Pre-cut Matte Aspect Ratios

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by bjorke, Dec 30, 2003.

You are an idiot to buy precut mattes

  1. Yes

    82.2%
  2. No

    4.4%
  3. Yes, though not for that reason

    4.4%
  4. What's a pre-cut matte?

    8.9%
  1. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Okay, I'm pathetic, I know. I can't be trusted with a matte knife.

    I'm looking for a good source of pre-cut matte boards in 35mm/6x9/1::1.5 aspect ratio. There's no shortage of 4x6-carrying mattes, but what I'm looking for is a good choice of, say, 6x9 inches for 8x10 or 11x14 mattes, up to around 12x18 or 11x17.5 for 16x20 mattes.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,339
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  3. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Location:
    NH
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Light Impressions has many common sizes in good matte board, though I think they are more like 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14 openings if I remember correctly.
     
  4. Dave Mueller

    Dave Mueller Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Chalk Hill,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I believe American Frame also offers precut mats in "standard" sizes, and can also cut to your specs.

    www.americanframe.com
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  6. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,339
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Aggie what tool do you use to cut mats with, and would you consider it to be 'gallery quality' cuts? Thanks!
     
  7. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  8. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,339
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks, I'll look into that device, should save a lot of money. Do you know if there is a problem with dry mounting an 8x10 to 11x14 board, then overmatting with a slightly larger overmat? Is that asking for trouble?
     
  9. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    oh forgot if you do your own cutting get a tool called a bone. if you cut too deep in the corners, you can use it to rub on the corner and you can usually make it (the cut mark) dissappear. Also get a few white emery boards. If the cut has a bit of a ragged look, you can use it to gently smooth it out. And make sure your hands are freshly washed and dried before you handle the boards. they tend to pick up things fast. Also clean the surface you will have your mat cutter on before you start. Same thing you don't want you nice clean matt boards to pick up stuff. Get a white eraser, not the kneaded kind. and if you do have some marks or you want to erase the pencil marks from measureing on the back, you can do it gently with it.
     
  10. photomc

    photomc Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ok, I have been working at cutting my own mat for a while now. have a smallish logan, but it seems to do the job, just keep having little problems. Aggie, how often do you change the blade? It seems to me that makes the largest difference when cutting - next is finding the correct spot and then not running over, and not stopping to soon. Anyone know of a how-to site or video?
     
  11. snapnsam

    snapnsam Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    Lafayette, C
    aggie,

    Will a brown emery board work just as well?
     
  12. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    mike,
    I have a larger Logan and if you want we can get together and I will show you how I cut matts. I don't have to change blades too often. I agree with Aggie tho the emery boards are useful if you need them.

    lee\c
     
  13. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

    Messages:
    2,767
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Lee showed me how a while ago and have cut a few since. I don't see any difference from the mats I cut and those I see hanging in the galleries (well, the pictures inside the mats are usually better in the gallery :smile:)
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

    Messages:
    1,717
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I buy 'em pre-cut. I'd rather brush my teeth with a pitchfork than cut mattes. 90% of my mattes right now are 16x20 with a 10x10 window.
     
  16. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I use both, but would rather buy precut ones. Time is precious, I'd rather spend it photographing or working on prints. Matte cutting is really boring if you ask me.
     
  17. photomc

    photomc Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Lee, thanks I will try to find the time so we can get together - nothing like a little hands on with someone that knows what they are doing to get the hang of it. For me, even though it may be a pain, it is nice to give someone a print that was handled by me from start to finish. But then again, I didn't make the film or the paper... :^)
     
  18. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I would think that anyone that hates to do something is probably doing it wrong. I think the key is to lay out the back of the mat board first and I draw a center line then I measure the print side to side. I divide that number in half. After that I measure both sides to ensure that they are equal. I then use that same measurement for the for the top cut. Now measure the print in the verticle and add 3/8's to the top and 1/2" to the bottom and make a mark there. Carry the mat to the mat cutter and use the mat cutter to draw 4 lines on the 4 marks you just made. Now use the bevel cutter on the 4 marks rotating the board so that you are always cutting to the cut you just made. 4simple cuts and you are done.

    The big trick is to cut mats as you finish the prints. That way you are ready for the show and don't have to pull an all-nighter the night before the show hanging. It is really pretty easy. (for me that is) :smile:

    lee\c
     
  19. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  20. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    if you buy pre-cut mats you MAY be supporting digital...and a lot of the pre-cut stuff is cut with a program and a laser.

    So, there.

    lee\c
     
  21. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA

    HAHA!
     
  22. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    HAHA!


    What is that supposed to mean? Sometimes I am dense beyond hope. :smile:


    lee\c
     
  23. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I use the same method of measuring and cutting my mattes, so I am doing them "right", I still hate doing it. That's all :wink:
     
  24. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I see...well, thanks for the haha. My time is more plentiful than my bank account. Plus here in Fort Fly-Over, Texas, no one takes as much care as I do for my stuff.

    lee\c
     
  25. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

    Messages:
    4,518
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Ipswich, Mas
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I don't think anyone is "An Idiot" for buying pre-cut mats (I just checked my Funk and Wagnalls - the first spelling given is "Mat": n. 1. A border of cardboard or other material, serving as the frame, or part of a frame of a picture. Also spelled Matte).

    I do use non-standard dimensions for mats- depending on the aesthetic effect on the work. I am contemplating one image on the wall of my studio ... cropped to about 5" x 12" (12.7 cm x 30.0cm) - a vertical -- matted with an opening of 7" x 14" (17.8cm x 35.5cm) in a 16" x 20" frame (oh, ... the hell with it..).

    I don't particularly LIKE cutting mats - but they ARE "another tool in the box", and I can use all the "tools" I can get.
     
  26. glbeas

    glbeas Member

    Messages:
    3,307
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Location:
    Roswell, Ga.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree with Ed, mat cutting is just another tool. I'll use a precut if its handy and it fits but I'll cut my own in a heartbeat just for the convenience of not having to deal with anybody else to get it. Especially when I do a wierd "creative" crop or mount a square print. For some reason square cut mats just never show up in the precuts I browse through in my area.