View Full Version : 4x10 or 5x12?? Anyone shooting these??

R Mann
9-Jul-2009, 19:45
Considering adding either a 4x10 or a 5x12 back to my setup - any opinions on which way to go? I am leaning towards 4x10 because it could be cut from a sheet of 8x10 with no waste, but 5x12 makes a nicer size contact print. Is there something else I should consider before I decide?

9-Jul-2009, 20:01
Availability of the film(s) you want ?
The camera ?
The lenses ?
Storage of processed films ?


9-Jul-2009, 21:02
Consider chopping a darkslide in half...well a little less than half.
Mark your ground glass -- make one image then reverse the back to make the other image.

No special holders for 4x10...no special film cuts...just use whatever 8x10 film you are normally using.

Kirk Fry
9-Jul-2009, 22:46
"Consider chopping a darkslide in half..." "No special holders for 4x10..." ah but a monster of a camera to haul around. And on the other hand if you shoot color no one much wants to process 4X10 film and if they do they charge as much as 8X10. There is no happy solution. :-( . Another approach is to take two photos and stitch them together in photoshop. KFry

Diane Maher
10-Jul-2009, 05:28
There are several shooters of each format on this forum. I shoot 5x12 (and whole plate and 8x10). You didn't give much detail as to why you are considering these formats aside from that 4x10 can be cut from 8x10 and that 5x12 gives a larger contact print.

The respondents to this thread have brought up relevant issues which you also need to consider.

Tillman Crane shoots the 5x12 format. His Scotland portfolio online can give you an indication of what 5x12 looks like. Just keep in mind that images on the screen can only go so far. His books, Touchstones (out of print, I believe) and Odin Stone were both done using the 5x12 format.

I was inspired by Tillman Crane's and Michael Mutmansky's work to choose the 5x12 format. Sadly, Michael's website with his experiences of the 5x12 camera no longer exists. I really enjoy shooting the 5x12 format, and it fits how I see some subjects in some situations.

I have found format choice to be a personal thing and you can only get so much information from others and the internet. In the end, it is still your decision.

Don Sparks
10-Jul-2009, 06:12
I shoot 4x10 because of the fact you can cut 8x10 film in half. I also have a 10x10 enlarger and make 8x20 prints.

eric black
10-Jul-2009, 09:15
I shoot 4x10 also due to the ability to cut 8x10 film in half and that I have an assortment of 8x10 lenses to use (I shoot 8x10 as well with a seperate camera)- since I develop my own film, processing is not an issue to me- film holders and equipment are available on ebay if you look and are patient. Makes for dynamite enlargements and the Canham camera I use is actually lighter than my 4x5 setup.

R Mann
10-Jul-2009, 09:56
I probably should have mentioned I am using a Canham 5x7 and would be adding either the 4x10 or 5x12 back and bellows to it. I don't think I want to go into an 8x10 and use a reducing back for 4x10. Thanks for the all comments.

12-Jul-2009, 14:54
I have two 4x10 rigs-
the 5x7 Canham with the 4x10 bellows and back
Altview 4x10

They are very different cameras, different horses for different courses. The Altview is easy to carry on the tripod while walking on the farm; no case, bag or pack - everything I need is in my vest pockets. It is well made, very beautiful but the straightforward design, which keeps it fast to use and light, does not allow some niceties.

If I am in the car, and can carry a large case, then the Canham comes along (with its 5x7 back as well). It uses a wide range of focal lengths and has movements.

I decided against 5x12 due to bulk, weight, lenses (most of my 5x7 lenses cover 4x10) and film availability (or lack thereof). i cut 8x10 film... no problem.

Your mileage may vary.


Jim Galli
12-Jul-2009, 22:20
I have 5X12 and also a 5X14. What drives both of these is that I filled up my freezer with 5" Aerial Recon Panatomic X a few years back when it was common on Ebay. So I have a lot of long rolls of 5" film that is some of the best film I've ever used. I confess to not using the 5X14 enough (it is for sale (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=44400&highlight=5X14)) largely because I'm a jobo guy and I can put 4 sheets of 5X12 into the JOBO 3004 tank while so far I've had to develop the 5X14 one at a time.

Scott Davis
13-Jul-2009, 06:45
I also have the Canham 5x7/5x12 combo. The 5x12 is wonderful in that configuration, and there's something about that extra little bit of acreage with the film that makes a 5x12 print feel so much more "Right" than a 4x10. The 4x10, even though it is exactly the same proportions as a 5x12, feels longer and skinnier, and it also looks small. You don't get that with the 5x12. The only downside to 5x12 is the need for custom holders, and the best source for them qualitywise has been very sporadic with their availability.

Keith Pitman
13-Jul-2009, 17:08
I've been shooting 4x10 for several years. I like the format, but have found that contact prints are a little small for my taste. I enlarge them onto 8x20 paper and find that size more satisfactory.

Jim Becia
14-Jul-2009, 05:04
I shoot 4x10 and find it very easy to cut 8x10 film down to size. However, I shoot color and using 5x12 would not make sense. A 4x10 makes one hell of a 30x75 print (I output using an Epson 9600.) Generally, a 4x10 would be smaller and lighter than an 8x10, lenses are a little easier to come by as their coverage need not be as great, and while you need 4x10 film holders, they are not too hard to come by either. Where an 8x10 would have an advantage is in being able to shoot a 4x10 vertical. I have to try and "flip" my camera on its side which is problematice at best. I love the format. Good luck. Jim

Keith Pitman
14-Jul-2009, 17:56
I got this idea from a posting on APUG. Makes it easier to mount the camera. Using a panoramic camera vertically is a little wierd: you have to reorient yourself about how the controls work.