Is it necessary to get a yaw-free camera? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am considering getting a Horseman 4x5 view camera, either LE45 or LS45. After study the specifications of both models, I may like to purpase the economical model LE45 because the additional features in the standard model LS45 are not really necessay for me. However there is a feature in LS45 which I am not sure whether it can also be neglected, that is , yaw-free.

Since the price difference is quite big, I do not want to purchase LS45 just because of this feature. I fully understand that only under certain situation when this feature is useful, that is, when a swing and tilt are required.

My question is can the non-yaw-free camera still do the job when there is a situation where yaw-free camera can do it easily?

-- Kuet Ee Foo (, April 19, 1998


Up until recently, I believe that only Sinar offered the yaw free movements on a view camera. It certainly isn't a requirement for a camera, but a luxury that adds to the price and value of the camera. It would no doubt be a convienence, but all view cameras have pretty much the same capabilites, just to varying degress. Any top brand of camera will offer the maximum usable movements, they all print spec sheets for comparison. If you try one with the yaw free design, and feel it would enhance the use of the camera, by all means I would consider it, but it is by no means a mandatory feature for a view camera.

-- Marv Thompson (, April 20, 1998.

One day, while reading Shutterbug I came upon this tip - you can take any non-yaw camera, and convert it to a yaw-free camera by rotating it 90 degrees - use the camera on it's side. (What was the shift now becomes the rise, what was the tilt now becomes the swing etc.) In so doing, the swing axis passes through the film plain as line independent of the tilt angle. This is true yaw-free. Working with a camera on its side may take some getting used to, but it sure beats spending the extra bucks on a top-of-the-line yaw-free camera. hope this helps. tony paiva

-- tony paiva (, April 23, 1998.

A "yaw free" camera can make your life life much easier and photo making much faster. Especially if you are working in the studio. Essentially it negates having a series of round robins ( compose, focus, shift/tilt, re-compose, re-focus, re-shift/re-tilt, almost ad infinitum) when you are making a photograph that requires you tilting the camera and/or making parallel displacements. From my limited knowlege of camera design I understand that the primary way to design a yaw free camera is to place the the the tilt axis underneath all the others. Sinar had a patent on this for years and everyone else (Horseman, Linhof, Arca) probably had to design around that. This may be why the LS45 is so much more expensive. Since the cameras you are talking about are heavy monorail beasts, designed primarily for the studio, and if that is where you are planning to mostly use it this feature may be worth your while.

-- Ellis Vener (, June 10, 1998.

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