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Thread: Preferred Format, and why?

  1. #21

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    Re: Preferred Format, and why?

    8x10 is my preferred format. I like everything from composing and focusing the aerial image on the expanse of ground glass to contact printing those big negatives.
    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.

  2. #22

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    Re: Preferred Format, and why?

    "HW I believe so.

    ~I think that tonal rendition is often more important than sharpness.~

    I found that when I started doing the high key photographs, for example, they would tend to block up in the highlights when I used a smaller format camera. And I should also admit that the larger format allows me to make more mistakes. I can be a bit more casual with my exposure and development and still pull off a usable print that reflects the tonal qualities which attracted me in the first place. I found that, while 4x5 is perfectly capable, as is 35mm, of approaching that quality, you'd better be right on the money every time with your exposure and development, or it's not going to work.

    ~For me, the 5x7 and 4x10 are great happy mediums between the portability of the 4x5 and the wonderful tonal quality of the 8x10.~"

    https://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/ph...ton-witherill/



    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by John Layton View Post
    Paul Caponigro turned me on to 5X7 years ago...and I continue to prefer this format to this day. Nice aspect ratio for landscapes/seascapes. Reasonable logistics for backpacking/traveling.

  3. #23
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred Format, and why?

    3-1/4 X 4-1/4 and 5X7

    The later for all reasons given

    The former for the vast numbers of good cameras still available. Enlarged 1/4 plate looks the same as 4X5 to my eyes...
    sin eater

  4. #24
    Cordless Bungee Jumper Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred Format, and why?

    For most work, serious work, most traveling, or something that I want to make my own darkroom prints 6x6 [MF].
    For fun, for experimentation 4"x5".
    Traveling without time to spend composing or because there are others I am traveling with who want to move on quickly 35mm.
    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  5. #25

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    Re: Preferred Format, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    ~I think that tonal rendition is often more important than sharpness.~
    What an excellent observation to make. I sure agree.

  6. #26

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    Re: Preferred Format, and why?

    Endless repeat from me about tonality and the subtle qualities of what a GOOD print can be. IMO, WAY too much emphasis is place by Foto folks about "Sharpness"_"Contrast" while less is mentioned about overall tonality of the print. Appreciation of this can come from looking at a LOT or the very best B&W prints then spending countless hours of print making in the darkroom while trashing boxes and boxes of the best B&W paper. Struggles with figuring out how to get the best out of any given film-developer-print paper combo and mask making as needed to aid in the print making process. Beyond this is the performance and associated tools of burning-dodging, selective burning-dodging with variable contrast paper-filters and developed of every possible print making tool-method-skill.

    This is one of the primary reasons to limit enlargement to no more than 3x, with 2x being greatly preferred... Know at 2x, a sheet of 4x5 results in a 8x10 print and part of my continued insistence that 4x5 is too small a film format, vintage lenses (Kodak Ektar and similar) for GOOD B&W prints. It is mostly about tonality.

    Yet this is the price of admission to print making excellence, with the ability of the print to invite the viewer to look deeper into what a given print can offer. This is something big prints (20x24 and larger) does not really offer to the viewer as really big prints say 30"x40" and more tend to be imposing by towering over it's viewers. Smaller prints tend to be more intimate sharing with the viewer.


    Bernice

    >I think that tonal rendition is often more important than sharpness.<

    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    What an excellent observation to make. I sure agree.

  7. #27

    Re: Preferred Format, and why?

    I shoot 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, 8x20 and 12x20 and no question 8x10 is the format that I find is the harmonic of "seeing" and "executing". The GG is of sufficient size to be able to inspect properly, the challenges of processing are not in any way insurmountable and the results are the justification for the logistical issues of weight and size. Now that I have an 8x10 Intrepid MKII I hope to be even more capable of getting off of the beaten path. I find it quite interesting that a very high percentage of outdoor visitors (of which the numbers are currently enormous) barely leave the parking lots these days let alone get on the trails and explore.

  8. #28

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    Re: Preferred Format, and why?

    For the portraits I make, the 4x5 rectangle offers a wonderful space in which to place my subject. By frame-count and time spent, the vast majority of my work ever since I first began in 1968 has been 35mm. I still have a 35 and the 645 system I built for commercial potraiture years ago, and they have their place. But the 4x5 is special. Not that every image must be cropped exactly thus. But my affinity for the portraits of Rembrandt and Vermeer, as well as Eakins, among painters, and Strand and Rosenblum (who used square-format 120) among photographers, leads me generally toward a "conservative" compositional space.
    Last edited by Ulophot; 18-Sep-2019 at 12:12.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  9. #29

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    Re: Preferred Format, and why?

    I chose 4x5 back in 1982... the 'sweet spot' between image quality, size/weight, and cost. Being able to make enlargements was an important factor in choosing 4x5 over a larger format. I do have a 3x4 Speed Graphic for hand-held work.
    I'd like to shoot 6-1/2 x 81/2, and make alternative process contact prints, someday. Probably never get to that.
    The banquet formats intrigue me as well, but size/weight/cost are (still) powerful arguments against them.

  10. #30
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred Format, and why?

    This is what Kodak has to say about format:

    Do not invest in an 8x10 inch camera and a battery of expensive lenses to go with it unless you are certain that the limited, but essential, advantages of this format will be required...In general, the work that requires an 8x10 inch negative or transparency includes high quality advertising photography, catalog work where transparencies are made with specified sizes for the "cut and butt" technique, and the highest quality portraiture. Almost without exception, this work will be in color. There is little, if any, reason to use the largest negatives in black-and-white photography unless your intention is to make contact prints of usable size. A 4x5 inch black-and-white negative properly made will yield results adequate for practically all photographic purposes...
    Page 4,Photography with Large-Format Cameras, Kodak Pub O-18 1977

    Thomas

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