When did large format become 'large'

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Back in the days, what we call 'large format' was actually the 'normal' format. and all those silly roll folms were the 'miniature' formats.

    So does anyone have a clue as to when the public view of the 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10, and similar formats became too big and the 135 and 120 roll films went from being 'miniature' to 'normal'? I know some people here have hordes of old literature.
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I would imagine, back about the time that Kodak came out with the Brownie Roll Film Cameras..

    At least that is what some of the magazine articles I have refer to way back when.

    Dave
     
  3. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    There was a time when 4x5 was medium format. There is no date but the usefullness of smaller formats increased as film got better.

    You would be better served to look at the milestones of film; thin-film, anti scatter dyes, tabular grain, two electron....
     
  4. Kino

    Kino Member

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    I always thought that Large format became large when Leica put 35mm cine film in a camera and called it miniature.
     
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    April 3, 1947.
     
  6. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    david would know.... he used to work for the IRS.

    lol
     
  7. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I believe that it became large when A. Adams first used expanded development.
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    When I started buying lenses for it :smile:
     
  9. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    1959. Intro Nikon F
     
  10. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    The consensus a century ago was that 8x10 was the smallest "professional" size, the smaller ones were "amateur." Early rollfilm wasn't as good as dryplate, so I would gather that large format in the modern sense (sheet film at 6x9cm or bigger) emerged as consumer photography abandoned plate cameras for rollfilm. There's probably not a specific date, but I would guess you could see the change by the mid-1930s where the Leica and Argus cameras establish a lasting market for 35mm and German TLRs and improved rollfilm give "professional" quality results. (Just remembered: Dorothea Lange used a 4x5 most of the time for her WPA work. One of her coworkers--I can't remember who--had a Rollei. So I guess by the late 1930s pro photographers are using medium format for government work. Maybe that's the date for the introduction of "large format.")
    Here endeth my $.02 lesson.
     
  11. P. Yee

    P. Yee Member

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    I have a similar question, when did banquet cameras become ultra-large format?
     
  12. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Beats me, but figure that it's not Large Format unless it takes a pack animal to haul the gear to where you want to make the image (you know like Curtis and O'Sullivan did - with those BIG glass plates, boy would I like to have one of those negatives)
     
  13. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    Similarly, I also had a question. :smile:

    http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/505406.html

    I think banquet cameras became ULF when the silly term was invented, apparently 1982ish. Right about when 11x14 got unceremoniously lumped in that category.


    Wayne
     
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  15. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Well ULF is a nicer term than "friggin huge" which is an apt description for 11x14 too.
     
  16. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

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    when people got cars to transport them..
     
  17. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    While you may find an occasional use of the term "Large Format" in older literature, the use to describe 4x5 and other sheet film sizes didn't come into general use until the 1980s, and "Ultra Large Format" until the 1990s. Probably a convenient necessity for such magazines as Photo Techniques and Darkroom Photography when using these sizes became the exception rather than the rule among photographers.
     
  18. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Bill, IIRC, there was a column in MP in the '70's (Sint's View?) where "large format" was often applied to 4x5. But I could be mistaken.
     
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    After reading the ULF forum 4x5 is starting to feel quite small, MF is feeling even smaller, and 35mm is teeny-tiny. My father-in-law was the last 110 user on the face of the earth... I can't even see those negs.

    Maybe it's my eye sight... maybe it's an inferiority complex... who knows, but there's some alteration of perspective going on!
     
  20. joneil

    joneil Member

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    Speaking of 110 format, I remember "PhotoHuts" and the 110 point and shoot format becomming popular roughly at the same time. That's the first time I remember hearing the term "large format" myself. Late 70's, early 80's was it?

    joe
     
  21. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    Look at the Graphic Press Cameras!

    It's amazing to me how long photojournalists used the 4x5 Graphics as opposed to the smaller formats that were available at the time.
    These smaller cameras would have (and eventually did) make press photography much easier but these hardy souls stuck with the 4x5 format to ensure the quality of their work. Hmmm... these guys would make great....APUGgers! :smile:

    The last Crown Graphic was built in 1973. :sad:
     
  22. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    I just read an article from the late 19th Century, and they referred to the big plate cameras (16x20, 20x24, and up) as "Mammoth" sizes.
     
  23. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Is that the Wooly "Mammoth" size?
     
  24. DBP

    DBP Member

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    My 1966 Photography Directory still uses the terms 'Press and View Cameras' for what we would now call large format.
     
  25. bob01721

    bob01721 Member

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    I don't remember the term from the mid-70's, when I took a hiatus from photography. When I came back in the early 90's, the terms MF and LF were in common use. Oh... and "bokeh," too.
     
  26. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I dont remember the term ever NOT being in use, since the time I started in 85 or so.


    Wayne