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Manolo Laguillo

Using the 2.8/28 PC Super-Angulon-R on the M

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Following MarkP's suggestion, I post the 'humble advices' I wrote for him. He thinks this could be interesting for others as well. As English is not my language, he has done highly valuable corrections which make the text really fluid and understandable. Thank you very much, Mark!

 

 

Hi Mark,

 

as you requested I have sent you some advice both for use and workflow for your 2.8/28 PC-Super-Angulon-R. Hopefully, you will find it useful.

 

I am sure most, if not all, of what follows here is just common sense, and therefore redundant, but anyway here it goes:

 

 

1 Tripod

 

I assume you will use the lens with the camera mounted on a tripod. This will eliminate the unavoidable small variations in camera positioning that occur when hand-held.

 

This will also help to establish a fast and efficient technical routine (which is as broad and inclusive as possible in the sense that it is independent of any particular photogrpahic style) so that you won't need to think about the workflow every time.

 

 

2 Camera placement

 

Initially you should try to define your image left-to-right, move around the scene you want to photograph, and adjust distance to and angle towards the subject, a well as height from ground. As always, the image is first defined in your mind, ie. deciding what you want even before having used the camera as a framing tool. This is especially important with the 28PC and M9, as without live-view you will need to review the image after having taken the photograph and then make any necessary adjustments.

 

You first shoot in order to see what the photo will be like, and then, looking at the LCD, adjust the camera. The more experience you have with the 28mm focal length the better will be the initial positioning of the camera.

 

Finally, you will have the right position for the camera, which is that which produces the correct geometry for the final image you want. This is a very important point so please bear with me whilst I digress to explain two possibilities. One can either be true to the geometry of the main plane of the subject (ie the true frontal view of the façade of the building), or not be true to it's geometry. With the latter there is a 'shortening', or Scorzo in Italian, or Verkürzung in German. There is only one way to produce a true frontal view, but many ways of producing a Scorzo.

 

The Scorzo can be either a very small and almost unrecognizable departure from the true frontal view, or very large. In other words, the trapezoidal figure obtained from the original rectangle can be more or less irregular and bizarre depending on the degree of displacement from the true frontal view. The more from the side the photo is taken, the more bizarre the image and less recognizable will be the façade! This is why the most commonly sought image geometry is that delivered from the true frontal view, where the orthogonality of the façade is preserved, and the original rectangular front of the building becomes a true rectangle in the image. It takes some time and patience to develop the skill to achieve this more or less right from the beginning.

 

 

3 Level the Camera

 

Align the camera with the aid of a bubble level. A 3D head is better for obvious reasons. The ideal tripod head is one that will allow a panoramic movement without losing the level, and where the panoramic movement is directly under the camera, not under the head. The Arca-Swiss d4 is the one I use precisely because of this feature. But it's not essential if you don't have it as it's only a minor inconvenience having to readjust the level after adjusting the camera for framing.

 

It goes without saying that you will achieve the correct camera position and levelling by trial-and-error. Shoot and then go back to the LCD until you have the image you want. I find the quality of the M9's LCD to be adequate for this, but yes it could be better.

 

Now, when the camera is correctly positioned for the image you want (from left-to-right), it is time to adjust the lens.

 

 

4 Lens Exposure and Focus Settings

 

Meter the light with lens PC settings at zero. The diaphragm should be set to f11, but could be set to f8 if the shift is only going to be slight. There is a lever/switch on the lens that must be set to the down position - you will easily find this yourself. As the aperture setting of f11 is not variable, obviously only shutter speed (and ISO) is available to adjust for the correct exposure.

 

I assume you are photographing landscapes and cityscapes/buildings so the focus is, by default, set to infinity. It is always worthwhile using the lens-hood.

 

 

5 Lens - Shift Settings

 

So now let's shift! You are at ground level on the street and want to photograph a five storey building so you will need to shift the lens up. As the default lens position is for sideways shift it will need to be rotated. Personally, I like to have the knob pointing to the sky simply because it is convenient to have the f-stop and the distance scales to the right where the shutter-release is. In this way one only needs to move/look from behind the camera to the right of the lens and back again, rather than to both the left and right of the lens.

 

Shifting is a very straightforward procedure, again done by trial-and-error because there is no live-view. If we think about it, this step is simply a means of framing up-and-down! If you are on the top of a building and want to shoot looking down the lens will obvioulsy be shifted down. However, for some strange reason I nearly always avoid correcting verticals when looking down: as I do not find verticals converging towards the ground didtrubing.

 

You can of course shift laterally, applying the same principles as above.

 

 

6 Tips for Shift Settings

 

a. After gaining some experience with up-down and left-right movements you can try diagonals. Diagonal adjustments will shift simultaneously through the two planes, for example right and up if the lens is shifted diagonally towards 1:30 on the clock. The example you saw in the forum was exactly this - right & up. Schneider recommends that with these combined diagonal shifts one should not shift beyond 9mm.

