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Thread: The first tilt?

  1. #1

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    The first tilt?

    This seems to be the right place to ask a question that occurred to me recently for the first time, surprisingly enough after more than four decades of familiarity with large format: when was the first tilt lens and practice/discussion of reorienting the plane of sharp focus?

    I tried looking for this in my own books and on the web to no avail. I don't recall having seen it mentioned in any history, but that decidedly does not preclude having come across it. What I found the other day was the first "adjustable lens" camera by one ___________ Lewis (see what I mean?) in 1846. However, I found a photograph of his camera and the adjustment appeared to be only moving the lens to focus it.

    Undoubtedly, one of the experts here will know; perhaps someone even has one of the cameras that started it. How it may have come about may be interesting to speculate, whether it came after a rising front or before, or, perhaps, actually started with a back tilt, or even swing. I'll be interested in learning.
    Ulophot

    Sine scientia ars nihil est.

  2. #2
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: The first tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulophot View Post
    This seems to be the right place to ask a question that occurred to me recently for the first time, surprisingly enough after more than four decades of familiarity with large format: when was the first tilt lens and practice/discussion of reorienting the plane of sharp focus?
    If you're talking about tilting the lens plane relative to the film plane to control focus, eg the Scheimpflug Principle, Scheimpflug (Austria) got his patent in 1904. It looks like Jules Carpentier (France) got a patent on a camera that could tilt the lens stage in 1901. But Scheimpflug is the guy who described how it all worked, how you had to have 3 planes converge along a single line.

    Worse (better?), it appears that Scheimpflug published the math several years earlier in the late 1890s.

    This might not be what you're looking for, IDK.

    Bruce Watson

  3. #3

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    Re: The first tilt?

    Thanks, that's pretty much it. I have been looking over 19th C. photographs, including a recent exhibit at the National Gallery, which is what prompted my question, as I looked at depth-of-field.
    Ulophot

    Sine scientia ars nihil est.

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