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  1. #1
    PhotoPete's Avatar
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    Simulating view camera movements in the darkroom

    I recently switched to shooting with a 4x5 and while I love the perspective and focus control possible with swings and tilts, I hate how heavy the gear is. This got me wondering if there would not be a way to simulate the effects of front and back tilt and swing in the darkroom, rather than the field.

    If I consider the plane of the negative to be the plane of the subject, then the plane of the lensboard in the enlarger would correspond to the front standard's plane and the plane of the easel to the rear standard's plane, right?

    In theory then, I could adjust the perspective and the focus by tilting the easel and the focus alone by adjusting the angle of the lensboard relative to the plane of the negative carrier.

    Has anyone tried anything like this? Does it work or am I completely off-base and overlooking something incredibly obvious?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I often tilt my easle to adjust perspective and square things up if needed. Swinging the lens allows sharp focus on the tilted easle.
    My Beseler 23c has a swinging lensboard making it a simple operation.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  3. #3
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoPete
    Has anyone tried anything like this?
    Yes, it works to a degree, but very hard to reproduce time after time due to movement of the easel, etc. Swings and tilts on your camera can be easily locked in place. Not so with an easel that you have to open and slide paper into, etc.

    Bill

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Tilting the easel or the negative stage will give you the perspective effects of rear tilt and swing (though not the focus effects). It will make a trapezoid into a rectangle, in other words, in one plane, and is handy for small corrections. I do it all the time with 6x6 and 35mm shots where I want the lines to be as square as they can be, and it's a well established technique.

    If your enlarger has a tilting neg and or lens stage, you can use the scheimpflug rule to keep the whole negative in focus as you tilt the easel.

    Easel tilting will not replace the effects of rise, fall or shift, which can maintain rectilinear perspective in all planes, though you can achieve the same effect by shooting with a wide lens, keeping the camera level, and cropping out the excess--at the expense of increasing the enlargement factor.

    Easel tilting will not replace front tilt and swing either, which can be used to control the plane of focus at the time of exposure. If it's blurry on film, you can't make it sharp on paper (without masking or manual retouching).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    PhotoPete's Avatar
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    I'm glad that my thinking was not so far off and that this will work, if only in a limited fashion. Are there after-market 'swinging lensboards' for most enlargers (I have a Besseler 67C and an old Omega D) and is that the standard term for that item?

  6. #6
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoPete
    I'm glad that my thinking was not so far off and that this will work, if only in a limited fashion. Are there after-market 'swinging lensboards' for most enlargers (I have a Besseler 67C and an old Omega D) and is that the standard term for that item?
    I have a D2V that I wish had a swinging lens capability. It doesn't seem like it would be a difficult accessory to produce but I don't know if they ever made one.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    There's a tilting neg stage for the Omega DII, D-2, and D-3 (not sure about the later models) called the "Distortion Correction Attachment." It also rotates the neg 360-degrees, so that you can tilt in any plane. It uses its own neg carriers, which are different from the standard Omega neg carriers.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #8

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    I have a Durst S45, which kike a Durst S138, Offers tilting of the baseboard, easel, and lens stage. It is capable of sraighteneing and correcting horizontal and vertical vergences to a large degree. Another Durst model iffers either 4 or 5 adjustments and is very capable. It is not everyday that one finds themselves concerned with the covering power of an enlarging lens.

    Durst, in a brochure that I have, circa 1970, states that the ease of doing these adjustments in the darkroom with a subject that is at an approximate infinity position suxh as a buikding with no foreground objects to be concerned with is so easily done in the darkroom that camera adjustments are a waste of time. Durst and I have a major difference of opinion here. They must be a lot better, to put it very mildly, at it than am I. I favor the camera as the easiest place to make the adjustments.

    As a second consequence assume that you have in your photo a street lamp 25 feet from the camera and buildings 400 feet away. You have pointed your camera upward to save time knowing that you will correct it in the darkroom. Aint gonna happen..nfway. The degree of convergence of the street light will differ from the buildings and trying to corect one situation will leave the other uncorrected with darkroom manipulation.

    Go ahead and try ity it. Make my day by proving me wrong.

    You would best be advbised to keep your adjustable camera with you and benefit from the excercise of carrying it. You will not be sorry when viewing the prints.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft

    Go ahead and try ity it. Make my day by proving me wrong.
    A little testy today, Claire? This is a suckers challenge... you know you're right!

  10. #10

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    Not testy just certain.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

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