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/ Shift On 16mm
Published : 20th October 2003
Interested to know if anyone has shot with swing/shifts on 16. I've seen
some footage on 35, as well as 2/3" video, but it seems the effect
has less impact on the smaller formats.
I'm curious as to what experiences might have been had trying this. I
know the longer lenses work really well, but slapping a 100mm on an SR
would make a really tight shot.
Any experience with these handheld as well?
Christopher Ratledge wrote :
>Interested to know if anyone has
shot with swing/shifts on 16.
I have used tilt lenses on 16 a number of times. they are a little different
beast from swing shift but very similar. They tend to be not very fast,
around T4-ish if I recall, and the effects are certainly more subtle than
One shot I did was looking down a fairway on a golf course. A player who
was doing a line to camera was near and sharp, parts of the fairway were
very soft focus and there was another area that was infinity + + + that
was also sharp as well.
As for hand held, it can be done, but it is definitely weird and a good
bit more difficult from the composition side of things.
The only swing-shift gig I've done was for a show shot on video, and they
wanted me to do the title sequence/promo in S16, but I convinced them
to go 35mm for the swing-shift. It's the only way to go if you want to
have a flexible plane of focus to isolate the focus in your compositions.
However, if your swing-shift is the less trendy type : in effect, trying
to get more DoF, then S16mm - or better yet, the 2/3" video - is
the way to go.
There's a bar scene in Far and Away (65mm) where they had to use a swing-shift
just to do a raking wide shot.
Los Angeles based Director of Photography
Back in '99 I shot a local diet company spot using a (Super 16) SRIII
and the Clairmont set of Swings. The only physical issue was that the
viewfinder would get in the way a little when you tried to swing to the
right or heavily upward. There were no issues colormetrically or photometrically.
To be a little plainer, I didn't have any color fringing at the sides
of the image circle and just a little of a drop in exposure in the same
place (at the very edge of the image circle).
If you really wish to narrow the plain of focus, use a longer focal length
element. The longer focal length doesn't require you to swing the element
off of the lens axis nearly as much as the wider elements for a given
amount of focused area. You can filter the Clairmonts (I think they were
4 x 5) using the shade that is part of the kit. You usually get about
three elements in the kit before you need to start paying more. The strangest
thing about operating with the Swings was that you needed to really follow
the target. If you didn't, it was off to blurry-land. Also, if you really
wish to affect geometry, use the wide elements.
The 18 (I think-its been awhile) really loved to bend stuff around. On
the longer focal lengths, I liked the way those would smoothly ramp the
exposure down a little at the edge (yum, Power-Windows, on set). When
selecting focus targets, pay attention to where the rest of the plane
Make sure you select something which does not pull attention away from
your hero target, or use hard grads to pull the bg part of the plane down
Hope this helps, y'all.
>Also, if you really wish to
affect geometry, use the wide elements.
I do. (wish to really affect geometry). Even just a shift, I love what
my 35mm PC-Nikkor does for stills, it's become my favourite lens on the
Nikon. So that is roughly = 9.5 or 10mm in reg 16. Now, I want the same
>The 18 (I think-its been awhile)
really loved to bend stuff around.
Has anyone figured out a way to do this really wide for the 16mm formats
? Combine an Aspheron, what ?
I have had great success with the Cannon Tilt lenses.
I shoot them on my Aaton as well as my ol' Arri M. A 3 lens set, 24/45/90mm.
The 24 is a 4, the 45&90 are 2.8. They are very fast to work with
Clip on 4x4 Arri Bayo I get the lenses from A.C. Inc in Nashville. They
were cool enough to give them to me in Arri Bayo.
I would always try to shoot wide open of course, to reduce the Depth of
Field. AC Inc is 800. YES -ARRI. I am not affiliated nor do I owe money
to A.C.Inc. They are a pleasure to work with however, and have treated
me very well, though I am just a Owner Operator
Speaking of Me…
Scott Mumford soc
Outside of Nashville
One tip with T&S on 16mm is to remove the cross bar on the top of
the Clairmont system.
This always hits the SR3 V/F and limits the amount of swing you can get.
Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography