3:2 Aspect Ratio

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jimmy Pop, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. Jimmy Pop

    Jimmy Pop Guest

    I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading to the
    20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio? I did most of my
    printing before on A4 Letter paper (8.5 x 11) which fit the 4:3 aspect
    ration much nicer. What is the target print size for the 3:2 aspect ration?
    It seems to fit the 4x6 paper size nicely, but doesn't seem to line up as
    well with the larger prints (8x10, 8.5x11).

    Thanks for the help!
    Tom
    Jimmy Pop, Oct 11, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in
    news:ckebdb$q41$:

    > I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading
    > to the 20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio? I did
    > most of my printing before on A4 Letter paper (8.5 x 11) which fit the
    > 4:3 aspect ration much nicer. What is the target print size for the
    > 3:2 aspect ration? It seems to fit the 4x6 paper size nicely, but
    > doesn't seem to line up as well with the larger prints (8x10, 8.5x11).
    >


    The reason is ... ehem ... that 35 mm film cameras have that aspect ratio.

    And I agree ... that is no good reason at all.

    But ... it is very easy to define the cropping ration (to 35 mm film :).



    /Roland
    Roland Karlsson, Oct 11, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Jimmy Pop

    Jim Guest

    "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    news:ckebdb$q41$...
    > I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading to

    the
    > 20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio?

    None. It all started when Leitz decided to make a camera for testing 35mm
    movie film. They decided on a camera which exposed 2 frames of the movie
    film at once.
    As the movie frames were (and still may be for all I know or care) 18x24,
    the resulting sixe for the still camera was 24x36. This image size is not
    convenient to use for producing any of the common prints sizes except 4x6,
    However, most of us don't use all of the frame anyway. So, regardless of
    the image size some cropping usually needed, and the 3:2 format has been
    with us ever since the 1920s.
    Jim
    Jim, Oct 11, 2004
    #3
  4. Jimmy Pop

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Jimmy Pop wrote:
    > I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading to the
    > 20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio? I did most of my
    > printing before on A4 Letter paper (8.5 x 11) which fit the 4:3 aspect
    > ration much nicer. What is the target print size for the 3:2 aspect ration?
    > It seems to fit the 4x6 paper size nicely, but doesn't seem to line up as
    > well with the larger prints (8x10, 8.5x11).
    >
    > Thanks for the help!
    > Tom
    >
    >

    Cameras with 3:2 aspect ratio settings are intended for 4x6 prints,
    which is the most common print in the US. Some cameras offer more than
    one aspect ratio.
    Ron Hunter, Oct 11, 2004
    #4
  5. Jimmy Pop

    Jimmy Pop Guest

    Hmmm, seems like the digital era would have been a good time to switch to
    the 4:3 format (and it seems some did - my Minolta Dimage 7i uses 4:3).

    So basically the guideline would be when you are targeting an 8x10 (or
    8.5x11) print, you have to plan to throw away a good portion of the
    exposure?

    "That's the way it always has been" doesn't seem like a good reason - why
    don't the camera companies all just switch to 4:3? Is there some factor here
    I am not considering?


    "Jim" <> wrote in message
    news:y5zad.3964$...
    >
    > "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    > news:ckebdb$q41$...
    > > I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading to

    > the
    > > 20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio?

    > None. It all started when Leitz decided to make a camera for testing 35mm
    > movie film. They decided on a camera which exposed 2 frames of the movie
    > film at once.
    > As the movie frames were (and still may be for all I know or care) 18x24,
    > the resulting sixe for the still camera was 24x36. This image size is not
    > convenient to use for producing any of the common prints sizes except 4x6,
    > However, most of us don't use all of the frame anyway. So, regardless of
    > the image size some cropping usually needed, and the 3:2 format has been
    > with us ever since the 1920s.
    > Jim
    >
    >
    Jimmy Pop, Oct 11, 2004
    #5
  6. Jimmy Pop

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Jimmy Pop <> wrote:

    > I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading to the
    > 20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio?


    It is the same as 35mm film, and it is a shape many of us rather like. I
    hate 4:3 with the white-hot heat of a thousand suns.

    > I did most of my printing before on A4 Letter paper (8.5 x 11) which fit
    > the 4:3 aspect ration much nicer. What is the target print size for the
    > 3:2 aspect ration? It seems to fit the 4x6 paper size nicely, but doesn't
    > seem to line up as well with the larger prints (8x10, 8.5x11).


