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Thread: Cameras with geared swing movement

  1. #11

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    Re: Cameras with geared swing movement

    Quote Originally Posted by helios View Post
    Thanks, that is good to know. Does it also have zero position detent?
    Yes, it has the zero detent for swings.

  2. #12
    Lost mike rosenlof's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras with geared swing movement

    +1 for the F-line. I think you'll find that independent locks for each movement make a big difference. The Arca is precise and easy to set up.

    If you truly need geared swing, I think you're going to need a big studio camera like the Sinar P. Swing seems to be the last movement to get gears.

  3. #13

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    Re: Cameras with geared swing movement

    The one essential for me is geared rise/fall on at least one of the front or rear standards. So much more convenient. After that, manual swings or tilt is fine.

    If a medium format view camera to which one can attach a digital back, then geared shift and rise/fall on the rear is useful for stitching. Of course, an Arca Swiss Metric will have both of these geared movements on both the front and rear standards.

    I've recently found out how nice geared movements on a tripod head can be. Sweet!
    Last edited by neil poulsen; 26-Nov-2021 at 01:20.

  4. #14

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    Re: Cameras with geared swing movement

    My 8x10" view camera has geared swing, but that's not what you asked for.
    One way to remove some of the movements,
    assuming you don't need all the camera length is to lock the top nut from going forward or backwards, using the bottom nut to adjust swing.

    But I think you have chosen the wrong Chamonix
    Pictures are from my 45N-2, the swing can be done in two operations, first with the bars, lock them down, then the back has some play back and forth with the left lock, not geared, but precisely thumb-pushed..... from -7 to +6mm (-9/32"+1/4")

    Sent fra min SM-G975F via Tapatalk

  5. #15

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    Re: Cameras with geared swing movement

    Quote Originally Posted by helios View Post
    I am a happy user of Chamonix F2, however, in architecture genre both front and possibly even more so rear swings are important. Rear swing on F2 is awkward. It requires two hands and is kind of unstable as once locks are released rear standard moves not only around vertical axis, but also slides freely in forward and backward direction. It’s not that it’s unusable, but I feel I would appreciate more precise, less fiddly solution.

    Are there any cameras out there that are not in heavy monorails league but have geared swing movements? I was thinking of Arca Swiss F-line as “wet dream” sort of option, but it appears to have manual swing control too.

    Thank you.
    Arca Swiss M-2 has geared front swing and tilt. It's slightly heavier & bulkier than an F-line, but less than fully-geared monorails like Sinar P/2, etc. It does this by limiting movements to angular on the front, lateral on the rear - all geared. It's modular and convertible between Mirrorless/DSLR/MF/LF backs.

  6. #16

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    Re: Cameras with geared swing movement

    Would never tolerate any view camera with movement controls like this. Too much frustration, too much futzing around with the camera to achieve what is needed and more. Does this camera achieve rear swing movements, yes with plenty of unnecessary futzing and frustration and more..

    This is the reality of light weight field folders and their innate trade-offs to achieve compact, light weight and foldable. IMO, for the majority of outdoor landscape images made at some what infinity focus and often never demanding on camera movements with the need for back packing lightweight, compact portability this camera could be near ideal. Press this same camera into image goals of combined camera movements with the need for precision/accuracy/repeatability and all those non outdoor landscape image goal needs, this same camera is not ideal at all.

    Sinar example using Norma, F, P2 which has geared movements.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sinar Norma has separate swing, shift locks allowing independent control of swing and/or shift movements identical on front and rear standards.
    It is common to need a slight shift in the image to reposition the image to meet the initial image composition goals. This is not gonna happen on any camera without shift on the rear standard... and moving the camera position does not achieve the same as applying rear shift camera movement.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sinar F has a single locking lever that controls swing and shift combined. This works surprisingly good.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sinar P2, swing, shift, rise-fall, tilt are geared. Works GOOD. Heavy, bulky and all that. In studio weight and all that is an asset with no significant negatives.
    Outdoors, no were near ideal at all.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sinar P2 and P(has swing/tilt shift control knob) in less than mobile image needs is an absolute pleasure to use in every way. Setting camera movements as needed is easy, precise, quick and very stable once set. Yet the Norma & F without geared movements is not a lot slower or difficult. What makes the majority of this difference is the center point of the standard frame starts at center with marks or spring detent and the movements are applied at this center point. Make swing movement, the center line of the frame stays put. This is why swing camera movements are essentially easy effort. Sinar is not the only monorail camera to have swing movements like this.

    Given the lens focal length set of 90mm. 110mm, 180mm better to use a bag bellows to allow full use of their available image circle. Any camera with a tapered bellows will be limiting in ways that will become apparent once camera movements are pressed to the limits of the lens image circle... and bag bellows tend to have better flare light control from the larger than needed lens image circle.



    Bernice







    Quote Originally Posted by helios View Post
    Yes, that is precisely the problem - loosening both knobs allows too much freedom of rear standard movement. In a way it does allow rotation around the center of rear frame because both knobs are locked in slides in a way that no horizontal shift is possible. But that forward-backward movement freedom is just awkward. I kind of got used to it and developed some technique on handling it, so as I said it’s not like it’s not usable, just too loose and fiddly. Also realigning the rear standard back to zero position is awkward too, but that’s minor thing.

