2 added notes on sheet film
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Any film without sprocket holes is unlikely to have any standard frame size or spacing between frames. As other people have said, 120 film standardizes the film (& backing paper) size, but not the frame size or the spacing between frames. There are many different frame sizes for 120, and spacing is inherently somewhat variable: the camera can't actually know quite how much film it's pulled forward because the film can slide over the rollers.

By contrast, any film with sprocket holes is very likely to have a fairly reliable spacing between the equivalent edges of neighbouring frames. The reason for this is that the camera is controlling the position of the film by a roller which engages with the sprockets on the film, and that roller is almost certainly going to advance by an integer number of sprocket-spacings. This is not quite always the case: there are cameras which don't seem to do this (which are a real pain to use), but almost all do.

What this means is that the spacing between the (say) left-hand edge of a frame and the left-hand edge of the subsequent frame will be pretty constant (assuming the camera is being used in landscape). Anyone who has cut 35mm film up into strips will have noticed this. But this isn't quite the same as saying that the spacing between frames is always the same, because the frames can be different sizes. Frames are nominally 24mm by 36mm, but they can vary in size significantly depending on the camera. Again, this is something that people who have made enlargements from 35mm will have discovered: you have to either adjust the mask, adjust the magnification (ie move the head) or both when changing to negs from a different camera.

For 35mm still film there are a bunch of standards of course, described here. 35mm film for still cameras is 'KS1870' which means it uses Kodak Standard perforations and the spacing is 0.1870 in. There are 8 perforations between subsequent full-frame edges (and I think 4 for half-frame). This means that subsequent full-frame edges are spaced by 1.496 in, which is 37.9984 mm: 38mm in other words. For a neg size of 24mm x 36mm this gives a spacing of 2mm between frames.

35mm film is well-standardised, of course, because it started as movie film and movie people really need to care about things like sprocket holes and frame spacing.


Sheet film is less standardized. The two common extant varieties are 4in x 5in and 10in x 8in. There is a common film-holder standard (which has a name which I forget), but that standard is more concerned with making the film-holder fit the camera: the neg size between different models of film holder can vary somewhat. But there are other sheet-film sizes such as, for instance, whole plate and various fractions of a plate (half, quarter), where standards never really arose at all. Ilford have special yearly sales where they will cut sheet film to various odd sizes for people with these strange cameras (I really want a whole plate camera, although I can't afford the film for one realistically).

Any film without sprocket holes is unlikely to have any standard frame size or spacing between frames. As other people have said, 120 film standardizes the film (& backing paper) size, but not the frame size or the spacing between frames. There are many different frame sizes for 120, and spacing is inherently somewhat variable: the camera can't actually know quite how much film it's pulled forward because the film can slide over the rollers.

By contrast, any film with sprocket holes is very likely to have a fairly reliable spacing between the equivalent edges of neighbouring frames. The reason for this is that the camera is controlling the position of the film by a roller which engages with the sprockets on the film, and that roller is almost certainly going to advance by an integer number of sprocket-spacings. This is not quite always the case: there are cameras which don't seem to do this, but almost all do.

What this means is that the spacing between the (say) left-hand edge of a frame and the left-hand edge of the subsequent frame will be pretty constant (assuming the camera is being used in landscape). Anyone who has cut 35mm film up into strips will have noticed this. But this isn't quite the same as saying that the spacing between frames is always the same, because the frames can be different sizes. Frames are nominally 24mm by 36mm, but they can vary in size significantly depending on the camera. Again, this is something that people who have made enlargements from 35mm will have discovered: you have to either adjust the mask, adjust the magnification (ie move the head) or both when changing to negs from a different camera.

For 35mm still film there are a bunch of standards of course, described here. 35mm film for still cameras is 'KS1870' which means it uses Kodak Standard perforations and the spacing is 0.1870 in. There are 8 perforations between subsequent full-frame edges (and I think 4 for half-frame). This means that subsequent full-frame edges are spaced by 1.496 in, which is 37.9984 mm: 38mm in other words. For a neg size of 24mm x 36mm this gives a spacing of 2mm between frames.

