what should I do with this 8X10 beast?!?!?!?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by cmorganf64, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. cmorganf64

    cmorganf64 Member

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    Hello all! Ive been lurking for a while, contemplating the move to:
    1. shoot larger format film instead of just wet-plate glass negs/ambros/tintypes
    AND
    2. setting up a darkroom be able to print larger negs.

    Well, Ive still not purchased a LF camera outfit (would love to find a good used 4X5 setup) as Ive hardly had time to breath with me getting married and building a house this summer, much less try and find a good camera kit.

    What I have done is acquire an enlarger with lenses and most of a darkroom setup. Here is the kicker....the enlarger is a durst super chromega F 8X10...BIG...with lenses....I also picked up an 8ft stainless sink.

    Here is the delima.....what to do?

    I dont plan on printing from anything larger than 4X5 (and I have a 4X5 enlarger from the printing lab I worked at 10 years ago) but the thought of an 8X10 enlarger was cool....till I picked it up and drove it home. Now Im just not sure what I should do....use it....or try and sell it or trade it for a 4X5 kit....

    Most of the printing Ill be doing will be med format (my trusty Yahsica's) and 4X5..with some 35mm.

    Now that I have this beast....what have I done!!!! :sad:

    Confused and frustrated.
    chris
     
  2. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    Build an addition to the house for a darkroom which will make us all envious.
    :smile:
     
  3. cmorganf64

    cmorganf64 Member

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    well, I have in the works a separate darkroom building/studio but Im just not sure if Ive gotten more than I need to do what I want to do....

    This 7-8 foot monster may just be a bit too big for me. Ill have the space, just not sure if I need this, or would be better off just using my bess 45.

    chris
     
  4. Troy Hamon

    Troy Hamon Member

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    The size of an 8x10 enlarger seems to make for a special challenge. Not sure what the market is like right now, but are you sure you'll not decide you want it? If you're never going to shoot 8x10 and enlarge, then maybe it just isn't worth keeping it around. But if you are...don't lose the enlarger. Might not be easy to find one the next time around. Just a thought.

    I dream of having an 8x10 camera and enlarger, but my style of shooting is a strange mix of technically oriented and whimsical disregard for technique, so the freedom of multiple exposures on roll film is probably more in keeping with my work. Which is to say, I've thought about the move but decided it doesn't really make sense for me. Not sure what I would do if I actually had the enlarger, though. Might have to get a camera and have a go at it anyway.
     
  5. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Boy to bad we are on opposite sides of the country, I have a complete 4x5 setup I would gladly trade you for the 8x10 set up, seems as if everytime and 8x10 setup gets mentioned it is thousands of mile away,,,,,, Darn!

    Dave
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hang on to it, if you have the space. If you've got the enlarger and start shooting 4x5", I suspect that 8x10" won't be too far behind, or how about a 6x24cm camera? Meanwhile you can take advantage of the longer column for big enlargements from smaller formats. It should be more solid than a 4x5" enlarger, even if you only use it for 4x5". You'll also be able to make enlarged proof sheets from smaller formats (i.e.--proof a whole roll of 35mm or 120 on a 16x20" sheet).
     
  7. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    The size is a problem. A 26,000 sq. ft. studio folded up here a couple years ago and by the end they were having a fire sale. I had a hernia surgey one day before I discovered things could be bought cheap. If I could have moved it, the guy would have given me a four bay, stainless developing sink with temp controls on each tray. I drove by the last day and two 8x10 enlargers were next to the dumpster waiting to be trash. If I had been in physical shape, I could have stripped some useful things. The enlargers were very, very big...EC
     
  8. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    A lot of us accumulate stuff... which is an understatement for an 8x10 enlarger.

    We COULD set up a sort of clearing house here.... or use the Classifieds for the purpose.

    A studio in town needed to put several durst 8x10 enlargers in the dumpster because he was moving to a new facility and he hadn't been able to GIVE the things away: nobody was willing to pay for them to be shipped !

    We DO have a network of sorts, and can help each other move stuff around for mutual benefit.
     
  9. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I think you got the enlarger for a good price so I think you should sell it for money.
     
  10. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Try finding someone in your area or some place you visit with an 8x10 camera. Wish you were closer. Compose on that big beautiful ground glass. Look at the detail in the 8x10 negatives. Blow a negative up to 16x20 L O O K at that detail. Maybe that person with the 8x10 camera wants to print negatives. Start your own 8x10 club, share the wealth.

    I took a workshop three years ago with two 4x5 shooters, a 5x7 and two 8x10 shooters. I got negative size envy. I tried it, liked it and won't go back until I can't set it up any more.

