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  1. #1
    Sparky's Avatar
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    HUGE Image Circles (lens coverage)

    MASSIVELY overrated. What do you think? Everyone's so hung up on this. I spent COUNTLESS hours trying to figure out which lenses had the biggest coverage - even to the point of considering a 150 grandagon for my normal lens on 4x5. I'm an architectural photographer, too - so you'd think it would be important to me. When I do lens rises - they tend to be pretty subtle - rarely more than 10-20mm. And QUITE often I use 5mm or less. I even think it's quite refreshing not to use ANY. More than 10mm on 4x5 just starts to look kind of silly IMHO. Others' opinions?

  2. #2

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    Using ULF this becomes a primary consideration. Horses for courses - you don;t need 25 inches of coverage for a 4x5 but try architectural photography with an 11x14 or 8x20. HUGE image circles aren;t overrated at all in those circumstances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    More than 10mm on 4x5 just starts to look kind of silly IMHO.
    Looks silly how?

  4. #4
    Ian
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    Talking of huge, how about 900mm coverage. That big enough.

    Fine Art lenses from S-K 550mm and 1100mm.

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt miller
    Looks silly how?
    I'd guess that he means that if you need more than 10mm of front rise on 4x5", the subject starts to look unnaturally forshortened.

    That said, here in New York where the structures are tall and the working distance is small and scaffolds are expensive and involve permits, I'm often using all the direct and indirect front rise I can get. If I could have gotten another 1/4" (on 8x10") to avoid clipping this arch, I would have taken it (when they finally take down the construction fence I was backed up against, I'll try it again)--

    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

  6. #6
    Ole
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    I run out of front rise on landscapes - and sometimes front drop too. But I blame the geography for that.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  7. #7
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Well, I personally think that ten inches of rise (WERE that even POSSIBLE on an 11x14 camera) would look pretty silly. It's all relative. Whereas 100mm of rise on 11x14 is reasonably conservative in my book. I usually find that,when I need to use too much front rise - say 35 mm or more on 4x5 that it's a sign that my vantage point is the wrong one. Of course - MUCH depends on the geometry of the scene. I think tall buildings shot with excessive front rise introduce distortions which cast the building in a pretty unflattering light. Now, when I say 'distortions' I am referring to the exaggeration of one axis over the other (vertical vs. horizontal) - yes, an issue of foreshortening. I think that such buildings are shot better with a long lens - from much further away (see new york cityscape shot - 210mm sironar from empire state bldg, 45th floor). The other shot I've included for illustration is an interior which I shot with a 75mm grandagon with over 35mm of rise. To me the geometry is looking pretty strained. To the point where the composition is kind of falling apart as a result. Not that I don't like the shot - it's just something that subtracts from my enjoyment a bit. So what am I trying to say here? Well, coverage is really handy if you absolutely HAVE to get the shot... but I would choose NOT to use it for personal work if it were up to me. The other issue was that I was wondering if people get too hung up sometimes on these technical aspects - when the lack of coverage might otherwise force them to become more creative. It's not any dogma on my part - simply a conversation starter whose trajectory I thought might be interesting. That's all.
    Last edited by Sparky; 03-31-2007 at 03:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I think with the interior shot, the problem isn't so much the rise per se, as much as the sense that there are two competing compositional elements--the painting and the structure. You could have selected a higher vantage point by using a ladder (if there was room for one) to avoid using as much front rise, so the structure would look better proportioned, but then I think the painting would look wrong or the lines wouldn't lead in the right direction.
    Last edited by David A. Goldfarb; 06-25-2005 at 10:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
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    I would agree with David. I don't see an issue with picture relating to image circle or maybe I'm missing something. I do think that the right hand wall (or painting not both) is not needed and the image as a whole could have benefited by shooting when the sky was darker (earlier later in the day) or if the room was better illuminated.

    *

  10. #10

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    I don't think coverage is over rated. Of course, it depends. Coverage is confusing for beginners at LF photography because it is a new concept that they didn't have to deal with for for small or medium format photography.

    Sure, a 150 Grandagon is overkill for 4x5 since the plasmats have plenty of coverage. But the 90 mm focal length is a diffferent story. A Grandagon (or Super-Angulon or Nikkor-SW) is a real advance over a plain Angulon or the like.

    Looking over my notes, I find that I routinely use front rise up to 30 mm. There are many times when I use little or no rise, but others when it makes the photo possible.

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