This came up recently in another forum of large format photographers and I thought it would be informative and enlightening here. This discussion may also be worth eventually compiling down into a tutorial at some point.
Given that most people here predominantly work with dSLR's, where the imager is often 36mm x 24 mm or smaller, what is the Maximum Print Size achievable which still maintains an excellent to acceptable image quality both for yourself and, if you are a professional, for your clients ?
Please detail your cameras, including imager size and photosite count, lenses yielding the sharpest clarity, post processing methods/software, and printer and/or print services employed to achieve your maximum print size. Of course, do include information on the print dimensions achieved.
To add a bit of challenge, lets refrain from theoretical discussions and stick to actual results achieved. Or try your hand at going for a big print, larger than anything you've done before, then report what you achieved and how you got there. Lets see if there is a limit to Maximum Print Size or at least determine what it is.
Also, lets limit this to single exposure, un-cropped, full imager prints. No mosaics or stitched composite images and no tight crops from the central imager sweet spot.
Despite the discussions of lens MTF, imager size, photosite counts, software, process flow, camera and lens brands, the bottom line in reality is the resulting image. A compilation of methods, technologies, and results, of course including bragging rights to who can get the largest print, would be invaluable to both new and experienced photographers. ( Hey, someone please check the Guinness book of world records. Let's see what is the largest print from a dSLR, then we can get the challenge winner's results listed in the book !! )
Here is a point of reference, a contributor on the large format Maximum Print Size discussion said that he achieved a 72" x 96" print from an Olympus E-20 about ten years ago and he included a photo of the print hanging on a wall that went from ceiling to floor.
So no cheating. We all must be able to back up our Maximum Print Size claims with photographic proof. ( And no photoshopping of the evidence ) Lets see what can actually be achieved and document how to get there.
At present, I'm waiting on delivery of a 32" x 22" print that I'm getting from a print on demand service that was shot with my Sigma SD14 with an 4.7M photosite imager size of 20.7mm x 13.8mm. Good, bad, or indifferent, I'll be posting my evaluation and details of the results here.