Standard Film and Plate Sizes

Roll-Film

Kodak Roll-Film Sizes

No.Intro.SizeNo. Position
10118953 ½ x 3 ½Bottom
10218951 ½ x 2CentrePocket Kodak with ratchet spool movement
10318974 x 5
10418975 x 4Bottom
10518972 ¼ x 3 ¼
10618983 ½ x 3 ½
10718983 ¼ x 4 ¼Cartridge Roll-holder
10818984 ¼ x 3 ¼CentreCartridge Roll-holder
10918984 x 5Cartridge Roll-holder
11018985 x 4Cartridge Roll-holder
11118986 ½ x 4 ¾Cartridge Roll-holder
11218987 x 5Cartridge Roll-holder
11318989 x 12 cmCartridge Roll-holder
114189812 x 9 cmCartridge Roll-holder
11518987 x 5
11618992 ½ x 4 ¼Bottom
11719002 ¼ x 2 ¼6 x 6 cmCentre
11819003 ¼ x 4 ¼Bottom
11919003 ¼ x 4 ¼
12019012 ¼ x 3 ¼6 x 9 cmTop
12119021 ⅝ x 2 ½
12219033 ¼ x 5 ½Top, Bottom
12319044 x 5
12419053 ¼ x 4 ¼Top
12519053 ¼ x 5 ½Top
12619064 ¼ x 6 ½
12719121 ⅝ x 2 ½4 x 6.5 cmCentreNarrow diameter metal core
12819131 ½ x 2 ¼Centre
12919132 x 3Centre
13019162 ⅞ x 4 ⅞
61619322 ½ x 4 ¼BottomNarrow diameter metal core
62019322 ¼ x 3 ¼6 x 9 cmTopNarrow diameter metal core
828193528 x 40 mmCentreNarrow diameter metal core
135193424 x 36 mmPerforated 35 mm film in cassette
35191632 x 44 mm
126196328 x 28 mmSealed plastic cartridge
Sizes in the left column are in inches, the width (across the spool) is given first. The column headed 'No. Position' shows the frame number position as if the film is being wound to the right.

Film numbers were not allocated until 1912.

Alternative Image Sizes

No.SizeNo. Exp.No. Position
1202 ¼ x 3 ¼6 x 9 cm8TopOriginal format
2 ¼ x 2 ¼6 x 6 cm12Centre
2 ¼ x 1 ⅝6 x 4 cm16
2 ¼ x 1 ¾6 x 4.5 cm16Bottom
1271 ⅝ x 2 ½4 x 6.5 cm8CentreOriginal format
1 ⅝ x 1 ⅝4 x 4 cm12Top
1 ⅝ x 1 ⅛4 x 3 cm16Intro. 1930
1 ¼ x 1 ¼16
6202 ¼ x 3 ¼6 x 9 cm8TopOriginal format
2 ¼ x 2 ¼6 x 6 cm12Centre
2 ¼ x 1 ⅝6 x 4 cm16Bottom
1162 ½ x 4 ¼8BottomOriginal format
2 ½ x 2 ⅞12Centre
2 ½ x 2 ⅛16Top
Sizes in the left column are in inches, the width (across the spool) is given first. The column headed 'No. Position' shows the frame number position as if the film is being wound to the right.

The idea for doubling the number of exposures on a roll of film came from W.H. Harvey's patent 13246 of 1914. He describes camera backs having two red windows or film with intermediate marks on the backing paper, masks for the focal plane and view-finder are also described. The Ensign Cupid, 1922, was probably the first camera to use the 'double window' arrangement for doubling the number of exposures on a roll. It employed two red windows where film with standard numbering on the backing paper was advanced so that each number appeared in each window successively. The Cupid used 120 roll-film. In 1930 Zeiss introduced cameras using two red windows for 127 roll-film. Later, film manufacturers printed frame numbers for alternative image sizes on the backing paper.

Common Formats

Daylight Spools
Most daylight spools had a continuous backing paper for the film which was wound on a core with flanges at each end. One end of the the spool had a slot that matched a key in the camera allowing the spool to be turned to advance the film. Most early spools had a thick wooden core and metal flanges, later the whole spool was made of metal and lastly plastic. A narrow metal core was used on some spools, e.g. 127 size. 102 film was an exception in that it had a ratchet on the flange to advance the film.

The film was wound so that it was inside the backing paper, which suited the layout of most cameras.

