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Thread: Alternative to rise and fall?

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    Alternative to rise and fall?

    As we all know, one of the great things about a view camera and a tilt / shift lens is the ability to keep vertical lines vertical while taking a photograph of a building from a slightly elevated position (as opposed to tilting the camera upwards.) Though I was thinking this morning - wouldn't raising the center column on a tripod do the same thing more or less? Though I'm guessing that rise and fall would make more of a dramatic difference in viewpoint? To be honest, I can't really visualise getting that kind of elevated viewpoint of a building with a tripod's center column being raised.

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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    No. Adjusting the center column on the tripod will also raise the sensor/ film back along with the lens.

    A view camera/ tilt shift lens allows the lens to shift while the camera back remains in a fixed position, so the effects are significantly greater then moving the whole camera/lens. All of which is assuming the attached lens has the image circle to handle the shifting.
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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    I'd say it will work if you raise the middle column so far that te camera is held perfectly vertical at about the half height of the building.

    So for very low buildings it might work, but for tall buidings this becomes unpractical pretty quickly.


    But another way to avoid rise/fall is to use a lens with an angle of view double of what is needed to get the whole building in its field, then just keep the sensor/film plane again exactly vertical and crop off the bottom 50% of the image.
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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    So for very low buildings it might work, but for tall buidings this becomes unpractical pretty quickly.
    True. I have come across tripods used in construction that are gigantic - some can extend to over 4 meters in height. Though still not sufficient for tall buildings. Of course the other option is extendable poles that can get to over 10 meters in height. Ive just ordered a 7.5 meter pole though I won't be using it to photograph architecture in that way. The camera will be angled down at houses.

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    But another way to avoid rise/fall is to use a lens with an angle of view double of what is needed to get the whole building in its field, then just keep the sensor/film plane again exactly vertical and crop off the bottom 50% of the image.
    Clever thinking!

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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    I'd say it will work if you raise the middle column so far that te camera is held perfectly vertical at about the half height of the building.

    So for very low buildings it might work, but for tall buidings this becomes unpractical pretty quickly.
    Still not the same as rise/fall since the point of view of the camera is now very high. Most architectural imaging is done from very roughly eye height; the same as being there in person (as a human, not a bird).
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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    You can also use front and back tilt. Point the camera up and tilt the lens board and image plane to be parallel to the building. Rise and fall is all relative.
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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    You can also use front and back tilt. Point the camera up and tilt the lens board and image plane to be parallel to the building. Rise and fall is all relative.
    Which is really just an another mechanic to accomplish rise/fall.

    So not really an "alternative" in the way the OP means.
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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Still not the same as rise/fall since the point of view of the camera is now very high. Most architectural imaging is done from very roughly eye height; the same as being there in person (as a human, not a bird).
    I never said it was "the same". I just suggested it as an alternate means to get a photo of a building without falling lines. Agree the perspective halfway up is different from lower ground level (for a tall buiding). What you prefer is determined by what you're after
    Last edited by pegelli; 1st September 2019 at 11:09.

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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Which is really just an another mechanic to accomplish rise/fall.

    So not really an "alternative" in the way the OP means.
    I'm sorry, I thought the idea of simply raising the center column was already discussed earlier in the thread and discounted. I was just expanding the scope of the discussion, if that is OK?

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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    TBH unless you want to shoot wide and crop or tilt and adjust in post I don’t know of any real alternative to rise/fall.
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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    If I did not have my 4x5 or my medium format tech cam and lenses, and I needed to take architectural photos I would do what Graham suggests.

    I would take my next best camera, the Fuji XPro2, and shoot with my XF 14mm lens and leave a lot of crop trimming (might make panos).
    Then I would process the images using the transform tool in PS or LR.

    I am not one to use the center column on a tripod unless under perfect conditions and with a lightweight camera due to vibrations. In the past, I used a Ries wood tripod with my 4x5 cameras (sold off, but would like another) as wood tripods have better vibration damping qualities than metal, and these type of 4x5 tripods do not come with center columns on purpose.

    In the end, if a tech camera is not available and it is a necessity to have straight lines in buildings, etc., the tools of PS would serve well provided a good shooting technique, a quality lens, and adequate post-processing skills are in the mix.

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    Re: Alternative to rise and fall?

    Using a longer lens (say, a 75mm over a 35mm) whilst moving much further back from the subject, can reduce some of the Keystoning due to narrowing the amount that the camera is titled upwards.

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