View Full Version : After shooting 8x10 what did you switch to?

Robert Skeoch
10-Jan-2005, 17:24
I've been shooting LF for 20 plus years but only switched to 8x10 last spring. I'm curisous what you switched to after shooting 8x10 for a while. I've thought about 11x14 but it seems like too much effort/cost for a slight increase in size. To move up to 16x20 seems more logical (logical might not be the right word here) but the format doesn't seem all that popular. Any thing bigger than 16x20 seems like a lot of work and huge costs. Just interested what format's you 8x10 photographers have moved on to?

Michael Kadillak
10-Jan-2005, 18:03
As an 8x10 shooter, I found the banquet formats to be my ace in the hole. 7x17, 8x20, 12x20 or other similar proportions just might get you another way to express yourself and diversify from the old rectangular standard.

How about a 4x10 back for your 8x10 camera? 8x10 will most likely always be around and you can cut it down yourself. Film holders might be an issue, but it sounds like many on this forum have amassed much experience that you could utilize.


10-Jan-2005, 18:10
No need to make 4x10 film holder. Just use a 8x10 holder but with a dark slide cut into half so that you can expose the film by two times.

Diane Maher
10-Jan-2005, 18:44
Hopefully, only to a newer 8x10. :) I've done everything from Disc to 8x10 and I find that I like the nice big view through the 8x10. Anything heavier than 8x10 isn't worth the trouble (or weight) to me.

Bruce E. Rathbun
10-Jan-2005, 18:58
I second the advice from Michael. Like you I debated the 16x20 move. After a few months of research the amount of overhead needed for the 16x20 format was out of my reach. I opted for an 11x14 giving me a larger negative. I also moved to an 8x20 conversion back for the 8x10. That panoramic back turned out to be the best investment that I have ever made. The panoramic format is now my main camera. Maybe you could hang an 8x20 back on the 8x10. The 4x10 darkslide would not be the same as a 4x10 camera though it will give you a good idea. Good luck with whatever you go with.


Dean Cookson
10-Jan-2005, 19:07
Well, I've only had my 8x10 for about 9 months so far, so I haven't switched yet. But...

One of the reasons I picked the Canham, 8x10 woodfield was because there are 7x17 and 8x20 backs available for it. We'll see which I pick in a few hundred more sheets of 8x10.

10-Jan-2005, 19:37
After having an 8x10 for a while, I bought a Korona 12x20, along with a 7x17 reducing back.

The Korona is so big and gimpy that it's gathering dust in the closet right now. I need a REALLY good reason to be bothered to take it out, and inspiration has been a little thin lately.

I think 11x14 would be perfect, for me anyways. That's the size I generally like to put up on the wall, and I've largely lost my taste for panoramic images.

But after working my way up, literally from APS to 8x10, though every possible step, I thought I wouldn't be satisfied till I had the largest practical ULF, which I defined as 12x20, so I skipped directly there, to avoid the intermediate stops. Now I kinda wish I had an 11x14. Also it would fit in a (big) backpack, while the 12x20 requires a cart.

Anybody with an 11x14 they want to trade for a 12x20 with 7x17 back? Preferably near SF? Lemme know off line...

John Kasaian
10-Jan-2005, 20:03
I still shoot my 8x10 a lot. I ventured into 12x20(hey, one came along that I could afford so I took the ball and ran with it!) and I love it, but taking it out in the field is like an exercise in logistics, it it only gets to go outside on special assignment(besides I only have two film holders to feed it!) 11x14 is a delightful format---quite pleasing to my eyes and IMHO the largest size contact print that "looks" right to me in most rooms. The trouble I had with 11x14 is that film holders are more costly than Ivana Trump and the 11x14 camera I could afford was...well...big and clunky. It was a great camera for a studio but was every bit as difficult to maneuver in the field as my 12x20 so....

Thats my story anyway. I've got this fantasy that early some morning I'll find an 11x14 'dorff field camera with a 19" Dagor and a trunk load of film holders with a "buy it now" price of 200 bucks or so, but that hasn't happened yet.

BTW, 12x20 and 8x20 rock! Unless you can find a 10" Cirkut, I'd consider one of these if they come with a film holder or two(or better yet three) Fun stuff!

Brian Ellis
10-Jan-2005, 20:44
AFter carrying my 8x10 outfit around for a couple years I moved on to 4x5.

Christian Olivet
10-Jan-2005, 21:37
I photograph with 8x10 and could not think of moving on to something else. Don't need to, too much fun. Also 8x10 is extremely convenient compared to the big boys. So I think that if I could afford a big camera on top of my 8x10 I would not hessitate for a split second and go for a 12x20, 7x17 or 8x20.I think I will leave the 16x20 to a much more passionate and strong person.

11-Jan-2005, 00:36
Moving, allways moving ... is it mandatory ?

Jim Galli
11-Jan-2005, 07:56
7X17, 8X20. I can speak with some experience but no finality. I have all three, 1114 717 820, and the 8X20 pleases me the most of the 3. I'll admit to buying a 12X20 and so far never using it. Maybe next summer. The film expense for the 12X20 has me stalled just now. How dumb is that after the initial expense of buying it. Plus I seem to have enough un-resolved issues with the 8X20 that it makes good sense to get through the total learning curve there.

