# Thread: Does It Really Matter?

1. ## Re: Does It Really Matter?

Originally Posted by Corran
Just ask everyone who is using it frequently on 8x10
That's fine, Corran. Whatever makes you happy.

Are you happy?

You have your standards, I have mine.

- Leigh

2. ## Re: Does It Really Matter?

Just refuting false statements, for future reading. It's not about "standards," though if you have thorough resolution tests for the corners of the Nikkor 120mm on 8x10 I'd love to see them.

3. ## Re: Does It Really Matter?

Originally Posted by Leigh
Sorry, Pere,

but sqrt(164) = 12.806" = 325.28mm, not 312.5mm.

312.5mm = 12.303". 12.303^2 = 151.37, not 164.

- Leigh
Yes... you are right, I took the 312.5mm from here http://www.largeformatphotography.in.../LF8x10in.html

it says "New Large Format Lenses for 8x10in (312.5 mm Diagonal)"

Originally Posted by Corran
There's only so much one can know by assuming and looking at spec sheets.

8x10 inch film is not 8 inches by 10 inches. It's about 1/8th of an inch shorter in both directions. You also lose some rebate from the film holder, which varies by type. If you plug in exactly 7.875 x 9.875 and calculate to the appropriate significant digits and don't round anywhere, you get 320.816429 millimeters (so not only are you technically wrong on the film dimensions, but your math appears to have been wrong anyway). Considering the typical film holder eats into the image, I believe that the "normal" film diagonal that has been used is 312mm.

Regardless of all that, I'll state once more that the Nikkor 120mm f/8 covers 8x10 perfectly fine. And not just "covers" with poor edge definition as may be the case with some lenses, but is perfectly sharp/usable in the corners of 8x10 and even has a bit more to give if you want to use movements, at least at typical shooting apertures. I would guess the 312mm specs from Nikon is conservative estimates given to match the accepted 8x10 diagonal after the film holder cuts in a bit. Fall-off inherent in symmetrical wide-angle designs is an irrelevant point. Buy a CF with a 77mm attachment thread if you need it - didn't Heliopan make one?

Unless you've got a broken lens, the Nikkor 120mm f/8 covers 8x10. Just ask everyone who is using it frequently on 8x10.

I guess this isn't the purpose of the thread though so I hope this clears everything up.
It's very clear...

SW 120 covers 8x10 with no movements, focusing at infinite, and with more movements as focussing closer... then we can stop to /16 or /22, what it's a common situation...

Also nikkor specs are a bit conservative... they place the image circle where they consider performance it's not really perfect, but extreme sharpness in the last half inch (diagonal) of corners may not be important, not a drawback for portrait (people groups in this case ), and for landscape you have clouds there, or perhaps something a bit out of focus at the bottom.

The SW 120 it's a nice 8x10 option, as it's the wide thing for 8x10... at 150mm there are better well known options, because movements...

4. ## Re: Does It Really Matter?

Originally Posted by Pere Casals
SW 120 covers 8x10 with no movements, focusing at infinite, and with more movements as focussing closer... then we can stop to /16 or /22, what it's a common situation...

Also nikkor specs are a bit conservative... they place the image circle where they consider performance it's not really perfect, but extreme sharpness in the last half inch (diagonal) of corners may not be important, not for portrait (people groups in this case ), and for landscape you have clouds there, or perhaps something a bit out of focus at the bottom.
I just pulled out some of my Nikon lens catalogs, and found I was wrong on the specs for the 120/8 SW.

The image circle wide open is only 200mm ! ! !

If you stop the lens down to f/22, its 312mm ic at infinity focus will barely cover 8x10.

With closer focus or using a smaller aperture, the ic will be larger, thus accommodating some movements.

As has been pointed out, the definition of "image circle" varies with different manufacturers.

- Leigh

5. ## Re: Does It Really Matter?

Haven't read all the above posts, but:

yes, it matters. I went through multiple 8x10 cameras including the old style Arca Swiss, Toyo M field camera, Cambo view camera, and finally a Wehman 8x10.

