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dazedgonebye
13-Jul-2008, 15:03
I probably won't do either one for some time...but I'm thinking of going large format and I'm curious about the difference in logistical challenges and general convenience between 4x5 and 5x7.

I'm currently shooting 35mm and medium format. I don't generally enlarge enoug to justify going to large format, but I came across some contact prints in 5x7 not long ago that have me suddenly thinking there really is a reason for me to go large.
I haven't seen 4x5 contact prints, so I can't be certain...but even the 5x7s seemed on the edge of small to be effective as contact prints. So I'm assuming 4x5 may be too small.

Of course I know that the gear is proportionaly larger and more expensive...I'm just wondering how much more inconvenient it all is.

Thanks

Ben Syverson
13-Jul-2008, 15:07
To me, 5x7 has always seemed like a format that is neither here nor there... If you're going to carry a 5x7 camera, you may as well add another pound or two and shoot 8x10.

But that's just me...

David A. Goldfarb
13-Jul-2008, 15:12
Many 4x5" cameras are really 5x7" cameras with 4x5" backs, so they're not necessarily larger. 4x5" equipment, though, is much more widely available, and you have more film choices. 5x7" makes a nicer sized contact print, and would be a better choice if you want to scan with a flatbed scanner. If you're going to enlarge conventionally, 4x5" enlargers are much more ubiquitous and cheap.

D. Bryant
13-Jul-2008, 15:13
I probably won't do either one for some time...but I'm thinking of going large format and I'm curious about the difference in logistical challenges and general convenience between 4x5 and 5x7.

I'm currently shooting 35mm and medium format. I don't generally enlarge enoug to justify going to large format, but I came across some contact prints in 5x7 not long ago that have me suddenly thinking there really is a reason for me to go large.
I haven't seen 4x5 contact prints, so I can't be certain...but even the 5x7s seemed on the edge of small to be effective as contact prints. So I'm assuming 4x5 may be too small.

Of course I know that the gear is proportionaly larger and more expensive...I'm just wondering how much more inconvenient it all is.

Thanks
IMO, 5x7 is a great format and I find the aspect ratio very pleasing. It's not that much more difficult than 4x5 but is more bulky but nearly as much as hauling and feeding 8x10 gear. The image quality is noticebly better than 4x5, though 4x5 can produce great results too.

The Chamonix 5x8 is an interesting format as well.

Don Bryant

Walter Calahan
13-Jul-2008, 15:29
It just doesn't matter.

Use what matches your photographic vision.

Robert Fisher
13-Jul-2008, 15:52
dazed, I recently began shooting 5x7 having already been down the 45 and 810 route.

IMO, 57 is soooooooo much more appealing to the eye and mind after being conditioned from a lifetime of the 35mm aspect ratio

i totally disagree with the size/weight comparison with 810 - but that is my opinion

john collins
13-Jul-2008, 16:18
As has been pointed out in this thread, choose a format that has an aspect ratio that appeals to you. I recently got a Chamonix 5x8 for just that reason. The weight and bulk can be considerations, but the first step is establishing which aspect ratio best fits your vision and making other decisions (weight, bulk, cost...) according to your circumstances. You may well find that the inconvenience of a larger format is offset by the satisfaction of your experience.

Bruce Barlow
13-Jul-2008, 16:23
5x7 contact prints are delicious. 4x5 contact prints are jewels. If you have only one format to do, however, I'd go 5x7.

Robert Fisher
13-Jul-2008, 16:28
dazed, holders (lack of) have been a magor issue until recently - Calumet is now selling brand new ones - 57 holders are dramatically smaller than 810

John Kasaian
13-Jul-2008, 16:32
I like the more rectangular format for landscapes and portraits---IMHO 5x7 has the same feeling as 11x14 but is far more affordable to shoot. Many of the old 4x5 woodies like the Agfa Ansco, and B&J are actually dual format 4x5/5x7 so all you might need is a 5x7 back and holders! :)

Brian Ellis
13-Jul-2008, 17:22
I bought a 5x7 camera after a few years of using 4x5, thinking I'd be happy making 5x7 contact prints. I was wrong. While I like the aspect ratio, and 5x7 prints worked with a few subjects, for the most part I thought my photographs needed to be printed larger. So I sold the 5x7 stuff and haven't been tempted to go back. Just my own situation of course.

dazedgonebye
13-Jul-2008, 19:28
Allways so much passion on these topics.

I obviously have a great deal of reading/thinking to do. At this point, I'm not even sure I'd be going with a full view camera instead of something like a fotoman.

I will say that aspect ratio may be a challenge for me. I like 3x2 quite a bit, being happiest with 35mm film and 6x9 in medium format. On the other hand, that has often caused me problems when it comes to framing work.

Ken Lee
13-Jul-2008, 19:42
5x7 lets you make fairly large prints with nothing fancier than an affordable consumer-grade scanner, or via modest optical enlargement.

timbo10ca
13-Jul-2008, 20:40
I got into LF with 5x7 and I love it- good size to backpack, etc, good for contacts and gear/film is not much more or the same price as for 4x5. I also like the aspect, having known only 35mm until soon before going to LF. I definitely don't think 4x5 contacts are large enough (for me, anyway) so I started with 5x7. I always thought I'd get an 8x10 eventually, but maybe I'll just get a 5x7 enlarger instead..... That doesn't solve the desire to contact print 8x10 though, which will probably always be an itch I'll wanna scratch. Pricewise, the jump from 4x5 to 5x7 seems much less than 5x7 to 8x10 (from camera to glass to film to tripod to filmholders, etc etc). There are many solutions- it just depends on your goals. But believe me, GAS never stops.......

Tim

Jim Noel
13-Jul-2008, 21:14
I have both, along with a few other formats. My 4x5 and 8x10 rarely get used in comparison to the 5x7's which are in use frequently. The 57 format is truly vertical when vertical, and truly a horizontal when in that position, while the 4x5, 8x10 format is almost square.

audioexcels
13-Jul-2008, 21:20
I bought a 5x7 camera after a few years of using 4x5, thinking I'd be happy making 5x7 contact prints. I was wrong. While I like the aspect ratio, and 5x7 prints worked with a few subjects, for the most part I thought my photographs needed to be printed larger. So I sold the 5x7 stuff and haven't been tempted to go back. Just my own situation of course.

Brian,

You shoot 8X10 primarily?

robert fallis
14-Jul-2008, 01:49
I use half plate, which is just a fraction smaller than 5x7, between 10mm to 5mm, the resulting contact print has a nice black border without resorting to photoshop ( GIMP in my case)

bob

Clay Turtle
14-Jul-2008, 17:23
I started with a 4x5 & recently upgraded to the 5x7. I wanted to be able to use both as 4x5 film has greater film selection so I built an adapter to reduce to the 4x5 format. Eh, works ok but I still have the option to use a 4x5 back . . . the trouble being every time I shoot using the adapter I look at how much film area 5x7 that is not covered the 4x5. When you see about a 1/3 of the gg being blanked out by the adapter:( so using a separate back keeps me from :eek: freaking out.
Recently did some 4x5 (b&w) contact prints on 5x7 paper . . . I really need to get some more holders & b&w film in the 5x7 format!

Frank Bagbey
14-Jul-2008, 20:45
For landscape, no doubt in my mind 5x7 is the way to go. Maybe for portraits, too.
4x5 is wonderful so 5x7 (almost double in size) can only be twice as good. Many old time photographers used 5x7 for portraiture, doing retouching right on the negative before making great contact prints.