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Artist • Photographer • Graphic Designer • Illustrator • Typographer • Teacher • Creating effective visual messages since 1965

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After years of tinkering, finally, yesterday, I, more or less, perfected the prototype, swing/shift/tilt, platform for digital, mirrorless bodies

by admin on May 26, 2023

Based on a Leica M Bellows, disassembled, and carefully hacksawed, a Novoflex Castel Q focusing rail, 2 Chinese Rotating quick release clamps, and both Really Right Stuff and Chinese quick release plates. The device goes together and comes apart in a minute or two; and allows for swinging and shifting both lens and body, and tilting the lens; to achieve changing the plane of focus on the sensor. Here we see the platform with Leica M 240 body and a 1970 Leitz Wetzlar 1:3.5/ 65 mm Elmar. The next 2 photographs show the results.
(click photo to view larger)Test Photo 1 – The flower image below was taken without swing or shift and wide open @ f:4. You can see the everything behind the point of focus quickly falling out of focus. Test Photo 2 – By swinging and shifting the lens you can see, below, those elements, behind the point of focus coming more into focus, even including some of the distant, sunlit background. The camera did not move. The aperture did not change its only the effect of swinging and shifting the lens. This “look” can only be achieved “optically.” It cannot be achieved digitally in post processing. Here we see the degree of swing and shift used to achieve the look in Test Photo – 2.

Today I also checked to make sure the contraption will work the Leica SL body.Below we see the result achieved with this body, and same 53 year old Leitz lens, on the platform; with a bit more time spent considering composition . The result of a threesome:
a Leica SL digital body,
a 1970 Leitz Wetzlar 65mm lens,
and a contraption I’ve
been developing over years;
just to stay in touch with
“the optical bench”
that was the “view camera” experience.
The 65mm Leitz Elmar sits among the ‘bokeh’ royalty; in my occasionally humble opinion.

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