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Thread: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

  1. #21

    Re: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

    I did everything I could to convince myself many years ago upon entering Large Format that 4x5 would be "easier", more "cost effective", more "packable" and "provide me an easier process to make images". Lets face it, larger cameras are the epitome of needing to be on your dot in using them,

    And I struggled mightily with the decision. I went with my gut with 8x10 and never looked back. The allure of such a large expanse of GG on 8x10 has many advantages that sometimes go unrecognized relative to smaller formats. One of these discriminating variables is the ability to judiciously see "more" of your image relative to using movements and dialing in your film plane. You are forced to have your shit together in using the camera effectively which is a very good thing. Secondly, the decision of what is worthy of photographing is powerful. Knowing the cost and darkroom time involved you are your own best judge as to what is worthy of pursuing. Only high grade images tend to get exposed. That is just not the case with 4x5. Lastly is the simplicity of contact printing and the standard mat size. As a result I shoot with four 8x10 field cameras (Intrepid MK 2, Canham wood, Toyo MKII, and Calumet C1). In my mid 60's I go to the gym four days a week and weight train hard to challenge myself with the task of carrying the 8x10 camera kit as long as I can. I have arrived at the conclusion that I can do everything with my 8x10 I would want to do with the 4x5 and I have those huge negatives to work with which never disappoint in putting a huge smile on my face when I print them.

  2. #22

    Join Date
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    Re: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

    my biggest frustration with using 8x10 was specifically viewing the ground glass. if I was under the cloth I had to place my head much further away from the GG than with 4x5 to view the composition, far enough away that I needed to put on glasses to see and I couldn't operate the controls, so 8x10 was a complicated dance of step back, put the glasses on, view the composition, take the glasses off, move close, adjust the camera, goto 10. Whereas operating 4x5 was comfortable doing everyrhing from one position, without my glasses on, except occasionally moving closer with the loupe to check focus. I get that everyone has different processes (and different vision) but I do find it at least slightly amusing that many people have the exact opposite reaction as me. In the very short time I've been doing 5x7, I have found it closer to 4x5 in process than to 8x10.

  3. #23

    Re: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

    Quote Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
    my biggest frustration with using 8x10 was specifically viewing the ground glass. if I was under the cloth I had to place my head much further away from the GG than with 4x5 to view the composition, far enough away that I needed to put on glasses to see and I couldn't operate the controls, so 8x10 was a complicated dance of step back, put the glasses on, view the composition, take the glasses off, move close, adjust the camera, goto 10. Whereas operating 4x5 was comfortable doing everyrhing from one position, without my glasses on, except occasionally moving closer with the loupe to check focus. I get that everyone has different processes (and different vision) but I do find it at least slightly amusing that many people have the exact opposite reaction as me. In the very short time I've been doing 5x7, I have found it closer to 4x5 in process than to 8x10.
    I had the same problem with the 8x10 and reading glasses until I had my ophthalmologist fit me with bi focal soft contacts. One eye dialed in for distance and the other for near and the reading glasses were no longer necessary. Made a huge difference. I still use my 2X Opti View headset which is set at about 12" focusing although many times I do not need them.

  4. #24
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

    I had my Cataract Lenses set for I at distance and the other close up



    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    I had the same problem with the 8x10 and reading glasses until I had my ophthalmologist fit me with bi focal soft contacts. One eye dialed in for distance and the other for near and the reading glasses were no longer necessary. Made a huge difference. I still use my 2X Opti View headset which is set at about 12" focusing although many times I do not need them.
    Tin Can

  5. #25

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    Re: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    I had the same problem with the 8x10 and reading glasses until I had my ophthalmologist fit me with bi focal soft contacts. One eye dialed in for distance and the other for near and the reading glasses were no longer necessary. Made a huge difference. I still use my 2X Opti View headset which is set at about 12" focusing although many times I do not need them.
    thts an interesting idea. I tried traditional bifocals, which I still have somewhere. I had to really convince my opthamologist because I wanted the lower lens uncorrected which is apparently never done (my close up vision is excellent, but once I'm ~4-5 feet away its down the tubes.) I could never get used to blurry things always in my field of vision. But you gave me an idea I didn't think about--I have a bunch of older glasses lying around--maybe poping one of the lenses out and using my left eye for close and right eye for far. It would only be used under the dark cloth, but it could be a cheaper option than laser eye surgery.

