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Thread: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

  1. #21
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

    Yes indeed Christopher - and that is why I stronly prefer 8x10 for color even now -
    because it is so very cooperative for masking and color separations, even compared to
    4x5, plus the greater detail and enlargement capability. If I have to print a 4x5 to
    30x40, I first make a precision enlarged 8x10 dupe.

  2. #22
    hacker extraordinaire
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    Re: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

    Do you accomplish the dupe by direct reversal or by making 2 internegatives? What kind of film do you use?

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

    A color dupe is positive to positive. I will contact print (or sometimes enlarge) an appropriately masked chrome to an E-6 duplicating sheet film. Both Kodak and Fuji make dupe films, although appropriately color-balanced, I find that Astia 100F is actually better for this than the official duplicating fims. Fuji dupe film is simply tungsten-balanced old-style Astia. This is obviously different from an interneg. Fuji still offers an interneg sheet film, but again, I prefer the result of simply contact printing ordinary Portra sheet film and balancing it for interneg use - seems to work
    well except for Velvia originals, which can get a bit off for critical use. This might just
    be a problem of being far more experienced with dupes than internegs, because when
    I print RA4 papers, I almost always print direct from a Portra neg. The chrome dupes,
    however, are intended for Cibachromes, and actually print better than a masked original. With dye transfer, b&w separation negs are made, though I am only a beginner
    at that process, still working with contact prints.

  4. #24
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

    Out of curiousity, does Playboy still photograph all its centerfolds with an 8x10?
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #25

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    Re: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

    I scanned through Professional Portrait Lighting and of the professional photographers in that book (1947), there were
    11x14 - 2
    8x10 - 20
    5x7 - 51
    4x5 - 7
    Medium format - 4
    35mm - 1
    There was mention that WW2 caused film shortages that may have forced a move to 5x7 from 8x10 and many of the professionals just stayed with that. Cheaper, I expect.
    Anyways, based of the professional photographers of the Photographers Assn of America, 8x10 was not the standard at that time.
    And no, Playboy has gone digital about 4 years ago.
    Regards
    Bill

  6. #26
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

    My last ever wife, RIP, occasionally retouched 8X10 Playboy films in early 90ís, by courier.


    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post
    I scanned through Professional Portrait Lighting and of the professional photographers in that book (1947), there were
    11x14 - 2
    8x10 - 20
    5x7 - 51
    4x5 - 7
    Medium format - 4
    35mm - 1
    There was mention that WW2 caused film shortages that may have forced a move to 5x7 from 8x10 and many of the professionals just stayed with that. Cheaper, I expect.
    Anyways, based of the professional photographers of the Photographers Assn of America, 8x10 was not the standard at that time.
    And no, Playboy has gone digital about 4 years ago.
    Regards
    Bill
    Images preferred

    trying to


    focus

  7. #27

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    Re: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

    It was a standard for photos of movie stars displayed at theaters, because they didn't need to be enlarged. By making contact prints, they could print one right after another in rapid time.

    A friend who had been a Hollywood photographer related this to me, and I recalled seeing 8x10, black and white photos in theaters back in the 50's.
    Last edited by neil poulsen; 28-Mar-2021 at 17:54.

  8. #28

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    Re: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

    8x10 Hollywood famed folks prints were very common. There was a restaurant in LA that used these 8x10 prints as a eatery theme.

    Making that 8x10 film negative was just the beginning, the retouching department would "work over" these negatives until they met specific needs and requirements for mass distribution. Then these negatives were contact printed en-mass for distribution. These 8x10 images have become collectable in recent times.

    Kinda reminds of a time long ago when Ansel Adams had a studio in Yosemite, sold... 8x10 prints there for not a lot of $.



    Bernice




    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    It was a standard for photos of movie stars displayed at theaters, because they didn't need to be enlarged. By making contact prints, they could print one right after another in rapid time.

    A friend who had been a Hollywood photographer related this to me, and I remembered seeing 8x10, black and white photos in theaters back in the 50's.

  9. #29

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    Re: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

    Did not note this previously, interesting to note 5x7 was more used than 8x10 back in the day. Do remember a photographer friend from decades ago who is no longer with us sharing stories of using a 8x10 century studio camera with a 5x7 "split back". Think this was a twin 5x7 slider back on that 8x10, not sure. They were common and often used.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post

    I scanned through Professional Portrait Lighting and of the professional photographers in that book (1947), there were

    8x10 - 20

    5x7 - 51

    4x5 - 7


    There was mention that WW2 caused film shortages that may have forced a move to 5x7 from 8x10 and many of the professionals just stayed with that. Cheaper, I expect.
    Anyways, based of the professional photographers of the Photographers Assn of America, 8x10 was not the standard at that time.

    Regards
    Bill

  10. #30
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Why was 8x10 the standard for portraits?

    AKA 8X10 B&W Printed Headshots which every actor, politician and other comedian needed for audition handout and bought their own by the 100's.

    Then they all needed a better one, different hair, hat, costume, so they made more all on paper.

    HS yearbooks too.

    The film size got smaller over decades, the print size remained 8X10 until Digi Prints and camera phones.

    Now few print anything, we even sign legal papers with Digi. No paper used at all.

    I suggest we all shoot 5X7, 8X10, 11X14, 14X17, 16X20 and 20X24 of any film and contact print, mounted with huge mats, in frame. Don't forget Panorama!

    Carry on regardless

    We are the:

    The Charge of the Light Brigade


    Meaning we use light!

    in our battle
    Images preferred

    trying to


    focus

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