Different Formats for Different Countries -- Variable Density B&W Film

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Radium, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Radium

    Chris Hills Guest

    A4 is NOT European It is International and is used EVERYWHERE except
    the USA.

    see http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iso-paper.html

    Some points from the link:

    "The United States, Canada, and in part Mexico, are today the only
    industrialized nations in which the ISO standard paper sizes are not yet
    widely used."

    "If you live in the U.S. and have never been abroad, you might not be
    aware that paper and accessories in the North-American sizes are not
    commonly available outside the U.S. or Canada. They are very difficult
    to obtain in any other country"

    Interestingly:-
    "Although it is rarely advertised, ISO A4 laser printer and copying
    paper, as well as suitable files and folders, are available today from
    many U.S. office supply companies. A4 paper and supplies are regularly
    ordered in the U.S. today, especially by companies and organizations
    with a lot of international correspondence, including patent lawyers,
    diplomats, universities, and some government agencies. It seems that in
    the U.S., at the moment, only higher-quality paper brands are easily
    available in A4, i.e. the types of paper preferred for important
    documents, such as international patent applications. Many of the larger
    stationery chains do offer at least one type of A4 paper in their
    catalogues, but not all shops keep it on stock routinely and might have
    to order it first."


    So eventually the US might start using standard paper sizes that fit in
    with the rest of the world.
     
    Chris Hills, Oct 30, 2006
    #21
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  2. Radium

    j Guest

    Perfect explanation, thanks for that.

    It is interesting that we have the tendency to prefer rectangles to squares,
    otherwise we would have gone to the Golden Mean (1.618) instead of 1.414.
     
    j, Oct 30, 2006
    #22
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  3. Worth noting that the aspect ratio of A4 is *very* handy
    for printing uncropped 35mm images (or any other images
    with 2:3 aspect ratios.)


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Raphael Bustin, Oct 30, 2006
    #23
  4. Chris Hills spake thus:
    And why, pray tell, would I want to do that? Just as I may ask why we
    (the U.S., and even, for that matter, parts of the UK) should abandon
    our venerable measurement system in favor of the metric system? (Don't
    know if you're aware of it, but there's *trememdous* oppostion to
    metrificiation both here in the U.S. and abroad.)

    Why should I embrace a system that's cold and based on some abstract
    notions, such as an aspect ratio based on the square root of two, where
    the primary size (A0) from which the others are derived is defined,
    arbitrarily, as having an area of one square meter? It's all neat and
    consistent--and totally arbitrary, having nothing to do with real-world
    historical proportions and dimensions.

    No thanks. I'll stick to *my* "letter" and "legal" and "tabloid" sizes
    any day. Which is what appears to be the case for the forseeable future
    here, despite the urgent wishes of the Internationalizers and the
    Yurpeenizers.


    --
    Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really
    care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
    you're curious but don't really care about the quality of your knowledge.

    - Matthew White's WikiWatch (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/wikiwoo.htm)
     
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 30, 2006
    #24
  5. Radium

    rafe b Guest


    Much more rational to measure things based on the
    standard of the Supreme Leader's body parts!

    The USA has its head up its ass in far more ways
    than I can enumerate in one post... But then again,
    we've long since given up being "reality based."


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    rafe b, Oct 30, 2006
    #25
  6. rafe b spake thus:
    Well, at least it was based on *someone's* body parts, instead of an
    arbitrary, disembodied, intangible numerical concept.
    Certainly no argument there from this quarter, Rafe. But in this case,
    we're right: kind of like the stopped clock and all that.


    --
    Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really
    care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
    you're curious but don't really care about the quality of your knowledge.

    - Matthew White's WikiWatch (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/wikiwoo.htm)
     
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 30, 2006
    #26
  7. Radium

    Chris Hills Guest

    The UK has been metric for some time. In fact you will be hard pressed
    to find anyone under the age of 35 who even knows what the non-metric
    systems are.
    Venerable.... How old is the US? There is nothing Venerable it the USA.
    There is tremendous opposition in the US but I have not seen any
    opposition in industry or commerce anywhere else in the world. Where it
    is it is from people over 50 who want to use the old systems in the
    markets.
    Universally used in the rest of the world?
    The don't expect to be part of the rest of the world.
     