    It’s similar on front swing where there is only one knob, loosening it allows combination of swing and shift movements.

    It is largely the same problem as with rise/tilt issue on Chamonix F1 which was improved on F2 by adding dedicated knobs for those movements.

    I am using and noticing this problem with any lens whenever swing is needed, but mostly using 90mm, 110mm and 180mm for architecture.

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Cameras with geared swing movement

    Hard detents have their pros and cons. If precisely tuned, these give you instant zeroing; but if you actually need just a small degree of variance from that, the detent might make it difficult to lock into that subtle position without automatically kicking back into the full zero position. Machined gearing potentially alleviates that irritation; but then you have to note the etched markings. But we seem to just get accustomed to whatever we have. The fact gearing increases size and weight, and in turns needs greater tripod support, makes it a less tempting field photography option.

    With my Norma, the detents are relatively soft, which is nice (in contrast to many folder field cameras with aggressive detents); and accurate re-zeroing is easy to do yourself if necessary. And as I've previously commented somewhere, I wouldn't even want P-style gearing outdoors due to risk of blowing grit or whatever getting in the gearing, and requiring even more routine cleaning every time I came back from an outing. A clean lab or studio environment is a different logistical scenario entirely.

  8. #18

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    Re: Cameras with geared swing movement

    Yup. I went through a phase when I was obsessed with alignment and accurately zeroed detents. But first you have to be sure you are truly zeroed when in the detents (not the case with most cameras, at least out of the box. And then as you note if the detents are “deep” you can have a hard time setting very small movements. I sometimes have this problem with one of my cameras. Luckily swings and tilts are the exception rather than the norm in the kind of photos I take.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Hard detents have their pros and cons. If precisely tuned, these give you instant zeroing; but if you actually need just a small degree of variance from that, the detent might make it difficult to lock into that subtle position without automatically kicking back into the full zero position. Machined gearing potentially alleviates that irritation; but then you have to note the etched markings. But we seem to just get accustomed to whatever we have. The fact gearing increases size and weight, and in turns needs greater tripod support, makes it a less tempting field photography option.

    With my Norma, the detents are relatively soft, which is nice (in contrast to many folder field cameras with aggressive detents); and accurate re-zeroing is easy to do yourself if necessary. And as I've previously commented somewhere, I wouldn't even want P-style gearing outdoors due to risk of blowing grit or whatever getting in the gearing, and requiring even more routine cleaning every time I came back from an outing. A clean lab or studio environment is a different logistical scenario entirely.

  9. #19

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    Re: Cameras with geared swing movement

    Thank you All for sharing your ideas and experience. Good discussion and tips!

    I intentionally said in the beginning that I am happy user of Chamonix F2 camera. It's a gem for landscapes for obvious reasons. It's built with very high quality craftmanship, pleasant to deal with for its weight and size and yet it is very affordable. I have no issues with manual front tilt or rise at all. It's only swings that are too fiddly in my opinion, and to some extent front shift. In fact, I do achieve rear swing movements that I need, just takes a bit of patience. Another bonus is that it takes anything from WA to 300mm without the need of extension adapters, and its rock solid with full bellows draw (bellows change takes 2 min with some practice).

    But indeed, it's not the best camera for shooting requiring precise perspective and focus control. Not only swings are fiddly, but it has only 45mm rise and horizontal shift is fiddly too. On the other hand, let's be fair, it was designed as outdoor landscape camera, so I am not complaining.

    Both Toyo VX125 and Arca Swiss F suggested here seem like fine alternatives. Even though swings are manual, they seem to be stable and usable. Weight and bulk are certainly in limits (especially Arca newer 141mm frame format model looks attractive). The only drawback is required extra $$$, though VX125 seem to be more affordable and common on second-hand market. Sounds like time to start accumulating the budget and then eventually decide...

  10. #20

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    Re: Cameras with geared swing movement

    Watch out for stripped gears in the Toyo.

    Quote Originally Posted by helios View Post
    Thank you All for sharing your ideas and experience. Good discussion and tips!

    I intentionally said in the beginning that I am happy user of Chamonix F2 camera. It's a gem for landscapes for obvious reasons. It's built with very high quality craftmanship, pleasant to deal with for its weight and size and yet it is very affordable. I have no issues with manual front tilt or rise at all. It's only swings that are too fiddly in my opinion, and to some extent front shift. In fact, I do achieve rear swing movements that I need, just takes a bit of patience. Another bonus is that it takes anything from WA to 300mm without the need of extension adapters, and its rock solid with full bellows draw (bellows change takes 2 min with some practice).

    But indeed, it's not the best camera for shooting requiring precise perspective and focus control. Not only swings are fiddly, but it has only 45mm rise and horizontal shift is fiddly too. On the other hand, let's be fair, it was designed as outdoor landscape camera, so I am not complaining.

    Both Toyo VX125 and Arca Swiss F suggested here seem like fine alternatives. Even though swings are manual, they seem to be stable and usable. Weight and bulk are certainly in limits (especially Arca newer 141mm frame format model looks attractive). The only drawback is required extra $$$, though VX125 seem to be more affordable and common on second-hand market. Sounds like time to start accumulating the budget and then eventually decide...

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