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Thread: How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

  1. #1

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    How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

    Hello,

    How much detail would be lost enlarging a 4x5 black and white negative, to a 8x10 negative?

    Or would it vary a lot according to film type, developer<method etc?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Ironage's Avatar
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    Re: How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

    I think that with a good lens you will see more detail because the small size cannot be perceived by your own eye.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  3. #3

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    Re: How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

    In my testing of this very question many years ago, I found that though I wouldn't say a 2x enlargement from 4x5 lost detail vs an 8x10 contact print, but, to my eye, I found the contact print to reveal more "crispness" and "presence" and I preferred it more. I think it has something to do with putting the 4x5 image through another piece of glass; something is definitely lost in the process. I'm sure an argument could be made regarding the quality of the enlarging lens, enlarger alignment, heck even the easel itself, but I use high quality stuff in my darkroom and, for me...allow me to emphasize that...FOR ME, the contact print is/was better. For fact, I spent about 15 years using nothing but the 8x10 for my serious work and a Hasselblad for "snapshots" (I tend to like larger negs!) YMMV, of course.

  4. #4

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    Re: How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

    There is n way that I know of to measure the amount of degradation as an image passes through a lens. But if a contact print is laid alongside an enlargement, the difference is very evident. That is the reason that i moved to larger and larger cameras a good number of years ago. My 2 enlargers are rarely turned on by me, but occasionally by students.

  5. #5

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    Re: How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    There is n way that I know of to measure the amount of degradation as an image passes through a lens. But if a contact print is laid alongside an enlargement, the difference is very evident.
    Exactly what I was trying to say... Thank you!

  6. #6
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    Re: How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

    In principle, there is always some loss when you pass the information in the negative through another transfer stage. In practice, though, assuming a high-quality enlarging lens and good enlarging technique, the loss is minimal.

    But to elaborate on the point raised by Ironage: Leaving aside situations where you're intentionally capturing a soft-focus rendering for esthetic reasons, a good negative will record more spatial detail than the naked eye can discern. So there is a tradeoff. You can render a negative with the maximum possible subtlety of tone and detail - that requires a contact print. Or, you can render the negative so as to allow the naked eye to discern the maximum possible amount of the spatial information recorded in the negative - that requires an enlargement, with careful technique. You can't have both maximum subtlety of rendering and maximum perceptible detail at the same time. Which way to go depends on your taste and what you are trying to accomplish.

  7. #7

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    Re: How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmarxz View Post
    Hello,

    How much detail would be lost enlarging a 4x5 black and white negative, to a 8x10 negative?

    Or would it vary a lot according to film type, developer<method etc?

    Cheers

    Read here from page 40:

    http://www.delmar.com/resources/samp...6820777_02.pdf

    And this:

    https://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/E...nlargeneg.html



    To minimize the quality loss, that it can be very low loss:


    > Use a duplication film if you find it or a film of low ISO, a film 2 to 4 stops slower would be fine.

    > Of course, ensuring flatness, alignment, focus and optimal aperture would be necessary. This is a high precision job.

    > Use a Duplication class lens that works well at the magnification you are to use, in this case x2, you would need a Rodagon D (Duplication) or an old Rodagon R (R for reproduction) enlarging lens (if you find it) for a totally perfect job, now there is one at ebay anounced R type that it isn't, it looks... Some Process lenses may also excel in that job.

    Here it says that the Rodagon D 120mm covers 4x5", but it has to be checked if it covers at x2, I'd say yes but not knowing for sure: https://www.qioptiq-shop.com/out/Gra...00119141_0.pdf

    You have one right know at ebay:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SP32-20200530-183223.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	22.5 KB 
ID:	204281


    https://www.ebay.es/itm/Rodenstock-A...EAAOSwz4leFbxK

  8. #8

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    Re: How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Read here from page 40:

    http://www.delmar.com/resources/samp...6820777_02.pdf

    And this:

    https://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/E...nlargeneg.html



    To minimize the quality loss, that it can be very low loss:


    > Use a duplication film if you find it or a film of low ISO, a film 2 to 4 stops slower would be fine.

    > Of course, ensuring flatness, alignment, focus and optimal aperture would be necessary. This is a high precision job.

    > Use a Duplication class lens that works well at the magnification you are to use, in this case x2, you would need a Rodagon D (Duplication) or an old Rodagon R (R for reproduction) enlarging lens (if you find it) for a totally perfect job, now there is one at ebay anounced R type that it isn't, it looks... Some Process lenses may also excel in that job.

    Here it says that the Rodagon D 120mm covers 4x5", but it has to be checked if it covers at x2, I'd say yes but not knowing for sure: https://www.qioptiq-shop.com/out/Gra...00119141_0.pdf

    You have one right know at ebay:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SP32-20200530-183223.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	22.5 KB 
ID:	204281


    https://www.ebay.es/itm/Rodenstock-A...EAAOSwz4leFbxK
    What do you suppose “this lens is fixed” means?

  9. #9

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    Re: How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

    "Detail" is smaller than the eye of the beholder and can be enlarged (to some degree) and held...

    The bigger issue is how the material translates to another medium step where it can "fit" into the range, tones, and contrast without visible change in the next generation...

    Those visible qualities will affect the viewer's response as it compares to the previous generation...

    Steve K

  10. #10

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    Re: How much detail is lost enlarging a 4x5 negative to 8X10

    Needs to be a definition of ~Detail~ as there are many, many, many aspects to what detail can mean and what any viewer might value.


    Bernice

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