View camera focus may be considered to be governed by just two basic rules: the Scheimpflug Rule and the Hinge Rule. If the Scheimpflug and Hinge Rules are followed, the lens equation will be also. The Scheimpflug Rule and the Hinge Rule are surprisingly similar. Both rules state that three fundamental planes must converge along a common line. For the Scheimpflug Rule, the three planes are the film plane. The plane of sharp focus is the plane on which the camera is focused.

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Much of the original basic information at this site is on this main page, however, there are links to text and graphics on separate pages that provide additional detail. On each of these supporting pages, the first available link will usually take you back to where you left this main page, or at least back to the following Table of Contents.

If the return link does not work because, for example, the server is busy go back to the previous page. If you wish to move ahead quickly now, you may jump directly to any of the topics in the following. The out-of-focus image of a triangle, taken with a lens having a triangular aperture can be quite surprising: Like this But those intersecting white lines in this image do not actually exist; they are an illusion of the eye! Recently, October 5 , I encountered a very similar phenomenon while printing with an ink jet printer.

I aborted a print job shortly after it started. As this was a test print anyway, and the top of the print contained nothing but blue sky, I re-submitted the same sheet of paper for the next print of the same image.

That white line cannot exist, of course, as the the sky everywhere should be at least as dark as a single pass print alone! On 24 Sept a page was added on the Object Field method of determining depth-of-field for view cameras. This reports an experiment carried out by the author about 12 years ago. This is Harold's first public showing of photographs in 63 years!

The show consists of 36 images taken in and aroune Fisherman's Cove over the years to This is an essay in three parts offering the opinion that with the Nikon's D we now have a 35 mm sized camera capable of emulating black and white film, but that ink-jet printers are not yet up to the task of printing fine black and white prints except at large print sizes.

This site - somewhat neglected as it is - has now been on the Internet for 15 years! See the download page for details. A new set of view camera movies was added on 5 March These movies should loop back and forth properly with current versions of QuickTime.

See here for details. It's been quite a while since something was added! As of 30 July , new material concening phographic resolution was added. An introduction to three "papers" on the topic is found here. This information arises from an "essay" published on Michael Reichmann's Luminous Landscape web site.

The essay by Ray Maxwell proclaims the end of Moore's Law as it applies to photography. He claims the Rayleigh Resolution limit will soon step in to limit the number of megapixels we can reasonably use. Harold and others disagree! In the third of the three papers , Harold tests his Canon 50D only to find that by some estimates the 50D has already passed Rayleigh's "limit". Another writer in the last series of essays , Dan Seligson, says that in his field, the Rayleigh limit has been surpassed by a factor of 5!

See this page for details. The downloadable version is not the same version still available on paper. The downloadable version is actually expanded; the former addendum and the Shutterbug article on perspective and distortion have been included within the main text.

And there are a few other minor additions. On 5 November I added a general discussion of Digital Photography : Is the information at this web site still relevant? What can we expect of photography in the future? Much of my time over the past year has been aimed at better understanding what is involved in dealing with black and white images in the digital domain. It is trickier than one might imagine - especially printing at high quality.

So there's now a new page dealing with Digital Black and White. There may be a few suppliers out there who still have a few copies, but I am out. I intend to re-write the book from end to end, updating it with new information - such as issues related to digital imaging.

The new version will not appear for some time. I had suggested February , but that obviously didn't happen. Starting in April Digital cameras bring a new set of potential pitfall to the imaging process.

One of these is "aliasing" - which can occur when the optical image contains more detail than the image sensor can resolve. Below are some examples showing portions of a building with corrugated siding illuminated by oblique direct sunlight. These images were all taken within minutes of one-another, but the lens focal length was changed slightly from shot to shot. You can find an explanation of this phenomenon on the Schneider web page. A page on the Object Field method of determining depth-of-field for view cameras was added on 24 Sept.

This Is Fisherman's Cove! The Photography Links page was revised - removing many non-functional links - on 15 December It now includes a version of VuCamText. An Essay entitled " Photography Today and Tomorrow " about the future of photography was added on 5 November It now contains a comparison with a dye sublimation print.

A reference has been added below to the use of the Scheimpflug Rule in Ophthalmology on 13 Nov Three cameras were added to the Unusual Cameras page on 20 September Updated 7 Sept Two downloadable spreadsheet files were added on 16 Aug 98 to assist view camera and other users to establish a consistent sharpness standard when lenses of several different focal lengths are being used.

