Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Why 8" x 12"?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    North Wales
    Posts
    140

    Why 8" x 12"?

    I picked up an 'ULF' camera which has a plate size of 12" x 8" (14.5" diagonal). It was made by a small Scottish 'photographic apparatus' manufacturer who seems to have been active in the 1880s (as ever records are scarce but from 1884 to at least 1890). Because it was cheap, in need of some work and with a simple back I have many ideas of what to use it for, however, I'm intrigued by the plate size which seems to have been far from standard as far as I can tell, even in the 1880s. I'm assuming that it was intended for use as a dry plate camera and so dry plates must have been available for it from manufacturers, but would they have been 'off the shelf' or built to order as bespoke plates? Just interested as I doubt it will be used for this format again and I have other plans for it (adapters to provide 'reducing back' as I have a few potential usable back).

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    12,321

    Re: Why 8" x 12"?

    Pics please
    sin eater

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    North Wales
    Posts
    140

    Re: Why 8" x 12"?

    Will post pix as soon as I can clear enough space to take them - bit chaotic at the moment!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    SooooCal/LA USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Re: Why 8" x 12"?

    The thing to keep in mind was that before that high tech device the enlarger, every format was chosen based on what would be the finished print size... A slightly larger than normal print had the selling potential more than a photographer's competition, and could charge a premium for larger wall mounted works... This size might give the photographer an edge, and reducing backs for the smaller sizes...

    Ask yourself what a 8X12 print of your work would look like hanging on your wall...

    Steve K

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR USA
    Posts
    737

    Re: Why 8" x 12"?

    Roughly the next step up in the quarter-plate, half-plate, full-plate series. Format sizes on the 3x4 aspect ratio rather than 4x5 aspect ratio. Back then, if you wanted a bigger print, you needed a bigger negative. There were 10x12, 14x17, and more. Today's standard sizes didn't really take hold until after WWI, and there were stragglers for decades after.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    North Wales
    Posts
    140

    Re: Why 8" x 12"?

    Interesting and it makes sense if contact printing. This still leaves the practicality though. As it used glass plates would I be correct in thinking that either manufacturers produced 8" x 12" plates as an off the shelf product size, or were simply amenable to making odd sizes upon request?

  7. #7
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    12,321

    Re: Why 8" x 12"?

    Right now Jason Lane Dry Glass Plates are available in any size.

    Many make their own also.
    sin eater

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD, USA
    Posts
    25

    Re: Why 8" x 12"?

    What luck! the 8x12 aspect ratio is the same 2x3 ratio as "full-frame" 35mm - 24x36mm. Now your friends look at your contact prints and ask you "so, you can still get film for your Nikon/Canon/Minolta?" - enjoy - you have something a bit more "landscapey" than 8x10 and will get well-formatted contact prints.--alfredian

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh PA
    Posts
    73

    Re: Why 8" x 12"?

    I have a Vageeswari 8 1/2 inches x 12 inches glass dry plate camera with one book form plate holder that holds two plates, so now there are two.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    581

    Re: Why 8" x 12"?

    It might have been intended for stereo plates? Given the context of the locale of its construction, the output of the Annan family, Valentine's or Washington Wilson's concerns may well have had some bearing on the format size choice. Who made it?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •