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Thread: 4x5 vs 8x10

  1. #21

    Re: 4x5 vs 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Stone View Post
    4x5. Try a rollfilm back on it as well, it's a cheap(er) way to test your skills with movements and the like.
    Drum scan, drum scan, drum scan. Shoot less, pay for good scans from a quality operator, who knows their machine and how film curves work. Don't just go the cheap route.
    Less is more. Learn with less equipment, equipment doesn't make the photographer, a photographer who understands composition and lighting techniques can use a cell phone and generate a higher quality photograph than some amateur know-nothing with all the money and equipment in the world.

    Billboards are printed from cell phone pictures these days, Apple and Samsung have 150+ foot high advertisements on the sides of buildings here in LA.

    Determine what print process you desire to do, then formulate your shooting process to match it.
    How large do you think a medium format drum scanned (decently) can be printed?

  2. #22

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    Re: 4x5 vs 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by kcombublate View Post
    How large do you think a medium format drum scanned (decently) can be printed?
    Let me say my opinion: From 40" to 50" , depending on film. This is given the shot is good enough (vibrations, diffracton, etc), and requiring a high quality result.

    To give an example, Sebastiao Salgado's Genesis exhibition had larger than 60" prints from 645 format (Pentax 645 system), if your MF camera is 6x7 it has 150% of the 645 format surface.

    Also Salgado used TXP film, you can use TMX or Delta that may allow "greater" IQ, depending on what you consider "image quality".

    Also it depends on if you want people viewing the full big print from 1m distance or you want people viewing it with their nose scratching the print.

    Here you have an IMHO great source of information about all that: https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/1...ra-comparison/

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: 4x5 vs 8x10

    I shoot both formats. But in terms of square inches of film, carrying around one 8X10 camera is a lot easier than lugging four 4X5's. I wouldn't worry too much about the future of film. Just buy a box of 8x10 color film, and you'll die of a heart attack long before that particular film ceases to be available. But LF gear itself is more affordable than ever, with the exception of certain "cult" lenses. I find 8x10 to be quite a different experience than 4x5. But it's a much more serious darkroom commitment unless you're just contact printing. And yes, I do shoot 8X10 in color, as well as in black and white. But then, some people spend more on cigarettes, booze, and lottery tickets every time they visit the Mini-Mart than I spend per month on film. So choose your addiction.

  4. #24

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    Re: 4x5 vs 8x10

    As to how large a particular size negative or chrome can be printed and look good - remember that Eastman Kodak used to have a billboard size print from kodachrome 35mm film that looked good when you passed it.

    Not close but billboard viewing distance.

    You are more worried than you need to be. 4x5 will look good and 8x10 will look a bit better - all things being equal. Trouble is that all things are not generally equal. From start to finish you find differences in your working methods, focus accuracy, depth of field, development and printing. Either will do the job and a 4x5 is generally more "user friendly" than the 8x10.

    Pick an outfit, use it and see if it does what you want. Or have a friend or someone with the 4x5 and 8x10 shoot something for you and enlarge both so you have a direct comparison. Something tangible to look at will give you more answers than we can on a forum.
    I tend to procrastinate on stuff. One of these days I'll do something about it.

  5. #25

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    Re: 4x5 vs 8x10

    I can agree with 4 x 5, although I know in my heart of hearts that 5 x 7 is the best. And I have a couple of hundred sheets of 5 x 7 color film in the freezer so I'm good for as long as I can carry the camera. To say nothing of the hundreds of sheets of B&W. I've done a bit of 8 x 10 and I think it's more demanding of technique and more prone to workflow malfunction, wind, film flatness issues, etc than 4 x 5 so a lot of the advantage of the larger original gets lost by the time you get to the final print. (But in fairness, when the stars align and everything is right, 8 x 10 is marvelous, absolutely marvelous!)

    And roll film in a 4 x 5 works well - I do a lot of 6 x 12 that way.

  6. #26

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    Re: 4x5 vs 8x10

    For 8X10, the camera GG is bigger, but the lenses are a longer FL, so requires a bit more finessing the movements than 4X5, but the GG makes it easier to see... I have found many vintage 8X10's to have more limited (and stiffer) movements when using for table-top still lifes, and just setting them up on location to be more bulky, just lifting and moving the camera and tripod a few inches or feet more of an effort, reaching/extending my arms all day, and I come home sore... Keeping the holders clean in the field requires another level of compulsion, and lugging the cases requires 3 arms to carry camera case, (bigger) tripod, and holder cases... Feels like I came back from a bar fight that day...

