Do you move because you can?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jerrybro, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

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    I have 2 view cameras, a Speed Graphic and a Toyo monorail, both 4x5, the Toyo is usually on the short rail so they could use the same lenses. When I'm using the press camera I may use a little rise, and maybe some tilt, but often it is a straight shot. With the Toyo I sometimes tweak everything. I'm not sure if I'm only doing that because I can, or if the shot really needs it. I've looked at "real" field cameras to replace the Graphic, but I wonder if I'm just geeking the details, and I really don't need to replace anything.

    So, have you ever you ever lost a shot because you lacked enough movements to get it? Does the field camera you have not satisfy because it lacks the ability to do what?
     
  2. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I'm buying an SSG, getting rid of all the others but my 8x10 for X-Ray film. Most movements are because you can. But the front ones are most used (to me).
     
  3. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    I was doing a macro(ish) shots of some stuff in my garden the other day. I raised the front, then I didn't like the view, so I raised the back too. Could have just as easily raised the column on my tripod, but for some reason raising both sort of justified in my mind using a view camera, or as you said "geeking the details".
     
  4. walbergb

    walbergb Subscriber

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    I'm going to say a qualified yes--I have lost a shot because of the lack of movement by my Shen-Hao PTB 4x5. I was trying to take a shot of a creek when the light was just right. As I was focusing the scene, I noticed a large boulder that kept creeping into the frame, so I started tilting the front and back to include it. The rock was right in front of me and the main tree I was initially focusing on was in the background. When I developed the negatives (I made a couple), there was terrible vignetting. I suspect it was because the tilts put the image outside the image circle. The good news is that the creek is still there, so I get to try again:tongue: Next time I will step back some to reduce the need for so much tilt.
     
  5. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    And besides that, if you're maxing out your movements, you're maxing out your wallet to pay for the lens that allowed it to happen. A Symmar 210 can cover all an old Calumet heavy long-rail model can do. But you'll likely never do all that. These days they photoshop the stuff to make up for lack of movement in the advertising biz.
     
  6. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I'm kind of relieved to find out I'm not the only one!

    -NT
     
  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    But see--if you were in the advertising beezwax, and the customer was standing there, you'd have looked mighty important doing it. Oh, excuse me--"client". The advertising "client", as opposed to "the customer" who pays the bills.
     
  8. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    I've found I use my movements quite a bit. Not necessarily large movements, just general stuff for composition and focus. Making a few movements prior to settling into the shot allows me to see more possibilities.

    It seems to allow me more freedom to get the image I want. Yes, I’ve lost shots because of it. One time, I was shooting some leaves on the ground and a bent tree trunk and just couldn’t get the focus right. After giving up on all the angles, I just took one and it didn’t look right to me. Probably because of all the other tries prior.
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    No, never. I use a Linhof STIV 4x5 and a Deardorff V8 8x10; if you find you are always using extreme movements on typical scenes, it is possible you do not understand the principles behind their (movements) use - I find that moderate movements almost always suffice. One of the very few instances I did use a lot of displacement was a tabletop scene on 8x10 (Deardorff V8, what would now be called a field camera) of pocketwatches photographed on a receding plane, the watches nearest the camera were about 2/3 lifesize on the film and the scene called for a fair amount of front and back tilt, as well as extension, but nowhere near the limits of the camera.
     
  10. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    My first 8x10 was a Korona View without front tilt... I really missed having that and didn't keep the camera long because of it. Not only do I find a certain amount of movement necessary for achieving the depth of field I sometimes require but I also love the ability to simply adjust the composition a bit one way or the other without fiddling with the tripod.

    And then sometimes I'll grab the RB67 and make due without them... :smile: But yeah, if I'm going to the trouble of using a view camera it's not worth it to me without a certain number of movements available.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  11. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I think "geeking the details" is the best description of many large format shooters that I've ever read ... :wink:
     
  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Yes! a view camera particularly a monorail with all conceivable moves is surely a trap for the obsessive compulsive and anal compulsive types.
    But, did you know that a "geek" is properly a circus sideshow freak, specialising in biting the heads off critters like snakes and chickens?:whistling:
     
  13. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    In 4x5, I'd far rather carry my Sinar Norma monorail than any folder. It's faster to use and can handle just about anything bellows-wise, or with
    respect to extreme focal lengths. But for airline travel or long-haul backpacking, it's just too bulky. That's why I also own a petite little Ebony
    folder. But in 8x10, I only use a Phillips folder, simply because nearly all my shooting in this format involves dayhiking with a pack, and a monorail
    that large would be rather cumbersome.
     
  14. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

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    I never use extreme movements on the Toyo, just a little tweak here and there. Its nice to have the option, but a pain in the butt to drag around. By geeking the details I mean agonizing over all the specs when they really won't matter. Thanks for all the input.
     
  15. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I just realized that I missed the key part of the discussion, but it's related anyway. My preferred Sinar system, in all its flavors, has wonderful
    movements of all kinds, and therefore I use them when they're there and convenient. With my other view cameras - still gotta make them do
    the job, even with less features. When you're basically retirement age, and still trying to take a two or three week backpack tips in steep mountain terrain, that damn pack just seems to get a little heavier each year for some unexplained reason, so a simplified smaller view camera system just makes sense.
     
  16. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I can only recall hitting the limits on movements once. This was a 90mm on a 5x4 Wista picturing a crane, where I was backed right up to a fence. I just had enough rise, but the bellows was protesting a bit... Now the MPP technical just wouldn't have had the movements at that focal length. This was exceptional, though.

    I have 'failed' some shots by not being thorough enough when using movements - being too fixated on fixing the problem area and not paying enough attention to where the plane of focus would intersect elsewhere.

    If I am out with a rigid body camera I find I limit myself to what is possible within that constraint. With a flexible body camera I tend to look for things where movements make a possible image, and ignore the straight-on approach. I think I need to get over that :cool:
     
  17. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    My 4x5 that I made most of my early work on does not have indents (Gowland PocketView), so basically I was using all the movements for every image -- some of the movements just happened to be set in the 'neutral' position.

    So now I consider that I use movements in every image I make -- it is just some of the movements are in the neutral, or zeroed position.
     
  18. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    The only time you twist the camera like a pretzal is when you take digital images of it so you can sell the thing on Ebay. :laugh:
     
  19. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    They took pictures like that on film, too, way back when and put them in things called "catalogs".
     
  20. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    I remember seeing those images years ago in the photo magazines and wondering how anyone could learn to use something like that.
     
  21. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    As well as how light could possibly make it's way to the film...:laugh:
     
  22. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    And to show off on flickr (not mine). Is it me, or will that not even produce an image circle on all of the glass?
     
  23. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Perhaps, the lens would need an coverage angle of ca 160 degrees...:laugh: