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Thread: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

  1. #41
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    I use 5X7 and might be considered (at least by me) some kind of mountain photographer. All other plusses and minuses aside, the format gives me a bigger negative to work with both in terms of enlarging and cropping. The fact is, when size and weight considerations are important considerations, and shooting positions are frequently restrictive, cropping may be another very necessary option.

    My only caveat, based on ultimate availability, is that if color is a consideration at all, you might as well stick with 4X5. I personally don't use a 5X7 for color work at all. I consider it to be a tool for producing fine art monochrome enlargements.

  2. #42

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    ...I am badly nearsighted and became presybyopic a few years ago - been wearing progressives lenses for seven years now. But the only affect on my large format photography has been that I really need to remember to bring my dedicated reading glasses with me to work under the dark cloth. Otherwise, it's so hard to get into the very close up bottom range of the progressives I just take them off...I don't think any size would be appreciably easier to work with from the point of view of my close up vision...
    I'm -6 diopters nearsighted in both eyes and have been presbyopic for more than a few years. As the myopia increased, even before needing progressives, I went to somewhat smaller frames in order that my nose wouldn't suffer so much weight, despite having already worked through a number of lens materials. I'd settled on Hi-index 1.6 plastic as a best compromise between lightness and cone-of-clarity size.

    With 5x7, a BTZS hood is long enough that I can take in the entire screen using my progressive's maximum add (1.75 diopters). For fine focusing, the somewhat smaller frames enable peering right over their tops with no need to remove and hold them in my mouth or elsewhere.

    This doesn't work for 4x5; the screen is just too small. Ancillary magnification is mandatory for critical focus with the "smallest" large format. 5x7 provides just enough edge so the loupe can stay home, waiting for a day when the 5x7 eventually exceeds my pack-carrying weight limit.

  3. #43

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ROL View Post
    I use 5X7 and might be considered (at least by me) some kind of mountain photographer. All other plusses and minuses aside, the format gives me a bigger negative to work with both in terms of enlarging and cropping
    +1 on cropping. Especially in the field, it seems like your chances of getting the perfect full-frame photo are basically nil. There is always some tree branch you didn't see getting in the way disturbing your composition. It's a big advantage to LF that no one really talks about much.

  4. #44

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by domaz View Post
    +1 on cropping. Especially in the field, it seems like your chances of getting the perfect full-frame photo are basically nil. There is always some tree branch you didn't see getting in the way disturbing your composition. It's a big advantage to LF that no one really talks about much.
    And yet what I appreciate about LF is doing the opposite...always full frame, including the rebate (always in the field, often with one lens). To each their own!

  5. #45

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    I got a shenhao 4x5 too but without red bellows. I think I will order 1 like yours. I also got a 5x7 Mahogany antique camera but it's not as solid as the Shenhao. If I got enough money I will buy a new 5x7 Shenhao.

  6. #46
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    I'm -6 diopters nearsighted in both eyes and have been presbyopic for more than a few years. As the myopia increased, even before needing progressives, I went to somewhat smaller frames in order that my nose wouldn't suffer so much weight, despite having already worked through a number of lens materials. I'd settled on Hi-index 1.6 plastic as a best compromise between lightness and cone-of-clarity size.

    With 5x7, a BTZS hood is long enough that I can take in the entire screen using my progressive's maximum add (1.75 diopters). For fine focusing, the somewhat smaller frames enable peering right over their tops with no need to remove and hold them in my mouth or elsewhere.

    This doesn't work for 4x5; the screen is just too small. Ancillary magnification is mandatory for critical focus with the "smallest" large format. 5x7 provides just enough edge so the loupe can stay home, waiting for a day when the 5x7 eventually exceeds my pack-carrying weight limit.
    Well that makes sense for you. I'm -6 in my left eye but much better in my right eye. I can see a 4x5 gg ok with the closest vision portion of my progressives but it's just too narrow and too near the bottom. My dedicated reading glasses work best, really, I just keep forgetting them. Considering I can order them online for very little money I'm thinking about just getting an extra pair to go in the 4x5 kit.
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  7. #47

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    The large glass to compose on is a joy to work with! I keep a 5x7 for when the 8x10 is too large to take along. A lightwieght 5x7 like a Nagaoka is lighter than many 4x5 cameras and the same tripod you have for your 4x5 will handle a Nagaoka or similar. FWIW I must say that I prefer the 5x7 ground glass to the 4x5 (now if I could only find a 5x7 Nagaoka! They rarely come up for sale.)
    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.

