Film format

A film format is a technical definition of a set of standard characteristics regarding image capture on photographic film, for either stills or filmmaking. It can also apply to projected film, either slides or movies. The primary characteristic of a film format is its size and shape.

In the case of motion picture film, the format may also include audio parameters (though often not). Other characteristics usually include the film gauge, pulldown method, lens anamorphosis (or lack thereof), and film gate or projector aperture dimensions, all of which need to be defined for photography as well as projection, as they may differ.

Motion picture film formats

Digital camera formats

Still photography film formats

Multiple image

Designation[lower-alpha 1] Type Introduced Discontinued Image size Exposures Comment
101 roll film 1895 1956 3½" × 3½"
102 roll film 1896 1933 1½" × 2" One flange has gear teeth
103 roll film 1896 1949 3¾" × 4¾"
104 roll film 1897 1949 4¾" × 3¾"
105 roll film 1897 1949 2¼" × 3¼" Like 120 film with 116-size flanges
106 for roll holder 1898 1924 3½" × 3½" Roll holder films were wound inside out
107 for roll holder 1898 1924 3¼" × 4¼"
108 for roll holder 1898 1929 4¼" × 3¼"
109 for roll holder 1898 1924 4" × 5"
110
(early roll film)
for roll holder 1898 1929 5" × 4" No relation to the later 110 cartridge format.
110
("Pocket Instamatic")
cartridge 1972 Present[2] 13 × 17 mm 16 mm stock, registration perforated
Introduced with Kodak's "Pocket Instamatic" series
Daylight, Transparency, Black & White
111 for roll holder 1898 Unknown 6½" × 4¾"
112 for roll holder 1898 1924 7" × 5"
113 for roll holder 1898 Unknown 9 × 12 cm
114 for roll holder 1898 Unknown 12 × 9 cm
115 roll film 1898 1949 6¾" × 4¾"
116 roll film 1899 1984 2½" × 4¼" Like 616 film with wider flanges
117 roll film 1900 1949 2¼" × 2¼" 12 Like 620 spool with 120 keyslot
118 roll film 1900 1961 3¼" × 4¼" 3.474" spool
119 roll film 1900 1940 4¼" × 3¼"
120 roll film 1901 Present 2¼" × 3¼"
56 × 70 mm
2¼" × 2¼"
2¼" × 1⅝"
8
10
12-13
15-16
2.4 inch (60.96 mm) stock, unperforated, paper-backed
121 roll film 1902 1941 1⅝" × 2½"
122 roll film 1903 1971 3¼" × 5½" 6 or 10 Postcard format
123 roll film 1904 1949 4" × 5"
124 roll film 1905 1961 3¼" × 4¼" 3.716" spool - same picture size as 118 with longer spool
125 roll film 1905 1949 3¼" × 5½" like 122 on longer spool; also for stereo pairs, 3¼" × 2½" x 2
126
(early roll film)
roll film 1906 1949 4¼" × 6½" No relation to the 126 cartridge format introduced in 1963.
126
("Instamatic")
cartridge 1963 2008 26.5 × 26.5 mm 12, 20 (later 24) 35 mm stock, registration perforated
Introduced with first "Instamatic" cameras under the name "Kodapak"
127 roll film 1912 Present 1⅝" × 2½"
1⅝" × 1⅝"
1⅝" × 1¼"
8
12
16
46 mm stock, "Vest Pocket"
128 roll film 1912 1941 1½" × 2¼" for Houghton Ensignette #E1[3]
129 roll film 1912 1951 1⅞" × 3" for Houghton Ensignette #E2
130 roll film 1916 1961 2⅞" × 4⅞"
135 cartridge 1934 Present 24 × 36 mm 24 or 36 35 mm stock, double perforated
formerly available in 12, 18, 20, or 72 exposures[4]
220 roll film 1965 Present 2¼" × 3¼"
6 × 7 cm
2¼" × 2¼"
2¼" × 1⅝"
18
21
24-27
30-33
2.4 inch (60.96 mm) stock, unperforated, no backing paper
Twice as long as 120
235 loading spool 1934 Unknown 24 × 36 mm 35 mm film in daylight-loading spool
240 / APS cartridge 1996 2011 30.2 × 16.7 mm 15, 25, or 40 24 mm stock, registration perforated
Daylight, Transparency, Black & White (Chromogenic 400CN)
335 stereo pairs 1952 Unknown 24 × 24 mm 20 pairs Special length for Realist format stereo pairs
435 loading spool 1934 Unknown 24 × 36 mm 35 mm film in daylight-loading spool
50 for roll holder 1915 March 1941 3¼" × 2¼" for Graflex rollholder
51 for roll holder 1915 Feb. 1951 4¼" × 3¼" for Graflex rollholder
52 for roll holder 1915 March 1949 5½" × 3¼" for Graflex rollholder
53 for roll holder 1915 Feb. 1951 5" × 4" for Graflex rollholder
54 for roll holder 1915 March 1949 7" × 5" for Graflex rollholder
500 film pack 1911 1948 1¾" × 2⅜" 12 redefined 1921 as 1⅝ x 2⁷/₁₆
515 film pack 1905 1955 5" × 7" 12
516 film pack 1909 1955 2½" × 4¼" 12
518 film pack 1903 1976 3¼" × 4¼" 12 sheets
520 film pack 1906 1976 2¼" × 3¼" 16 sheets
522 film pack 1904 1955 3¼" × 5½" 12 sheets 3A postcard
523 film pack 1904 4" × 5" 12 sheets
526 film pack 1920 1941 4¾ × 6½"
531 film pack 1926 1941 2⁹/₃₂ × 5¹¹/₃₂ 6 cm × 13 cm
540 film pack 1920 1941 1¾ × 4¼
541 film pack 1920 1941 3½ × 4¾ 12 9 cm × 12 cm
542 film pack 1911 1948 3 × 5¼ 7.5 cm × 13.5 cm
543 film pack 1920 1948 3¾ × 5½ 12 10 cm × 15 cm
616 roll film 1931 1984 2½" × 4¼" or 2½" × 2⅛" 6, later 8 Similar to 116 film but on a thinner spool
620 roll film 1932 1995 Similar to 120 film but on a thinner spool
828 roll film 1935 1985 28 × 40 mm, 8 35mm, one perforation per frame Bantam
35 roll film 1916 1933 1¼" × 1¾" 35 mm stock, unperforated
00 UniveX roll film 1933 1½" × 1⅛" 6 made by Gevaert
Hit (for example TONE camera) roll film 1937 unknown 14 × 14 mm 10 [5] 17.5 mm stock; used in imported miniature toy cameras [6]
Disc cassette 1982 1998 8 × 11 mm 15 circular sheet of film attached to rigid carrier
Half-frame cartridge later than 1934 Present 18 × 24 mm 48 or 72 135 film in "half-frame" cameras
Minox cartridge 1938 Present 8 × 11 mm 15, 36 or 50 nominally 9.5 mm wide stock (in reality 9.2-9.3 mm)
Karat cartridge 1936 1963 Early AGFA cartridge for 35 mm film
Rapid cartridge 1964 1990s 12 AGFA cartridge for 35 mm film (replaced Karat, same system)
SL cartridge 1958 1990 24 × 36 mm
24 × 24 mm
18 × 24 mm
12
16
24
Orwo Schnell-Lade Kassette for 35 mm film
Kassette 16 cartridge 1978 1990s 13 × 17 mm 20 Orwo, 16 mm stock, central perforation (holes between frames)
Introduced exclusively for the Pentacon k16 camera
Super 16 (Rollei) cartridge 1963 1981 13 × 17 mm 18 Rollei, 16 mm stock, perforation on both edges?
with kino film (?) only by Rollei for the Rollei 16 camera; also Wirgin Edixa 16 (Franka / alka 16)
Minolta-16 cartridge 1955 1974 10 × 14 mm (orig) & 13 × 17 20 Minolta, 16 mm stock, originally double perforated (single perforated or unperforated film could be loaded), later single perf to allow larger 13 × 17 mm image
  1. Unless otherwise noted, all formats were introduced by Kodak, which began allocating the number series in 1913. Before that, films were simply identified by the name of the cameras they were intended for.[1]

