The 8×12, the “New 8×10”.

Over the years I have done my share of cropping photos, and even back in the darkroom I would be a little upset when I put my 8×10 piece of paper under the enlarger only to find that I would end up clipping 2-inches of my image right off. The 8×10 format has a long standing in the history of photography, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a shift to the 8×12, the “New 8×10”.

To be honest, my framer that has been making 8×12 inch frames for awhile now. I was in the process of picking up some 20×30 inch frames and I saw an 8×12 frame that Tom had made up. I said, “Tom, now that’s a really great idea! Finally I can show off ALL of my image! I didn’t know that you stocked 8×12’s?” His response, “Mike, I make custom frames. I just need to know the size you need.”

I tend to believe that I am not the only one that is having this 8×10/8×12 battle and yesterday I found a post on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider Blog‘ that shared concern. If Scott Kelby is talking about it, then MUST be a popular topic among professionals.

Here’s what I mean:

8x12 vs 8x10

By cropping to the 8×10 format 2 inches is lost. It creates an entirely different picture that what is originally captured in camera. Movies made the first conversion, then computers, then TVs. I would hope that photography will be the next medium to convert.

Currently it’s hard for custom framers to sell 8×12 frames. It’s really hard to compete with department stores who sell 8x10s for pennies, thus bringing up another point of comparison. My 8x12s are only $25.00 not too shabby I think, but for the general person, is the bonus of 2 inches on their picture worth the extra hard-earned Bucks? I’d like to hear your thoughts and stories on this topic. What side of the bill are you on?


  1. Mike, I think it is a great idea. I never realized that the issue existed until you came to our class. I think that having to think about framing your shot with removing 2 inches could ruin the shots that you only get one chance to get or even miss it. I know that all of the places that sell photo paper for home based printing will never make the conversion, I also know that a majority of the people printing 8x10s on photo printers don’t care. For the home printer and retail stores, I think they are fine with it, they just want to get the kids playing in the backyard. If you are doing wedding photography on the other hand, i’m sure that an extra $25 would not be a problem to get a great full image without Grandma’s right arm pressed up against the frame.:) Keep up the good work!

  2. Hey Mike,
    Totally agree with you. I often make 8×12 prints just for myself; I keep them stacked in a box and pull them out every once in a while. The modern aspect ratio of electronic displays allows a full view of an image, why not begin to ‘modernize’ frames? I’m in.

    • Thanks for contributing Kurt and Aaron!

      I do believe in cropping my images depending on the output and I do not know where this underlaying dislike for the 8×10 has come from. Guys like Avedon would crop their images all over, making the best composition for the use of the image. I agree with that. I don’t see this switch happening overnight, nor do I see it ever really happening in a large scale. But it is good to be aware of. Spread the love for 8×12’s!

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