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  1. #1
    morkolv's Avatar
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    5x7 vs 8x10 as next step from 4x5??

    Hi!!

    A small (?) voice keeps telling me that I should (read as: _need_) to step-up to a larger format from 4x5. I've been playing with LF for approx a year now, developing my own BW film for the last 6 months, and c-41 for the last two. Great fun, but so far more process than good photographs :-)

    And as my current process of the (smallish?) 4x5 negatives are of the ehhmm .. alternative grey area type.... I would like to try out a larger negative and contact print on fiber paper.

    I've seen that several consider 5x7 as a good format and trade-off between several factors such as format, size, cost, weight.... There seems however to be more 8x10 gear and film on the market

    BTW, I usually shoots outdoor (although with reasonable distance from the car :-)

    So what should I target on the auction site ? 5x7 or 8x10 ?? pros & cons..

    :-)
    Morten :-)


    "Please ! Bring me into the company of those who seek the truth, and deliver me from those who have found it."

  2. #2
    TheMissingLink's Avatar
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    Morten,

    perhaps you can answer your question(s) by yourself.

    Would it be physically possible for you to drag the euqipment after leaving your car's seat? There are nice light-weight cams out ...

    Do you think about enlarging or would it be an option for you "only" to make contact prints? Do you already own an enlarger capable for one of these sizes?

    What about the budget with getting a new toy? Would it be passible for you to pay more per sheet (compared to 5x7)

    As you have used 4x5 as an appetizer ... are you sure you don't want to change from 5x7 to 8x10 a few weeks later? Recognizing the difference between handling and results makes avid for more and more ...

    These would be some of my spontanous thoughts if I would have to ask this question

  3. #3

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    5x7 is a nicer shape for me. 8x10 produces a bigger negative and therefore bigger contact prints. But I like the look of 5x7 prints for more things.

    Depending on your current lenses they may cover 5x7. Less likely they'll cover 8x10.

    If you get a 4x5 back for the 5x7 you can use the same camera for both formats without too much hassle. You can do the same thing with 8x10 but 8x10s tend to weigh more and not go that wider. So the hassle factor is bigger.

    More films seem available in 8x10 then 5x7.

    You have a better chance of finding a 5x7 enlarger. If you find an 8x10 enlarger it'll be much bigger.

    Used 5x7s tend to be cheaper then used 8x10s.

    What to look for? Depends on why you're thinking of moving up.

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I contact print both 5x7" and 8x10".

    I think in general that 8x10" is a more useful format. It produces a nice sized contact print, and as you note, there is more film and equipment available. I started from 8x10" so building up an 8x10" lens kit, it was easy to go up to 11x14" and down to the smaller formats without having to start from scratch.

    Composing on the 8x10" groundglass is also an attraction of the larger format. I like working 1:1, knowing that what I see on the glass is the same size as it will be in the print. 8x10" is about the size of a notebook or a sheet of paper, so there is something familiar about it.

    One reason to shoot 5x7" is if you like the more rectangular shape of the frame. I shoot 5x7" because I have a Press Graflex, which is the largest practical SLR, though I gather they made an 8x10" version.
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  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Morten

    You know deep down you should go 10x8 really :-)

    5x4 to 5x7 is like swapping from 6x4.5 to 6x7 not significant enough, my 10x8 goes quite long walks up hills etc and sure its not as light as 5x4 its definately fun & worth it

    Ian

  6. #6
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=David A. Goldfarb]
    Composing on the 8x10" groundglass is also an attraction of the larger format. [QUOTE]

    8x10 would be my suggestion. Composing on the 8x10 ground glass is a dream. I didn't realize the potential of LF until I got my 8x10. Going from 4x5 to 5x7 is not a real significant switch IMO.

    Secondly, you can't beat the versatility of the 8x10 camera body. It allows not only the 8x10 format but also 5x7 and 4x5 by using reducing backs. If you decide 5x7 is the better format for your purposes, you don't have to buy an entire camera system to make the switch.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
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  7. #7
    Frank Petronio's Avatar
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    I know a lot of fine art photographers who have gone to 5x7 because it is still a managable camera size. (I used to use a 5x7 Wista Rittereck that is a really neat camera if you ever find one.) But at this point, I doubt that I would go to 5x7 or 8x10 for contact printing only, with little chance of scanning or enlarging without a huge expense. So if I'm limited myself to contact printing due economy, I think I would splurge on an ultra large format camera. A nice vintage 11x14 for portraits, or a 7x17 or 12x24 for scenes. Of course the film is expensive but if you aren't good at rationalizing pointless expenditures of time and money then why are you here?

    My wife calls this Frankonomics.

  8. #8

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    The Link, Nick, David, Ian, and Alex are right on target. There is nothiing else quite like 8x10 and if that is what you want to shoot, go for it. IMHO,there is no advantage to going from 4x5 to 5x7 to 8x10 over going from 4x5 straight to 8x10,

    Cheers!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
    Secondly, you can't beat the versatility of the 8x10 camera body. It allows not only the 8x10 format but also 5x7 and 4x5 by using reducing backs.

    Unless you like wide angle lenses. Even my 5x7 can only go so wide. So people interested in ultra wide 4x5s wouldn't like it. I doubt many 8x10s will go wider then my 5x7 or even close to it.

  10. #10
    morkolv's Avatar
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    Thanks!!

    Yes, 8x10 seems the right thing to do :-) A switch to 5x7 would however enable me to "re-use" the 210 mm which covers, and to develop it in my Jobo expert drum. So I will lock for a 8x10 camera with 5x7 reducing back, at least to have that option available.

    A self teached crash course in "Frankonomics" are being planned!!

    As for enlarger 5x7 or 8x10, the answer is NO, no room for that etc!! The last year i LF however are not comforting with respect to credibility in such matter, ever heard of the project managers worst nightmare... uncontrolled scope-creep ? (or more running)

    I will go looking for a used 8x10.. and there might just be a another "Ops, I just bought.... " thread...

    Al the Best :-)
    Morten :-)


    "Please ! Bring me into the company of those who seek the truth, and deliver me from those who have found it."

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