Pre-view your 10x8s
I wasn't sure where to put this large format suggestion, nor do i know if it has already been suggested, but here goes anyway.
I've recently tray developed a bunch of 10x8 large format negatives and whilst looking at them hanging there drying, was having the usual ponder on what they would look like when i printed them. They are portraits and I always find it tricky to tell exactly what the expression of the sitter was, at the moment the shutter clicked. Then it occurred to me that maybe (a rare case) digital photography could come to my rescue.
As soon as they were dry, i put the negatives in sleeves and taped each one to the window (preferably a white cloudy sky background for a makeshift lightbox) and photographed each with my digital camera. These files i loaded into the GIMP (an open source - i.e. free - image manipulation program along the lines of Photoshop) and then went to Colour>Invert. Hey presto! The negative photos were converted immediately to positives making assessment very easy indeed. You can also tinker around with printing requirements by changing contrast and brightness, and i'm sure many other things can be visualised with a bit of practice on this very flexible program.
Very rewarding for impatient types like me who can't wait to get the final prints but sometimes have to. At a push, and with the right lens, I expect it could work with medium format too.
Contact proof-prints on RC paper . . . .
In time you'll find it's easier to read a negative than a contact print or quick digital snap inverted.
If you want a quicker preview, take your cell phone camera and turn that to negative mode.
But yes, in time, you won't need to.
over the yearsi learned to invet negatives in my head.