Inside this issue
What’s up with Camera Firmware?
Aspect Ratios and Masks
Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.
The 3x2 ratio that is the de-facto standard of the majority of digital cameras and the accepted wisdom is that this standard is a legacy of the birth of 35mm cine film (patented in 1891 and originally referred to as Edison size) and Oscar Barnak’s decision to use two cine frames side by side when he created the Leica prototype in 1913 (“Intended as a compact camera for landscape photography, particularly during mountain trips, the Leica was the first practical 35 mm camera that used standard cinema 35 mm film” - Wikipedia).
There isn’t any firm evidence why he chose two cine frames side by side but we can make a few assumptions from available evidence. First, one of the standard film sizes for 120 and 620 medium format roll film cameras was 6x9 and hence most prints being made had the same aspect ratio. Secondly, the image circle of the 43mm Mikro Summar (microscope lens) used on the prototype ‘ur-leica’ has an estimated image circle of just bigger than 9cm (although a bit blurry at the edges). Did he choose the lens first or the aspect ratio? We'll never know.