View Full Version : What Cropping Format?

18-03-2012, 4:59pm
If I am to set a ratio when cropping, what is the standard? I have been setting them at 4:3.
Cheers Steve

18-03-2012, 5:08pm
Depends who you ask 4:3 / 5:4 / 3:2. There is no real standard as such but many frames suit 8x10 (inch) so a 5:4 crop fits those nicely. 4:3 is the old monitor/tv ratio, though many are now 16:9. Often people get prints done at 6x4 thus 3:2 is common as well

JM Tran
18-03-2012, 5:24pm
what camera are you using first? The 3:2 ratio is the native output for any modern DSLR these days. Other types of cameras will be different in its native ratio.

18-03-2012, 5:25pm
And it depends on what you want to do with the image. For printing, there are the standard lab type print formats.
3:2 (=6:4, =9:6, =12:8)
4:5 (=10:8)

For home printing there is also A4.

For posting here, almost anything (maybe not zig-zags).

I @ M
18-03-2012, 5:34pm
Try a free crop, ie , no ratio or even square if it fits with the image.

I recently had some portraiture mixed in with the local landscape and they printed very well at 10x20 inches.

Work with your copies of raw or tiff files and see what suits the particular image best.

30-03-2012, 10:06pm
Can sometimes depend on desired output. ie, slideshow on tv may be 9:16 , or do you just want to get rid of unwanted clutter as an aid to composition.

17-04-2012, 12:10am
I used to try to crop everything to 3:2 as our photography group preferred prints for competitions in 12 x 8's plus my camera saved RAW images in this ratio. But over time found this too restrictive for some images and so am now a lot more flexible. Have also gone back and looked at some of my old images and recropped a few of them with good results.

19-04-2012, 7:30am
I also used to try to keep to the 3:2 crop, but don't really print anything any more and so I'm not constrains by that. I generally do still try to stick to 3:2 crop so that the image looks as though it was shot that way (probably cheating a bit if you ask the purists). But more and more I’m using a free-format crop to get rid of distracting items in an image, or just give a different look to a shot.

19-04-2012, 7:41am
being a tight arse..if printing I buy a cheap frame from the like of Harvey norman...then crop and print to suit the frame.....I can go up to A3+ at home and that normally big enough for my prints....if its a really good image and Id crop it to suit the subject and have a frame made to suit the crop

22-04-2012, 9:45am
The answer depends on two things:

whether you're printing the image; and
what you like.

There are numerous aspect ratios.

P&S camera generally use the 4:3 aspect ratio (old-style TV and computer monitor format), whereas DSLRs tend to use 3:2 (same as 35mm film).

Personally, I like 3:2, and frame my images in-camera accordingly. I tend not to do much cropping, but where I do, I maintain the 3:2 aspect ratio. I don't like 4:3 or 5:4, or free-form aspect ratios.

In my case it comes down to personal preference. I rarely print, so it's a purely visual consideration for me.

One thing to note about printing is that many matte boards are designed for 5:4 aspect ratios (eg, 10" x 8"), so if your camera works with 3:2, you will lose subject matter when mounting on a 5:4 matte board. You could prep your own matte boards if you like, but if you're using pre-made boards, it'll be hard to find 3:2 boards in decent sizes.

22-05-2012, 10:20am
The Golden Mean (1:1.414) is supposed to be the most pleasing ratio to the human eye and I generally crop my portraits to this ratio. However, it doesn't work for landscapes which I prefer to do to a panoramic format (the human eye has a field of view of approx 17 degrees).