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Thread: Choosing an 8x10 folding camera

  1. #41
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    San Francisco, CA, Flagstaff AZ

    Re: Choosing an 8x10 folding camera

    The normal reccommendation seems to be start with 4x5. That's great if you want to shoot with 4x5. My girl friend on the other hand just started shooting large format, started with 5x7 and loves it. She finds the larger ground glass much easier to compose and focus, plus her interest is in contact printing not enlarging. So given the op's interest in contact printing and alternative processes 4x5 might not be the best way to go.


  2. #42

    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Re: Choosing an 8x10 folding camera

    I'll agree with Roger on this one. Normally I think 4x5 is the logical place to start...unless you are getting into large format in order to obtain large negatives to use when experimenting with historic printing processes. I think you will quickly feel limited by small 4x5 contact prints. Granted - you can always enlarge your negatives for contact printing, but it is a bit of a PITA. Personally I would opt for a 5x7 camera over a 4x5 in your situation. 5x7 contact prints, while still on the smaller side are much more fun to produce than 4x5 IMHO. Obviously 8x10 cameras will net you even more flexibility, but the camera itself comes with a significant size/weight/cost penalty ( a 5x7 camera is a bit bigger than a 4x5, but an 8x10 is absolutely huge when compared to a 4x5)

  3. #43

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    san jose, ca

    Re: Choosing an 8x10 folding camera

    Poisonally, I say stay away from old used Deardorffs. That will keep the price of those reasonable for those who value great engineering with durability and ease of use.

    I think you should start with a 8x10. Just remember there is no going back. 4x5 just doesn't look right after you have perfected the development and contact printing of an 8x10.

    I have a 1970s V-8 with 5x7 and 4x5 backs. What else do I need?

    tim in san jose

  4. #44

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: Choosing an 8x10 folding camera

    Dear vvplem (I think we have had recent dealings on e*bay?) so I assume that you are based in France.

    Whilst 8x10 is an admirable format, 18x24cm is, probably, better - and very European!

    There are plenty of very solid, well made and attractive mahogany chambre de voyages available in Europe, superb film holders and BW white film available.
    Multi-format use is possible with adapters that fit inside the book plate holders.

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