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Thread: Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

  1. #1

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    Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

    Are there less film availability issues using 5X8 color film compared to 5X7?

    Chamonix offers a 5X8 camera described here, although it appears to be priced $1,000 higher than the 5X7.

    http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/58.html

    I don't have a darkroom, but if it is possible to cut 8X10 film in half, are there labs where you can get 5X8 developed and scanned?

    8X10 color film appears to have a better future than 5X7.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._160S_8_x.html

  2. #2

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    Re: Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

    I really like the ratio of Juri's 5x8 work, drop him a PM, he is a very nice guy.

  3. #3

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    Re: Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen in Montreal View Post
    I really like the ratio of Juri's 5x8 work, drop him a PM, he is a very nice guy.
    Who is Juri? Oh I think you meant Jiri: http://www.vasina.net/?p=94

    After reading the info at the link, I thought of another approach. Since 4X5 is easy to work with and as long as you don't enlarge too much, why not crop photos to obtain the desired ratio? As an example here is a 4X5 cropped to 2X5.

    http://www.diddephoto.com/photos/606685033_G73nB-X3.jpg

  4. #4
    SF Bay Area 94303
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    Re: Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

    Yes, when you are cutting down 8X10 film you don't have to throw any out, otherwise all the down sides of 4 X 10. KFry

  5. #5
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

    It seems like a great format, but 5x7 is difficult enough. Why make it hard to get holders and film in this environment. Besides, you can crop any format to any other, so unless you are religious about printing full frame, it doesn't matter.
    my picture blog
    ejwoodbury.blogspot.com

  6. #6

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    Re: Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

    Hi David,

    I have the Chamonix 5x8 camera (as you have already found out ), so I'll try to answer some of your questions:

    * I think that if you want to shoot color films in this size (5x7/13x18cm/5x8), you are best off with the 5x8 cut from 8x10. The availability is better, there are more emulsions to choose from. Though I do not know about labs willing to develop this not-so-standard format. (I process all my films myself, even the color ones when I have enough of them to buy and mix chemistry).

    * cutting the film for 5x8 is no problem. Since you only have to cut once and exactly in the middle, there are not many ways how to screw (or that much handling to scratch the film). Without a darkroom it could be a problem, but it depends. I don't have a darkroom (per se) either, but our bathroom does not have a window and late in the night when all the family is already in the bed I can do whatever I want there - even develop films or cut them for size...

    * the 5x8 format has a nice aspect ratio to me when used horizontally. When used vertically, I more often like the more squarish 13x18cm/5x7, but that depends on composition.

    * as far as masking goes, it's one of the ways to try it. Ken Lee (another really nice member here whose work I admire) uses this approach - masking the 5x7 format to the aspect ratio of 5x8. In fact I think it's best to try the format this way, and if you like it enough, you can buy a camera in the format.

    * as you probably have read, the Chamonix 5x8 can be very easily adapted to use also standard 5x7/13x18cm holders. I have done it. I can use any of the formats for the shot (adapting in a field in a matter of 5seconds), which fits best the composition, or which film I want to use...

    Hope this helps

    Jiri
    Jiri Vasina
    www.vasina.net

    @ Google+ | @ Facebook | @ flickr

    My books @ Blurb (only heavily outdated "Serene Landscape").

  7. #7
    Philippe Grunchec's Avatar
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    Re: Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

    Paul Strand masked his 5x7 camera to 5x6 -
    "I believe there is nothing more disturbing than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept!" (Ansel Adams)

    http://philippe.grunchec-photographe.over-blog.com/

  8. #8
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

    There are two big advantages to 5x8 IMHO. First, you cut down 8x10 film. One cut down the middle. No wastage. So any film that's available in 8x10 you can use for 5x8.

    Second and more important, the 5x8 aspect ratio (5:8 = 1:1.6) is very nearly the "golden mean" of 1:1.618. This ratio has been revered from the time of the ancient Greeks and before, and is found in art and architecture all over the world, and in many aspects of nature (including human physiology which may explain why we like it so much). Many consider it the most beautiful aspect ratio for art works.

    Bruce Watson

  9. #9

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    Re: Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

    From the few 4X5 LF photos I have taken, I like the 5X8 ratio. I plan to take a couple B&W photos each week (use up my box of 100 sheets) to get comfortable with the adjustment and exposure process. After that I should have a better idea which direction to head.

    A couple concerns I have are:

    Recognizing a 5X8 has twice the film area of a 4X5, I will be effectively wasting half my exposed 4X5 film if I like the 1:1.6 aspect ratio.

    What conversion do you use to equate a 35mm equavalent focal length? For example my 90mm and 210mm are similar to a 26mm and 60mm on a 35mm camera. It looks like the 90mm would not be usable on a 5X8. What top three lenses are appropriate for 5X8.

    What labs would process and scan color 5X8 film?

    What logical print (paper) enlargements are available? 10"X16"? maximum?

  10. #10

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    Re: Does the 5X8 format have advantages over 5X7?

    timberline,

    I too love the idea of 5x8.

    1) You can crop your 4x5 film to approximately 3x5 to achieve your 1.6:1 aspect ratio and only lose about 21% of your film area. (Don't forget that you only get about 3.75 x 4.75" in your 4x5 negs due to masking by the film holder.)

    2) Convert your 35mm focal lengths to their 5x8 equivalents by multiplying by 5.33.

    3) Your 90mm will be a 35mm equiv of about 17mm and should just cover the corners on 5x8.

    Of course you could also crop 5x7 negs to about 4.2 x 6.75 to give you the 1.6:1 aspect ratio, losing only 11% of the film area and continue to use your 90mm with some movements, enjoy standard size film holders and development tanks, have a greater choice of enlargers (if you want to try that), and save $1000 (or more) on the camera, while perhaps having a slightly greater chance of finding a lab to process and scan your film.

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