I'm the Marketing Manager at Epson America but more importantly, a "Newbie" to Luminous Landscape and hoping someday to be a Jr. Member : )
Thought I would provide some background on paper sizes and then I have a request.
Like most over the age of 40, my roots were in the analogue world and I remember Hypo and that sizzling cuticle pain. So when I joined Epson in 2000 I was befuddled by odd paper sizes named Super B, A3 etc. I was told it meant 13 x 19 etc. but I wondered what happened to the revered 16 x 20 and what about metric sizes.
My very basic understanding (its far more complex) is that the sizes adopted by ink jet manufacturers were not Imperial or Metric, but an ISO standard based on the aspect ratio of the square root of 2. (See attachment) And while not related, it is an interesting connection since the square root of 2 is the core of photography as it defines the F stop range and has a relationship to the inverse square law. The naming of Super B etc. happened in 1798 but was forgotten until 1922 when it became a DIN standard. It seems the printing industry adopted the DIN/ISO methodology but Photographic markets developed paper sizes based on the aspect ratio of view cameras, and how those core sizes enlarged or could be ganged up e.g. 4, 4x5s = 1, 8 x 10. 4, 8x10's = 1, 16 x 20. While some of us are masters of the Scheimpflug principle, the days of shooting film in a view camera are in the rear view mirror.
Everyone on this thread knows the aspect ratio of most capture devices is not congruent to the aspect ratio of ink jet paper sizes, but the requests I hear (In North America) are for "Traditional" sizes like 8X10, 11 x 14 and 16 x 20. I cringe because of the cropping and/or trimming and wonder, if there was awareness of new sizes that aligned with the aspect ratio of modern sensors, might there be a potential market for all manufacturers.
I'd be curious to hear thoughts on the following:
-What would be the optimum sizes for ink jet papers?
-Should it be exclusively metric?
-Should it be exact to say a 35mm DSLR of 24mm x 36mm, or should the paper size still force some kind of crop?
Dan (Dano) Steinhardt
Marketing Manager, Professional Imaging
Epson America, Inc.