    Enjoy.
    John Powers
     
  11. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Not that I am on the outlook for an 8x10" enlarger, but... what about some kind of Heads Up thread of some sort, giving tips on things that are going down the dumpster or on fire sale? Even if I don't think we'll ship a lot of heavy enlargers world-wide, but there's always smaller things that can be of interest...
     
  12. cmorganf64

    cmorganf64 Member

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    Space isnt too big of an issue. I have a darkroom/studio planned, the issue is the usefulness of the enlarger for my needs. People always say, get the biggest and best you can...well I have the biggest I can find.....the best is yet to be determined....

    Yeah, I love the size of a larger negative, but anything over 4X5 for me would be counter productive. I currently shoot wet-plate up to whole plate size and when I go on location with the whole plate set-up, Im really restricted to where I can freely go. Its a little easier with my smaller 1/2 plate camera and mini-darkroom, but it is still a limited travel operation.

    Ive been tied to the car/truck/jeep/trailer long enough! My thoughts were to get a decent 4X5 setup that I could backpack in with. One decent sized pack and off I could go. I realize that some people do pack in the 8X10 gear, but I really just want the satisfaction of being able to throw on a lightwieght pack and head to where Id like.
    Ill pass on the heavier/larger gear, if carrying in a 4X5 would allow me a better scene to shoot, or just the quietness of a secluded image, waiting to be captured.

    Im gonna decied which road to take with this enlarger hopefully today. I wanted the opinions of you guys and gals...the ones that "know" better than I.

    chris
     
  13. Kino

    Kino Member

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    I would certainly be willing to pick one or two up and help out in a situation like this... :wink:
     
  14. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    If you are sure that 4X5 is as large as you are likely to go then it really makes no sense to have an 8X10 enlarger. Bigger negatives do not necessarily equate with better prints. A great deal depends on the ability of the photographer and the printer.

    I think the more logical question that you need to ask and answer is what size prints do you wish to produce? You may not see any discernible difference between a 4X5 negative enlarged to 11X14 and an 8X10 enlarged to the same size.

    When you get into 16X20 and larger prints, you will probably start seeing some difference. I feel that for my purposes that the upper limit of 4X5 is a 16X20 print. It I were enlarging 8X10 I could achieve the same result up to 32X40. Do I like 32X40 prints? No, not really. But everyone is different.

    I shoot both 8X10 and 4X5. 8X10 is just simply more of a PITA. The film costs more, the lenses cost more, lens selection is more limited.

    Now I am not knocking someone who wants to shoot large negatives...but large is not always the answer.
     
  15. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Most of what I shoot is on 4X5 but there are some subjects that just beg for the 8X10. I had my 8X10 enlarger mounted next to the 4X5 for over a year before I had an 8X10 camera. And besides that enlarger will do anything from 10X10 down to 110. It may become your main enlarger.
     
  16. DKT

    DKT Member

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    hey chris---if you decide to get rid of it, and want to take a tax writeoff...drop me a line. with thousands of 8x10 negs and glass plates, the state museum & archive's photo lab(s) would be a good home for it. someone donated an 8x10 Elwood a few years ago, and we drove several hours to pick it up, only to find they had slightly misrepresented it's condition--it needs work, but we took it anway. I'd love to have a Durst to work with. It would come in handy for making the enlarged proofs they use in the historic register survey work as well. I'm serious--if you find you want to get rid of it, and you can't sell it or find a home for it, give us a call. we'll come & pick it up.

    p.s. I think I met you a few years ago at a renactment at the state capitol--you were selling tintypes & ambrotypes if I recall....you might not remember me, but I was shooting it for the state....
     
  17. cmorganf64

    cmorganf64 Member

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    I do remember speaking to you I believe. I will definitely give you a call if it looks like Im not going to keep it. Some of the points made here as far as keeping it has some merit, and I guess its just time for me to make a decision.

    PM a contact number just in case if you dont mind. If I cant use it and decide that I would simply be wasting its usefulness, Id love to donate it to you guys.

    chris
     
  18. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I have some strange advice. Use it for whatever size you shoot. The fact that it is an 8x10 enlarger does not make it less useful for medium format.
     
  19. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Keep it!! What if someday you do get an 8X10 camera. Who says you'll so easily fall into another 8X10 enlarger again?
    I've wanted one for years, but don't have the money or space. Good thing I like contact prints. Dean
     
  20. Justin Cormack

    Justin Cormack Member

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    Give it to someone who will use it like DKT. The glass plates are calling...