Question on movements.

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by kjsphoto, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Well everyone I finally got the camera. I have read the books and understand in theory how it works but in practice it just doesn’t seem to work.

    For example I was playing with the camera today and I had a scene in the ground glass where I was looking down at an angle. I first focused the scene in the bottom of the ground glass, then to keep the perspective I tilted the rear standard back and lastly to keep the foreground sharp I tilted the front standard. The problem is that this really screwed everything up and it just didn’t seem to hold sharp.

    Another example I tried is again I first focused in the bottom of the ground glass to bring the backgrounds sharp then used the rear standard and tilted to bring everything in focus but it seems that this only again knocked everything out of focus.

    Am I doing something wrong?

    Being a beginner as LF sucks. But I am determined to nail this and get it down. Oh no it isn’t going to get the best of me and I am not giving up but some pointers would be excellent.

    Thanks,

    Kev
     
  2. argentic

    argentic Member

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    FWIW this is hw I do it.

    1) I use the back standard exclusively for perspective control.
    I don't focus with it nor do I try to tilt the focus plane with it. (One exception: when front tilt isn't enough, which arrived once in the last 6 years when photographing tabletop.)

    2) I use the front panel exclusively for focusing and changing the plane of focus.

    3) My working sequence is:

    - First I compose the image and focus roughly.
    - Then I change perspectives with the back standard
    - Third I tilt/swing the front standard if neccesary to incline the plane of focus.
    - To focus the tilted plane of focus I first focus on the most distant object. This throws the near objects out of focus, so I readjust the tilt until these too are in focus. I again refocus on the far objects. And I again readjust the tilt for the near ones. At the third or fourth cycle (which are more and more subtil) everything is in focus.

    N.B. take care not to tilt or swing the front panel too much. As long as you're not doing extreme architecture or tabletop, you will probably only need just a hint of movement. When it all doesn't work out you're probably tilting far too much.

    Good luck,
    Gilbert
     
  3. gma

    gma Member

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    I advise not try to master every possible movement while you become familiar with the basic operation of a view camera. I suggest that you use the camera first simply to make photos without using ANY of the movements. Most nature shots do not require much, if any perspective control. I use my 4x5 almost exclusively for architectural shots for correcting converging verticals. Occasionaly I use shift (side movement). I have never used my camera in any of those contortions that you always see. Those generally are for studio special photos. There are many on this site who will offer you advise on the use of those complex movements.

    Again I refer to View Camera magazine. There is a multi part series that started in the Jan/Feb issue. It starts with the very basics. Best wishes.
     
  4. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    Good advice. My first time out with LF, I decided I needed some tilt. So I tilted the front down about 30 degrees. Couldn't get it all into focus. Thought must need more tilt, to I tilted the back too. Needless to say, I never could get that one to work out. Came to find out, a few degrees of tilt can go a long way.

    It takes a while to figure out how to use movements correctly, especially if using more than one and a time. Be patient. Well, of course your patient, your using LF.
     
  5. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Best place to learn movements is in the privacy of your home. I set up a chessboard & set on a table, directed some lights on the area, then experimented with the movemnets for perspective control, etc.. Stroebel has similiar exercises in his book, which is a good read for beginning LF'ers.
     
  6. ThomHarrop

    ThomHarrop Member

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    Just remember that if the rear standard is parallel to the subject the subject's shape will render correctly; if the front standard is parallel to the subject, the plane of focus will run through the subject.
    Also keep in mind that apparent depth of field is vastly different with large format lenses than with smaller formats. You will need f/32 or higher to get most things in sharp focus. I commonly shoot landscape with f/45 or f/64.
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Most of the time the needed movements are a few degrees at most, very often just a fraction of a degree. The only time you need to "pretzelize" your bellows is if you for some reason should wish to do this:


    Dam with movements:
     

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  8. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    If I am wrong on this, I am sorry but from reading your post, it sounds as if you expect the image at the bottom of the ground glass to remain in focus as you tilt the lens.
    Most view cameras (the Sinar P is the only exeption that I am familiar with) tilt (and swing) on a central axis, so as you tilt the lens board, both the top and bottom will be thrown out of focus. A series of focus adjustments are generally neccesary.
    Don't worry, as you become more used to it, you will be able approximate your tilt beforehand based on the angle of the GG to your desired plane of focus leaving you with only the fine adjustments to make while under the dark cloth.

    Best of luck.
     
  9. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    This is an impressive 'come to the aid' thread. I can't imagine anyone thinking there needs to be another View Camera Discussion Group.
     
  10. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Hello Everyone,

    Thank you so much for the advice. I am off today in a few hours to use the camera again with the advice above in mind.

    Just to make sure I understand;

    1. Focus overall.
    2. If perspective needs corrected use read tilt or swing.
    3. If needed then front tilt or swing.
    4. Focus and refocus front standard via rail.
    5. Stop down and close lens then cock shutter.
    6. Insert film holder, remove slide and take picture.

    Thank you and fingers are crossed!

    Thanks again,

    Kev
     
  11. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Sounds like you've got it wired. The nice thing is that you can see the effects of your camera movements on the ground glass so you can experiment and play around with it even without burning any film.

    Oh... and remember. No one here has ever forgotten to close the lens before pulling the darkslide so you should feel pretty foolish if it ever happens to you :smile: .
     
  12. mikeb_z5

    mikeb_z5 Member

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    I might add that I am very concious of closing the shutter before I pull the darkslide. It's pulling the darkslide before I make the exposure that gets me.

    mike :smile:
     
  13. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    I have to admit that I'm guilty of both :tongue: