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Ari
12-Jun-2016, 09:19
Dear ULF shooters,

I've been contemplating a move to ULF for several years, and I've toyed with getting into various ULF formats: 10x12, 14x17, 8x20, etc.
Given that I finally have a good scanner, and it can scan up to 12"x17", I'm looking into shooting 12x15.
The dimensions are the same as 8x10, which I like.

My question is: is there an appreciable difference in image quality between 8x10 and a ULF format such as 12x15?
Or is it a negligible difference?

Some of you shoot ULF because you like to contact print, others because you like extreme panoramic formats, and carbon printing is also a practical consideration.
Those are valid reasons for adopting a ULF workflow, so maybe you haven't considered IQ as your prime motivation in using ULF. But why would anyone get into ULF if the dimensions are the same as 8x10 (or 4x5)?
I'm just trying to gauge the difference in image quality between 8x10 and larger formats; at what size does the difference in IQ become really noticeable?

My logical brain tells me 8x10 is the optimal format; that the trade-off of carrying larger cameras, film holders and lenses is not worth the small increase in IQ.

What say you, commentariat?
Thanks in advance

karl french
12-Jun-2016, 10:08
Really, you have to decide if you want more work on the front end or the back end. Front end: Heavier camera/holders/bigger film to deal with loading and unloading. Back end: Scanner/scanning/printing digital negatives.

I'd rather have more work on the front end and enjoy the simple purity of contact printing from an in camera negative for the specific size print I want.

To your point about 8x10, even though I've been deeply engaged with ULF for the last year or so, I still shoot with my 8x10 quite a bit. You can go farther, shoot more, and frankly, things just tend to work better. (Cameras, holders, film.)

I think you will find 12x15 to be huge. A lot more work than 8x10. This is why I think 10x12 is such a nice format. Not that much more work than 8x10, but the negative/print definitely has more presence than 8x10. 7x17 almost feels like shooting 8x10.

Vaughn
12-Jun-2016, 10:28
As fodder for a scanner, I think 8x10 would certainly give you all that you can use -- unless you want to make bedsheet sized prints (CalKing size!) that people can walk up to for detail.

There are some trade-offs going to ULF, though I have only used 7x17 and 11x14. In a wind, with my solid Zone VI 8x10 I tend to produce a much sharper image than with my 100 year old 11x14 boxkite of a camera. If you prefer the look of normal to longer focal lengths, you will be dealing with more challanges with depth of field using 450mm+ lenses. And of course, more bellows in the wind!

But for contact prints...ULF cameras are sweet!

Ari
12-Jun-2016, 10:44
Thanks guys; I was more wondering at what size film would you see a big difference in image quality from 8x10?
I can't imagine that carrying a larger, heavier 11x14 kit is worth the small gain in quality, but maybe the 16x20 is where you start to see a huge, perceptible gain?

Karl, I find it interesting that you say a 10x12 has more presence than an 8x10; I would have thought it'd be hard to tell the two apart.

Vaughn
12-Jun-2016, 11:02
At some point, the size of the print will have to be determined. Not a whole lot of sense creating a huge file with far more resolution than the printer is cabable of using. Just a guess, but would not scanning a 16x20 negative have to be done at a lower resolution, just to keep the file size managable? If so there goes any advantage to using a 16x20.

Ari
12-Jun-2016, 11:18
At some point, the size of the print will have to be determined. Not a whole lot of sense creating a huge file with far more resolution than the printer is cabable of using. Just a guess, but would not scanning a 16x20 negative have to be done at a lower resolution, just to keep the file size managable? If so there goes any advantage to using a 16x20.

Absolutely right, Vaughn, but I'm asking the question outside of all those considerations, i.e., let's assume you have a 16x20 (or whatever format) scanner/enlarger, do you see a big difference in IQ from 8x10?

David Lobato
12-Jun-2016, 11:33
I can't scan 11x14 negatives so can't compare them for IQ with the 8x10 negatives that I can scan. There is a raised lip around the edge of my Epson V700 which prevents laying an oversized sheet flat on the glass. If scanners with the combination of reasonable price and 11x14 capability existed, answers to your questions would be more available.

I will say the size difference is not subtle. While analyzing a light leak problem with my old wooden 11x14 I realized things like flatness of the larger wood back is more difficult to maintain than with an 8x10 wood back. Slight sag of the bed rails increases the perpendicularity error of the front and rear standards. Fine details like this demand attention from the user of ULF cameras. The optimum sharpness of your ULF negatives is dependent on getting the best alignment of the camera. Which reminds me, my 11x14 lacks any swings, front or rear. It has only front rise and fall, and rear tilt. These add to the difficulties of getting subject matter in focus.

Vaughn
12-Jun-2016, 11:35
Then my answer is; in theory yes...in the real world, no.

Just read David's post -- that is why I think in the real world, the advantages of ULF can be lost without great care and/or solid equipment.

Ari
12-Jun-2016, 11:39
Appreciated, David. And I realize that practical concerns and problems multiply for ULF.

Forget the scanners, then; let's assume that someone contact prints multiple formats: 8x10, 10x12, 11x14, 12x15, 14x17, 16x20 and 20x24.
At which size would you see a big jump in quality from 8x10? Would it start being radically better at 16x20? Or even at 11x14?
Thanks

Ari
12-Jun-2016, 11:42
Then my answer is; in theory yes...in the real world, no.

Just read David's post -- that is why I think in the real world, the advantages of ULF can be lost without great care and/or solid equipment.

Thanks, Vaughn.

Mark Sawyer
12-Jun-2016, 13:05
Images have a lot of different qualities. Where ULF shines in film is in contact printing. A 16x20 enlargement from an 8x10 negative may have the same resolution as a 16x20 contact print, but it won't have the same rich tonalities. The enlargement may have nice tonalities, but they won't be the same.

koh303
12-Jun-2016, 13:06
The larger the negative the harder it is to obtain a sharp negative, for all the reasons mentioned above.
If you are working in the studio, this is a non issue, in the field, the smaller the better.

karl french
12-Jun-2016, 13:30
I think you're looking at this the wrong way. A contact print is a contact print. An 8x10 contact print is just as nice as a 16x20 contact print, just not as big. It is certainly easier to get a sharp 8x10 contact print compared to a 16x20 contact print without resorting to a vacuum frame.

Ari
12-Jun-2016, 14:16
Ok, thanks guys.
I've never shot anything larger than 8x10, and honestly don't feel the need to, but I'm curious nonetheless.
I had heard, from a friend who shoots 11x14, that the jump in IQ from 8x10 was slight.
That prompted me to ask at what size negative would the IQ see a big jump, thus making it worthwhile to use the larger format.

Mark Sawyer
12-Jun-2016, 14:17
I think you're looking at this the wrong way. A contact print is a contact print. An 8x10 contact print is just as nice as a 16x20 contact print, just not as big. It is certainly easier to get a sharp 8x10 contact print compared to a 16x20 contact print without resorting to a vacuum frame.

The question wasn't about how LF and ULF compare in ease of printing. No one gets into either for easy photography...

karl french
12-Jun-2016, 14:26
Really? I think making an 8x10 contact print is a whole lot easier than enlarging a negative. No enlarger, no focusing, no easel required.

