Difference between 4x5 and 8x10 Colour prints.

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Is it possible to equal the quality of 8x10 colour(not black and white) with 4x5? My colour images on Fuji NPL 4x5 on an old lens and camera combo are a little grainy(no, they are actually over exposured). More importantly the micro gradation that gives 8x10 that seamless effect is not there. With 8x10 it stunning virtual reality! Can 4x5 equal the gradation of 8x10? Does making RA-4 prints, Ilfochrome(cibachrome), Lightjets or Giclee make a difference? What print and slide films do you find best for this type of work? Another question as well who actually makes Lightjets or Giclee on a regualarly basis? How can they afford it?

-- David Payumo (dpayumo@home.com), August 21, 2000


in my non professional experience you can get excellence with a quality print with a quality lab by ingreasing the size no more than 8 times the negative size.. if you are having trouble with this size prints (8x) get a good light meter and learn how to get proper exposures on the negative.. its cheaper to learn with a 6x7 rollback on a 4x5, or a 35mm. keep records in a small note book.. the meter needs to be a globe type meter that can be read with the light into it as you shoot away from the sun... maybe black and white shoots with 35 mm would teach you how to get premium shots.. always keep sun at your back. and meter with globe to sun to get correct exposure on this type shot.. they will stun you with good lens and correct exposeure in 4x5.. good luck..

-- dave schlick (ffffg@juno.com), August 22, 2000.

If all else is equal, the larger negative contact printed will beat the enlarged negative. Same with slide film. Any time you enlarge you lose a bit, whether you use 35mm or 20x24 inch film sizes. You have to decide whether moving to the larger format is worth it to you. It is BIGGER in terms of camera size and much heavier as well. Film holders are bigger & more cumbersome. Bigger sizes are even worse, so if you aren't committed to the finest results possible as contact prints, don't buy bigger-live with the 4x5. Whatever direction you travel, hone your craft. Sloppy metering and working methods will ruin a lot more images than the format you choose.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), August 22, 2000.

The cost of color materials and an enlarger in 8x10 is so high that most people consider it to be a contact print format for doing silver and platinum prints. Add to that the bulk, weight and slower operation of the camera. Personally, 4x5 is the ideal format for color work. In a recent interview, Cole Weston indicates that he is using his 4x5 Deardorff rather than his 8x10 Calumet these days and seems to be happy with his large Lightjet prints.

-- VNC (chettu99@tyenet.com), August 22, 2000.

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