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Author Topic: Favorite technique for movements  (Read 1716 times)
Geoffreyg
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« on: September 26, 2013, 09:32:54 PM »
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For years, I've been looking for the most easily usable way to shift in the field - such as a tourist walking around a city for 3-4 hours (so weight is an issue), and wanting to shoot architectural scenes with rise, and sometimes (but not always) some side shift. THere seems to be no perfect tool for this. Options include:

- 4x5 - easiest for movements, but needs film holders, and sad without readiload film.
- MFDB on a pancake - but these aren't so light, and a bit clunky....hard to carry around for a day...Alpa seems best for MFDB on handheld, but only movements in one direction.
- shift lenses on MF camera, either digital or film, but these are heavy, and only a few go in two directions at the same time
- 35 DSLR with shift lenses - easy to use, but hard to see through the viewfinder, and only single direction movements
- panorama type camera, film - and then crop the image 

Then there is the very odd idea of a M240 and a 28 PC lens.... smallest package, not sure if the lens is up to snuff.

Its easier if the decision calls for either tripod or no tripod, but as in life, sometimes its a bit of both. So what have others used happily?

Geoff
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robdickinson
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2013, 09:57:40 PM »
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35mm have live view now and easy remote screens or even using your phone... still only 1 direction of shift.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 04:48:23 AM »
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Have you considered hand held stitching 3 landscape frames from a 35mm f1.4 and correcting perspective in post?

Cheers,
Bernard
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Geoffreyg
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 05:33:37 AM »
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Thanks for the idea. But do you find there is a difference in the image between panoramics by rotation (nodal) vs. panoramics by back shifting (orthogonal)? In theory there should be, but I haven't done stitching by hand-held. Rather like the orthogonal discipline.  
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 05:37:38 AM by Geoffreyg » Logged

Geoff
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 06:50:34 AM »
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You can select planar projection with spherical stitching which delivers very similar, if not identical, results compated to flat stitching.

35mm x 3 landscape should result in a near 2x3 aspect ratio vertical frame and provide enough resolution for the verticals correction not to impact image quality compared to a single vertical frame.

Additional advantages is that:
- most moving objects will be on the ground floor and fully included in the lowest of the 3 frames, so few ghosting issues,
- there will be no close objects so few parallax issues even hand held. A monopod and a sliding rail positioned to rotate at the right lication will further reduce risk.

You should try it of course.

Cheers,
Bernard
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jsch
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 09:07:15 AM »
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For years, I've been looking for the most easily usable way to shift in the field - such as a tourist walking around a city for 3-4 hours (so weight is an issue), and wanting to shoot architectural scenes with rise, and sometimes (but not always) some side shift. THere seems to be no perfect tool for this. Options include:

