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Thread: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

  1. #31

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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by dodphotography View Post
    I was a mere observer of the conversation since Iím already set up for 8x10 and have been working for a while with the format but the perspectives being discussed were interesting.


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    I always found that what the client would pay dictated the choice of format!

    Except for when a Peabody facility in Stamford, CT burned up and they needed pictures to document it!

    The ashes ruined a 35mm, my shoes and clothes!

  2. #32

    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Similar observation with 8x10 popularity with image makers new to view camera and sheet film. Have pondered this occurrence too. Could it be due to interest in alternative process contact printing, belief bigger film is better, or ?

    Yet, how many who begin their view camera journey with 8x10 have fully understood the cost, complexity and more related to the 8x10 sheet film process. How many stay with 8x10 for year after year or move on after a short time trying?

    This could be a topic all it's own.


    Bernice
    I agree... at least in my circle of friends itís more a tool of differentiation and certainly a more fine art approach. I donít think my age group (Iím 34) are using the cameras for technical purposes... if that makes sense.

    Most people Iím friends with are after the Nixon / Sternfield / Shore look where an 8x10 is used in the same snapshot style of a Leica.


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  3. #33

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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    In my own experience, format (8x10) dictated lens availability!
    Fortunately there are plenty of old lenses which cover 8x10.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #34

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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Generation Differences.

    There was a time in photographic history when 4x5 sheet film was THE most common sheet film size for many reasons. 4x5 Speed Graphics were the staple for new paper images, commercial ad images were 4x5 film based as this allowed exploiting the ability of a view camera's movements to correct for geometric image challenges, portraiture as the 4x5 image ratio fit the traditional image expectation. Back then, view camera folks were more often than not highly skilled working photographers with varying degrees of formal education in how the technology of film-chemistry-optics functioned. The better photographers IMO, had a personal history as painters or similar artist using the technology of film-chemistry base photography
    as there means of artistic expression. There was viable commercial market for high quality images produced and image excellence was judged by various peers along with a public that was not exposed to billions of electronics images up-loaded daily.

    8x10 was not a common sheet film format due to cost, camera size, optics limitations and much more.. There was a time before the enlarged print when contact prints were the print making means which dictated larger film sizes for larger finished prints. Seem we are rapidly heading back to the beginnings of photography and prints made by direct film to print images with no enlargement involved using photographic process that date back to the birth of photography as rebellion to the billions of electronic images shared by up loads daily.

    One can say the dilution and slow destruction of "crafted" expressive images has been degraded-discounted and some ways destroyed by the ease and availability of electronic images transmitted wireless by data up loads at billions of images per day. There will be many who will Violently Disagree with me on this assertion on LFF. Yet, this is an observation made from studying visual art found in a variety of museums, galleries, individual collections, experiencing and living around working photographers and owners-workers in large photographic labs from the late 1970's to late 1990's in San Francisco.

    ~Those who have been reading my post on LFF for years will know, I'm very unforgiving on technical points and can have technical expectations that do not follow the typical generation of view camera folks. Part of that comes from the text written above.

    IMO, the current folks who have set their initial interest in view camera based images with a 8x10 camera are folks who are seeking something different away from the very common electronic based images. While this is a very good thing in many ways, most who have never exposed a sheet of film often do not understand or realize the mountain of learning and challenges that comes with the sheet film based image print making. Yet, if not for the current generation of interest in sheet film of any size, film based images would likely be long dead by now.

    My hope for this generation of sheet film based print makers would be to gain some appreciation of the rich history and truly excellent works produces by not only "famed" photographic artist using a view camera as their print making tool of choice, but to fully appreciate the once vast body of commercial, scientific, graphic reproduction, Aerial and more forms of photographic work produced over the decades of film based images.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by dodphotography View Post
    I agree... at least in my circle of friends itís more a tool of differentiation and certainly a more fine art approach. I donít think my age group (Iím 34) are using the cameras for technical purposes... if that makes sense.

    Most people Iím friends with are after the Nixon / Sternfield / Shore look where an 8x10 is used in the same snapshot style of a Leica.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #35
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Is the real question posed by this thread perhaps, "What Drives Format Choice?"?

  6. #36

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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Yes, no given film or electronic imager format is idea for all print making needs.

    Better to work backwards from print size-print content and visual demands back to film or imager sizes that could work, then optics involved with the camera and print size and print content as the determinate for camera.

    IMO, the mistake is to allow the camera to dictate all rather than allowing the print and print content to drive the other aspects of the print making process.



    Bernice





    Quote Originally Posted by William Whitaker View Post
    Is the real question posed by this thread perhaps, "What Drives Format Choice?"?

  7. #37

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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Interesting.
    There might be various reasons.
    I invested in to 8x10 and bigger formats coverage lens and working with 5x7, because at this moment I need intense workflow, which includes digital (5x7 max fit to my flatbed), best works will go to contact printing.
    Another reason - there is so much fun with XIX century full/half plate lens.
    Still looking for a chance to get 8x10 or bigger camera for a right price.
    Last edited by Vaidotas; 25-Aug-2019 at 11:05.

  8. #38
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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    I use LF for soft focus shooting mostly, aero ektar being the common exception.
    Mostly 4x5 speed graphic because that's what works with the AE and 7-9" range soft focus lenses that don't have shutters. The speed graphic provides the shutter speeds needed for daylight use of lenses close to wide open. Back in the day they might have used an auto-graflex or other SLR for quarter plate or 4x5 uses of SF.
    Sometimes 8x10 if I want the look of the Kodak 305 portrait for wider angle crazier SF, or big triplets.
    So, yes, lens choice drives camera/format choice for me. The camera is just an adjustable box except when it has the shutter I need.

    Common SF lenses remain affordable I think because many people who are short term owners don't take the time and effort to become proficient; The learning curve is deceptive. It sounds simple but might take 6-10 outings to get the hang of the lens, and that is a challenge most people don't want that badly. Uncommon SF lenses remain expensive. But no worse than contemporary new high end glass like a new pro silent unobtainium coated 24-70 2.8 zoom for your DSLR.

  9. #39

    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by William Whitaker View Post
    Is the real question posed by this thread perhaps, "What Drives Format Choice?"?
    I agree, I think for many people is which photographer or what type of photography inspire them, hence follow the work formula of the said technique/gears...

    Given that there are a healthy group of contemporary fine art photographers who uses 810, plus the revival of wet plate and etc certainly give a spot light on that particular format.

  10. #40
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by jp View Post
    I use LF for soft focus shooting mostly...
    One consideration is that the effect of soft lenses is best seen at the scale of the negative they make. Spherical aberration does not enlarge particularly well. Soft focus also goes especially well with the tonal gradations of a contact print, which for many is justification for format choice in itself.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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