Deardorff 4x5 ( or 5x7 backs ) on an 8x10.

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mahler_one, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    I am curious as to how many Deardorff 8x10 owners use a 4x5 or 5x7 reducing back. Indeed, is it "reasonable" to contemplate selling a 4x5 camera, and using the 4x5 reducing back when one wants to use that format? To those with the reducing backs, in addition to how often do you find yourself using the 4x5 back, how do you go "about it"? To be specific, do you "one day" decide to shoot 4x5 ( or 5x7 ), and pursue your photographing with the reducing back already in place, or do you carry the reducing back with you and decide to change formats after seeing a given subject "in the field"? If the latter, might I get a sense of when you decide to use the smaller format. Is the choice based upon "isolating" the subject? Thanks for any insights. Trying to decide if buying a reducing back makes any sense and having only one camera.

    Ed
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I have all manner of reducing backs for an 8x10 and a 4x10, and I usually prefer to begin with the larger GG. especially if movements are involved... it's a way to see the "big picture" and also for the practical matter of seeing what's happening to my image circle (i.e. to watch out for vignetting etc.).

    Of course, the thing about habitually using reducing backs for smaller formats is that you then are lugging a whole lot of camera! And the larger GG is that much easier to break. Mind you my 8x10 is a cambo, which is heavy as hell... I don't have a dorff.
     
  3. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    Have you already got a V8? The dorff weighs about 5X what my Chamonix weighs. I can't see giving up my 4x5 cameras and committing to lug around the V8 to shoot 4x5. I base my format use mainly on the type of lenses I want to use. Lots of interesting lenses won't fit on anything smaller than a 6x6 board. To me, there's a huge difference in carrying around my Cham and the V8. I might feel different if I owned a really light 8x10 camera.
     
  4. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Keith and Barry...thanks...that was my point....does one Really want to lug aroung the heavy Deardorff just to shoot 4x5? Nice to have one camera of course, but in this instance, does "one size fit all"? I have light 4x5 and 5x7 cameras, but I find myself getting used to that 8x10 image size...obviously much bigger, etc., etc.

    Ed
     
  5. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I have a 4x5 back for my v8 which I bought , alas, to use polaroid Type 55.
    While a 4x5 camera is far more portable than an 8x10, I can see some uses for a 4x5 back on an 8x10---for example if you want lots and lots of bellows :smile:
    In general though, an 8x10 with a 4x5 back will not easily replace a 4x5 in the field (a studio set up is another matter.)
    Since you are an admitted 'dorffer, unless your 4x5 is a jewel like v4, it is a 4x5 back on a 5x7 body, and you can easily put a 5x7 back on her, so except for the wieght of 5x7 film holders you are loosing nothing by shooting 5x7 while gaining a whole lot more detail and a more pleasing size contact print to boot!
     
  6. Don Dudenbostel

    Don Dudenbostel Member

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    I almost never use the reduction backs unless I want to use a lens that won't fit my other cameras lens boards. Lenses in #5 shutters and my 24" won't work on my Canham and Ebony.
     
  7. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Thanks John...Thanks Don....
     
  8. Peter Spangenberg

    Peter Spangenberg Member

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    There are a few factors I consider. I have a V8 with 4x5 and 5x7 reducing backs as well as a dorff 5x7 with 4x5 back. 4x5 and 8x10 have the same aspect ratio so I have to consider two things: 1) whether I want to enlarge (I don't have an 8x10 enlarger); 2) Whether DOF will be an issue. Sometimes with architecture, I'll take the 4x5 back in case I get into a DOF pinch. I have lenses for both so that isn't an issue for me except for weight.

    The Deardorff splitters are a nice, cheap, and less heavy option. You can either shoot two 4x10's, two 5x8's or four 4x5's on one sheet of 8x10 film.

    Usually, I either decide ahead of time which I will use and leave the backs at home. Occasionally, I'll take the back(s) and other gear (holders, lenses, etc) and just leave them in the car in case I need them.

    If I had it to do over again, I'd use the splitters for reducing 8x10 in the rare instance I'd prefer 4x5, but buy a 5x7 back and take it with me. This might result in 1 additional lens and a few extra holders.
     
  9. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Thanks Peter...pretty much what I am thinking of doing...I have a 5x7 back, and was considering selling my 5x7 camera. Once I started on that road, I began to think about selling the 4x5....now I suspect I will keep both, and the 5x7 reducing back with me as you suggested.

    Ed