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  1. #21
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pandino

    My question is, "Should I keep the 11x14 and get it working, or maybe trade the beast for a miniature format (5x7 or 8x10) to do contact prints?"

    Thanks for sharing your experience!
    Chris
    Your question reminds me of a comment made to me by Michael A. Smith, "The bigger the camera the fewer the photographs you will make."

    Considering what else you have said about your budget I think you would be very happy with a 5x7. The aspect ratio of 5x7 is similar to 11x14. Holders are much cheaper and many 4x5 lenses will cover 5x7. So if you purchase a new lens for the 5x7 you can also use it on the 4x5. And you will make more photos with the 5x7. And a 5x7 kit is lighter

    I would keep the 11x14 and look for a 5x7. Over a period of time you can pick up stuff for the 11x14 while using the 5x7.

    Also if you decide to scan your images, finding a scanner that can handle 11x14 isn't that easy.

    Finally you can get color film for a 5x7.

    My 2 whatever,
    Don Bryant

  2. #22

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    When you strip away the momentary excitement of having made what you judge to be a fortunate find and purchase, the reality of your situation will become apparent.

    If you have to devote yourself to the support of your family, why would you want to add another mouth to feed?

    I shot 12X20 for awhile. I have no financial constraints on my expenditures...my family is long since grown and gone. I will tell you that in my experience that I have made far better photographs and prints from 4X5 then I ever did while using the 12X20. In fact some of my favorite images could not have been photographed with 12X20 because the format was not adaptable to the image. Not only could they not have been made with 12X20, they were incapable of being made with 8X10. There are ever increasing limitations of lens availability as the negative size increases.

    In the end it comes down to you...what you see...how you see. The size of negative can be likened to the distraction of someone who says "Mine is bigger then yours".
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  3. #23

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    Donsta, what is this sarcasm of which you speak?

    To be honest, I have a hard time telling when I'm NOT being sarcastic.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    When you strip away the momentary excitement of having made what you judge to be a fortunate find and purchase, the reality of your situation will become apparent.

    If you have to devote yourself to the support of your family, why would you want to add another mouth to feed?
    It brings me pleasure. Some things you've just got to try for the experience. Maybe a few times out with the thing and I'll find it brings nothing but misery. I'll wait until the darkroom results come in before making a call on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    In the end it comes down to you...what you see...how you see. The size of negative can be likened to the distraction of someone who says "Mine is bigger then yours".
    It's usually only a distraction to the guy with the smaller tool...

  5. #25

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    Been there done that. 11x14 holders are a real killer as is the film and yes, your 4x5 tripod won't cut it ether. For a lens, there are many good 8x10 lenses that'll cover 11x14--- consider a 10" WF Ektar, 14" Commercial Ektar, 305mm--355mm G Claron.

    I went to 8x10 which you can do quite nicely on a budget (really, you can!) 5x7 as you mentioned is also an option and is especially attractive if your 4x5 is an old timer that will take a 5x7 back, like a Agfa-Ansco or B&J, or if you've got a favorite 210-240mm that'll cover 5x7.

    How much more expensive is 11x14 than 8x10 or 5x7? $200 should get you one used 11x14 film holder if you're lucky. $60-75 will get you three good used 8x10 holders, or more used 5x7 holders than you'd probably ever want to lug around. For film costs take a look at J and C and Freestyle to see just how much more expensive film, paper (and chemicals) get when you move up in size


    Like I said I left 11x14 for 8x10 and while I still think 11x14 is a great format---especially for portraits--- I have a lot of fun with my 'little' 8x10 and I've found it quite budget friendly.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by pandino

    It's usually only a distraction to the guy with the smaller tool...

    Ahh, but therein hangs the conundrum. There is always someone with a bigger tool or doing a better job when we measure ourselves against others.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  7. #27

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    One of the things that you will have to come to terms with when shooting ULF versus 4x5 or MF is the fact that you will shoot a lot less images. And I don't just mean you'll be pickier about what you shoot and give it more thought, but that even if you come across a potential masterpiece you will have to guess when the best moment is and then shoot it because you only have so many holders or film with you. Most landscapes are not static, they change sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. One thing I have learned and the reason why I shoot 6x12cm or 4x5 eventhough I have a fairly unlimited budget, is that i can sit on a scene and shoot almost continuously as a scene progresses.

    Many times I come across a scene that's really good, and I'll shoot a few exposures, and often the scene improves far better than the earlier version, and I'll shoot some more, it may continue to improve and i'll shoot even more. It's easy to do that if you're carrying 20 rolls of 120 film, yielding 120 6x12cm exposures with a roll film back, or 60 sheets of 4x5 readyload. If I was shooting ULF there would be more pressure to guess when the peak is and then shoot it. There's is a far greater chance of missing the peak moment that way. In addition with smaller formats I can play around with different filters, long time exposures, brackets, different crops and angles, etc.

    I'm not looking to troll for a heated argument here, but I find that most of the ULF work I see tends to be quite static, understandable given the logistics of dealing with ULF. You have to decide if you want the amazing image quality of ULF or the more spontaneous and active look of smaller formats.

  8. #28
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    4x5 might not nearly equal ULF for the ultimate in quality, but does well enough for most of us. 5x7 also has its advantages. A battery of lenses (perhaps without shutters) can be assembled on any budget. Film holders are common enough. You might even make a few bucks by volunteering to haul someone's 5x7 Elwood enlarger away. At least, if you do trade your bargain off, first bring it to a show-and-tell at
    KC Metropolitan Photographers Association or Wyandotte Camera Club. None of us at the Wyandotte club use anything bigger than 8x10. You can never tell what camera club members might have to share with other enthusiasts, though. Then there is the Mid-America Camera Show this coming November 12 in KC.

  9. #29

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    Although I own several 4x5 and 5x7 cameras, once I used an 8x10 and an 8x20 camera I have hardly used anything since. As was previously stated, the high grading of the images forced by economic necessity makes you a much better photographer as necessity is the mother of invention. Plus, the expansive ground glass is so addicting that I do not think that I will be able to use a small LF camera and have to take out my loup again. Yes, there are logistical trade offs with ULF cameras but the results are worth much more than the price of admission.

    Cheers!

  10. #30

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    You asked for advice, so here is mine. I am another person with a young family, a single income, and GAS. Take TUMS. Sell the 11x14 after you get it-Though I might sit on it a little while since all these drooling hounds at your door know how much you paid for it- Get a 5x7, or 8x10. The advantages of 5x7-You will not have to get a new tripod, Holders are dirt freaking cheap-I landed 10 for a song when I started, Film is reasonable, and the contact prints are pretty. Not too small. I moved up to an 8x10 recently and do not love 8x10. The shape does not fit the way I see. Now 4x10 is cool. Can't wait to print my first ones. At the time I moved to 8x10 I was weighing a large camera. WOuld I trade everything I have in a minute for a 7x17 yep! but only if it came with holders and a lens. Those bastards are pricey-no offense Sandy. Right now you bought the means to set yourself up pretty nice in either 5x7, or 8x10.

    I was told a while back by a very smart man. There is time, be greatful for what you have now, and plan ahead. If you want to get a larger format, wait. the time will come. You know, my dad just keeps getting smarter and smarter as I get older.

    On a plus. Your wife will be much happier when you tell her you made money off the 11x14, than when you tell her you are dumping a couple grand more on film holders, one lens, tripod, and film.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

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