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View Full Version : 9x12 12x15 18x24 versus 4x5 5x7 8x10 - for Linhofs and others



Frank Petronio
8-Jan-2011, 16:19
I see these older European camera and film holder sizes all the time but it's never been clear to me whether some are universally with 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10 film or whether they distinctly different, at least for post WW2 items?

I understand that pre-WW2 9x12 cameras are clearly 9x12-cm and not able to use 4x5-inch holders. But everything else is murky from there on out.

For example, there is a late 1950s Linhof Kardan 18x24 on eBay - will that take a common 8x10 Elite-Fidelity holder? Or would you have to find or cut 18x24 film and find holders?

Did Linhof make separate backs for all these cameras and just swap them depending on their markets?

When did it all consolidate into the Imperial sizes?

And for contemporary European photographers - outside of EFKE selling a little 9x12 film, you guys "think" in Imperial sizes even though everything else is Metric? You go into the store and ask for 5x4 or what?

Jiri Vasina
9-Jan-2011, 02:33
I can't answer your specific question about the 1950s Linhof Kardan, but there are (and I have) relatively modern Lisco and Fidelity holders both for 4x5" and 9x12cm - and their external dimension is exactly the same - so they can be used interchangeably.

The same is true for my 5x7", 13x18cm and HalfPlate (46“ or 12.5x16.5cm) - their external dimension is the same.

From what I have read, the modern 8x10" and 18x24cm holders are also of same external dimensions (I don't have the 18x24cm ones to verify, though).

I don't know when the [holder dimension] standardization took place, but I would suspect that the Linhof Kardan was actually an 8x10" simply marketed in Europe under it's metric label of 18x24cm.

not only Efke is selling film in 9x12cm, Foma is selling that too... and actually it's more difficult for me to get Fomapan 100 in imperial sizes here, as no physical store carries them here in Czech Republic. They only offer metric sized films. I can ask for 4x5" size, but they would have to ask the factory to get some... And Fomapan 200 is much more difficult to get (in sheets), because AFAIK it's only available in imperial sizes.

But yes, I personally think of a 4x5/5x7/8x10 cameras/holders/film, although it may mean the metric equivalents...

Jiri

gari beet
9-Jan-2011, 03:05
To the 5x4/9x12 question I had a client on a workshop last year that had a Chamonix 45, he was from Germany and he was swapping between 5x4 and 9x12 holders quite happily.
The standard for measuring is a real mess in the UK, most kids are now educated in metric, food etc is sold in Kilo weights, pasta/rice and veg etc, Fuel is in litres but road signage is in miles and speed limits in miles per hour. Stopping distances are even better, at 20mph the stopping distance is 12mtrs, we just can't seem to quite give up, a stand of defiance/line in the sand thing I suspect:rolleyes:
Gari

Ramiro Elena
9-Jan-2011, 04:42
To me it is a matter of aesthetics. I've always loved the 8x10/4x5 ratio. When I had a darkroom I would try to find 8x10 paper over 18x24 which was more common where I live.
The stores usually carry both sizes.

Ole Tjugen
9-Jan-2011, 07:17
When standard film holders were introduced, so were standard film holder sizes.

Older plate holders are "non-standard", and even vary in size from camera to camera.

I use all sizes - and all combinations of sizes: 9x12, 4x5", 10x15, 5x7", 13x18, 18x24, 8x10", 24x30...

I prefer the aspect ratio of the metric sizes, yet I prefer PAPER in the inch sizes - with the exception of 24x30cm.

Daniel Unkefer
9-Jan-2011, 11:51
I'm currently looking for 9x12cm and 6x9cm sheet films. I have already 6x9 Efke PL100 and PL25, and some old 6x9 J&C Classic 200, which I've been told is Fomapan. I'm also about to get some of the 9x12cm Efke from Freestyle.

What other films are available in these metric sizes? What is a good web source in Europe for 9x12cm or 6x9 sheetfilm, that takes Paypal or VISA?

Jiri Vasina
9-Jan-2011, 13:38
Daniel, you might try here

http://www.lumiere-shop.de/index.php?page=categorie&cat=85

(so far my first/single order from them should be on its way to me...)

dave_whatever
9-Jan-2011, 13:57
Fuel is in litres but road signage is in miles and speed limits in miles per hour.

and yet we still measure fuel economy in "miles per gallon".

redrockcoulee
9-Jan-2011, 15:03
T, Fuel is in litres but road signage is in miles and speed limits in miles per hour. Stopping distances are even better, at 20mph the stopping distance is 12mtrs, we just can't seem to quite give up, a stand of defiance/line in the sand thing I suspect:rolleyes:
Gari

In Canada we are much more sensible or practical, fuel is sold in litres and highway signs are metric so we can determine how many liters per 100 km and THEN translate that to mpg. It is -15C outside and a comfy 69F in the house (old house with old thermostat).

Were any of the metric film sizes ever common in North America?