Saturday, April 18, 2009

Film is so last year (so why is it still haunting me?)

Warning: Rant Ahead.

Do you know anyone who still shoots a 35 mm film camera? Sure, they are out there, but mostly folks have moved to digital. So why, pray tell, can I not buy a frame suitable for digital enlargements? My Nikon D40 spits out a standard image of 4"x6" and every print shop will make me prints. Most will even sell me a frame of some sort into which to stick it. But if I want an enlargement most of the kiosk places will default me to an image size of 8x10 inches. See my problem?

8x10 issue
8x10 Forces A Crop

The correct step in enlargement for digital cameras is 8x12 inches, not 8x10. I stopped at 3-4 places today in a vain attempt to find a store that would sell me an appropriate frame. No one carried an 8x12 frame. EVERYone carried an 8x10 frame, which not too coincidentally is the correct enlargement size for a 35 mm film image. What really annoyed me enough to blog this was getting an enlargement of a splendid photo that I intend to frame and hang on my wall. It is not a snapshot. It is a stunning portrait of my wife. It being one of the nicest images I have made, I decided to try a big, almost poster-size print. Of course, the correct non-cropped size is - do the math - 16x24 inches. What do you think I find when I look for frames? *nodding* Right, I find 16x20. Again with the 35 mm film image bias. The real pisser? The camera business where I had the print done does not sell any frames for the size they print. Not only at the store I was at, but in their company-wide inventory database. It was a surprise to the sales guy. That also speaks volumes.

I have banged my head into this problem in the past, but I assumed after a year or so the market would have an "A-ha!" moment and catch up, but that is clearly not the case. What is wrong with the industry? Do they simply not realize that the market has fundamentally shifted? Why should I be forced to crop my photo to stick it in a standard frame? Yes, I know I can have cu$tom framing done. My wife does that at her galley. My question is simply, why do I have to?


  1. Looks like a niche market for a new career for you! You've had the "a-ha" could start a revolution (as I'm sure there are scads of other photographers out there with the same head banging going on!), change the industry and make gobs of money! GRINS!


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