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Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question
  
 
WestFalcon
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


I have often wondered if a perspective control lens would help in a picture like this. The back row
heads are smaller than the front row. I've never owned a perspective control lens and was wondering if a lens like that would keep head sizes in the back rows more like the front row without distorting. Just curious. Anyone use a PC lens on large groups? Thanks for any replies...Brian

I am referring to the tilt and shift lenses. TS



Below is the final product...2 large groups joined in photoshop and a few graphics




Perspective control help???






Final picture



Edited on Oct 25, 2017 at 10:24 PM · View previous versions



Oct 22, 2017 at 03:48 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


Since the change in distance from top to bottom is close to linear, I would say yes.

EBH



Oct 22, 2017 at 04:09 AM
Ferrophot
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


It is possible to achieve the effect you are after with the perspective distortion tools in PP applications. I find the effect is somewhat unnatural. The difference in size would be reduced if the camera was further back and a short telephoto lens used. YMMV.


Oct 22, 2017 at 06:33 AM
dhphoto
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


All a t/s lens can do in this instance is shift the plane of focus so it runs at an angle, which might help get all the heads sharp, but the people at the back are physically further away and so rendered smaller, a t/s lens won't help with this but some very careful photoshop with the distortion controls might, although the people at the front might get a bit stretched if you overdo it

But I probably wouldn't, it will look unnatural, we expect things further away to be smaller and it's odd when they aren't. You might get away with a tiny amount of enlargement before it looks unreal, best thing is to try and see.



Oct 22, 2017 at 07:23 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


If your lens was pointed horizontally when you took the example photo, then no, using shift (rise/fall) with a perspective lens will not help make the rear row heads larger. OTOH, if your lens was pointed somewhat 'upwards' (i.e. not parallel to the ground), then taking the same photo with the lens horizontal will make the rear heads appear a bit larger (they would be rendered smaller than usual [for the perspective] when the lens is pointed up). You could make the rear-row heads larger by pointing the lens slightly down (opposite effect to pointing up - the vanishing point is now down). You do not need a perspective control lens to do this. As David mentioned, using tilt can place the plane of focus coincident with the plane of heads, but you're not so close to the front row that this is necessary - stopping down a bit for increased DOF will be fine (as in your example).


Oct 22, 2017 at 12:29 PM
Clicky94
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


I just love fact that the guy near the top right has leaned his head over so that he doesn't hit that blue border


Oct 22, 2017 at 01:51 PM
stevesanacore
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


A PC lens will not make the head larger at the top row, it would only help with focus if you needed that. But I think if you were to make the heads the same size on each row, it would look very unnatural. I think a longer lens is your best bet.


Oct 22, 2017 at 02:31 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


stevesanacore wrote:
A PC lens will not make the head larger at the top row, it would only help with focus if you needed that. But I think if you were to make the heads the same size on each row, it would look very unnatural. I think a longer lens is your best bet.


A PC lens could not help with focus. "PC" is perspective control, which means shift, and/or rise/fall (shift is side-to-side, rise-fall is up and down). Usually, a "PC" lens has only shift.

A tilt lens could help with focus. Some lenses with "movements", like the Canon TS-E series, have both focus control (tilt) and perspective control (shift).



Oct 22, 2017 at 03:00 PM
AJSJones
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


On a view camera, rear tilt (so the film plane is at an angle to the front standard) distorts the image in the way a PP perspective transformation would. Normally it is used to emhasize foreground by tilting back. However, tilting forward would de-emphasize the foreground and enlarge the more distant object. It would be interesting to try tilting the cameraís sensor plane forward (down) and then use the T/S lens to re-frame. Some shift might help with the re-framing. However, this manoeuvre would put the plane of focus at an adverse angle to the plane of the subjects - that slopes back and up while the focus plane would now slope down and forward. Stop down to get the DoF back and maintain the distortion. (I donít have my 4x5 any more otherwise Iíd try)


Oct 22, 2017 at 03:01 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


AJSJones wrote:
On a view camera, rear tilt (so the film plane is at an angle to the front standard) distorts the image in the way a PP perspective transformation would. ...


"Base tilt" does that best. Here's a shot of my old Shen Hao 4x5 camera, with large base tilt angles on the front and back standards (done to show the bellows were nice and flexible).





© jcolwell 2017


Shen Hao 4x5 camera




Oct 22, 2017 at 03:18 PM
 

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dhphoto
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


With great respect to all who posted, you start trying this for real, with actual people and you will get distorted heads as a result, in a work situation I really wouldn't.

I'd just get the job in the can and worry about it later, camera movements weren't designed for this



Oct 22, 2017 at 03:42 PM
AJSJones
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


jcolwell wrote:
"Base tilt" does that best. Here's a shot of my old Shen Hao 4x5 camera, with large base tilt angles on the front and back standards (done to show the bellows were nice and flexible).



Yup - that position of the rear standard is the one that emphasizes/enlarges the foreground. If you tilt the top of the rear standard standard towards the front, the foreground is de-emphasized. However, in an SLR that means the lens mount points down, so the lens would have to be tilted (and shifted) up to get the framing back.
I think itís still going to look weird - the way using shift to keep the skyscraper lines vertical in steep upward view - the eye/brain expects at least some convergence. Knowing the people are in receding rows will make the eye expect smaller heads in the back row ...