    Chris Hills, Oct 30, 2006
    #27
  8. Radium

    rafe b Guest


    What's so arbitrary about this: one cubic centimeter of water
    equals one gram. Sounds pretty rational to me. Is there any
    substance more ubiquitous (or more germane to human life)
    than H2O?

    I've lived with them all my life but English units of weight,
    length and volume are utterly irrational. 5280 feet per mile.
    What were they thinking?

    For smallish distances I'm much more comfortable with
    millimeters than fractions-of-an-inch. For smallish volumes,
    I'm much more comfortable with milliliters than "ounces."

    First-order conversion is trivial. A meter is a yard.
    A liter = a quart. An inch = 2.5 cm. Etc. etc.


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    rafe b, Oct 30, 2006
    #28
  9. Because in metric world the use of units is much more practical. I guess
    that people in the US want to slow down daily life, because of some false
    sense of tradition.

    You don't have to know whether a measurement is supposed to be expressed in
    centimeters or in meters, because most people can easily divide or multiply
    by hundred. I wonder how many people in US can converted between inches,
    feet, yards and miles without resorting to tables of calculators?

    The same thing with the ISO paper series. You always know the name of the
    size one bigger or smaller than the one you are currently using.
    If you layout for A3, you can just proof on A4. Or print two A4s on an
    A3 and put a staple in the middle.

    Fortunately, the US did decide to go metric for the electricity
    (Volt, Ampere, Watt).

    And for some strange reason, focal lengths are metric, and are using the
    strange square root of two series for aperture stops.

    Another strange thing is that money in the US is metric, whereas most
    European countries had very long traditions with non-metric systems.
     
    Philip Homburg, Oct 30, 2006
    #29
  10. Money in the US is now; however only a few years ago some US
    stock markets used something resembling a "pieces of eight"
    system for expressing stock prices.
     
    Toni Nikkanen, Oct 30, 2006
    #30
  11. Philip Homburg spake thus:
    "More practical"? Not necessarily; that's a glib assumption, based on
    the supposed ease of doing arithmetic in decimal units, that's not
    always borne out in reality.

    I can tell you that in at least two fields which rely heavily on
    measurements, here in the U.S., both the printing and building
    industries happily and reliably use non-metric measurements, and are
    likely to do so for the forseeable future.

    In the case of printing, I have *never*--not once--been in a situation
    where it would be advantageous--or even possible--to divide a
    measurement by 10. Not even if one is printing something 10-up on a
    sheet does this ever arise. So much for the vaunted advantage of metric
    measure.

    Every single shop I've worked in over here, including one I owned, used
    inches and fractions of inches exclusively. The one concession that
    printers must make to the great Metric gods is that foreign presses
    (namely Heidelberg) require you to make settings in mm and cm; what most
    printers do at this point is simply convert the sheet size in inches to
    mm and input it.

    Even carpenters and cabinetmakers, who one would imagine would have more
    opportunities to divide a length into equal parts which might
    conceivably be easier with metric measures, happily, easily and
    accurately use feet, inches and fractions of inches. Also not likely to
    change in the forseeable future.
    For the most part, we can't "converted" (sic) without use of a
    calculator. But again, the much-hyped ability to multiply or divide by
    tens just by moving a decimal point is, in most cases, not useful.
    Well, we primitives over here have the same thing. For instance, two
    letter-size sheets (8-1/2 x 11") fit exactly on one tabloid sheet (11 x
    17"). And remembering a small number of paper sizes doesn't tax one's
    brain too much.
    Well, that's because there's no alternative system for those quantities.
    Besides, I don't see what's particularly "metric" about any of those
    measures, apart from the use of decimal multiples and divisions
    (millivolt, kilowatt, etc.).


    --
    Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really
    care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
    you're curious but don't really care about the quality of your knowledge.