For roll holder means film for cartridge roll holders, allowing roll film to be used with cameras designed to use glass plates. These were spooled with the emulsion facing outward, rather than inward as in film designed for native roll-film cameras. Types 106 to 114 were for Eastman-Walker rollholders, while types 50 to 54 were for Graflex rollholders.

The primary reason there were so many different negative formats in the early days was that prints were made by contact, without use of an enlarger. The film format would thus be exactly the same as the size of the print—so if you wanted large prints, you would have to use a large camera and corresponding film format.

Roll film cross-reference table

Before World War II, each film manufacturer used its own system of numbering for the various sizes of rollfilms they made. The following sortable table shows the corresponding numbers. A blank space means that manufacturer did not make film in that size. Two numbers in one box refers to films available with different numbers of exposures, usually 6 and either 10 or 12. Spool length is measured between inner faces of the flanges; several films of the same image size were available on different spools to fit different cameras.

EastmanAGFAAnscoEnsignVulcanSenecaRexoSpool
length
101 H6 8A, 8B 3½ inch 202 303 3.661"
102 1B 1½ inch 204 1.655"
103 K6 10A, 10B 4 inch 206 3.912"
104 L6 12A, 12B 5 inch 208 5.064"
105 C6 5A, 5B 2¼ inch C 210 315 2.509"
115 13A, 13B 7 inch 230 7.126"
116 D6 6A, 6B 2½ inch 232 348 425, 426 2.814"
117 B1 3A 2¼ inch A 234 2.470"
118 E6 7A, 7B 3¼ inch 236 354 430, 431 3.474"
119 11A, 11B 4¼ inch 238 4.490"
120 B2 4A 2¼ inch B 240 360 415 2.466"
121 AB6 2A, 2B 1⅝ inch 242 1.850"
122 G6, G10 18A, 18B 3¼ inch A 244 366 445, 446 3.715"
123 J6 10C, 10D 4 inch A 246 4.693"
124 F6 7C, 7D 3¼ inch B 248 372 435 3.716"
125 18C, 18D 3¼ inch C 250 375 3.912"
126 19A 4¼ inch A 252 4.898"
127 A8 2C Ensignette 1J 254 381 407 1.860"
128 O6 Ensignette 1 1.606"
129 N6 Ensignette 2 2.059"
130 M6 26A, 26B 2⅞ inch 260 390 436, 438 3.132"
616 PD16 2.814"
620 PB20 2.468"

