small, medium & large formats?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Marcus, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. Marcus

    Marcus Member

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    Hi,

    I have seen, although a while ago now, a thread about when small format becomes medium format, and when medium format becomes large format etc..

    I can't find the thread any more! Can someone please remind me/advise me on this?

    Thanks,

    Marcus
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Large format these days is taken to be 5x4 and larger, any thing over 10x8 becomes Ultra large format.

    Medium Format is now anything on 120 film 645 6x6 cx7, 6x9

    Small Format is 35mm, 126 &127 (very little film availabl), and that's about it.

    Subminiature - 16mm (again very little film available)

    Before WWII anything on 120/620 and smaller was known as Miniature formats.

    Ian
     
  3. Marcus

    Marcus Member

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    Ian,

    Thanks for the info. I guess I sort of knew it anyway!

    In addition to what you've already said, where do other sizes between 120 & 5x4 - eg 1/4 plate fit in? I'm not sure whether to label them medium or large.

    Marcus
     
  4. Ria

    Ria Member

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    Generally speaking, "large format" refers to anything 4x5" up to 11x14", (and larger), which is "ultra large". "Medium format" is smaller than 4x5" but larger than 35mm. The 35mm format was called "miniature" for some time after its debut, because it is so much smaller than the sizes common at the time. The really small formats, such as those used in the "Minox"-type cameras are "sub-miniature".
    I don't know where in this hierarchy 127 film fits, because although it is larger than 35mm, it is not as large as what I normally think of as medium format.

    Medium format need not be 120 roll film. There are still people who shoot
    2 1/4 x 3 1/4 (6x9 cm) sheet film.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    11x14 or the UK size 12x15 is taken to be ULF now as film is only available to special order, and the range is very limited.

    Ian
     
  6. Marcus

    Marcus Member

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    Thanks to all your kind replies! This has made things a lot clearer.

    Thanks again, :D

    Marcus
     
  7. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    And basicly the "plate sizes" can be put into the cathegory LF aswell.
    Half plate and Full plate used glass plates.
    Quarter plate could be put into MF, but not the MF we are used to with our Blad's, RB's and so on.
    Quarter plate used glass and negative's in special holders.

    Peter
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Quarter plate is very similar to 9x12, and 9x12 is definitely LF, modern 9x12 double dark-slides have the same outside dimensions as modern 5x4 holders, both fit International backs.

    It becomes a woolly area because many pre-War 9x12 cameras (mostly German) were substantially smaller and lighter than 5x4 cameras. 5x4 is 10x12.7 cm, so only a fraction larger than 9x12, here's an example:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    OK that's at the \extreme :D the on on the right is more typical :smile:

    [​IMG]

    Ian
     
  9. JPD

    JPD Member

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    I would call 4x6 on 127-film medium format. :D
     
  10. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Also, don’t forget 220 roll film.
     
  11. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Where does 35mm half-frame fit into the mix? Is it miniature or sub miniature?
     
  12. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    I know that 4x5 inch is considered large format these days. However, if my memory serves me right, 4x5 at one time was considered medium format. When did that change and why did that change?
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's why you wear a woolly hat in the winter :D

    Ian
     
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  15. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    1/2 35mm belongs to small format as far as I am concerened as it uses regular 35mm film.
    4x5 became LF probably with the rising popularity of 35mm that became a kind of new standard when the pro's started to work with it on a regular basis.

    In Europe some find 8x10 extreme, read ULF, while in the US it belongs to LF for shure.

    127 belongs to MF because it uses paper backed rolfilm as 120/220.
    126 and 828 (Bantam) with their paper backing belong to small format however and the paper backed 110 belongs to (sub)miniature to make things easy.
    Sometimes the dividing lines are not that B&W but more grey-ish.
    And there is a personal thing in this aswell: for some 35mm belongs to miniature when they work with their beautifull wooden 8x20's .......

    Peter
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    127 is woolly, most books from the 30's & 40's refer to it as miniature film, but then many books from that era call 120 miniature format too :D

    126 is just a revamp of 828, making the awkward roll film more user friendly. Half frame is still miniature, although it's frame size is more akin to sub-miniature. . . . . . .

    When you look at older books etc miniature formats were the smaller portable usualy roll film cameras, and large format were the plate cameras, but there was some cross over. Then Miniature became sub-divided into Medium Format & small with the rising popularity of 35mm.