    There is no "target print size" for any format, because all of those sizes
    you think of as standard for printing are different shapes. What fits a
    4x6 won't fit a 5x7 or an 8x10; those paper sizes are arbitrary and have
    become standard photo print sizes for no good reason at all. Especially
    in this day and age, there is very little reason to stick to them.

    The 3:2 ratio prints full-bleed on 8x12, for example, and any decent
    printing company will offer that size.

    5x7 paper is very close to a 1.414:1 ratio; 8x10 is of course 4x5. Both
    of those shapes, while common aspect ratios for both photography and other
    art forms (the former is used in graphic arts, the latter in large format
    photography), are not the shape of virtually any digital camera sensor.
    If you use 8x10 paper in particular, you will need to leave large borders
    on two sides of the print (larger than the other two sides), or you'll have
    to crop, neither of which you probably want to do. Or, change your paper
    size either by trimming or by using a more appropriate size in the first
    place.

    For my own prints, I rarely print full-bleed (borderless) since I prefer
    a small border; I stay away from 8x10 paper because it's not useful; I
    live with the slight border size differences on 5x7; and I often actually
    compose in camera with a 1.414 ratio in mind for vertical compositions
    anyway, which fits nicely on 5x7, which is the size I usually get most
    everyday prints in.

    --
    Jeremy |
    Jeremy Nixon, Oct 11, 2004
    #6
  7. Jimmy Pop

    Jimmy Pop Guest

    Well, after a little looking, this is obviously a very well discussed issue.
    But it is a shame that the paper size doesn't match the film's 3:2 size in
    more cases. Everything would be so much easier! :)


    "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    news:ckeh00$r3t$...
    > Hmmm, seems like the digital era would have been a good time to switch to
    > the 4:3 format (and it seems some did - my Minolta Dimage 7i uses 4:3).
    >
    > So basically the guideline would be when you are targeting an 8x10 (or
    > 8.5x11) print, you have to plan to throw away a good portion of the
    > exposure?
    >
    > "That's the way it always has been" doesn't seem like a good reason - why
    > don't the camera companies all just switch to 4:3? Is there some factor

    here
    > I am not considering?
    >
    >
    > "Jim" <> wrote in message
    > news:y5zad.3964$...
    > >
    > > "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    > > news:ckebdb$q41$...
    > > > I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading

    to
    > > the
    > > > 20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio?

    > > None. It all started when Leitz decided to make a camera for testing

    35mm
    > > movie film. They decided on a camera which exposed 2 frames of the

    movie
    > > film at once.
    > > As the movie frames were (and still may be for all I know or care)

    18x24,
    > > the resulting sixe for the still camera was 24x36. This image size is

    not
    > > convenient to use for producing any of the common prints sizes except

    4x6,
    > > However, most of us don't use all of the frame anyway. So, regardless

    of
    > > the image size some cropping usually needed, and the 3:2 format has been
    > > with us ever since the 1920s.
    > > Jim
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Jimmy Pop, Oct 11, 2004
    #7
  8. Jimmy Pop

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Yes, people. By far the most popular print size at this time, at least
    in the US, is 4x6. What sense does it make to change? Given the
    plethora of differing sizes, and variation of standard paper sizes from
    country to country, digital photography, a bit international from the
    outset, is always going to be a bit of a 'crop and hope' issue.



    Jimmy Pop wrote:
    > Hmmm, seems like the digital era would have been a good time to switch to
    > the 4:3 format (and it seems some did - my Minolta Dimage 7i uses 4:3).
    >
    > So basically the guideline would be when you are targeting an 8x10 (or
    > 8.5x11) print, you have to plan to throw away a good portion of the
    > exposure?
    >
    > "That's the way it always has been" doesn't seem like a good reason - why
    > don't the camera companies all just switch to 4:3? Is there some factor here
    > I am not considering?
    >
    >
    > "Jim" <> wrote in message
    > news:y5zad.3964$...
    >
    >>"Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    >>news:ckebdb$q41$...
    >>
    >>>I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading to

    >>
    >>the
    >>
    >>>20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio?

    >>
    >>None. It all started when Leitz decided to make a camera for testing 35mm
    >>movie film. They decided on a camera which exposed 2 frames of the movie
    >>film at once.
    >>As the movie frames were (and still may be for all I know or care) 18x24,
    >>the resulting sixe for the still camera was 24x36. This image size is not
    >>convenient to use for producing any of the common prints sizes except 4x6,
    >>However, most of us don't use all of the frame anyway. So, regardless of
    >>the image size some cropping usually needed, and the 3:2 format has been
    >>with us ever since the 1920s.
    >>Jim
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    >
    Ron Hunter, Oct 11, 2004
    #8
  9. Jimmy Pop

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Jimmy Pop <> wrote:

    > So basically the guideline would be when you are targeting an 8x10 (or
    > 8.5x11) print, you have to plan to throw away a good portion of the
    > exposure?


