Directors viewfinder with tilt shift DIY

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Mustafa Umut Sarac, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I love tilt shift big format photography but i dont have any money to buy camera , film or carrying it to the mountains.
    I think best solution is ultralight , tilt , shift and view angle adjustable directors viewfinder.
    I watched a program at tv about a photographer , he says i dont need cameras , i m living inside. I think I need a design ideas for this viewfinder .
    Can it be built as Murray wants to build his lens from surplus ready single , double element lenses ? Is it possible to see from a viewfinder 8x10 AA view ?
    I need mathematics , lens calculations and everything. If there is a lens designer at group , i call him , please help.

    Best ,

    Mustafa Umut Sarac
     
  2. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    I am not sure if I understand your question correctly. I think you want to build a small, adjustable viewfinder that mimics the movments of a view camera?

    I am not an expert, but I think that the ability to see the effects of movements like tilt and shift drop dramatically as the format decreases. You can see movements easier on an 8x10 camera than on a 6x9 camera. You may not be able to notice them at all on such a small format as you propose.
     
  3. ragc

    ragc Member

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    Mustafa:

    If you build it yourself you can do whatever you want... no limitations. The only thing you have to remember is that the focal length of your lens will be the shortest length of the the viewer, measured from the lens to the viewing screen. If you make it so you can change the focus then you will have to device a way to lengthen that distance (a bellows or nested boxes, etc.). As for the movements, some thought on how to do it with hinges, bolts, wood, etc. needs to be given based on the materials at hand. For example, I added swing and tilt to an old view camera some time ago by making a double lensboard with four bolts, one on each corner, and springs on each bolt. To twist the lens arouns all you have to do is tighten the bolts - the springs push out constantly, so the result is a stable platform, although the movements are non-axial (or around an imaginary axis).

    Best would be to find an old camera on eBay or other sources. Some of the antique ones, with less-than-perfect bellows will work fine as a viewfinder and could be repaired as you can afford to do it. Most bellows repairs can be done with tape, and most camera repairs can be done if you understand wood work rather easily!

    Good luck, don't give up!
     
  4. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    4 spring-loaded bolts obviously works for you.

    I assumed 3 would be better just because it's alleged to be superior in a number of mechanical engineering applications...consider a 3-legged stool (it can't rock, even if it is not level) vs 4 (almost guaranteed to rock, eventually), and remember turntables? (for LP vinyl records [explaining for the young folks] There were spring suspensions - some mfrs used 4 and they were horrible to level - others went to 3...easier to level , and claimed to have no torsion across the flat plate, which 4 constraints can introduce.

    I've only looked at a Lensbaby ad once or twice amd can't remember...don't they have three adjustable screws?

    If you think anything I said above is wrong, you are probably right. I barely passed my mechanical engrg. classes (not my area).


    Say, is there any such thing as a camera quadpod? I've only seen tri and mono myself...
    Murray
     
  5. ragc

    ragc Member

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    The issue is axis... I've had many arguments about this with photographers that don't agree with my approach: With this solution there is not a physical axis the movements are centered on. The axis is virtual, or imaginary. This is important because scientific photographers must know exactly where their axis of rotation is to calculate their movements... don't ask me why, I am not one of them.

    With four bolts you get the ability to move about only one axis, even though imaginary. Say I want to use swing only, I tighten the bolts in one side of the board. My axis is then parallel to the lensboard side edge if my bolts have been tightened the same amount.

    With three bolts, I cannot get a single movement. The axis of movement is not going to be parallel to any edge of the lensboard... I cannot do swing without introducing tilt, and vice-versa.

    I have never seen a Lensbaby in person. I believe the version with bolts uses three, which are gimballed to tilt freely. It is a tool to probuce distortion, not correction. The effect is judged through the viewfinder, but it can never (my guess) correct perspective because it cannot move parallel to the ground. You would need four bolts for that to be possible.

    On the stability of three point support you are absolutely correct, but the issue is not support here. :smile:

    Rafael
     
  6. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Cool...thanks for the explanation.

    I think you saved me some additional aggravation with camera homebrewing...
     
  7. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I think I have new idea , I saw at internet , one cinema accessory firm was manufactuıring universal adapters for 35 mm camera lenses and a matte screened dark box. Your digital camera is recording whatever sees from this matte screen.
    It brings new design ideas to me , you can make a anamorphic prism or glass rod lens , cast its image to matte screen and watch with a loop.
    It is very cheap and can be made very small. Glass rods can be bought from lab equipment sellers.

    Best ,

    Mustafa Umut Sarac
     
  8. Sandeha Lynch

    Sandeha Lynch Member

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    I'm not entirely sure what would best suit your needs, but this works for me ... tilt/swing and some rise/fall. An old macro rail and bag bellows on two ballheads ...
    [​IMG]
     
  9. ragc

    ragc Member

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    Bravo!

    Now you need a sheet film back on the camera!
     
  10. Sandeha Lynch

    Sandeha Lynch Member

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    ROTFLMAO ... !!
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Rafael,

    Whether 3- or 4-point pivoting, you won't gain a shift movement with that.

    By the way, any perspective manipulation/correction is done with the filmback; a lens shift only gives the desired field of view.
     
  12. ragc

    ragc Member

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    You are correct. My camera has front shift (rise/fall with the camera on it's side), so the device I made needed only to add tilt and swing.

    The back controls perspective, but the front controls what is in focus. Remember I am advising him on how to obtain movements for a hypothetical viewfinder. He could use the same mechanism on the back as on the front to achieve this.

    For my purposes, again, my camera had tilt on the back, so I needed the mechanism only on the front.

    I do appreciate your clarifications, as it is clear that my comments were incomplete.