View Full Version : New to Group and LFP

16-Jul-2010, 15:19
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

Sorry for duplicating my first post

Brian C. Miller
16-Jul-2010, 15:34
If it is light-tight and you can afford it, go ahead and get it. Use it, enjoy it, and have fun.

Seriously, you don't need anything esoteric for what you want. You can get a decent 4x5 camera, with a lens, for under $200, and I'm sure you can score something in 5x7 format pretty easily, too.

Andrew Plume
18-Jul-2010, 08:23
pm sent

John Jarosz
18-Jul-2010, 08:32
5x7 prints appear disproportionately larger than 4x5 contact prints, so if you are not going to jump into 4x5 enlarging I would go for 5x7.

Jay DeFehr
18-Jul-2010, 09:56

From a practical standpoint, there are vastly more equipment and materials options in the 4x5 format than the 5x7 format, but to a large extent, this is incidental, because there are many options in 5x7, too. Used 5x7 equipment, while rarer than 4x5, is not scarce, and since 5x7 is less popular than 4x5 (for reasons, I'll get to in a moment), real bargains can be found.

The advantages of 4x5 over 5x7 include:
1) A much larger selection of equipment, new and used
2) A much larger selection of films
3) smaller/ more portable
4) 4x5 enlargers (and related equipment) are far more common and less expensive than those for 5x7

I'm not sure which, if any of the above points are relevant to you. If you find a suitable 5x7 outfit, it doesn't make much sense to disqualify it on the basis of its availability. Film selection limitations shouldn't bother you much since, a) you only shoot B&W, and there are several options available to you, and b), since you'll be contact printing, just about any film will do. Size/weight/portability might be important, depending on your intended use. Enlarging equipment is not relevant, since you'll be contact printing.

The main advantage of 5x7 over 4x5 is its larger size, and arguably, it's different proportions. I contact 3x4 negatives, but that only works for me, for some subjects (mostly portraits). If you intend to do detailed landscape work, I think you'll appreciate the extra real estate the 5x7 format provides.

Welcome, and enjoy!