Format Discussion: 1:1, 3:4, 4:5, 2:3. Your preference

MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
edited October 2013 in General Discussions
On another thread the question was asked about a new camera from Nikon. I have found in many instances I like the 4:5 format and crop the 2:3 full frame to this ratio often. However, when the new generation of mirrorless camera bodies is introduced, my interest is in what size might be preferred by our NRF members. This most likely would depend on the subject matter....as is obvious.

Phase One, Mamiya, and Hasselblad medium format use a 3:4 ratio…..would this be the one for a new Nikon? I can see a 26mm x 34.7mm sensor, without an AA filter and this would be easily covered by the FX Nikkor lenses.

Your comments here...and thank you.
Post edited by Msmoto on
Msmoto, mod
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Comments

  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 845Member
    I usually crop to the golden ration, so something like 5:8 would be great for me. It is also a useful difference between portrait and landcape; with 4:5 it's not much of a difference.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I suspect that Nikon won't deviate from the 3:2 sensor for the sensor but will provide aspect ratio options in "Choose Image Area". I have this programmed as the first area in "My Menu" and then have the "AE-L/AF-L" button reprogrammed to go to "My Menu" when I press it. I default to 5:4 - I really like that Aspect Ratio and then use 3:2 about 10% of the time. I have not cropped an image for months and I find that really makes me think about framing and composition - another reason that I like primes.

    I would love to see a square aspect ratio. I would use that quite a bit. Personally, I think that Nikon should:
    -Make a dozen or so Aspect Ratios available in "Choose Image Area".
    -Upgrade the sensor to 36 by 36 and then add an extra button to "Choose Image Area" and then allow the use of the sub-command dial to select portrait or landscape and the command dial to choose between the various aspect ratios (or whatever variation the user wants self-program). Or at least give me the ability to use the dials straight from "Choose Image Area".

    I would then be able to shoot 30 by 30.

    I just asked Nikon for a major upgrade for their image sensor that won't be cheap, but I would pay for it. It would probably would eliminate the need of a battery grip in many instances. Internal workings would be re-arranged and the shutter would have farther to go, so we are talking a new camera.

    Does this interest anybody?
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    The 16:9 ratio not mentioned, but apparently available is interesting due to the fact that HD TVs display this ratio naturally and you get to control every pixel (no black bars). I usually crop to 3:5 or 3:2, depending of course on subject.
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 641Member
    edited October 2013
    I usually crop to 1:1 when I am making figures for training manuals or powerpoints, as they fit well on a page and I can put text next to the photo. Because of that I have been using 1:1 recreationally as well a lot more than I used to. Since I always crop (one of my many foibles), sensor geometry doesn't matter much.
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    I find myself cropping to 4:5 a lot because 2:3 adds a bit too much open space to a lot of compositions.

    At the end of the day though, my choice is based on what the image is and what best suits it.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,085Member
    Umm, I'm embarrassed to ask, but what is the default aspect ratio normally on Nikon cameras? 4:3?
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    2:3 for the ones I've used.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • sidewayssideways Posts: 54Member
    I have a little lumix LX3 which has an aspect selector switch right on top of the lens. I like the convenience of this feature.
    Choices are 2:3. 4:3 which gives max pixel count, and 16:9 which is my default for landscape format.

    I find that I switch to 4:3 if I need to fit more into the frame at close ranges, but this is just to max out the image size and I crop later. I would very much like to have a 1:1 option.

    Of course you can always crop a larger image afterward but it's nice to see your chosen aspect ratio while composing the shot.
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 410Member
    Ive always preferred square format. Out of the common ones I do like 4:3
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    I always use 3:2 aspect ratio, even when cropping. I hate 4:3, which is why I don't like compact cameras (P&S) shots in most cases.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited October 2013
    I use a variety of ratios depending on the need. If I had to pick one format, it would be 4:3.

    One of the best discussions about aspect ratios I've read is in the book "The Photographer's Eye", by Michael Freeman, which I would highly recommend.

    Interestingly, Freeman discusses that the 3:2 frame was a "historical accident" chosen because of technical limitations of 35mm film at the time, and not for any compelling aesthetic reason. Digital sensors, not constrained by the same limitations, allowed the return of more natural formats such as 4:3 and similar "fatter" frames (4:5, etc.)
    Post edited by Ade on
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    On my D800, I have the choice of 3:2 in FX and two cropped modes and 5:4. I find the 5:4 mode very pleasing and it is now my default mode, only going to 3:2 when it is an obvious improvement such as landscapes.

