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Thread: Front movements when using long lenses

  1. #1

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    Question Front movements when using long lenses

    When you are focusing a lens, say, 600 mm, and you want to do front tilt, do you have to get out from under the darkcloth? I'm just wondering as I have trouble doing front tilts with my 19 in. lens on my 8x10 Ansco.

  2. #2

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    Re: Front movements when using long lenses

    Depends on how long your arms are?

    I can do tilts and swings with my Nikkor 600 and my Cooke XVa configured at 645 from under my darkcloth on my Canham 8x10. When I go to the Nikkor 800 or 1200 configuration I've got to walk around to adjust the lens (guess-ta-mation).

    On my Arca-Swiss 4x5 and my Fujinon 600 I must walk around.

  3. #3

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    Re: Front movements when using long lenses

    As Walter pointed out, it would depend first on how long your arms are. But an additional factor might be whether your lens is of telephoto design or not. If it isn't, there should be no special problem except for the need to reach the controls. In general, the tilt should be done about the front principal point or else you will need to refocus significantly after tilting to move the tilt axis back there. If the lens is of telephoto design, then the principal points may be well in front of the lens. Of course, those of us with base tilt are used to this since we always tilt about an axis not through a principal point. but if your camera has axial tilt and your lens is of telephoto design, then you would find that methods attuned axis tilt no longer work.

  4. #4

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    Red face Re: Front movements when using long lenses

    I never really thought that my arms were short, and none of my lenses are of a telephoto design. My camera is a field camera with a rear bed that I have to work with when focusing.
    Last edited by Diane Maher; 21-Sep-2006 at 06:32.

  5. #5

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    Re: Front movements when using long lenses

    You might estimate front tilt, then fine tune with back tilt.

  6. #6

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    Cool Re: Front movements when using long lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Calahan
    Depends on how long your arms are?

    I can do tilts and swings with my Nikkor 600 and my Cooke XVa configured at 645 from under my darkcloth on my Canham 8x10. When I go to the Nikkor 800 or 1200 configuration I've got to walk around to adjust the lens (guess-ta-mation).

    On my Arca-Swiss 4x5 and my Fujinon 600 I must walk around.
    This is the main reason I haven't bought any lenses longer than the 19 in. one. Thanks for your responses, everyone.

  7. #7
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Front movements when using long lenses

    Do you have rear tilt on your camera? If you do, you could do it Sinar style and figure out how much tilt you need with rear tilt, measure it, and then relevel the rear standard, and apply the opposite tilt to the front standard.

    How do you measure it if the camera doesn't have scales like a Sinar? I use a Sunnto Tandem clinometer-compass, which will let you measure tilt and swing on any camera (unless there is something strongly magnetic on the camera, which will interfere with swing measurements, but not tilt). It's handy for checking the parallelism of the front and rear standards on floppy cameras without detentes, and you could also use it to measure the inclination of the focal plane, say, if you use the Rodenstock swing/tilt calculator. You can find them used on eBay, usually from people who install satellite dishes.

    For measuring just tilt, an angle-finding level like this one is less expensive than the Sunnto, but also a bit less precise--


  8. #8

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    Re: Front movements when using long lenses

    I'm shooting with an Ansco 8x10 and it does have some rear tilt. The way the front tilt operates is clumsy when I'm under the darkcloth and have the bellows racked out to infinity focus with the 19 inch lens. I'm just wondering how you guys with your 600 mm plus lenses do it. I have no plans to get a 600 mm myself.

  9. #9
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Front movements when using long lenses

    What I'm suggesting is that you use the rear tilt to determine how much tilt you need on the front standard.

    Tilt the rear until the focal plane is where you want it on the groundglass. Measure it with a clinometer or angle-finding level against the groundglass, and then zero the rear standard so that it's plumb again. At this point you can get out from under the darkcloth, and apply the opposite tilt to the front standard using the clinometer. You'll also need to adjust rise/fall when you apply the front tilt.

  10. #10
    alec4444's Avatar
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    Re: Front movements when using long lenses

    David, thanks, that's a really helpful tip. All my starter lenses are wide, but that questions has crossed my mind a few times. Was wondering if I needed two Nextels and my wife's help....

    <<BREEEEEP>> Honey, I need approx 10 degrees right swing.
    <<BREEEEEP>> Um, sorry, that was too far...

    --A

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