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Thread: 8X10 vs 5X7

  1. #1
    ronlamarsh's Avatar
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    8X10 vs 5X7

    First thanks to all for the good discussion on 5X7 contact printing. Second I have an opportunity to trade my 5x7 for an 8X10. I am not to worried about the format dimensions as I can mask the prints off to anything from 6.5X8.5 to 6X9 or 5X7 if the image demands and I actually really like 5.5X8. I am concerned about the extra bulk and weight detracting from the usuability of the camera. So opinions please as to the extra weight and bulk......is it as bad as some claim? I looking for something slightly larger than 5X7 but the really special sizes like 5X8 I cannot afford.
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  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Depends on the camera, but it is a jump. Some 4x5" field cameras like the Deardorff 4x5" Special and cameras built on that model are really 5x7" cameras with 4x5" backs, so 5x7" cameras often feel like big 4x5" cameras, but with 8x10" the camera is bigger and the filmholders get notably bigger, so you'll likely be carrying less film and shooting more deliberately in the field.
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  3. #3
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I like the 5x7 ratio but have, at times, wanted to shoot a more pano ratio. So I finally bit the bullet and picked up a shen hao 4x10. It sports a 5x7 (yes 5x7!) back as well as the 4x10 back, and is quite light, really quite comparable to a 5x7. I recommend considering this option, since you say you are concerned about the extra bulk and it sounds like you might want ratios longer than 5x7. Consider that a 4x10 neg easily allows you to get the 5:8 ratio (and far beyond) via a rather modest increase in enlargement factor. Also I can report that 4x10 represents far less equipment weight than any 8x10 built to the same degree of stability. It's really quite surprising and I wish that I'd realized it sooner.

    Another thing to consider is what lenses you have and what circles they cover, and what lenses you'd like to have as well. Covering 5x8 or similar with movements might turn out to be a bit more of a pill than you expect- just do your homework. The new view camera magazine has a nice list of image circles and such, I would recommend consulting that.

    I think there might be a whole plate back for my rittreck 5x7; Joe Harrigan may have that back or some advice. Whole plate (6.5x8.5", right?) sounds quite similar to what you want, but what films would you use??? Anyway I considered getting longer ratios in an 8x10 and thought about making myself some inserts to go into 8x10 holders but after seeing how light the 4x10 is... no way. Would much rather enlarge a bit more and schlep less equipment. And I am avoiding exotic film cuts.
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  4. #4
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Doh, just realized that you posted this in the contact printing section and thus my comments about getting your ratio by a bit of enlargement probably aren't pertinent. Sorry. If you want ~5x8 contacts then maybe my 8x10 + inserts idea would work for you.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #5

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    8x10s can be pretty cumbersome.
    i have a 8x10 and a 5x7 both made by the same maker ..
    the 8x10 weighs a ton compared to the 5x7.
    it might be worth stepping up, you can always use a reducing
    back or a mask if you want to shoot 5x7 again ...
    i don't shoot the 8x10 much at all, and find 5x7 is nearly the ideal aspect ratio,
    that and 7x11 ...

    have fun!
    john
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  6. #6

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    My 8x10 KB Canham weights 8.4 pounds.

    The same camera at a 5x7 weights 6 pounds.

    Not much difference at all. The joy of a bigger ground glass is why I love 8x10. It is not more cumbersome if you get the right camera for your needs.

    Comparing 5x7 to 8x10 is a lot like comparing apples and oranges. Their aspect ratio do not match. I love shooting 5x7 for what it is, just as I enjoy 8x10. They are tools. No one format is perfect.
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  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I've shot 5x7, 8x10, 5x12 and 6.5 x 8.5 a fair bit. While I like the impact of an 8x10 contact print, the whole plate size/proportion actually seems to be the best compromise of all of them. 5x7 is the most portable, 8x10 has the most "oomph", but whole plate has more visual impact than 5x7 without the extra bulk of 8x10. The 8x10 film holders are bigger, the lenses are bigger and heavier, and the cameras are bigger and heavier (some much more, some not too much more). It really does come down to horses for courses, but if I were forced to choose a single format without film availability being an issue, it would be whole plate. With it an issue, I'd choose 5x7.

  8. #8
    Barry S's Avatar
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    I have 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10 cameras and the 8x10 is a big jump up in terms of bulk and weight. If you can afford a lightweight 8x10 and small lenses with good coverage, and are willing to lug fewer holders, then 8x10 won't be too bad. I have a Deardorff and aside from any accessories--it's not a light camera. Add a couple of plasmats and half a dozen holders, dark cloth, tripod, accessories--and it starts to be a real load.

  9. #9

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    5x7 was such a nice ratio, I went out a bought a Ritter 8x10 with a 7x11 back last year and haven't looked back since. The Ritter weighs in at around 6.5 pounds, so weight is actually the same of less than my old Burke & James 5x7. It is 'larger' than the Burke & James, but I have not found it to be an issue, plus the 7x11 gives me that extra format that I really prefer (it's like a mini 12x20). For lens, I use 240mm Germinar, 300mm Fuji and 450 Fuji all in a Copal No. 1, so they are all lightweight.

    See my Rambles for more information and my impression after using the camera. If you find the 8x10 fits your vision, it's wonderfull (not to mention that it is fun to contact print 8x8).
    Mike C

    Rambles

  10. #10

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    It's been mentioned but it all depends on the camera you pick. My Shen is fairly light but being an 8x10 it can't really fold down to less then 10x10.

    Sounds like you want to shoot 8x10 and then crop. Thats going to mean carrying all 8x10 lenses isn't it?

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