Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
4 x 5 detail was essentially wasted in the process used to put the photographs on to newsprint - have you ever looked closely at the half-tones used in old newsprint photos .

As 35mm cameras and lenses and systems became common, and 35mm film was improved, the smaller format was quickly recognized as being much more appropriate for deadline sensitive work.
I don't think sheet film was necessarily used for detail purposes, but more for layout purposes. You could crop a lot to get exactly what you wanted. There was also the issue of excessive grain and contrast when using 35mm cameras prior to improvements in film made after WWII. The large formats simply made formatting and producing half tones easier in a era with relatively lousy film.