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Thread: 4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide open

  1. #1

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    4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide open

    Hello

    I've spent an inordinate amount of time reading posts and researching and am still not sure what to do.
    My primary intention is to use the camera for portraits and I like selective focus which is what I like to do with the smaller formats I shoot. The look is different with an 8x10 in regard to the fall off. (Selective focus with a 300/5.6 with no distortion). So that is what drew me to the format. Than I looked at cost to purchase, shoot, weight, etc. My back is not the strongest so I am proceeding with caution

    I'm wondering if I can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide open with a 300 5.6? What lens would I need to use in 4x5? It prob would not be the same as the tonality will differ, etc., but can I get close enough? My favorite focal length in 6x7 is 80mm for head and shoulders/ 80 in 2 1/4 and 50mm in 35mm). I would get a 210 in 4x5 as my only lens. In 8x10 I would get a 300 or slightly longer lens. I also like the idea of being able to use older vintage glass, that would be an option with the 8x10 mostly I think? Or at least for a better selection...I like to shoot head & shoulders. I like P. Roversi, Timothy Greenfield Sanders among many. I'm not looking for a clinical look or to be like them, but they do interesting work and inspire me.

    In 8x10 I am considering a Sinar F2, Deardorff as I get find them used at a reasonable price point.
    In 4x5... at field cameras: Wista DX, Wisner, Toyo 45A, Deardorff 4x5 Special

    The trade offs for me. Is that I think the look of 8x10 is what I want, but at the expense of weight & mobility, film & processing expense. I like the idea of being able to do contacts (alternative processes) as well as scanning. I'm thinking a lot, and basically wonder if in the end maybe I'll get both formats...but I want to start with one and not go overboard either. I think I can handle the costs of the larger format as I would shoot less, but I would also learn less?

    One last question, do you need more working distance form your model with 8x10 format vs with a 300mm vs a 150 in 4x5?

    I'm in the predicament that there are a lot of paths possible. I've learned a lot from reading the board, but without actually shooting I'm in the dark, as ultimately it's a personal choice.

    Thanks in advance,

    Serge

  2. #2

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide o

    An old 8x10 Deardorff with a 14" Commercial Ektar works fine for me. YMMV
    The learning curve with an 8x10 is easily reached because everything is bigger, heavier and more costly (like wood working where you quickly learn to measure twice and cut once ) so I tend to go more slowly and contemplate more (certainly you can do that with any format, but shooting an 8x10 on a budget is more demanding in that respect)
    As far as learning less, don't worry. Sheet film and perspecive controls behave the same regardless of format. If anything, 8x10 poses greater logistical challenges with landscapes, which I find is part of the fun. As far as wieght goes, and 8x10 'dorff is not a heavy camera in my book, but a fast lens that covers 8x10, a sturdy tripod that will handle an 8x10, and a stack of 8x10 film holders really packs on the pounds. A Gowland might be something to consider in that case.
    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.

  3. #3

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide o

    Forget the cameras, forget the lenses... Paulo Roversi and TGS are all about the subject and lighting.

    Neither of them seem to work wide open, so you can replicate the look with nearly any format. TGS works a lot with a Nikkor 450/9, closed down. 210mm is a good analogue in 4x5.

    4x5 and 8x10 do differ in detail and tonality, but you probably won't detect it unless you're printing 30x40" or above.

  4. #4
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide o

    You need to consider practicalities, I shoot both formats but there's no way I could work all day backpacking with a 10x8 camera, I can with a 5x4. It's for reasons like this many of us work with both formats and in the US (mainly) 7x5 which is a compromise in between.

    Ian

  5. #5
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide o

    Welcome to the forum, Serge!

    You can use a 300mm lens on a 4x5. The 300mm is approximately normal for an 8x10. For a 4x5, it's a long lens, and some 4x5 cameras may not have the bellows for it to be used ad portrait distances. You would need to buy a telephoto lens in that case, like a Schneider 360mm, which is common on the used market.

    I also have back problems, and so I use my 8x10 cameras carefully. There's a number of forum threads about carrying a camera and accessories on a cart. I use a bicycle cart.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

  6. #6

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide o

    I'm pretty sure there are very few people who could tell from a regular to large enlargement whether a picture was taken on a 4x5 or 8x10. It's really not the camera here. You could definitely make a nicer contact print with the 8x10, and scanning is easier if your scanner is big enough. But as far as the "look" I don't think it's the last thing you need to worry about.

    A basic fact though is that the same 300mm lens on an 8x10 will make a radically different kind of picture on a 4x5. I'm reasonably sure (someone please correct me) that the equivalent lens on 4x5 is a 150. Which are plentiful (there are a couple for sale right now, I believe).

  7. #7

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide o

    PS it sounds like you are still figuring out the basic moves (as am I, perhaps a few steps ahead of you). I started with 5x7, with thoughts of making contacts. But currently I'm mostly gearing up to shoot 4x5. I would recommend you start the same, the mistakes are a lot cheaper, there is so much more available as far as tanks and development stuff. Lenses are cheaper and easier to find. 8x10 will always be there.

    Currently I'm using my old beater 5x7 (a pretty crude but workable camera that I've done a lot of decent work with) and a much more modern 4x5 I just got. You might consider something similar, an older Kodak 2D 8x10 and some super technical 4x5. Frank would recomend a monorail, and they are very cheap and can produce amazing results. A field camera is going to be more expensive but substantially lighter.

    The combination of a cheap 8x10 with one normal lens and a nice 4x5 kit with a few lenses might be cheaper than a full 8x10 kit with several lenses. Just a thought.

  8. #8

    Re: 4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide o

    If you are just starting off then I would suggest you invest in a 5x4 and a telephoto 270 or 360 ,if you cannot get one at your budget then a 240 or 210 will be perfectly ok, you will not get exactly the same effect as shooting on 10x8 but it will be close enough not to be to concerned and the lower film cost will give you the chance to test without being to concerned about the price, Having just bought a box of 20 sheets of10x8 160 NS for 255 , I would hesitate to advice going down the 10x8 path without a lot of practice with the smaller format

  9. #9
    indecent exposure cosmicexplosion's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide o

    i just did a days shooting on my 8x10 sinar, and i went to flick a few polaroids on my 4x5 sinar and ok it had a 90mm but it was quiet a shock how small the image was.

    so if you like squinting get a 4x5, if you like to see what you are lookin at, git a 8x10.

    i just got an old kodak 2d for 600 buckaroonies that is very light, and a cheap way to start.
    through a glass darkly...

  10. #10

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10 not sure wich way to go/can replicate the look of an 8x10 shot wide o

    Bigger is better.

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