View Full Version : So the new 4x5 that I bought has base tilts, which I've never had before

7-Aug-2012, 09:26
I upgraded from a beat up Cambo Legend to a nearly spanking new Cambo Master PC. Very excited!! The new camera has base tilts as well as the standard axial tilts. Just wondering how you guys work with them and when you might choose one over the other.

7-Aug-2012, 09:52
Ok so after I posted this I realized I should probably just do a forum search, which I did. It seems you guys already answered this question in depth. So thank you, past yous!

7-Aug-2012, 15:04
Base tilts are used primarily when you must move the bed off horizontal to increase the available rise or fall of the lens.

The rear base tilt lets return the back to a vertical position.

- Leigh

Ivan J. Eberle
8-Aug-2012, 09:34
Nah. I had a Sinar Norma, one of the earliest modern monorails. Plenty of rise and fall, didn't need it for that. Probably true that it was coming from the convention of field cameras and "focus for the far, tilt for the near". It was a nice convention, albeit one that my axis tilt Meridian from the same era doesn't quite follow... not without refocusing.

8-Aug-2012, 09:43
Nah. I had a Sinar Norma, one of the earliest modern monorails. Plenty of rise and fall, didn't need it for that.
I'm confident that you're familiar with all the lenses available for that camera at the time it was introduced,

so I'll accept your opinion based on your vast knowledge.

- Leigh

Ivan J. Eberle
8-Aug-2012, 15:27
Certainly not "vast" experience, Leigh. 4 large format cameras, all told.
There's really no need for the ad hominem attack, I was just stating what actual experience tells me when your's didn't seem like the final word on the subject.

8-Aug-2012, 15:34
Usually when someone says "no" to another post, as in "... didn't need it for that", it's based on a good reason.

LF lenses of 50 years ago included many process lenses with huge image circles.

The fact that you've never needed base tilt in your experience does not in any way invalidate the concept.

- Leigh

Frank Petronio
8-Aug-2012, 15:36
Base tilts rule, axis tilts drool. Asymmetrical tilts are marketing.

It's important to develop good prejudices.

Ivan J. Eberle
8-Aug-2012, 15:48
err... I actually do like base tilts, Leigh. Not sure how you read that I didn't? I find it's easier to maintain focus while using them, applying the old rule.

What I was responding to negatively was that other cameras besides folding wooden field cameras (or other baseboard types) also used base tilts, even though some had beaucoups rise and fall. That perhaps base tilts were more the convention of an era, and getting away from them was more about marketing, as Frank succinctly said.

8-Aug-2012, 16:14
Most of the LF cameras I've owned or encountered over the years have had base tilts. It's certainly not a feature of "yesteryear".

Both of my Sinar F2 cameras (4x5 and 8x10) have base tilt, as does my 8x10 Tachihara (purchased 2 years ago).

The only camera category I can think of that lacks back tilt would be press cameras (Graphic, B&J, etc).

I'm sure there are individual camera models that lack the feature.

- Leigh

Bill Koechling
8-Aug-2012, 16:47
I did a lot of product photography with an old axis-tilt Calumet 4x5 and Cambo 8x10. The clients liked to have every part of each product in focus. Tilts, swings, rise or falls and every possible adjustment - many times extreme - was sometimes required to meet that standard. When I got a base-tilt Arca Swiss focus was easier to maintain. That's really about it. For landscape and most portraits it's pretty much a non issue.

Ivan J. Eberle
8-Aug-2012, 17:52
From an engineering standpoint, some of the axis tilt knobs are ridiculously simple, being not much more than a small bolt and knob. It's easier and cheaper to design since there's not as much clamping force needed as
with an off-axis tilt.
Conversely, a camera like a Sinar Norma, with base tilts, requires a beefier and more complicated clamping arrangement, and a lot more oomph applied to it to keep the standard from creeping with a heavy lens or a lot of front tilt applied.

Rod Klukas
8-Aug-2012, 19:45
Axis tilt: Focus near, tilt far

Base tilt: Focus far, tilt near.

With base tilt with a very short focal length it is easier to tilt the front, or the back, as you will have less mechanical conflict with the standards or bellows bunching up.

8-Aug-2012, 19:54
Back tilt changes the geometry of the subject.

Front tilt does not.

- Leigh

Ivan J. Eberle
9-Aug-2012, 13:19
Well, you can always straighten the geometry back out in Photoshop ;)

Leonard Evens
9-Aug-2012, 13:53
My Toho FC-95X has base tilt and axial swing, so I am familiar with both. In either case, I proceed by starting with a guess, usually about 5 degrees, and then choose two points in my desired exact plane of focus, focus on the far one and then focus on the near one. If that requires bringing the standards further apart, I increase the tilt and if it requires separating the standards more, I decrease the tilt. Usually a couple of iterations gets the exact plane in focus. I don't see much advantage with axial tilts when I do it this way.

10-Aug-2012, 08:52
Thanks for all the responses guys! I never thought there would be so many to an apparently often asked about question. I've been having a ton of fun playing with the movements and this weekend plan to do some shooting with it. I instinctively reach for the axial tilt, as that's what I know, but since reading all of these have decided to focus on working with the base tilts to get a handle on those.

So much fun!