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Thread: 8X10 Guys

  1. #1
    kev curry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    8X10 Guys

    I don't know how on earth it happened, but theres a Shen8X10 in the post and its got my name on it:-)
    I'm thinking.....'How nuts must it be to enlarge a 8x10 negative'.....! I'm haunted a little with the thought of a total reorganization of my small darkroom to accommodate such a enlarging beast!
    I'm probably answering my own question here......But I'm just wondering how many of the 8X10 guys out there don't have an enlarger but are satisfied to 'only' do contact prints? I guess its a very personal question and maybe a bit of a silly one to ask, after all, time will tell....... but I'm just wondering?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Re: 8X10 Guys

    I don't have an enlarger but am seriously thinking of one.

    Not so much for 8x10 but for 4x10 and 6x17.

    I contacted KIENZLE Phototechnik. Their compact 8x10 is smaller then my 4x5 enlarger. It's not exactly cheap but it's cheaper then a new 11x14 plus holders. If the Euro exchange rate drops I'll likely pull the trigger.

    My problem isn't with the size of 8x10 contacts it's the shape that more of an issue for me. If I liked the squarish shape more I'd have no problems with just 8x10 contacts.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Richmond, VA

    Re: 8X10 Guys


    Although I've been shooting LF for 20+ years, I've only been shooting 8x10 for about 4 years now. So far, I've been very happy with 8x10 contact prints. But, here is the kicker, I purchased an 8x10 conversion head and related accessories for my Beseler 4x5 enlarger. I own a 16x20 print washer and the related trays so doing enlargements of 8x10 negavites isn't a problem at all. I've never been motivated to set up the 8x10 enlarging head. I just like the contact prints so much that the desire to enlarge one has never crossed my mind. I figurre one of these days I'll do an 8x10 of a grand (think Ansel) landscape that will just scream to be a much larger print, but until that happens the 8x10 conversion kit sits in boxes in my office.

    And please DON'T PM me asking me if the 8x10 conversion head is for sale......if it ever is, I'll post it here.

  4. #4
    IanG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Aegean (Turkey & UK)

    Re: 8X10 Guys

    When started using 10x8 4 years ago it was with the intention of contact printing. One look at my first negatives and I knew I had to enlarge them.

    That was wise decision, 10x8 enlargers were very reasonable prices at the time with a lot of labs getting rid of them.

    Go for it, the results of an enlarged 10x8 negative are worth seeing.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Bath, Ohio 44210 USA

    Re: 8X10 Guys

    If you are asking you are already half way down the slippery slope. That said, this is one of the homes of slippery slope sliders.

    It has a lot to do with how close the print will be when you view it. If you hold it in your hand at the same distance you would read a book, then I think you will be very happy. If you put in on the wall in a nice mat and frame then stand that same distance away you may like it. Some may think you look a little strange walking around a room with your face 12-18 inches from the wall. If you are happy and if those that are important to you are happy, what does it matter?

    If you want to stand back 5-10 feet or view from a chair, you may have trouble seeing the detail in the contact print that you went to such effort to obtain. If you stand back at 5-10 feet and look at a 20x24 enlargement of that detail you will be blown away.

    With a little searching here and on APUG you will see much written on the subject of 8x10 enlargers. I have been using a Durst 138S converted from 5x7 to 8x10 with a cold light for three years and am very happy. Good luck finding what makes you happy.


  6. #6

    Re: 8X10 Guys

    If I only wanted to make big prints, I wouldn't necessarily photograph with an 8x10. My own fascination with 8x10 (and other large sizes) has much to do with the look that comes from using lenses which are long enough to cover the format (but still a normal perspective, i.e., not long for the format). Then there are the "lenses of character" - the portrait, soft focus and other lenses which have their own personality. The size of the final print is another consideration altogether. I'm still learning some of the alternative processes and that means contact printing. But in the interest of full disclosure, I confess I just bought an 8x10 enlarger.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Westminster, MD

    Re: 8X10 Guys

    I love scanning them, and then enlarging big for my Epson 9600 printer.

    Not traditional, but fun none the less.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

  8. #8
    caleb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    traveling the continent in a vintage airstream

    Re: 8X10 Guys

    I enlarge, I couldn't go back if I tried. I can just squeeze out a 50 x 60 in my dinky little darkroom in the basement. I scored a Devere 8x10 many years ago when a local lab went under. This thing is amazing and the prints are just wonderful.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: 8X10 Guys

    Work with 8x10 and 7x11, no enlarger contact prints only - VDB,plt/pld, gum-over plt.pld. Main reason, just did not enjoy working with the 'big' paper, trays etc. Main reason, I just enjoy the alt. process and contact printing. Though I still enjoy enlarging 4x5, 5x7 and up is always contact print.
    Mike Castles
    My Web Site

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: 8X10 Guys

    Well, I have an 8x10 enlarger and I use it very rarely, mainly because very rarely does an 8x10 negative shout "enlarge me!" It is a nice option to have if you keep it simple. A converted Beseler 45 or Zone V would be a nice way to go IMHO, I have an elderly Elwood which is very affordable but is so huge it has it's have it's own zip code
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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