Ken Lee
12-Jun-2016, 14:28
If by image quality you mean resolution:

As film size goes up, lenses get longer. As lenses get longer, depth of field decreases and lens performance declines. Apertures get smaller and exposures get longer.

A normal lens for 8x10 is 300mm. For 11x14 it's 450mm. A "portrait" length for 8x10 can be 360 or 450mm. For 11x14, it's 600mm.

If you're shooting at infinity distance, depth of field doesn't matter, but infinity itself gets pretty far away with really long lenses.

Conclusion: performance gains may disappear, depending on choice of subject and distance.

Jim Fitzgerald
12-Jun-2016, 14:37
For me I simplify by only contact printing 8x10, 8x20, 11x14 and 14x17. Now my 8x10 is my point and shoot and I love the carbon prints I'm able to produce. 8x20 is the format that gets the most attention when I show prints. The 14x17 has so much more presence than the 11x14. If I had to pick two it would be 8x10 and 14x17. You just have to work harder in the field with any ULF. It has to be right on the film. I don't dodge or burn so it needs to be as perfect in the exposure stage as possible. Then the fun comes when I contact print. It simplifies my process. A beautiful contact print is something to see especially at 14x17.

Vaughn
12-Jun-2016, 14:38
It seems to be coming down to "Does size matter?" It does, but not necessarily as in "bigger is better", but just that size is an important consideration.

I just put up a show of some new work. All 2 1/4' sq platinum/palladium prints from camera negatives (mostly from my Rolleicord). I approached taking the images (esp. composition) very differently than I do with LF.

But that all said -- the few 11x14 carbon prints I have made are pretty sweet!

Ari
12-Jun-2016, 15:00
If by image quality you mean resolution:

As film size goes up, lenses get longer. As lenses get longer, depth of field decreases and lens performance declines. Apertures get smaller and exposures get longer.

A normal lens for 8x10 is 300mm. For 11x14 it's 450mm. A "portrait" length for 8x10 can be 360 or 450mm. For 11x14, it's 600mm.

If you're shooting at infinity distance, depth of field doesn't matter, but infinity itself gets pretty far away with really long lenses.

Conclusion: performance gains may disappear, depending on choice of subject and distance.

I'm not trying to be a number-cruncher about this, just wondering about ULF users' perceptions and real-world observations.
I can tell from the comments that it's a whole 'nother ball of yarn, but I'd like to know if the results are so much better than those obtained with 8x10 that it makes all the extra effort worthwhile.


For me I simplify by only contact printing 8x10, 8x20, 11x14 and 14x17. Now my 8x10 is my point and shoot and I love the carbon prints I'm able to produce. 8x20 is the format that gets the most attention when I show prints. The 14x17 has so much more presence than the 11x14. If I had to pick two it would be 8x10 and 14x17. You just have to work harder in the field with any ULF. It has to be right on the film. I don't dodge or burn so it needs to be as perfect in the exposure stage as possible. Then the fun comes when I contact print. It simplifies my process. A beautiful contact print is something to see especially at 14x17.

Thanks, Jim, that's some very good and practical advice.

Ari
12-Jun-2016, 15:22
It seems to be coming down to "Does size matter?" It does, but not necessarily as in "bigger is better", but just that size is an important consideration.

I just put up a show of some new work. All 2 1/4' sq platinum/palladium prints from camera negatives (mostly from my Rolleicord). I approached taking the images (esp. composition) very differently than I do with LF.

But that all said -- the few 11x14 carbon prints I have made are pretty sweet!

I don't begrudge anyone who's shooting ULF simply because it's bigger, but does going to the extra trouble mean extra-good negs?
And you're right, the format is irrelevant, what matters is the quality of the work being done.

IanG
12-Jun-2016, 15:45
Really? I think making an 8x10 contact print is a whole lot easier than enlarging a negative. No enlarger, no focusing, no easel required.

I bought a 10x8 camera intending to jsut make contact prints, as soon as I developed my first negatives I wanted to enlarge them. Once you have a 10x8 enlarger making enlargements is a s simple as making a contact print and takes the same time.

Jorge Gastreano kept telling me I should move to ULF and I thought about it quite seriously, however ULF (and all LF) film is a lot more expensive in the UK compared to the US so it's not very economic. However 10 years later I do now have a 12x10 camera, I bought it as a restoration project for £50 ($70) and it needed far less work than the seller thought, he'd very accurately high-lighted the issues. Luckily I already have some 12x10 book form plate holders and by chance they happen to be an excellent fit. I didn't specifically buy it to use, it was just there as a real bargain andI know I can sell it for very considerably more than I paid. However I would like to use it, I know the camera's history, I bought it from the grandson of the first owner who is still running the family studio & camera shop.

Ideally I'd like to use it with Harman Direct Positive paper but surprisingly that's only available in US sizes over 10x8. I have a project in mind and cutting larger paper to size isn't ideal.

Ian

Greg
12-Jun-2016, 16:21
I shoot FX Digital with a D4 and film with 6x7, whole plate, 8x10, and 11x14 formats. Did a project of photographing waterfalls in our area. Access issues to the waterfalls usually determined which camera to use. Scanned the film and along with the digital files from the D4 made digital negatives and printed Platinum Palladium 8x10 or 11x14 inch prints. Recently had a show and from normal viewing distances no one could definitively tell me which camera I used to shoot the scenes. The "look" of each of the format is different, and I'm sure an educated expert could tell the difference but in the end when the final prints are on exhibition, what does it matter? For me FX Digital allows me to access challenging places which could be rated Class 4 or even 5.0 (Yosemite Decimal System... just Google it). When shooting a short distance from my car, I love to use the 11x14. Also just holding a LF or ULF negative that I just processed in my hands... so satisfying. Just my 2 cents.

fuegocito
12-Jun-2016, 16:32
For me, the 810 is the sweet spot along the entire spectrum of different formats available. It's a big sheet of film yet compact enough to go almost anywhere by human power. Camera and lenses are plenty affordable and films are readily available. The set up has enough presense in working with people to demand their attention yet not overwhelm by it(Ok this is entirely my own conjecture, maybe people are equally intimidated by the 810 or equally comfortable with anything larger like 14x17 or 20x24's.)

On the processing end both good scanners and enlargers are accessible so regardless if you want to make digital negs or digital prints, or traditional wet print in either enlarged or contact print form, it's easily attainable. Yes there are 11x14 enlargers but we probably can count how many of them are in operation. I know of one.

I shoot 11x14 mostly because I happen to picked one up relatively inexpensively, and it goes well with my Ries tripod. In my opinion, anything smaller on the Ries A is an overkill :)

Undoubtedly a big contact print is a thing of beauty, but I bet anything that there are only a handful of people can actually tell the difference between a 16x20 silver print enlarged from a 810 negative compare to a 16x20 silver contact print sitting behind a sheet of glass in most gallery setting. I say silver only because of the higher resolving power of the commercial gelatin paper, once one get into alternative processes working with toothier papers I think whatever perceived difference(if any) would diminish even further.

tgtaylor
12-Jun-2016, 17:15
With the caveat that I am not qualified to comment on this (8x10 is the largest format that I shoot), I tend to think not. The resolution of a sheet of Ilford Delta 100 8x10 film would be the same as a sheet of Delta 16x20. The only difference is that the magnification required to portray the equivalent size of the objects in the 16x20 negative is at least doubled. The raises a whole host of problems for the larger format some of which are noted above.

