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Thread: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

  1. #91

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    Re: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

    I’m not that surprised you found it difficult to use swing and tilt simultaneously. It is not that straight forward. Tilt and swing each reduce depth of field but they are not independent either. They combine to give you a new shape of the depth of field. Suppose you have a receding subject like a flat road, and a wall along one side of the road. One might assume you can just figure out a tilt for the road and then swing for the wall. Doesn’t work that way.

    One thing that can be worth doing to practice with movements when you aren’t out photographing, is to set up little scenarios on a table. You can use things like newspaper, pencils, anything. Light it so it is easy to see what is in/out of focus on the ground glass, and just try things. Near/far planes, vertical objects in foreground, background etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamD View Post
    Michael R, no $hit lost here. I always like your feedback. Thank you.

    Another excellent catch!! I love that you point this out because this was NOT intended in any way. I agree it was caused by too much tilt which easily through out the vertical in the fence. Yeah maybe I can get away with that here....but that's not why I'm posting these pictures. I want to detect these problems before I make them OR know what I'm getting into before I click. So, great feedback.

    I did try swing only on this shot and I just could not seem to get the entire bush in sharp focus. So maybe a better approach would have been to use as MUCH tilt as possible WITHOUT blowing up the verticals on the fence and then stopping down more, say f/30 or maybe f/36 or whatever???

    You guys are great!!

  2. #92

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    Re: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    Iím not that surprised you found it difficult to use swing and tilt simultaneously. It is not that straight forward. Tilt and swing each reduce depth of field but they are not independent either. They combine to give you a new shape of the depth of field. Suppose you have a receding subject like a flat road, and a wall along one side of the road. One might assume you can just figure out a tilt for the road and then swing for the wall. Doesnít work that way.

    One thing that can be worth doing to practice with movements when you arenít out photographing, is to set up little scenarios on a table. You can use things like newspaper, pencils, anything. Light it so it is easy to see what is in/out of focus on the ground glass, and just try things. Near/far planes, vertical objects in foreground, background etc.
    Michael, tilts and swings control the plane of sharp focus. Not the depth of field. Dof is controlled by aperture.

  3. #93

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    Re: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

    Oh no....this thread is about to blow up again!!!

    Michael R, thanks it makes sense what you're saying about tilt and swing and yes, you example is exactly what I was expecting to see and wasn't. Just as I'd get one just right, the other was screwed up....so I eventually found a balance. There's got to be a better way but it's above my skill grade!!!

    So for tilt and swing and controlling DoF....we unfortunately the answer is yes, it does as Michael R pointed out. It's not a direct control as aperture is as Bob mentioned. But still, one thing has been proven to me, if you tilt, your effective DoF is not different than it was if you didn't tilt. Same with swing. So, while I agree with Bob it's not controlled, it is affected.
    Anything in life worth having is worth sharing.

  4. #94

    Re: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

    Props for convening the Mortality and Morbidity Committee--very useful for a fellow newbie like myself!

    One of the things that struck me reading your description is that your far focus was on the tree at the top of the ridge (close enough to infinity for me) but you didn't mention doing a "near focus," such as on the blowdown at the bottom center of the frame.

    Given the topography, this might have been a case where you needed to use your scales and aperture cheat sheet to find an optimal f-stop (not mention the notorious "hyperfocal"). If you did see the need for a bit of forward tilt, I'm going to posit that your "plane" would be most effective if it connected the foreground with the top of the center saguaro, since we naturally look for sharpness in the "near," especially when it's "busy," while we're used to detail softening at distance as it nears the horizon.

    At any rate, that looks like a great country to explore...

  5. #95

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    Re: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

    Hi Bob, yes, given a plane of focus aperture controls DoF. My point is simply that while tilts/swings are about reorienting the plane of focus, they also affect the shape of the depth of field (becomes wedge shaped projecting from the hinge line).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Michael, tilts and swings control the plane of sharp focus. Not the depth of field. Dof is controlled by aperture.

  6. #96

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    Re: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

    Quote Originally Posted by CreationBear View Post
    Props for convening the Mortality and Morbidity Committee--very useful for a fellow newbie like myself!

    One of the things that struck me reading your description is that your far focus was on the tree at the top of the ridge (close enough to infinity for me) but you didn't mention doing a "near focus," such as on the blowdown at the bottom center of the frame.

