zero detents on tilts ?? Why the fuss ? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Lately with the colder weather coming in I have been immensely enjoying reading through the previous posts and learning from the content within. I have noticed that frequently in the evaluation on one type of camera compared to another a few of you have stated that having "zeroing detents" to be important. As a true beginner I am having trouble understanding why this is so important. When I am out shooting I am constantly experimenting (and enjoying) using tilts to alter the "depth of focus" as well as rise and fall to alter perspective. I am quite sure that I'm not doing everything by the book or perhaps for the correct reason but I have yet to discover a need to zero out my camera before shooting. As a habit ( and perhaps because I have read it here frequently) I do as a matter of course zero my camera when I change locations. I then happily go on my way to make any adjustments I feel would help my composition according to my perceived shot. S my question is ... Why should I be concerned about zeroing out my camera when I arrive on a scene ? Thanks in advance for your contributions and there is nothing I enjoy better than being shown why I am incorrect and can now apply this knowledge to my next photo opportunity.

-- GreyWolf (, November 06, 2000


Having Zero detents is for convenience, zeroing your camera is easier as it "pops" into place (although if the detents are very pronounced, they can also interfere with subtle movements). Is it a consideration when you buy a camera? I don't know. Usually having the detents demonstrates a higher level of manufacturing than having no detents.

The reason you level and zero your camera is so that you can quickly apply movements to get the desired effect. If something is out of focus or distorted and your camera isn't zeroed, it is difficult to determine what is actually causing this problem.

-- Dave Anton (, November 06, 2000.

Also, if you shoot architecture or anything where the standards have to be absolutely parallel to each other, detents allow for a quick set up. Cheers, DJ.

-- N Dhananjay (, November 07, 2000.

It doesn't happen often, I know, but on those occassions where you only need a tiny bit of movement, those detents can be a pain. The click action pulls the standard away from where you want it to be, until you've got it all locked down.
Personally, I don't find it any hardship aligning a couple of dots, lines or pointers, and dots and pointers don't develop backlash with age and wear

Nikon use the same argument for only having full stop detents on their lenses. It makes it easier to use 1/3rd stop settings, because you're not having to fight against half-stop detents.

-- Pete Andrews (, November 07, 2000.

Grey Wolf: The detents give you a "home base" from which to work, and to allow you to quickly center everything up during setup. It is easier for me to find the detent on the front standard than to have to go around to the front and match up lines or dots. I do like to center everything when changing shots. Even after many years using view cameras, I still can blow a shot by leaving a tiny bit of movement from the previous shot set in the camera when I'm in a hurry. Part of that problem probably comes from the fact that I am a little senile. Are detents necessary? Absolutely not. Do they make things easier? Yes.


-- Doug Paramore (, November 07, 2000.

Like Doug I too am a little senile so detents are reassuring to me I then know the settings are in their neutral position and hopefully in correct alignment without having to see if dots etc are inline. So remember the older you get the bigger the detents.

-- Trevor Crone (, November 07, 2000.

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