Using 4x5 Polaroid to check lighting for 8x10 and 11x14 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am familiar with using Polaroid products in 4x5. I will be working on a few portrait projects later this year and will be using 8x10 and hopefully 11x14 for platinum prints. Because of the cost of materials and time, I need to preview lighting, composition etc. Is there any problem with using my 4x5 camera with a similar perspective lens for my polaroid tests? I already have used the 8x10 on test subjects and have worked out my lighting for the desired print densities. I feel I would be more comfortable on location with the Polaroids for confirmation.

Thanks in advance,

-- James Chinn (, May 15, 2002


Hey...this won't help you with the overall image, but maybe you can use a reduction back on your 8x10, to take 4x5. This way you can proof your exposures using the lens you'll be shooting with.....I worked in a studio once that did this when shooting 8x10. The problem I see with using a separate camera is that if the leaf shutter in the lens is not in line with the taking lens, then it's going to be hard to judge exposures this way...not to mention bellows etc. Something to think about...

-- dk thompson (, May 15, 2002.

Why not use 8x10 polaroid?

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, May 15, 2002.

A reduction back (while not cheap) is a great alternative and, like the other fellow suggested, much more accurate. In addition, if you use type 55, you can check sharpness and depth of field. The 4x5 from the center of the 8x10 frame gives you the critical information you need most of the time.

I've used 8x10 Polaroid plenty, too. But for location shooting, I'd recommend 4x5 in a reduction back. 8x10 on location is just too troublesome--too weighty, bulky and expensive--to justify the limited advantages.

-- Ted Kaufman (, May 15, 2002.

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