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  1. #1

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    Thinking about trading my 11x14 for 8x10...

    So, it's been a few months since I purchased my wonderful Burke & James 11x14 camera and stopped shooting with my 8x10. However, I have shot several boxes of film so far and have yet to get any strong images that I really like! I'm blaming this mainly on the bulk and weight of using the larger camera. When using the 8x10 camera, I could hike for miles and climb all around to get to different locations. With using the 11x14 camera, I'm somewhat limited to short walks where I have to carry the camera in one hand, tripod in the other and two packs for film holders, cloth, lenses ect. Because of this, I seem to be missing out on alot of good images because I cannot haul the gear. I just do not feel its worth it, just to have 11x14 contact prints over my 8x10's.

    First, I was thinking the format size was giving me problems, so I was about to trade for a 12x20 camera...however, I have yet to do that. I think moving up to a LARGER camera may only limit me more.

    Anyways...I'm really thinking about getting rid of this nice 11x14 Burke & James camera (with 8 holders) in trade for a good quality 8x10. I really enjoy the size of the 8x10 contact print and feel it just fits me better.

    Soooooo....If there is anyone out there that is wanting to move up from 8x10 to 11x14 and think they could talk me out of this camera, lets chat for abit. Its a very clean, perfect working camera...but I feel that maybe ULF is not for me.

    I'm looking for a light weight, newer, good condition 8x10 since my old Calumet 8x10 is going to be retired shortly.

    Has anyone else had this problem, where you feel your gear has limited you in your photography?

    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Well, you might just find that 11x14" has one niche for you (maybe portraits or still life) and 8x10" has another (maybe landscapes and architecture), and the other formats do other things.

    There is something about shooting only one format that can give one's work formal consistency, so I can see a case for doing that, but why not shoot both (economic issues aside)?
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3

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    David, I have been going back and forth from the 8x10 to 11x14 for awhile, however...having this nice 11x14 here, I've wanted to use the camera more.

    I've noticed that when using the larger camera, it limits what type of photographs I am taking. For example, when using the 8x10 camera I would often point up, down, swing it all around, ect...but with the 11x14, I find I'm always shooting from the same standing position, and the images are rather boring. The camera is difficult to really swing all around, get low, get high ect. For some people...this does not bother them of course, but I feel my shots have just become to static with the 11x14.

  4. #4
    Petzi's Avatar
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    Shouldn't that depend on your tripod and head?

    Anyway, 8x10" has the advantage that it can be enlarged, but I am sure there are people in this forum who are going to tell you that 1.5x or 2x enlargements are inferior to real contact prints, so you will have to go on schlepping your 11x14". Perhaps you need a pack mule like the landscape photographers in the old days.

  5. #5
    reellis67's Avatar
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    Petzi, a llama might be more efficient and easier to work with. I've been considering it for a while, off and on, but I digress. Ryan, I found the same thing when I went to 4x5. At first it was restricting to use compared to my MF gear, but then I after I got used to it a bit, I got the old gear out for certain things and used them both for various situations, kind of like what David is talking about. I just got an 8x10 and right now it seems heavier than hell, kind of restricting, and I'm still not sure about how far I can pack it with my back problems (an elderly driver hit me doing 60 while I sat stopped at the light). I think in time I will warm right up to it, but I can understand if you never got used to it. I never got the hang of a TLR for whatever reason. Sometimes you just get something that doesn't work for you, but that someone else is totaly good with...

    - Randy

  6. #6
    Rob Skeoch's Avatar
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    Hi Ryan,

    If it was me I wouldn't get rid of the 11x14 just yet. Maybe put it away for a month or two and see if you miss it. I think it might be like a sports car I had once... easy to get rid of, but hard to rebuy when you miss it.

    If you feel contacts are the best way to express your work then you're going to want the bigger camera, and maybe the 12x20 as well. On the other hand if you can live with enlargements I think 8x10 is the way to go.

    Myself I'm finding it harder and harder to hike with the 8x10 kit and am considering one of those miniature formats... you know 5x7.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend and get's some shooting in.

    -Rob
    www.bigcameraworkshops.com

  7. #7

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    When I mentioned being able to move the camera around, I'm not saying that it's not possible. I use a Ries Model-A tripod which can hold the camera like a rock, and I have full movements on the tripod. However, I find that its difficult to view the WHOLE ground glass while moving the camera around. I find myself viewing only a small section of the ground glass while panning the camera around...when I should be viewing the image as a WHOLE.

    With using the 8x10, you can view the WHOLE image and when panning the camera you can view how the image chances and you can pay attention to how it affects the whole image. With the 11x14, I find I can view a small area, then I have to go back and check certain areas to see whats different. That is difficult because I may pan right past an amazing image and not even realized something happening on the ground glass!

    Well, if anyone wants to move up to shooting 11x14 and has a nice 8x10 they would be willing to trade. Let me know!

  8. #8
    Petzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan McIntosh
    However, I find that its difficult to view the WHOLE ground glass while moving the camera around. I find myself viewing only a small section of the ground glass while panning the camera around...when I should be viewing the image as a WHOLE.
    Why is it so? Is it because of illumination of the ground glass? Or is it because the ground glass is just too big for you to view as a whole from the close distance you have under the focusing cloth? Do you have a fresnel?

  9. #9
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    Ryan,
    I am not at all surprised at your decision, 11 x 14 for most folks is on the edge of overkill in the first place. I also packed an 8x10 and acessories all over the Rocky Mountains on my back. Got tired of the game one day and went smaller. Have never regreted it! Bigger in some cases is not always better.


    Charlie...........................

  10. #10

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    Ryan,

    I am in the same boat I have a 8x10 deardroff that is just bulky and I think I want ot get rid of it for a 8x10 Canham instead. Right now I am packign the 5x7 and I really like it. Th droff is just not for me.

    Kev

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