a pacemaker and crown graphic for portrait work,
they work very well in this way, they are press cameras
and were built for documentary and portrait work.
i have a 50s pacemaker and have made environmental portraits
with it since it was purchased in 1988.
i wouldn't consider these cameras for architectural work
( unless i was using a wide lens and shooting straight on )
but for portraits, i wouldn't hesitate.
Does an unmodified camera have any front swing? If setup in portrait orientation you would need to use the swing to get a tilt movement. I believe this is not available. This would limit your tilt play to landscape orientation only.
The Super Graphic, last production model made would be my choice. Rotating back, bed drop, front standard tilts fore and aft, lateral shift, swings, and rise and fall. Otherwise an older view camera would be a good economic choice, Steven.
Steven, the Super Graphic, unlike the Pacemakers, has unlinked inner and outer bed rails. This makes focusing short focal lengths that make infinity on the inner rails very difficult. Win a little, lose a lot.
As you said, a PITA. As you didn't say, usable only with a limited range of focal lengths at a limited range of focused distances. In most situations, unusable.
Originally Posted by BradS
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
so why it is again that one needs swings and tilts for portraits ?
Dan wants tilt, let us recommend something that gives him tilt!
Thanks all for the vibrant debate and great information.
The point of the movements while shooting portraits is mess with the plane of focus a bit -- to add more/different out of focus areas in order to focus attention, etc. I'm already a big fan of shooting wide open on my smaller cameras; the idea would be to exaggerate the out of focus effects even more by through the use of movements. Hey, it looks "good" (or at least interesting, at least some of the time) when it's faked in digital. I'd hope to achieve a similar, but more subtle and honest, effect through movements.
Patrick Messina's stuff here: http://www.patrickmessina.com/port.html is a good example of some of the look I'd like to recreate. If I can do them with a press camera, awesome. If I would really need the movements afforded by a view camera ... then I'm glad I'm figuring that out now!
you could always use your press camera, and instead of using a normal
lens in a lensboard, get a lensbaby, and replace their lens with one you know
covers your 4x5 format ... and just do all your movements with the lens, rather than
the front standard ... the photographs you linked to look like they could be recreated
that way ... if you don't want to buy a field camera ( or rail camera ) which can give you
more movements than barely any swing/tilt/shift from a press camera ...
putting a lens in foamcore instead of a rigid lensboard also will give you the opportunity to
mess around with your plane of focus as well.
good luck !
Dan, I have a variety of old view and press cameras, and would chose a view camera over a press camera to duplicate Patrick Messina's style. Tilts and swings are usually easier made with the view camera. The Pacemaker series Graphics can be modified to have front swings, but this limits other functions. Contrary to what is implied in the link in your first post, the Anniversary Speed Graphic did not have front tilt. The front standard from a Pacemaker Graphic can be installed on an Anniversary to give some tilt, but that is not a completely satisfactory solution due to the greater angle of the dropped front on the Anniversary. The front standard of the Pacemaker can be altered by drilling a new hole for the tilt clamping screw to permit both front and back tilt. The Speed Graphic has been the subject of countless such modifications to give it more of the functions of a view camera, but it is still just a mangled press camera.