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Raffay
20-Feb-2013, 03:02
Hello

I am planning to buy a new LF camera, currently I own a Razzle 900 which is a very good camera but is fixed lens with no movements, hence the limitation. I am inspired by ken Lee and have learnt a lot from his website, on his website he recommends Sinar P due to its asymmetric or yaw-free movements. I have checked Sinar, it is almost 6 kg which I think would be very heavy for field work, also it will cost a lot in shipping. I am tempted by the "yaw-free" feature, as it seems to be a very useful thing to have. Lately, I have seen a new model of Chamonix here is the link http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/045F1.html

This new model is supposed to have asymmetrical movements. I have asked the owner, and he has confirmed that it has asymmetric movements, but I am not sure if there are any fine points to it or not. Can anyone compare the two and comment if the new Chamonix has the same movement features as the older Sinar P.

Cheers
Raffay

Bob Salomon
20-Feb-2013, 03:40
Assymetric movements have nothing to do with yaw-free movements. All cameras with movements are yaw free if they are used sideways and a yaw free camera can hase base, center or assymetric movements or any combination of the three. Yaw free only means that a standard has a swing movement underneath the tilt mechanism.

Doremus Scudder
20-Feb-2013, 03:52
Hello

I am planning to buy a new LF camera, ... on his website he recommends Sinar P due to its asymmetric or yaw-free movements. ... Lately, I have seen a new model of Chamonix ... is supposed to have asymmetrical movements.

First, you need to differentiate between asymmetrical swings and tilts and yaw-free movements.

With the former, almost always found on the rear standard, the swing and/or tilt axis is designed to be off-center but still in the image area. This allows focusing on one point on the image plane at one side/end of the ground glass on one of the axes and then swinging/tilting around that axis till the rest of the plane comes into focus. This eliminates the need to refocus and reiterate when tilting with cameras with base tilts. For cameras with axis swings and tilts, there is little practical advantage; perhaps a bit more accuracy due to the greater distance between focus points. Note that most field cameras and some monorail cameras have base tilts, but the swing movements are on axis for the most part. This makes the asymetrical feature most advantageous for tilting, i.e., for eliminating some of the iterations necessary when using base tilts. That said, I work well and fast with base tilts and would wager that when applying tilt, I'm equally fast or only a second or two slower than those who use asymmetrical tilt. It is really a question of getting used to the system you have and mastering it.

Yaw-free movements have to do with eliminating the yaw, or sideways tipping of a standard when applying both tilt and swing to the same standard. Basically, if the tilt axis on a standard is below or in the same plane as the swing axis, then the camera is yaw-free. If the tilt axis is above the swing axis then, if you apply tilt and then swing, the yaw will displace the tilt sideways a bit and throw the camera out-of-focus, requiring refocusing. Note that this is found more on monorail cameras than field cameras. Field cameras with base tilts are basically yaw-free.

Do a quick search for the Ebony document about asymmetrical movements and the Sinar document explaining yaw-free movements for more info.

Now my personal advice: You really have to ask yourself how much you are planning to use movements on your camera. The most and most intricate movements will be needed with table-top or close up work when you are really trying to preserve focus on a particular plane and you have really three-dimensional subjects. If you plan on doing a lot of this type of work, then get a monorail with yaw-free movements together with axis swings and tilts if possible.

The next most demanding area in terms of movements is architecture, especially if you are doing interiors. Again, if you are planning on making a career or a large body of work in this genre, then a monorail with yaw-free movements as well as axis swings and tilts, and all the other bells and whistles will be a joy to work with. That said, I do quite a bit of architectural work of both exteriors and interiors with a wooden field camera. It is a bit slower and requires a better knowledge of what movements do, and sometimes runs out of coverage, but largely does a fine job.

If you are planning on doing mostly landscape/nature/abstract work, then the need for asymmetrical movements may be helpful, especially if you plan on dealing with a lot of near-far type shots where both foreground and background need to be in sharp focus. Notice, that asymmetrical movements show up mostly on field cameras.

And, keep in mind, that if you know what you are doing, you can use cameras without yaw-free or asymmetrical movements and get exactly the same shot. You may have to spend a bit more time mastering and applying movements (and refocusing and reiterating), but the same shot is possible.

It kind of sounds to me that you are looking for a lighter weight camera to take into the field and that you won't be doing so much table-top/product work. If so, then don't worry so much about either yaw-free or asymmetrical movements. Get a camera that meets your portability requirements and learn how to use it. FWIW, I think the Chamonix looks like a fine piece of equipment, although I've never owned or handled one. I would look into one if I were in the market for another field camera. However, I'm getting along fine in the field with my Wistas and a Horseman Woodman, both bare-bones basic-movement cameras.

If I were you, I'd try to get my hands on several cameras and play around with the movements and see what you like before buying if possible. I realize this is not always practical, so in lieu of that, read all you can on movements and the different kinds (the Leslie Strobl book on View Camera Movements is the bible afaic). This will help you make a more informed decision.