Roll-holder Film
Film for the cartridge roll-holder, produced by Kodak, was wound so that the film was outside the backing paper. As the spools were behind the film plane this saved the film from making a tight S curve when winding on and off the spools.

220 Roll-film
This was a similar in overall size to 120 but with twice the film length. It had only a paper leader and trailer rather than continuous backing paper.

828
This is roll-film wound on a narrow metal core for 28 x 40 mm exposures. The film is 35 mm wide and, on early examples, had a single registration hole per frame on one side of the film.

35 mm cassettes
The cassettes introduced by Agfa in 1932 and Kodak in 1934 for the Retina became the standard pattern for disposable 35 mm cassettes.1

The film is 35 mm wide with perforations along each edge at a pitch of 3/16". The standard frame size, for still cameras, was 24 x 36 mm (image plus inter-frame gap equalled 8 perforations), 24 x 18 mm became known as half-frame and 24 x 24 mm was also used.

Agfa Karat/Rapid
The Agfa Karat cassette, introduced in 1936, was also used in a few non-Agfa cameras. It used standard 35 mm film, for 12 exposures, held in separate feed and take-up cassettes, the film was advanced by the sprocket holes but was held loose in the cassettes rather than being wound onto a spool. The idea was re-introduced as the Agfa Rapid cassette (1964) with the addition of a key on the side of the cassette indicating the film speed, this could be 'read' by the camera to set the metering system.

126 Cartridge
The 126 cartridge was introduced by Kodak in 1963 along with a compatible range of cameras aimed at the lower end of the market.

The film is 35 mm wide but has only a single registration hole per frame, the image size is 28 x 28 mm. The film is contained in a sealed plastic cartridge, it is wound onto a take-up spool that is rotatable from outside the cartridge, the film in the feed part of the cartridge is not wound on a spool. The film has a continuous paper packing carrying the frame number which is visible through a window in the cartridge. A large, clear, window in the back of the camera shows the frame number and other information printed on the cartridge. The position of a small notch in the cartridge indicated the film speed which could be 'read' by the camera to set the metering system.

110 Cartridge
The 110 cartridge was introduced by Kodak in 1972 along with a compatible range of cameras aimed at the lower end of the market.

The film is 16 mm wide but has only a single registration hole per frame, the image size is 13 x 17 mm. The film is contained in a sealed plastic cartridge, it is wound onto a take-up spool that is rotatable from outside the cartridge. The film has a continuous paper packing carrying the frame number which is visible through a window in the cartridge. The cartridge indicates the film speed which could be 'read' by the camera to set the metering system.

Kodak Disc Film
Disc Film was introduced by Kodak in 1982 along with a compatible range of cameras aimed at the lower end of the market.

Each exposure was 8 x 10 mm with 15 exposures on a disc. The film was held in a light-tight cassette which interfaced to the camera to operate the dark-slide and rotate the film in the cassette.

Advanced Photo System
APS was introduced by Kodak in 1996.2

The film is 24 mm wide with two irregularly spaced perforations per frame. The film also incorporates optical and magnetic recording areas that hold data on the exposure, described as the Information Exchange System, photo-finishers could add information. Each exposure had a size of 30.2 x 16.7 mm, one of three formats (aspect ratios) for the exposure could be chosen by the user:

  • High Definition, 30.2 x 16.7 mm.
  • Classic, 25.1 x 16.7.
  • Panoramic, 30.2 x 9.5.
The different formats were achieved by cropping at the printing stage, each exposure was recorded full-size, the format could therefore be changed at a later date.

The film was contained within a cassette, placing the cassette in the camera moved the film into the exposure position by a 'Thrust mechanism' inside the cassette. It was automatically re-wound into the cassette on removal. The cassette could be removed before the film was completely exposed and later replaced without loss of a frame. On the end of the cassette were indicators showing the status of the film:

  • O - unexposed.
  • D - part exposed.
  • X - fully exposed.
  • a square symbol - processed.

Despite its very advanced specification APS did not prove very popular and was, in any case, overtaken by digital technology.

