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Thread: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?

  1. #11
    Joanna Carter's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?

    Hi Tim
    Quote Originally Posted by timparkin View Post
    The technique you talk about with front tilt doesn't work. If you find something on the centre line and then tilt the front axis, the point on the centreline goes out of focus.



    The rear assymetric tilt on the Ebony is also not at 1/3 up the screen it's actually at either 1/5th of 1/10th depending on whether you are in portrait or landscape mode. Effectively it's as close to the edge of the screen as you would want it for typical compositions.
    Wherever the marks on the screen are, it still stands that the axis of asymmetric tilt on an Ebony is not on the plane of focus, so you will still get variance in where the actual point of sharp focus is on the screen.

    Let's put it this way: in my experience, using axis tilt on the front standard is every bit as fast as using asymmetric tilt on the rear standard. One essential difference is that, with front standard tilts, you don't have any perspective distortions and, therefore, it works great with architecture.

    Quote Originally Posted by timparkin View Post
    Well in this situation you would just focus on infinity and then tilt the back to get the foreground in focus. The far distance has huge amounts of depth of field and so any slight inaccuracy in placing the line is irrelevant. In practise this has been true for 90+% of the pictures I have taken.
    And that is where we will have to agree to disagree. You may take a particular style of picture and find asymmetric tilts useful for your workflow; I take a different style of pictures and rarely want to use rear tilt; therefore I have developed techniques for using, mainly, front axis tilts that enable me to take shots like the one I posted in less than five minutes from stopping the car to closing the darkslide

    Quote Originally Posted by timparkin View Post
    It's only a sales gimmick if you don't want it or can't see the use of it - if you can see the use of it, it saves you time and/or makes your life easier, it's a useful feature
    As I said, my experience is that I have managed and can manage perfectly well without asymmetric tilts. On the other hand, if you took away my front axis tilt, I would not be a happy bunny; base tilts are definitely the worst
    Joanna Carter
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  2. #12

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    Re: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?

    Its all about personal preference. Every time I have seen this discussion, the verdict has been the same: for some it is the panacea and for others, additional weight and expense for no return. I have never used them so cannot comment, but I suspect it is a case of 'if you have never used them and are happy thus far, you won't know what you are missing (and will have more money in your pocket)!' I hope I never encounter them because the cost of upgrading my cameras to Ebony 'U' camera would sink me!

  3. #13

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    Re: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?

    Thanks for the really usefull discussions folks, very informative.
    With the price at the moment of these cameras I think I will go for a non U and put the money towards another lens.
    Just saw in the US the price is the same in $ ! I could save a lot by having a weekend in the states and buy it there. Ship the boxes back in the post with the camera in my camera bag?
    Good idea?
    http://www.architecturalphotos.net

  4. #14
    Joanna Carter's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudgey View Post
    Thanks for the really usefull discussions folks, very informative.
    With the price at the moment of these cameras I think I will go for a non U and put the money towards another lens.
    Just saw in the US the price is the same in $ ! I could save a lot by having a weekend in the states and buy it there. Ship the boxes back in the post with the camera in my camera bag?
    Good idea?
    Why not save even more and have it shipped? Even with the duty 6.7%, delivery at $50 and VAT, it's usually still cheaper and you don't have to take any risks.

    At the current rate, a SV45Te from Badger will cost $3795 without sales tax. That converts to around £3115 including import duty, delivery of $50 and VAT. Compare that to Robert White at £3732 inc VAT.
    Joanna Carter
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  5. #15

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    Re: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?

    Tim,

    Right, I'm not saying I wouldn't use asymmetrical tilts and swings if I had them; I just don't now, and don't see the need to have them, for my slower way of working anyway (I usually spend more time thinking about where I want the plane of sharp focus in a scene than making the movements needed to achieve what I want). And if I had to shell out a lot of money that I could otherwise spend on paper or maybe another lens, I don't think it would be worth it. The only movements I really need are some kind of tilts and swings front and rear, rise and fall, preferably on the front standard, and (because it's a hassle without it) shift on one standard at least.

    The issues about front axis tilt/swing going out of focus is indeed true, but the Ebonys are the same for the front standard. If you need front movements on the Ebony, you'll have to deal with the same issues. I tend to use front movements a lot when shooting architecturals, since any tilting or swinging of the back will change the geometry of the image. For the classic landscape "near-far" shot, back tilt is fast and easy, but it does change the geometry of the image. I use front tilt when I don't want this to happen. And, when I do use back tilt, I simply focus first at the bottom of the ground glass and then tilt till the top of the ground glass is exactly as out of focus as the bottom, refocus and, usually, I'm really, really close. Maybe only one more iteration extra than asymmetrical tilt would have saved. If dealing with getting the asymmetrical tilt set up takes about the same amount of time, then I'm in a dead heat

    And, when one has rear axis tilts/swings, one can simply focus in the middle of the desired plane, in the middle of the ground glass, and just tilt/swing until the edges are in focus. The only disadvantage this has over the asymmetrical tilt is that the distance focused over is less, thereby making it a bit less precise. Maybe another check is in order.

