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O.K. I get it: 4x6 isn't 8x10...Now what?

Chawn Crawley , Dec 13, 2008; 08:15 p.m.

I've read, experienced, and searched. I get it. My D300 is a 4x6 format. It will never readily translate to 8x10. For that, I need a D3 in order to get the 5:4 ratio that I want.

What is the best technique for a photographer (dx equipped) to handle this? Monkeying around with image size in ps3 gets confusing quickly, and doesn't save any time. Batch cropping isn't going to work either.

What are seasoned photographers doing to answer the popular demand for 8x10 results with cameras that have 4:6 aspect ratio? Do I need to ensure that my photos have a large amount of additional background so as to allow me to crop to this later? Seems like this is going to be difficult to adapt to, particularly if I'm using all my zoom to frame something. Also seems like this increases the chances for matrix metering to give poor results.?
I have a nasty little habit of having important information too near the edges of my frames, and so have run into this issue at the printer again and again.



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Nic Coury , Dec 13, 2008; 08:30 p.m.

Print 8x12 (which is a standard anyways for artwork) as it's a full 4x6.

For framing it, just put an 8x10 fit mat over it.

Jeff Spirer , Dec 13, 2008; 08:38 p.m.

People lived with this with 35mm cameras for the last 80 years. It's no big deal, leave room for cropping. After some practice, it's mentally quite easy to figure it out.

Ronald Moravec , Dec 13, 2008; 08:40 p.m.

Don`t put anything important in the end 2 mm of the field. Then you can make a 8x10.


Katz makes a screen already scribed of 8x10 for those who need it For a fee She might scribe a factory D300 screen if you don`t want a manual focus one.

The other way is to set a Leica Imarect finder to around 55 mm and the length will match 8x10, but not the height. A friend did this with athletic team pics decades ago and the processor could never figure how he got precise 8x10s from a rangefinder 35mm Leica. The secret is out now.

Most of us just don`t use the ends.

Wayne Cornell , Dec 13, 2008; 08:41 p.m.

Good Point, Jeff. 35mm never translated exactly to 8x10 either.

Thomas McKown , Dec 13, 2008; 08:47 p.m.

For Canon, you can buy focusing screens that allow you to see the image as if it were cropped when you take the picture. Of course, you will still have to go back and crop later, but at least you could frame your shots properly when shooting. Im not familiar with Nikon enough to know if they make the same thing, but I would assume they do.

Lex Jenkins , Dec 13, 2008; 09:14 p.m.

Chawn, don't let arbitrary "standard" print sizes dictate your choices of equipment. The 8x10 format is simply a remnant of strict adherence to the various applications of geometry derived from observations of the natural world and applied to form conventions in art. (I could have just repeated the old "Golden Mean" and "Rule of Thirds" mantras, but it's a bit more complex than that.) Specifically, the print size was designed to accommodate contact prints from 8x10 negatives.

With a little practice you can learn to visualize the composition you want using any format. While I love the square format and usually print square from 6x6 medium format, I'm not a slave to it. If a photo works better cropped, I crop.

Having grid lines in the viewfinder helps in visualizing the desired composition. My D2H doesn't have that, but I can use the numerous AF sensor brackets as composition aids to check horizons, etc.

Ellis Vener , Dec 13, 2008; 09:28 p.m.

If you se Lightroom (up to v2.1 now) i nthe develop mode you can choose an 8x10 crop option. You can then move the crop in which ever direction you choose.The beauty of Lightroom's crop mode is that it is non destructive -- meaning yo udon't actually throw away the parts of the photo you have chosen to crop out. Of course when you export the cropped frame as a TIFF, PSD or JPEG the crop is fixed in those formats but you'll always have the raw to fall back on if you change your mind. All oftheabove is also true for Adobe Camera Raw.

This fixed ratio is also available as a preset in Photoshop's crop tool menu (at least in PsCS3 & PsCS4 -- I can't remember any further back then that but I suspect it is also in most versions of Photoshop.)

Mike Earussi , Dec 13, 2008; 09:50 p.m.

If you still have trouble after a while just sell your Nikon and buy an Olympus.

Brooks Gelfand , Dec 13, 2008; 10:00 p.m.

Over 50 years ago, when I was a boy, the local small town newspaper photographer gave me a few lessons. One thing he told me was, "Get your picture and always get more. Do your final composition in the darkroom." When he went on assignment, he never knew exactly how many columns or inches the editor would give any one picture. He need the flexibility.

I have always heeded his advice and been glad I did. Very few standard paper sizes come with a 2x3 aspect ratio.

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