8x10 or 11x14

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by MonoAsia, May 16, 2006.

  1. MonoAsia

    MonoAsia Member

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    I like to try to go to ULF. I wanted to get a 8x10 but my friend suggest 11x14... hmmm, any different?
     
  2. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Weight.

    The camera is a tool. What do you want to accomplish?

    If it's field work, maybe the 8x10 is better. It may be a little easier to enlarge as well.

    If it's portraits, perhaps the 11x14.
     
  3. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Well, 8x10 isn't really ULF... But, if it was me, I'd go for the 11x14. BUT, your film choices are greatly limited and it is much more difficult/expensive to buy film, filmholders, lenses, etc. Also, 11x14 is much less portable, if that's an issue.
     
  4. MonoAsia

    MonoAsia Member

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    Thanks, maybe I would like to talk about my interest. I like to do studio photography especially portrait and nude. Can anyone recommend the lens?
     
  5. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    For those sharp shots the 355mm f/9 G-Claron
    If you need more compression then the 19" f/11 Red Dot Artar
    For fun and swirly times a 16" f/6.7 Petzval in shutter
    For LOTS of swirl and out-of-focusness a 9" verito on an 8x10
    --all from personal experience

    From what I have read I would look for a 300-480mm heliar as long as the camera can handle it. They have a very smooth, buttery character to them from the images I have seen made with said lenses.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Another really nice lens for 8x10 and 11x14 is the Kodak Commercial Ektar 14". I've also seen some very nice things done with a 480mm (19") Goerz Dogmar f5.5 (good luck finding one... they're rare and pricey). My avatar was taken with one.
     
  7. sanking

    sanking Member

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    For this kind of work with the 11X14 I would stay away from process lenses with small apertures like the Artars and G-Clarons because this may make it difficult to focus and compose indoors. Instead, look for some of the large f/4.5 Tessar lenses, or even triplets, that were once made for ULF cameras and studio work. You will sometime find them labeled by inch, but just as often by format covered. I have, for example, a 19.5" Tessar that is labeled for the 14X17" format, and a lens like this would be ideal for your work.

    Don't worry about how sharp the lens is, because almost anything will be sharp enough for 11X14. But having a wide aperture to focus and compose would be really useful with indoor protrait work. Also, bear in mind that some of the really nice work in this format is done with the lens wide open, with just one or two of the eyes in sharp focus, and the rest of the scene allowed to soften. I find this very attractive.

    Sandy
     
  8. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Oh, dear lord, I just can't help myself...

    Sandy, do you have any test shots where you have three or four eyes all in focus for us to compare?

    :D
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Of course he does, if he's wearing his glasses and shooting at F22 :smile:
     
  10. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    A person could go nuts trying to decide which eye (s)!!

    74 sq. in.

    Portrait Sigmar 19" f4 is nice.
     
  11. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    I never liked the 8x10 aspect ratio and always found myself printing 11x14s over any other size. For that reason, and the fact that 11x14 is the first format one can fit a life-sized head and shoulders shot onto the film, I chose 11x14.

    As others have commented though, it is much less portable. Considerably so. But, if you are in the studio, no contest - 11x14.

    Joe
     
  12. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    I'm hoping to get an old Century Studio camera for indoor portrait work and have pondered the same question. As weight is less of an issue than it would be for landscape work you are left with the question of cost.

    Equipment cost (secondhand) isn't any worse than a pro digital set up. 11x14 will cost more initially, especially if you need to buy more holders, but equally it will resell for more. There will be a lot more choices in 8x10 than 11x14, but if you can find an 11x14 that has all the features you want then what does it matter?

    Film choice will be more of an issue in 11x14 unless you are happy with the standard Ilford and Kodak B&W offerings.

    Film cost is another thing, but you could always get an 8x10 reducing back made for an 11x14 camera (if it doesn't already have one).

    My choice? Given that I want a particular type of camera which was available in both sizes, I am hoping to get an 11x14. I will probably use a reducing back to start with, but I'll always have the option of 11x14 without further expense or modification required.
     
