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Thread: Any benefit to 8x10 over 4x5 if not contact printing?

  1. #41
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Thanks, Ken. I like yours too. The 8x10" contact print is still the gold standard for me. Wish I had time to make more of them, but nothing is as satisfying.

  2. #42
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    Re: Any benefit to 8x10 over 4x5 if not contact printing?

    As far as detail goes, does anyone have comparisons between regular film and X-ray film (with lots of zoom/crop as seen previously in this thread)?
    Rød grød med fløde.

  3. #43
    funkadelic
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    Re: Any benefit to 8x10 over 4x5 if not contact printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    I thought a key part of addiction was that it affect your life in a negative manner.
    As long as you stay away from the transparencies, you can work with all the negatives you want.

  4. #44

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    Re: Any benefit to 8x10 over 4x5 if not contact printing?

    Thank you all for your advice! I had a good think about it last night (assisted by a few glasses of Merlot) and decided the camera on offer was too good to miss. Large cameras are few and far between down here in 'Straylia and I would get into 8x10 eventually.. it's a natural progression I suppose.

    My negative developing worries have been put to pasture as bizarrely enough, this morning I just discovered a hire-able darkroom less than 10 minutes walk from home (it's literally half way between where I work and where I live) . I guess it's fate! I'll certainly look into contact printing in my bathroom. I could probably process the prints in my Jobo. Anyway, very excited and looking forward to the camera arriving.

    Now, lenses..

  5. #45

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    Re: Any benefit to 8x10 over 4x5 if not contact printing?

    Good choice!

    I have actually been struggling with this same question of whether the jump in price from 4x5 to 8x10 is worth it. I have had an 8x10 for several years but shot only around 20 negs with it until about 6 months ago when I got a drum scanner and could finally do something with the negs. I used 4x5 extensively because that was the maximum size the scanner I previously had access to could handle. I only shoot Portra 160 and the jump from (including processing) about $6/neg with 4x5 to about $20/neg is a serious consideration for me. But i finally did a comparison, shooting the same scene with 4x5 and 8x10 and scanning the results on my drum scanner...and the results totally convinced me that 8x10 is worth it.

    Disclaimer: I know this is by no means a scientific test. Resolution is not the only reason to chose 4x5 over 8x10. Images were not sharpened, but a slight curve was added to the 4x5 to darken slightly to bring it closer to the 8x10. This 'test' convinced me, but it is very specific to my personal equipment and workflow and know one else should care. I cannot be held liable for any personal injury or excessive expenditures related to one deciding to shoot 8x10.

    Notes: 8x10 on the left scanned at 4000ppi (~7.5gigs) then resized to 40x50 at 360ppi (~1.45gigs). 4x5 on the right scanned at 8000ppi (~7.5 gigs) and resized to 40x50 at 360ppi (~1.45 gigs). The detail is zoomed to 100%. I basically shot with the same camera (sinar), and just swapped the 4x5 and 8x10 backs, bellows, and lenses. Lens for 8x10 was a Calumet Caltar II 300mm (Schneider symmar-s i believe, with heavy 'schneideritis'), and the 4x5 was shot with my most expensive lens, the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-S. I could certainly make an excellent 40x50 inch print from the 4x5....but i think the 8x10 will look amazing.

    As i hope you can see in the small jpegs....the 8x10 has much more detail.

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  6. #46
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: Any benefit to 8x10 over 4x5 if not contact printing?

    I eill confess that I have not read the entire thread but here goes my .02 for the hell of it. I develop everything from 8x10 to 14x17 in my bathtub and then make carbon transfer prints and develop them in same bathtub. Where is the problem? X-ray film is cheap and I get great results from it and traditional film is not that expensive if you ignore The Il.... and Ko.... I shoot Efke and love it. By all means do it. Contact prints make your life simple and if you want a huge print then scan the neg and have at it.

  7. #47
    funkadelic
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    Re: Any benefit to 8x10 over 4x5 if not contact printing?

    Jim,
    Do you stack your trays on one another to get them to fit or are you working on a bigger-than-standard tub? I'm curious about your carbon printing workflow in what I imagine to be very limited quarters. I've claimed a small bathroom to call a darkroom and I have to stack trays to get 12x20 negatives developed. Exposing contact prints on paper are either on the floor or above the sink, with developing back over the tub. It seems like carbon printing would require more space...

  8. #48

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    Re: Any benefit to 8x10 over 4x5 if not contact printing?

    I don't post this to be insulting to 5x4 because 5x4 is my chosen format. I have a 10x8 camera that "maybe" one day I will use but there are no real similarities between 5x4 and 10x8. Example -- I have a 12" Velostigmat that is truely wonderful on 5x4 wide open even enlarged to 16x12 and yet that same lens at the same aperture on 10x8 is a world away different. Something happens as the film gets bigger that cannot be replicated with print enlargement. DOF selective focus and tonality on a 10x8 contact challenge your perceptions that it is the same lens. I love soft focus but I will never acheive the 10x8 Jim Galli look with my enlarged 5x4. Please don't miss read this I'm completely satisfied with my 5x4 but it will never be a 10x8. Again not an insult, just an observation but 5x4 for the most part has a modern [ish] super high quality medium format look whereas 10x8 is "different". Very subjective I realise. In some instances both formats at a glance will be similar but not the same.

    Then of course there is the weight, the cost, the bulk and the continual realisation film is available in even bigger sizes.

  9. #49

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    Re: Any benefit to 8x10 over 4x5 if not contact printing?

    I have run 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10. They all have pros and cons. 8x10 was the way to go for contact prints but digital enlarged negatives from 4x5 scans are now a really nice way to make pt/pd prints.

    A bigger negative is better, but how much better and what does it cost to make it? Film is dear – 8x10 costs that much more than 4x5. I don’t just mean $. Because there is more to haul it becomes less convenient to use if you are on foot. A bigger camera requires a heavier tripod. It means more windage in field conditions – thus greater susceptibility to camera shake. Longer lenses mean either longer exposures or less depth of field. These restrictions compel you to take fewer risks. You won’t travel as far or experiment as much.

    There is truth to the old saw about the best camera being the camera you have in hand when you need it. For me that means the lightweight 4x5 field camera - Nagoaka - comes with, and the 8x10 Deardorff stays home.

    As for enlarging 4x5. A well made negative will yield a fine print. I've never looked at one of my enlargements from 4x5 and thought - not bad, but I wish I'd done it in 8x10.


    Nicholas Whitman
    nwphoto.com

  10. #50

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    Re: Any benefit to 8x10 over 4x5 if not contact printing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Whitman View Post

    I've never looked at one of my enlargements from 4x5 and thought - not bad, but I wish I'd done it in 8x10.


    Nicholas Whitman
    nwphoto.com
    4x5 certainly will make a fine print. And, while I haven't looked at a print from 4x5 and wished I'd used a larger format, every time I look at an 8x10 contact, I'm glad I used the big camera.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

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