This morning, for example, I went out to shoot a shot that I spotted yesterday afternoon for an alternative print. It was a morning and would require the 610mm lens. A strong on-shore wind was in the mix and it looked like it would pose a problem since the top speed of the 610 is 1/50 sec and according to SK Grimes speed check the most inaccurate. So that limited me to 1/25 sec. Luckily I found a small level spot that an animal had been using to bed down just over the top of the bluff which offered some protection from the wind where I could set-up the camera and take the shot. Otherwise I would have had to rely on the golf umbrella, which I in the trunk, for wind protection. But the umbrella wouldn't have been big enough is the format was 16x20 and I would have had a problem setting-up in the small and confined space but I think that I could have worked with that by simply rotating the camera around to raise/lower the standard and set the aperture and speed for the shutter. The negative came out great and is hanging to dry as I type this.

Thomas

sanking
12-Jun-2016, 17:19
My question is: is there an appreciable difference in image quality between 8x10 and a ULF format such as 12x15?
Or is it a negligible difference?



Very little, unless you print very large.

Some years ago I published an article in View Camera on the propganda wall photgraphy of He Chongyue. Some of it was done from 8X10" color, other from 12X20" B&W film, and all enlarged about 4X via drum scanning and digital printing. That would be about 32"X40" for the color, 48"X80" for the Black and White. I saw his work both at his studio in Beijing, and at a gallery in Atlanta. Yes, in my opinion the IQ from the 12X20 was appreciably better at this size than the work from 8X10, though you had to walk into the prints to see the difference.

In my opinion the major reason for using a ULF camera is because you want to contact print directly from the original negative. Once you get into the realm of enlarged negatives and projection printing, IQ of the print is a delicate balancing act between negative size and final print size, and the specific equipment used to enlarge or scan the negative, image file preparation, and method of printing.

BTW, over the years I worked in a numbe of ULF formats, including 11X14, 7X17, 12X20 and 20X24. My favorite ULF format, and by far, was 7X17. Compared to 8X10, a totally different look in both size and view. A bit smaller than 8X20, but when framed and matted a substantial art piece. And 7X17 format is much easier to work with in the field than 8X20 or 12X20, or even 11X14.

If you like the 7X17 format, but want a smaller camera for small prints or contact printing from digital negatives, 5X12 is a beautiful format and very similar in ratio. See some of Tillman Crane's work, for example.

Sandy

Ari
12-Jun-2016, 18:24
Ian, Thomas: thanks; Greg, I agree with much of what you said.
Sure, format is unimportant, and I don't go to a show trying to figure out what film and camera were used. I also like using the 8x10, nobody's making me do it, I get a kick out of it.
It doesn't sound like there's a huge need to shoot larger than 8x10, but the desire for a large negative is almost irresistible.

Robert, Sandy, thank you; it helps clear up things rather easily, at least for me.
The lure of a larger format is undeniable, but I'm going to stick with 8x10.
A good camera, lenses, film and scanner (or enlarger) can take you very far.

Bruce Watson
12-Jun-2016, 19:07
I've been contemplating a move to ULF for several years, and I've toyed with getting into various ULF formats: 10x12, 14x17, 8x20, etc.
Given that I finally have a good scanner, and it can scan up to 12"x17", I'm looking into shooting 12x15.
The dimensions are the same as 8x10, which I like.

My question is: is there an appreciable difference in image quality between 8x10 and a ULF format such as 12x15?

There's actually a decrease in image quality as you move up into ULF. There are plenty of reasons to shoot ULF, but maximum image quality isn't one of them.

That said, a ULF contact print is way up there in image quality. This is why people go ULF and contact print. The problems come from enlargement -- enlarging creates flaws (lens problems, alignment problems, Callier Effect, etc.) and shows you the flaws in your negative (DOF, resolution loss due to diffraction, etc.)

I did an analysis years ago when I was looking to move from 5x4 up to 10x8. What I found was that the sweet spot for my photography was somewhere between 5x4 and 7x5. After 7x5, the image quality of the negative began to drop off in my workflow.

Blasphemy you say. Yeah, well, I respond with: "laws of physics".

When you double the size of the negative (5x4 -> 10x8) you have to go another two stops to maintain the same DOF. This puts just about anything made with 10x8 into diffraction limiting. But you already know this. The trade off is image area -- so that the tree branch in the distances that's just a line in 5x4 is wide enough it can show some texture in 10x8. At 10x8, this is a sufficient trade off I think. A standoff if you will.

Above 10x8, it just gets worse. It's no longer a standoff. But if you're contact printing, no worries. You don't see it in the prints until you start enlarging. And even then, you won't see it if you're viewing the print from an appropriate distance. It's conceivable that if you put your nose on the print you can see a tiny bit of gain in detail, but you'll see the softness too. Who looks at big prints like that anyway? Oh, wait... we all do. Buncha geeky photographers!

Just sayin'. Do your own math, for your own workflow, for your own print sizes. See what you get. But don't make the assumption that going up in format size automatically increases image quality. Because it doesn't.

Ari
12-Jun-2016, 19:31
Bruce, thanks; but I won't do the math.
If I did, it would tell me to use my iPhone. :)

I don't anticipate going back to a wet darkroom ever again, not even for contact printing, which probably puts me firmly in the camp of "no bigger than 8x10". Which is fine by me.
Right now I have the steadiest camera I've ever owned (in a field camera), and some great lenses to go along with a very good scanner.
At this point, the only limiting factor in making good photos on a consistent basis is me.

Thanks to all for helping me figure this out; I was thinking out loud during most of this discourse, and it helped to get as many varying opinions as possible.

Leszek Vogt
12-Jun-2016, 22:01
This may not be much help but just an idea, Ari. Can you get together w/someone nearby, who would be amicable to such, who shoots something like 16x20 ? Unless the person only has one film holder, you could get the feel for the format and you could take your 8x10 with you and compare the images once you were done. Sure, there would be some logistics to deal with, but the effort would have a satisfying end, no ? Either way, nothing like make your own determination.....and either start drooling some more....or the alternative.

Ha, if you shoot a lot of this ULF emulsion you would need to install an "expando" on yer house, eh ?:rolleyes:

Les

Jim Fitzgerald
13-Jun-2016, 03:32
Bruce, thanks; but I won't do the math.
If I did, it would tell me to use my iPhone. :)

I don't anticipate going back to a wet darkroom ever again, not even for contact printing, which probably puts me firmly in the camp of "no bigger than 8x10". Which is fine by me.
Right now I have the steadiest camera I've ever owned (in a field camera), and some great lenses to go along with a very good scanner.
At this point, the only limiting factor in making good photos on a consistent basis is me.

Thanks to all for helping me figure this out; I was thinking out loud during most of this discourse, and it helped to get as many varying opinions as possible.

