How much tilt is enough? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

A question that can best be answered by all you LFers. . .I shoot a Mamiya RB67 and can't get the depth of field in my landscapes that some front standard tilt would allow. Therefore, I'm considering buying Mamiya's new tilt-shift adapter and the short barrel 75mm and 180mm lenses. The t/s adapter provides +/- 12 degrees of tilt. Is that enough tilt for general scenics? In most cases I can foresee having the camera body tilted downward slightly, which I'm assuming will help. But 12 degrees isn't nearly what I'd get with the Toyo-field 45A I owned years ago. ($1 per image vs. $5 per image is why I went back to the RB) Any input to my e-mail address would be greatly appreciated. I'm new to the web, so I'm guessing I need to check this page for a response. If you could direct e-mail me, that'd be great. Thanks!

-- Todd Caudle (, March 09, 1999


12 degrees of tilt might be plenty. However a bigger problem is that you can't focus even close to infinity when using the tilt-shift adapter. I tried it with a Toyo/Mamiya rep standing next to me and confirming this limitation. This product is basically designed for table top product photography, maybe some portraiture. You'll be be better off with a real view camera and roll film backs or the Fuji 680 III.

-- Ellis (, March 10, 1999.

The limitation of only 12 degrees may be a bit uncomfortable in some situations. Also, not having any back tilt to use for a bit of perspective control in near/far images would cramp the style of many who shoot LF. The use of medium format as a substitute is a poor one at best. Get another inexpensive 4x5 and a 120 back and take advantage of the movements again.

-- Dan Smith (, March 11, 1999.

Ellis may not be aware of the new short barrel lenses, which were designed to solve the problem he refers to. 12 degrees should be adequate in most cases to change the plane of focus to the ground in front of you (a typical application of front tilt).

-- Stewart Ethier (, March 12, 1999.

Thank you all for your timely responses! Seems the general concensus is that 12 degrees should do it. Does anybody have $3,500 I could borrow indefinitely with no interest? (Ha! Ha!)

-- Todd Caudle (, March 12, 1999.

I am aware of the lenses. As Todd points for $3500 you get a slightly short normal lens (75mm) and a slightly longish telephoto (180mm) plus the cost of an RZ67 body and backs. Wow!

-- Ellis (, March 12, 1999.

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