Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: 4x5, 8x10, Medium Format Digital?  (Read 411 times)


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 126
4x5, 8x10, Medium Format Digital?
« on: September 24, 2019, 12:13:00 pm »

I have to get something out of my system...

I am wondering if it would be worthwhile to take a 4x5 (or 8x10) camera out and photograph the same scene using my FujiFilm GFX50s (Medium format digital camera) as well as the 4x5 camera.

In B&W.

What I want to do is then make a traditional 16x20in silver print with the 4x5 negative and an Inkjet print from the FujiFilm GFXs file. (I'd also make a silver print from the GFX file and compare that to the print made from the 4x5 neg just out of curiosity)

I want to see with my own eyes if there are any differences in the transitions between shades of grays in both prints.

According to many people, film (theoretically) produces more discernible shades of grays with smother transitions to create that beautiful "creamy" look Edward Weston got when he photographed things like dunes. (He was using an 8x10).

These images were made last Saturday on my GFX 50s and while I really like them I am wondering if 4x5 would look noticeably better.

If any of you live near Oceano, CA and have a 4x5 (or 8x10) and would like to meet me out there on a Saturday afternoon I would love to do this test! I will buy the film!

Have any of you done this test?


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 827
Re: 4x5, 8x10, Medium Format Digital?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2019, 08:51:06 pm »

I shoot 4x5, 5x7, and a Nikon D850.  I have some thoughts.  The digital camera is sharper and has more contrast.  I think a big part of that is newer designed lenses.  I generally only use historical lenses (1900-1930 and 1845 to 1865) on my 4x5 and use those those exclusively on the 5x7.  I shoot no color film but do shoot a lot of b&w film (mostly Ilford FP4+.)  For the past several months I've only been shooting wet plate (1850s technology) and have also shot a lot of dry plate (1880s technology) over the past year.  I don't really see digital and large format as directly comparable.  First, a lot of the look you get with b&w (be it film or glass plate) depends a LOT on processing.  I have doubts that any two photographers use the same process.  For example, I use HC-110 as my developer and agitate twice a minute.  Others use one of about 25 different developers and might agitate continuously or not at all (stand development.)  I use my Nikon D850 when speed and convenience are important, and I want a modern look to the photos.  I use large format when I want a softer, lower contrast, and more ethereal look to the image.  Go ahead and experiment, but you are looking for the wrong thing and missing the point of why people use different mediums be it digital or film/wet plate/dry plate.  Some artists use oil paints, others use watercolors. :)

A word about 8x10.  I'm looking at getting that system as I want to contact print instead of scanning and then printing.  Be aware the costs of 8x10 mount up very, very quickly.  Cameras cost more, lenses cost a LOT more, film costs more, you use more chemicals, on & on.  If you want to make nice sized contact prints they are a great way to go however.

First photo below, wet plate (tin type) 4x5
Second photo, dry plate (4x5)
Third photo, Nikon D850
Fourth photo, Ilford FP4+, 4x5, modern Nikon 300mm f9 lens.

Kent in SD
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
miserere nobis.
Pages: [1]   Go Up