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  1. #11
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    I do the same. Have a small torpedo level in each large format kit.

    I also invested in a nice gridded Steve Hopf ground glass for the 8x10. His grids are inked on in such a way that under the dark cloth they disappear completely for composing. But when you need them all that's required is to subtly lift the cloth to let in just a little bit of light, then they show nicely against the still visible image. It's like having both a gridded and non-gridded glass installed at the same time. I love it.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  2. #12

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    Use slower film and a wider angle lens and then rotate the enlarged easel.

  3. #13
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Interesting comments. I've found that even when you use a tripod and a spirit level sometimes the horizons aren't straight. I can think of a few photographs I've taken where I've buildings in the foreground and they are correct but the horizon slopes sometimes quite significantly. It's usually due to the angle of light and atmospheric conditions and is most noticable when it's the sea leading to the horizon, other times it's due to the topography.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 08-03-2013 at 02:45 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #14

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    I only have this problem with my Mamiya 7, it's the only camera I output crooked photos, till I realized some genius decided to make the breaks in the outline of the frame lines different on one side than on the other, I have no clue what the reason is, but it's my one complaint about the Mamiya 7.

    So I think the fe2 is a RF right? So that could be the issue too?


    Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #15
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    I too use a spirit level in my day-to-day business; helps tremendously.

    Although lately, I have found that when I tighten the head, it actually pulls it down slightly, meaning it is the tiniest bit out. Time for me to purchase a new one that works better!

  6. #16
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    All of my cameras have a grid focusing screen fitted, additional to a bidirectional ('T') spirit level on my 35mm EOS1N. The grid screen makes it very easy to precisely align the horizon and verticals.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  7. #17
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post

    So I think the fe2 is a RF right? So that could be the issue too?
    The OP has mentioned elsewhere having a Nikon FE2
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  8. #18
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Mark,

    It is obvious to me that you need a large format camera.

    Our big brains are sometimes too smart IMO. They "fix" what we see in the viewfinder all too easily.

    Yes as others have said getting a screen with lines/a grid may help, but leveling the tilt around the lens axis may not be the whole issue.

    What I mean by "needing" a large format camera, is that camera movements (specifically here swing and tilt of the back without regard for where the lens is pointed) can help you see and fix the "other issues" in the composition.

    You can actually get a feel for this with your current camera. It takes two lenses or a zoom to see the difference and is easiest to see if the subject has strong horizontals and verticals. Pick a subject that you can shoot with say a short telephoto 70-100mm and a lens about half that focal length 35-50 or shorter.

    Compose the tele shot tight just as you normally have shot before, now put the shorter lens on and carefully tilt the camera and swing it left or right until you get all the horizontals and verticals where they look "square". The original "long lens" composition may be in the upper right (or some other spot).

    Go print both negatives, crop the wide angle shot to roughly match the long lens shot. For this experiment completely ignore grain and resolution concerns, this is purely about geometry and composition.

    If that fixes the problem, shoot wide and crop as a normal part of your life or get a camera with movements.

    ps. Note that I didn't say use a level.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 08-03-2013 at 06:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  9. #19
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    So I think the fe2 is a RF right? So that could be the issue too?
    k
    No, it's an SLR.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  10. #20
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Unless you are making straight architectural drawings or photographs, the angle you choose to use with your camera for artistic expression is up to you. Verticals, horizontals and horizons can be expressed as your interpretation of the scene. This is all bound up with composition, form, line, tone and movement within the frame. Throw away your spirit level and watch some batman films, or look at the different ways visual artists have used perspective.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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