Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Cameras, lenses, tripods..

Direct or Indirecdt Shift

Direct Shift
1
33%
Indirect Shift
0
No votes
A Mixture.
2
67%
 
Total votes: 3

Andrew
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Joined: 28 Jul 2012, 20:44

Re: Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Postby Andrew » 10 Aug 2012, 21:59

if I'm correct about what you mean by direct and indirect movements then many cameras simply won't give you the option of having every movement you might want directly... and ultimately all that matters is the relative position of the standards not the contortions of the camera in between

I was told [and I think it makes sense in most cases] to just point the camera at the subject and then use the available movements to manipulate the perspective and focus as opposed to trying to use movements to frame the image as well
.

John Austin
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Re: Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Postby John Austin » 11 Aug 2012, 10:38

Take up thy camera and play, lots

My Sinars are both Normas, the cameras I grew up with, so I had to learn how to adjust things visually

On the Linhof I have got used to knowing that to get infinite DoF in flat landscapes, Australia has a lot of these, the correct back tilt for 90mm is half a ring finger thickness, for 135 almost all of my ring finger thickness, for 240mm Heliar most of the flat bit of my top middle finger joint and for 360mm I use my thumb - I have not used my new 75mm S'Angulon enough to know what bit of my hand to use, apart from this the finger method is perfect every time

What I am really saying is that only by getting to know the feel of your cameras intimately will you get the best out of them - If you are not former commercial LF photographers you will need to spend hours on this until you can feel focus with your hands - This has worked, just look at the number of sharp shallow DoF pix made with Speed Graphics in the 1930s, 40s and 50s - Anyone who has used the SG/Kalart range finder on gloomy, rainy days will know how difficult it can be to work quickly

John

mark l
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Joined: 30 Jul 2012, 09:20

Re: Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Postby mark l » 13 Aug 2012, 10:27

Andrew, funnily enough I do the exact opposite and have done for 30 odd years.

My process for environmental portraits and urban and industrial landscapes (I don't photograph landscapes without man made elements) is to aim the camera at a the subject, level it in both directions and then use rise or fall to compose which bit of the image circle is on the ground glass. Any other way, particularly with the wide angles I use, leads to supposed verticals flying off in all directions. I realise this is a formal way of doing things and it suits my subjects, not all. Of course the classic flat landscape like John describes needs a different approach.

I was always taught to only use indirect movements when I had run out of direct movements, or as you say sometimes the camera forces you to use indirect because of it's limitations, not a problem with my Sinar P, but can be with my Ancient Technika. I do try for my type of subject to always keep the back vertical and use front tilt to reposition depth of field, but I can do that because I only use lenses with large circles of coverage. Of course sometimes I will want to create that looming effect you get by deliberatly tilting the back, but it's always deliberate, never an accidental byproduct of other movements.

I am in agreement with John here, movements are made out to be so complicated, I reckon go out in the world and look at the screen as you play with the movements and you could pick it all up in half an hour. If it's still a problem them buy Steve Simmon's book, that shows direct and indirect movements quite clearly.

all the best, Mark

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Alastair Moore
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Re: Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Postby Alastair Moore » 15 Aug 2012, 13:09

It's beginning to click. I just went out with my camera this lunchtime as I've got a wonderful old train workshop on the site where my office is (Australian Technology Park) and it's full of old tools and machinery, parts of trains etc. I thought I'd experiment with movements a little bit and this time try the gently, gently approach rather than turn it up to 11. So apparently it only takes a very slight amount of tilt to get more of the scene in focus. Who'da thunk it? Can wait to get my shot from lunchtime in the soup!

Lachlan717
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Joined: 03 Aug 2012, 16:49

Re: Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Postby Lachlan717 » 15 Aug 2012, 13:46

I still get a kick out of getting everything in focus.

If you've done it correctly, and you have a decent lens on board, just wait until you see the neg! The difference you get from focal plane alignment, as opposed to shooting with diffraction-limited small apertures, is often amazing.

John Austin
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Re: Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Postby John Austin » 17 Aug 2012, 11:13

PS = A further advantage to skilled use of camera movements is that it allows the use of wider apertures which help protect against motion blur in LS water - Having witnessed the blurred water madness that swept across landscape photography in the early 1970s following the Scrimshaw Press monograph on Wynn Bullock I swore never to join in

In practice I have found diffraction to be less of a problem than is often described and is present in wide aperture 35mm lenses to a much greater extent - Ahough Symmars don't like being stopped down too much I seem to get away with stop-down madness with old process lenses - Regarding expensive new LF lenses I don't know as I still use my 1960s - 1970 lens set, lenses I know very well - I feel knowing a particular lens set's properties is the best way to get the best results from them

I hope I don't come across as though I am preaching the "Tao of Photography", but with LF work knowing your medium and approaching it with a good balance of technique and vision is crucial, the word is balance

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Alastair Moore
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Re: Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Postby Alastair Moore » 17 Aug 2012, 13:23

John Austin wrote:I hope I don't come across as though I am preaching the "Tao of Photography", but with LF work knowing your medium and approaching it with a good balance of technique and vision is crucial, the word is balance


Not at all - for me I've been shooting large format for a year now and so have a years worth of knowledge - bugger all, essentially. From here and the big LF forum, I'm learning something new every day and have to thank everyone for their help and advice!

alexn
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Re: Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Postby alexn » 17 Aug 2012, 17:33

I find at times the blurred water is a good effect, but I will usually use ND filters to achieve it, trying to stay between F/16 and F/22 most of the time for my landscape work. Occasionally I will get a shot all focused and ready to shoot at F/8 but this happens rarely for me... I have however only been shooting an LF camera for about 6~8 months. Prior to this I have only ever shot 35mm and digital... Movements have taken some getting used to, but the more i work at it the better I get and the faster I can usually get the whole plane into focus.
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FrankL
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Joined: 11 Sep 2012, 22:15

Re: Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Postby FrankL » 16 Sep 2012, 21:55

For me the question of using direct or indirect shifts comes down to two things.
1. I often use very short lenses on either of my cameras so I have to use indirect shifts (i.e base tilts) to get the camera base out of the frame.
2. I will also use it on longer lenses where the cameras direct shifts are limited.

It's all very easy to work with on a well engineered and well built camera but a little bit tricky on the more basic models.

/Frank....

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Maris
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Re: Direct or Indirect Shifts?

Postby Maris » 17 Sep 2012, 08:24

There is a nice trick when you need a lot of indirect lateral shift with a field camera and the specifications seem to work against you.

For example my Tachihara 8x10 only has 15 degrees of swing on front and back. Combining both movements delivers some indirect lateral shift but not enough to get the damn camera reflection out of the shop window you are trying to keep square. Solution! Hang the camera sideways on the tripod. Now the tilts become swings and with 35 degrees of movement instead of just 15 really extreme indirect lateral shift becomes available. No more camera reflection in the window problem. But do have a tripod leg under the camera. The centre of gravity is shifted way over. And do have a lens with a lot of coverage. It will be needed.


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