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Thread: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

  1. #41

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    Re: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by William Whitaker View Post
    . . . The greatest motivating factor for 8x10 vs. 4x5 personally is that so many much more interesting lenses were made for 8x10 than for 4x5. . . .
    I'm wondering, what lenses come to mind?

  2. #42

    Re: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

    I noticed one is bigger than the other. How very intriguing.

  3. #43
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    I'm wondering, what lenses come to mind?
    Neil, I'm referring to portrait lenses in general. But anything with a distinctive and interesting signature. Now, I may be wrong, but it just has seemed to me that 8x10 found its place as the default portrait format and lens manufacture followed suit. The Verito, of course, the Cooke portrait lenses, Heliars and just about anything else that offered the early 20th century photographer a look upon which he/she could capitalize as his own. But as we all know, the lens a photographer does not make..... right?
    I just find great delight in the variety of lenses produced and the differences, subtle or otherwise, of each.

  4. #44

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    Re: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

    Vast majority of the lenses mentioned (Verito, Cooke portrait lenses, Heliars, Pinkham Smith, Kodak Portrait, Spencer Portland and ....) were made in focal lengths not specific to 8x10.

    ~LOTs of them were made in production not for 8x10. That said, IMO these sort of focus lenses are best on film formats 5x7 and larger to produce contact prints. If projection printed, enlargement of no more than 2x.

    These sorta-focus lenses where only part of the overall portrait making practice from that era. What is often forgotten or neglected with sorta-focus lenses, lighting, portrait sitter's pose, props, back ground and more.

    Post camera often involved "retouching" of the negative to fix what was needed and deemed to make an acceptable portrait. This was one of the primary reasons why 8x10 was highly preferred by the portrait folks from that era. Once all that was done, contact prints were very common and often yielded the best results.

    From the 8x10 portrait industry back then IMO, grew the wide acceptance of that image ratio due to exposure to images with this ratio and familiarity with that image ratio.

    To believe speciality or "interesting" lenses alone results in THE image is no different than believing 8x10 results in the best image. Fact and reality is, there is a LOT more than lens, image recording format size and all those commonly and easily obsessed over item that are mere tools and means in the expressive image making process.

    Lighting, composition, form tonality and all those lesser discussed and far more subjective-intuitive-creative aspects of image making is often shoved to the side in favor of camera-lens-format size and all those hardware centric objects.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by William Whitaker View Post
    Neil, I'm referring to portrait lenses in general. But anything with a distinctive and interesting signature. Now, I may be wrong, but it just has seemed to me that 8x10 found its place as the default portrait format and lens manufacture followed suit. The Verito, of course, the Cooke portrait lenses, Heliars and just about anything else that offered the early 20th century photographer a look upon which he/she could capitalize as his own. But as we all know, the lens a photographer does not make..... right?
    I just find great delight in the variety of lenses produced and the differences, subtle or otherwise, of each.

  5. #45

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    Re: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

    And remember, large negs didn't need enlargement and easily retouched...

    Big, for a small time operator...

    Steve K

  6. #46

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    Re: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

    A.J.Thuss was a portrait photographer in Nashville when I was young. He had one camera, a 16x20 on rolling stand. He never used artificial light. Instead he depended on the natural light coming through his north facing skylight and controlled via curtains. He had three "portrait " lenses which he changed according to his subject. For men he use the sharpest, for young women, girls and children he use one with light diffusion, and for women over about 40, he used one with variable diffusion. The object of course was to make the patron look good, and be happy.
    From him I learned, among other things, that ultra sharp images are not always the most desirable, .
    Oh, by the way, the camera could be set to make a 16x20 negative, or an8x10 along with a selection of smaller sizes down to about 2.25x3.25. A friend of my mother's did all of his coloring, hand tinting. I still cherish the beautifully tinted photographs of me and my sister.

  7. #47
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

    Wow, Jim. I didn't know that 16x20s were a portrait camera size.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  8. #48

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    Re: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Wow, Jim. I didn't know that 16x20s were a portrait camera size.
    I'm more surprised of the 2x3 with the big portrait camera...

    Imagine trying to frame a 2x3 with a 19" lens... :-0

    Steve K

  9. #49

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    Re: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

    About zero has changed since the topic of 8x10 portraits was discussed on LFF eleven years ago..
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...-for-portraits


    Bernice

  10. #50
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 Photography Compared to 4x5 Photography?

    Thank you for directing us to a better prior thread



    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    About zero has changed since the topic of 8x10 portraits was discussed on LFF eleven years ago..
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...-for-portraits


    Bernice
    2022

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