  8. #48
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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    I might have an interest in 5x7 IF I could enlarge it. But I have two 4x5 enlargers (couldn't pass up the deal on the second) but nothing bigger. 5x7 enlargers are either old, huge, and hard enough to move you need to find them locally (Durst, Elwood) or quite expensive (Zone VI, maybe some others.) 8x10 is almost more practical because, even though it's even harder to enlarge, contact prints are large enough for display. So are 5x7s to some extent, but I don't really think 4x5 comes into its own in sizes under 11x14 (that is, anything smaller and you might as well use medium format) so why use a bigger negative to make a smaller print?

    If a suitable enlarger drops out of the sky into my yard I might get into 5x7. Otherwise I doubt it.
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  9. #49
    Alberto Bregani's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    Are you simply posing in that image or really adjusting the shutter speed? How good is your distant and closeup vision? Have you experienced any of the issues yet that arise when one's "arms become too short?"

    You're dealing with a complete system that you are part of. When presbyopia sets in, you'll appreciate the much easier viewing and focusing available with a 5x7. Should your distance vision require negative diopter correction and you either wear eyeglasses or a different contact lens in each eye, 5x7 enables working without a loupe. Also worth knowing is that one can get a Maxwell Hi-Lux integral screen/fresnel for 5x7. Larger formats are stuck with actual ground glass and a separate fresnel, a less bright combination.

    Another thing to consider is how many lenses of what focal lengths you carry. This can impact the weight/bulk differences between 4x5 and 5x7 kits almost as much as camera and holders will.

    Using black and white film exclusively in large format, my approach has been to stick with 5x7 on the longest hikes for as long as I can carry it.
    Nice thread again
    thank you all for your precious comments

    Since Sal introduced the sight/eyesight issue and most of your following comments were around this argument i start with this

    @Sal
    you exactly hit the centre :-)
    I was not posing, i was really adjusting the shutter speed... :-(
    When i talked about "composing the scene" i was saying that the 4x5 Gg maybe is too little for me and the loupe i usually use ..Hasselblad 6x loupe (i feel very confortable looking into it ) is too big for a 4x5 GG - Without it I just see nothing. Fog

    I have a standard +4.5 hypermetropia so i daily use contact lenses BUT when i have to read something ( books, documents, ...shutter speed..) i have to wear the red glasses you see in the picture since I have a little presbyopia too ( +1.5) . So when i look into the GG i have to use glasses, when i have to see into the loope i have to take them off... then i have to use them again to see aperture and speed.. UFF just tiring :-))

    Maybe with a 5x7" i could have less problems ; i could work withoup a loupe ( or now and again ) and feel much confortable in terms of composing the scene
    I say it again: to go for 5x7 format is not a bigger negative issue for me. Just a more confortable way to take photographs

    Could it be the right choice for me?

    ps well i know 8x10 and more could it be better. but as i said when i climb or i go around mountains i have no possibility to have sherpas ))
    So lighweight is vital.

    @Vaughn: thanks for your remarks and experience

    @Rol Domaz Roger dupont and others
    thanks again
    Alberto Bregani | Mountain Photographer
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  10. #50

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Roger, 5x7 enlargers are out there. I had a Durst 138 w/ a colorhead fall into my lap about 5 years ago, & got a beautiful 70s 210 Rodagon off ebay for $40. Love those modest 16x20' enlargements. Alberto I was wondering how you have dificulties with the screen on a 4x5 coming from a Rolleiflex? The Rollei & the 5x7 Deardorff are my standards & I love them both. Good luck with your decision. Your mountain work is very beautiful. I'm a professional mountain & ski guide from Canada & have always appreciated the opportunity to climb on either side of the Swiss/Italian border. I hope you are able to resolve your focusing issues.

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