    Ian
     
  17. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Peter, thank you for your comment; you stirred an old memory.

    The comment about "half frame 35 mm format" is interesting. While we still camera photographers think of the "standard format" for 35 mm film as being 24 mm high and 36 mm wide, the original users of that film, the motion picture guys (cinematographers?), considered the "standard format" for that film to be 18 mm high and 24 mm wide. When Herr Barnack came out with his miniature camera that used 35 mm wide film appropriated from the motion picture industry, he used a "double frame" format of 36 mm by 24 mm.

    The format ratio of 3 by 4 for the original motion picture frame is another difference in comparison with the 2 by 3 format ratio of our still camera negatives.

    Yes, the categories into which these film sizes have been placed do seem to have shifted around a bit over time, as has our labels for them.
     
  18. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I definitely agree that it depends on the photographer. For one who contact prints with an 11x14, 4x5 becomes very small and manageable. I guess it's all perspective.
     
  19. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I personally would say that 127 is right between 35mm and medium format....
     
  20. Nicholas Lindan

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    Minature format 16mm, 9mm (and 110 Instamatic?)
    Small format: 35mm (and I suppose the old 828 roll film and 126 instamatic cartridge)
    Medium format: (most) any roll film
    Large format: any sheet film and aerial roll film

    I don't know you can classify 'medium format' by size. A Century Graphic loaded with 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet film is usually considered LF, though when loaded with 120 film of the same negative size it would be MF. A Mamiya Press/23/Universal is MF with or without a sheet film back. An old Kodak folder taking 112 (?) film with a 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 negative size is considered MF.
     
  21. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    127 has been very popular in the past and within 127 you had several formats like 4x4, 4x3 and some other odd sizes.
    They were generaly smaller than the 120's and were amateur camera's.
    Kodak made quite a few camera's and Rollei had their 4x4 in grey and later in black.

    Putting a stamp on a camera is sometimes dificult and the "stamp" depends again on the starting point.
    If you go by film size you would have Minox, 16mm, 110, 126, Bantam, 135/APS, 127, 120/220 and the 6xx formats, the 116/616, sheetfilm and plate camera's.
    And the diskformat made in at least two diferent periods.
    On the other hand you can make a devision in box, folder, RF, SLR, TLR, field, TC, panoramic, stereo and so on.
    And you have your cross-overs aswell: a Nikon F is a SLR, but a Hassie too.

    Maybe that is what makes camera collecting so interesting.

    35mm motion picture film was the first film used in still camera's, in the 70's there were quite a few 16mm still camera's by Minolta, Edixa and many others to cater for a market that wanted smaller camera's.
    110 was a time popular untill the people that used them found the limitations of the film size and inherent grain and went to the next generation of temporairy formats, despite camera's like the Asahi Pentax SLR 110.

    Back in the 70's I predicted that a few formats would survive: 135, 120/220 and sheetfilm, film sizes used by the pro's.
    I have come close to it at age 56.

    Peter
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Perhaps we are missing something else, Enlarger size, these were sold as:

    These fell into:
    35mm (828/126),
    120 - Medium Format
    Large format 5x4 - 10x8

    It's no coincidence that these are the formats Peter mentions above, and used by professionals and serious amateurs. Formats like 828 & Instamatic were never taken seriously despite Kodak's attempts make high end camera's, 126 fit SLR's went the ame way as later APS SLR's people preferred 35mm.

    In addition film sizes were categorised by camera manufacturers advertising.marketing as well as technical authors in books & magazines.

    Ian
     
  23. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I think Kodak at least took 126/Instamatic very seriously.

    And seeing the numbers they sold, in what short span of time, rightly so.
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Maybe but the types of photographers using them were at the bottom end of the market, and Kodak later sold 110 then disc camera, then APS to that same people.

    Just like Box brownies etc before them none of the cameras catered for serious amateurs and professionals, despite the odd quality cameras from other manufacturers. That isn't the same as saying they weren't a serious business proposition for the manufacturers.

    Ian
     
  25. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I would have expected you to tell us that the UK sizes were 14x11 and 15x12 :D

    Perhaps you can refresh our memories why there is a difference between 4x5 and 5x4.
     
  26. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Perhaps, Ian is getting Americanized ...

    What would his mother think?? :confused:

    Steve