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Thread: Plate Sizes

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    New Jersey, USA

    Plate Sizes

    Does anyone know the inch equivalents for the old plate sizes?

    I would really appreciate a list, but specifically I'm talking about sheets which are approx. 2 3/4" x 4 1/2".


  2. #2

    Plate Sizes

    American plates from the 19th Century were usually (but not always) as follows

    1/9 Plate: 2" x 2 1/2"

    1/8 Plate: 2 1/8" x 3 1/4"

    1/6 Plate: 2 3/4" x 3 1/4"

    1/4 Plate: 3 1/4" x 4 1/4"

    1/2 Plate: 4 1/2" x 5 1/2"

    4/4 (Whole) Plate: 6 1/2" x 8 1/2"

    Note that an English Half Plate measures 4 3/4" x 6 1/2"

  3. #3

    Plate Sizes

    19th and early 20th Century print sizes:

    Carte de Visite: 3 1/2" x 2 5/16"

    Cabinet: 5 5/8" x 4 1/16"

    Boudoir: 8" x 5.25"

    Panel: 11.5" x 7"

  4. #4
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Tucson, Arizona

    Plate Sizes

    Odd. I thought the half-plate was 6 1/2" x 4 1/4", derived from cutting daguerrean whole plates in half with tin snips...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #5

    Plate Sizes

    Yes, you would think that there would be a logic to the sizes, but there isn't...

  6. #6

    Plate Sizes

    I should point out that the logic of the sizes is that the plates all keep a ratio of 1:1.3, more or less.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Harbor City, California

    Plate Sizes

    Mark, some British cmera makers, Newman & Guardia being one,, I think, made reference to the also illogical term "Double 1/4 Plate". This was indeed 6 1/2" X 4 1/4".

    Your 2 3/4" X 4 1/2" isn't very far from 7 X 11cm. This leads me to suspect that it might be one of the several non-standard sizes offered by Continental makers..

  8. #8
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Plate Sizes

    Standard metric sizes, both film and plates (but the films are a fraction smaller), in cm:







  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Plate Sizes

    If you'd like to see a surviving relic of old times, look at the lens specification table on the Congo web site:

    Note the column for maximum film size. In addition to the familiar 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10, there are lenses specified for maximum 3x4, 6x8, 10x12, and the curious "Cabinet". The Japanese versioon of the page...

    ...actually uses traditional size names for all the obsolete formats. For those who have a browser set to display Japanese text, and who can read Japanese characters, the corresponding entries in that column are as follows:

    "tefuda" = quarter-plate (3x4, our 3.25x4.25)
    "yatsugiri" = eighth(-cut) or octavo (6x8, our 6.5x8.5)
    "yotsugiri" = quarter(-cut) (10x12)
    "kabine" = "cabinet" (12x1.5 cm, which is very close to the English half-plate 4.75"x6.5")

    I don't know how it was that English half-plate came to be called "cabinet" in Japan. There's probably an interesting story behind it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Plate Sizes

    Oops, typo: "kabine" = 12x16.5 cm, which maps to the English half-plate as stated.

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