So I thought maybe I could get a little advice here on this dilemma of mine.
I've been itching for quite a while to move up to an 8x10 - shooting 4x5 now mostly, sprinkled in with a little 6x6 when I can't get the 'big' camera out. I have a darkroom at home with a 4x5 enlarger and my "workflow" is 100% analog. With 8x10 negs I would only be able to do contact prints unless I want to buy a scanner and a printer and get into all that (I don't really want to), and I'm afraid I'll start feeling pretty limited in a short time, being able to do no larger than 8x10 prints. Moving up to the bigger camera seems like kind of a big commitment in that regard - not to mention the investment - for not a really huge return (or is it?) in quality and clarity of the print.
Currently, I enlarge and print up to 16x20 with my 4x5 negatives and they look pretty good to me when they're done right. 8x10 and 11x14 prints look even better and it's hard to imagine a contact print from an 8x10 negative would be vastly better than 4x5 enlarged to 8x10. I know there is no equal to an 8x10 contact print and I am also keen to try some Pt/pd and other alternative processes, which to me is one of the big selling points of moving to the larger format.
I guess my question is, is the slight uptick in quality, sharpness and 'tonality' and the ability to do alt. process contact prints really worth moving up to the larger format and then be limited to no larger than 8x10 prints?
Thanks for your input and advice on this issue...
BTW - One of the arguments I make to myself is that Edward Weston was "limited" in this way and we all know how that turned out!
Phil aka "Cletus"