Quote Originally Posted by Arcturus View Post
...or am I crazy?
Maybe a tad irrational.

What is this "LF" you speak so casually of? An 8x10 negative contact will certainly look better, in some ways – however appreciated, than a 4x5, 5x7 or 6x7 enlarged to an 8x10 print. That's why people love contacts (along with a possible requirement to print without an enlarger). But better by all criteria? By who's judgement? Yes detailed, one hopes, but of what import. An enlarged 35mm of aesthetic composition and/or historical significance leaves otherwise lovely "LF" prints as no more than testaments to the pretentions of unfocused shooters. The right tool can certainly make a difference in a fine print in the hands and mind of a focused photographer

8x10 prints are normally, with the exception of contacts, simply too small to make rational judgements about the fineness of a print with regard to format, particularly in the hands of a skilled printer and talented photographer. It is for this reason that I do not make fine art prints smaller than 11x14, in any format. My reasons to use "LF" are based on process first, subject and composition second, followed by enlarge-ability. You may be seeing, because you are close to your process, what others will simply never notice.

Here is an example of a scene shot on 35mm film, revisited many years later with "LF", same hour and season. The 35mm was ultra contrasty, printable to 16x20 only on warm tone papers, and eventually retired in favor of the fully tonal fine art print "LF" version – printed up to 30x40. Both scans are from 8x10 proof prints (cold tone).

Trail, Tuolumne Grove (35mm)

Trail, Tuolumne Grove (5x7)