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Thread: How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

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  1. #1

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    How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

    I’m out in the field (on the camping trip mentioned in another thread) and wondered how using rear tilt to accentuate different elements of a composition affects front tilt and getting the plane of focus sharp (near to far).

    I plan to keep fiddling with it and experiment, wondered if there are any helpful rules of thumb that can help guide me.

    The specific example I had was 15 degrees of rear tilt (backwards), and I was having problems getting my near-to-far sharp when using front tilt to adjust the plane of focus. I was shooting some mountain ranges and wanted the foreground and peaks both sharp, but used rear tilt to emphasize the peaks.

    Thanks for any tips or suggestions!

  2. #2

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    Re: How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6TLL View Post
    Iím out in the field (on the camping trip mentioned in another thread) and wondered how using rear tilt to accentuate different elements of a composition affects front tilt and getting the plane of focus sharp (near to far).

    I plan to keep fiddling with it and experiment, wondered if there are any helpful rules of thumb that can help guide me.

    The specific example I had was 15 degrees of rear tilt (backwards), and I was having problems getting my near-to-far sharp when using front tilt to adjust the plane of focus. I was shooting some mountain ranges and wanted the foreground and peaks both sharp, but used rear tilt to emphasize the peaks.

    Thanks for any tips or suggestions!


    Tilting the back backwards (toward the photographer) has the same effect on the plane of sharp focus as tilting the front forward (away from the photographer), while additionally changing the "perspective" rendering on the ground glass (tilting the front doesn't change the geometry of the image).

    So, you can get the classic "near-to-far" plane in focus by tilting the back toward you, or the front away from you, or a combination of the two.

    Challenges can arise when we use the back position to change the geometry of the image to suit our taste, but end up with a back position that works counter to how we want to place the plane of sharp focus.

    Let's say we tilt the back backward to emphasize a foreground object (say a boulder in the foreground), but that position ends up being tilted more than would be necessary to get near/far in the right plane of focus (in other words, we've overdone the tilt as regards focus to get a desired effect). The answer? Tilt the front backward (toward the photographer) to compensate. This seems counter-intuitive at first but think of it as getting the standards closer to parallel once they've got too far away from parallel due to the back movement.

    Hope this helps,

    Doremus

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

    Rear tilt changes the proportional size of objects. Front tilt does not.
    Fred Picker used to write that it [rear tilt] made foreground objects 'loom.'
    In simple terms foreground objects just 'get bigger' compared to the background.

    Here is an example of a lot of rear-tilt to exaggerate the roots.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Having demonstrated that, movements in front can be duplicated at the rear and visa-versa.

    So, this image was make by pointing a Century 8x10 down at the roots (camera has no front tilt) and pulling the back all the way vertical. A lot of rear tilt.

    Likewise on a monorail, one could line up the back vertical to the tree, drop the front and tilt the lens forward and it is exactly the same.

    The main difference is how the ground glass image changes depending on the sequence of the movements and how much fiddling is required to get the shot.
    The Century lined this up in 20 seconds. The guy with the monorail is still there fiddling....

  4. #4

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    Re: How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6TLL View Post
    I’m out in the field... Thanks for any tips or suggestions!
    Speaking of Fred, it can often be helpful to select the exact camera position with the camera out of reach.

    Bring the tripod, however. After you find the exact camera location, place the tripod head under your chin and then let the tripod legs fall until they reach the ground. (Take this with a grain of salt.)

    Then get the camera and set it up in perfect vertical and horizontal orientation - before focusing or making any adjustments, or even mounting the lens.

    It can be much easier to distinguish the effects of view camera movements if you follow this approach.

  5. #5

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    Re: How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

    A simpler answer is that rear tilts and swings control image shape and Scheimpflug.
    Front tilts and swings only change Scheimpflug.

  6. #6

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    Re: How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

    Doremus has it right. Normally the focus plane (ground, for want of a better example), the 'lens plane', and the film plane need to meet on a line for Schleimflug focus. If the back is over-tilted for effect, the ground is not going to move, so the lens plane has to be adjusted to bring the three planes together again, by tilting the same way as the back, but less. Now, you may need to do some front rise/fall to cope with coverage limits and framing changes, and that will likely cause a further cycle of adjustments to get the framing back and the focus tweaked.

    If the film plane is vertical, the line of convergence is on the ground below the film. If you tilt the film back, you move that plane forward, of conversely, tilting the back forward moves the plane back behind the camera.

  7. #7

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    Re: How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

    Take a look at the graphics about a quarter of the way down on this page: http://gerhardschulze.eu/?cat=6 for a visual of the Scheimpflug principle and the hinge rule. They don't show back movements, but you can figure those out just knowing that the back movement basically mirror the front movements in direction.

  8. #8

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    Re: How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

    In find this an interesting conversation in that after 40+ years of LF photography (4x5 and 8x10) I've used both rear and front tilt, but never together. I guess I just never came across anything in the outdoors and with the subjects that I typically shoot that would necessitate tilting of both standards. Learn something new every day!

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    In find this an interesting conversation in that after 40+ years of LF photography (4x5 and 8x10) I've used both rear and front tilt, but never together. I guess I just never came across anything in the outdoors and with the subjects that I typically shoot that would necessitate tilting of both standards. Learn something new every day!
    I have -- in situations where I have had to use back tilt to get the trees pointing in the direction I want, and the front to clean up the focus.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #10

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    Re: How does rear tilt affect front tilt?

    In my scenic pictures, I often tilt the back vertical to render vertical lines parallel. Thus mostly I use both front and back tilts with my 5x7 Canham wood. If my lens has narrow field of view it is possible to get the full image on the film with back tilts when doing the same near-far with front tilts might make the image fail at the corners.

    In the 1960s I met David Windsor, U of Chicago photographer. We became friends and met often at lunch. I was skilled at machining, so he asked me to add front tilts to his 8x10 Kodak view camera. He told me that he could get proper focus with only the existing rear tilt, but it took so long that the spectators would become bored and go away.

    Best wishes --- Allen Anway

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