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Thread: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Camano Island, Washington
    Posts
    386

    Re: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

    My recent belief is that 8x10 is less flexible than 4x5. I would enjoy a discussion by forum members of where 8x10 works best or better than 4x5. I have been using the 4x5 format for 49 years - principally for marketing my architectural practice and my own artistic projects. I purchased a Calumet 8x10 - 12 years ago and find it a lot more limiting than the 4x5 in most cases. First off is the perception of images with 8x10 - the depth of field that you are able to work with is a lot more limiting. If you are using a 150mm-165mm lens on 8x10 the depth of field is just the same as as it would be on a 4x5 camera. This carries through with all of the lens lengths. My successful 8x10 images have been: flatter subject compositions, distance subjects, subjects where out-of focus areas are taken into consideration as part of the image - such as portraits. There is also the need to either contact print the negative or enlarge it. I am still working on getting the correct increased negative densities for enlarging with my cold head enlarger. On the plus side the negative is larger so it should show more clarity and detail.

  2. #22

    Re: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

    Although there are more film availability problems, perhaps 5x7 inches (13x18 CM metric) would be a workable compromise. There are many affordable wooden field cameras and also metal cameras like the Rittreck available in 5x7 at reasonable prices, the majority of 4x5 lenses cover 5x7 / 13x18, and that level gear generally remains readily transportble.

    Personally, 8x10 seems like the odd format out, with 4x5 and 5x7 remaining reasonably affordable, portable and fairly easy to enlarge, with 11x14 retaining an edge for contact prints.

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    17,847

    Re: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

    It's way easier to get 8X10 film than 5X7. Often people have to cut down 8X10 sheets just to get the particular 5X7 film they prefer. If you like a longer rectangle, then 5x7 makes more sense than either 4X5 and 5X7. Cameras like the Deardorff Special and the Canham 5X7 were designed with dual-format 4X5/5X7 usage to begin with. And many 8X10 cameras have format reducing backs down to 5X7 or 4X5, but then you've still got most of the original bulk and weight of an 8X10. But composing with 5X7 feels more like doing it with an oversized 4X5 than with full 8x10. Whatever. I think 5X7 is a lovely format, but at this point in my life I just can't justify yet another format, especially since I already have three 8X10 enlargers, and plenty of 8X10 and 4X5 holders on hand. It's getting difficult to find new or even relatively clean 5X7 holders.

  4. #24
    M.A. Wikstrom
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Albuquerque
    Posts
    175

    Re: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by lukaszwojcik View Post
    I've seen quite a few videos on Intrepid and it looks very bad. Poorly built, unstable, bad knobs, and all made of poor plywood.
    Obviously you've never used one. I have a 5x7 Intrepid and it's a fine camera for what it is, and it's delightfully lightweight! All else being equal only a fool or a klutz with no common sense couldn't take fine pictures with one.

  5. #25
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    17,847

    Re: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

    I'm seriously skeptical how long something like an Intrepid would hold up out in the wind and weather. My Phillips is still going strong after more than three decades of outdoor torture, and will probably outlive me.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,550

    Re: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

    I can't remember the last time I plugged in my 8x10 enlarger.
    For me, B&W 8x10 contact prints have a special charm all their own although
    the worse my vision gets with age, the more I appreciate the 8x10 ground glass, negatives and contact prints.
    I must enjoy it because the 'dorff V8 gets used the most, followed less frequently by the Gowland 8x10 Aerial. A 5x7 Speed Graphic is a distant third and the 5x7/4x5 Agfa Ansco and 4x5 Graphic View 2 seem to never get any fresh air.
    The 12x20 F&S has practically become a fossil.
    For value, that old 'dorff has actually been a bargain for me although I couldn't quite believe I was parting with so much cash at the time when I bought her compared to the GV2, which was almost a give away but sadly never gets used.
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  7. #27
    M.A. Wikstrom
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Albuquerque
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    175

    Re: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I'm seriously skeptical how long something like an Intrepid would hold up out in the wind and weather. My Phillips is still going strong after more than three decades of outdoor torture, and will probably outlive me.
    The Intrepid is lightweight, but also pretty rugged. Don't let the price fool you - just the weight savings alone is worth twice what they go for.

  8. #28

    Re: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Axelwik View Post
    Obviously you've never used one. I have a 5x7 Intrepid and it's a fine camera for what it is, and it's delightfully lightweight! All else being equal only a fool or a klutz with no common sense couldn't take fine pictures with one.
    That's how it usually is when you choose a product you want to buy that you suggest reviews and user feedback from, for example, youtube and after watching a few of those Intrepid doesn't convince me.

  9. #29

    Re: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

    I wasn't here over the weekend and I see lots of responses. Thank you for all of them! I will still be thinking about the 4x5 in that case. The 8x10 format convinces me with the very high detail of the scan/print. If I'm going to choose a 4x5 it will probably be the Sinar, where you can change the bellows and back later, modularly switching to 8x10.

  10. #30

    Re: Why is 8x10 so expensive over 4x5 ?

    Old Man's Cave Falls by Nokton48, on Flickr

    Old Man's Cave Falls 8x10 Sinar Norma 240mm Norma Symmar, 8x10 HP5 (not +) D76 1:1 fibre 8x10 print Fortezo Dektol
    Flikr Photos Here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/18134483@N04/

    The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
    ― Mark Twain

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