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Thread: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

  1. #21
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

    Does anyone determine their focus point by focusing on the farthest part of the image one wants in focus...make note of the amount of bellows extension. Then focus on the closest part of the scene one wants in focus...make note of the bellows extension...then place the bellow extension halfway between the far and near points. Then close down the lens until all is in focus? I believe some cameras are marked for such use. It seems to work for me when low light or other factors make my usual way difficult to use.

    PS...my usual way and used in the above images: I place the plane of focus where I think it should be, then slowly reduce the aperture. If the far and near points come into focus at about the same time, then I know I have the plane of focus well placed. If the foreground all comes nicely into focus, but the far distance is still out of focus, then I know to move the focus plane a little further into the scene (using movements if needed, of course). Just the way I learned to work in the tight quarters of the redwood forest. It is certainly can be a different story photographing in the wide open spaces of the Southwest (or High Sierras)...focus at infinity, no movements, f16 and actually don't have to use B or T!

    PS#2...On the wharf image above, the tide was receding so fast that by the time I framed and focused the image, I had to pick up the camera, advance one or two pilings, and set up the camera again. But I knew the composition by then and the focusing needs, so I was able to make the image quickly enough without having to keep chasing the water! I was also was on a time limit with the wharf's shadow on the sand. I used a red filter to reduce the difference between the light values of the open sky and sunlit sand and under the wharf, but at the same time keep the sky light (my usual preference, but here it helps to dramatize the wharf against the sky). Those clouds on the horizon came in each night, and I had to use big pieces of driftwood to keep my tent from blowing away at the beach campground by the wharf.

    I looked at my field notes for the wharf image. 1 Dec 1986, 4x5, 150mm, Royal Pan 4141, ASA 400, 10 seconds at f/64 with a 25A (red) filter, and slated it for normal development...whatever that might have been. My memory is not dependable...I thought I used TMax100 on that trip.
    Last edited by Vaughn; 12-Mar-2020 at 22:26.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  2. #22
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

    First I make general necessary movements suitable to the scene, like the appropriate amount tilt or swing if that is what seems appropriate to the composition. Then I determine what I desire to be in truly acute focus (because I generally enlarge rather than contact print). Then relative to that and any movements already in play, I stop down halfway and study the effect at both the near and far extremes, and using the loupe, see how much focus adjustment can be tolerated without disturbing the acute focus of my prioritized areas. Then I full stop down for the shot itself, with the final aperture being selected relative to several potential parameters, including the film format size, lens focal length, intended degree of enlargement, and nature of focal plane disruptions in the scene itself. Might sound a tad complicated, but all this transpires very quickly and intuitively. And it's all really esthetically determined, just like the amount of exposure and development itself. Sometimes I want the "light at the end of the tunnel" blown out and full of flare, at other time, perhaps not. Sometimes I want blacked out graphic shadows, at other times, more open luminous ones. Sometimes everything seemingly in precise focus, at other times, selectively so. There are no set rules; we are completely free to design different parameters for every single different image if we wish. ... But there are exceptions, like working inside a railway tunnel with trains coming about every 15 minutes. There it's called common sense survival, along with medium format gear using a predetermined hyperfocal setting. If I hear the rails singing, I just grab the neck of the tripod and am out of there quick, even if I could otherwise be sufficiently squeezed up against the tunnel wall to be safe. I wouldn't want the dust.

  3. #23

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    Re: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Does anyone determine their focus point by focusing on the farthest part of the image one wants in focus...make note of the amount of bellows extension. Then focus on the closest part of the scene one wants in focus...make note of the bellows extension...then place the bellow extension halfway between the far and near points. Then close down the lens until all is in focus? I believe some cameras are marked for such use. It seems to work for me when low light or other factors make my usual way difficult to use.