Ari, I think you just said it here. If you are not going back to a darkroom then why go bigger than 8x10? My opinion is that contact prints is the main reason someone shoots ULF. I may be wrong but at least that is the way it is for me. So why go to the expense? I think you have made your choice.

Ari
13-Jun-2016, 05:20
Les, thanks for the idea, and I would have done so already, but there's nobody I know of in Ottawa or Montreal who shoots anything larger than 8x10.

Jim, I might one day get a kick out of making ridiculously large prints from a scanned 12x15 negative.
Or I may one day visit one of you guys and see some amazing 14x17 contact prints, and decide "That's for me!".

Until that day arrives, you're 100% right, I'm going to stick with what I have and try to maximize its potential.

DrTang
13-Jun-2016, 07:48
The 14x17 has so much more presence than the 11x14. If I had to pick two it would be 8x10 and 14x17.


oh god I hate you

hahahahahahahahahah

kidding

just fired up the 11x14 I got the weekend before yesterday.. and despite a series of comical errors...the one negative I developed IS SO SWEET

- now..what to do with it? who scans 11x14? can I set up a contact printing darkroom in my bathroom? questions, questions

Jim Fitzgerald
13-Jun-2016, 08:21
oh god I hate you

hahahahahahahahahah

kidding

just fired up the 11x14 I got the weekend before yesterday.. and despite a series of comical errors...the one negative I developed IS SO SWEET

- now..what to do with it? who scans 11x14? can I set up a contact printing darkroom in my bathroom? questions, questions

It is sweet when you get that one negative that just sings! I developed every negative and made every carbon print from my bathtub! I think I did okay?? So that is a yes for developing large in a small bathroom. Remember I shoot 14x17, so I developed and printed that size as well in there. Go for it!!!

Vaughn
13-Jun-2016, 08:23
oh god I hate you

hahahahahahahahahah

kidding

just fired up the 11x14 I got the weekend before yesterday.. and despite a series of comical errors...the one negative I developed IS SO SWEET

- now..what to do with it? who scans 11x14? can I set up a contact printing darkroom in my bathroom? questions, questions

I am beginning to hate him, too. He's gotten more work done on his darkroom in a couple months than I have been able to acomplish in a couple years!

You could wet the 11x14 neg and stick it to a window -- and just admire it as it is!

Jim Fitzgerald
13-Jun-2016, 08:39
I am beginning to hate him, too. He's gotten more work done on his darkroom in a couple months than I have been able to acomplish in a couple years!

You could wet the 11x14 neg and stick it to a window -- and just admire it as it is!

Vaughn, yes that is true. The only thing is I'm not going to know what to do with all of that room! The darkroom is almost.... ready. Need to put some drying lines up and organize a little but I got distracted building a studio table/stand for the 14x17 studio camera.

tgtaylor
13-Jun-2016, 09:26
A number of the alternative processes don't require you to have a darkroom. I wrap a sheet of acrylic with a Bounty paper towel and tape the paper to it and coat in the bathroom where I have a Thomas safe light set-up. When dry - about 45 minutes to an hour later, I load-up the contact printing frame, grab the easel, and place it in the shade/sun for exposure and use the front seat of the car parked in the carport to determine the exposure. Once that is completed its back to the bathroom where I process the print using the same flat-bottomed tray for each process step. A very simple work flow.

Thomas

neil poulsen
15-Jun-2016, 13:35
The key is having, or finding, an 8x10 enlarger. I was lucky to find one for a very reasonable price about 10 years ago. (It was missing a key part that I possessed.) I purchased an 8x10 camera over ULF, because the largest ULF one could ever want was only a 2.5x enlargement from an 8x10.

Fifteen years later, along comes a reasonably priced 8x20 outfit, and i took the plunge. I'll admit to having a few stars in my eyes. By the time I had it ready to shoot, just the camera and tripod weighed over 50lbs. After taking a single photo with that heavy outfit, I put come hard thought into it.

I decided that I like the enlargement process, and that (that) ULF was too heavy. I sold it for a little more than I had paid. I recently attended a traveling "Portfolio" exhibit that included works by Ansel Adams, Minor White, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Brett Weston, etc. This exhibit gave me the opportunity to compare high quality contact prints with high quality enlargements. I could see a difference. But for me, it's not enough to justify ULF. Besides, one still has the option of making a reasonably sized contact print with an 8x10.

Ari
15-Jun-2016, 13:45
The key is having, or finding, an 8x10 enlarger.

Or, in my case, a good scanner.
Building another darkroom isn't in the cards for me, but I could see myself printing large format on something like an Epson 9880 one day.
But the scanner alone takes 8x10 to another level, as I'm no longer futzing with a v750 just to get optimal sharpness; scanning is now easier than ever, and of a very high quality.
So, like you, until I find that 8x10 can't cut it, I'll stick with it. I'd prefer to invest money in upgrading the 8x10 gear and accessories.

Max Hao
16-Jun-2016, 05:38
I have been shooting 8x10 and 11x14, and always contact print. The advantage of an ULF print is the impact to viewers, less so on image quality, IMO. The pain one has to go through using an ULF is much much more, but when you see the final print you'll forget all the pain.

Willie
16-Jun-2016, 06:13
Take a good look at images of the same final size from 6x6 and 6x7 negatives. Scale it up and you will get an approximation of 8x10 to your 12x whatever.

You won't see a lot of difference. Careful technique and better lenses will make more difference using your 8x10 than going to a larger negative - as a general practice.

Pick the format that gives you the image you like and work with it. That will give you quality worth having.

As has been stated, getting ever larger gear makes for many more tradeoffs in the field.

A good resource would be Michael A. Smith at http:www.michaelandpaula.com as he shoots with 8x10, 8x20 and 17x22 film sizes. He contact prints the negatives. For publication he has scans done so he does have real world experience that might help you.

As an academic discussion all this is fine but in the final print go for the size that looks good to you and get the equipment that will give you that size negative to work with.

Carl J
16-Jun-2016, 13:52
Or, in my case, a good scanner.
Building another darkroom isn't in the cards for me, but I could see myself printing large format on something like an Epson 9880 one day.
But the scanner alone takes 8x10 to another level, as I'm no longer futzing with a v750 just to get optimal sharpness; scanning is now easier than ever, and of a very high quality.
So, like you, until I find that 8x10 can't cut it, I'll stick with it. I'd prefer to invest money in upgrading the 8x10 gear and accessories.

Ari, what scanner are you using now (that replaced the v750)?

Ari
16-Jun-2016, 14:00
Hi Carl,
I picked up an Eversmart Pro last month; I'm still a beginner with the software, but the scans I'm getting now are vastly superior to those I was getting from the v750.
And set-up is a breeze; a very well-conceived and executed piece of machinery.

e
26-Jun-2016, 14:49
imo..7x17 is the sweet spot for me..ULF..at 8x10 weight..
But M&P's 18x22 contacts..are really something to behold..
I have a 16x20..but haven't used that beast much..yet..

Theodoros
26-Jun-2016, 18:08
Dear ULF shooters,

I've been contemplating a move to ULF for several years, and I've toyed with getting into various ULF formats: 10x12, 14x17, 8x20, etc.
Given that I finally have a good scanner, and it can scan up to 12"x17", I'm looking into shooting 12x15.
The dimensions are the same as 8x10, which I like.

