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What are the dimensions of 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet film required to fit the sheet film holder for a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 speed graphic?

I have heard elsewhere that 2 1/4 means 6 cms. But 6 cms (or 120 format) is not even 6 cm wide, it is more like 61mm by the ISO standard.

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    Not all sheet film and print sizes were/are exactly as their labels indicated. For example, 6x7 is actually 56mm x 70mm in the exposed areas. Perhaps that was the basis of the question. – Michael C Jan 5 '16 at 11:18
  • @MichaelClark, in such case maybe the format is something like 6x9 (which was popular time ago in Europe) – Romeo Ninov Jan 5 '16 at 11:24
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    6x9 was popular everywhere, but it is not the same as 2 1/4 x 3 1/4. – Michael C Jan 5 '16 at 11:35
  • @RomeoNinov 2.54 * 2 1/4 is not 6 cm. – Alex Jan 5 '16 at 21:50
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    @PhilipKendall so if I measure 2 1/4 inch * 3 1/.4 inch on a 4x5 sheet film and cut it up it will be usable whereever this size is called for in a film holder? (I have edited the question as you suggest to provide more background but as far as I know the 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 format is not limited to speed graphics?) – Alex Jan 5 '16 at 21:52
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I had a Bush Pressman C which used the 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet film. Okay, so I pulled the boxes off the shelf containing my old films. Measuring the film and the image on the film, here are my results.

2.25x3.25 sheet film is exactly 55x80mm.
The mask for my Bush Pressman C is 53x80mm.
bush pressman c

I used 6x9 (120 roll film) and 4x5 (sheet film) Graflok backs on my Super Speed Graphic.
The width of roll film (120 or 220) is exactly 60mm.
The mask on my Graflex 6x9 roll film back is 57x82mm.
Graflex 6x9

There's usually a transparent cover over the roll film when it comes back from the lab. That's probably why some might think it was 61mm.

Sheet film usually comes back in the triple-box that you give them.

  • is the film for the busch pressman exactly those dimensions edge to edge? Thus, the imaging circle is actually less than that, right? – Alex Jan 5 '16 at 21:54
  • Alex. Actually the image circle is greater than 80mm in diameter. Therefore the 53x80 mask is always sharp and doesn't show vignetting. – mark Jan 10 '16 at 7:44
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    Andy. 120 and 220 roll film are strips of film. The narrow dimension is 60mm. 120 roll film has a paper backing so that you can see the numbers through a small glass hole, on the paper behind the film. The first number you see is "1."After taking an exposure, turn the film knob and advance the film until you see the number "2" in the tiny hole. 8 exposures can be taken with a "6x9" mask (57x82mm). For "6x6" (57x57mm) the numbers are lower on the paper backing and the corresponding window is lower on the film holder back. For "6x6" on 120 film the numbers are lower – mark Jan 10 '16 at 8:00
  • For sheet film, the exact size is not necessary as long as A, it's not too wide, jamming upon insertion into the film holder. and B, it's not so narrow that it falls through the frame. Sheet film carriers tend to get wider as they age and the joints get loose. It's okay as long as they don't let in stray light, or fall apart in the camera. – mark Jan 10 '16 at 9:21
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As I have had to make a jig so that I can trim 6.4 film inside a dark bag to fit 2 1/4 inch film holders, I can answer this with unwonted authority. 2.25" is 57.15mm. That will not fit in Graphic Film holder No 5 or any similar ones by other makers. 57mm equals 2.244" That does fit but not easily as the gap at the open end of the holder is exactly that measurement. 56.5mm is a snug fit and easy to load.

I do not have any genuine factory cut 2 1/4 inch film so cannot check that. I measured with digital calipers and checked their accuracy with a micrometer checked against a standard.

Cutting to 56.5mm to fit cut film into holders works for the Graflex ones but is a bit tight on other makers' holders. 55.5mm would be better though probably still a good deal wider than factory 2 x 3 film which fits the holders with the accuracy of a wrist in a cuff linked shirt. I suppose it is engineering tolerances inside the camera but not anywhere a consumer can touch.

  • I'm not sure this really answers the question, although it offers corroborating evidence that @mark's answer is correct: 2¼" and and 3¼" film is actually expected to be smaller than that, and 55×80mm is indeed smaller than the literal conversion. – mattdm Sep 9 '17 at 13:17
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I have not used a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Speed Graphic camera or it's associated film holders, but I'm sure that it can't be that much different from other 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 equipment.

As others have said 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 inch sheet film is not the exact same size as 6x9 cm shots that you'd get from a roll of 120 format film. They are pretty close, but I have my doubts that sheet film cut to 6x9 cm would fit into a 2 14/ x 3 1/4 inch holder.

There is at least one film manufacturer that still sell sheet film in the 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 inch format, Ilford being the primary one. I've seen that size sold at Freestyle Photographic Supplies online. I'm not sure if that's a standard size, or if that's one that they only produce during their occasional special order period and Freestyle has stocked up. There's also their in house Arista brand in that size, which I believe is manufactured by Foma.

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