View Full Version : movement adjustment

Mick Noordewier
29-Nov-2005, 18:30
Ok, I've gone out and bought myself a norma 4x5 for my first large format camera, and I have devoured these pages for tutorials on how to adjust movements and focus.

However, I have a problem that is probably just too dumb for words. How do I make fine adjustments? I pick a near and far point for focus for example, and guess at an initial tilt. Then I go to make a small adjustment: the tilt changes as I unlock the standard, changes more as I make a hamfisted try at increasing or decreasing the amount, and then changes again as I lock it back down. How do you make tiny adjustments on an ungeared camera? Shifts and rise are somewhat easier, however, it is actually not very easy to make minor progressive changes. Any advice would be appreciated!

(BTW, there's no posting category for 4x5!)

29-Nov-2005, 18:51
Welcome to LF photography. It can be frustrating at times and patience is required. Being hamfisted doesn't help. Slow down and practice. Most peoples first LF camera is not their last. Once you have worked out everything that is wrong about your camera then you can start looking for the one which you should have bought in the first place( except you didn't know that at the time).

My camera has zero detents for squaring everything. Sounds great until you realise that you often need to make a tiny adjustment just on the edge of the detent which keeps trying to click into the zero position when you don't want it too and before you can get the lock on. Must get round to taking the zero detents off sometime.

29-Nov-2005, 21:44
Practice, my boy, practice.

chris jordan
30-Nov-2005, 00:08
Mick, welcome to LF. One thing I have done with my camera that helps out a lot is to make sure they are very well oiled with machine oil or WD-40. Put a drop on all the threads around the tightening knobs, and on the bushings that the movements move around, so that the movements will be as smooth as possible. You also can try tightening a movement part way without cranking it down; that way if you get it just right it will hold its position but you can adjust it slightly. Then when it's where you want it, you can crank it down. Then after all of that there's always f/64...



Struan Gray
30-Nov-2005, 00:28
I would second the recomendation to clean and very lightly oil the locking mechanisms. Some Normas are very gungy, especilly if they have been over-greased by a previous owner.

There should be a thin washer under the tilt locking knob on the Norma, and I have seen a several standards where it was missing, especially on the rear if the camera has been used with a 5x7 format change set. This makes it much harder to tighten the knob a little for fine-tuning the tilt.

Otherwise, you just have to practice your chops.

Jorge Gasteazoro
30-Nov-2005, 00:35
If you are doing landscape, extremely fine adjustments are not necesary. Do this, focus on the near object, mark the position of the standard. Focus on the far object, mark the position of the standard. Move the standard to the middle in between the to points you marked for the near and far. Tilt until you see the foreground come into somewhat sharp focus. If you then use an aperture of f/22 or smaller, you will get everything in focus. I have tried the focus, tilt, focus, tilt, focus, tilt, etc.....and I ended up with the same sharp pictures as with the technique I just described, try it, worse that can happen is you mess up one neg.... :-)

BTW, there is no need to turn the camera into a pretzel. For landscape the most you should be tilting is 5 at the most. I have yet to see a situation where I need more than this.

Matt Mengel
30-Nov-2005, 04:54
Big ass hammer.

Struan Gray
30-Nov-2005, 05:27
Jorge is right in general, but if you like using long lenses you will appreciate the extra movements that a monorail gives you. I use an 18" lens a lot, and to lay the plane of focus along the ground you need about 16 of front tilt, more if you're short. With the Norma, this is just doable with the 12" and 6" rail plus end cap, and a single (rather tight) standard bellows.