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Large format means film that is generally at least 4x5 inches (or 9x12 cm). Film this size is generally used as individual sheets, rather than rolls as in smaller formats. (There are large rolls of film, though, used for such things as aerial photography.) Exposures on a large-format camera are made one at a time, using film loaded into film holders.

Some standard sizes for large-format cameras are:

  • 9x12 cm
  • 4x5 inches
  • 5x7 inches
  • 8x10 inches
  • 11x14 inches

Note that the size limit given here (4x5 inches) is arbitrary, since there is still sheet film available in smaller sizes (for instance, 6x9 cm); generally, though, such film is regarded as medium format. Also, keep in mind that what we consider "large format" was once considered to be average size; after all, when it was first introduced, the 35mm format was called "miniature".

Glossary Terms
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