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Thread: Is an 8x10 camera right for me?

  1. #1

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    Is an 8x10 camera right for me?

    Hello, I am interested in 8x10 as I have read in my research that this format produces more textured sand. I really want to produce large prints for my family and friends. I am not a photographer, I have however started reading all I can on the subject. I have a digital SLR and I am taking pictures at least twice a week to learn photography. My question is can a digital back be used to obtain the quality of print that I can get with an 8x10. Thanks for any help that you can give me. Also if you can suggest any books would appreciate it.

  2. #2

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    Re: 8x10 digital sensor

    Sorry, I am nervous as I like to be well read and honestly I am having a hard time finding material. To help with my question I want to take landscapes, portraits and family group pictures. The landscapes will include a lot of tropical locations as I travel a lot.

  3. #3

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    Re: 8x10 digital sensor

    The easiest and least expensive way to do what you want is with an 8X10 camera and film. Even a 4X5 film cannot resolve the crystalline nature of snow and sand or the tiny bubbles in the water or wine the way an 8X10 can. My old $200 Umax scanner at 1200 dpi makes a 100MB file from an 8X10 B&W negative. Price the ability to do that with digital capture.

  4. #4
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 digital sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by Neal Chaves View Post
    The easiest and least expensive way to do what you want is with an 8X10 camera and film. Even a 4X5 film cannot resolve the crystalline nature of snow and sand or the tiny bubbles in the water or wine the way an 8X10 can. <snip>.
    A 2x enlargement from 4x5 will capture just as much "crystalline nature of snow and sand" as a 2x enlargement from 8x10. The prints, obviously, will be a different size.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  5. #5

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    Re: 8x10 digital sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by RelBill View Post
    Sorry, I am nervous as I like to be well read and honestly I am having a hard time finding material. To help with my question I want to take landscapes, portraits and family group pictures. The landscapes will include a lot of tropical locations as I travel a lot.
    There is a lot of information right here. The question of whether a digital can "match" an 8x10 is a clear "No". I think we can all agree on that.

    However, I think there is a different question you should be asking. It takes a lot of commitment to lug around an 8x10 camera, with all its holders, lenses, tripod, etc. It's heavy. Especially if, as you say, you are "not a photographer". When you describe that you want to take family group pictures on has to look at the type of print quality you want.

    Generally speaking, most photographers carrying around 8x10's want the ultimate in print quality. For others its the process of shooting with a large format camera that makes them go to the bigger cameras. That said, I don't need museum level print quality for my family's portraits or travel photos.

    I think you would do better to define the print quality you want first, then decide what camera can supply that for you.
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: 8x10 digital sensor

    It takes a lot of will power to resist lugging an 8x10... I mean, do I go out with it tomorrow or Saturday???? Did the 4x5 thing with the Norma last week, where there were some depth of field problems more appropriate for a miniature camera like that. But I can appreciate the hypothetical appeal of a true large format
    format digi back in a very limited number of studio settings where they do want to also use vintage lenses. Can't understand how the economics would ever justify this. It's a niche market. Most studio folks already have small backs plenty big enough for publication applications. An argument might also be made that shooting with one of these devices would allow nearly instant review of the result. There's a pro and a con to that, just like shooting architecture digitally. Do you really want your client editing your own work, or questioning your own professional ability to deliver appropriate quality and content? I've heard enough complaints about that already from those trying to make their living amidst that very dilemma. And the portrait photographers still trying to define a classic niche for themselves are seemingly headed back to darkroom, just to avoid the Biblical plague of locust competition, all with DLSR's.

  7. #7

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    Re: 8x10 digital sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    There is a lot of information right here. The question of whether a digital can "match" an 8x10 is a clear "No". I think we can all agree on that.
    I appreciate your positive attitude in the matter. If only all could say the same!

  8. #8

    Re: 8x10 digital sensor

    This thread seems to have drifted. I live within 10 miles of Mr. Christian. My tech geekery says that this is quite an "impossible" dream. I really do hope it is real though.

  9. #9
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    Re: Is an 8x10 camera right for me?

    Drifted, indeed. Tangential discussion now carved out as its own thread.

  10. #10

    Re: Is an 8x10 camera right for me?

    Large format photography is not in any way easy, if you are interested in moving on from digital then a step into film via medium format might be the best bet, that way you will get to know the nature of the medium before moving on to the larger formats, if you can get hold of a hasselblad, standard lens, prism head and most importantly a tripod that will provide you with a solid foundation for your first steps in to film, start by just using the camera on the tripod ,this will help you understand what is required when working with large format photography but with a lot more flexibility and a serious diminiation of film cost. regarding the capture of detail, digital might well capture a more detailed appearance than medium format film, but the aesthetic of film and digital are different, and though the detail might be more exact with digital, the feel of film might well be more desirable.

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