In photography, the dimensions of the image on photographic plates or films or in digital photography on the image sensor are referred to as recording format ( image format , negative format ) . A distinction must be made between the film format (width of the film) and its configuration (length cut, number of recordable images).
The recording or image format is often confused with the graphic format , which describes the structure of an image file .
Each recording format has a characteristic aspect ratio , which in 35mm photography and many digital SLR cameras is 1.5: 1 (3: 2; based on print and paper formats ), while digital photography with compact cameras is usually 1.33 (4: 3; based on the aspect ratio of the traditional television or video image).
Recording formats of photographic plates
Around 1890 the most widespread negative format was 13 cm × 18 cm; the 9 cm × 12 cm format, which emerged in the 1890s, was considered a "small picture" and technically inferior.
The classic recording formats were standardized internationally in the early days of photography; the following plate sizes were common:
|Full plate||165 mm × 216 mm||6½ ″ × 8½ ″|
|Half plate||114 mm × 140 mm||4½ ″ × 5½ ″|
|Quarter plate||83 mm × 108 mm||3¼ ″ × 4¼ ″|
|Sixth plate||70 mm × 83 mm||2¾ ″ × 3¼ ″|
|Ninth plate||51 mm × 64 mm||2 ″× 2½ ″|
Even larger formats were called double format or mammoth format, but they were not standardized. The daguerreotype artist John Edwin Mayall , for example, photographed a series of images in the mammoth format 24 × 34 cm of the Crystal Palace during the first world exhibition in London (1851) in the mid-19th century .
Recording formats of photographic film
Selection of important photographic recording formats:
Small picture photography
The (not yet standardized) miniature cameras of the 1850s often used photographic plates with a side length of 2.5 cm, for example the apparatus by Thomas Skaife (1858) and Charles Piazzi Smyth (1859 ff.). These negatives were enlarged , which was completely unusual at the time .
Films for miniature cameras for 16 mm film of the late 1960s first had to be made up by oneself; they used a recording format of 10 mm × 14 mm, for which cassettes were later offered (e.g. Minolta-16 ).
In 1970 Minolta introduced a ready-made cassette with 16 mm film, which used the 50 percent larger recording format of 12 mm × 17 mm.
Advanced Photo System
The APS film of the Advanced Photo Systems (APS) introduced in 1996 , the last significant new photochemical development of the 1990s, has a negative format of 16.7 mm × 30.2 mm. The APS film itself is 24 mm wide.
When the APS film was introduced, some manufacturers assumed that 35 mm film would be replaced by the Advanced Photo Systems (APS) in the next 5–10 years . In fact, the last remaining manufacturers, Kodak and Fuji, stopped producing APS films in 2011.
Kodak Instamatic (126) and Agfa Rapid
The Instamatic cassettes (126s) from the 1960s had a recording format of 1⅛ ″ × 1⅛ ″ (28.6 mm × 28.6 mm), the film width was 35 mm; the film itself is not compatible with the usual 35 mm film. This film is now only produced as a color film with a film speed of ISO 200 by an Italian manufacturer and only in very small numbers. The complete cessation of production worldwide is foreseeable.
Pocket cameras (110)
Pocket cameras of the 1970s used 110 mm film cartridges measuring 13 mm × 17 mm. Although no new cameras are being manufactured for this film, the films are relatively easy to obtain and are processed by every large laboratory.
The Kodak Disc , introduced in 1982, used a negative format of approximately 8 mm × 10.5 mm. 15 recordings could be made on one disc. Cameras for this format were made until about 1988 and films until 1998. Today, most large laboratories no longer have machines for enlarging or even developing disc films, so that the owners of disc negatives have fewer opportunities to have prints made.
35mm photography (135)
35mm format 24 mm × 36 mm:
The small format of 24 mm × 36 mm arose in 1913 with the development of the “Ur- Leica ” from the use of 35 mm cinema film. While the raw film with a film camera with stepping mechanism ("classics" are Mitchell , Panavision and Arriflex ) is guided vertically on the picture window and the recording format is 18 mm × 24 mm, the Leica used the double format 24 mm × 36 mm by using here the film is laid out horizontally. Since the original idea of the Leica also included the production of still photos and the documentation of scene connections , this film material was compatible and could be developed in the same copier together with the cinema material.
The 35 mm film, perforated on both sides, is made up of 35 mm film as roll film . Commercially available configurations for the film camera are 122 m (= 400 ft. / Corresponding to approx. 4 min.), 305 m (= 1000 ft. / Corresponding to approx. 11 min.) And in photography 12, 24 and 36 images (net 1 , 37, gross 1.65 m).
In the history of photo technology , several experiments have been made with half- formats, for example by halving the 35mm film . Half-frame cameras use 35 mm film that is 18 mm × 24 mm; this format corresponds to the 35 mm film originally used (number of frames: 24, 48, 72).