 

b. There is a rule-of-thumb when working with a view camera that one should avoid shifting if tilting the lens axis more than ±30° such as with a taller building. This is because the resulting image would look 'artificial' but this is not a problem with 28 PC-R because it can only shift to a maximum of 11mm. Not that this is an inconsiderable shift being nearly 50% of 24mm which is of course the short length of a 24mmx36 full-frame. It is of course possible to combine lens shifting with tilting the camera up in these more extreme situations. The shift will lessen the convergence without totally eliminating it.

 

c. In some instances it is better to avoid a 100% correction of vertical convergence because if overdone it can appear as if a vertical convergence towards the ground is happening. The classic example is a tall building seen in such a way that it appears as a ship's prow, ie. aggresively pointing towards the camera. Because of the 'fish spine' configuration of horizontal lines, even if vertical lines are perfectly parallel, the verticals seem to converge towards the ground. This effect can be avoided easily by not trying to attempt a full 100% correction of vertical convergence. This is comparable to the 'entasis' applied by the old greeks to their temple architecture.

 

 

 

I hope you find this helpful!

Warm regards from Barcelona.

 

Manolo

 

 

 

 

Epilogue

This has been written for those who want to try using a PC lens on the M9 and already believes that this is worthwhile. For those who are still to be converted I include this final reflection on: Why use a PC lens on the M9?

 

Which is easier, using a PC lens on a DSLR or on an M9? The answer is obvious - on a DSLR. But we are not speaking about the obvious, but of a solution that is much more interesting precisely because it is not obvious!

 

I like the M9's quality, I like it's small size, and it's the camera I own. This is an important point! I don't own a Nikon 800 or Canon 5DIII or equivalent because I don't want or need them. The price of a 2nd hand PC such as the 28 PC-R is much lower than those camera bodies. This lens is an excellent compromise - with a trade-off of what I find to be only a minor inconveninece in use, it adds only 800 gm to my bag, and is like having a very small view camera at hand. Using this lens allows me to take advantage of the M9's small size and image quality but give me the option of a PC lens.

 

I don't consider this as being against the 'M philosophy,' but actually quite the opposite. Everything can be looked at from different or divergent (pardon the PC lens pun) point of view. As photographers, we know this very well...

The combination of a M9 with a PC lens may seem bizarre at first, but it isn't if we think a little bit about it, or better yet, try it. This combination requires experience and practice, but can be very rewarding if you are willing to climb that steep learning curve.

Edited by Manolo Laguillo

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Thanks for this Manolo, great timing for me because my PC28/2.8 arrived yesterday. Just waiting now for the adaptor to arrive and I am away. I am agree with your sentiments on the M9 regarding size and quality. I go places I never would have with DSLR gear and only thing I missed from old Canon days was a shift option. I use M9 a lot for panos and can't wait to use 28/2.8 for smaller ones.

Edited by Hausen17

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If you wish to fight this battle, a few suggestions.

 

Put the lens axis on the subject at a point eye level. This insures a vertical camera back. The RF patch may be close enough or you may have to determine where center of the RF screen is, Remember you have lost all parallax compensation.

 

Full shift up in portrait format will move the bottom of the frame about 80% of the way to the horizontal dividing line.

 

This will be 1000% easier with a DSLR or live view.

 

The 28 is my favorite panorama lens. In landscape format, place the camera on a SIDEWAYS micro focus rail. Make three photos, L 11 mm, center, R 11mm. The point of the focus rail is so you can keep the lens in the same position.

Diagonal lines will join perfectly and they will be straight unlike the cigar shaped rectangles you get with rotation or a swing lens camera. The image will cover around 90 deg horizontal.

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... The 28 is my favorite panorama lens. In landscape format, place the camera on a SIDEWAYS micro focus rail. Make three photos, L 11 mm, center, R 11mm. The point of the focus rail is so you can keep the lens in the same position.

Diagonal lines will join perfectly and they will be straight unlike the cigar shaped rectangles you get with rotation or a swing lens camera. The image will cover around 90 deg horizontal.

 

That's right! :-) 90 degrees = 18mm focal length lens

 

The purpose of this rig

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m9-forum/260186-options-shift-lenses-m-240-merged.html

post#18

 

is not having to work from that rail.

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Hi Toby, I always use a tripod and and carry a Nodal Ninja pano system for use with my 28 Summicron. Have bought this lens primarily for panos so I am stoked with all the technical know how here. Could you send a link for the rail you are describing? A Pano below I took over the weekend with the above kit and M9.

 

Sunrise East Auckland by BigHausen, on Flickr

Edited by Hausen17

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Have found a Micro focus rail. So the idea is to attach it to that to keep lens in position then shift as normal?

 

If you shift the lens sideways, the point of view changes.

Therefore, a panorama with a close foreground made in this way will be impossible to be stitched correctly because of the parallax.

 

But if you put the camera on a lateral moving micro focus rail, you can do the following:

 

1. Make the first picture after moving the camera on the rail 11mm to the right and with the lens shifted 11mm to the left.

