View Full Version : new to Group and LFP

16-Jul-2010, 15:18
I presently use miniature format and I am considering moving up to LF Photography. I would like to be able to produce either 4 x 5 or 5 x 7 max. contact prints and wondered what you would recommend. I guess it makes sense to choose a format with the largest available supply of consumables?

I only photograph in B&W and I will be keeping my present system

Thank you

Robert Hughes
19-Jul-2010, 14:04
Of the large format film sizes available nowadays, 4x5 is easily the most available stock, followed by 8x10. Most of the time 5x7 is special order only. You can cut down 8x10 if you're willing to put up with the extra trouble. If you're going for contact print only, why not go 8x10?

19-Jul-2010, 15:04
Ditto on the 8X10 contact printing if that is the goal! I shoot 4X5 and think about going to 5X7. The only thing that holds me back is the lack of 5X7 enlargers that are accessible and affordable! 5X7 is large enough to view as a contact print and I would recommend it over 4X5 for contact prints! Plus if you want to work really big 5X7 has all the extra real estate! The film is usually available via mail order, Adorama, B&H, Freestyle Photo, MPEX.com, or Calumet photo.

Ralph Miyashiro
21-Jul-2010, 07:51
I have no room for an enlarger, so have opted for contact prints on 5x7. Shooting only B&W supplies have not been a problem. I'll occasionally shoot 4x5 and yes the prints are pretty small but still okay so the other big consideration is aspect ratio. I find the more oblong shape of 5x7 to be more pleasing and fits my style of composition. If you are currently shooting 35mm, 5x7 might be a natural transition since the the dimensions are similar to 35mm, just a LOT bigger. I say go for the 5x7.

Brian Stein
22-Jul-2010, 04:22
Most of the time 5x7 is special order only.

Although the range of emulsions in 5x7 is clearly more limited than 4x5 it is by no means special order as a quick perusal of bhphotovideo or badger graphic will show.

I contact print both 4x5 and 5x7: the latter is much more satisfying for size and I like the proportion in portrait orientation as it is very akin to a book page. See other posts here where a number of folks consider 57 a sweet spot between 45 and 810 balancing size and bulk/weight nicely.

I would like to try 8x10 one day but the difference in size and weight from 45 to 57 is modest and much of the gear can be used for either, whereas 810 seems quite a size and weight stepup

MIke Sherck
22-Jul-2010, 05:47
I shoot 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10. I started large format with 5x7 and it makes absolutely lovely contact prints. Personally, I have found over the years that I prefer the more rectangular aspect ratio of 5x7 and if I had to use just one format, it would be 5x7.