- 4x5 - easiest for movements, but needs film holders, and sad without readiload film.
Evelyn Hofer carried a Linhof Technika with everything she needed in her handbag (http://www.steidlville.com/books/55-Evelyn-Hofer.html). For 4x5 this might be a solution. For cityscapes I use a Linhof Technika 13x18 (5x7 inch) or a Sinar 8x10, but I have cases with wheels.
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- MFDB on a pancake - but these aren't so light, and a bit clunky....hard to carry around for a day...Alpa seems best for MFDB on handheld, but only movements in one direction.
This is also the most expensive solution. If you work without a tripod you will face two main problems: 1) Your images will never be perfectly aligned and you have to correct every image in the post. You have to write down the amount of shift for every frame. 2) With an f-stop around 11 and ISO around 320 ASA your exposure times will be longer than you want to have them for handheld work.
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- shift lenses on MF camera, either digital or film, but these are heavy, and only a few go in two directions at the same time
- 35 DSLR with shift lenses - easy to use, but hard to see through the viewfinder, and only single direction movements
All the shift lenses for DSLR I know of you can shift in two directions at the same time. It is very easy to work with the view finder or live view. I do this for 10 years now beginning with the EOS 1 D (CCD - Version) and I never had a problem.
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- panorama type camera, film - and then crop the image 
Works but these cameras are heavy and big too.
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Then there is the very odd idea of a M240 and a 28 PC lens.... smallest package, not sure if the lens is up to snuff.
Money doesn't seem to be a limiting factor for you. A nice very small solution is a full frame Canon with the Olympus OM 35 mm shift lens  (see http://olypedia.de/Zuiko_Shift_1:2,8/35_mm, it is in german, but with a lot of images) which is much better than the Schneider Super Angulon 28. If there are mirorless cameras (Sony NEX) with full frame in the future, the whole system will be very small if you attach the Olympus 35 mm shift. This little lens is very good.
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Its easier if the decision calls for either tripod or no tripod, but as in life, sometimes its a bit of both. So what have others used happily?
As mentioned above I use for cityscapes a Linhof Technika 13x18 (5x7 inch) or a Sinar 8x10, but I have cases with wheels. Most of the time I have a Canon 5D Mark II with the Olympus 35 mm shift (or TS-E17/24/45 I carry only one of this lenses depending what I plan to photograph that day) as a backup. Backup means after I shot the scene with film, I snap a digital capture too; and if I run out of film I continue digitally. If I know only minor shifts are needed I go with the Canon 24-70L without a tripod and fix the perspective in the post. But the best thing is a 8x10 inch negative.

Best,
Johannes
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slackercruster
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2013, 03:07:34 PM »
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Used to be 4 x 5. Now it is LR or stiching.
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Scott Hargis
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2013, 03:29:17 PM »
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- 35 DSLR with shift lenses - easy to use, but hard to see through the viewfinder, and only single direction movements


Huh? I think you need to re-examine this one. You're right about them being easy to use, but wrong about the viewfinder, and wrong about movement limitations.
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Geoffreyg
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2013, 03:40:29 PM »
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Keep those thoughts coming.

On the 35 mm TS lenses, they typically move +/- in one direction (say rise/fall). Yes, you can rotate the lens and make that movement into shift L/R, but few lenses do both rise/fall and shift L/R at the same time. I've got an older Schneider MF 55 PC lens that does both, but its hard to distinguish it from a boat anchor and it protests mightily if asked to go for a walk, much less any distance.

Is that clear? and correct? Perhaps it isn't....

And its not that money isn't a factor, but rather what would be the best way to meet this (long-desired) goal? I've got a MFDB, and enjoy it immensely, but somehow this one goal has remained elusive. Rather than repeatedly bashing one's head against the wall, thought to ask. Preference is to see it (and correct it) in the field, and not so much in post, if possible. Thanks for the help!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 03:47:24 PM by Geoffreyg » Logged

Geoff
Scott Hargis
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2013, 04:47:08 PM »
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Which other lenses are you looking at that don't allow rise+shift?
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Geoffreyg
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2013, 08:35:40 PM »
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The Schneider TS lenses for Nikon mounts seemed to only have movement in one axis (direction), and tilt. The Contax 35 mm TS (haven't seen it in a long time) was the same way....
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Geoff
ccroft
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 10:44:40 PM »
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It's true that the 35mm PC lenses that I know have only one set of ways. IE the lens only moves in one axis at a time. Maybe what you're missing is that if the lens is rotated to say 45 and you have dialled in say 8mm of rise, you end up with *some* mm of rise combined with *some* mm of shift, so you're actually combining rise and shift at the same time.

You don't have independent control of the two axis like you do with a tech/view cam, but with one hand on the rotator and one on the shift/rise control you're effectively doing the same thing. The same composition is achieved as long as it's within the DSLR's somewhat reduced capabilities compared to the other platforms.

(This particular technique doesn't work very well without some way to immobilize the camera while rotating and shifting :)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 10:46:18 PM by ccroft » Logged

Geoffreyg
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2013, 07:12:26 AM »
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Thanks for this pointer.