    We used to shoot 8X10 and 4X5 chromes in the food studio, and on the lightbox (even with a loupe), the same shot would look about the same on both sizes, but one bigger and one smaller...

    It seems to me that the difference is a lower enlargement ratio for the bigger format, but you are more likely to have access to a 4X5 enlarger, but the main application would be alt processes that would need a larger neg, for sizes without going to the enlarged neg step... Both will blow-up well to massive sizes, but problems in the camera step with the bigger camera (vibration, wind, less DOF, slower speeds, diffraction from using smaller f stops etc) will also be blown up larger, so consider that...

    But some like driving big Cadillacs, and some prefer sports cars, so enjoy the ride... :-)

    Steve K

  7. #27

    Re: 4x5 vs 8x10

    Finished print size alone should not be the prime factor to format size or imagining system (film or digital). Essentially bigger is not better, it is far more complex than that. Subject, viewing distance, print size, print longevity, print color rendition-accuracy, print contrast ratio-tonal range, print viewing conditions-lighting and much more all figure into what could be the ideal imagining system of choice.

    If the viewing distance is great enough, a modest sensor digital camera can work surprisingly well. This is due to the human eye's way of putting structures like dots together to create an image within the brain. There was a time not too long ago when 35mm color slides were commonly projected to far greater than 20x on to a screen with very good visual results. Similar applies to cinema images where cine 35mm is projected to very large sizes with very acceptable image quality. This works due to viewing distance.

    IMO, the days of widely available high quality film based color prints is mostly gone due to lack of materials and related. Digital printing has mostly taken over as the principal means to produce a color digital print. Given this reality, why not consider using a medium format digital camera with the appropriate lenses to achieve the large color print as needed?

    Moving into a sheet film camera from roll films is not as simple as it appears, there is a significant learning curve involved. It is highly recommended to learn and try using a 4x5 first before diving into a larger sheet film format. Expect to burn and waste a LOT of film with a LOT of camera time before getting far up enough on the learning curve to gain the ability to used this imaging system to it's fullest capability.

    8x10 makes GOOD contact prints, even larger sheets of film can produce larger GOOD contact prints. But when it comes to enlarging the 8x10 or larger sheet of film, it become a significant technical and physical challenge due to the sheer size if devices involved. The idea of scanning to produce a large size image data file has it's own set of difficulties that should not be taken for granted.


    Camera, optics, film, processing choices for 4x5 is GOOD, for 8x10 these same choices are much less coupled with essentially an imaging system that is often four times the size, weight and more.

    The often forgotten format is 5x7 which is pretty much the ideal trade-off between the two if one were to keep the entire image making process film base, not scanned.


    Image "sharpness" or resolution alone does not make an emotionally expressive print as the emotionally expressive image is far more complex than simply "sharp".



    Bernice
    Last edited by Bernice Loui; 16-Oct-2017 at 08:00.

  8. #28

    Re: 4x5 vs 8x10

    As for macro, greater the magnification to the imager (film or digital or _ ), greater the difficulty to produce an image with depth of focus, depth of field with increasing demands on optics and lighting. This is where a smaller size imager be it digital or film simply worked better. Once the image has been captured, the resulting image can be sized as needed.

    Suggest doing a search on this topic as it has been discussed in depth here before.



    Bernice

  9. #29
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: 4x5 vs 8x10

    I love doing macro work in 8X10. Yes, you do need to be especially conscious of depth of field issues, and do need the correct lens. But when you've got it, you have REALLY got it!

  10. #30

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    Re: 4x5 vs 8x10

    But with macro 8X10, shooting 1:1 with normal FL's, the shooting area size is also 8X10, so if you expect a small portion of a small object up close to fill a frame, you would have to crop down to a smaller format, basically wasting the rest of the film size, or maybe shoot it with a smaller format to begin with (at 1:1 magnification, your format frame size is the shooting area size also), to get really up close and personal from the get-go???

    Very short FL corrected lenses can be used, but the amount of precision alignment required in the set-up and camera would make for a very difficult project!!!

    Maybe not the tool for the job...

    Steve K

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