View Full Version : tilt/shift problem with wide angle..

Karel Prokes
18-Dec-2008, 13:46
I am new to LF.. got the horseman 5x4" camera and recently bought second-hand SA f8/65. Apparently it has been originally made for 6x9 camera but fortunately lots people use it for the 5x4 too. / by fortunately I mean for me 'cause I did not know it was 6x9 originally /.

What surprises me is that all I read everywhere is that there is no room for tilt/shift with the wide angle lenses.

I might be dummy but I have one very simple thought. would not it help to produce special lens board that would bring the lens deeper to the camera body so that there wouldn't be need to compress the bellows so close together?

Any respond will be much appreciated.


18-Dec-2008, 14:01

There are basically two options...

1. A recessed lens board.

2. A bag bellows.

Recessed lens boards do allow the lens to be closer to the film plane, but don't leave much room (if any) for fingers or to attach a cable release.

Without knowing the model of your Horseman, I don't know if a bag bellows can be used on it.

If it is possible to attach a bag bellows, this, I think, would be the best alternative.


Karel Prokes
18-Dec-2008, 14:10
That does make sense.. I certainly forgot that I need the room to operate the lens.

I will be able to use the bag bellows on my Horseman. That I know for certain. But I thought that this would be the minimum requirement for using this lenses..?

Does it mean that using the bag bellows gives you reasonable space for the tilt/shift movements? Or is it just extra few millimeters on the top of the nothing?

..thanks Preston

Alan Rabe
18-Dec-2008, 14:28
A bag bellows shoud do the trick for you. However bag bellows are designed and intended for short focal length lenses. When you want to switch to a longer lens you will need to switch bellows. That means another thing to carry around with you. Even though they ain't heavy they do take up space and are a bit fragile. I used to have a 90mm and bag bellows for my Zone VI. I used it so seldom and carrying them around became a bother and I just got tired of them and sold them. I've since sold the Zone VI and got a Chamonix and could probably use the 90 now but there ya go.
However in general on a wide lens you don't really need much movements. It covers such a wide area by default and has such a large depth of field that you just don't need much.

Vick Vickery
18-Dec-2008, 14:35
The 65mm SA has enough coverage for 4x5, but not much extra...as you shift, you will soon start to see vigneting at the corners of your image. Another problem concerning shift with many cameras using short lenses is that the bellows are compressed to a degree that they will not easily move to allow shift...this is when a bag bellows becomes needed. On my Cambo rail camera the normal bellows becomes difficult to shift with a 90mm lens on a flat board, and, since I like to keep my lens as close to the tilt/shift plane as possible, I switch to a bag bellows (actually I leave the bag on most of the time for all lenses up to my 135mm) to make shifting easier. A normal bellows and a recessed board works to a degree, but you will get some binding between the board and the bellows at some point. But remember, when your lens runs out of coverage, you're done with shift unless you can live with dark corners.

Karel Prokes
18-Dec-2008, 14:57
imagine this..

you are in front of high building.. quite close to it too.. Now to capture the building, you have to point the camera up.. Therefore use the tilt/shift movements to get rid of the perspective..

I definitely want use this lens so shoot the Architecture therefore I am so concern about the tilt/shift movements.

I see that the bag bellows will be first thing to buy perhaps the recessed lens board.. I hear you that take some nerves to carry and operate all this accessories around but I supose that that's what we chose. :)

btw. The dark corners does not sound nice!


Clive Gray
18-Dec-2008, 20:40
The image circle of the 65mm Super Angulon is quoted as 152mm that will only just cover 5X4 without any movements if you want movements with a 65mm lens you need to think about one of the f5.6 or f4 lenses all of which have an image circle around about 170mm.

I have a Nikon 65mm f4 which I use with various Sinar cameras it's one of the few lenses I have that isn't db mounted and works fine with just the normal bag bellows with no need for a recessed board, the dimension you need to know is the Flange Focal distance basically the distance required between the lens board and the film plane with the design of the Sinars at least I can get the 70.2mm required without messing about with a recessed board and the standard bag bellows are fine (Sinar suggest Bag Bellows 2 for 65mm lenses but I can only think they would be nessecary if using a db mounted lens and the Sinar shutter.

With your Horsemam try measuring the distance between where a lensboard mounts and the ground glass with the standards close together and see if it will work without a recessed board.

Leonard Evens
19-Dec-2008, 09:49
A couple of comments.

The image circle of your lens isn't large enough to allow for rise/fall or shift, without tilt. Y ou could in principal tilt the back and still stay within the image circle, but that would change the shape of objects and not preserve verticals with the camera level. Alternately, you coud tilt the front (down) and then use rear rise to move the frame back into the image circle. You would be better off getting a lens with a larger image circle.

I've found that tilt is rarely of any use in architectural photography, Occasionally I do use wing if I want to photograph a building facade from off to the side.

Ernest Purdum
19-Dec-2008, 20:49
Your 65mm lens is pretty short for a first lens, in addition to having a marginal image circle. It would be easier, I think, to get used to using your camera with a 90mm or longer lens attached.

Karel Prokes
20-Dec-2008, 05:16
I have obtained the camera with 210 SA already on it.. I understand you saying that.. it still gonna take some trying.. looking forward to it..

my main concern now is that I need the compur # 00 lens panel..
any one know where to get one?


Bjorn Nilsson
20-Dec-2008, 09:18
The very reason for the lens being "designated" for 6x9cm and not 4x5" is that the image circle is too small for any useable shifts. Not that the "flange focal distance" is short (which is what the bag bellows is about to remedy). So the lens is a good lens for straight shoots, but not very good for architecture photography where you need large image circles in which you can shift around to get the perspective you want.
Having said that I hope that you will have a lot of fun with the lens.
It's hard to find a lensboard which is ready for a #00 shutter, so you will probably have to find a blank one and make the hole yourself.


20-Dec-2008, 11:16
I definitely want use this lens so shoot the Architecture therefore I am so concern about the tilt/shift movements.

As Vick points out you'll be hard pressed to get much movement out of that lens. Since it was (as you have realized) designed for 6x9, it barely covers 4x5 at all. In fact you probably have to stop down a bit to get optimum 4x5 coverage. You can check this by looking through the cut corners of your ground glass; if you can't see the entire aperture (ie, if it is occluded somewhat by the edge of the lens barrel) you need to stop down a bit.

This will also let you estimate how much movement you can get away with. If you can't see the whole aperture you'll suffer at the very least mechanical vignetting from the lens barrel. Of course lenses may also exhibit softness around the edges before this mechanical vignette occurs so you'll have to check that out as well.

But if you expect to do any serious movement, a lens other than the 65mm SA would be necessary. One of the 90mm lenses with a larger image circle might be a good idea (90mm super angulon, 90mm grandagon, Nikkor SW, etc).