8X10 vs 5X7

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by ronlamarsh, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    First thanks to all for the good discussion on 5X7 contact printing. Second I have an opportunity to trade my 5x7 for an 8X10. I am not to worried about the format dimensions as I can mask the prints off to anything from 6.5X8.5 to 6X9 or 5X7 if the image demands and I actually really like 5.5X8. I am concerned about the extra bulk and weight detracting from the usuability of the camera. So opinions please as to the extra weight and bulk......is it as bad as some claim? I looking for something slightly larger than 5X7 but the really special sizes like 5X8 I cannot afford.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Depends on the camera, but it is a jump. Some 4x5" field cameras like the Deardorff 4x5" Special and cameras built on that model are really 5x7" cameras with 4x5" backs, so 5x7" cameras often feel like big 4x5" cameras, but with 8x10" the camera is bigger and the filmholders get notably bigger, so you'll likely be carrying less film and shooting more deliberately in the field.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I like the 5x7 ratio but have, at times, wanted to shoot a more pano ratio. So I finally bit the bullet and picked up a shen hao 4x10. It sports a 5x7 (yes 5x7!) back as well as the 4x10 back, and is quite light, really quite comparable to a 5x7. I recommend considering this option, since you say you are concerned about the extra bulk and it sounds like you might want ratios longer than 5x7. Consider that a 4x10 neg easily allows you to get the 5:8 ratio (and far beyond) via a rather modest increase in enlargement factor. Also I can report that 4x10 represents far less equipment weight than any 8x10 built to the same degree of stability. It's really quite surprising and I wish that I'd realized it sooner.

    Another thing to consider is what lenses you have and what circles they cover, and what lenses you'd like to have as well. Covering 5x8 or similar with movements might turn out to be a bit more of a pill than you expect- just do your homework. The new view camera magazine has a nice list of image circles and such, I would recommend consulting that.

    I think there might be a whole plate back for my rittreck 5x7; Joe Harrigan may have that back or some advice. Whole plate (6.5x8.5", right?) sounds quite similar to what you want, but what films would you use??? Anyway I considered getting longer ratios in an 8x10 and thought about making myself some inserts to go into 8x10 holders but after seeing how light the 4x10 is... no way. Would much rather enlarge a bit more and schlep less equipment. And I am avoiding exotic film cuts.
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Doh, just realized that you posted this in the contact printing section and thus my comments about getting your ratio by a bit of enlargement probably aren't pertinent. Sorry. If you want ~5x8 contacts then maybe my 8x10 + inserts idea would work for you.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    8x10s can be pretty cumbersome.
    i have a 8x10 and a 5x7 both made by the same maker ..
    the 8x10 weighs a ton compared to the 5x7.
    it might be worth stepping up, you can always use a reducing
    back or a mask if you want to shoot 5x7 again ...
    i don't shoot the 8x10 much at all, and find 5x7 is nearly the ideal aspect ratio,
    that and 7x11 ...

    have fun!
    john
     
  6. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    My 8x10 KB Canham weights 8.4 pounds.

    The same camera at a 5x7 weights 6 pounds.

    Not much difference at all. The joy of a bigger ground glass is why I love 8x10. It is not more cumbersome if you get the right camera for your needs.

    Comparing 5x7 to 8x10 is a lot like comparing apples and oranges. Their aspect ratio do not match. I love shooting 5x7 for what it is, just as I enjoy 8x10. They are tools. No one format is perfect.
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I've shot 5x7, 8x10, 5x12 and 6.5 x 8.5 a fair bit. While I like the impact of an 8x10 contact print, the whole plate size/proportion actually seems to be the best compromise of all of them. 5x7 is the most portable, 8x10 has the most "oomph", but whole plate has more visual impact than 5x7 without the extra bulk of 8x10. The 8x10 film holders are bigger, the lenses are bigger and heavier, and the cameras are bigger and heavier (some much more, some not too much more). It really does come down to horses for courses, but if I were forced to choose a single format without film availability being an issue, it would be whole plate. With it an issue, I'd choose 5x7.
     
  8. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    I have 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10 cameras and the 8x10 is a big jump up in terms of bulk and weight. If you can afford a lightweight 8x10 and small lenses with good coverage, and are willing to lug fewer holders, then 8x10 won't be too bad. I have a Deardorff and aside from any accessories--it's not a light camera. Add a couple of plasmats and half a dozen holders, dark cloth, tripod, accessories--and it starts to be a real load.
     
  9. photomc

    photomc Member

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    5x7 was such a nice ratio, I went out a bought a Ritter 8x10 with a 7x11 back last year and haven't looked back since. The Ritter weighs in at around 6.5 pounds, so weight is actually the same of less than my old Burke & James 5x7. It is 'larger' than the Burke & James, but I have not found it to be an issue, plus the 7x11 gives me that extra format that I really prefer (it's like a mini 12x20). For lens, I use 240mm Germinar, 300mm Fuji and 450 Fuji all in a Copal No. 1, so they are all lightweight.