    Or use borders, of course.

    > "That's the way it always has been" doesn't seem like a good reason - why
    > don't the camera companies all just switch to 4:3? Is there some factor here
    > I am not considering?


    4:3 was invented by Satan to make pictures ugly.

    Besides, it doesn't fit on a 4x6 print very well. :)

    --
    Jeremy |
    Jeremy Nixon, Oct 11, 2004
    #9
  10. Jimmy Pop

    John Doe Guest

    Your question as been answered and I agree that just because 35mm is doesn't
    make it a good reason. I would however like to point out something. With the
    high resolution of the 20D you should have next to no problems with any
    moderate cropping you may need to do to get the images the right aspect
    ratio for printing at the larger sizes. This was one of the things I really
    fell in love with with the 20D and that is you have a lot of room from
    useful and creative cropping and still having enough image left for large
    sized high quality prints.

    My 20D died after I updated the firmware and so I am back to using my only
    2.3MP Sony CD Mavica and I have to say I really miss the 20D and that
    resolution. While I can get nice 8x10 prints with the Sony there is nothing
    extra for any type of cropping which as I said I really miss.

    I am praying my 20D gets back from the shop in the next week or so.

    John



    "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    news:ckebdb$q41$...
    >I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading to the
    > 20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio? I did most of my
    > printing before on A4 Letter paper (8.5 x 11) which fit the 4:3 aspect
    > ration much nicer. What is the target print size for the 3:2 aspect
    > ration?
    > It seems to fit the 4x6 paper size nicely, but doesn't seem to line up as
    > well with the larger prints (8x10, 8.5x11).
    >
    > Thanks for the help!
    > Tom
    >
    >
    John Doe, Oct 11, 2004
    #10
  11. Jimmy Pop

    Jimmy Pop Guest

    Actually, I didn't really mean I think the ratio should change from 3:2 to
    4:3. All I wish is that paper sizes came in more convenient sizes for either
    format.


    "Ron Hunter" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Yes, people. By far the most popular print size at this time, at least
    > in the US, is 4x6. What sense does it make to change? Given the
    > plethora of differing sizes, and variation of standard paper sizes from
    > country to country, digital photography, a bit international from the
    > outset, is always going to be a bit of a 'crop and hope' issue.
    >
    >
    >
    > Jimmy Pop wrote:
    > > Hmmm, seems like the digital era would have been a good time to switch

    to
    > > the 4:3 format (and it seems some did - my Minolta Dimage 7i uses 4:3).
    > >
    > > So basically the guideline would be when you are targeting an 8x10 (or
    > > 8.5x11) print, you have to plan to throw away a good portion of the
    > > exposure?
    > >
    > > "That's the way it always has been" doesn't seem like a good reason -

    why
    > > don't the camera companies all just switch to 4:3? Is there some factor

    here
    > > I am not considering?
    > >
    > >
    > > "Jim" <> wrote in message
    > > news:y5zad.3964$...
    > >
    > >>"Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    > >>news:ckebdb$q41$...
    > >>
    > >>>I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading to
    > >>
    > >>the
    > >>
    > >>>20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio?
    > >>
    > >>None. It all started when Leitz decided to make a camera for testing

    35mm
    > >>movie film. They decided on a camera which exposed 2 frames of the

    movie
    > >>film at once.
    > >>As the movie frames were (and still may be for all I know or care)

    18x24,
    > >>the resulting sixe for the still camera was 24x36. This image size is

    not
    > >>convenient to use for producing any of the common prints sizes except

    4x6,
    > >>However, most of us don't use all of the frame anyway. So, regardless

    of
    > >>the image size some cropping usually needed, and the 3:2 format has been
    > >>with us ever since the 1920s.
    > >>Jim
    > >>
    > >>