Film Size Equivalents

SizeKodakEnsignEnsignButcherIlfordIllingworthAgfaZeissAnsco
3 ½ x 3 ½1013 ½E018A
1 ½ x 21021 ½E02
4 x 51034E032310A
5 x 41045E042512A
2 ¼ x 3 ¼1052 ¼CE05055A
7 x 51157E1513A
2 ½ x 4 ¼1162 ½E16C16169DD86A
2 ¼ x 2 ¼1172 ¼AE17C17175B1B13A
3 ¼ x 4 ¼1183 ¼E18C181812EE7A
4 ¼ x 3 ¼1194 ¼E1911A
2 ¼ x 3 ¼1202 ¼BE20C20208B2B11/84A
1 ⅝ x 2 ½1211 ⅝E21212A
3 ¼ x 5 ½1223 ¼AE22C222221GG18A
4 x 51234AE2310C
3 ¼ x 4 ¼1243 ¼BE2424147C
3 ¼ x 5 ½1253 ¼CE2518C
4 ¼ x 6 ½1264 ¼AE262819A
1 ⅝ x 2 ½1271JE27C27273AA8
1 ½ x 2 ¼1281EE28C28282
2 x 31292EE29C29296NN6
2 ⅞ x 4 ⅞1302 ⅞E30C303017M
2 ½ x 4 ¼616Z.16PDDM8
2 ¼ x 3 ¼620E62Z.20PBB11/M8
28 x 40 mm82888
2 ¼ x 3 ¼2J
1 ¼ x 1 ⅝E1010
3 ½ x 2 ½01
Sizes are in inches, the width (across the spool) is given first.

There were two numbering systems used on Ensign film, those shown in the left column are the earlier, the second system was used from the early 1920s and following the Houghton-Butcher merger.

Ansco used the suffix A or B to designate different lengths of film of the same type, likewise the suffix C or D, but a film numbered, for example, 18C was a different size to 18A.

Film Pack Sizes

SizeKodakPremoAgfaSeloDufaycolor
1 ¾ x 2 ⅜4.5 x 65003000000
5 x 713 x 1851531515
2 ½ x 4 ¼6.5 x 11516316
3 ¼ x 4 ¼518318181818
2 ¼ x 3 ¼6 x 9520320202020
3 ¼ x 5 ½52232222
4 x 5523323
4 ¾ x 6 ½52632626
6 x 1353131
4.5 x 10.754034040
3 ½ x 4 ¾9 x 12541341414141
3 x 5 ¼7.5 x 13.5542342
10 x 155433434343
The first column gives the size in inches the second in cm.

Plate Sizes

Common British plate sizes

2 5/16" x 1 3/4" (4.5 x 6 cm)
2 ½" x 3 ½"
4 ¼" x 3 ¼", Quarter-plate
5" x 4"
6 ½" x 4 ¾", Half-plate
8 ½" x 6 ½", Whole-plate
7" x 5"
7 ½" x 5"
10" x 8"
12" x 10"
15" x 12"

To these can be added the less common larger sizes 20" x 16" and 24" x 20", the use of these sizes all but ended with the introduction of commercial dry plates.

Post-card - 5 ½" x 3 ½" - was a common print size from the early 1900s but few cameras were made specifically for this format.

Lantern Size - 3 ¼" x 3 ¼" - was in use for printing transparencies, few cameras used this size.

Until around 1890 half-plate and possibly 5" x 4" were considered the smallest for serious use and few stand cameras were offered in the smaller quarter-plate size. Quarter-plate became popular from the mid 1880s with the increasing use of hand cameras and cheaper field models. An enabler for the use of smaller negatives was the increasing commercial availability of bromide developing-out paper that could be used in enlarging with artificial light.

Continental sizes

4.5 x 6 cm
6.5 x 9 cm
9 x 12 cm
12 x 10.5 cm
13 x 18 cm
18 x 24 cm
24 x 30 cm
30 x 40 cm
40 x 50 cm

Common stereoscopic sizes

4.5 x 10.7 cm
6 x 13 cm
7 ¼" x 4 ½"
6 ¾" x 3 ¼", Adopted as a standard at the 1891 Photographic Congress
6 ½" x 4 ¼", Double quarter-plate
8" x 5"
7 ½" x 5"

References & Notes

Clemitson Cat. 1909, p. 130. BJA 1913, p. 1229. BJA 1923, p. 170. Coe and Gates, Snapshot Photograph, p. 138.

[1] IG Farbenindustrie (Agfa), BP 405093/1934.

[2] www.kodak.com [acessed 2014]

Roll-Film

Kodak Roll-Film Sizes

Alternative Image Sizes

Common Formats

Film Size Equivalents

Film Pack Sizes

Plate Sizes

Common British plate sizes

Continental sizes

Common stereoscopic sizes

References & Notes

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