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Thread: Importance of back movements

  1. #1

    Importance of back movements

    I may be looking to buy a 4x5 field. My typical subject is what I've called intimate landscapes, subjects are typically 3-10m away. This means to me that, unlike a large vista, it is more likely that some component will close enough that distant ones will be out of focus or visa versa. I know that movements can solve this or at least help but a recent video on YouTube recommended that back movements are a better solution than front. I think that the only movement that is need on the back are tilt (pretty common) and swing (less common).

    Am I right in thinking that these my photography would benefit from these movements?

  2. #2

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    Re: Importance of back movements

    The short answer is that back movements control perspective, and front movements control depth-of-field.
    Most view cameras have a tilting back, very useful for getting verticals (in the picture) vertical. Rear swing is also common, again useful for perspective.
    Rear shift and rear rise/fall can be important (for example when shooting architecture or tabletop) but are not absolutely necessary for general use.
    Remember that many, many great photographs (in all genres) have been made with view cameras that had limited movements!

  3. #3

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    Re: Importance of back movements

    As a new member here, you might want to use the search function.
    This is a controversial subject here, with passionate (read: heated) discussions.
    My advice is to find a copy of "Using the View Camera". Then find a monorail camera (borrow, rent), set it up, and play with the movements to reinforce what is in the book.
    You can then decide if you need all or only some movements.
    Anybody can make a YouTube video.

  4. #4

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    Re: Importance of back movements

    Most landscape view camera images made of objects at far distances often do not need much if any camera movements. This is why majority of lightweight field folders do not offer or need extensive camera movements.

    Once the view camera images are of objects closer up and no longer at a far distance, the demands on camera movements can change lots. Decades ago, Calumet published this guide to view camera movements, give this a read and see if any of what is discussed applies to what you're trying to achieve with a view camera. Lens, camera choice, film format size and more is directly related and driven by image goals. Much about choosing the proper tools for getting it did.

    https://www.properproof.com/largefor...ide1%20(2).pdf


    Bernice

  5. #5
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Importance of back movements

    Movements for depth-of-field, i.e., the "Scheimpflug Effect", only work when you have one part of the frame at one distance and another part of the frame at another distance, and you tilt/shift to have each part at its own focal distance.

    From your description, "intimate landscapes, subjects are typically 3-10m away", it sounds like you're shooting a foreground with the background directly behind it. Movements won't help there, only small apertures.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  6. #6

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    Re: Importance of back movements

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    The short answer is that back movements control perspective, and front movements control depth-of-field.
    Most view cameras have a tilting back, very useful for getting verticals (in the picture) vertical. Rear swing is also common, again useful for perspective.
    Rear shift and rear rise/fall can be important (for example when shooting architecture or tabletop) but are not absolutely necessary for general use.
    Remember that many, many great photographs (in all genres) have been made with view cameras that had limited movements!
    Back movements control image shape and Scheimpflug.
    Front movements controls Scheimpflug.

    Lens focal length, aperture and focus point control depth of field.

  7. #7

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    Re: Importance of back movements

    I disagree. I make the same type of images regularly. I could not do so w/o rear movements, and sometimes front. Yes, rear movements change perspective, but they are great for emphasizing areas of interest.
    I suggest that, if possible, you rent a wooden field camera for a weekend and see what it will do. A 150mm-210mm lens will be very handy. I currently have, and use, 5 wooden field cameras of various sizes which I use constantly. My monorails spend 95% of the time stored away and are used only indoors.

  8. #8

    Re: Importance of back movements

    Yes, the YouTube video mentioned Scheimpflug.

    Maybe I misunderstood or misremembered, the t
    YouTube guy said that front movements would work but he was concerned about the circle of light. There was a close tree on the right, another tree on the left a bit further away and then an interesting group of trees in the center, in the distance. Singing the back was his decision to capture the scene best.

    OK, I'll continue to read but it seems like standard movements may suit me fine.

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Importance of back movements

    Back movement can be good to have if one wishes to use movements but do not have a extra image circle needed at the desired focusing distance. Tilting or swinging the front lens could swing the image circle away from part of the film, where using the back swing or tilt keeps the film within the image circle thrown by the lens.

    My 5x7 Eastman View No.2 does not have front swing nor tilt, but does on the back. Not as convienent as having them on front and back, but it makes for a stable front standard and one learns to work with the tool. The image below would be considered an intimate landscape...a little less range than 3m to 10m perhaps. 180mm lens, I believe.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Creek,OssogonRocks.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #10
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Importance of back movements

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Back movement can be good to have if one wishes to use movements but do not have a extra image circle needed at the desired focusing distance. Tilting or swinging the front lens could swing the image circle away from part of the film, where using the back swing or tilt keeps the film within the image circle thrown by the lens...
    Hence a bit of rise/fall/shift to get the lens' optical axis back on center, (if your camera has those movements.)
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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