A description of the spreadsheets is available on the View Camera Focus Page. A Shockwave Flash 2 version of the short View Camera movie has been added. See the View Camera Focus Page. With digital photography growing in popularity, sites like The Digital Camera Resource Page are most welcome.

A comment has been added to the View Camera Focus page concerning corrections to the 'back-to-front' focusing method. This is the method where one uses the camera back to achieve the desired focus, then transfers the back angles to the front movements of the camera, and straightens the back.

Especially for close-up photography, corrections are needed. Recently off the press is the page reproduction of Zeiss-Ikon's Main Catalog covering all the models of cameras and accessories available in that year. Available through Seaboard Printing. Check out this link for prices and ordering information. The traditional depth of field theory, developed over a hundred years ago, deals with the ability of the image to portray detail.

The usual standard is that the smallest detail need be no finer than the focal length of the camera lens f divided by Most films are able to record detail about an order of magnitude finer. The standard camera can focus precisely only at one subject distance, but if we accept the usual standard of acceptable sharpness, the lens is deemed to focus adequately well over a range of subject distances. That range of distances is called the depth of field.

Applying this theory the way virtually all photography books suggest, Harold found he often obtained substandard images. This observation did not square with his observations either. Something seemed to be wrong with the theory. Applying a little high school algebra Harold realized that there was nothing wrong with the physical theory.

The basic assumptions on which the theory is based are simply not appropriate for some photographic applications. If one asks a slightly different question, one obtains surprisingly different answers. If one asks "What do I need to do to resolve objects a quarter-inch in diameter at any subject distance?

Of course diffraction limits resolution if the lens aperture is too small. What's too small? Should I ever focus at the hyperfocal distance? Should I always focus at infinity? What's the best aperture to use? A view camera is that old-fashioned type of camera for which a photographer had to disappear under a black cloth to focus. The camera has no viewfinder other than a piece of ground frosted glass placed where the film will eventually go.

The power of the view camera is not so much in the method of previewing the image although some will argue that point but in the ability to focus precisely at multiple distances simultaneously. View cameras are almost always designed to let the lens and the film be placed at weird angles. With normal cameras the camera needs repair if the lens axis is not perfectly perpendicular with the film.

With a view camera this is the normal way it's used. In an Austrian Army officer, Theodor Scheimpflug, patented several special cameras enlargers, really for correcting the undesired distortion in photographs taken from balloons when the camera was not pointing straight down. The basic principle had been described in a patent by the French camera maker Jules Carpentier three years earlier a copy of Carpentier's British Patent is available here in PDF format , but Scheimpflug understood the matter thoroughly.

Scheimpflug's British Patent k download describes how, among other things, three planes must converge along a single line. These three planes are the film plane, the subject plane and lens plane. The lens plane is a flat surface drawn through the center of the lens and remaining perpendicular to the lens axis a line straight through the lens.

Scheimpflug's Principle has been one of the guiding rules for view camera users ever since. Scheimpflug's methods have been used extensively in the field of photogrammetry making maps from photographs ever since he originated them. For a diagram of the Scheimpflug Principle, select this link 4.


General: Merklinger's Approach to Estimating Depth of Field

Gerd Waloszek. Places Calendars Art. On this page, I would like to present Harold M. Merklinger's approach to estimating depth-of-field in landscape photography , which can be seen as an alternative to using the standard depth of field approach.


Technical Books on Photography by Harold M. Merklinger

The key difference between the hyperfocal and Merklinger methods is that the hyperfocal method tends to emphasise sharp focus for near objects, whilst Merklinger favours distant objects. Since we have chosen a circle of confusion or disk of confusion, the methods should, in principle, produce comparable focus results, because in both cases both near and far objects will be 'in focus' within the criteria chosen of in-focus-ness. In the end the choice of method might come down to a simple question: which is more important — confidence in close focus or confidence in distant focus? In practice, in landscape photography distant objects are often unsharp anyway, owing to atmospheric haze. Close objects, however, are usual capable of sharp focus. In really demanding situations, where the nearest subject is only a few metres from the camera, then there's probably no alternative to using the hyperfocal distance calculation. This is particularly true if the foreground is clear and well lit, and the background dark or hazy.

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