Alright, back from the long Easter weekend with 25 shots, and not even a single screwup! I guess knowing how to meter and develop films really pays off!
The resolution from the prints is just INSANE. When you look at the 8x10 from a normal viewing distance, you think "hm, sharp" but when you put your nose to it, you suddenly fall into the print. What's more, the gradations are perfect, and the tonality is puddingly rich. It pushed me to order a pack of Lodima paper to try contact printing on AgCl.
The 300mm lens turned out to be mildly telephoto, so that even at close range there was no bellows factor to worry about. HP5+ was exposed at EI 250 (spot readings), and given a good 15 minutes in HC-110h. Negatives all print beautifully on ILFORD MGIV RC at grade 2, sometimes 1.5. We did landscape (orange Lee filter, behind the lens because the front element of the 300mm Symmar-S is so damn big!), portrait (red filter for the ladies, none for the lads), and still life (a powerfully ugly lamp that caused many focus challenges).
Working with a monorail in the field is rather challenging, since you can't easily put the camera on the ground in a safe position, but by working in a team of two, the travails were supportable.
What's more, I have to repeat the inevitable truism: large format slows you down, and makes you think harder about your pictures. The efforts required prevent you from taking pictures that you find only mildly interesting. You focus more, and are more critical: if a scene does not reach a particular personal threshold of quality, you just forget about it. My Rolleiflex never felt so small, nor so lithe.
I'm also quite pleased by my relative success with intuitive Scheimpflug. Most photos were shot around f/32, but using a bit of tilt did help, and shift also proved quite helpful in adjusting composition.
The bug bit me; remains to see how I will let it eat me over time. I think I would love a (relatively) light 8x10 field camera, a normal-ish lens, and a few holders to do contact prints...
Oh, and I think I will ask Elevator to print me a 16x20 from a neg, too...