Large-format cameras are categorized by two important features: their format, or nominal film size, and their design. The film size in a camera’s designation is usually the largest conventional rectangle the camera can accommodate. These dimensions are given in inches for the United States and United Kingdom and in centimeters for countries that use the metric system. All large-format cameras can be adapted to the use of smaller film, so the nominal film size indicates only the upper limit. A 4×5 camera (called 5×4 in Britain and 10×12 in Germany) can use any size film up to 4-inch by 5-inch film sheets. Other common formats are 5×7 and 8×10.

Two designs dominate today’s view camera market: the flatbed (in its modern incarnations ...

Get A User's Guide to the View Camera, 3rd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.