    - Matthew White's WikiWatch (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/wikiwoo.htm)
     
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 30, 2006
    #31
  12. Radium

    rafe b Guest


    Fortunately in certain places where these things
    matter (eg., pure science, high-tech, wafer
    fabrication, etc.) metric measurements are
    well established and accepted.

    It still strikes me as strange that when I fire
    up Indesign I have to deal with points, picas,
    em-dashes, and similar arcanery. Kinda like
    my digicam with its synthesized shutter noise --
    a pacifier for folks wedded to "tradition."


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    rafe b, Oct 30, 2006
    #32
  13. So, if you have a roll of paper, is the length listed in inches? (Is that
    called a web-press?)

    Are billboards sized in inches?
    How how do you deal with the weight of paper. Is that the weight per
    square inch.
    And I guess they also buy their wood in inches?
    So what is one bigger than tabloid of one smaller than letter?
    Apart from the factor that a watt is one joule per second and a
    joule is one newton meter, and a newton is one kilogram meter per
    second squared. And the ampere is specified as two (infinite) parallel wires
    at a distance of one meter with a resulting force of 2e-7 N per meter wire.

    No, it has nothing to do with metric.
     
    Philip Homburg, Oct 30, 2006
    #33
  14. Philip Homburg spake thus:
    Yep, although we dispense with the hyphens; it's just a web press. (The
    paper is the web.)
    Now *that* is a mess under our system; every type of paper has what's
    called a "basis weight", which is the weight of 500 sheets (a ream) at
    the "basis size", which of course is different for every type of paper.
    So we have, for example, 50 lb. "offset" or text paper, which is
    (approx.) the same weight as 20 lb. bond. Go figure.

    But we still manage, and it really doesn't make that much difference.
    Why? Because you never have to do arithmetic with the weights; they're
    simply used to specify weights of paper, and everyone in the trade
    (designers & printers) knows what they are. (Unless, of course, you're a
    paper manufacturer or wholesaler and have to figure shipping costs or
    something.)
    Yep. 2x4s (nominally 2 x 4", actually 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" due to planing),
    and almost everything flat comes in 4x8' sheets.
    If I understand your question, that would be 17 x 22", long a standard
    size of paper.


    --
    Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really
    care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
    you're curious but don't really care about the quality of your knowledge.

    - Matthew White's WikiWatch (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/wikiwoo.htm)
     
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 30, 2006
    #34
  15. Philip Homburg spake thus:
    Forgot the smaller one: that would be "invoice", which is 5-1/2" x 8-1/2".


    --
    Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really
    care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
    you're curious but don't really care about the quality of your knowledge.

    - Matthew White's WikiWatch (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/wikiwoo.htm)
     
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 30, 2006
    #35
  16. Radium

    Jeff R. Guest

    Why not just wait 'til all the old fogies die out - THEN make the change?

    :)
     
    Jeff R., Oct 30, 2006
    #36
  17. I presume for "metric" you meant "decimal".

    Metric has nothing to do with the base, but more to do with the
    standardisation around the density of water, which seems reasinable
    enough, and the linking of most measurements to each other so that 1kg
    water = 1l water. Helpfully, the base-10 numbering system we use was
    chosen instead of vulgar fractions.
     
    Richard Polhill, Oct 31, 2006
    #37
  18. Radium

    j Guest

    So that's a bad thing?
     
    j, Oct 31, 2006
    #38
  19. Radium

    j Guest

    Tell your leaders to declare War on the USA. You might end up getting a
    marvelous postwar settlement.

    See "The Mouse that Roared"

    Yes, certainly, the USA is truly f*ed up.
     
    j, Oct 31, 2006
    #39
  20. Radium

    j Guest

    I lived in England for some time through their conversion from the British
    monetary system to decimal. It was slightly painful, but it worked out. If
    the British can handle it, then anyone can... except the USA (for things
    other than the dollar), although the USA does label just about everything in
    Amerikan and also metric, there are no Amerikans who understand EITHER. They
    are just stupid.

    The only measure Amerikans understand is the gallon, as in a gallon of
    gasoline. Or wine. They keep to what's important to them.
     
    j, Oct 31, 2006
    #40
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