    > >
    > >
    > >
    Jimmy Pop, Oct 11, 2004
    #11
  12. Jimmy Pop

    Jim Guest

    "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    news:ckeh00$r3t$...
    > Hmmm, seems like the digital era would have been a good time to switch to
    > the 4:3 format (and it seems some did - my Minolta Dimage 7i uses 4:3).
    >
    > So basically the guideline would be when you are targeting an 8x10 (or
    > 8.5x11) print, you have to plan to throw away a good portion of the
    > exposure?
    >
    > "That's the way it always has been" doesn't seem like a good reason - why
    > don't the camera companies all just switch to 4:3? Is there some factor

    here
    > I am not considering?
    >

    I don't "target" any particular size. However, when cropping to 8x10 or
    11x14, the extra space can be helpful, especially if I need to move the
    subject away from dead center.
    However, I do agree that now would have been a good time to abandon the 3:2
    format that we have been stuck with for 80 years...
    Jim
    Jim, Oct 11, 2004
    #12
  13. Ron Hunter <> wrote in news:10mlhf7evvlkn63
    @corp.supernews.com:

    > Cameras with 3:2 aspect ratio settings are intended for 4x6 prints,
    > which is the most common print in the US.


    This is also the most common ratio for small prints here in Sweden.
    But ... that is really no motivation at all, as this format is
    4x6 because 35 mm film cameras are 24x36. Larger formats in Sweden
    are 13x18, 18x24, 24x30, 30x40 and those are not 2:3 ratio.
    So ... the motivations for a 2:3 ratio for digital cameras are
    rather weak.


    /Roland
    Roland Karlsson, Oct 11, 2004
    #13
  14. Jimmy Pop

    Matt Ion Guest

    Jimmy Pop wrote:

    > "That's the way it always has been" doesn't seem like a good reason - why
    > don't the camera companies all just switch to 4:3? Is there some factor here
    > I am not considering?


    Look at it from the perspective of the digicam makers: your target
    market is the 35mm market; your designs and tooling are all centered
    around the 35mm market and the 3:2 aspect ratio - viewfinders, shutters,
    etc... what good reason is there to change things to a different format?

    Any size you shoot can be cropped to any desired size later, so there's
    really no reason to redesign your entire manufacturing process simply to
    get a slightly wider frame.
    Matt Ion, Oct 11, 2004
    #14
  15. Jimmy Pop

    larrylook Guest

    "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    news:ckehs1$ra2$...
    > Well, after a little looking, this is obviously a very well discussed

    issue.
    > But it is a shame that the paper size doesn't match the film's 3:2 size in
    > more cases. Everything would be so much easier! :)


    I, like many, will crop out a standard size from the original (say 5x7 or
    8x10). You will lose some of original but I find it's rarely a problem.
    Than if print comes out a real winner you can find a frame off the shelf for
    it. Most editing programs make it easy for you to crop out a standard size.
    It doesn't pick a different aspect ratio for the original and distort it.
    You just drag the rectangle with the correct aspect ratio around until you
    have what you like, and select crop. I never print a 3:2 aspect ration
    picture, since it's cheaper to buy a frame off the shelf at the store that
    to get one custom made.

    >
    >
    > "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    > news:ckeh00$r3t$...
    > > Hmmm, seems like the digital era would have been a good time to switch

    to
    > > the 4:3 format (and it seems some did - my Minolta Dimage 7i uses 4:3).
    > >
    > > So basically the guideline would be when you are targeting an 8x10 (or
    > > 8.5x11) print, you have to plan to throw away a good portion of the
    > > exposure?
    > >
    > > "That's the way it always has been" doesn't seem like a good reason -

    why
    > > don't the camera companies all just switch to 4:3? Is there some factor

    > here
    > > I am not considering?
    > >
    > >
    > > "Jim" <> wrote in message
    > > news:y5zad.3964$...
    > > >
    > > > "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    > > > news:ckebdb$q41$...
    > > > > I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading

    > to
    > > > the
    > > > > 20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio?
    > > > None. It all started when Leitz decided to make a camera for testing

    > 35mm
    > > > movie film. They decided on a camera which exposed 2 frames of the

    > movie
    > > > film at once.
    > > > As the movie frames were (and still may be for all I know or care)

    > 18x24,
    > > > the resulting sixe for the still camera was 24x36. This image size is

    > not
    > > > convenient to use for producing any of the common prints sizes except

    > 4x6,
    > > > However, most of us don't use all of the frame anyway. So, regardless

    > of
    > > > the image size some cropping usually needed, and the 3:2 format has

    been
    > > > with us ever since the 1920s.
    > > > Jim
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    larrylook, Oct 12, 2004
    #15
  16. Jimmy Pop

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Jim wrote:
    > "Jimmy Pop" <> wrote in message
    > news:ckeh00$r3t$...
    >
    >>Hmmm, seems like the digital era would have been a good time to switch to
    >>the 4:3 format (and it seems some did - my Minolta Dimage 7i uses 4:3).
    >>
    >>So basically the guideline would be when you are targeting an 8x10 (or
    >>8.5x11) print, you have to plan to throw away a good portion of the
    >>exposure?
    >>
    >>"That's the way it always has been" doesn't seem like a good reason - why
    >>don't the camera companies all just switch to 4:3? Is there some factor

    >
    > here
    >
    >>I am not considering?
    >>

    >
    > I don't "target" any particular size. However, when cropping to 8x10 or
    > 11x14, the extra space can be helpful, especially if I need to move the
    > subject away from dead center.
    > However, I do agree that now would have been a good time to abandon the 3:2
    > format that we have been stuck with for 80 years...
    > Jim
    >
    >

    Why?
    Ron Hunter, Oct 12, 2004
    #16
  17. Jimmy Pop

    PlaneGuy Guest

    I agree that there is no good reason why we use 3:2 seonsors, in the same
    way that we don't use 5:4, 4:3, 1.414:1 etc... The standard print sizes are
    all different ratios (6x4 = 3:2, 7x5 = 1.4:1, 10x8 = 1.2:1, A4 = 1.414:1)

    Personally, I "see" in 3:2 format when photographing, so I like it, and am
    glad that my DSLR has kept it. I find that I tend to crop all images that
    come out of my P&S because they are just the wrong aspect.
    PlaneGuy, Oct 12, 2004
    #17
  18. On Mon, 11 Oct 2004 11:09:46 -0500, "Jimmy Pop" <>
    wrote:

    >I have been using a "prosumer" camera and was looking into upgrading to the
    >20D. What is the reasoning behind the 3:2 aspect ratio? I did most of my
    >printing before on A4 Letter paper (8.5 x 11) which fit the 4:3 aspect
    >ration much nicer. What is the target print size for the 3:2 aspect ration?
    >It seems to fit the 4x6 paper size nicely, but doesn't seem to line up as
    >well with the larger prints (8x10, 8.5x11).
    >
    >Thanks for the help!
    >Tom


    This may be of use ...

    Name Aspect Ratio Print Sizes [inches]
    4 × 6 3:2 4 × 6, 10 × 15, 18 × 27, 20 x 30
    5 × 7 7:5 5 × 7, 10 × 14, 20 × 28
    8 × 10 5:4 8 × 10, 16 × 20
    11 × 14 14:11 11 × 14, 22 × 28

    Hap
    Hap Shaughnessy, Oct 12, 2004
    #18
  19. Jimmy Pop

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Jim <> wrote:

    > I don't "target" any particular size. However, when cropping to 8x10 or
    > 11x14, the extra space can be helpful, especially if I need to move the
    > subject away from dead center.


    When you crop the picture, you fundamentally change it. I composed it in
    the camera, so I'm not interested in doing that.

    > However, I do agree that now would have been a good time to abandon the 3:2
    > format that we have been stuck with for 80 years...


    Why? What's wrong with it?

    All of the silly "standard" print sizes are different shapes, so there is no
    shape that would fit them all any better than that one. And I'm not even
    remotely interested in using 4:3. I'd be willing to use 1.414:1, 1.681:1,
    maybe even 16:9 (though that would suck for verticals), but not 4:3. But
    even then, switching to any of the above would have the same problem with
    the "standard" print sizes.

    Why not just abandon 8x10 paper? It makes no sense anyway.

    --
    Jeremy |
    Jeremy Nixon, Oct 12, 2004
    #19
  20. PlaneGuy wrote:
    []
    > Personally, I "see" in 3:2 format when photographing, so I like it,
    > and am glad that my DSLR has kept it. I find that I tend to crop all
    > images that come out of my P&S because they are just the wrong aspect.


    If you had one of the Nikon Coolpix P&S, you would have been able to take
    photos in the 3:2 aspect ratio you like. I'm sure other cameras must
    offer this as well.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Oct 13, 2004
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. AVI aspect ratio

    , Jul 11, 2004, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    4,473
    John H. Guillory
    Jul 12, 2004
  2. ed
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    6,162
    Rafe B.
    Jul 23, 2003
  3. ed

    camera aspect ratio vs. print size question

    ed, Jul 11, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    947
    Robert E. Williams
    Jul 11, 2003
  4. mawsbaws

    resize with aspect ratio

    mawsbaws, Jul 23, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    428
    David Cohen
    Jul 23, 2003
  5. Bill Hilton

    Re: Cropping whilst maintaining aspect ratio

    Bill Hilton, Jul 29, 2003, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    399
    Bill Hilton
    Jul 29, 2003
Loading...

Share This Page