Film format

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A film format is a technical definition of a set of standard characteristics regarding image capture on photographic film, for either stills or movies. It can also apply to projected film, either slides or movies. The primary characteristic of a film format is its size and shape.

In the case of motion picture film, the format may also include audio parameters (though often not). Other characteristics usually include the film gauge, pulldown method, lens anamorphosis (or lack thereof), and film gate or projector aperture dimensions, all of which need to be defined for photography as well as projection, as they may differ.


Movie film formats

See List of film formats

Digital camera formats

See Image sensor format

Still photography film formats

Multiple image

(A) Unless otherwise noted, all formats were introduced by Kodak, who began allocating the number series in 1913. Before that, films were simply identified by the name of the cameras they were intended for.[1]

(B) Discontinued by all manufacturers by the end of 2008.

(C) Discontinued by major manufacturers in 1995 but still produced by Fotokemika, in Croatia, Maco in Germany and Bluefire in Canada.

For roll holder means film for cartridge roll holders, allowing roll film to be used with cameras designed to use glass plates. These were spooled with the emulsion facing outward, rather than inward as in film designed for native roll-film cameras.

The primary reason there were so many different negative formats in the early days was that prints were made by contact, without use of an enlarger. The film format would thus be exactly the same as the size of the print—so if you wanted large prints, you would have to use a large camera and corresponding film format.

Single image

Instant image

See [1] for a full list of Polaroid films.

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