The format mess

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SimonLW, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. SimonLW

    SimonLW Guest

    When I shoot with virtually any compact camera and have the shots printed,
    they have to lop of the top and bottom of the image to fill the frame. With
    my XTi, the format fits the 6x4 print just fine. To get something printed
    (chemical process) on 10x15 paper, I had to make a 3:2 ratio image and paste
    the actual image into that so they would not lop anything. I could trim the
    excess from the uncropped print and I had my image with nothing lopped off.

    Now my laptop and computer LCD has another size ratio format. I wonder if
    any certain format will prevail. Why not use the 35mm ratio?
    SimonLW, Feb 9, 2007
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  2. SimonLW

    Roy G Guest


    This is not a new problem, it has existed for ever.

    35mm is a 3:2 format, and most DSLRs are also 3:2
    Most compacts are 4:3.

    Every size of photo paper, both chemical and inkjet, seems to be a different
    format from every other size.

    So cropping to match the paper shape is, and has always been, needed.
    Unless you buy it in rolls, and cut the length to suit yourself.

    Then of course you will need picture frames, and guess what, a different set
    of formats.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Feb 9, 2007
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  3. SimonLW

    bugbear Guest

    If you go a gallery, most of the images will have been
    cropped, for good artistic reasons, resulting
    in final images in an essentially unconstrained
    range of aspect ratios.

    In the good old days of medium format you could
    have neg sizes of 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 6x9, 6x12

    Depending on the photographers scope of use,
    each ratio "had its uses", requiring less cropping
    (and loss of image data) to get the final image.

    So why standardise ratio at all?

    bugbear, Feb 9, 2007
  4. Why not 4X5 or 5X7 or 20x24 or an A4 size?

    That is just part of life.
    Joseph Meehan, Feb 9, 2007
  5. SimonLW

    Bandicoot Guest

    Sure a good photographer can do that, but equally, s/he also knows that not
    every picture works best in a given aspect ratioand so also knows how to
    plan to crop.

    Needing always to crop because your in camera composition was poor is a sign
    of a poor photographer, but never cropping at all because it never ocurred
    to you when you took the picture that maybe it would better in a different
    ratio, and so planning that crop from the outset, is hardly any better.

    Bandicoot, Feb 10, 2007
  6. Because it says you eye is refined enough to make the composition in the
    camera? Something that apparently is a lost art form which usually
    people expect a pro to have a sense of and be able to accomplish.
    Nothing beats good editorial skills, but nothing beats them quite so
    well as being able to use the format edge to edge.
    Gregory Blank, Feb 10, 2007
  7. Because 35mm is not the only film format in town. Nothing wrong with
    trimming. Most photographers I know have a good paper trimmer.

    Also, remember 8 x 10 paper is not 35mm format ratio. This problem is
    not unique to digital. Photographers have ALWAYS faced the problem
    that their printing papers usually did not match the format of their
    cameras. Pity the poor 120 (2 1/4 by 2 1/4) folks. No printing papers
    matched their format!
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Feb 10, 2007
  8. True 35mm is not paper proportional/ but most people trim prints to the
    edge or munt them under a matte to hide the white edge.


    Kodak made or still makes 10 x 10 inch paper chemical RA paper,
    designed for the wedding industry haven't you ever wondered why Wedding
    albums accept 10 window mattes. Furthermore I have seen quite a few
    successfully mounted square images. Matter of fact, I shoot 6x6..

    I also do custom Silver printing for other photographer photo clients,
    those I've made large custom square B&W silver prints for their shows.
    Gregory Blank, Feb 10, 2007
  9. SimonLW

    if Guest

    That's why I never bought any - it's a stupid size for 35mm photography.
    I always bought packets of 12x16" and cut them in two, or else A4 paper,
    which is pretty close to 3:2.
    if, Feb 12, 2007
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