    I think the large format designers were on to something when they picked this aspect ratio in the early days of photography. 3:2 was really an accident.
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    This is an honest question... why would you pre-crop away a part of your image in camera when you're just throwing away information that may or may not be of use?
    Thank You... I'm with you 100%.

    framer

  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Because it forces me to really think about the photo that I am taking regarding framing and composition as I am taking the photo. I really don't enjoy sitting in front of a computer touching up photos, but do it for blemishes and colour when I have to in Lightroom and Photoshop - I consider that work, not fun. I do find that I enjoy thinking about the photo when I take it.

    To illustrate further, I also have a manual focus 50mm 1.2 lens that I just bought brand new. I then put it on my D800 and switch the whole thing to manual. The camera cheats, as it suggests the correct exposure settings. But I love this contemplative nature of photography.

    If I was a sports action or news photographer, it would be a different story obviously. If I was a professional instead of an avid amateur, it might also be a different story, I am not sure though.

    In homage to another thread, maybe this is "Pure Photography" for me.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    PS:
    One day, I hope that Nikon expands the FX sensor to 36 by 36. Then I could shoot in 1:1 or 5:4 and end up with "much more photo" and still be faithful to my thinking.

    Hmm.......
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    PSS:
    And to your earlier comment about throwing away information, when you have 36 megapixels, you have a few to spare.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    The problem with a 36 x 36mm sensor is the current FX lenses will not cover this. (51mm diameter circle). The FX lenses cover about 44mm diameter circle.
    Msmoto, mod
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    It would only cover 30mm by 30mm for 1:1. However, you could flip between landscape and portrait in 36mm by 24mm at the flip of a button. Slightly inefficient, as you would waste the corners on an expensive image sensor, but prices are coming down and it would eliminate one of the reasons to get an external battery pack.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    PSS:
    The biggest technical challenge I see would be maintaining the shutter speed, as the shutter now has farther to go. However, they had a 1/16,000 with the D1, so they might be able to maintain 1/8,000.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I was actually thinking about a poor girl's Phase One....4:3......
    Msmoto, mod
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 345Member
    16 by 9. I think its how the world looks at images these days with the widespread adoption of HDTV…

    That being said for shooting for magazines I need to shoot verticals in a format that fits typical printed media and that obviously isn't 16 by 9...

    Denver Shooter
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    16 by 9. I think its how the world looks at images these days with the widespread adoption of HDTV…

    That being said for shooting for magazines I need to shoot verticals in a format that fits typical printed media and that obviously isn't 16 by 9...

    Denver Shooter
    Yes, the average monitor these days is 1080p, so that seems likely. Whether it be an HDTV or or a 1080p computer monitor, that format is common. I would never shoot in that aspect ratio, but for some people it might make sense to send the photos in that format. At least for now anyway, time will tell how well 4k is adopted once the price of supporting monitors comes down, so wide spread use of 1080p (16:9) might be short lived as well.

    One other thing to consider, more and more people are viewing images on tablets, most of which display even less.

    Shooting in square formats just doesn't make sense. I guess if you are stuck in the old world of printing that is okay, but the younger generations don't buy prints for the most part.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 641Member
    edited October 2013
    ...Shooting in square formats just doesn't make sense. I guess if you are stuck in the old world of printing that is okay, but the younger generations don't buy prints for the most part..../blockquote>

    We publish two versions of our documents, printed and e-reader (.pdf). Since the materials are formatted specifically to be read in 5.5 x 8.5 inch paper page and on iPads the square format looks pretty good. We use other sizes, but the most flexible is the square format when imbedded in an iPad document. (Last year I had a large government agency specify "iPad readable".)

    We are not doing art prints but pictures of screws, sockets, and sleeves. Part of our page design process is not just the photograph, but how it fits on the page and how text and photos enhance what we are trying to communicate. My market is small but the square format still works well.

    Regarding recreational photography, when I have time I try my hand at that. Until recently I have been printing 3:4, but now I am printing square is they go well in Shikishi frames (about 10 3/4 x 9 1/2 inch).
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    Single sheet cameras sort of had some restrictions built in - 11 x 14, 8 x 10, 20 x 24, and so on, the question might be why would those sizes be used?

    The earliest were positives and used directly for display. Later they were used for contact printing. Enlarging is a 'newer' process adapted as a reverse process from shooting.

    As Denver Shooter suggested, various ratios come from the press. Ask a magazine editor what a "double truck" is and it very different than two Dodge Rams on the road.

    I edit photos and don't see any reason not to do post editing work to improve the product. Ultimately, my work often needs all the help it can get.

    My best,

    Mike
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