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Thread: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Tilt/swing with tech cameras

    I was wondering if there is a particular technique for establishing tilt when using a tech camera when not using a GG for focus checking?

    I'm very used to accurately setting tilt when using a GG on a 4x5 and DSLR using the viewfinder or live view. However, the GG on my Alpa is pretty small and a challenge at times even for regular focusing (I mostly use zone focus with distometer or infinity/hyper-focal setting). Is there a good workable solution for setting tilt without the use of the GG or a bunch of math (I know how to calculate it but that's not really practical in the field).

    Is there an easy technique for approximating what's needed or do folks play the trial and error game? I've been experimenting with focus stacking as an alternative to getting a tilt/swing adapter for my Alpa but it makes for a lot of shooting, particularly if adding shifts & LCC shots.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Btw, if anyone knows of an existing scheimflug calculator app for the iPhone then that might work too.

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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Hi, the article posted below may be a good starting point, especially the printable tables at the end.
    Hope it helps
    Wolfgang


    http://www.davidsummerhayes.com/Focu...ift%20lens.pdf

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    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    I can’t really comment yet because I have yet to get my new(ish) Toyo VX23D in my hot little hands, but I recently purchased a Leaf Aptus primarily because of the large LCD; I won’t be using a ground glass at all, rather blowing up the LCD image to check sharpness, and/or tethering to a MBP (easy enough in the studio!) with either the Leaf software or Capture One.

    I don’t think there any any easy Scheimpflug solutions.

    It will be 2011 before I can get started — should be fun (haven’t used movements for over 20 years!).
    Last edited by mediumcool; 26th December 2010 at 07:09. Reason: added a word and deleted a word

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    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Hi, the article posted below may be a good starting point, especially the printable tables at the end.
    Hope it helps
    Wolfgang
    http://www.davidsummerhayes.com/Focu...ift%20lens.pdf
    The tables in this PDF appear to apply to Canon TS lenses.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Hi, the article posted below may be a good starting point, especially the printable tables at the end.
    Hope it helps
    Wolfgang


    http://www.davidsummerhayes.com/Focu...ift%20lens.pdf
    Thank you - very useful practical info at the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    The tables in this PDF appear to apply to Canon TS lenses.
    True - actually it's pretty handy and I can rustle up the same tables for the Alpa short barrel lenses anyway.

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Graham

    There is also a DOF/SHIFT + TILT calculator from RODENSTOCK .
    It is a kind of circular slide rule . I have it and used it quite often with my 4x5 ARCA .
    It is also available on the american market or through E**ay .
    That might be of interest for you .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Thanks Jurgen - I just picked one up from eBay. Some of the feedback on the web is that it's a little confusing to use but for $20 I'll give it a go.

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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    For an approximate value for the the tilt angle:

    Divide the focal length by ten
    divide that by two
    divide that by the "J" value in meters.

    e.g. f = 150mm, J = 1m, tilt = 7.5 degrees

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Graham,

    The biggest problem with the estimation methods is that the required angle varies significantly with subject distance. I can demo this on our workshop for you, but for *most* landscape shots where you want infinity focus simply divide the lens' focal length by 30 and use that for degrees of tilt. So for a 35 lens, use 1*, for a 90mm lens use 3*. The next issue is where to focus initially. Here I always suggest either of these two choices, and make sure you are using the lens' tilt axis for the focus points since the scheimpflug DoF will articulate around that axis: 1) focus on your most important subject or 2) focus 1/3rd of the way between your closest and furthest critical subjects.

    Note that when I say an infinity subject, generally you can assume any object that is least 1000 times the focal length distance away is at infinity. (If you are hyper critical or are shooting wider than f8, use 3000x focal length.)
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Thanks Jack, that's very useful!

    I'm trying to weigh up whether to get a tilt/swing adapter or not at the moment - the challenge for me has been that I do find myself needing greater DOF when shooting with my 47mm lens for good near/far perspective shots with subjects like receding fence lines or foreground interest elements. Less so with my 90mm although that's almost certainly due to the types of shooting I've been doing recently and I know that the need will arise in the future too. The Alpa tilt/swing adapter will work with lenses > 80mm but not wider which actually might make it beneficial to spend more time getting used to focus stacking/Helicon Focus rather than adding more complexity to my outfit. I can use this with both any wider or longer lenses in the future too. My previous experience using Live View with my D3x & Nikon T/S lenses was a challenge but doable. Using a 4x5" GG was certainly easier in the past with LF than the small 33x44mm view of the world that I have today! Heck, maybe it's just telling me that my eyes are going and what I actually really need is a stronger loupe

    I'm definitely looking forward to picking your brains regarding field craft on the workshop in February.

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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    I think Jack may have over simplified the answer( no offence ) .Have a look at Harold Merklinger's site to get a good understanding of view camera focus.He has a xl spreadsheet that you can use for estimating tilt angles. If you have your camera set up vertical to the ground and want the plane of focus to be at right angle to it and along the ground the tilt angle is approx. = f/5J where f is in mm and J is the height of the camera from the ground in feet. So you can see from this the height of the camera is quite important. Once you have tilted the lens you still need to focus - the original question - the lens focus distance numbers become meaningless - you really need to look at the ground glass or do some test shots beforehand to establish the exact focus point.
    Cheers JOHN

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Thanks John. The David Summer Hayes paper also refers to calculating the tilt using the height J - when we can use a nice wireless iPad connection to a CMOS MFDB with live view and an anti-glare screen in the field so that you actually see what you're doing, this'll all be MUCH easier! I'll keep dreaming ...

    Btw, I'd also like a handheld metering/preview app for the iPad with the capabilities of Viewfinder Pro but with live histogram and multi-point metering, oh and wireless shutter / aperture release for an electronic shutter that'll save me from fussing with copal shutter, waking the MFDB, forgetting to recock the shutter or over exposing two stops because i just shot an LCC frame and didn't reset the settings afterwards. Not much to ask for eh?

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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Graham

    Your dreams will make my hibernation much more beautiful .:sleep006:
    I am wondering , which iPHONE APP s will be presented by ALPA .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    I am wondering , which iPHONE APP s will be presented by ALPA .
    Good question. Got any info? They mention 3rd party apps like Viewfinder Pro & ProCamera on their web site.

    I use Viewfinder Pro myself and it works pretty well for framing tests, although I don't have any super-wide lenses so I don't need a wide angle adapter for the phone cam. I have it set up for my 645DF & lenses and my Alpa and a couple of lenses too. I'm one of those folks who was taught to test framing and focal length using a cardboard frame so VF Pro really is just a more usable version that's always with me and also allows you to keep a record shot as well.

    I'm waiting for the Alpa iPhone/iPod Touch adapter to actually ship. Initially I was scared off by the nose bleed pricing as it's not cheap, but I figure that you only need to add a couple of lenses over time and have one or two new custom masks made with the current optical finder and you've pretty much covered the cost (as per Alpa's price list at least).

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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    when we can use a nice wireless iPad connection to a CMOS MFDB with live view and an anti-glare screen in the field so that you actually see what you're doing, this'll all be MUCH easier! I'll keep dreaming ...
    ...and wireless shutter / aperture release for an electronic shutter that'll save me from fussing with copal shutter, waking the MFDB, forgetting to recock the shutter or over exposing two stops because i just shot an LCC frame and didn't reset the settings afterwards. Not much to ask for eh?
    With the Phocus mobile application for the iPad, and the Sinar eShutters, I think we are nearly there, with live view on a laptop, and pre-view on the iPad.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Tilt/shift with tech cameras

    Ditch the laptop component and we'll be getting there.

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