How Would You Do This

Discussion in 'Talk About Techniques' started by Ian-Barber, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    Scenario: Open book on table with writing on both sides

    With the view camera above and point down at the book, where would you start to achieve front to back focus using movements
     
  2. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

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    I would use front tilt. How to achieve focus depends on the type of movement your camera standard(s) have--base or axial. Since all mine have base tilt, I would focus on the far side of the book and tilt the front standard forward while watching the front edge of the book for good focus. This method requires that you refocus on the background until the foreground is sharp. Lock everything down and refocus, as needed. A lot easier to do than to describe!
     
  3. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    This been the top of the ground glass Alan
     
  4. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

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    Yes. If you have axial tilts, the process is even easier. Focus on the center of the gg, tilt front standard until both near/far in focus, lock down, readjust focus as needed.
     
  5. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    Will this method also work for closeup photography Alan
     
  6. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

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    I don't see why not, but I don't do much closeup stuff with my LF cameras; Scheimpflug principles don't change just because the bellows is extended a lot.

    However, as with all closeup photography your DoF becomes narrower as you get closer to your subject (assuming camera position isn't changing, of course.) Consider your book on a table... If the camera is positioned to take in the entire book and, maybe, some of the table and you tilt the front standard to, basically, shift the focus plane to be parallel to the table, with careful refocus adjustment and proper use of lens aperture you could achieve critical focus from the surface of the book to the table. Now, assume you double the bellows extension without changing anything else other than to set focus properly. Your DoF, at this point, may extend only enough to keep part of the book in focus.

    All this stuff is tough to get across in words. You should be able to easily see all of this on the gg as you work.

    Have fun!
     
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  7. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks Alan for the explanation, appreciated
     
  8. alexmuir

    alexmuir Member

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    Ian, I do quite a bit of close-up work, mainly still-life, with my 4x5. I'm quite new to using camera movements. The thing I have noticed, however, is that the degree of tilt required for the sort of situation you describe is quite small. I started off thinking that if I needed tilt it would be something like 45 degrees. In practice, adjustments tend to be less dramatic. The difficulty I find is assessing depth of field once the lens is stopped down and the screen darkens accordingly. Using a torch to temporarily illuminate the subject can help. I am using a monorail camera which is superb for studio work, and something you should consider if that is your main area of interest. The drawback is the weight and bulk, making it difficult to use on location for landscapes. A field camera, like a Wista, Shen Hao or similar would be a far better choice for projects where you need to take the camera out and about. For controlled studio situations, however, a monorail offers great advantages. Another thing I've found to be very useful is the Prontor Professional shutter with its special twin cable release. This system allows you to open the lens fully for focusing, close it to working aperture to check depth of field and then close and fire the shutter, all from the cable release. I picked up a Rodenstock 150mm lens in this type of shutter, then sourced the special cable release. I couldn't believe how well it worked.
    Anyway, I'm drifting off topic, but hope this is of some use to you.
    Alex.
     
  9. Graham Patterson

    Graham Patterson Member

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    I think this is a trick question. If the camera is pointing straight down at a book open on a table, you wouldn't need any movements at all :cool:
     
  10. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    Sorry, I ought to have said the camera is pointing down at about 45 degrees to the book
     
  11. Mathieu Bauwens

    Mathieu Bauwens Active Member

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  12. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    Yes; and the French one is the better to work through.
     
  13. Mathieu Bauwens

    Mathieu Bauwens Active Member

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    yes, unless you don't read french... :D
     
  14. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    You can always do what the English do - read the pictures and ignore the hard words... But I do take your point. My generation was expected to pick up at least a smattering of French at school.

    I was at an exhibition today and, when I pointed out a typo, the organiser was astounded that I'd actually bothered to read the words.

    Edit to add:
    I should have thanked you in my original post for posting them - they are very useful/interesting.
     
  15. KenS

    KenS Active Member

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    If my memory serves me well enough... If you take the (imaginary line) from the surface plane of the book page (back towards the camera), the imaginary 'vertical' line through the rear nodal point of the lens in use (parallel to the lens board)... and the 'imaginary' line of the film plane and have them meet at the one 'common point'... then every printed word visible on the ground glass will be 'in focus'. This 'covers the idea' whether you are recording the 'whole' page or only part thereof.

    Ken
     

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