    PS...my usual way and used in the above images: I place the plane of focus where I think it should be, then slowly reduce the aperture. If the far and near points come into focus at about the same time, then I know I have the plane of focus well placed. If the foreground all comes nicely into focus, but the far distance is still out of focus, then I know to move the focus plane a little further into the scene (using movements if needed, of course). Just the way I learned to work in the tight quarters of the redwood forest. It is certainly can be a different story photographing in the wide open spaces of the Southwest (or High Sierras)...focus at infinity, no movements, f16 and actually don't have to use B or T!

    PS#2...On the wharf image above, the tide was receding so fast that by the time I framed and focused the image, I had to pick up the camera, advance one or two pilings, and set up the camera again. But I knew the composition by then and the focusing needs, so I was able to make the image quickly enough without having to keep chasing the water! I was also was on a time limit with the wharf's shadow on the sand. I used a red filter to reduce the difference between the light values of the open sky and sunlit sand and under the wharf, but at the same time keep the sky light (my usual preference, but here it helps to dramatize the wharf against the sky). Those clouds on the horizon came in each night, and I had to use big pieces of driftwood to keep my tent from blowing away at the beach campground by the wharf.
    1 thatís basically how the Rodenstock Pocket DOF/Scheimpflug calculator works but it also tells you f stop and, if necessary, tilt angle.

  4. #24
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

    Schneider P and F cameras have their own built-in fancy/schmancy system. It's a nice feature which I've nicely ignored for the past four decades.

  5. #25
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

    When I use my Chamonix, because it has a screw focus that I've marked with an arrow, I use the near/far/middle technique and the f/# vs diffraction numbers from my physics professor, Paul Hansma, are taped to the side of the camera. E Z. On my other cameras, not so easy.

    There are several articles on the homepage here that cover this topic quite well.

  6. #26
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

    I have a Chamonix 11x14 with the same screw drive. Great idea -- easier than the way I have been doing it.,
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #27

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    Re: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Schneider P and F cameras have their own built-in fancy/schmancy system. It's a nice feature which I've nicely ignored for the past four decades.
    Other cameras had that also, Linhof GTL for one. But it was fancier then Sinar’s. It had continuously variable assymetric movements.

  8. #28
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

    Those kinds of tricks were nice for studio tabletop photographers. But in nature one tends to get so many irregular planes that such conveniences have little practical value.

  9. #29

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    Re: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

    You can get one wall in great focus by using swings, but at the expense of other planes further OOF...

    Think of your focus plane like a wedge shape... The narrow apex is closer to the camera, and it expands the further away... The "thickness" of the "wedge" is controlled by f stop, and your DOF is this thickness...

    For those interiors, you will probably have to depend on the hyperfocal settings + shorter WA lens as you have many planes to work with... Also might work better with smaller format as you can use a camera with preset calibrations, shorter exposure times and easier focusing in the dim light (so you can get out faster) and a little more latitude on the color film... And you can bracket faster and more... (I used to use hi-res 35mm B/W, usually a Leica M for mine)...

    Thanks for posting that link, Randy... I read of that guy long ago, but forgot the details... I would love to buy a photo book of his work... I think he did the best "Urbex" stuff I ever seen, and provided a record of important architecture in its sad final stages...

    Steve K

  10. #30

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    Re: Photographing long hallways - tilt or swing to achieve maximum focus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Does anyone determine their focus point by focusing on the farthest part of the image one wants in focus...make note of the amount of bellows extension. Then focus on the closest part of the scene one wants in focus...make note of the bellows extension...then place the bellow extension halfway between the far and near points. Then close down the lens until all is in focus? I believe some cameras are marked for such use. It seems to work for me when low light or other factors make my usual way difficult to use. ...
    Exactly what I do. I did the math years ago using the method here: https://www.largeformatphotography.info/fstop.html to arrive at optimal f-stops for whatever focus spread I have. I don't bother stopping down to check the image; I rely on the system, which has worked well for me for many years now. Heck, I don't use the ground glass much except to choose focus points, apply movements (i.e., getting focus points for the movements in focus) and check near-far focus spread. I compose with a viewing frame and choose a lens that is wide enough to get my composition on the film

    Best,

    Doremus

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