 

2. Make the second picture moving the camera 11mm to the left and with the lens shift zeroed.

 

3. Make the third picture after moving the camera again 11mm to the left and with the lens shifted 11mm to the right.

 

The lens is in the 3 pictures is in the same spot, only the camera moves.

 

With a 28mm the total angle will be 90 degrees, the one a 18mm delivers. But there will be a greater amount of pixels!

 

The tripod must be a really sturdy one, of course...

Edited by Manolo Laguillo

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Hi again, thanks Manolo and Toby for all your help on this thread. Finally got my R-M adaptor this morning and took a silly panorama of my office using instructions above and it all matched perfectly. Lens looks to be very sharp. Looking forward to giving it a try outdoors now.

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Manolo - excuse my ignorance. Will something along the lines of the Manfrotto here be right? Manfrotto MA 454 Micro Positioning Plate: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo or is it also possible to consider an inexpensive variant such as: Fotomate LP-02 2 Way Micro Focusing Rail Slider Plate 1/4" Screw for DSLR Camera | eBay

 

Thanks for this useful thread...

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Manolo - excuse my ignorance. Will something along the lines of the Manfrotto here be right? Manfrotto MA 454 Micro Positioning Plate: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo or is it also possible to consider an inexpensive variant such as: Fotomate LP-02 2 Way Micro Focusing Rail Slider Plate 1/4" Screw for DSLR Camera | eBay

 

Thanks for this useful thread...

 

You are welcome! :-)

 

I have the Manfrotto one, but I would say both will do well, Chris. They are a bit oversized: only 3 cm are enough! Someone with ingenuity and mechanical ability should be able to construct such a device. Actually, sliding would be better, because faster, than a micrometric displacement.

I remember there was a similar thing made for shooting close-ups with the Mamiya 6x6 Double Lens Reflex: the point was to overcome the parallax by putting the lower lens where the upper lens was, precisely at the moment prior of shooting the actual photo. The difference with the device we are speaking about is that the Mamiya one moved vertically instead of laterally.

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Manolo - many thanks. I'll get one or the other of these... It looks like the Fotomate may be the more useful as it declares it has: "finger-tip control for ultra-fine positioning, also has a simple lock-release lever for fast set-up."

 

You say that something with a quicker action might work better ... would this be an option:

 

http://www.manfrotto.co.uk/rapid-connect-adapter-with-sliding-mounting-plate-357pl ?

 

I can imagine the issue here would be the lack of a ruler - though this could be improvised...

 

Nikon 28 PC arrived today (a splendid bit of engineering). Looks like I'll be able to get into practice in advance of the M-240 being available...

 

A really useful posting. Thank you.

Edited by chris_tribble

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I haven't tried it with the M8, but on the DMR, when you used the 28mm shift, it introduced a colour shift across the image. This is common on sensors that use micro-lenses. You need to use a program such as Capture One Pro and shoot a lens correction image for each shift position for it to be corrected out in raw conversion.

 

Here is an image showing what I was getting, along with the lens cast image used for correction.

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Nikon 28 PC arrived today (a splendid bit of engineering). Looks like I'll be able to get into practice in advance of the M-240 being available...

 

A really useful posting. Thank you.

 

Chris:

 

If the M-240 is a CMOS sensor, you may not have the lens casts when shifting. I think they are only common on CCD like in the M8/M8, DMR and some medium format backs.

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Chris:

 

If the M-240 is a CMOS sensor, you may not have the lens casts when shifting. I think they are only common on CCD like in the M8/M8, DMR and some medium format backs.

 

I think not. CMos examples: Kodak DSC 14, Sony NEX 6.

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I think not. CMos examples: Kodak DSC 14, Sony NEX 6.

 

You're going to have to expand on your statement Jaap, as I don't know if you are saying all cameras have the cast or not.

 

Since I posted the sample shots, I tried the 28pc on my D800E and it has some vignetting that requires the same correction method, but not the colour cast going from red to magenta like the DMR.

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It is just that I doubt that this issue is limited to CCD sensors, as both cameras I mentioned are known to produce color shifts with short register or extreme wide angles ( comparable geometrically with using a shift lens at its maximum), yet have CMos sensors.

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It is just that I doubt that this issue is limited to CCD sensors, as both cameras I mentioned are known to produce color shifts with short register or extreme wide angles ( comparable geometrically with using a shift lens at its maximum), yet have CMos sensors.

 

Jaap:

 

You may be correct and maybe it is sensors with micro lenses that cause the problem. I know when I ran into it on the DMR, when I asked people using regular Canon or Nikon SLRs, they were not experiencing it with PC/Shift lenses.

 

Incidentally, my 19mm R had a bit of this cyan vignetting, but once I had ROM installed on it, the DMR just corrected for it automatically.

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UPDATE IN RELATION WITH THE MANUAL PROFILE TO BE USED

 

After some experimenting, I've found that the best manual profile to be used with the 2.8/28 PC Super-Angulon-R is the one for the Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.

 

Regards,

 

Manolo

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