Best,

Doremus

dave_whatever
20-Feb-2013, 06:13
As others have said the new Chamonix has got asymmetric tilt (but not swing) on the rear standard, but not yaw free (it's no different to the standard Chamonix 4x5 models as far as yaw is concerned). I've been using mine for a couple of weeks and the asym tilt works well in eliminating the iterative process of focussing. Of course as its rear tilt you can't really use it with shots with obvious verticals/architectural elements.

Raffay
20-Feb-2013, 06:53
First, you need to differentiate between asymmetrical swings and tilts and yaw-free movements.

If I were you, I'd try to get my hands on several cameras and play around with the movements and see what you like before buying if possible. I realize this is not always practical, so in lieu of that, read all you can on movements and the different kinds (the Leslie Strobl book on View Camera Movements is the bible afaic). This will help you make a more informed decision.

Best,

Doremus

Hi, thank you for a detailed response, you have explained it very nicely but I think I am lost because of my own lack of knowledge. I am not at all clear on a lot of technical things like axis etc etc. it would be nice if there is video explaining it would be nice and more easy to understand. If not, do you know of any article on the Internet that I can read that explains the basics for someone like me with very limited knowledge. That would help understand the basics and then I guess it would be easier for me to discuss with people like you who are so knowledgable.

As for the line of work, it is not always easy to make that choice, I am not a pro so I do all sort of work, mostly portraits of my own children and family, landscape, trees. Now I might be doing table top food photography since we have started a cafe. So it gets confusing all the more. But I think to start with the chamonix would do as even if I do table top I am no expert to do all those movements and it would be better and easy to carry around and if later I excel in table top then I can go for monorial.

Cheers
Raffay

Alan Gales
20-Feb-2013, 07:37
Ken has a great website. I learned some things from him and am also inspired by his photography. He also did or still uses a Tachihara 4x5 wooden field camera when he is away from home.

I own a Sinar P that I use for portraiture. It is a heavy studio camera and works fantastic for it's intended purpose (in the studio). You could use it around the house or close to your car but I wouldn't want to backpack with it although there are a few who do.

If you want to use a monorail in the field I would look at the Sinar Norma or F series cameras. Of course all monorails are still bulky which is why most prefer a field camera.

I have never used a Chaminox but just about everyone who has used it seems to love it. Even Frank Petronio had good things to say about it. If you don't know Frank, he doesn't normally care much for wooden (matchstick) cameras. ;)

Peter De Smidt
20-Feb-2013, 07:39
Raffay, that's a good idea. I owned and used Sinar cameras, including a few Ps, for many years. Ps are great studio cameras, but they are really no fun taking on location unless you can get someone else to carry it.

Kevin J. Kolosky
20-Feb-2013, 07:51
You might want to make a donation to this site and take a look at a couple of their videos on sheimplfug, lighting, and other things. It might help a little bit.

http://myphotolesson.com/

kgm
20-Feb-2013, 15:08
Regarding asymmetric movements, I would say that they are useful in some instances, but not critical in any. I used a Deardorff 4x5 Special for 15 years, which does not have asymmetrical movements, and never had any difficulty achieving focus. In most circumstances, I would only need to refocus once after tilting or swinging the lens. With longer lenses, it sometimes took a few times to get good focus. I now use an Ebony 45SU with asymmetric movements. It's more convenient with some landscapes, but I doubt that I use the asymmetric movements more than 20% of the time, although it would be more if I only photographed nature landscapes. I like the Ebony much more than the Deardorff (and I loved the Deardorff) because of its ease of use with wide angle lenses (wider than I could even use on the Deardorff), but the asymmetric movements only make something that I could do with the Deardorff a little bit easier to achieve.

Joseph Dickerson
22-Feb-2013, 09:23
Raffay,

While some of the Sinars are heavy for field work the F/F1/F2 work pretty well. All the Sinars are yaw free but not all have the asymmetrical movements.

I use an F1 as my field camera, it's my only view camera actually, and it only weighs a pound more than the Shen Hao I had previously, but the Sinar is more versatile.

JD

Bob Salomon
22-Feb-2013, 10:40
"All the Sinars are yaw free"

Not the Norma though.

Joseph Dickerson
22-Feb-2013, 11:52
Hi Bob...I was just testing you, and as usual, you're right.

I'll go to my room now! :p

JD

Bob Salomon
22-Feb-2013, 12:03
Actually all of this talk is really moot.
It makes absolutely no difference if a camera has base movements, center movements, a combination of both, assymetric movements or a combination of any of the three, or all of these movements.
Any picture that you have ever seen from a view camera can be done, exactly the same way, with any of these systems. The trick is that the user really knows how the movements on their camera actually do work.

And any camera, yaw free or yaw prone can also make the same picture. But here any camera that is yaw prone can be used yaw free by just rotating it 90 to make the normal swing control into the tilt control.

An experienced user of an all base tilt camera, or a base and center tilt camera, or an all center tilt camera will do a set-up just as quickly as someone with an all assymetric tilit camera (fixed assymetric like Sinar or continuously variable assymetric like a Linhof). All it takes is knowing your camera!