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Thread: Pano LF or enlarged crop

  1. #21

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Wondervu, Colorado

    Re: Pano LF or enlarged crop

    Quote Originally Posted by esearing View Post
    For the past couple of years I have been drawn toward Panoramic images, especially those made on 7x17 cameras.

    The practical and frugal side of me knows I can enlarge a cropped 4x5 to any pano or standard format , which requires some thinking ahead in the field and maybe some crop visualization aids. I tend to shoot wide lenses anyway.

    But the non-practical, GAS prone side desires to get a 7x17 (or more likely a 5x12) dedicated camera and contact print. I suspect that looking at the ground glass in the larger format would reinforce the initial vision, and contact printing has its own attraction.

    In your opinion, Is it worth the extra costs of gear , film, paper, etc. for someone who doesn't sell their work actively and shoots mainly for pleasure? I'm not really interested in MF gear even though there are some nice Pano options there.
    My recommendation is to go ahead and get a 7x17 and try it. I don't think there is any substitute for experiencing it hands-on. You may discover "this is it!" or you may decide it's too much trouble compared to enlarging from 4x5--but you won't know until you try them both.

    Personally, I've been shooting a lot of 11x14 in recent years, but have just embarked on a switch to 7x11. I have also done a fair amount of 4x10 and 5.5x14 using both an 8x10 as well as the 11x14. 11x14 is a little more trouble, but not that much compared to 8x10. My main reason for switching to 7x11 is I have more options for drum scanning--there are not too many scanning services that can handle 11x14. Of course, this does not apply to you since you are aiming for contact printing.

    As for the extra costs, it's a trade-off in terms of how much personal pleasure you get. From my experience, a successful 11x14 negative has definitely been worth the extra investment.

    I agree that if your goal is a 7x17 print, then seeing a 1:1 composition on the gg will be more satisfying than squinting at a 2x5 composition and trying to imagine what it will look like when enlarged--but that's just my personal opinion, dedicated 4x5 shooters may well disagree.

  2. #22
    Lachlan 717
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Re: Pano LF or enlarged crop

    One other thing to consider is that it is relatively easy to scan and stitch 7x17/8x20 using something as basic as an EPSON V series scanner.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

    Re: Pano LF or enlarged crop


    In looking through this thread, I did not see any indication of what formats you shoot, beyond 4x5.

    When I got my 8x20, I was already shooting 8x10 and some of my existing lens inventory could handle both formats. As the 8x20 already included two film holders and some film, I was able to use the 8x20 without a much larger investment, other than the new bellows from Custom Bellows UK and some work by Richard Ritter.

    Big glass that covers the format can be a significant additional expense, if you do not already own it. BTW, also had the bonus that both my 8x10 and 8x20 both used 6x6 lens boards and required no adaptor boards.

    Also big film is expensive, and if you have only purchased 4x5 film you may suffer sticker shock when looking at ULF film.

    However, the results and image size are impressive...

    Good luck in your investigation,


  4. #24

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Re: Pano LF or enlarged crop

    It works. I really like your portrait. I've seen some great wide format verticals. What I don't like is the notion of turning one of those camera sideways. Maybe a 4x10" but it spooks me putting all that weight on a 90 degree mount especially with the camera weight off axis to the center of the tripod. How do you do that safely and without pulling the camera too far out of alignment ? I'd be more inclined to crop a 14x17 (saving not having one).

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