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Thread: Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

  1. #1

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    Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

    Having shot 617 for over five years, now I am thinking to move onto 4x10 with my 8x10 camera. I don't wanna buy a dedicated 4x10 camera for three reasons: First, 4x10 cameras and film holders are not cheap; Secondly, cutting the 8x10 film is a hassle; Thirdly, 4x10 format has its limitations.

    I know some photographers have tried shooting 4x10 with a 8x10 film holder and a 4x10 dark slide. Below are the procedures I have learned:

    1. Compose the image using the bottom half of the 8x10 ground glass;
    2. Insert the 8x10 film holder;
    3. Replace 8x10 dark slide with a 4x10 dark slide to cover the top half of the film holder;
    4. Shoot 1st image;
    5. Rotate back 180 degrees;
    6. Repeat 1 to 3 to shoot 2nd image.

    I would like to have your inputs if you have tried the above solution. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

    I've got a 4x10 back for my 8x10. While you've still got the holder issue new 4x10 holders are less then new 8x10s now that Fidelty is out of holder business.

    Use the L darkslide you'll have different issues. 8x10 holders are bigger and heavier. Others have talked about needing more coverage to handle the fact you're composing at the bottom/top instead of the middle.

    So all that's really left is cutting film. Some companies actually sell B&W 4x10. So it's only colour you need to make the one cut.

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

    An 8x10 darkslide cut to expose a 4x10 portion of the film might be better than a 4x10 darkslide. This way one has the light trap "filled" and less likely to leak light thru there.

    Rotating the back 180 degrees for the second shot usually does not work for verticals, but fine for horts.

    Also, you forgot the important step 4a -- remove modified 8x10 darkslide and install full 8x10 darkslide before rotating back 180 degrees. (unless one has a rotating, light-tight 8x10 back...which I don't think there are many of.)

    I like having two format to use at the cost of the weight of a modified darkslide.

    Do a search here -- there have been discussions about this before.

    Vaughn

    PS...warning...7x17 is the same proportion and you might find yourself desiring one!


    PS#2 -- I use the the rise/fall of the front standard to center my lens on the portion of the film being exposed -- using the sweet spot of the lens.

  4. #4
    westernlens al olson's Avatar
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    Re: Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

    I do something similar with 4x5. The plastic dark slide is easy enough to cut. I simply measured it out and drew lines with a pencil where I wanted to cut. Then I took a pair of household scissors to make my cuts. (Note that it is best to dedicate a spare darkslide for this )

    Below is an example of the two images on a single sheet of film. Once I am set up it is possible to make the second exposure by rotating my back 180 degrees. This way it is possible to bracket, or make another exposure when the light changes without going to a lot of trouble to recompose the image.
    al

  5. #5
    tim810
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    Re: Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

    I do this on my 8x10 all the time I have a dark slide cut to 4x10 and just rotate the back to get the second shot. I also have two other dark slides cut one with about 2 1/2 cut from one side than another with a 2 1/2 slot cut from the middle so I can get 3 shots with a 2 1/2 x10 inch neg. although I have only used this for one shot. I use rise and fall to keep the lens centered, and I have marked my ground glass on the side to let me know where everything is.
    Tim

  6. #6

    Re: Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

    That was my intent and I made a dark slide for it.

    However, I had read that a true panorama used what would be a wide lens on the short format. I.E. in my case a 90mm lens. With the 90 mm lens on, I couldn't get enough movement without a bag bellows to expose anything but the middle.

    I went ahead and shot the full negative with the intent of croping out the 4x10 from the center. After I processed it, I liked it round (the 90 didn't quite cover 8x10) better and just left it that way.

    I now have a different camera and a bag bellows so I may have to revisit the problem.

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

    Al, if you had made the cut out portion of the slide a little smaller, you would have had some space between the images (if you want it).

    Also your shot shows that it can be important to seat the modified dark slide squarely in the holder (having had the same thing happen to me a few times.)

    Vaughn

    This shot used a modified dark slide (8x10 to 4x10). I print with the rebate, so it is important for me to have that unexposed separation between the images...and to have the modified dark slide in straight. I also scrapped off the emulsion on the lower right to get rid of the "tab" of the holder -- usually I do not, but this image needed it.

  8. #8
    jetcode
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    Re: Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

    Cutting 4x10 film is easy. Cut 25 sheets last night in about 15 minutes, 50 4x10 sheets.

  9. #9
    Confidently Agnostic!
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    Re: Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

    No problems with light leaking around the edge? I've always assumed these would result in fogging along the edges of your images.


    Quote Originally Posted by al olson View Post
    I do something similar with 4x5. The plastic dark slide is easy enough to cut. I simply measured it out and drew lines with a pencil where I wanted to cut. Then I took a pair of household scissors to make my cuts. (Note that it is best to dedicate a spare darkslide for this )

    Below is an example of the two images on a single sheet of film. Once I am set up it is possible to make the second exposure by rotating my back 180 degrees. This way it is possible to bracket, or make another exposure when the light changes without going to a lot of trouble to recompose the image.

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Shoot 4x10 with an 8x10 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    No problems with light leaking around the edge? I've always assumed these would result in fogging along the edges of your images.
    None at all -- see my image above.

    Vaughn

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