I know these questions have been asked and I have read through many of them. I just have not found the answer. So please bear with this ramble.
I shoot landscapes, rocks, trees, and big views. I work slow (ask my wife), but must admit I like that I can work quick with roll film in changing light. I favor wide angles and often use the Cokin P sized filters. I found 35mm film did not cut it and moved upto a Mamiya 645 a few years back. The increased detail in my prints really wowed me. I shoot exclusively chromes (mostly Velvia), on a tripod, and with manual focus primes. I have a local lab scan the images I want to print. Printing for me means 8x10s on my Epson or a 12x18 at Costco-cannot beat $2.99 for that.
While this works for me now, I am thinking about evolving to a bigger camera or bigger printing or both. I also happen to be at a place where I can set aside some cash to make a purchase. Here is what I am thinking.
Large Format- The tool of choice for landscape is still the view camera. My research here has leaned me toward a Shen-Hao and a Nikon 90/8 lens. My plan would also be to use Quickloads. An alternate camera could be the Cadet Wide, but I think I would prefer a field camera. Already projecting a second lens being a Rodenstock 65mm, because it takes 58mm filters and should accommodate my Cokin P sized filters- like I said, love wide angle. Once I started to accumulate a few images, get an Epson 4870 to digitize.
Of course I have had three friends (who all did shoot LF) say that LF is not the best solution and that 6x7 is a better compromise. I can understand their logic of speed and roll film, but wonder about the difference in the details. I know I can see the difference between 35mm and 645 in an 8x10 print I would think that same type of detail increase would be noticeable in a jump to 4x5 too.
So I have looked at an alternative of a 6x7 and think an RZII would be awesome and the Pentax 67II would be pretty nice, but even used they both would cost more than a new 4x5 setup. Would the quality increase of 6x7 over a 645 be worth the price and increased gear size?
I have also considered sticking with 645 and maybe a get Nikon Coolscan 9 or Epson 4000 and printing big from 645 scans.
I have seen but never used a 4x5 so I have a little hesitation on ordering. Renting is not an option for me locally. I have read the Dykinga LF book and looked through Steve Simmons too. I think I could master the controls, it is the myriad ways to mess up and upside down image that worry me.
Does everyone go through this angst?
Any wise words would help. Thanks.