My question is: is there an appreciable difference in image quality between 8x10 and a ULF format such as 12x15?
Or is it a negligible difference?

Some of you shoot ULF because you like to contact print, others because you like extreme panoramic formats, and carbon printing is also a practical consideration.
Those are valid reasons for adopting a ULF workflow, so maybe you haven't considered IQ as your prime motivation in using ULF. But why would anyone get into ULF if the dimensions are the same as 8x10 (or 4x5)?
I'm just trying to gauge the difference in image quality between 8x10 and larger formats; at what size does the difference in IQ become really noticeable?

My logical brain tells me 8x10 is the optimal format; that the trade-off of carrying larger cameras, film holders and lenses is not worth the small increase in IQ.

What say you, commentariat?
Thanks in advance

What format is the optimum for image quality, depends on many different factors... The scanner you use and how much it can resolve is one (the smaller the size of the film, the more demanding the scanner's job is), the lens resolution with respect to its image circle projection is another...

To make a long story short, I've continued to decrease the image area I shoot over the years vastly, yet by improving the quality of my images for the same size prints... I now shoot up to 6x8 on 120 film, scan it by using a Sinarback 54H MFDB in 16x multishot mode by stitching four 16x multishots (so that I shoot equal area of film as the sensor size) and using mostly the previous series Rodenstock Apo Sironar digital lenses.... Won't go back to larger image areas for anything...

Ari
26-Jun-2016, 18:15
Thanks, e and Theodoros; it just goes to show how personal and subjective is this process.
Regardless of image quality, I like using the 8x10, so I'll be sticking with it. I get a kick out of using it, even if the film holders are empty. :)
And since I've decided to make it my mainstay, I've upgraded the peripherals (lenses, scanner) to maximize IQ.
Viva the difference!

John Jarosz
27-Jun-2016, 05:19
Either enlarging 8x10 (2x) or contact printing ULF results in wonderful prints. Trouble is that you become much more discriminating. Once you get addicted to the resolution and 'feel' of a print made as described, when you slightly miss best focus or if there's there's the tiniest bit of camera shake you will toss the neg. You will put much more emphasis on getting that 'look'. It's a double edged sword

Theodoros
27-Jun-2016, 06:47
Thanks, e and Theodoros; it just goes to show how personal and subjective is this process.
Regardless of image quality, I like using the 8x10, so I'll be sticking with it. I get a kick out of using it, even if the film holders are empty. :)
And since I've decided to make it my mainstay, I've upgraded the peripherals (lenses, scanner) to maximize IQ.
Viva the difference!

8x10's biggest advantage (IMO) is that it is easy to get High Quality out of it, even with inferior scanning methods and with modest resolution lenses... However, if one uses the highest possible resolving lens with the format and then scans to the best there is, he may be surprised to find that the scanning exposes the lens handicap with respect to top quality lenses meant for smaller image areas and thus the advantage of the image area size disappears in favor to the higher resolving lens...

Of course, if the scanning method is not one that can resolve the absolute maximum out of smaller image areas, lens resolution handicap seems to be hidden in favor of the larger image area, so one needs to be careful on how he compares things as he can easily be fooled by the scanning method used and come to the wrong conclusions because of that...

If I may suggest, do try all the possible scanning methods suggested to you and decide which is the best one first... before you want to try different lenses for different image areas and let the optimum image area used as to be your last decision...

The scanning method I use (shooting the image area with a multishot MFDB at 1:1 magnification and stitching for the final image) is a real PINA to do... but I do it because I found the results to be far better than using even the better of drum scanners... OTOH, 120 film (by shooting a 6x8 image area) is far easier to develop and handle and far less costly too and as such it compensates for the difficulty of the scanning method... That said, one can get a super high quality scan by shooting the whole image area with only one 16x multishot capture... The result will still be impressive (better than drum scanning IMO) and thus, one may use that as to judge which prints he will repeat the scanning for maximum resolution and which he'll let pass...

Luis-F-S
27-Jun-2016, 07:59
Gee and here I thought the real reason to shoot 8x10 or larger was to enlarge or contact print!

tgtaylor
27-Jun-2016, 10:59
I shoot 8x10 for contact printing. But the same subject shot on a larger sheet of film will display a greater tonal separation than on the smaller sheet - everything else being equal.

Thomas

Theodoros
27-Jun-2016, 16:16
Gee and here I thought the real reason to shoot 8x10 or larger was to enlarge or contact print!

Well, this is what theory says and is of course correct if theory is applied, but for theory to apply, there are some constants that are considered and the constant in this theory is that the lens used on both a larger and a smaller image area is of same (per area) resolution... Which is hardly the case... no where near actually!

The best of modern (called digital) lenses, are far superior than even the best of lenses ever made as to cover 8x10 or more image areas... Let alone that the difference in lens quality multiplies even more with the improvement of the quality of the image areas with time...

Lachlan 717
27-Jun-2016, 17:53
The best of modern (called digital) lenses, are far superior than even the best of lenses ever made as to cover 8x10 or more image areas.

Based on what criteria? They're certainly not superior for certain types of portraiture and still lifes.

Additionally, your opinion is based on a false assumption that non-"modern" lenses were, as a collective, deficient in some regard. The Hennessey Venom GT is superior in speed to the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, but the difference is only achievable at the rarest of venues by a tiny percentage of the world's drivers. That doesn't make the Bugatti an inferior vehicle to the masses.

LPPM isn't the only measure of a lens' quality, nor the size of an enlargement a measure of an image's...

Theodoros
2-Jul-2016, 05:09
Hi, I agree that LPPM isn't the only measure of lens quality and that an image quality isn't measured by the size of the enlargement, nor those where ever my claims. What lead me to shrink the size of the image areas I use over the years and now end up to use down to 6x8 120 film and no larger, is that the scanning method I ended up using after I started using a multishot back for scanning the film, can reveal more detail captured by the lens and thus, the difference that the larger light sensitive area makes, is overtaken by the detail the better lens exposes...

I guess, if the scanning method can not extract all the detail that a better lens can make, then one wouldn't know how much better (or not) a different lens is and then the larger image area with the inferior lens combination has an advantage because the scanning method can't reveal the extra detail that a better lens makes...

My criteria for comparison, is to compare the same AOV of the same subject, printed at the same size.

Taija71A
2-Jul-2016, 07:13
... The best of modern (called digital) lenses, are far superior than even the best of lenses ever made as to cover 8x10 or more image areas...
... My criteria for comparison, is to compare the same AOV of the same subject, printed at the same size.

Just out of curiousity...

Would you please be so kind as to state what Lens/Lenses were used on your 8x10 Camera...
And which 'Corresponding' Digital Lens/Lenses (*Plus the Film and Film Format) -- That this was compared to?

Thank-you. Greatly appreciated!
--
Kind Regards, -Tim.
_______

Theodoros
2-Jul-2016, 10:41
Just out of curiousity...

Would you please be so kind as to state what Lens/Lenses were used on your 8x10 Camera...
And which 'Corresponding' Digital Lens/Lenses (*Plus the Film and Film Format) -- That this was compared to?

