Different Formats for Different Countries -- Variable Density B&W Film

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Radium, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Radium

    Radium Guest


    Is it true that in the days of B&W film and optical track audio, that
    the films were formatted differently in different countries?

    When magnetic videotapes were the norm, USA and Canada used NTSC,
    France and Russia used SECAM, and the rest of the world used PAL.


    Radium, Oct 11, 2006
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  2. AFAIK no.
    Actually the videotape systems accomodated the TV systems of the countries.
    It wasn't quite so simple, the (former) Soviet Union and the
    Warsaw pact countries use SECAM broadcast using PAL type signals. Some
    Arab countries used it to, hence the name ME-SECAM on mnay VCRs.

    The UK, South Africa and Austrailia use the same system for transmission,
    which is different than the other PAL countries.

    It still exists in DVDs. While they are YUV encoded digital video, the frame
    rates are 24/1001, (NTSC film), 24 (PAL film), 25 (PAL) and 30/1001 (NTSC)
    frames per second. This has nothing to do with zones and depending upon
    the player, they convert it as needed to match the TV system.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Oct 11, 2006
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  3. Radium

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Scott Dorsey, Oct 11, 2006
  4. Radium

    j Guest

    No, but there is sometimes confusion regarding certain sheet films which
    were given in metric sizes. You can still get those oddball sizes from J&C.
    j, Oct 12, 2006
  5. Radium spake thus:
    Just wanted to apologize for accusing you of being someone else here
    (Michael Scarpitti aka "UC"/Uranium Committee). You're clearly not him.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 12, 2006
  6. Radium

    Radium Guest

    By "metric size", are you referring to the size of the film or are you
    referring to the type of measurement used to measure the film?
    Radium, Oct 12, 2006
  7. Radium

    Radium Guest

    No problem.
    Radium, Oct 12, 2006
  8. Radium

    Radium Guest

    No problem.
    Radium, Oct 12, 2006
  9. Radium spake thus:
    "Metric sizes" are film sizes normally stated in, well, metric measures,
    like 6x9 and 9x12 (both in centimeters), as opposed to "inch"-sized
    films, like 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, etc. So, counterintuitively, 9x12 film is
    smaller than 4x5 film.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 13, 2006
  10. Radium

    odonoghue Guest

    Metric and non-metric sheet film formats are physically different sizes.
    Sheet film holders for 4x5" will not take 9x12cm sheets (they
    fall out) and 9x12 holders won't accept 4x5" sheets.
    odonoghue, Oct 13, 2006
  11. Radium

    Tony Clarke Guest

    "David Nebenzahl" wrote
    Except metric film sizes aren't exactly what they say they are. The
    frame size of a 120 film tends to be not 6cm wide but about 5.8 cm, with 120
    film being about 62mm across. The other variations likwise are a bit smaller
    than the nominal size. It allows a bit of masking in the film holder of the
    enlarger, but nevertheless is not as precise as metricists might like you to
    believe. I could claim that the pinhole camera I'm currently bashing from a
    Kodak Brownie 2A is a "6x12" because it works by winding through alternate
    frame numbers down the middle of the film (where the 6x6 numbers go) but the
    actual image size is 54 x 108mm, being the old Kodak 116 film gate with a
    strip of brass soldered each side to provide edge support for the slightly
    smaller 120 film. It'll be printed using a 5 x 4 imperial enlarger (DeVere
    54) with a black card mask over the neg glasses to minimise Callier flare
    from the edges.

    Of course 9 x 12 is smaller than 4 x 5! Those of us used to dealing in
    metric know that 4 x 5 is 10 x 12.5cm - are at least it should be: if that's
    the sheet film size then image size will be smaller because of the little
    edge-retains in the film holder.

    Someone on a forum - possibly not this one - confused me recently by
    saying that "full plate" was 8 x 6 inches and all else was a division of
    that. Sounds like the confusion over book binding classifications based on a
    broadsheet being 15" x 20" except when it wasn't. I thought "full plate" was
    10 x 8 inches, as the original master size for photos and respected to this
    day in paper sizes. Am I wrong?

