View Full Version : Affordable Movements

Greg Liscio
26-Nov-2010, 20:05

Appreciate the input on the value of back rise and shift movements. How am I handicapped of my camera does not have either of these movements. Interested in a complete range of subject matter from outdoors to portrait.
Thanks all.

Gem Singer
26-Nov-2010, 20:48
Hi Greg,

You probably can get by without rear rise, and/or rear shift.

Forward and backward tilt and rear swing movements are necessary to have on the the rear standard of a view camera.

Rise, fall, swing, and tilt are necessary movements on the front standard. Front shift is nice to have, but it is optional.

I also like the ability to slide the rear standard forward, or drop the bed, in order to use shorter lenses without including the front edge of the focusing bed in the picture.

Brian Vuillemenot
26-Nov-2010, 21:03
If you're doing landscape photography, all you really need 95% of the time are front tilt and rise/fall. Front shift and swing are also good to have, and most cameras have them. Rear rise, not usually present on most cameras, is pretty much worthless IMHO and will only add weight and lack of stability to your camera. Rear shift is also not present on most LF cameras, and probably not necessary for most photographers.

Peter Gomena
26-Nov-2010, 21:27
Rear rise/fall and rear shift are great if you do a lot of tabletop product photography. They save a lot of time in framing a shot. For anything else, they are not that valuable. Rear swing and tilt are plenty.

Peter Gomena

Oren Grad
26-Nov-2010, 22:12
In 15 years of general LF snapshooting I've never felt a need for either back rise or shift. YMMV.

Doremus Scudder
27-Nov-2010, 04:18
My 2 cents here:

For "general photography," meaning your subject is a fair distance away from your lens, you can get along fine without back rise and fall. This you can duplicate with the front rise and fall. You can also get away without rear shift 99% of the time as long as you have front shift. You didn't address this issue, but rear focus is not really important here either.

You will need rear tilt and swing, especially if you do anything with architecture as the subject.

I'd advise against a camera that has no shift whatsoever (there are a few out there) since, even though you can duplicate shifts with the "point and swing" method, it's a pain.

For close-up and still-life photography, where subjects are generally a lot closer to the lens, image adjustments are best done with rear standard movements (this allows the lens to stay in the same relationship to the subject). If this is what you plan on doing most of, then get a camera with rear focus (most important here), rear rise, fall and shift.

If, like me, you do a lot of both, do what I do, use different cameras for different purposes. My field kit is a small, "bare-bones" wooden folder with no rear focus, rise or fall. For table-top work, I have a monorail with full rear movements.

Full-featured monorails are not that expensive. Older Calumets, Sinar Alpinas, Graphic Views and others have all the movements you need (albeit often without the levels and gauges that come on others) and go for really cheap on eBay, etc.

As for field cameras; there are a lot of good ones out there (I own several), but I keep coming back to my Wista DX (with shift) and my Woodman, since they are so lightweight. Point here, a serviceable field camera doesn't have to be that expensive either.

The main thing is to learn how to do everything you need to do with the camera you have. For example, with my limited-movement field cameras, I have to deal with base tilts (a different focusing technique that axis tilts), and I often have to use "point and swing or tilt" techniques to get more rise or shift than the camera can accommodate. I practiced these till they became second nature and don't take a lot of concentration any more. You can even do the occasional close-up shot without the rear movements, it is just a bit more difficult, time-consuming and often entails moving the tripod small amounts.

Hope this helps a bit,

Doremus Scudder

Brian Ellis
27-Nov-2010, 10:54
I've owned about 14 view cameras. Only about half of them had front shift, none that I recall had rear shift.

I never used front shift even with cameras that had it. I move the tripod instead. When you use front shift you're changing the relationship of the film and the lens and you're using portions of the lens closer to the edges (as opposed to the center of the lens) to make the image. The image quality of many lenses, especially older ones, tends to deteriorate near the edges. So to me it's preferable just to move the tripod rather than using front shift. Of course if you're in a very confined area such as some building interiors you may not be able to move the tripod but I seldom if ever encountered that situation.

If you think shift is necessary consider this. Deardorff 8x10 cameras were designed specifically for architecture and were considered one of the best view cameras ever made, certainly one of the most popular among professionals. They don't have either front or rear shift.

Bob Salomon
27-Nov-2010, 11:10
Direct displacements = level camera to the subject and position subject where desired on the gg using front/rear shifts/rise fall. Swings and tilts used for Scheimpflug distribution.

Indirect displacements = tilt camera and/or pan camera to position subject on gg as desired. Tilt and/or swing the back to make gg parallel to subject. Tilt and/or swing the front to make lens parallel to back. Tilt and or swing lens to control Scheimpflug distribution.

Which is easier for you to do? Faster?

Of course direct displacement require lenses with enough coverage to allow them.

Ivan J. Eberle
27-Nov-2010, 11:44
Doing oceanscapes where I want the horizon 1/3 of the way from the top, a monorail with rear rise is much easier to use than simulating front fall on my folding field camera by dropping the bed rails.
Rear swings and tilts are great for preserving parallelism or, conversely, exaggerating perspective.