Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
Exactly. But, you will have to enlarge the 4x5 sheet 1/4 as much as the 35mm! So does it all cancel out? Does shooting at 4:1 then contact printing have any advantage over shooting at 1:1 and enlarging 4x?

People talk like shooting to smaller magnification and enlarging is better than shooting at larger magnification then enlarging less. At least that's the way it seems because they always advocate 35mm for macro applications and say leave the view camera at home. Landscape, it's exactly the opposite, both for supposed image quality reasons.
It does indeed cancel out. That is: except the better detail and less obvious 'film artifacts' you get when you record a larger image on film that is subsequently enlarged less.
So yes, shooting at larger magnifications is better (but - depending on the difference in film format, of course - only marginally).

It means, however, you have to use more difficult to handle larger format equipment.
And that's what behind the advice to use 35 mm format.

But it is a clash of the two approaches i mentioned before: the first is the compositional/format driven one, which comes with the benefit of better image quality when you step up in format. The second is the magnification driven approach, in which (as long as the subject fits in the format at the desired magnification) favours the smaller format (for greater ease of use with the same image quality).
So what to do is something that has to be decided on a case by case basis.

On top of that, you get all those considerations David mentioned.