I couldn't have said it better.
Originally Posted by bill spears
A View Camera makes me slow down and LOOK much more carefully before I even set the thing up.
I can then take a much more considered view of the image on the ground glass before deciding on whether to proceed.
My ability to miss the wonderful transient light while still setting up the camera remains hugely frustrating
But I love it and for the moment cannot see myself down sizing
I had a wonderful moment confirming my decision to go to 8x10. In my retirement I have taken many photography courses at the art school at the local college. My instructor when I was using an RZ67 is also the registrar at the local art museum. He has developed what is considered a very good eye. In his course I made 16x20 prints from a Mamiya RZ67. Two or three courses after the one I had taken from him, he was invited to critique a class where I was first shooting 8x10. He remembered my work from the earlier class and asked, what paper I had changed to? “The tonal range in your prints is so much better than before.” He immediately saw the difference, but gave credit to the wrong change, assuming I was using the same camera. I was using Kodak Polymax FBVC in both classes.
for me, it really isn't about much more than
it is fun .... and im not a snob, i can have fun with a 110 camera
as easily as a 11x14 ... and i can see merits in both
Which quality are you interested in? Photographs have many qualities...Evan Clarke
Originally Posted by BetterSense
I have to disagree with some who say there is no discernable quality difference comparing 4x5 to 8x10 film size with moderate enlargement. It's not difficult to see differences even on 11x14 and the larger you go the more pronounced the quality increase. If I could afford (and carry) a 8x20 I would definitely do so. I like large prints with extreme detail that are as grainless as is possible.
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8x10 gives a different look than 4x5 because you are using lenses double the focal length for the same aspect ratio. The depth of field is shallower. This effect is what the car/food/portrait guys used to their advantage.
Get the best of both worlds with a 5x7 and a 4x5 reducing back. Less size, less weight, lower camera cost, lower film cost than 8x10 but will allow you to make contact prints suitable for presentation. With the reducing back you'll be able to make 4x5 negatives for enlargement as well.
Since I began using the 5x7 format my 8x10 has been collecting dust.
I think 8x10 shines when it comes to image quality, but at a price.
A bad 8x10 contact equals a bad 35mm enlargement, but all things being equal I think a good 8x10 contact has a feel to it a 4x5 enlargement dosen't have, and certainly an 8x10 contact is generally more pleasing than a 4x5 contact(though there are exceptions!) I think where an 8x10 bests 4x5 is when both are enlarged. Ramp up a good 8x10 negative to 20x24 or larger and all the details pop out with much greater clarity than with a 4x5 (considering that a 4x5 enlargement is still pretty gosh darn impressive!) If you get a chance look at an original Christopher Burkett.
Both 8x10 and 4x5 enlargements easily beat the current generation of digital 'jumbos" in my opinion, when compared to the images displayed at Eddie Bauer, Cold Stone Creamery and Williams-Sonoma.
The $64 question is...is the bulk and wieght (and expense) of 8x10 (and larger) worth the bulk and wieght (and expense) since it is physically limiting, especially when you leave the studio.
Why would the tonal range be "wider" if you're using the same film?
Originally Posted by aluncrockford
The last part of your sentence is true for any format.
If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284
Perhaps it is a matter of terminology. The tonal range, as you observed, would not be "wider", but instead, a smoother transition between tones. This is the characteristic that I believe gives prints from larger negs a different "feel" than those from smaller negs.
Originally Posted by johnnywalker
Consider a "head shot" done with a range of formats (assume same film/developing). Pick one area on the face, say the bottom of the nose, right above the upper lip. As one goes up in format size, that area of the face is recorded onto the film in more and more grain particles. The more grain particles making up the image allows a smoother transition of tones between the nose and upper lip.
The larger the format, the more information and the smoother the tonality. Sharpness is nice, and as others have pointed out, increasing the viewing distance reduces the importance of sharpness -- but I believe the effect of smooth tonality is not reduced by increasing the view distance.
Of course what is of main importance is the image -- how the photographer wishes his/her audience to perceive the image will determine what format, film, print process, etc the photographer chooses to use. As well as using the right tool to record the image in the first place.
PS...to answer John's 64 dollar question (I thought it was $64,000), -- YES! Otherwise, I would just be taking a walk in the woods, since I would not have the right tool to harvest the images that I want.
Last edited by Vaughn; 08-28-2009 at 11:21 AM. Click to view previous post history.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.