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Thread: Tachihara tilt

  1. #1

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    Tachihara tilt

    I'm still getting used to my Tachihara Hope 4x5; not enough time to practice or shoot with it. Anyway, on a couple of field trips recently, I began to wonder if anyone uses front axis tilt rather than base. Perusing comments on the web, I came across one referring specifically to the same camera, saying that one can use front axis tilt by "tak[ing] out the tabs." Tabs? My lens board "locks" to vertical height position with the upper thumbscrews, but nothing prevents some manual tilting of it in either direction. While this adustment doesn't truly lock as the base tilt does, it seems secure with moderate bellows draw, providing one is not out in the wind, although cocking the shutter could move it, I guess.

    In any case, in setting up the camera, normalizing the front is really by feel -- the detents in the base-tilt arms are used, of course, but there are no detents, stops (tabs?), or locks on the lens board's axial verticality. Am I (or my camera) missing something?

    Thanks.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  2. #2

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    Re: Tachihara tilt

    I'm not super-familiar with the Tachihara you have, but from your description, it seems that removing the tabs (that presumably hold the front standard in the channel) to enable front axis tilts would remove any mechanism for holding the front standard at zero tilt position except your aligning it by feel and tightening the lock screw enough. I would worry that the front standard would too easily be knocked out of alignment by setting/cocking the shutter, using a heavy lens, etc., etc.

    So, if the tabs are easily removable and you can easily reinstall them to restore the camera to its original configuration, you can always try it out and see if it works. If not, I'd likely not change anything. I do fine with base tilts, front and back; it's just a matter of getting used to them.

    Personally, I'm so comfortable with base tilts, I'd likely not even bother with the modification.

    I did spend a few hours mastering the base tilts on my first field camera years ago. My method, if your interested. is to always focus first at the bottom of the ground glass (usually the most distant point, but not always) and then tilt while watching both my chosen focus points. I tilt till they are equally out-of-focus and then refocus the bottom one. Then I check the top point and tweak the focus a bit and note if the focus gets better or worse. If better, I'll tilt a tiny bit more in that direction (e.g., if more bellows extension makes the focus better, I'll tilt in the direction of longer bellows), if worse, I'll tilt in the opposite way. Then it's refocus bottom and check top again and repeat if needed till focus is acceptable.

    Hope this helps,

    Doremus

  3. #3

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    Re: Tachihara tilt

    First I'll need to find out from a Tachi user where these tabs are supposed to be. As I indicated, they are not in evidence on mine.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  4. #4
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: Tachihara tilt

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulophot View Post
    First I'll need to find out from a Tachi user where these tabs are supposed to be. As I indicated, they are not in evidence on mine.
    The tabs on my Tachihara 45GF (with the Hope Tachihara label on the back) are at the lower corners of the lens panel. The tabs can be disengaged from the channels in the front vertical guides by applying maximum rise to the lens panel and tilting it forward. Centre tilts of the lens panel are possible but the small locking knobs have to be really tight to prevent movement....not so easy.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  5. #5
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Tachihara tilt

    It took some practice, but I've become perfectly comfortable with front base tilts for landscape photography.

    However, there is another, perhaps easier way to achieve front axis tilt.

    As you know, your Tachi already has front axis swing. If you have a sturdy tripod/head, you can simply turn the entire camera 90 degrees, or "on its side" and presto!, your front axis swing converts to front axis tilt.

    Your other camera movements, of course, will also convert into something different, and that might also prove useful. One might say that Tachi users have more movements than the instruction manual shows.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tachi 4x5 diagonal view.jpg  
    Last edited by Heroique; 9-Nov-2018 at 14:31.

  6. #6

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    Re: Tachihara tilt

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    It took some practice, but I've become perfectly comfortable with front base tilts for landscape photography.

    However, there is another, perhaps easier way to achieve front axis tilt.

    As you know, your Tachi already has front axis swing. If you have a sturdy tripod/head, you can simply turn the entire camera 90 degrees, or "on its side" and presto!, your front axis swing converts to front axis tilt.

    Your other camera movements, of course, will also convert into something different, and that might also prove useful. One might say that Tachi users have more movements than the instruction manual shows.
    And that would then make it yaw free as the tilt is now below the swing!

  7. #7

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    Re: Tachihara tilt

    Thanks to all. I came home and checked my camera, just in case I had somehow managed to overlook something that would lock the lens board vertically to the front standard channels. Nope. It must be a model that simply didn't have this feature. Mr. Tachihara, from what I've read, revised his models a good bit as he went along.

    My lens board is held by the two upper thumbscrews alone. A wide nylon washer interfaces between the inner screw surface and wood. Tightening fully holds the axial position pretty well. But I will, of course, continue learning how to use the base tilts. I used a monorail from 20 years before exchanging it for the field camera, so base tilts are a new trick for this old dog.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  8. #8

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    Re: Tachihara tilt

    My first 4x5 camera was a Tachihara, in 1982. In '92 I bought a Zone VI 4x5, which has both base and axis tilt on the front standard. I still use that camera, but I've always found the simpler base tilts of the Tachi to be more user-friendly. For the simple reason that when you set up the Tachi, the front standard is vertical and parallel to the rear standard. With the Z-VI, the front standard can move around some, and I always have to check parallelism. So it's a bit more fiddly that way. 26 years later I'm still using the Z-VI, so I've lived with it for a long time. On the job I've used Calumet CC-400s, (center tilt), Sinar F2 (asymmetrical tilts), Calumet C-1 (center), 8x10 Kodak Master, and I also now have a base-tilt Sinar Norma (which needs repair).
    I guess my point is this; Figuring out the base tilt will become second nature with a little practice, and modifying the camera doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

  9. #9

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    Re: Tachihara tilt

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    My first 4x5 camera was a Tachihara, in 1982. In '92 I bought a Zone VI 4x5, which has both base and axis tilt on the front standard. I still use that camera, but I've always found the simpler base tilts of the Tachi to be more user-friendly. For the simple reason that when you set up the Tachi, the front standard is vertical and parallel to the rear standard. With the Z-VI, the front standard can move around some, and I always have to check parallelism. So it's a bit more fiddly that way. 26 years later I'm still using the Z-VI, so I've lived with it for a long time. On the job I've used Calumet CC-400s, (center tilt), Sinar F2 (asymmetrical tilts), Calumet C-1 (center), 8x10 Kodak Master, and I also now have a base-tilt Sinar Norma (which needs repair).
    I guess my point is this; Figuring out the base tilt will become second nature with a little practice, and modifying the camera doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
    My preference is for optical axis tilts as neither focus or the image shift while tilting.. but your having both base and center tilt creates an easy way to get increased extension by tiltiting all the way forward with the base movements and then use the center tilt to make the front standard parallel to the film.

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