Last week, Epson announced their groundbreaking new Signature Worthy Exhibition Fiber Art paper, and after I wrote about it here on the blog, Jeff Revell (Over at the popular Jeff’s Photo Gallery Blog), did a post (he called it a rant), about Epson’s choice of only offering European paper sizes here in the U.S. (you can read Jeff’s rant right here).
Once we got our hands on the paper (and totally freaked out), I invited Epson’s Dan Steinhardt (everybody knows him as “Dano”), down to shoot a special segment for Photoshop User TV (you know this has to be some incredible paper to do a special segment on it. In fact, we’ve NEVER done a segment on paper, but this warrants it).
Anyway, Dano happened to mention that he read Jeff’s comments and had an “unofficial” response, so here it is in Dano’s unofficial words.
“My understanding is that the paper sizes are not European, but are ISO worldwide standards that are based on the Metric system. It’s also my understanding that Canada and the US are the only two regions in the world that don’t use the ISO worldwide standard, probably because it’s metric, and we like our feet in inches. Tradtional photograpy sizes (8×10, etc.) are all based on the aspect ratio of a view camera, so you could gang up, on a contact sheet, four 4×5 negatives and contact them onto one sheet of 8×10, and then 16×20 was the correct aspect from 4×5, to 8×10, to 16×20, etc.
11×14 is probably the exception, and I think it was based on the 5×7 view camera, but that’s 10×14, so it doesn’t quite work. The majority of people today work in a 35mm aspect ratio (which is 24×36), which means you have to crop to 16×20, or 8×10. There are many people who think the ISO sizes are closer to the aspect ratio of a 35mm frame, and what we see is, an almost equal number of people who like the new sizes, to those who prefer the North American photography sizes. So, while Epson is looking at bringing out traditional North American photography sizes, there are a growing number of people who prefer the new sizes. But we certainly recogize the installed base of pre-made frames, and storage boxes, and while Epson is not getting into the framing business, there might be an opportunity there for somebody.”
OK, there you have it: the totally unofficial take from Dano. Hey, that’s good enough for me.