  13. MonoAsia

    MonoAsia Member

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    Thanks, one more newbie question. What are enlarger? Or we just do contact print?
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you want to enlarge, 8x10" is much more manageable. If you want to contact print, 11x14" is a nice sized exhibition print.

    I shoot both, and I contact print those sizes, but if I were enlarging, I'd probably stick to 8x10", just because it's so much easier to deal with in terms of equipment and film availability.
     
  15. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Jensen Optical was making some enlargers up to 16X20 until they went out of business...or at least it appears that they are out of business.
     
  16. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    From the sounds of things, I would suggest getting an 8x10 first and seeing if you can manage using the camera. You can get into a decent 8x10 camera for just a couple hundred dollars. With getting into 11x14, it will cost you a couple thousand dollars between the camera, film holders, lens and film.

    Pick up a cheep 8x10 camera off ebay, a few used film holders and a cheeper lens and give it a try. Most 8x10 cameras can be used on smaller tripods, but if you go up to 11x14 you will have to buy a heavier tripod also.

    Personally, It would be hard for you to move from shooting small formats up to 11x14. It will be hard for you to manage the camera. Shoot 8x10 for abit and get used to working with the larger camera, then you can always turn around and sell everything for the same price you purchased it for if you want to move larger.

    Ryan McIntosh
    www.RyanMcIntosh.net
     
  17. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    As per your interests, i.e. Studio portraits and nude I feel the 11 x 14 wins hands down....

    1. contacts from the 11 x 14 are quite nice and have an on the wall presence that 8 x 10 as a contact does not have. If you are wanting to make a few bucks and a name for yourself doing this the 11 x 14 does set you apart from most of your competition....to your customers the "gee whizz factor" can have a positive marketing impact.

    2. I personally do not feel that the physical difficulties of the larger formats cameras should deter you in the least...as Kerik has mentioned "8 x 10 is not ULF" also you will be using your camera mostly in a studio situation...11 x 14 and up were quite common a few years back in the studio....also some of the older cameras have 8 x 10 reduction backs, or you can fashion your own, they are not hard to find....

    3. lenses...good points about the larger aperature lenses...however for portraits also there are lots of choices, even 4 x 5 lenses will cover when "pulled" for portraits...

    for portraiture and close subject to lens distances you do not need the designed coverage you need to cover 11 x 14 as you would shooting landscapes at infinity..

    4. 11 x 14 is the smallest size on which on can photograph a human head at 1:1

    5. An exercise I did when I moved up in format size....above my desk I posted, made from typing paper, the various format sizes and I litterly looked at these for months. This helps put in perspective the wall presence of the different formats and helps your compositional vision....

    6. A few hours, days or weeks, whatever...(in my case a little over a year) practicing dry firing the camera, setting it up, composing, inserting the holders etc will put to rest your apprehensions of the "larger cameras" also you will find that you hone your skills and your dev technique with your smaller film choices...which in the long run becoms a plus...

    hope this helps.......

    Dave in Vegas
    (14 x 17 )
     
  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    I must say that for portrait & nude in the studio I'd back the bigger format too: much more 'presence' in the contact print and a much nicer image shape than the stubby, ugly 8x10/4x5 format.

    The lens can be a significant problem unless you have the right camera. For example I'd love to use my 21 inch f/7.7 Ross on my Gandolfi 12x15 but the camera is so old (pre World War One) that the lens board ain't big enough for the flange. Unless I have a new front made, which is maybe $1000, I have a VERY limited choice of longer lenses.

    But if you're considering enlarging, think hard about 5x7 inch/13x18cm/half plate -- and my own feeling is that these make beautiful contacts, too, with a jewel-like antique quality (most old prints are quite small).

    There's a free module about the various formats, their advantages and disadvantages, in the Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com, which you might (or might not) find of use.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  19. JosBurke

    JosBurke Member

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    I personally was left with a bad taste after doing some business with them--I well understand if they did go under as I would never buy from them again---I do have a Durst L-184 but I would go elsewhere B/4 I spent a dime there. Bad business practices--period!!
     