Chad Jarvis
11-Jan-2005, 14:02
Add a 5x7 back to your 8x10. It's much cheaper than going ULF and a mighty versatile format. (I bought an 11x14 after 8x10, but I still shoot about 40% 5x7 vs. 59% 8x10.)

Jim Rhoades
11-Jan-2005, 14:56
This thread is a laugh if you know some of the writers. Michael Kadillak will write all day long about moving onto a 12x20. What he dosent tell you is just how big he is. Humping a 12x20 around Colorado mountains takes some size. Brian Ellis says he moved on to a 4x5. True, but whats that 8x10 lunk in his trunk? He could not give it up completely.

Me, I hope to find a 7x17 or 8x20 at a garage sale or something. I think we are all always moving.

John D Gerndt
11-Jan-2005, 17:03
I moved to 12x20 and found a difficult row to hoe. It is difficult to explain but I just ran out of room for processing the darn negs! I will build a 7 x 17 and try that but I would abort and go to 11x14 should the right example present itself. There is something that makes 8x10 a toss-off even in contact print form. I need something I can fall into.

The above in mind, I still like the 5x7 format the most as it is undaunting and yet large enough to produce good contant prints or pretty darn good 20x24 enlargments!


tim atherton
11-Jan-2005, 17:12
Why change again...?

As Stephen Shore (I think) said - "there are really only two formats - 35mm and 8x10 - everything else is a variation on one of those two".

.... ;-)

Seriously - you could take the next 20 years at least for mastering 8x10

11-Jan-2005, 17:31
Many years ago when I was much younger (100 years ago) I was very sucessful with 4x5. Moved up to 8x10 a few years ago and greatly enjoyed the experience however I have only made contact prints which seems limiting for such a big camera, but still a great format.

I "moved up" to 14x17 and have not yet been sucessful in setting up this camera in a safe or sane manner. I think the 14x17 format and resulting contact prints could be awesome but the camera itself seems to be in the way of photography. The camera is too big for a tripod and my design of a tiltable platform on a table has not met with any sucess at all.

You must decide what your goals are and then chooose your format.

Michael Kadillak
11-Jan-2005, 17:45
No reason to deny that the big unit (12x20) is a load. But if it were easy, everyone would have one. John has it dead on in that the most daunting task is in the darkroom. I can park the truck close enough for many shots that I want to take so far. But there are other shots for which mobility is the only solution.

20x24 trays for developing these big negs are clearly oversized for my darkroom sink (never in my wildest imagination did I see the need for these critters when I built the darkroom) so I needed to build a support lattice to develop them on top of the sink - not in it. Souping nearly 2 gallons of chemistry per processing run brings about its own set of operating logistics. Washing film this size and not scratching the soft emulsion (Efke comes to mind here) is another challenge. But when you get it all accomplished and see the results, you understand the attraction to something divergent.

It is truly anazing what a warped mind with a bit of external encouragement can do to a bank account. Ha!

Or as one old timer commented to me with the 12x20 set up. "For the love of God, didn't someone bother to let you know that these big ass cameras went out ot style at least 70 years ago?"


Michael Mutmansky
11-Jan-2005, 20:19

I use banquet cameras a good bit (7x17 mostly) and have also used the 8x10 for contact printing for years now. Recently, I decided that 8x10 is a bit to much of an in-between format for my taste, so I decided to move up slightly into a definite contact printing format; one that would have enough presence on the wall.

The 10x12 format seems to do that nicely for me, and it is only slightly larger than an 8x10 in operation. It also has a slightly smaller diagonal conpared to the 7x17, so all of the 7x17 lenses will work well on the 10x12 without too much translation.

It's a new format for me, but I think that it will be a keeper for a long while. Now, my 8x10 negative feel sort of... small.


George Losse
12-Jan-2005, 09:53

I know how your feeling. Your becoming an addict just like the rest of us.

I had shot MF and 4x5 for a number of years before starting to shoot 8x10. Once you get over the shock of everything being so much easier to see on the GG, working with knobs on the camera that are not right next to each other and contact printing the negatives. Then it starts to hit you, if working with the 8x10 format is this good a feeling how much better is the feeling with 11x14, 12x20 or 16x20.

I know because, like others here, I felt it too. Lucky for me it was before this current ULF boom and there were still cheaper used ULF cameras around. I tried both 8x20 and 11x14 within two years of starting to shoot 8x10.

I only remember one trip with all three formats 8x10, 11x14, and 8x20 in the truck at once. That trip is what sold me on the 8x20 format over the 11x14. The 11x14 handled much like the 8x10 and I sort of saw that same kinds of images with the two cameras. So that made the choice for me to stay with the lighter, smaller and easier 8x10 format a simple decision. Since then the 11x14 has stayed in the studio.

But the 8x20 format made me see differently then I do with the 8x10. Not a new "vision" just different. That has been what has kept me working with it. Most of the time I go out shooting with both 8x10 and 8x20 formats, but in the last couple of years, I have been making more and more trips with only the 8x20.