Thank-you. Greatly appreciated!
--
Kind Regards, -Tim.
_______

Hi Tim,

Never said that I've compared directly 8x10 to 120 6x8 film... What I've said, is that Ι've continued to decrease the image area size until it now has reached 120 film of 6x8 size... This has been a step by step process over the past 20 years when I first got a Sinar P2.

I started by using the P2 in 4x5 size and borrowed lenses from friends that could do 8x10 image circle and use them on the 4x5 image area but for the same AOV... For example, I (at the days) used the Schneider 47 and compared it with the Nikkor SW 120/8 both shot on 5x4 size image area and then cropped the image out of the 47 for the same AOV... (did that because UWA was -still is- a necessity for me). Saw no difference between the two (47 cropped) by having them scanned on a drum scan lab... so I decided in favor of using 4x5...
Then later on during 2007, I replaced my first MFDB (it was a Sinarback E-motion 22) which I was using on my Contax 645 system and bought a used Imacon 528c instead because I entered the field of art reproduction work, it was then when I first tried scanning the film by using the multishot back in 16x "true colour" multishot mode and because of the results (that where superior to drum scanning) started using 120 film on the Sinar P2 too... To do the scanning (at the days and until recently), I used my C645 camera with my Zeiss Contax 120mm/4 Apo micro lens with my LPL enlager as a base and the film resting on a Kaiser lightbox at the enlarger's base.
Then I borrowed and tried some of the Rodenstock APO Sironar series (the 35, 45, 55 & 90) and decided in favor of using 120 film on the P2 instead of 4X5 with inferior lenses... Then... I sold the P2 (didn't buy any of the APO Sironar series at the days for financial reasons) and lenses and bought a Fuji GX-680 instead, only because I needed a fortune as to replace all the lenses and shutters so that my Imacon 528c could work on the P2 in multishot mode too... (on the Fuji it only needed a cable).
Then, (last year) I re-bought a Sinar P2, but started a project as to convert the camera for completely yaw free operation and make it able to work with image areas starting form FF digital and up to 6x8 film (new -self made- frames (of circular shape) and bellows, frames can slide back and forth on the standards so that one can have the entrance pupil of the lens and the image area center positioned exactly at the center of the tilt arc's circle despite the lens or the image area used). As for lenses for the system, I decided on the Rodenstock Apo Sironar 35mm & the Apo Sironar 45 both on Rollei Shutter with Rollei control S, the MF Rollei 90mm f4 & 150mm f4.6 Apo Symmars (on Rollei 6008 mount for tech cameras - controlled via the Rollei control S) and then the Fujinons 65mm/5.6, 100mm/4 & 210mm f5.6 of the Fuji GX-680 mounted on self made lens boards which requires taking apart a Fuji GX-680 camera, using its mount (simple conversion) to attach the lenses and all its cabling & electronics on an exterior box as to have the shutter electronically controlled...
I also got a cheap third standard with damaged tilt and focusing for the P2 as to use the same camera for scanning film, by making this third standard a film holder (for film up to 4x5) and then focus the Rollei Apo Symmar for 1:1 image area (as much film area shot in 16x multishot mode as the sensor size area), have the film on the standard back-lite using a Kaiser lightbox and then scan the image area (after focusing) by shifting and rise-falling using the third standard's own mechanisms...

I do insist that its the scanning methods usually used which can't reveal the superiority of some amazing lenses aimed for smaller image areas... I know it is easy for one to fool himself if he thinks that drum scanning can reveal the full potential of modern lenses, because I have the experience of re-scanning the results I had from the drum scanning lab, after I got my self the Imacon 528c back in 2008... I also know that single shot image areas are no where near multishot ones and inferior to drum scanning as to be used from scanning films (this easy to test if one has a multishot back and compares it with the results he gets out of using in single shot mode)... I now use a Sinarback 54H & a Hasselblad CF-39MS multishot backs as well as 6x8 film for my work (art reproduction of paintings & byzantine icons, as well as repro of wall paintings and interior (some exterior too) architecture of ancient byzantine monasteries & ancient monuments) and have concluded that for one to improve, is more a matter of self involvement and maximizing the performance of tooling he uses than upgrading... Upgrading can improve, but one has to make sure that he knows exactly what the results out of having it will be. Thus, IMO increasing the image area further won't be an upgrade... it may look like (a small) one if one doesn't try maximizing his scanning method first and then doesn't re-look on the (hidden) quality of lenses, but if he does, I'm sure he will change his mind.

Taija71A
2-Jul-2016, 11:02
No problem... Understood in full.

Since the OP was originally enquiring about... "What Increase in Image Quality over 8x10?"
and based upon your Statements -- I just 'surmised' that you had already done the necessary comparison.

Thank-you!

Theodoros
2-Jul-2016, 11:27
No problem... Understood in full.

Since the OP was originally enquiring about... "What Increase in Image Quality over 8x10?"
and based upon your Statements -- I just 'surmised' that you had already done the necessary comparison.

Thank-you!

The OP's question is directly related with improvements that have to do with image areas sizes and lens performance on the wider image circles required... Why one should increase from 8x10, if he can improve by moving to smaller and use a (significantly) better lens?

EDIT: Also... the OP's questions seems to assume as a fundamental that "size matters" (in other words that smaller than 8x10 is by definition inferior)... which is wrong to assume unless one considers (and explains) the other parameters involved...

By the way, have you ever tried scanning a "f**k all" lens, like the MF Schneider 90mm f4 micro Apo Symmar (95mm image circle at infinity) or the Schneider 150mm f4.6 micro Apo Symmar (115mm image circle at infinity), or a Rodenstock Apo Sironar using a 16x multishot back at full true color resolution for 1:1 image area? ....well, have you?

Ari
2-Jul-2016, 12:31
Theo, you make a good case for what you do; I think if you've worked out a way of shooting or scanning that you're pleased with, then abi gezunt.
My question wasn't so much about one format being superior/inferior to another, but more about keeping the same workflow, just moving up in film size. At what format would I see a sizeable difference from the 8x10 negs I currently shoot?
You've made a good argument for scaling down, but it's vastly too complicated for my lo-fi brain, and I really enjoy the size and feel of an 8x10 camera.
Nonetheless, I enjoy someone else's point of view, there's always something to be learned. Thank you

cowanw
2-Jul-2016, 13:34
Is it not possible to take a scene with the 8x10 (say a head and shoulders portrait of a person with a face of 3 inches length on the GG) and then move the camera forward to encompass 1/4 area of that scene and take an 8x10 of that portion (with the face at 6 inches of GG).
Saving for the change in perspective would that not offer a chance to compare image quality of 8x10 compared to 16x20.

Theodoros
2-Jul-2016, 13:44
Theo, you make a good case for what you do; I think if you've worked out a way of shooting or scanning that you're pleased with, then abi gezunt.
My question wasn't so much about one format being superior/inferior to another, but more about keeping the same workflow, just moving up in film size. At what format would I see a sizeable difference from the 8x10 negs I currently shoot?
You've made a good argument for scaling down, but it's vastly too complicated for my lo-fi brain, and I really enjoy the size and feel of an 8x10 camera.
Nonetheless, I enjoy someone else's point of view, there's always something to be learned. Thank you

Hi, As I said before, 8x10 is the easiest way for one to achieve awesome quality, this is due to size and lenses that cope well with it (which is easier to do because the size of the image area makes lens quality less demanding)... IMO, if one increases the image area by little, its not much left that he can expect to see as an improvement, I would expect an increase of 35-40% in image area size so that the benefit will make sense... but I have to make clear that I don't have experience on the matter... it is a sense I have out of other proportional situations with smaller image areas and top lenses used that are dedicated for these image areas... (I don't see any reason that the proportion wouldn't apply though...).