  20. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    This subject keeps coming up again and again…... Some people have had fine results with Jens, while with others the results were not so fine. But he does know Durst enlargers, and he does have a vast inventory of parts. I have personally dealt with him several times, and I have always been satisfied. His web-site doesn’t seem to be up, but yes, as of a few weeks ago, he is still in business and selling enlargers.
     
  21. Donsta

    Donsta Member

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    Joseph's post is the first poor experience I have ever heard of - apart from mine. Jens personally strung me along for about 6 months. I finally just gave up but will obviously never do business with him again.
     
  22. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Back to the original subject, an Aplanat No.6 is great for portraits in studio, while an Aplanat No.4 will give full figure coverage. Due to the quirks of geometry and distance, I will recommend those sizes for both 8x10" and 11x14", as well as 12x16".

    An Aplanat No.4 will be 300 to 360mm focal length in most cases, regardless of manufacturer. A No.6 will be around 420 to 500mm. A single No.5 could replace both, but they seem to be much rarer for some reason? Anyway the total price of two fine old Aplanats can be as low as $40. Maximum aperture of these old beasts is f:7.2 to f:7.7 - better than f:9, but not much.
    My Steinheil "Patent" No.6 cost me $30, and is as good as when it was new (in 1867).
     
  23. jensen-optical

    jensen-optical Member

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    Reply to JosBurke and Donsta, regarding Jensen-Optical

    I am sad to hear that JosBurke and Donsta feel they have had bad experiences with me and/or my business.
    I would like to correct what I may have done wrong and if either of you will contact me directly, 800 675 1493 or email DURST-PRO-USA@msn.com, I will be more than happy to address and correct the issue. You can also post the complaint here at APUG, and let me know about the posting as I only saw this thread by accidence, and I will reply.

    I do not know what "DONSTA" is short for, “josBurke” probably for Joseph Burke. I have looked in my files and do not see the name Jos, or Joseph Burke as a customer. And therefore I have been unable to look up the file and give an in debth reply at this time.

    We get quite a few bad reactions from users of equipment for 6x6 and smaller, but also from large format users, when we tell them that we cannot help. Many people erroneously take their frustration with Durst in Italy out on us as we can be reached by phone. And there is quite a lot of bad will against Durst for the discontinuation of certain Durst enlarger models and associated accessories.

    In 2004 and part 2005 I had staff employed that were experts on Digital material and thus were impatient with the Largeformat crowd, who needs a more personal attention than the hundreds of minilab owners that called us. Especially one of the sales people seemed to be impatient with “old used optical equipment” and gave my business a bad reputation. He is obviously not with us any longer.
    You may therefore not have spoken to me personally, but whether or not you did, if you will address your concern I will be most happy to try to remedy any bad feelings.

    My web page has been refurbished and the knowledge database has been made public without any passwords required.
    Best regards
    Jens J Jensen, WWW.JENSEN-OPTICAL.US , WWW.DURST-PRO-USA.COM PHONE 800 675 1493
     
  24. George Losse

    George Losse Member

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    I might like to add one of the few votes for the 8x10 in the studio over the 11x14.

    I've used both formats in the studio for shooting the nude. I've contacted printed and shown both formats, their difference in wall appeal one format over the other is less then most of the replies here would make you think. It turns out to be more of a personal choice.

    I can tell you there is a big difference in working with the two cameras in the studio. For those that have shot and thought the 8x10 was slow, try shooting 11x14. It will make the 8x10 feel like a medium format camera.

    It’s easier to buy 8x10 holders on the used market. Also they are much cheaper, you should be able to buy about 6-8 or so 8x10 holders to the costs of one 11x14 holder. I know when I work with the nude in the studio I like to shoot 30-40 8x10's in a session and not be limited by having 3 or 4 holders. You do not want to be changing film while the subject is waiting in the studio. Even if an assistant is doing the changing the subject is still waiting.
     
  25. Donsta

    Donsta Member

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    Jens

    My name is Don Hutton. I ordered some AR glass for my Fotar enlarger from you personally and was lied to regarding it on at least eight different occassions over the course of 6 months by you personally. There is no remedy in life for regaining trust. The secret is to preserve it by acting with honesty and integrity at all times.