    A bit off-topic, but there is a fundamental difference between front and rear tilts/swings, which I've mentioned (i.e., changing the geometry of the image) that many don't take into account enough. In the creative process, back position relative to the subject determines the geometry of the projection and should be taken into account at that level as well. Often, I end up with the back in a crazy place just so I can get the image to bulge here or there a bit, even though it didn't help focus a bit! Then, I have to find a place for the front standard that will at least let me get everything in focus when stopped down.

    Also, I'm not accusing Ebony of misleading advertising, but when you take a quick look at their informational brochure on asymmetrical movements, they show photographs with enlarged sections that are clearly more in-focus than the photo "without" asymmetrical movements. This is really just a comparison of a photo with and without movements in general, and not a comparison of asymmetrical to other kinds of movements. The same results can be got with any system of movements.

    I think the OP needs to get his hands on a camera with asymmetrical movements to see if it is worth it for him to shell out the extra money for the added convenience. They certainly are a convenience, the only question is, is it worth it for him? We've all given him some food for thought, so he should hopefully be in a much better position now; more confused, but at a higher level


    Best,

    Doremus

  6. #16

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    Re: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanna Carter View Post
    Why not save even more and have it shipped? Even with the duty 6.7%, delivery at $50 and VAT, it's usually still cheaper and you don't have to take any risks.

    At the current rate, a SV45Te from Badger will cost $3795 without sales tax. That converts to around £3115 including import duty, delivery of $50 and VAT. Compare that to Robert White at £3732 inc VAT.
    Hi Joanna,
    Is the UK duty only 6.7%? I guess the VAT would be at the full 20%. Cannot beleve with all this I would still make a saving! Have to look to see if I would also make a saving on lenses.
    Suppose the only thing is if a found a fault, however what I have read about Ebony's craftsmanship this is probably unlikely.
    Can you recommend the best US dealer ?
    http://www.architecturalphotos.net

  7. #17
    Joanna Carter's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudgey View Post
    Is the UK duty only 6.7%? I guess the VAT would be at the full 20%.
    Yes, the annoying thing is that there is no duty on digital camera bodies :-( The VAT is worked out in a peculiar way: first, you take the basic price and work out the duty on that. Then you add the price, the duty and the shipping and calculate the VAT at 20% on all that. The only unknown extra is how much the carrier will charge for collecting the tax and duty but it is usually around £20, the cheapest being Parcel Force.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudgey View Post
    Cannot beleve with all this I would still make a saving! Have to look to see if I would also make a saving on lenses.
    Yes, it's certainly worthwhile getting several items at once because it saves on the carriage and the VAT collection fee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudgey View Post
    Suppose the only thing is if a found a fault, however what I have read about Ebony's craftsmanship this is probably unlikely.
    I would say it would be unlikely to find anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudgey View Post
    Can you recommend the best US dealer ?
    Well, at the moment, I can only find Badger advertising the Ebony but US readers may know different. Do bear in mind that Badger are quoting a delivery time to them from Ebony of 8 weeks. I doubt if that would be any different for anyone else.
    Joanna Carter
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  8. #18

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    Re: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?


  9. #19

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    Re: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?

    PS You should not be surprised it is cheaper to import cameras from the US, sadly. After all, it is cheaper to buy Ilford sheet film exported to the US and then re-imported, with postage, duty and VAT on top. Dramatically cheaper if you buy in volume.

  10. #20
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    Re: Ebony asymmetrical is it worth paying for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    And, when I do use back tilt, I simply focus first at the bottom of the ground glass and then tilt till the top of the ground glass is exactly as out of focus as the bottom, refocus and, usually, I'm really, really close. Maybe only one more iteration extra than asymmetrical tilt would have saved. If dealing with getting the asymmetrical tilt set up takes about the same amount of time, then I'm in a dead heat
    These days I can operate the tilt at the same time as the focus so whether it's base tilt, front tilt, etc I could adapt easily enough. However, when we give photography tuition and we lend out cameras, the persona who gets the Ebony 45SU finishes substantially faster than all of the rest. If you are an occasional shooter and like to capture 'the light', this could be important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    A bit off-topic, but there is a fundamental difference between front and rear tilts/swings, which I've mentioned (i.e., changing the geometry of the image) that many don't take into account enough.
    Quite possibly, however for your average shot with about 2 or three degrees of tilt, the distortion to your verticals is only about 1 degree. That's OK for trees and for most buildings in the UK ;-)

    Tim
    Still Developing at http://www.timparkin.co.uk and scanning at http://cheapdrumscanning.com

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