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  1. #1
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Limitations of Non-Movment Camera

    Ok so I have a problem and I need some help with it. Here is a little back ground first. I shoot medium format and large format camera. The medium format camera has no movements and the large format has full movements. This question is geared towards shooting portraits, with a tripod. 3/4 to full body portraits.

    For portraits I prefer to shoot eye level, and with the camera Level so I do not get any weird changes in proportions (not sure if thats the right word to use). Iím talking about like the equivalent of tilting a wide angle up and down.

    With the large format camera I put the lens at eye level, with the camera level, then drop the back down so itís composed with the head at the top of the frame.

    With the medium format that does not have movements, I put the camera at eye level, and also with the camera level, but then itís not composed the way that I prefer. The subject is in the bottom of the frame with lots of room above there head. The only way to correct that is but tilting the camera down or lowering the whole camera, but that either makes the proportions wrong, or makes the subject look down at you. Neither that I like.

    Is there any way around the problem of framing without a camera with movements?

  2. #2
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Shoot the medium format camera handheld, and that way you can more easily choose the height. Or get barber's chair with a pneumatic rise column?
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."ó Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  3. #3
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Hand holding does not change the fact that I prefer to have the camera level and at eye level with the subject.

  4. #4

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    Back up and use a longer lens on the MF camera. You will need more studio space, but the effect of tilting the camera down will be much less noticeable.

  5. #5
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    So under the original circumstances, it’s not possible without movements?

  6. #6
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Crop the top?
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." AnaÔs Nin

  7. #7
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    I don’t want to waste neg, I crop in camera.

  8. #8
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Put your subject on apple boxes so they are taller than you.

  9. #9
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Then they are not at eye level.

    This is getting fun.

  10. #10

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    I shoot portraits with 35mm and sometimes MF. As long as I use relatively long lens, say 80mm and up for 35mm and 150mm for MF, prospective distortions aren't noticeable. It's quite common to keep the lens at subject's eye levels so you don't get this "looking up" or "looking down" (relative to subject's face) views which are used on purpose from time to time for specific effect. I don't use LF so I never have the benefit of movements but I never felt a need for one especially taking portraits of any kind.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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