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Thread: Half plate - exact size?

  1. #1

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    Half plate - exact size?

    Hello all!

    Can anybody tell me the axact size of the half plate format?

    I could find different explanations:
    • 4.5 x 5.5 inches
    • 4.25 x 5.5 inches
    • 4.75 x 6.5 inches
    • 4.25 x 6.5 inches


    Which one is right?

    I want to start with half plate wet plate collodion and want to do it with the correct format of the ambrotype era.

    Thanks
    Matthias

  2. #2
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Half plate - exact size?

    Half plate's 46"

    Ian

  3. #3

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    Re: Half plate - exact size?

    Ian, thanks for the information. Do you have an idea where the other dimensions come from? Other eras with other plates? Just errors?

    Regards
    Matthias

  4. #4
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Half plate - exact size?

    Whole plate is 6.5 x 8.5 inches.

    Cut it in half and you get the "European Half-Plate", which is 4.25 x 6.5 inches.

    "American Half-Plate" is 4.25 x 5.5 inches. I don't know why the Americans went with the less-elongated format... maybe someone else can chime in.

    If you work on aluminum trophy plate, it's nice to mix the two half-plate sizes, as the 12 inch wide plates cut to 5.5 and 6.5. If you just do European half plates, the odd dimension of 6.5 inches leaves a lot of waste.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #5

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    Re: Half plate - exact size?

    What you called the "European Half Plate" looks indeed typical European. The format is slightly larger than the later "Postkartenformat" 10x15 cm used in the beginning 20th century for making postal cards using dry plates or film. But personally, I better like the 4.5x5.5 for portraitures.

  6. #6

    Re: Half plate - exact size?

    Historically, for collodion and daguerreotypes the correct size should be 4.25 x 5.5". This size retains the same ratio as the other plate sizes, but I don't know if this was the reason it was used. The larger sizes were popular during the dryplate and early film era. There was a half-plate size available in Japan up until recently, 4.75 x 6.5" if I recall correctly. I have a few Toyo film holders in this size, but haven't actually seen the film for sale. Maybe Oren knows.

  7. #7
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    Re: Half plate - exact size?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Greenberg Motamedi View Post
    There was a half-plate size available in Japan up until recently, 4.75 x 6.5" if I recall correctly.
    Yes, 4.75 x 6.5 is the traditional Japanese "kyabine" ("cabinet") size. It finally vanished from Fuji's film catalog not long ago, but Fuji still offers B&W paper in "kyabine" size.

  8. #8
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: Half plate - exact size?

    At the risk of repeating myself, plate sizes were based on the standard sizes of the best available copper printing plates at the birth of photography.

    That's why "whole plate" is different in England, France, Germany, USA, Japan, and so on.

    To get the exact measurements you also have to specify a location!

  9. #9
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Half plate - exact size?

    Seems the best answer!

    I am checking Japanese Matuo Seisakusho wood 1/2 plate wood FILM holders, that seem a little short in length at 6.3". Not ready to test fit the now rare Ilford 4.75 X 6.5 film.

    What is the correct way to describe this type holder, with the unusual side locks?

    Half Plate 4 by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr

    Half Plate 3 by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr

    Half Plate 2 by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr

    Half Plate 1 by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr


    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Tjugen View Post
    At the risk of repeating myself, plate sizes were based on the standard sizes of the best available copper printing plates at the birth of photography.

    That's why "whole plate" is different in England, France, Germany, USA, Japan, and so on.

    To get the exact measurements you also have to specify a location!
    wear mask or NOT

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  10. #10
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: Half plate - exact size?

    That’s a book style holder.

    Btw there are three different half plate sizes that I’ve run across while making dry plates.

    114 x 164mm, 120x164mm, and something like 114 x 140mm. I’ve cut and coated them all for customers, but the 114 / 120 x 164 is the most common (my stock dry plate size is 113mm x 164mm)

    To Mark’s (old) comment above, 4.25x5.5 is half a standard Letter size (8 1/2” x 11”) sheet.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.pictoriographica.com

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