My suggestion for smaller image areas, which is a result out of own experience, has two initiations behind it... One is what it says, because its good for people to do some research on the matter and maybe question some myths that relate with it, the other is to suggest that -perhaps- instead of increasing the image area, it maybe worthwhile to seek for maximizing the scanning method first... It makes sense doesn't it? Why assume that the scanning method you now use is the best possible and the only way to improve is through increasing the image area further?
After all there are plenty of people that are scanning MF (yes... MF...) film with Epson scanners and others that use A Nikon Coolscan 9000 ED (or an Imacon) to do the same... Guess who gets (by far) the better results.... even if one uses 6x4.5 film with the imacon or the Coolscan, the results will have the Epson user in tears...

It's only a suggestion out of an (experienced - or so I believe) professional that does demanding (or so I -and my customers- believe) work with both digital and analog and who was surprised how much more capable film is than what the "mainstream opinion" in forums suggest..., nothing to do with heresy what so ever here... If you ask me, I would prefer to use film for my single shot work and digital only when multishot mode is feasible... It's only a matter of workflow and fees that force me not to use film for all my single shot work... but this doesn't mean that the larger the image area, the better the results with film... Lenses are lenses and despite if digital forced for them to cope with extra small pixels and smaller image areas, it doesn't mean that they can't share the benefits they gained out of industry development on film... Nothing (I repeat) related with heresy here....

Ari
2-Jul-2016, 19:05
Hi, As I said before, 8x10 is the easiest way for one to achieve awesome quality, this is due to size and lenses that cope well with it (which is easier to do because the size of the image area makes lens quality less demanding)... IMO, if one increases the image area by little, its not much left that he can expect to see as an improvement, I would expect an increase of 35-40% in image area size so that the benefit will make sense... but I have to make clear that I don't have experience on the matter... it is a sense I have out of other proportional situations with smaller image areas and top lenses used that are dedicated for these image areas... (I don't see any reason that the proportion wouldn't apply though...).


Your first paragraph is most germane to the o.p.; the next two are interesting but best saved for another thread.
Another scanner isn't in the cards for me, I'm happy with the Eversmart Pro; it makes excellent scans of 8x10, 4x5 and MF film, a world apart from my v750's scans.
I'm happy and comfortable shooting 8x10.
I could shoot smaller if I wanted, I have a 4x5 and roll film back, but I don't want to use anything but the 8x10 unless forced to do so.

Theodoros
4-Jul-2016, 15:07
.........., but I don't want to use anything but the 8x10....

Well, there you are... I guess if one doesn't want to try something else, he will never do... Once I had a conversation with that friend of mine who seemed to be attracting females like honey does with bees... I asked him, "why don't you try something different than your wife after so many years of marriage?" ...he winked on me, smiled with some meaning on his face and replied... "I don't want too"...

Ari
4-Jul-2016, 19:32
Or: "I don't want two." :)

jnanian
4-Jul-2016, 20:36
ari

you opened up a pandoras box.

you should know that unless you expose ULF FILM you are missing out on basically, the world of photography.
you should know that the more money you spend on materials the better the photography will be,
the more expensive the obscure lenses and cameras are the better EVERYTHING is. just the exposure is
worth the additional effort, the image quality might not be as good as 4x5 at times ( or smaller ) but the
effort tends to over ride the value of everything else. its the kinship with those folks with the camera
that is as big as a house ( to photograph trains ) or elsa dorfman or tracy stores or monty who shoot 20x24 portraits.
the quality of the un-innitialted over 8x10 might not be a selling point but the fraternity ( or sorority ) is important. that said
i do expose things that are 11x14 or even larger, and i know my efforts pale in comparison to others on this forum
or otherwise, but its kind of fun to expose something that big ... even though the quality might not be as good as 8x10.
(paper negatives, are cheap ).

Ari
6-Jul-2016, 15:45
Appreciated, John.
Economics are the main reason I can't consider ULF anytime soon, so I may as well derive maximum enjoyment from what I already have and use.
Sure there are a lot of heavyweights working in ULF, I admire their dedication and skill, but I still don't entirely buy the "bigger is better" argument.
And you're 100% right about one thing: the friendships made in relation to LF/ULF shooting are very important and often override which camera or lens or format you're shooting.

Luis-F-S
6-Jul-2016, 17:19
For me the ONLY reason to shoot ULF is if you come from the M. A. S. school that contact printing is vastly superior to enlarging. I'm not going to get into that debate, I'm only pointing it out. For the time being, I'll stick to my 8x10's and 8x10 enlarger. L

Monty McCutchen
7-Jul-2016, 09:08
I actually enjoy shooting ULF for the process of it all, and only hope that the end product lands equidistance to the pleasure I had in achieving it. Ari's question specifically related to the quality of ULF, which I can't speak to as I have never enlarged a photograph. I came in through the backdoor to photography when no one was watching and have quietly gone about my business shooting 10 x 12, 7 x 17 and 20 x 24 for the better part of the last 12 years. For me, the event of shooting ULF is as important to my life as the actual artifact of that event, i.e. the photograph itself. There is a ritual to the bigger formats that is meaningful to me in which I have to give myself over to something other than me, my life, my narcissism to what needs to get done NOW! That ritual at times has an immediate (relative to the word) result when I am shooting Wet Plate in those formats, and sometimes that ritual gets extended into the darkroom in the form of contact printing the film negatives into Gum over Pt/Pd's. I'm under no illusions that it is better than enlarging from smaller formats, or that my work is anything other than competent and agreeable to those close to me that have an obligation to lie to me even if they feel different! Most of my work is donated to charitable causes and given to friends. What ends up mine is the time spent engaging with my sitters, my community, my idea of an artistic pursuit to a life that looked inward as much as outward. ULF is a beautiful medium as it has been applied to my crawl towards otherness.

Ari
7-Jul-2016, 09:30
Monty, that's a wonderful, thoughtful approach and philosophy, quite outside of the number-crunching and very subjective replies I was soliciting.
There's a very important lesson in what you're saying, thank you for posting that.

Pere Casals
7-Jul-2016, 10:22
For me the ONLY reason to shoot ULF is if you come from the M. A. S. school that contact printing is vastly superior to enlarging. I'm not going to get into that debate, I'm only pointing it out. For the time being, I'll stick to my 8x10's and 8x10 enlarger. L

I think yours are just the right arguments...

Contact printing will have and edge if we observe the print with a 8x magnifier, 4x perhaps...


Technically: The resulting "image quality" will always be an overkill, ULF has more theoric potential than 8x10, but in the case of ULF we'll have the limitations of the available lenses for ULF, looking to the famous Christopher M. Perez/Kerry L. Thalmann:

http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html


We see how the lppmm decrease steadly with capable image circle. So the size advantage is diminished...

These are the common ULF lenses:

http://www.angusparkerphoto.com/blog/2015/2/ulf-lens-recommendations-14x17

Some appear in the Pérez-Thalmann gold list...



Image quality in 8x10 can reach 4 Gigapixels with a "modern" 1980 aerial lens and Adox CMS 20 film or similar thing.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Huge-Carl-Zeiss-Biogon-for-8x10-large-format-Pleogon-A2-4-153mm-/221938551851

well, the glass is 30kg and 9500$ :)

In that glass at f/11 the resolution is over the complete 8x10 image field 140 lppmm on very very high contrast.

So image 8x10 quality is not the limited by the format, Sironar-S performance will be more limited by shakes than by film resolution, if a sharp film if used. In MF formats it is possible that some shots are more quality limited because film resolution than by shakes, but this do not happen in 8x10.



ULF is exciting, but the thing is not much about image quality, IMHO, there are other things: there is the look of even longer lenses than the ones used with 8x10 !! (in case creative defocus used...)

Anybody there that needs 8x10 because 5x7 lacks quality ?? :)

Jim Fitzgerald
7-Jul-2016, 10:27
Monty, I'm with ya brother. I couldn't have said it better. We share the same philosophy.

Pere Casals
7-Jul-2016, 15:33
This is... it's the process itsef and the way it is enjoyed. ULF do not need to be justified.

I has not much importance if the image quality is much more than in 8x10, because in 8x10 it is an overkill yet, we can ask about it, but no shot wil be done in 8x10 or ULF because image quality.

I guess it's the process itself that makes one feel happy.

Fr. Mark
7-Jul-2016, 20:58
Late April I made an excursion into ULF, sort of, by way of a metal can/cylinder pinhole camera with 3 sheets of 8x10 held in place by magnets to give me a 10x24 overall picture, Ultra Wide Angle, too.

I'm not a huge fan of pinhole photos usually, but I propped the camera on a flat topped brick pier, nailed the exposure and development and this time had zero stability issues. I thought it was pretty amazing to have a photo that big and the detail surprised me. Compared to my usual 8x10 pinhole, this was way better.

This was a 10" diameter can iirc and the films went nearly all the way around it and there wasn't any unexposed film which surprised me.

This approach, obviously, requires that you be ok with a "tiled" look to the results, but gets around the issues with handling enormous pieces of film.

I get tempted to build huge cameras from cardboard that would use lots of 8x10's per exposure (12?), cardboard boxes or cylinders (concrete forms) are inexpensive and home-made pinholes are, too.

Pere Casals
8-Jul-2016, 03:50
This approach, obviously, requires that you be ok with a "tiled" look to the results,



Direct positive paper is available in ULF sizes, 11x14" and 16x20", boxes of 10.

http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/productlist.asp?n=65&t=Photographic+Papers

Even there are rolls (Non Stock Made to order)

The 16x20" (10 papers) is $97 now

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/756611-REG/Ilford_1165306_Harman_Direct_Positive_Fiber.html

jnanian
9-Jul-2016, 20:04
Direct positive paper is available in ULF sizes, 11x14" and 16x20", boxes of 10.

http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/productlist.asp?n=65&t=Photographic+Papers

Even there are rolls (Non Stock Made to order)

The 16x20" (10 papers) is $97 now

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/756611-REG/Ilford_1165306_Harman_Direct_Positive_Fiber.html

he can also purchase the galaxy reversal kit and make reversals with his exposures.
i believe it is a expose > develop>bleach>clear>fog>redevelop>fix system like making any chromes
its just all sold together in a kit they refer to as their "direct positive" kit.

or he can tinker with permanganate bleach / sodium sulfite / sodium sulfate or the other modes of reversal.

ive seen some online results from all these methods, they are pretty nice !

Pere Casals
11-Jul-2016, 13:55
he can also purchase the galaxy reversal kit and make reversals with his exposures.
i believe it is a expose > develop>bleach>clear>fog>redevelop>fix system like making any chromes
its just all sold together in a kit they refer to as their "direct positive" kit.

or he can tinker with permanganate bleach / sodium sulfite / sodium sulfate or the other modes of reversal.

ive seen some online results from all these methods, they are pretty nice !


Thanks for the information, I didn't know about the Galaxy kit, it is very good that in these digital days we have options like that !!!!

Now I'm using Dichromate bleach to make BW slides from film because Permaganate do not work with some films (HP5+, TMax), as it rehalogenizes developed silver. Dichromate is very hazardous. After usage Dichromate must be mixed with used developer for diposal, (it changes from orange to green), to reduce the hexavalent chromium to trivalent.

I'm to try it with paper, with film I get a lot of fun with reversal process:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/21478354193/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/24393935706/in/dateposted-public/


a lot !!! : )


The big thing about BW slides is to use a 3000 cd/m2 "light table" and to admire such a dynamic range. Another world. Now I plan to reverse LF sheets...

jnanian
11-Jul-2016, 14:37
hi pere

wow, nice work !
its my pleasure :)
i have wanted to do big reversal paper images but haven't had the time or effort to follow through.
please post your results :)
and if you use the galaxy kit please let us know how it works
i've wanted to try it, but ... have too many other irons in the fire at the moment.
john

Pere Casals
12-Jul-2016, 05:17
hi pere
please post your results :)
john

Thanks !! I'll do it !!

I acquired an old lovely Symmar 360/620 convertible for it. (the compound 5 plays pure Bellini music... : )

I found the 620 /12 conversion very suitable, it was said that the conversion was not good, but it is not true, I've tested it with a dslr in the back of a lovely Norma and it performs amazing, the only thing: it has to be stopped to 22, and then there is a focus shift, so focus has to be corrected at the shot's aperture.

... or perhaps the lovely Norma improves glass performance by tickling photons !!! : )

For the moment I'll try it with 8x10 paper, using film holders.

jnanian
12-Jul-2016, 05:52
can't wait pere !
i agree about symmars, and love using it converted.
i think there is just a lot of hype and people repeating stuff without
actually trying things for themselves. maybe there were QC issues
with some, and the people who have bad feelings about the lens
are the ones who have only used the bad QC ones? who knows :)
all i know is i wish it didnt' take so much bellows becuse id love to use it on
a smaller camera than the one i use it on ! can't complain about using it stopped down or wide open ...

[ sorry for the detour ari its that brother/sisterhood thing :) ! ]

Pere Casals
12-Jul-2016, 08:28
i wish it didnt' take so much bellows


The 620 /12 "rear cell only" needs a bit more than 700mm draw for infinite... I lack an additional bellows for the Norma, but the with the CAMBO I can use it: a 25mm square pipe works perfectly as a rail...

this is the resulting "device" https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/27823423611/in/dateposted-public/

Even in the case it gives (high contrast) only 25 line pairs per mm once converted this is 50 dots per mm, and 1270 dots per inch directly on a paper, a paper that can be 11x14". I'm to measure MTF performance, only because I'm curious, because "sharpness" is there way in excess.

Also I suspect that the converted option, specially wide open, may be a ground breaking lens for 8x10 portraiture, I have to try it !!!