Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?

Started Mar 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 24,897
Re: It's actually a good question

tomnorth wrote:

I've gone back and forth on this. I shoot both a D800 and a GH3. For that reason I started out with my GH3 at 3:2 to match my D800. Later I changed the GH3 to 4:3 to gain the extra resolution. I have just decided to back to 3:2 though. What drove this decision has to do with making large prints for a showing. Most of my shots were from my D800. I wanted the lone GH3 image in the group to look the same, so I had to crop it at a 3:2 aspect ratio. I use every bit of the viewfinder when composing an image. In this case what I lost at the top wasn't crucial, but it did make me realize that I'm better off composing in 3:2 if that's where the prints will end up. One side benefit of using the 3:2 aspect ratio on my GH3 is that the entire surface of the LCD and EVF is used.

I agree, it's an interesting question. Original 135 film strips were used for film in the vertical orientation thus at 24mm wide. The certical length was, for most film gear, 16mm long, thus the older film frames were 4:3 ratio. One can see that for example, in the classic movies of Bergman or Fellini.

Leica started using the same material horizontally, so the vertical length was given at 24mm, where to put the horizontal length? Well, they chose 36mm, thus the 3:2 ratio. People got used to that form factor from so many images shot with Leica, then Nikon, then all the slr models. Soem may recall that Oly used the vertical half frame, actually the film frame, in their lineup of Pen cameras, in the 1960s.

I'm an slr/rf migrant to dslr, so I'm very confortable with the 3:2 form factor, even for vertical orientaion (called portrait by some, wrongly IMO). I'm planning to get a m43 camera, and I think I'll keep using the 3:2 ratio, I really don't like the 4:3 frame, especially in the horizontal orientation, it really looks confined for my taste.

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