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Thread: required movement for landscape work???

  1. #11
    stradibarrius stradibarrius's Avatar
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    Re: required movement for landscape work???

    Hey Noah, I guess I could always drive the truck to a place I thought was a landscape and pretend I had Hiked 10 miles to get there. I could even sit down and take a brake.
    I know when I do still life type shots I use tilt, swing, rise & fall and some back movement as well.
    I am amazed at how long it takes to get a shot set up when I use my 4x5 vs. the same shot using my RB67.
    I have been to several places in Italy but never to Cremona???? I do plan to go the next time I go to Italy.

  2. #12

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    Re: required movement for landscape work???

    The popular camera for ultralight travel would be more apt to be a converted Polaroid rangefinder or even better, the Chamonix Sabre camera, with zero or limited movements. Other people favor the very light, somewhat delicate older design Japanese cameras like the Tachihara or the Ikeba wooden folders with front and some rear movements. Or the Gowland or Toho monorails that are especially tiny and light, with full movements, that may or may not be steady enough. These will cost $500 to $1000+, plus lenses.

    Or you could get a $200 to $600 Graflex Crown or Speed Graphic with a lens. It can be used hand-held, it has limited front movements, and it is inexpensive, fairly lightweight, and very rugged. It will fit into a day pack with a meter, loupe, and a few film holders - very simple. Buy an excellent-condition top-mounted, late model Pacemaker Crown Graphic from a reputable seller. I think these make a great second (or first) camera as they have deferent capabilities than most others, and they aren't overly precious or fussy devices. You could take them to war (lots of people did).

  3. #13

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    Re: required movement for landscape work???

    "Landscape" is a pretty broad term. But FWIW I use front forward tilt and front rise a lot, front swing occasionally, back tilt a lot, never use back swing, rise, or fall. Seldom use shift (I prefer to move the tripod and keep the lens and film centered rather than using the edges of the lens). In general and in my totally unscientific opinion it's pretty common to end up using more/greater movements than one needs to accomplish what one is trying to accomplish. That was my unfortunate practice when I started with LF photography, since then I've been trying to simplify as much as possible and find that the simpler it gets the more enjoyable it becomes.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  4. #14

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    Re: required movement for landscape work???

    If you shoot in canyon lands, or on mountains, you can use a lot of front fall. Field cameras tend to short on this, so I have used back rise on my Ebony because it only has 30mm of front fall. (Warning, you need to rotate the Ebony universal bellows 180 degrees if you have a wide lens and use a lot of fall - it is asymmetric and cuts off part of the image with fall.)

  5. #15
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: required movement for landscape work???

    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    How much movement is usually needed to do landscape work?
    Usually everything to start with upon arrival and setup then one (rear tilt) or at most two or three (tilt, swing, shift), once you truly evaluate the scene for what's actually needed.


    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    The reason I ask is if I were trying to select a camera to backpack less movement sometimes means less weight.
    All that is really needed for the lightest weight view camera, assuming you cannot compose effectively with a wide angle lens (DOF), is rear tilt for straightening the few distinct linear objects the natural landscape normally contains (i.e., trees). One should usually be able to position the camera without shifts and swings, or front movements at all, given a limited and reasonable assortment of lenses (e.g., wide, normal, long). Compromise. Take a look at the Peter Gowland cameras.

  6. #16

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    Re: required movement for landscape work???

    Hi Stradibarrius,

    A couple of things from my experience:

    First, I have three different brands of lightweight wooden folding cameras. All of them have front and rear swing and tilt, front rise and fall and shift. A couple of them in rather generous amounts. They range between six and three-and-a-half pounds. In my second home-town of Vienna, I shoot lots of architecturals with a wooden folder and a monorail. I only need the monorail and the attendant lenses with lots of coverage when shooting really tall buildings or huge interiors. For most of my work, the wooden folder works just fine. I can vignette my 90mm SA f/8 easily with the movements available on my Woodman. When shift/rise movements run out, there is always a way of getting a bit more using the "point and tilt/swing" approach.

    I have had one of my wooden folders for more than 15 years and it is still more than serviceable. I don't find them flimsy at all. Certainly, not as sturdy as a metal camera as far as abuse is concerned, but fine if one takes care of them; certainly sturdier than a violin on a tripod.

    What I'm getting at is that there are lots of lightweight cameras out there with more than enough movements for most lenses. You don't have to compromise unless you intend on doing lots of close architecturals with lenses with huge coverage.

    I have Wista DX cameras, a Horseman Woodman, and a later Zone VI camera in the wooden-folder category. I would recommend the Wista DX for lightweight and versatility as long as you don't need longer than 250mm lenses (actually, I shoot a 300mm on mine on a top-hat lens board). The advantage of the Wista for me is that it folds up with a lens mounted (including my Fujinon A 240mm). I shoot a 75mm lens on a recessed board on it as well. The Zone VI camera, although larger and heavier lets me shoot a 450mm lens. That said, I don't carry it that much on longer hikes because of its bulk and weight. My woodman is really bare-bones, but does the job just fine for lenses up to 240mm and down to 90mm.

    If I were shopping for a new wooden folder, I would take a look at the Chamonix cameras (the 45-1 had some focusing issues, but the 45-2 has that cleared up). They have generous movements and are not too expensive.

    I end up using lots of movements in the field. I'm always saying to myself when my camera is twisted up like a pretzel for some shot, "and they say you don't need movements for landscape work...". I find tilts and swings front and back as well as front rise/fall and some shift to be the minimum amount of movements for me. Image management is a creative activity for me. Perspective and image geometry manipulations are part of my visualization of the final image. If I didn't need movements, I'd be shooting MF.

    Best,

    Doremus

  7. #17
    stradibarrius stradibarrius's Avatar
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    Re: required movement for landscape work???

    Thanks for some good information.

  8. #18

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    Re: required movement for landscape work???

    A good old wooden flat bed with front rise-fall, plus rear tilts and swings give me all I ever need in the landscape. I have a Sinar Norma and other monorails and find that with them I still never use any more movements than mentioned above when photographing landscape.
    The one movement which is almost always used is tilt.

  9. #19

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    Re: required movement for landscape work???

    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    How much movement is usually needed to do landscape work?...
    I think folks have given you some good info to chew so I will just add a worthless comment...

    One foot in front of the other (then repeat) is the best amount movement for landscape photography.

    With LF photography, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise!

  10. #20

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    Re: required movement for landscape work???

    Vaughn,

    I agree 100%! I remember the one and only photo workshop I did on landscape photography. One of the participants asked about how to deal with perspective in landscape work. The instructor (a Minor White student whose name I can't remember now) just made the "let your fingers do the walking" gesture with one hand. That, and the advice to just "not notice" no trespassing signs when there is no danger are about the two best pieces of advice I've had for landscape work.

    Best,

    Doremus

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