</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David A. Goldfarb @ Feb 22 2003, 11:48 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>If you can't carry a camera with movements, you can always tilt the easel in the darkroom to correct convergences.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
No David, you can't always. In the darkroom, you can only correct converging lines in one level. If your scene does have converging lines in several levels, you must shift the lens at exposure time. The perspective ratio between foreground and background objects is determines by the focal length (the picture angel) of the shooting lens. The resulting two-dimensional image lacks the ability to apply selective perspective corrections. The shorter your shooting lens, the more apparent will this be.
The corresponding darkroom technique for shift lenses is not Scheimpflug Distortion. It is a pair of scissors for an image taken with a wider lens.
True, Thilo, so I shouldn't have said "always," but often it does work, and you can compose accordingly, with correction in the darkroom as part of the plan.
Using a wider lens and cropping to simulate shift also works, and as you say will be the only solution in more complex scenes, but if I'm carrying a small or medium format camera (which I would be in the situations described), I'd rather not crop if it can be avoided.
Here is one that just came into my mind (I don't find it easy to remember such things "on command"):
Newcomers to LF often find it difficult to apply the correct amount of tilt and swing with the front standard. It is usually much easier to determine tilt and swing with the back standard, because most camera models provide at least one point on the ground glass that stays in focus while applying movements. Unfortunately, back tilts and swings do change perspective and usually only monorail cameras do have protractors that allow an easy transfer of the movement angel from one standard to the other. Apart from that, almost all view camera protractors have insufficient scales. The simple and fast solution is to re-level the back standard with the tripod head and apply a little correction shift afterwards.
I would suggest to maintain a compilation of this thread on a static page within APUG.
Not sure if this is a trick, but a really valuable thing to learn is that the "sunny 16" rule is dead wrong for negative films. It's ok for chromes and polaroids, but results in dramatic underexposure of b&w or color negatives.
However, once you find out what your own personal "sunny" number is, it will be remarkably consistent. Using large format TXT and HP5 Plus my sunlight exposure is 1/8th @ f/45 if there are only small shadow areas, 1/4 sec if there are large shadow areas. Add another stop early or late in the day when the sun is near the horizon. Other conditions can be consistent as well. Overcast light can be dull and drab, but sometimes it can be wonderful and glowing: when it's wonderful, the exposure is a full second at 45. ---Carl
The "sunny 16" rule is also dead wrong when the sun is low in the sky - morning and evening, or even midday in high latitudes. This cost me a lot of underexposed film, as I live at 60° North... I now use "sunny 11" at midday in Norway, if I'm too lazy to get my meter out.
OK, here's one that proves foolproof for me, but you're going to laugh...
There are so many steps in making a large format photograph, from leveling the camera on the tripod to putting the dark slide back in the right way, that I go through them verbally, out loud, every single time I make a photograph. Even if I am making a portrait. Especially when I am making a portrait.
I have ruined so many photographs by the stupidest things, like shutters not closed or slides not pulled or slides put back in white side up. And when I photograph people, I am so focused on the person that I tend to make the most mistakes.
So there's a rythm I found years ago, and I stick to it invariably.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David A. Goldfarb @ Feb 22 2003, 01:48 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Plasti-dipped wire letter holders available from an office supply place are the ideal thing for drying large batches of small RC prints--perfect for those who are participating in the postcard exchange. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
hehe! I had about a dozen of the little suckers lined up on a couple of these paper sorter things the other night (I printed a few extras for toning experiments)
I ran into a LF photographer years ago who had a piece of string attached to each of his lensboards. He would loop the other end of the string around the focusing knob on the rear standard of his camera. If the string was stretched enough to prevent focusing he knew he was in "bellows compensation territory" so before he unhooked the string he got out his compensation chart (which covered his selection of lenses).
I've thought about using this but started using a checklist instead (it covers even more of my potential screw-ups).