Ideal aspect Ratio

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by halwyman, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. halwyman

    halwyman TPF Noob!

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    I'm asking myself the question. If I were to design a digital camera what sensor aspect ratio would I choose? Leaving aside the questions of sensor size and number of pixels what is the "ideal" aspect ratio?

    35mm is 2x3

    Large format is 4x5

    Television sets (and most computer screens) are 3x4

    Hasselblad and some other medium format cameras are 1x1.

    My personal preference would be for 1x1. It gets the most out of the lens and I'm probably going to crop anyway.

    What say you?
     
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    So that people didn't have to read, I should have said that 3x5 and 5x8 (and 8x13, 13x21, 21x34, etc.) follow the Fibonacci sequence, which is close to the golden ratio. The Fibonacci sequence shows up a lot in nature, which is probably why it tends to be pleasing to the eye.
     
  4. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With either digital or film, the goal is to maximize the size of the final cropped print outline on the sensor/film surface.

    If you do not wish to rotate the camera 90 degrees for some shots [inconvenient in a twin lens reflex!], a square format is best. If rotation is a viable option, a moderate ratio [4:5] will work more of the time than an extreme [eg, 3:1] ratio.

    If you know in advance the type of picture that will be taken [the old landscape/portrait dichotomy], the 'best' ratio can be more easily approached.

    For what it's worth, the camera ratio tends to affect the photographer's composition. I often 'think' 4:5 using a 6x6cm rig, while I 'think' 2:3 when using a 35mm.

    An interesting question, and a pleasant relief from 'What camera should I buy?'
     
  5. Mr_Jones

    Mr_Jones TPF Noob!

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    My personal preference is 3:2. It's perfect for the photography that I do.
     
  6. Unimaxium

    Unimaxium TPF Noob!

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    I like the 35mm film size ratio. It's 24mmx36mm, which equals a 2x3 ratio — coincidentally very close to the 1x1.618 of the Golden Ratio. However, a disadvantage to using 2x3 for me is that most standard paper sizes, like 8x10 or 8.5x11 are different raios from 35mm, which can get kind of annoying when I'm trying to print something.

    It's all subjective, though. 1x1 is looks pretty cool too, and so does 16x9.
     
  7. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    The ideal aspect ratio is the one that gets the point across best. It's not the same for every picture.
     
  8. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On paper size:

    A simple skill which helps in displaying a final print is mat cutting. This frees you from the tyranny of paper size and allows you to maximize the use of your film/sensor ratio as desired. I often print 2:3 [or 3:2] ratio from 35mm as a 6" x 9" on 8"x10" paper. This size mats nicely for an 11" x 14" simple frame. A bevel mat cutter can be had for about $US15 or so. I don't have to worry about print borders. If I wish to get fancy [rarely] I can double-mat with a 1/4" or so reveal of a different mat color to provide a contrasting border.

    Don't let the purists brainwash you on final print display [dry mount on plain board, etc.] That regimen is based on standardization for purposes of judging. [Of course, if you wish to enter your print into competition, you would do best to follow the rules!]

    Similar comments apply to the 6x6cm format.
     
  9. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    The last time I tried to answer a similar question on a differant forum, I got royaly slammed for my answer.

    So I would just simply say; I'me with Digital Matt. "Anything that works."
     

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