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View Full Version : 5X8 Format, Pros and Cons, and who Shoots with it?



Findingmyway4ever
30-Nov-2010, 20:48
I am about to embark on a neat and super light 5X8 kit that has a 4X5 reduction back and also permits shooting 5X7 film as well. Of course roll film backs if I want to go that route, but I'll keep this setup strictly for a light field use one only. This setup will be discussed later when I have the finished product around Christmas time, but for a very brief layout, it features the Arca F-Line Rail, Carriers, and then has a custom made back that is compactly made so it uses as little area as possible to cut down on bulk/weight. Think Chamonix horizontal only camera, but this one can be turned vertically since it will feature two dovetails on the rear standard, one that obviously holds the standard in place, one that is on on side of the camera to flip it around and have vertical. Overall weight should be about 4lbs or so.


Pros:

1) This is by far the most portable system of any that I considered (4X5 aside since my Arca can easily interchange to 4X5 only though I wanted the reduction back since that Arca back and front standard is quite heavy by comparison to wood based standards). By making this a compact camera, it enabled me to gain quite a bit of bulk even over whole plate (one of my considerations).

2) It fits that goldenish ratio I like, though I really considered WP and cut down to say 5.5X8 or even 7X11 cut to 6.5X10.5.

3) Ability to use many lenses on 5x8, 5X7, and 4X5 formats and gain different focal perspectives from each lens used on different sizes of sheet film.

4) Though it is nothing quite like even WP, the 5X8 area on the Chamonix film holders seems to look adequate enough for doing contact prints. Still a bit :confused: :confused: :confused: about whether this was a valid point over larger sized WP or 7X11.

5) While 4X5 is probably more than I would ever need, I did like the idea of the far lesser grain in 5X7+ sized film for those few that I will want to blow up a bit. Since it is compact enough, I could even use it strictly as 4X5 only for the day if the reduction back poses too much weight penalty for typical field use.

6) I obviously loved the WP gg and the 4X5 GG just looked too small, so the larger 5X8GG will suit me nicely.

7) I considered the challenge of movements, DOF, and so on, feeling that WP would have probably been ok, but may have been that bit more challenging for the versatile movements I enjoy using.



Cons:

All are pretty much the reverse of the pros=

1) Contact print is arguably too small.

2) I may not make enough enlargements to justify having the larger surface area.

3) From all I have read, developing 5X8 is something I will have to do myself. This is not a problem, though it is nice to have the convenience to every once in a while just send the film off to a lab to have it dealt with.

4) Cutting the film will not be too bad since I will have someone do it for me:) Any takers? Will barter for some 810 film!

5) If I am making enlargements often enough, I will almost wish I shot in 5X7 more often than 5X8 if I were to have the shots scanned optically. If done digitally, I drum scan or flatbed scan so size is irrelevant in this case.


Any thoughts people would like to add about this format, their own pros/cons list that I either did not capture or did not discuss properly would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks a lot!!!

Rayt
30-Nov-2010, 22:20
I think 5x7 contact prints are adequate and don't enlarge also I process my own film so much of your con list does not apply. In fact I don't see any cons other than the hassle of cutting 8x10 in half but then there are so much more film options in that size compared to 5x7. If I didn't already have a 5x7 I would jump at this.

Frank Petronio
30-Nov-2010, 23:44
Won't the holders cost more than the camera?

Drew Bedo
1-Dec-2010, 05:52
Hello finding,

To evaluate the desirability of working with these formats, why not first shoot in 8x10 with various masks? You can explore contact printing 4x10 , 5x8 , 5x7 . . .whatever you want. You would be evaluating the format choices only, so an inexpensive Kodak 2-D would do (they turn over pretty quickly on *bay). Heck, you could even make a quick and dirty pin-hole rig just to tryout the various formats.

That way you won't have to make the commitment to spend money on custom hardware that you obviously are not sure will work with your creative process.

Let us know what you decide and show us what you shoot!

Cheers.

Frank Petronio
1-Dec-2010, 07:16
Well has this guy ever shot anything yet? He posts a lot of ideas but I've yet to see a picture.

I do the same thing, I've got my Everest climb all figured out, made my first term presidential agenda... and that fling I'm going to have with Kate Moss, well shush up!

goamules
1-Dec-2010, 08:33
Well has this guy ever shot anything yet? He posts a lot of ideas but I've yet to see a picture.

I do the same thing, I've got my Everest climb all figured out, made my first term presidential agenda... and that fling I'm going to have with Kate Moss, well shush up!

ha! Yeah, I'm thinking of making The Biggest Camera Ever. I saw an old 727 airplane body at the boneyard. Does anyone think I could convert that to a camera? I mean, the aluminum is lightweight and light tight, and blah, blah, blah....