  6. #26

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    Re: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

    Back some time circa late 1980's first time with a 8x10 view camera was WOW_zers _!_ beyond impressive in every way possible. The GG image was SO much larger than 4x5 and more. Then the size of film was absolutely impressive in every way, specially next to a single frame of 35mm film. Add to this making prints from 8x10 film yielded print results that were impressive in every way. Add to this contact prints made using AZO paper with Amidol developer, specially with classic soft focus lenses can produce rather amazing prints..

    What dragged me out of 8x10 was the fact and reality of camera size (Toyo 810M, Sinar and .) limited lens selection at _$_ cost, DOF/F issues imposing smallish taking apertures for images demanding majority of the image to be in perceived focus, vast electronic flash power required to achieve these smallish lens apertures (did the tour of studio 8x10 and smaller sheet film duty, learned LOTs about this), sheer bulk and weight of all related to 8x10, film and processing cost, complexities of a high quality 8x10 enlarger (Durst 184 or DeVere) coupled with the availability of high quality fiber base silver gelatin print paper_which effectively stops at 20x24 back then and more completely negated any advantage 8x10 film offered. Exceptions are sending color transparencies out to GOOD print labs that can make high quality Ciba-Ilfordchrome prints 30"x40" and larger.

    Once all that did and done for a few years, 8x10 became Meh, the initial WOW_zers _!_ appeal died good and dead.

    Seeking a reasonable trade off became 5x7 or 13x18cm. Lens choices instantly increased LOTs, camera was not a lot larger than 4x5, overall system size weight and all related became reasonable. Most important of all, Durst 138 was reasonable in size and of good quality and nice to use. Print making up to the largest high quality fiber base SG paper of 20x24 cut to crop as needed was very acceptable. 10x14 prints made from 5x7 or 13x18cm film looked GOOD and the film size made reasonable contact prints. Overall, 5x7_13x18cm was far more reasonable, rational and fit the print goals good. This method was extended to 2x3_6x9 roll film view camera which allowed vast lens-optics choices and the advantage of 120 roll film and the less common choice of 2x3 sheet film


    8x10 been and done, fun while it last and now very much in the past.
    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
    my biggest frustration with using 8x10 was specifically viewing the ground glass. if I was under the cloth I had to place my head much further away from the GG than with 4x5 to view the composition, far enough away that I needed to put on glasses to see and I couldn't operate the controls, so 8x10 was a complicated dance of step back, put the glasses on, view the composition, take the glasses off, move close, adjust the camera, goto 10. Whereas operating 4x5 was comfortable doing everyrhing from one position, without my glasses on, except occasionally moving closer with the loupe to check focus. I get that everyone has different processes (and different vision) but I do find it at least slightly amusing that many people have the exact opposite reaction as me. In the very short time I've been doing 5x7, I have found it closer to 4x5 in process than to 8x10.

  7. #27

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    Re: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

    Another tool for a job...

    For a camera direct large neg, for your contact print or alt process needs... ULF starts getting limiting due to size & weight, and not a lot of camera responsive finesse with that beast, but to each their own (curse)...

    Steve K

  8. #28
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

    I only shoot 8X10 and 11X14 in studio

    My 3 big guns have BIG lens capacity with rear focus

    I do shoot, 2X3, 4X5, 5X7 in studio and my 1/2 acre

    How did Clint put it?

    ...a man must know his limitations...
    Tin Can

  9. #29

    Re: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

    Absolutely everyone need to find the tool that works for them. Sometimes health and/or physical limitations dictate the tools you can use. A few years ago Bob Herbst who did some truly marvelous PT/PD work with his 12x20 Wisner had to drop down to medium format and digital because his back was no longer able to take the load. I get that. On the flip side Morley Baer I believe worked with his beloved 8x10 Ansco well into his 70's. You do the best you can for as long as you can. Then you innovate.

  10. #30
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: Selling All 8x10 Gear & It Feels Good!

    A 4x5 kit does not have to be heavy.

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