The only other option is to accept distorted negs and tilt the easel when printing to restore the correct perspective. But then you will have to ensure adequate depth of field when printing.
Originally Posted by Allen Friday
"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs" (Ansel Adams)
As Allen suggests, if you're close enough to be getting excessive distortion, then use a longer lens and back up. This is a completely normal photographic situation.
Have the subject lean forward slightly, and have the camera slightly lower than eye level and use a longer lens
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I don't know if I understand your problem exactly.
Originally Posted by cjbecker
When you say "I put the camera at eye level" I suppose you mean subject eye level.
If this is a "headshot" (primissimo piano, you only frame the head, from neck to top, with little room above head) the eyes should be at half height of the frame, you should have no problem.
If this is a "bust" portrait (primo piano, from half chest up, leaving more room above the subject) maybe the eyes, depending on how you frame, would fall a bit above the middle of the frame. If you now put the camera at "eye level" you again have more space above the head in the picture, but you shouldn't have putting the camera at eye level as a goal.
In this situation, I would just leave the eyes in the upper middle of the frame. I would just keep the camera "level" (and the subject "vertical") and frame without regard of the relation between subject eye and lens axis.
If this results in "too big a nose" then your lens is too wide-angle for portrait and there is nothing one can do for that.
Generally speaking close portrait lens are, on 35mm, around 85 - 100mm of focal length, i.e. they are slight tele lens ("portrait tele lens" so called not by chance ).
With medium format you should use a focal length of around 135mm, keep the camera "level", and you should be able to frame your subject for a close headshot without any unnatural distortion and without any need to place the eyes of the subject in line with the axis of the lens, I suppose. You would focus on the eye closer to the camera, but there's no need to keep the eyes at the same height of the lens axis.
It's not a waste, it's a choice. Movements or cropping?
Originally Posted by cjbecker
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
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If your subject looks down at you when you shoot a normally composed photo, you're WAY too close and your lens is too short. Triple your focal length and take 4 steps back.
can you point us to a portrait in your portfolio ( here on on your website ) that shows
the style you are trying to recreated with your mf camera ?
while i understand what you are trying to do ( rise+tilt )
the easiest way to do that with a MF camera is to back up and use a longish lens, flatten the perspective &c.
unless you are able to tilt your enlarger head and baseboard .. then you do one movement when you take the photograph
and the other, when you make your print ... either that, or get yourself a MF camera that has a flexible body, so you can do all the things with it that you do with your LF camera ...
good luck !
Here is the thing. I prefer to use a lens in the normal range for portraits. This is for the 3/4 to full body. I dont really like how a long lens makes the image unintimant. For head shots I am still using a normal lens. 80 for 6x6 and 150 for 4x5. I love how they show intamicy in the portrait. You feel like you are right there with the subject.
Then I am also doing envirmental portraits with a wide angle. 50 of 6x6. This is where the problem is most dominent. This was what i was doing last night and got frustrated. It was impossible to compose.
Last edited by cjbecker; 05-15-2012 at 08:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
You either have to use a longer lens and stand back, or deal with the situation you now have.
This is the style with the large format where I place the camera a eye level (or close) and then drop the back to compose.
I don’t really have any good ones to show of the environmental with the wide angle, it’s not something thats normal for me I just plan on shooting more. I have some undeveloped negs of this circumstance though.