Oct 22, 2017 at 04:00 PM
OntheRez
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


Clicky94 wrote:
I just love fact that the guy near the top right has leaned his head over so that he doesn't hit that blue border


I love the fact that he's trying to make gang signs. I thought only punk high school kids being "bad" did that. Lot of white guys. Guess frats never change.

EB is correct. If you tried any PC control you'd make weird heads in one dimension. When faced with this, I go for as narrow of an aperture as possible to get maximum DOF. Using a T/S just isn't feasible - IMHO - for the above but more to the point, your subjects just won't sit there long enough to fiddle with it. H*ll, its hard to get a group to hold still for three settings. This doesn't even acknowledge the maximum: "In any group shot of more than 3 people, at least one will have their eyes closed."



Oct 22, 2017 at 06:19 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


Best solution for this type of photo is a practical one - get a ladder and shoot slightly down. Much cheaper than a tilt shift lens

WestFalcon wrote:
I have often wondered if a perspective control lens would help in a picture like this. The back row
heads are smaller than the front row. I've never owned a perspective control lens and was wondering if a lens like that would keep head sizes in the back rows more like the front row without distorting. Just curious. Anyone use a PC lens on large groups? Thanks for any replies...Brian

I am referring to the tilt and shift lenses. TS




Oct 22, 2017 at 06:58 PM
Photonadave
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


I agree with AJSJones that the camera needs to be pointed down. The plane of focus needs to be parallel to an imaginary plane thru the dudes heads and then reframing via shift. If shift is not enough to get everyone back in frame then backing off on camera tilt (and maybe lens tilt however not sure about that) if you run out of shift.

I agree with others that this will distort the the subjects into an unnatural looking perspective. For this reason I feel that a perspective correction simulating a lens shift in Photoshop will not work well with this type of shot either.

I agree that the brain is tricked with flat building surfaces with lots of parallel straight lines/edges tend to work well with shift correction if not overdone however not so good with people, animals, curvy, round, spherical and such subjects. Think of what happens to a person's head near the edge of an extreme wide angle picture. Totally abstract subjects don't seem to mind TS settings and perhaps in some cases this can be an enhancement.

I think the idea of using a longer focal length lens from farther back and/or perhaps being higher up using a ladder if needed is your best shot for this shot.

I also agree that not all of the subjects of the photo would likely be patient enough to put up with the time needed for the PC setup process to then cooperate and stay normally posed. Especially that guy in the upper right that looks like he banged his head on the blue boarder and is convulsing his arms & hands in pain.

This reminds me of when I took a night shot of the Seattle Space Needle with my TS-E 24mm II lens by first pointing up the normal way with no TS settings and then leveling the camera and shifting the lens up. At the time I didn't comprehend the perspective issue caused by the round flying saucer upper part of the tower until later on after I returned from my trip. The shifted version shots made the upper portion of the tower look noticeably unnatural & distorted! The shots without TS settings looked noticeably better!



Oct 22, 2017 at 09:09 PM
Tim Knutson
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


You could put the people with big heads in the back row.


Oct 23, 2017 at 03:00 AM
JimmyJames
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


Ferrophot wrote:
It is possible to achieve the effect you are after with the perspective distortion tools in PP applications. I find the effect is somewhat unnatural. The difference in size would be reduced if the camera was further back and a short telephoto lens used. YMMV.


The answer is right here - The difference in size would be reduced if the camera was further back and a short telephoto lens used.

It's not uncommon for shooting a large college band in the stands from across the football field using a 70-200. That will flatten and make everyone the same proportion.




Oct 23, 2017 at 05:33 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


Tim Knutson wrote:
You could put the people with big heads in the back row.


This literally made me laugh out loud.



Oct 23, 2017 at 05:38 PM
tsangc
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


Photonadave wrote:
I think the idea of using a longer focal length lens from farther back and/or perhaps being higher up using a ladder if needed is your best shot for this shot.


sungphoto wrote:
Best solution for this type of photo is a practical one - get a ladder and shoot slightly down. Much cheaper than a tilt shift lens


That's what I would do too. I ended up shooting very large groups (100-500) for charity events and always end up on a ladder or worse, the top of a truck.

Even a short ladder, like four feet tall, would help. Getting a ladder before you bring people together for the shot is a bit of prework but isn't hard when you know the people at the venue. Once you're shooting there's not a lot of adjustment needed.

Another possibility is to put the camera on a monopod, hold it up above your head, and have a remote release and Wifi live view for framing.




Oct 23, 2017 at 06:53 PM
notherenow
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Tilt and Shift......Perspective Control Lenses...a Question


WestFalcon wrote:
I have often wondered if a perspective control lens would help in a picture like this. The back row
heads are smaller than the front row. I've never owned a perspective control lens and was wondering if a lens like that would keep head sizes in the back rows more like the front row without distorting. Just curious. Anyone use a PC lens on large groups? Thanks for any replies...Brian

I am referring to the tilt and shift lenses. TS


If you shot with a wider angle TS lens, you would be a lot closer and would need to shift to avoid it appearing to lean over or to fit them all in (just as a building either leans or gets cut off the closer you get).

At the point that there is no or little "lean" in a photo a TS becomes less relevant I think and you might as well use a longer lens so I am not sure it would help in that situation as long as you have enough room.

I would prefer to use a lens like an 85 1.2 from far enough back to fit them all in and isolate them from the background than a TS as long as there is enough space.

I do love using my 17 TS-E for full band shots from next to the stage but that is only around 7 people at most usually and not often are they stacked/layered.




Oct 24, 2017 at 01:45 AM
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