How I Make Two 4x10 Pano Exposures With My 8x10 Large Format Camera
I also have a 4x10 reducing back for my 8x10 camera, but this method that I share with you today uses something you probably already own if you are shooting 8x10 and it is a lot cheaper than buying a reducing back.
My original idea for the method that I share with you in this article came because I had a cracked dark slide on one of my 8x10 film holders.
I realized if I cut the old dark slide roughly in half, that I could get two 4x10 exposures on a single sheet of film which has a lot of advantages.
First, everything I do is optimized around 8x10 from film development to enlargements. Being able to use standard 8x10 film versus having to wait once a year to purchase custom 4x10 film from Ilford, not only makes a lot of sense, but it also opens up film choices to any type of 8x10 film.
I simply left my dark slide mounted in the holder and used a gray sharpie to draw a line right down the middle. Then, I used a new razor blade knife and a ruler to make the cuts. That's all there was to cutting the dark slide.
The next thing that I did was to create a simple mask that I place on my ground glass to help with composition in the field. You can approximate the composition without any type of mask, but it makes it easier if you use the mask because you can visualize the composition without distraction.
In the next section, I share my field procedure with you to remove all mystery from the process.
A key point to remember is that you need to leave the full size dark slide in position until you are ready to make the exposure. Then, you pull out the full dark slide and slide in the modified slide so the bottom half of the film will receive the exposure.
Then slide in the full dark slide after your exposure to protect your film.
Next, rotate the back clockwise so the film holder will load from the right side.
Then, once you are ready to make your second exposure, remove the full dark slide again and replace with the half slide so the bottom half of your film will be exposed.
Then just place your full slide back into position and store the holder for development later.
It really could not be any easier than this and you get the advantage of using standard 8x10 sheet film and no need for expensive reducing back or speciality film holders. Spend you money on trips or additional gear that you really need.
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