Ken Lee
1-Dec-2010, 10:41
You can easily crop/mask 5x7 to the Golden Section (which 5x8 closely approximates). This allows you to use 5x7 film and holders, with little impact on quality and convenience. All you need is a little blue painter's tape on the ground glass. That's how I made this one...


http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/landscape/57.jpg
Massachusetts, 2009
Sinar P, 300mm Heliar
5x7 TMY, Pyrocat HD

GPS
1-Dec-2010, 12:04
You can easily crop/mask 5x7 to the Golden Section (which 5x8 closely approximates). This allows you to use 5x7 film and holders, with little impact on quality and convenience. All you need is a little blue painter's tape on the ground glass. That's how I made this one...


http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/landscape/57.jpg
Massachusetts, 2009
Sinar P, 300mm Heliar
5x7 TMY, Pyrocat HD

For a moment I thought you were asking the traditional -"where does that light leak comes from?" Then only I noticed that you already know it - from the lens itself... (A bad boy's note;) )

Findingmyway4ever
1-Dec-2010, 13:58
Thanks for the posts so far, especially Frank;). I have had this design in the works for a while now and it has been nearing its final stages of build/completion by a well respected ULF guy that has been doing this for many years now. This project was something very new to him since he's used to restoring and even turning ULF cams into modern looking gorgeous ULF cams:). I am not expecting some bling bling looking wood cam like the ones he has restored, but I know his ineptitude will put together something about as good as it gets without having broken too much of my bank:)!

Just to clear some things up about what this cam is:

Based on the Kerry T and others that have used the Arca F-Line or other type of Arca to adapt whatever sized rear standard wanted. I chose the Arca F-line because I feel it is the best platform for this type of design. Rather than using an Arca front standard, I chose to have everything front to back made from scratch. Only things Arca is the rail and the carriers. The front/rear/bellows/dovetails are all customized to do what was intended. Front standard is a compact design for weight, but also rigidity, and it accepts the Linhoff style boards. Front and rear standards will use the dovetails that slide into the Arca carriers. Rear standard will feature a dovetail on both the bottom and also the side (for flipping around to vertical position use).

Here is Kerry's thread that shows sorta how it will look, but take away Kerry's use of the Arca Compact front standard and his use of the dovetail on the rear standard does not allow for vertical shooting:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=23134


To Ken,

I can shoot 5X7 or 13X18cm inside the 5X8 back via use of one of Jiri's neat tricks. It is basically a small piece of wood that is there when needed to slide the holder in and be shooting either of these other formats. Jiri seems to have quite a few of the Euro 13cmX18cm holders and you can see he has done a lot of work using these holders. I think more than what he has done with the 5X8 holders:)! So I will have these covered no problem.


I think the only questions I have at this point is about camera movements since the final design came down to just how versatile I can be using the Arca yaw-free system and the smaller than larger types of setups. I like to use a lot of movements and felt even WP might get a bit too much for doing just this comfortably. I suppose my wishing was having had a chance to use a light 8X10 rail cam to see just how difficult or not so difficult it is to apply movements compared to what I would be able to do using the 5X8 cam.


Sorry for another essay, but thanks again for all of your thoughts, points, and ideas. Please keep them coming and especially more comments about the 5X8 format or even 5X7 vs. the larger formats especially with respect to the ease or just as easy to use for movements, along with any challenges to consider.

William Whitaker
1-Dec-2010, 16:39
...This project was something very new to him since he's used to restoring and even turning ULF cams into modern looking gorgeous ULF cams:). I am not expecting some bling bling looking wood cam like the ones he has restored, but I know his ineptitude will put together something about as good as it gets without having broken too much of my bank:)!...

Ineptitude?? I don't think that's the word you meant to use...

Robert Fisher
1-Dec-2010, 17:21
I must be missing something - why a 5x8 body if you are using 13x18/5x7 holders????

Ken Lee
1-Dec-2010, 20:25
Ineptitude?? I don't think that's the word you meant to use...

aptitude (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/aptitude) perhaps ?

Findingmyway4ever
1-Dec-2010, 21:06
Ineptitude?? I don't think that's the word you meant to use...

Isn't there a place I can edit? Sheesh...looked up the word and it's exactly the opposite of what I meant of course. I was looking for a word that was something that defines a person that has great wisdom/craftsmanship/exacting type of methodology with what he does both in camera making and 20X24 photoshoots:)

Sorry about that and I wish I could go back somehow and change that to a proper word to describe what I was attempting to state about the designer.

Findingmyway4ever
1-Dec-2010, 21:07
aptitude (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/aptitude) perhaps ?

Ken. That word works just fine:) Thank You!

Findingmyway4ever
1-Dec-2010, 21:09
I must be missing something - why a 5x8 body if you are using 13x18/5x7 holders????

I have 5X8 holders. But the 5X8 back enables me to use a trick that Jiri and I'm sure many others have used to permit convenient use of 5X7 or 13cmX18cm holders. I would have definitely been entirely INEPT if my goal of compact meant making a camera larger than it should be:))

chad phillips
27-Dec-2010, 16:12
I just found a Marvel (Waterbury) 5x8 camera complete with lens, one holder and the original case. The camera is a 9 out of 10. Everything looks brand new. The asking price is $150. I am seriously thinking of purchasing the camera. Any one have experience with the Waterbury?

Jiri Vasina
28-Dec-2010, 07:15
I must be missing something - why a 5x8 body if you are using 13x18/5x7 holders????

Because some images work better in a more panoramic format (58"), some - especially vertically composed ones - demand a more square format (57"/1318cm). I know. Because I have a Chamonix 58" and shoot 58" and 1318cm with it...

Jiri

E. von Hoegh
28-Dec-2010, 08:49
I shoot 5x8 sometimes, using the dividing board in a Deardorff V8.
I like the aspect ratio for certain scenes. It also gives me two negative sizes for a weight penalty of perhaps 3 ounces, as well as 4 shots per 8x10 filmholder.

4x10 can be nice, too.