Any film without sprocket holes is unlikely to have any standard frame size or spacing between frames. As other people have said, 120 film standardizes the film (& backing paper) size, but not the frame size or the spacing between frames. There are many different frame sizes for 120, and spacing is inherently somewhat variable: the camera can't actually know quite how much film it's pulled forward because the film can slide over the rollers.

By contrast, any film with sprocket holes is very likely to have a fairly reliable spacing between the equivalent edges of neighbouring frames. The reason for this is that the camera is controlling the position of the film by a roller which engages with the sprockets on the film, and that roller is almost certainly going to advance by an integer number of sprocket-spacings. This is not quite always the case: there are cameras which don't seem to do this (which are a real pain to use), but almost all do.

What this means is that the spacing between the (say) left-hand edge of a frame and the left-hand edge of the subsequent frame will be pretty constant (assuming the camera is being used in landscape). Anyone who has cut 35mm film up into strips will have noticed this. But this isn't quite the same as saying that the spacing between frames is always the same, because the frames can be different sizes. Frames are nominally 24mm by 36mm, but they can vary in size significantly depending on the camera. Again, this is something that people who have made enlargements from 35mm will have discovered: you have to either adjust the mask, adjust the magnification (ie move the head) or both when changing to negs from a different camera.

For 35mm still film there are a bunch of standards of course, described here. 35mm film for still cameras is 'KS1870' which means it uses Kodak Standard perforations and the spacing is 0.1870 in. There are 8 perforations between subsequent full-frame edges (and I think 4 for half-frame). This means that subsequent full-frame edges are spaced by 1.496 in, which is 37.9984 mm: 38mm in other words. For a neg size of 24mm x 36mm this gives a spacing of 2mm between frames.

35mm film is well-standardised, of course, because it started as movie film and movie people really need to care about things like sprocket holes and frame spacing.


Sheet film is less standardized. The two common extant varieties are 4in x 5in and 10in x 8in. There is a common film-holder standard (which has a name which I forget), but that standard is more concerned with making the film-holder fit the camera: the neg size between different models of film holder can vary somewhat. But there are other sheet-film sizes such as, for instance, whole plate and various fractions of a plate (half, quarter), where standards never really arose at all. Ilford have special yearly sales where they will cut sheet film to various odd sizes for people with these strange cameras (I really want a whole plate camera, although I can't afford the film for one realistically).

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Any film without sprocket holes is unlikely to have any standard frame size or spacing between frames. As other people have said, 120 film standardizes the film (& backing paper) size, but not the frame size or the spacing between frames. There are many different frame sizes for 120, and spacing is inherently somewhat variable: the camera can't actually know quite how much film it's pulled forward because the film can slide over the rollers.

By contrast, any film with sprocket holes is very likely to have a fairly reliable spacing between the equivalent edges of neighbouring frames. The reason for this is that the camera is controlling the position of the film by a roller which engages with the sprockets on the film, and that roller is almost certainly going to advance by an integer number of sprocket-spacings. This is not quite always the case: there are cameras which don't seem to do this, but almost all do.

What this means is that the spacing between the (say) left-hand edge of a frame and the left-hand edge of the subsequent frame will be pretty constant (assuming the camera is being used in landscape). Anyone who has cut 35mm film up into strips will have noticed this. But this isn't quite the same as saying that the spacing between frames is always the same, because the frames can be different sizes. Frames are nominally 24mm by 36mm, but they can vary in size significantly depending on the camera. Again, this is something that people who have made enlargements from 35mm will have discovered: you have to either adjust the mask, adjust the magnification (ie move the head) or both when changing to negs from a different camera.

For 35mm still film there are a bunch of standards of course, described here. 35mm film for still cameras is 'KS1870' which means it uses Kodak Standard perforations and the spacing is 0.1870 in. There are 8 perforations between subsequent full-frame edges (and I think 4 for half-frame). This means that subsequent full-frame edges are spaced by 1.496 in, which is 37.9984 mm: 38mm in other words. For a neg size of 24mm x 36mm this gives a spacing of 2mm between frames.