Single image

Size (in inches)Type
1⅝×2⅛"sixteenth-plate" tintypes
2×2½"ninth-plate" tintypes
2×3sheet film
2¼×3¼sheet film
2½×3½"sixth-plate" tintypes
3×4sheet film
3⅛×4⅛"quarter-plate" tintypes
3¼×4¼sheet film,[7] "quarter-plate" glass plates
3¼×5½postcard or 3A
4×5glass plate,sheet film
4×10sheet film
4¼×5½"half-plate" tintypes
4¾×6½"half-plate" glass plates, sheet film
5×7sheet film
6½×8½"whole-plate" glass plates, sheet film, tintypes
7×17sheet film
8×10glass plates,sheet film
8×20sheet film
11×14sheet film
12×20sheet film
14×17sheet film
16×20sheet film
20×24sheet film
Size (in cm)Type
6.5 × 9sheet film
9 × 12glass plate, sheet film
10 × 15sheet film
13 × 18sheet film
18 × 24sheet film
24 × 30sheet film

Instant film

Designation Type Introduced Discontinued Image size Exposures Comment
Type 20Polaroid roll film cartridge196519792 1/8" × 2 7/8"8
Type 30Polaroid roll film cartridge195419792 1/8" × 2 7/8"8
Type 40Polaroid roll film cartridge19481972 (color)
1992 (monochrome)
2 7/8" × 3 3/4"6 or 8
Type 50Polaroid peel-apart film pack19??20084" × 5"Including Type 55
Type 80Polaroid peel-apart film pack197120062 3/4" × 2 7/8"8 or 10
Type 100Polaroid peel-apart film pack19632016[8]2 7/8" × 3 3/4"8, 10 or 11Discontinued by Polaroid in 2008. Produced by Fujifilm thereafter.[8]
SX-70,
Type 600
Polaroid integral film pack19723 1/8" × 3 1/8"8 or 10Discontinued by Polaroid in 2008. Reintroduced by Impossible Project in 2010.
Kodak InstantKodak integral film pack1976198691 mm × 67 mm10
F SeriesFuji integral film pack1981c.199091 mm × 69 mmFilm compatible with Kodak Instant, but in a different cartridge and rated at a (slightly) different speed
KodamaticKodak integral film packc.1980198691 mm × 67 mm10
Trimprint,
Instagraphic
Kodak peel-apart film pack198319864" × 3 1/2"10[9][10]
System 800Fuji integral film pack201091 mm × 69 mm
Spectra,
Type 700,
Type 1200
Polaroid integral film pack19863 5/8" × 2 7/8"10 or 12Discontinued by Polaroid in 2008. Reintroduced by Impossible Project in 2010.
Captiva,
Type 500
Polaroid integral film pack199320062 7/8" × 2 1/8"10
InstantACEFuji integral film pack201091 mm × 69 mm
8x10Polaroid film pack19??8" × 10"1Discontinued by Polaroid. Reintroduced by Impossible Project.
i-Zone
Pocket
Polaroid integral film pack1997200636 mm × 24 mm12
Instax Mini,
Mio,
Type 300
Fuji/Polaroid integral film pack1998[11][12][13]46 mm × 62 mm10
Instax WideFuji integral film pack1999[13]99 mm × 62 mm10
Instax PiviFuji integral film pack200446 mm × 61 mm
I-TypeImpossible integral film pack20163 1/8" × 3 1/8"8Same image format as Polaroid Type 600, but the film cartridge does not contain a battery
Instax SquareFuji integral film pack201762 mm × 62 mm10

See also

References

  1. "The History of Kodak Roll Films". Archived from the original on 22 February 2009. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  2. "What is 110 film?". lomography.com. 2012-05-16. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
  3. "The Ensignette Camera". Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  4. "Ilford History and Chronology". Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  5. "Reloading Hit Cameras". Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  6. "17.5mm or "Hit" Style Cameras". Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  7. "Speed Graphic FAQ file". Rochester Institute of Technology. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  8. 1 2 "インスタントカラーフィルム「FP-100C」販売終了のお知らせ". Fujifilm. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  9. Ortner, E.H. "What's New In Photography". Popular Science (September 1983): 93. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  10. "Photo Kit Copies CRT Images". Popular Science (December 1983): 74. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  11. "Fujifilm Instax Mini 10 camera, c2000". National Media Museum. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  12. "Fuji may enter U.S. instant film market". EUROPE: Nytimes.com. 1998-10-31. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
  13. 1 2 "23 "Japanese Historical Cameras" of 1999 Named". JCII Camera Museum. Japan Camera Industry Institute. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
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