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Thread: Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

  1. #1

    Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

    Hi guys,

    A probably impossible question to answer here but..

    For my two new projects I am looking at shooting 8x10 instead of 4x5 simply for the extra IQ for large prints upto 150 cm wide. (lambda prints from drum scans of colour film with longish exposures up to 30 seconds.)

    The kit will be a one lens set + 240mm lens + say three darkslides at most on shoot.

    Fair enough you say, but some of these shoots will involve walks up and down steep mountain sides and across slushy snow for up to an hour and a half or so. (Then again some will be just five minutes from the car).

    Am I crazy to trek to these kind of shot locations with a heavy 8x10 set up and will I see a big difference in the print quality at the sizes I mention?

    I have shot 4x5 for years and love it, and am generally happy with the print quality I get but know that 8x10 will give me even more.

    So, crazy...just do it...not worth it...?



  2. #2
    lenser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Tim from Missouri

    Re: Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

    Were Adams and Weston crazy to do the same thing?
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Re: Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

    Ansel had a mule and Edward had Charis... but if you are in shape why not? Or seriously, get a young assistant and share the load.

    I'll let other people talk about resolution, but I (think) can tell the difference between 4x5 and 8x10 even in my small desktop inkjets. Plus there seems to be more of a 3-D look the larger in format you go, albeit with technical challenges (wind and depth of field can play a factor).

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Southern California

    Re: Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

    The worst that can happen if you try it is to find out it's not for you.

    If you don't try it, you'll always wonder about it.

  5. #5

    Re: Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

    I'm fit enough (I think!) to do it's really wether at these print sizes, once I factor in tripod stability, wind movement, long exposures, etc, etc wether I'll see the differences.

    I know this is not really a topic with any definitive answer..just good to put it out there sometimes.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Re: Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

    Obviously it's going to depend in large part on your tolerance for weight. But if you're only going to need a compact 240 and three film holders, and if you have an 8x10 camera at the lightweight end of the available range, it should be readily doable.

    My standard 8x10 kit is a Phillips 8x10, one or two lenses, three holders and BTZS hood in the f64 large backpack, plus a 3-series aluminum Gitzo. If I want to go a really long way I can leave the Copal 3 lenses at home and take my 240 Germinar W. Some would also substitute a carbon fiber tripod to save a few pounds more. Many 4x5 users take outfits that are a lot heavier than this into the field.

  7. #7
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    USA, North Carolina

    Re: Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

    Are you crazy? No. You should of course do what you want. Nothing wrong with that. There are many reasons to do what you propose and a few of them have to do with image quality.

    Where you'll gain the most perhaps is in tonality. All things being as equal as you can make them, the same scene shot the same way with 5x4 and 10x8, detail in the 5x4 shot will have 4x the film area with 10x8.

    Sharpness, not so much, because for the same DOF you'll be shooting about 2 stops smaller apertures with 10x8, so most of your photographs will likely be diffraction limited. But you'll be enlarging only half as much for the same print size so you'll see less of the diffraction softening than you might at first think.

    The real problem for the backpacker comes from the extra weight. Not only the camera, but the bigger tripod, the much bigger film holders, etc. People commonly carry fewer film holders when packing 10x8 because of this, which can limit your options.

    The compromise position is of course 7x5, which should do just fine at 150 cm. A 10x enlargement from 5x7 (6.75 inches of image) is about 170 cm. You can do 12x to get to 200 cm, which a film like TMY-2 can easily handle. But for color work I try to stay below 10x.

    The only way to really know if 10x8 is going to do what you want is to try it and see. But you knew that already, yes?

    Bruce Watson

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Bend, OR

    Re: Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

    I have pushed 4x5 work up to 150 cm or 60 inch prints, but would certainly consider that size print from a 4x5 piece of film pushing the limits. If the subject matter is extremely detail oriented, Id haul the 8x10 or find a mule to haul it. I usually have scouted an area prior to hauling a large setup so I know exactly what lens I going to use and can keep the weight Im carrying to a minimum.

  9. #9

    Re: Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

    My 8x10 Shen Hao is only 3.4 Kg. The weight of the 240 G Claron is negligible. Tripod and tripod head are another 3.5 Kg. Three film holders, a lightmeter a black T-shirt, etc should bring everything to about 9 Kg maximum. That's not too bad really.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: Am I crazy think of 8x10 for this...

    You're talking about a 12x mag factor with 4x5 film enlarged to 5 feet on the long side. That's roughly the same as an 18 inch print on the long side from 35mm film. I didn't like 35mm beyond 10 inches on the long side and even that was pushing it by my standards (not necessarily by yours or others). So I wouldn't enlarge 4x5 film to 5 feet myself.

    I'd go so far as to say that after going to the kind of trouble it sounds like you'll be going to for some of your photographs, you'd be crazy not to use 8x10. If money isn't a major consideration you can assemble an 8x10 outfit that doesn't weigh all that much more than some 4x5 outfits.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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