    Tony Clarke
    Tony Clarke, Oct 17, 2006
  12. Radium

    dj_nme Guest

    That not quite correct.
    With 120 film, the film is actualy 60mm wide and the paper backing is
    62mm wide.
    With 120 film, most cameras have film rails that are about 1mm wide.
    This results in a negative where the exposed Area is about 58mm tall.
    Sometimes the conversion from Imperial measures to Metric isn't very exact.
    1 inch equals 25.4mm, so 4 inches actualy equals 100.16mm
    4"x5" is actualy 100.16mm x 126mm (10.02cm x 12.6cm).
    The film rails probably take up about 2mm on each edge.
    This makes the actual negative about 96.16mm x 122mm (96.2cm x 12.2cm)
    on a sheet of 4x5 film.
    I think that would depend on which county you were asking for a "full
    plate" in.
    From memory, the UK usualy has smaller sizes and continental Europeam
    countries tends to have longer or taller formats (depending on which
    In Australia, we seem to have tended to go with the USA on film sizes
    and photographic paper.
    Here a "full" plate would be 8x10 inches.
    dj_nme, Oct 18, 2006
  13. I tried to figure this all out many times and gave up
    many times.

    As near as I can tell photographic paper sizes have nothing
    to do with common ordinary paper sizes, which in the US are:

    8.5 x 11" - American
    8.5 x 14" - American legal
    9 x 12" - Architectural, some artists' pads
    A4 - DIN standard - And see this for a mess'o'stanards:

    None of which evenly divide or multiply into 4x6,
    8x10/4x5, 5x7 or 11x14.

    Which leads me to think that photographic sheet film and
    paper sizes are drawn from standard sizes of:

    o Pre-blanked sheet metal: Daguerreotypes & Tintypes
    o Window panes: Glass negatives

    All of which come in different standard sizes ... and
    then there is metric.
    Which seems to be the general case.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Oct 18, 2006
  14. Tony Clarke wrote (in part):
    I do not know if there is any such thing as "full plate" in photography.
    Back in Daguerreotype days, the images were made on a sensitized sheet of
    copper plated on one side with silver and then sensitized by the user. These
    plates had standard sizes:

    Full Plate: 6½ by 8½ inches
    Half Plate: 4¼ by 5½ inches
    Quarter Plate: 3¼ by 4¼ inches
    Sixth Plate: 2¾ by 3¼ inches (a.k.a. "medium plate")
    Ninth Plate: 2 by 2½ inches
    Sixteenth Plate: 1 3/8 by 1 5/8 inches

    Now ordinary printing paper, in USA, came from the size of the frame
    commonly used for making paper by hand that turned out 17 by 22 inch sheets
    after the deckle edge was trimmed off. This was about the largest they could
    make sheets for a long time. These where cut in half both ways making 8½ by
    11 sheets as standard for printing (and later, typewriting).
    Jean-David Beyer, Oct 24, 2006
  15. Radium

    marika Guest

    I heard that was just a UL.... could it REALLY be true?
    marika, Oct 29, 2006
  16. Radium

    UC Guest

    UC, Oct 29, 2006
  17. Jean-David Beyer spake thus:
    OK, so where did that Yurpeen standard, A4, come from?

    Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really
    care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
    you're curious but don't really care about the quality of your knowledge.

    - Matthew White's WikiWatch (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/wikiwoo.htm)
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 29, 2006
  18. marika spake thus:
    No, not an urban legend: 9x12 cm and 4x5 in. are actually different
    sizes, believe it or not. Work it out for yourself.

    Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really
    care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
    you're curious but don't really care about the quality of your knowledge.

    - Matthew White's WikiWatch (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/wikiwoo.htm)
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 29, 2006
  19. Radium

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Well, except for the soundtrack being in different languages for different
    countries... from a distributor's standpoint that's the same thing.
    Scott Dorsey, Oct 29, 2006
  20. Radium

    dj_nme Guest

    One of the first hits on Google:
    dj_nme, Oct 30, 2006
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