    Given the topography, this might have been a case where you needed to use your scales and aperture cheat sheet to find an optimal f-stop (not mention the notorious "hyperfocal"). If you did see the need for a bit of forward tilt, I'm going to posit that your "plane" would be most effective if it connected the foreground with the top of the center saguaro, since we naturally look for sharpness in the "near," especially when it's "busy," while we're used to detail softening at distance as it nears the horizon.

    At any rate, that looks like a great country to explore...
    Creation Bear,

    While I'm not entirely sure I'll answer your question or maybe the point you were making..... I'll try to explain what I was thinking.

    With my camera which uses a form of base tilt, I focus on the tallest nearest point (top of the mountain) then I tilt for the lowest nearest point (the Palo Verde branch). This establishes my plane of focus. I then note the position of my rear standard on my rail. Considering I focus using the rear standard...

    Then, I hunt around the area between those two points and search for the most out of focus area and bring that into sharp focus. If I'm correct, everything else should require that I move my rear standard closer to my starting point. Once I found that point, I note the rear standard position. That's my displacement.

    Now, what I've been taught to do is take that number of mm displacement and multiple it by 5 to find the minimum aperture. Key word is minimum. So for instance, my starting point was at the 8.3mm mark and my near point of focus was at 8.7mm, that gives me a displacement of 4mm. Multiply that by 5 and I get 20. Or f/20 minimum.

    In practice I often find the displacement to only be a couple mm. So f/10. But I don't think that's enough BUT again, it's a minimum....

    Anyway, once I know my displacement (4mm), I split the difference and move my standard to the mid-point. In this example, I'd move it to 8.5mm, set at least f/20 and begin a short prayer.

    If your camera uses axis tilt, like my old camera, I would instead focus on the near and tilt for the far. Also, my old camera didn't have rail markings so I'd just increased the length of my prayer.....it occasionally worked.

    I'm finding the more I practice, the shorter my prayers are....funny how that works!

    Hope this is helpful.

    Now, as to your other point I think you were getting at, as in why was I doing it that way?

    Well, I looked at the scene and saw that if I established an imaginary plane from the top of the mountain to that lower branch, every other object would fall BEHIND AND BELOW that plane. IF any object protrudes above that plane, those points that make the plane will not work or if course you accept that out of focus area, because you'll never get it right. So those points just worked. That being said, I think Michele R ponied out the left side near some taller trees were soft. That's because I think the plane I chose was awfully close to those trees and they probably broke through after I move the standard to the mid-point (8.5mm). They were good at 8.3mm, but, I didn't detect the problem with my loupe.

    Now, you might also be asking why did I even choose to tilt in the first place??? Idk....if that's what you were asking, but here's the answer in two parts. Part 1. I wanted to use front tilt. So I did. Part 2, I felt that by tilting the plane of focus, I could get an overall sharper image at say, f/22 and NOT have to use f/32 or f/45 to achieve the same result. So to stay away from diffraction, I tilted.
    Anything in life worth having is worth sharing.

  7. #97
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

    Could anyone tell me why the circled areas seem more out of focus? I was using asymmetrical tilt on my Chamonix with a 150mm. I focused far on the clouds on the asymmetrical line on the GG. Then I tilted the rear standard back to focus the fence on the near right. Note that the barn's leaning to the right on its left is actually the way it is. No left-right tilt was done. (Also, this is scan before I added sharpening overall)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AK_TMAX100_HowtekNonAdjusted.jpg  

  8. #98
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

    Here is the same picture larger and after sharpening overall.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/alankl...7714124881023/

  9. #99

    Re: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamD View Post
    Now, what I've been taught to do is take that number of mm displacement and multiple it by 5 to find the minimum aperture.
    Interesting, the tables I use are a bit more conservative: taking negative size into consideration, a 4mm extension difference calls for f/22 + 2/3 (without tilt). But like my mama always told us, verum esse ipsum factum.

    Otherwise, to add to all the great advice here, here's an article touching on the subject I found useful:
    https://www.thedarkslides.com/using-...t-photography/

    Best of luck on the journey.

  10. #100
    Benjamin's Avatar
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    Re: Technique for focusing "into your scene"

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Could anyone tell me why the circled areas seem more out of focus? I was using asymmetrical tilt on my Chamonix with a 150mm. I focused far on the clouds on the asymmetrical line on the GG. Then I tilted the rear standard back to focus the fence on the near right. Note that the barn's leaning to the right on its left is actually the way it is. No left-right tilt was done. (Also, this is scan before I added sharpening overall)
    If you defined your plane of sharp focus at a high angle - from beneath the camera straight to the clouds - it's possible that you've excluded stuff that lies under the lower depth of field plane.

    Do you remember which aperture you used?

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