper
viewing distance is 20 feet away. And with a super wise 12 it would be 10
which is proably not a good distance nor lenes to be using for such murals.
As a matter of fact I bet they try to use teles. So it feels perfect looking
at them from  clear across the terminal.

This always gets flames on a list.
People will swear I'm telling them there is only one distance you're allowed
to look at a print. I've been through this 4 times in 15 years.

Mark William Rabiner

Replies: Reply from jshul at (Jim Shulman) ([Leica] How big can you print a 35mm photo?)
Reply from richard at (Richard Man) ([Leica] How big can you print a 35mm photo?)
In reply to: Message from lrzeitlin at (Lawrence Zeitlin) ([Leica] How big can you print a 35mm photo?)