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Thread: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

  1. #11
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    A perfectly reasonable idea .
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    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  2. #12

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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    It looks that the surplus is drying up. There used to be a multitude of lenses for reasonable prices.

    Indeed prices for film are going up, but I'm way more selective than I used to be, that compensates for that.
    The larger the format, the more selective I become.
    I own the gear, but those don't make masterpieces. My everyday experience.

  3. #13
    Foamer
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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Could it just be that a relative handful of people are buying dozens of lenses? I have x8 lenses made before 1860 and three more made 1861-1865, plus about 6 made 1900-1930 and 5 modern lenses Nikons, Rodenstock, Fuji. I know I have a tiny collection compared to some.


    Kent in SD
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    miserere nobis.

  4. #14

    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Contact prints are certainly a nice option.

    Are you enlarging from 8x10 at all?

    What if you want a 16x20 print?
    I enlarged 810 in grad school , luckily we had a Devere. At the end of the day I found a way to justify and come to terms with the limitations of contact prints.


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  5. #15

    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Could it just be that a relative handful of people are buying dozens of lenses? I have x8 lenses made before 1860 and three more made 1861-1865, plus about 6 made 1900-1930 and 5 modern lenses Nikons, Rodenstock, Fuji. I know I have a tiny collection compared to some.


    Kent in SD
    There are certainly a few bad apples that have created a market that is only available to the 1% of photographers willing to grossly overspend for what they desire. It’s unfortunate, people know it is but no one ever wants to address it.


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  6. #16

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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    I can't comment on lens availability.

    But as to why 8x10 for "younger folk?"

    1. Wood and brass cameras look cool. Bigger ones look cooler.
    2. Big lenses look cool. Brass ones look cooler.
    3. Out of focus areas fall off differently on 8x10, when doing 50mm-equivalent or wider portraits, 8x10 is in the near macro regime. So, the ultimate, "my big camera has special bokeh".

    A fourth point: if I could afford the film, and the right lens, I'd be doing all that too.

  7. #17

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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    As a guy that got into LF and wetplate around 2006, I can say there was a price spike about 5 years ago, but it's going back down. Like a lot of fads, I've seen it a lot over my life - up fast, then down slowly.

    Those that know me know me and a few others here bought and sold a ton of lenses in 2007-2014, I keep price records. By 2014 the golden era was over. I used to be able to sell a brass lens, or any LF lens really, on this forum within 1 day. Usually within 2 hours. Any lens, from a Tessar to a common RR. Then their common-ness started to become more apparant, and people stopped "collecting" any and every brass lens. For a while, the Best manufacturers like Dallmeyer and Voigtlander held very high values. Then the smaller ones started slipping in value. I sold a 12" Voigtlander petzval back then for $3000 PLUS a lens traded to me WITH the cash! Sold a Dallmeyer 4D for $1500. Those prices are hard to attain today. The Best quality and sizes are still pretty high, but not like that. The VERY best - huge petzvals, rare soft focus, are higher than ever before. But the average 7" petzval or 14" tessar is about half what it cost in 2010.

  8. #18
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Shoot what you can afford to, and don't go into debt to afford toys.

  9. #19

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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    That makes sense to me. If you like wide or long lenses for 8x10 then it can get pretty expensive.

    Most of us started film with 35mm because that was what we could afford at the time. With digital most start with a crop sensor camera.

    A new top of the line, full frame Sony Alpha with fast glass can get pretty expensive. I couldn't afford it even if I sold all my 8x10 gear!

  10. #20

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    Re: Allowing Lens Availability to Dictate Format Choice

    Image format size should depends on goals, not availability-cost of lenses and.... be it film or electronic based.

    8x10 has never been a low cost film format and IMO based on years of 8x10 image making during the time when film based photography was at it's peak, mid to late 1990's. Beyond film cost, hardware related to 8x10 from film holders to lenses, camera, enlarger, darkroom and ... have always been limited and expensive. 8x10 film does make nice contact prints.

    That said, there was a era about the early 2000 when so many were ditching their film cameras for digital. This included many commercial studios that went from 4x5 or larger film to digital for many, many reasons. This was the era of vast film based hardware being essentially dumped on the market and any where it can be dumped or junked.

    What appears to be happening today, 8x10 and larger film formats have become popular due to image makers wanting something distinctly different than images made electronically (digital from start to finished print) and wanting a departure from traditional enlarged silver gelatin based prints.

    I've never been of the opinion of different alone is good enough to pass a being creative or artistic. For any of that to happen, there must be a solid foundation or method and ways to allow for and properly support creativity and artistry regardless of the chosen medium of expression.


    So, consider what the finished print needs to be then work backwards from size of the mounted print, how that print will be made post film exposure, processing of exposed film, where images might be produced, what optics might be involved to create the finished print, what film types and related could be required for the finished print with the camera being the last item on this list. reason for this being, foto folks tend to believe the camera dictates the finished print. That is when the reality of how optics interact with the camera can become a serious limitation and problem. This fact is more specific to a view camera as most roll film cameras and similar are sold as camera brands with their brand of lenses that have often been designed for that brand's camera. Since view cameras do not function this way, it is mistaken to use this ideology when making view camera choices.

    Back to the original question, 4x5 is the most common with the most easily available range of optics available. 5x7 _ 13x18cm is the largest common film format that will support the largest variety of optics available. Once at 8x10, the choices in optics, camera and all related is greatly reduced with the cost of all related also significantly increased.


    Bernice




    Quote Originally Posted by dodphotography View Post
    A few friends and I were recently talking about how the rise in popularity in analog photography has seen an increase in the cost of formats. A few mentioned they selected a format of choice based on the availability and cost of lenses, etc in relation to the sense that we “missed the boat” of low prices.

    Obviously this is more in line with people who experimented in the past but never had a solid kit set up.

    It was a curious conversation between 4x5 and 8x10 +


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