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Thread: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

  1. #11
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Nah...get a 5x7 camera and 5x7 enlarger. Less DoF issues and portability issues with the 5x7 camera. You get a neg that is almost twice the size (and a nicer proportion) as a 4x5 neg. And the 5x7 neg can make a sweet little alternative process image.

    Of course you still could get an 8x10 enlarger and use the sweet spots to print the 5x7 negatives...after all, you'll probably would end up getting an 8x10 camera eventually anyway.

    Vaughn

  2. #12

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    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Get the 8x10 if you need to make very large prints or if you want to print from 4x10 negatives. Otherwise I agree with the previous post and I have both 5x7 and 8x10 enlargers
    Either way good luck
    Art

  3. #13

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    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    "8x10 enlargers seem to be scarce in my area."

    Where is your area?

    John

  4. #14
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Powers View Post
    "8x10 enlargers seem to be scarce in my area."

    Where is your area?

    John
    Northern Ohio, near Cleveland.

  5. #15
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Nah...get a 5x7 camera and 5x7 enlarger. Less DoF issues and portability issues with the 5x7 camera. You get a neg that is almost twice the size (and a nicer proportion) as a 4x5 neg. And the 5x7 neg can make a sweet little alternative process image.
    My impresion is that 5x7 enlargers and cameras are more difficult to find than the 8x10 items. I agree that 5x7 would probably be a great format, but I have only seen one Zone IV 5x7 enlarger for sale on e-bay in the last few months, whereas quite a few 8x10s or 10x10s have come up.

  6. #16
    Geos
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    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Unless you want to make silver gelatin prints, I'd recommend the digital route. With a highend consumer flatbed and printer, you can make better (IMHO) prints than with an enlarger. Though the enlargement limit, from 8x10 with a consumer scanner, will be about 24x30, you can have pro scans made if mural sizes are needed.

    You can always give the digital side a whirl while hunting for the enlarger.

  7. #17
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Quote Originally Posted by George Stewart View Post
    Unless you want to make silver gelatin prints, ....
    Are there any other prints worth making???

    Seriously though, an 8x10 scanner, a computer, software, storage media, a gantry printer with archival ink or whatever is going to cost thousands and will be worth very little in a few years. I think digital printing technology is too new to trust (unless you are printing to silver gelatin media). Shure it may be stable but I'm not going to waste my time with it.

  8. #18

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    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Are there any other prints worth making???

    Seriously though, an 8x10 scanner, a computer, software, storage media, a gantry printer with archival ink or whatever is going to cost thousands and will be worth very little in a few years. I think digital printing technology is too new to trust (unless you are printing to silver gelatin media). Shure it may be stable but I'm not going to waste my time with it.
    That is the right answer for me. Not sure how far you are willing to travel. I am in Bath, OH (between Akron & Cleveland), got half of my Durst 138S (a 5x7) from Detroit and the 12x12 Cold Light conversion from State College, PA. A friend is in Aurora, OH got a Durst 138S from VT or NH, a 13 hour drive. He has a Deardorff 5x7/4x5 and thinks the 138S is only for 5x7. He also has a Deardorff 8x10 and looks wistfully at 16x20 and 20x24 enlargements from 8x10 negatives. I give him six months or less.

    What kind of space do you have? A true Durst 8x10 (1184) may need a 9-10' ceiling. My wife and I briefly talked about building a closet in the Living Room over where the big Durst would be. I asked how about a permanent hassock? My darkroom ceiling is 7' 2".

    Do you have room for a horizontal 8x10 enlarger? I know of two in use in the NE side of Cleveland. I don't know of any 8x10 enlargers for sale just now, but I am encouraging you to look far and wide and consider all options. What works for one person may not be right for you, but give it a look. It may not be right for you because you don't know enough about it yet.

    I'll PM my phone number. You are welcome to come see what I have and talk. The more people you talk to the closer you may be to an answer or to confusion. Glad to share the fever, or is that fervor?

    John

  9. #19

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    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    I was very into the idea of shooting 8x10 in the 80s... I ended up borrowing an 8x10 on several occasions... but I found that, due to the size of the camera - it was nearly impossible for me to compose well on. I think each person has an idea 'screen size' from which to judge composition. Likewise I can do little drawings really really well... but get up around the size of a sheet of paper or beyond - and it just falls apart. Just make damn sure that you can use the thing, if you decide to go for it. You may want to look into trying one out for, say, 50 sheets of film first, before you buy.

  10. #20
    Stephen Willard's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    I have a 10' Fotar that I cut down to 9'-6" to fit into my house. It has a 2000w color head, and I have managed to pick two more color heads and power supplies for spare parts. It was not in great shape, but I got it for a $1000 and drove only 150 miles to get it. I then put another $1000 into detail it, and now it looks new. That is $2000 total with eight new diachroic filter sets and eight new 250w bulbs which is less then what I paid for a new 4x5 enlarger.

    After owning one I would drive coast to coast if need be to get one. The adjustments, the controls, and the shear size of images I have made using it are just amazing. There is nothing like. It is pure poetry. My wife who is a poet has named it the tower.

    When I first set it up on the back deck she cried because I was going to bring that monster into HER house, but after seeing some of the images I have made from it, she now gives tours to her fellow poets of my laboratory to show off the tower. Rumor has it when I throw the switch the sheer current it draws dims the street lights and surround homes. Fortunately, none of the neighbors have complained.

    Do not listen to those guys who preach digital. Get a 8x10 enlarger. The more wattage the better. If you put a colorhead 10' into the air you need some bright light. I believe the Omega is only a 1000w which is weak for big stuff. You need something with 2000w of holy light to make those sacred images.

    Do not be gun shy. The sheer size of these machines will scare you at first, but once you learn how to man-handle it, its like driving Ferrari.

    My wife now tells her friends that size does count, and if do you not have a tower in your laboratory, then your not a real photographer.

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