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Thread: Asymmetrical tilts

  1. #1

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    Asymmetrical tilts

    I have a Wista camera which I have been using very little on and off for a about a decade (not sure which model - I think it's rosewood). Anyway, my last trip out with it I was trying to get a waterfall shot with some rocks in the foreground. I was using a 90mm lens and
    I was trying to use tilt to get my foreground in focus. It was one of those tilt, focus...tilt focus, etc. I just could not seem to get it right. Is this a problem that a camera with asymmetrical tilts (and swings) can fix? Or am I just incompetent?

  2. #2

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    Re: Asymmetrical tilts

    Doesn't matter if you have base, center or assymetrical movements. You just have to master the type you have. Then they are all easy, but assymetrical may be slower in practice.

  3. #3
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Asymmetrical tilts

    Being a 90mm, I'd figure that you were using too much tilt.

    You really don't need much with the wide angles… I know that the movement is so minimal that I fight the detent on one of my cameras when tilting my 72mm!
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  4. #4

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    Re: Asymmetrical tilts

    So I just need more practice then. OK. Thanks

  5. #5
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: Asymmetrical tilts

    This is from ana rticle on the home page called "Focusing the View Camera":

    "To adjust the tilt, use the following. To adjust the swing, replace "top/bottom" by "left/right".

    Choose a near point (top of ground glass) and a far point (middle/bottom of ground glass) both in the plane of focus and with good contrast to focus on. In the rock/mountain example, this would be a point on the rock approximatively two thirds of the height of the rock and a point on the mountain approximatively two thirds of the height of the mountain. I place tiny flashlights (Maglite solitaire with reflector unscrewed) as focussing points on the ground when it is too dark. If you are going to use axis tilt, the far point should be close to the middle of the ground glass.
    [FF] Focus on the far point using the focussing knob.
    [TN] Make the near point sharp using the tilt. You will augment the tilt. Image location is affected (unless the pivot point of the tilt coincides with the rear nodal point of the lens): as you tilt, you may need to use a little rise to regain your composition).
    [EF] Evaluate now whether the far point needs refocussing. If so, you will have to refocus further, go back to [FF]. Otherwise you are done. Usually a couple of iterations will be sufficient. This procedure continuously increases tilt. The more tilt you need the more iterations you will have.
    Variations of this technique:

    Some people prefer to focus on the near with the knob and on the far with the tilt. This might work better with axis tilts, while the technique I described might be better with base tilts. Experiment for yourself and see what seems more efficient to you.
    Howard Bond's Focus-Check procedure. Instead of [TN] and [EF], you turn the focussing knob only in one direction and check the effect on the near point [CN]. Then depending on the effect (got sharper or blurrier), you add or remove tilt. He recommends coming out of the dark cloth and looking at your camera.
    Some cameras (Sinar, Ebony) have asymmetrical tilts, where the axis of tilt is below the center of the GG. You focus on a far point on this axis [FF]. After [TN], the far point remains in perfect focus, because it was along the axis of tilt, and thus did not change its distance from the lens, so you are done in one iteration !"

  6. #6

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    Re: Asymmetrical tilts

    Christopher thanks... If I remember focus far-tilt near, I'll be in good shape (hopefully).

  7. #7
    New Orleans, LA
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    Re: Asymmetrical tilts

    I learned the following from Steve Simmons: get all movements zeroed out. Focus on the farthest point you want in focus. Tilt (or swing, whichever the case may be) towards the nearest point you want in focus until BOTH points are EQUALLY out of focus. Refocus on the far or near and both points will snap into focus. It is visual and quick. The most most difficult part is seeing things as equally out of focus but, once you do it a few times, you begin to see it easily. And you realize how little tilt (or swing) you really need to accomplish what you want. Good luck!

  8. #8

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    Re: Asymmetrical tilts

    Thanks Thom, I will give that a try. I'm actually practicing right now in my home office. It's tricky to hold the loupe and use two hands to adjust that front tilt. Do they make any cameras where you only have to adjust one side?

  9. #9
    Joel Edmondson
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    Re: Asymmetrical tilts

    On many cameras one side is the "lock" and the other side the "adjust" ... the Wista 45SP is setup that way. You loosen the lock, adjust with the other side and then lock down. Wista also makes an attachment which accepts the loupe and allows it so stay in place as you adjust - though you still have to position it to the point of interest. Most of the "work" is just practice until it becomes intuitive. Lachlan is dead on with his observation, it takes very little tilt with shorter focal lengths and in many cases (unless you are using the tilt to exaggerate perspective) you can accomplish the desired depth with aperture. For me the best approach is still to (with everything zeroed out) adjust for the far, measure the extension, refocus for the near, measure the extension and adjust to the mid-point. There are tables which provide the necessary aperture (based on the desired circle-of-confusion). By the way, I grew up in Marietta (but that was when it was a small town).
    Joel

  10. #10
    New Orleans, LA
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    Re: Asymmetrical tilts

    It is easier to see the effects using a long lens so, if you have one, try the method with it. I learned by practicing on a sheet of paper with text on it. The paper was laying on a table and the camera was higher and about 45 degrees to the plane of the paper. The text gives you something with contrast to focus on. Not quite sure why you are using two hands? Keep the locks slightly loose and that will allow you to make your movements with one hand while the other holds the loupe. Keep practicing and it becomes intuitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by gnuyork View Post
    Thanks Thom, I will give that a try. I'm actually practicing right now in my home office. It's tricky to hold the loupe and use two hands to adjust that front tilt. Do they make any cameras where you only have to adjust one side?

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