I hated using all but the Wehman which was a pleasure. The others were impossibly heavy for field work. They were built like tanks and very nice but very impractical. If you just do studio work so that your camera is always on a tripod, then the camera makes a bit less difference although in that case you might appreciate geared movements and more refinement.

the Wehman folded to a practical size and shape for field use. Setup was quick and easy. It was lightweight. The bellows were long and flexible. The lens board was easily adaptable (I suppose they all are). It was much better for plane travel. As for lenses, you could just barely cram a 90 mm lens on it with a 4x5 reducing back but the bellows were max compacted. On the long end, 600 was fine. It had extensive movements and a fabulous asymmetric rear swing. Of course, everybody has his own aesthetic but I found that the right camera for me made a huge difference. IT was not the most expensive and actually one of the least expensive new cameras at the time.

6. ## Re: Does It Really Matter?

Yes, it matters.

Photographs don't care what the name on your camera is, but you should develop (heh-heh see what I did there?) an element of intuitiveness with your camera and that will come with use, so my recommendation is to get a camera in good condition that looks like you'll enjoy using it---that you can picture yourself using. If you get something you're incompatible with, it will tend to stay in the closet until you decide to sell it.
It takes a lot of effort to shoot an 8x10 in the field and there will come a time when you'll use your equipment as an excuse for not getting out on the dance floor unless you really love dancing with that camera.
It is sort of like marriage.

As for a lens, there are plenty of great lenses for 8x10 that won't break the bank---the 14" Commercial Ektar and the 240mm G Claron are two of my favorites among many others. Pick one and have fun with it. Keep some \$\$ set aside for a shutter CLA clean, lube and adjust if needed. Sometimes you get lucky.
Don't forget that you'll need film holders and a really strong tripod

7. ## Re: Does It Really Matter?

I think it matters... I've worked with a lot of formats and for a 5 year span (the duration of my LF life) I kept everything I had, perhaps selling and upgrading here and there, but overall I quickly realized each format has its own merits and downfalls.

To keep the story short, this year my wife and I were forced to move and as we are living on one income I sold my large format cameras, a Leica, a Hassy just to keep some living expenses at bay. Well, now after some saving and maneuvering I am ready to come back but I can't afford both formats. On one hand, 4x5 is quick for me and it allows me to shoot color. On the other hand, deep down I hate color... but its a challenge and thats what keeps me coming back. If I go 8x10 again, I am committing to only shooting black and white.

I have access to a wet darkroom now but thats going to dry up within 12 months. A 4x5 contact print doesn't satisfy me but an 8x10 is magical.

So like yourself, my heart is torn. The only upside of my situation is that I never sold the underlying structures of the formats so I have lenses and holders and such, just plug and play a new body.

8. ## Re: Does It Really Matter?

I feel one has to shoot 8x10 and and 4x5 to see the difference. Image making with 8x10 feels less like work than 4x5 to me. I enjoy an 8x10 ground glass much more than 4x5. A print from a scanned 8x10 vs. 4x5 may be technically identical depending on print size, but I can see a difference. 8x10 is better although I shoot way more 4x5.

9. ## Re: Does It Really Matter?

Originally Posted by Leigh
I just pulled out some of my Nikon lens catalogs, and found I was wrong on the specs for the 120/8 SW.

The image circle wide open is only 200mm ! ! !

If you stop the lens down to f/22, its 312mm ic at infinity focus will barely cover 8x10.

With closer focus or using a smaller aperture, the ic will be larger, thus accommodating some movements.

As has been pointed out, the definition of "image circle" varies with different manufacturers.

- Leigh
Yes... that list http://www.largeformatphotography.in.../LF8x10in.html specifies image circles @ f/22...

I guess the definition of IC of a manufacturer also depends a bit on competition, on marketing...

I consider the SW 120 as it's one of the widest glass for 8x10, for many photographers the last millimeters in the corners are not critical, as we do not have many zooms in LF some frammings are made with the next wider glass than the intended composition requires, and then we can crop to the ideal selective frame in post. The 8x10 IQ allows it...

Of course, also there is a purist approach that tries to use the full format surface... That's a personal choice...

Personally, I always try to use the full format surface, but I've no problem to crop later if I want to shot from a particular point of view and want a particular framming,

10. ## Re: Does It Really Matter?

I'll hazard to comment that most 8x10 glass is very good if it hasn't been fooled with and the spacing twerked or something else terrible has happened.
With most things 8x10 it is an "it's the Indian, not the arrow" sort of thing as 8x10 has long been considered a professional's format and in it's day, that profession was highly competitive.
Nearly all my used gear was owned at one time by a commercial studio or pro lab.