Plate (Sheet) film formats

The number of plate and sheet film formats is even larger than the roll films one and, very often, devoid of the smooth codification provided with the Kodak numbering system.

The main reason of this wide variety is to be traced back to the early days of photography, when each manufacturer adopted its own sizes for cameras and, consequently, for the picture formats; in we should consider that the birth and evolution of magnifiers were well far to appear in the early years and the print jobs were performed by contact.

Create a complete list of all the different types of plates that have appeared in the market is a difficult task and, therefore, this page has to be considered under a constant review and will be updated every time that the ongoing research will allow us to do.

Some of the  listed below formats are still in use with medium and large format cameras with wide availability of color and black and white emulsions from all of the major manufacturers; the great advantage of sheet film is, in addition to the superior quality compared to the roll sizes, the total control that  you have on the single image, which ranks as the ideal support for the study and application of the “Zone System” developed by Ansel Adams.

The plate or sheet film is coded with its size, which is usually expressed in inches or centimeters, depending on the format; here we do not want to standardize the unit of measurement, and we prefer to keep the commercial identification size :

 

Size in cm

Dimensions

Notes

6.5 x 9

still available today and used on different folding cameras

since the early 1900s; currently still

in production from Ilford

8.2 x 10.5

 

9 x 12

 

10 x 15

 

13 x 18

 

18 x 24

 

24 x 30

 

Size in inch

Dimensions

Notes

2 x 2.5

at the time known as

ninth plate

2 x 3

 

2.5 x 3.5

Known as the sixth plate tintypes

3 x 4

 

3,12 x 4,12

Know as fourth plate for ferrotypes and tintypes

3.25 x 4.25

Known as fourth plate for wet collodion negatives

3.25 x 5.5

 

4 x 5

format still widely available and used; emulsions in color and bw, both negative and positive are available

4.75 x 6.5

 

4.5 x 5.5

 

5 x 7

 

4 x 10

 

8 x 10

Another format which is still popular with emulsions in color and bw; was a format widely used for the wet collodion negatives

8 x 20

 

8.5 x 6.5

Measure of the whole plate of the daguerreotypes, glass negatives and tintypes, understood as the standard measure of filming equipment.

11 x 14

 

12 x 20

 

16 x 20

 

20 x 24

 

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