With the 24 mm × 24 mm format of the 35 mm Zeiss Ikon Taxona camera built in the 1950s, approx. 50 images per film are possible.
Panoramic cameras use 35mm film, for example 24mm × 65mm.
One reason for the astonishing durability of the 35mm format over around 80 years is possibly a finding that Oskar Barnack had already gained from calculations on the resolution of the human eye: The optimal image size for photographic film is therefore 22 mm × 33 mm.
Medium format photography (120s, 220s and more)
The medium format is still a popular format among discerning amateurs and professionals, as it can store more information due to the larger negative surface and thus provides better image quality than the small format , but can still be used flexibly compared to the large format - medium format film is made up as Roll film . Modern medium format cameras offer almost the convenience of modern 35mm cameras.
Today the medium format is mainly used in professional photography with digital backs . It is currently unclear whether the medium format can survive in the long term, as the cost of digital backs is several times that of digital 35mm SLR cameras.
System of roll films
The B-II normal film was standardized in 1932 to eight exposures 6 cm × 9 cm (B2-8); Before that, the B-2 film in Germany only had six (B2-6) and “Kurzspule” only four recordings (B2-4). The German names were in use until around 1960.
|Kodak number||German name||Image format||Recordings|
|116||D-6||6.5 x 11 cm||6th|
|129||N-6||5 x 7.5 cm||6th|
|127||A-8||3 × 4 cm||16|
|4 × 4 cm||12|
|4 x 6.5 cm||8th|
|120||B2-4 (short coil)||4.5 × 6 cm,
6 × 6 cm,
6 × 7 cm,
6 × 9 cm
|B2-8 (standardized from 1932)||4.5 x 6 cm||16|
|6 × 6 cm||12|
|6 × 7 cm||10|
|6 × 9 cm||8th|
|620||PB 20 (like 120, but different coil)||4.5 x 6 cm||16|
|6 × 6 cm||12|
|6 × 7 cm||10|
|6 × 9 cm||8th|
Around 1908, the format 4.5 cm × 6 cm , today's medium format, was considered a small picture . In the 1920s and 1930s, various other medium format variants were also common, such as 65 mm × 90 mm, 40 mm × 65 mm. Box cameras used the recording formats 6.5 cm × 11 cm, 6 cm × 9 cm (2¼ "× 3¼"), 5 cm × 7.5 cm, 4.5 cm × 6 cm (halving 6 cm × 9 cm ), 3 cm × 4 cm (halving the format 4 cm × 6.5 cm on film 127). The first industrially manufactured camera, the famous Kodak No. 1 ( You press the button, we do the rest ), recorded round (!) Pictures with a diameter of 65 mm.
The medium format was still very widespread until the end of the 1950s; At that time, 35mm photography had not yet established itself, the corresponding compact cameras did not yet exist and box cameras with medium format roll film dominated.
Roll films in packages other than 120 or 220 are no longer offered by the major manufacturers; However, there are special companies in the USA that specialize in films for classic cameras and produce almost every roll film format individually at correspondingly high prices. Recently there is even a manufacturer from Croatia who is producing and selling 127 films again on old machines bought from Germany . Processing in large laboratories is difficult, however, because the 4 cm wide film cannot be inserted into modern enlargers. So if prints are to be made, more expensive manual labor is required.
Large format photography
Large formats 9 cm × 12 cm (exact: 89 mm × 119 mm), 4 ″ × 5 ″ (exact: 100 mm × 126 mm), 13 cm × 18 cm (5 ″ × 7 ″), 18 cm × 24 cm ( 8 ″ × 10 ″), 30 cm × 40 cm:
Sizes of image sensors in digital photography range from 1 ⁄ 6 ″ in old camcorders to 1 ⁄ 6 ″ to 1 ⁄ 1.7 ″ in smartphones , Micro Four Thirds and APS-C in system cameras, to “full format” (small format) to Medium format. The most common aspect ratio for digital compact cameras is 1.33 (4: 3). Digital SLR cameras usually have an aspect ratio that corresponds to that of 35mm film of 1.5 (3: 2). Digital backs for medium format cameras have the usual 4: 3 and 1: 1 aspect ratios. The aspect ratio of the image sensor of the mirrorless medium format system cameras of the Fujifilm GFX series is 4: 3.
- Film format (cinematography)
- Image format (paper image) - paper formats for 35mm photography
- Image resolution (image size, screen format)
- Angle of view and angle of field
- 80mm film , 55mm film , 70mm film , 35mm film , 16mm film , 8mm film
- Format factor
- Felix Freier: DuMont's Lexicon of Photography. Technology - history - art . DuMont Buchverlag, Cologne 2001, ISBN 978-3-7701-2982-9 .