36 x 24.

Inspiration, Leica 24mm Summilux ASPH f/1.4, Leica 50mm Noctilux f/0.95, Portrait, Q&A, Teaching point

How large a print can you make from an M9 file?

Well, the largest I’ve printed for clients is 36 x 24 inches:

24 x 36 M9 50 Summilux

Even at this large a size, the detail from the M9 and the 50mm Summilux combo used to create the image above is impressive.

However, yesterday I tried doing this for the first time with two other lenses:  the 24mm Summilux (f/1.4) and and the 50mm Noctilux (f/0.95).  Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting anything near as good as what I get from the technically brilliant 50 Summilux ASPH.

We’ll I’m happy to report that I was wrong.  They not only did well, they did exceptionally well — I was astounded to see how much detail the 24 Summilux and 50 Noctilux produce at their widest apertures.

But in the age of phone and tablet image viewing, most people will never encounter an actual print, let alone a 36 x 24 print.  So what does 36 x 24 actually look like?  I thought I’d show you with a little demonstration:

(please click on the image to view at MAXIMUM size and detail)

24 x 36 size demo


17 thoughts on “36 x 24.

  1. Hi Peter,

    When I click on image it doesn’t really take me to a larger or original size but I have no doubt of the capability of the M9 being capable of 24×36 prints as I have attempted this myself. If there is a way to view some of the detail of your original print with the 50mm Lux asph at 100%, that would be helpful. Of course like anything else in digital when we’re dealing with resolution, the kind of image ie: whether it’s a landscape or a close up portrait, will often dictate how large a print is acceptable from a file at a given size and resolution. Dave (D&A)

    1. Thanks Dave – glad to hear my experience mirrors yours. I don’t have any plans to post detailed crops of the “Bathsheba” print, but I will say it is very nice.

  2. Wow! Great post Peter! And beautiful work!

    What are they printed on? (Canvas/Paper?) And is the shop Local or Send-away? (Lemme guess: the shop is in Area 51, and we are dealing with matters of national security…)


    Anyway, if you’ll permit me, I’ll share MY secrets (and endorsements!) here: for anything 11 x 19 or smaller, I have great success with my Epson Printers (Currently using the R3000…which I highly recommend). I have ordered paper online a few times from “Red River Paper” (Great selection, prices, and support).

    For anything larger, we have found http://www.edmontononcanvas.com/ to be great for framed and gallery prints, but I am sure there are a multitude of great options out there…

    It would be interesting to see what others are doing.

    I think I see a new section called “Printing” in your future!

    (…No no…I said “YOUR” future. Not my future. Your future. Yours.)


  3. Great to see Peter. I’ve just recently bought an A3+ printer which will print 13×19 inch images and it’s wonderful to start seeing photos in print once again. Any larger at home is cost prohibitive for the hobbyist!

    I’ve only occasionally printed in the last couple of years, something I intend to address – there’s really nothing like a printed image and experimenting with a box of paper samples from rag to canvas, matte to gloss has proven really interesting! Some images are far better suited to certain paper types, I’m finding.

    Interesting to hear that the print is around half the 300dpi ideal – indeed I’m finding the same; with great lenses dropping to around 200 is not an issue, I’m seeing little or no telltale softness in the images.

    Plus there’s the general fact that Images printed at this size tend to be viewed from a little farther away rather than with your nose right up against the print.

    Interesting article!

    1. Thanks James. It’s true, there is some leeway for suboptimal detail when seeing images at normal viewing distances. Having said that, these images stand up well upon close inspection too.

      I’ve contemplated getting a dedicated photo printer many times, but never seem to get around to it. Enjoy the new printer!

      1. Good to hear Peter, I’m looking forward to going larger for a few poster sized images myself. Whilst I don’t (yet??!) own an M9 (but would still very much like to!), the little OM-D seems to do admirably well even with its smaller sensor – I can only imagine you have an even finer fidelity with the Leica and those incredible lens options.

        Just a mention – I only took the plunge on the printer after noticing that Epson have a $200 cashback option on the R3000 someone mentioned in a previous reply here…. until the end of August that is! It swung it for me and makes the printer a very good deal indeed.

        No affiliation whatsoever, just a tip-off! Loving mine and my apartment looks a whole lot more colourful this month!

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