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Thread: dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

  1. #1
    3d Visual Effects artist
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    dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

    So I imagine I'm probably not the first person to think about doing this. I know specifically Frank Petronio here has gotten rid of 8x10, has anyone else recently done so? Do you regret it?

    I enjoy using 8x10 when I'm shooting, but the rest of the process is alot more of a hassle than 4x5. Carrying my things out, to only being able to hold so much film, and for developing and scanning at least with my small setup and no dark room (having to use a tent and day-light tubes) it's alot easier for me to develop and scan 4x5's than it is 8x10's, and faster too. For my scans and prints, 4x5 is plenty in terms of resolution and quality. So I know my work won't "suffer", but I'm guessing I'll miss the fun of looking at the 8x10 GG.

    My 8x10 has been sitting on the shelf not getting much use, while my 4x5 has been getting the most use. Which is fine, because I can always take the 8x10 if i want to. But if I get rid of the 8x10, I won't be able to grab it when I want it (which is less and less lately) So I'm debating selling my 8x10 camera or not, and the holders, and a few of the lenses that I only use for 8x10. Either just saving the $, or putting it towards a leica range finder that I've always wanted.

    Anyone regret doing this?
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
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  2. #2
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

    Daniel, I tried 8x10 twice. Once for field work with a Deardorff and once for portrait work with a Kodak 2D. It didn't inspire me. I don't enlarge prints to much bigger than 11x14 and I don't do contacts or alt processes. I found 8x10 to be "two handed" -- everything took two hands and two trips. I still use 5x7, 4x5, and 6x7. 4x5 is a nice size neg and one can do a lot of different things with it. When that is just impossible, I take the 6x7. If I'm not far from the car, I use the 5x7. No regrets.
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  3. #3

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    Re: dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

    If you are making prints you like better with your 4x5, there should be no regrets...EC

  4. #4

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    Re: dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

    I know I can always go back to 8x10 or 5x7, I swap my stuff around to keep the neurons firing and to cover my traffic tickets, lawsuits, and bribes. I have little doubt I'll shoot more 8x10 again, but I like doing it for a stretch and switching gears - I get a new run of good pix every time.

    From a practical point of view, I don't print that large and the few 30x40s I've done look wonderful from 4x5. Unless you are the sort of critical person who tests lenses and runs comparisons between techniques and materials, 4x5 with average gear and simple technique is still going to look fantastic, especially compared to most people's digital work.

    So... the reason I like the larger formats isn't image quality or perfection... its the user experience. Working from a larger ground glass is joyful, and if you photograph people they respond that much more to the larger cameras. I think it is a lot of fun to set up a 50 lb camera/tripod that feels like a precision tool and takes a little muscle to use.

    If I were a backpacker I'd feel differently, but when you think about it, anyone who is backpacking 8x10 is f-ing nuts and probably way to serious about image quality at the expense of getting good pictures because they are bogged down. It's really kind of insane when you think of people packing an 8x10 but then skimping on holders because they are too heavy.

    We're consumers, we grew up in a society that values material goods. I decided to embrace it and I enjoy getting "new" (to me) cameras and they help inspire me to shoot new work. I've tried the other way too, where you use one camera for years and years and it becomes a familiar attachment, and it is a valid way to be. But I found this compulsive shopping and gear whoring works better for me.

  5. #5
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    Re: dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

    Having reached the age of eighty, I recently sold and traded off my Canham Traditional 8x10 outfit. It became too bulky and heavy for me to tote out into the field.

    I now use a Canham all metal 5x7 camera with a 4x5 reducing back.

    5x7 when working close to my vehicle. 4x5 when there is trecking involved.

    I develop my film in a darkroom and scan and print the negatives digitally in a lightroom.

    Much easier for this old geezer.

    However, I do miss that huge 8x10 ground glass.

  6. #6
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

    I sold my 8x10 Korona a couple of years ago for pretty much the same reason. It wasn't getting much use because of the weight, hassle of use and processing. I found I was getting better images from my 4x5 gear than I was with the 8x10 too so that was a deciding factor.

  7. #7

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    Re: dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

    If I were ever to do a real landscape project, I would use 8x10 in a heartbeat.

    I've noticed often with 5x7 - and almost always with 8x10 - that sharpening in Photoshop does nothing but degrade image quality.

    To me, that's telling.

  8. #8
    3d Visual Effects artist
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    Re: dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

    Thanks for all the feedback :-)


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    If I were ever to do a real landscape project, I would use 8x10 in a heartbeat.

    I've noticed often with 5x7 - and almost always with 8x10 - that sharpening in Photoshop does nothing but degrade image quality.

    To me, that's telling.
    for me and my images, 4x5 does just fine, in final prints, I don't notice much difference, I only sharpen once it's at print resolution anyway. But then again my usual print size is 8x10 and 11x14. For those sizes, my 8x10 doesn't really give me any noticably more detail, just a bit of difference in the look of the grain if I'm using a faster film. If I were comparing a contact print 8x10 versus the digital print 4x5, I have no doubt the 8x10 would be far superior in terms of detail, but I don't contact print.

    That's one of the reasons I'm contemplating selling the 8x10 setup, since my images don't really gain much from it, and I usually grab my 4x5 for ease of use and processing.
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
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  9. #9
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

    While I still have some of my 8x10 cameras, I haven't used them in a long time. 4x5 is a great size, especially considering some of the outstanding fine-grained films we have available, such as Acros. For me, the issues with 8x10 were bulk and weight, susceptibility to camera shake due to wind, and subject movement, mostly branches and foliage, at the long times required for F45-F64.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

  10. #10

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    Re: dumping 8x10 and sticking with 4x5. anyone regret?

    I am fully in love with 8x10. I want to make my snapshots with it. It is pure joy to just look thru the huge GG and to compose on it. I agree with Frank, its the user experience and how it motivates creativity and the urge to go shoot some sheet what really counts.
    Sergio

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