Perhaps its worth clarifying the purpose of the original post: I've been photographing for years and only recently gotten into a tech camera with extensive movements. Rather enjoying it, but its a bit... deliberate? So while great for purposed compositions, its not so good for wandering, at least not too far from the car. It does travel nicely in a backpack, but the time to setup, get right, well, we all know.

Years ago, I found a 55 PC lens for the Rollei 6003 setup I had, a nice user grade lens, not pricey, and it works well. Has about 18 mm movement in one direction, 12mm in the other. Its fully automatic, which is rare, and at f16 is quite sharp. It has tilt, but I've never used it with any success. The lens is super heavy, running about the 4# that I guess isn't uncommon. It doesn't make for a good "wanderer" either, but its a great piece to have.

Is there a better way to get movements? What would happen if you took the gloves off, and gave the criteria (light weight, easy setup, movements in 2 axis, high resolution) and proceeded from there? Typically people start with their systems and then figure out what works.... thought to try from the other end of the telescope.

Seems the answers so far are either
- 35 DSLR with modest movements, although pretty good lens selection (Canon, Nikon, Schneider, OM, 1 Contax). 
- light view camera or tech camera, needing setup. 4x5 with film still makes some sense....
- or correct in post processing, either stitching, or PS.

Just worth putting out there. Some of the older threads on this subject struggle to ID a good answer - as the PC lenses on DSLR (the good ones) are pricey, and some can be very heavy (again, the 4#), while the smaller ones are fiddly and some say the build quality isn't there.

Someone did a test a while back of a Canon 24 TS vs a tech camera and digital back, and the two were pretty close.     
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Geoff
ccroft
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2013, 03:15:57 PM »
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I'll give it a go: If I could own MFDB and pancake I doubt very much I would own a tilt/shift lens for my D800. To my way of thinking you already have the perfect balance of facility, size and movements. I'd have your system for movements and mine with standard lenses for wandering. The extra pixels of the D800 help a lot with software perspective correction and I use that as well. Nothing wrong with it unless you're printing really big, which I rarely do anymore.

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but we all know the criteria are at odds with one another: size vs movements vs agility. Compromises will be made... like when buying a boat. Kayaks are great for agility but not so great for bad weather. Depends on what you want most. In a perfect world you own more than one.

At the end of the day I'm quite happy with the compromises that come with the Nikon and PC lenses and I can't say I find them particularly fiddly. They are what they are and if some find them fussy, well that's the trade-off for the portability. And pricey? What kind of glass do you have on your tech cam?

FWIW: Seems to me that as soon as you're talking camera movements you're talking more setup, more care in placing the camera and slowing it all down. I find I'm no less deliberate with my small system than I was with the old monorail in years past, tho I do miss the ease of being able to move any standard in any direction.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2013, 07:46:52 PM »
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Assuming the camera will be o na tripod , one trick that works surprisingly well is to shoot with a tilt/shift lens on a DSLR. You won't use tilt obviously and you should focus and set exposure manually. The camera should also be set to vertical orientation if the building is taller than wide or horizontal orientation if the opposite is true.

First shoot a frame with the lens centered and then shift the lens outward and shoot a frame at each rotation point.   Use the Photomerge script i nPhotshop CC ( much improved over the earlier versions  found in previous versions of Photoshop) or use a an alternative program like PTGui Pro (my first preference but the new version of Photomerge is a very close second)  or Auto Pano Pro.  I call this a "daisy composite."

You will then have a avery high resolution file that you can crop as needed.

My inspiration for this was learning e a view camera technique one of the pehotographers I assisted for back i nthe early '80s told me about : shooting with the widest lens they owned for 5x7 or 4x5 format shooting, but shooting on 8x10 inch film and cropping when printing. He said he had learned about it from a photographer he had assisted for New Orleans
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Ellis Vener
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