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Thread: 4x5 or 8x10

  1. #11

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10

    Bigger is NOT better.

    Each film format has it's advantages and limitations. Film format choice strongly depends on the intended goals of any print.

    ~What are your print goals?~

    IMO and experience, 8x10 and larger is best when contact printed. Once you're at 8x10 sheet film there are serious limitations on choice of optics, overall size and mass of all hardware involved and more. Add film cost and all post camera related to 8x10 makes it a rather serious commitment.

    Step down one sheet film size to 5x7 or 4x5, the difficulties completely change in every way. Choice of optics for 5x7 is extremely wide and easily available, enlarger reasonable for a home dark room, makes very reasonable contact prints with camera and all related being slightly more physically than 4x5.

    That said, 4x5 is the better choice to begin with. Once up the view camera and sheet film learning curve with 4x5, the transition to a larger film format size is easier in many ways.

    It is very possible to upgrade the current enlarger in your darkroom to a 5x7 floor standing enlarger (Durst 138 or De Vere 507) allowing prints to be made from film size up to 5x7 & 13x18cm with not much more darkroom real estate demands. Both Durst or De Vere enlargers are extremely good at projecting-enlarging smaller film formats to 35mm or smaller with the proper add-ons. Doing the same with a 8x10 enlarger is going to be an "interesting" experience and expense.

    Essentially, skip looking at film format size alone and consider all involved with making the finished print. Larger film alone will NOT produce a better print.



    Bernice

  2. #12

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10

    Hello Fwaeyten,

    I had the same dilemma one year and half ago; I wanted to move up from many years working with mainly medium format (6x6 and 6x9) and some 35mm.
    At first I was looking toward 8x10 with the idea of using Polaroid film (which wasn't and isn't available in 4x5).
    A dear friend of mine suggested to start with 4x5 for cost and portability reasons and to avoid rail cameras and look for a field. I must say it was a good advice.
    I went for an Intrepid. I waited for it months and then after many sheets of film it was clear that it has a very bad problem of light leaks; I got a Chamonix a couple of months ago, simply flawless and amazing crafted.
    But now I'm thinking to go to the final stage and look for an 8x10 to use it only for b&w film with a 300 or a 360mm. The biggest difference in price is for the camera itself and the holders.
    In conclusion me too I would advise to go for a 4x5 first. Later you can keep it or sell it for almost the same money and switch to 8x10.

    Cheers

    Roberto
    A good picture requires taking risks

  3. #13

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Bigger is NOT better.

    It is very possible to upgrade the current enlarger in your darkroom to a 5x7 floor standing enlarger (Durst 138 or De Vere 507) allowing prints to be made from film size up to 5x7 & 13x18cm with not much more darkroom real estate demands. Both Durst or De Vere enlargers are extremely good at projecting-enlarging smaller film formats to 35mm or smaller with the proper add-ons. Doing the same with a 8x10 enlarger is going to be an "interesting" experience and expense.


    Bernice
    I have 2 Durst 805 Enlargers. One B&W (Condenser) and a Color (Diffuser). Don't think they can be converted to 4x5. Parts for Durst are hard to find and (hence) expensive as well.
    5x7 or even 4x5 might be an option if i can find an enlarger cheaply... I don't wanna go scanning LF prints.

  4. #14

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Bigger is NOT better...
    I disagree. I would also disagree if someone posted "Bigger IS better." Bigger is different. What make it better or not better are the goals and objectives embraced by each individual photographer, balanced against the costs -- monetary, handling, transporting, etc. -- a photographer must "pay" for "bigger."

  5. #15

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10

    8x10 Polaroid??????

  6. #16

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    8x10 Polaroid??????
    Yup, just google for it. https://eu.polaroid.com/collections/...d-8x10-cameras

  7. #17
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10

    5x7.

  8. #18

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by fwaeyten View Post
    Thanks very much for the education!

  9. #19

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10

    OK fine, if that works for you.

    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    I disagree. I would also disagree if someone posted "Bigger IS better." Bigger is different. What make it better or not better are the goals and objectives embraced by each individual photographer, balanced against the costs -- monetary, handling, transporting, etc. -- a photographer must "pay" for "bigger."

  10. #20

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    Re: 4x5 or 8x10

    Give up the table top enlarger thing.. (both of them) You'll be FAR better off in the long run replace both with a single Durst 138 or DeVere 507 and move on.

    As for expense, SO many Durst 138 were junked due to no takers. Had several offered as free, just come haul it away. These were complete with condenser set and all. They had to be take whole, no parting out. Problem being, already have one.

    I'm not convinced Durst 138 or DeVere 507 (not as common) are expensive or difficult to find even today. IMO, best to get and set up a 5x7 enlarger system as it will allow print making to that size film negative. As for larger, ponder what is the largest B&W print paper size that is any good that can be easily ordered?

    Those two considerations can help decide where ya might wanna go with all this.


    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by fwaeyten View Post
    I have 2 Durst 805 Enlargers. One B&W (Condenser) and a Color (Diffuser). Don't think they can be converted to 4x5. Parts for Durst are hard to find and (hence) expensive as well.
    5x7 or even 4x5 might be an option if i can find an enlarger cheaply... I don't wanna go scanning LF prints.

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