    See my Rambles for more information and my impression after using the camera. If you find the 8x10 fits your vision, it's wonderfull (not to mention that it is fun to contact print 8x8).
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    It's been mentioned but it all depends on the camera you pick. My Shen is fairly light but being an 8x10 it can't really fold down to less then 10x10.

    Sounds like you want to shoot 8x10 and then crop. Thats going to mean carrying all 8x10 lenses isn't it?
     
  11. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    My 8x10 pack and pod weigh 60 pounds. I carry the thing all over the place, but then I am 240 pounds and about 6'3" (and almost 55 yrs old). I've been setting the camera up for so many years that it does not seem overly large or bulky to me. I walk in creeks, up mountains, cross country in the local rainforest...though it is easier on trails. Going with light weight equipment (and less lenses), I could easily take 10 to 15 pounds off my kit. I just might have to go that route someday.

    But in the end, I want to shoot 8x10 and the weight just gives me more exercise. So if moving up to 8x10 is important enough to you, you'll pack it where ever you want/need to go.

    Vaughn

    PS...I have a Zone VI 8x10 and a full size Ries pod and head. The pod is sturdy enough that it doubles as an aid to climbing over boulders, logs and such.
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I find that much of the time I prefer the ratio of 18x24cm over 8x10". The holders are externally the same, so it is just a matter of deciding which to use.

    On the other hand - if a 5x7" print looks to small, then so will most likely 8x10" too. I feel I need to go to 24x30cm to make a significant difference, even if it is not all that much bigger than 8x10".
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It is really such a shame that there is only one color film left in 5x7 format (Portra 160NC). It is my favorite of the large format sizes. It is almost twice as nice as 4x5, and has an aspect ratio that I prefer by leaps and bounds over the "ideal" format of 4x5, 8x10, 6x7cm, etc. Also, I agree with others who have said that 5x7 is noticeably more convenient than 8x10 as far as the bulk of your kit goes. If I was going to divide images on an 8x10, I would do it vertically (5x8) rather than horizontally (4x10).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2009
  14. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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  16. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    No color films for 5x7? I shoot velvia and astia in 5x7.... pro s, I cut down.
     
  17. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    a while back freestyle was selling boatloads of
    outdated fuji color and chrome film in 5x7 ...
    and it was dirt cheep ... not listed you just had to ask about it ...
     
  19. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you get a couple of 13x18cm holders, you will find that there are a lot more films available:
    Kodak: EPY, EPP, E100G
    Fuji: Provia 100F

    Those are what I found on one single retailer. As long as I can get E100G or EPP, I'm happy. :smile:
     
  20. Tim Boehm

    Tim Boehm Subscriber

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    I don't know what kind of 8x10 you're trading for, but thought I'd mention the Wehman 8x10
    http://wehmancamera.com/camera.html
    It's light and I really like it.
    I normally have the ground glass masked for 5x8, as mentioned in the 5x7 thread.
    I use lithograper's tape for masking the ground glass, not regular masking tape.
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/3470-3M-616-Litho-Tape-3-8-in-x-72-yards-Ruby-Red?cat_id=2005
    That tape is red but you can see through it. I find that it helps me to compose, but yet really doesn't
    interfer with composing for 8x10, as did regular masking tape.

    Also, there are many formats "within" an 8x10, i.e. 5.5x8 as you like, 4x10, 6x10, 6.5x8.5
    Often, I'll just mask for 1 format, i.e., 5x8 and go to an area and only shoot that.
    Then I might go back to the same area masked for 6x10
    I then trim down the 8x10 neg to whatever format I was composing for, plus a little extra for handling purposes
    I suppose if you shot a lot of film, it might eventually be cheaper to get a dedicated camera, i.e. 5x8

    Also, I sometimes backpack with the 8x10, but it gets heavy with lenses, film holders etc.

    There's a long, like 100 miles, maintained trail where I live that follows a river with lots of cottonwoods.

    I'm going to shoot that next summer. I tried backpacking it last summer and it was difficult after 5 miles.

    So, I got a Sherpa Cart, see sherpacart.com. I'll probably use the cart + a lighter pack. My Wehman fits
    into the cart, along with water, lenses and film holders. I can put other stuff in the back pack.
     
  21. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    5x7 is much more portable than 10x8 IMO. Film holders of the latter are over double the size, much heavier etc. I sold my 10x8 as I found it a pig to carry about. Film handling and processing is easier and more efficient with 5x7 too. however, there is no denying the impact of a large neg on enlargements...
     
  22. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    I have a 5x7 reducing back for my Ritter 8x10. (Note: the Ritter 8x10 is almost 8 lbs lighter than a Zone VI or Wisner 8x10) The lighter Ritter allows a lighter tripod and lighter tripod head. I love the look of an 8x10 Azo print and find I shoot about 100 8x10 negatives for every 10 5x7 negatives. Yes, the 8x10 holders are heavier, but if weight were an major issue, I'd be using a 35mm. The quality of the image is what matters, and it trumps the weight issue.....at least it does for me. As stated earlier in this thread, nothing beats working with an 8x10 ground glass. YMMV
     
  23. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I'll just add this postscript: Shen Hao just agreed to make up a 5x8 reducing back for my 4x10... just what I was looking for! The cost is only US$180.