View Full Version : How to shift, pan, tilt on a Sinar F2?

1-May-2013, 12:41
After taking straight on shots since I got my camera, I would like to start experimenting with tilts, shifts, and pans. How do you do this? Thanks.

Drew Wiley
1-May-2013, 13:07
There are independent controls for each kind of movement on both front and rear standards. You have a little lever on the
bottom right of each for tilt lock. At the front and rear center will be a separate lever to control swing and shift (details vary from one exact model to another). Sinar published very nice how-to manuals for their system. You might be able to find a used copy somewhere. But the controls are quite easy to use once you locate them. You'll probably use tilts the most, so might be a good idea to start there, and possibly study up on the Schiempflug principle, which can be learned on a forum like this or in any view camera textbook.

Drew Wiley
1-May-2013, 13:11
OK ... go to the top of the page on this site to the general Forum, open it and click on "articles". QT has an explanation of focus and other basic helpful tips. Or even better, get together with someone local who you can watch operating similar gear.

1-May-2013, 13:43
After taking straight on shots since I got my camera, I would like to start experimenting with tilts, shifts, and pans. How do you do this? Thanks.

Are you kidding?

1-May-2013, 14:11

Joseph Dickerson
1-May-2013, 14:45
The Sinar F series (F/F1/F2) have two useful tools, the depth of field calculator, and the tilt/swing calculator, that make things easy, but are not intuitive in use.

Find the Sinar manual for the F series and download it, if I remember correct I got mine from Butkus.

Let us know how you make out.

Sinar published several really useful books on the basics and other things, scenics, architecture etc. You might find the basic book to be just what you need, but be warned, last time I looked they were getting pricey on Amazon.com.


Doremus Scudder
2-May-2013, 01:47
Rtfm? http://di.hexagram.ca/files/manuals/cameras/sinar_introductionmanual.pdf

Seriously, there are lots of resources, and learning about camera movements is not a subject easily learned (or taught) on a forum such as this.

Books to read:

Ansel Adams: The Camera
Steve Simmons: Using the View Camera (a simpler approach, but complete)
Leslie Stroebel: View Camera Technique

And, a quick Google search turns up literally hundreds of resources. You, however, need to invest the time.

I taught myself everything I know about camera movements using just such resources. Even if you have a reading disability, there are tons of YouTube videos to learn from, so no excuses!

FYI only: pan and tilt are terms used for tripod movements. Rise/fall, swing/tilt and shift are for camera movements. If you want to pan your camera, use the tripod head.

Happy reading,


Kevin J. Kolosky
2-May-2013, 05:35
Why not start with a fairly easy one - the rising front.

If you have been making "straight" exposures, you have probably been using the levels on the camera, or the levels built into your tripod. If the levels on your camera do not work and you do not have levels on your tripod, then go to the local hardware and purchase a level. It need not be an expensive one.

Locate a building that is 4 or 5 stories high. Move far enough away so that the building will easily fit on the ground glass with some room to spare.

Now set up the camera, level it, point it at the building, and focus. When you look at the groundglass you will notice right away that the building will not look normal. First, the top will look narrow when compared to the base of the building (because the top is farther away from you than the base). You can measure this with calipers if you like. And second, the building will not be where you want it on the ground glass.

Without changing the camera level, raise the front standard until the building is where you want it on the ground glass.

You will notice that the top will no longer look so narrow, and you will have the building where you want it on the ground glass. You can again check with calipers if you want things perfect.

Another way to do this would be to level the camera first, (always level the camera first) and then while looking at the ground glass tilt the camera up to get the building where you want it. Then tilt the front and rear standards forward to vertical (check them with your level).

After all of that, on the Sinar, there should be a line on the bottom of the ground glass. That is the "far" line. Focus on that line and then tilt the front standard so the line on top (the near line) becomes in focus. Then you have a line on the right (the far line) so focus on that, and then swing just a tiny bit to get the left line (the near line) in focus.

Once you do this a few times you will start to see the relationship between near and far on the groundglass and it will become easier for you to remember what to do. You definitely should, as has been mentioned, understand the Scheimpflug principle.

Don't be afraid to make a few mistakes. If you write everything down and study your negs you will learn a great deal from mistakes.

Good luck to you.

2-May-2013, 08:18
Why not start with a fairly easy one - the rising front.....Thanks Kevin. I will give this a try.

Kevin J. Kolosky
2-May-2013, 09:41

While you are trying that one, remember that the same principles apply to the "lowering" front. So if you are above something you can lower your front, or tilt down and then tilt the standards back to vertical.

And those same principles apply to the shift. If you think about a tall building laying on its side, then of course instead of the rising front you would use a shift, or point the camera and return the standards to parallel with the building facade.

Have fun.

4-May-2013, 14:20
Lets back this up for a second. Can we safely assume that you know how to physically operate the swing, tilt, and shift mechanisms, to actually get the camera body to operate in the ways you're thinking of?