Talk:Scheimpflug principle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

I think this page could use images to illustrate the Scheimpflug rule. I'm new to wikipedia so maybe someone else could figure out how they are added?

Thanks! C


This article is screaming for some additional figures. Fig. 1 is awesome, pulls you right in. Where is the same picture showing in focus achieved by lens tilt? Where is the same picture showing focus achieved by backplane tilt (perspective loss)? Demonstration of the Scheimpflug solution would add tremendously to the impact of this article.

Note: a single object must be for all three example images to consummate the paper. Changing objects detracts from the message. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:33, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Refinement/addition to the Scheimpflug principle[edit]

This mat'l is rather arcane to add directly, but whoever edits it into shape needs to understand....

The image created by a lens is inverted vertically, horizontally, and also in distance from the lens -- depth. We recognize the 2-D inversion, which is directly proportional - objects near the centerline of the subject remain near the centerline of the image; objects in the far lower right corner (for ex.) of the subject field, appear in the far upper left corner of the image.

In the third, depth dimension the equation for the position of the focus is a bit more complex (it can never be closer to the lens than 1 focal length), but nearby objects in the subject focus distantly from the lens in the image, and objects far from the lens focus near 1 focal length away in the image - as close as it can get. There are equations for that, and they work well.

The Scheimpflug principle recognizes that the focal point of an object (say a small object) follows that equation, regardless of other objects in the view. So the locus (math term) of points where the surface of a horizontal roadway comes to a focus will fall on a plane that satisfies the requirement that all three planes, subject, lens center, and focal plane meet at a common point.

The figure with the Wiki posting illustrates this well. Plus, you don't need all the math and lens principles to 'get it,' and use it.

The term 'depth of field' can be taken to apply at any given point on the image plane, and I think it should be used that way. The image of a small object, viewed in 3 dimensions, forms a cone that comes to a point at the point of focus. [insert sketch here.] We calculate the depth of field as being the distance from the focal point, in the direction toward and away from the lens, at which the cone becomes a certain diameter - a certain amount out of focus, if you will. How much out of focus is a matter of convention, based on the historical capability of film and lenses. Remember:

You don't know what fuzzy is until you've seen sharp.

If you blow up a photographic image by 20X or more, you will discover that what used to appear as 'in focus' really isn't so sharp. The 'exactly in focus' points remain sharp, but the 'might as well be in-focus' points now appear less acceptable than before. With modern high end digital cameras and lenses, you can see this effect on your very own display. What you have done is reduce the allowable diameter of the cone that you call in-focus. You have reduced the depth of field.

Take a photograph of a brick wall at an angle to the wall so that only one vertical line is in focus, and as you blow it up, less and less of it will pass your 'in-focus' criterion.

When the Scheimpflug principle is used to adjust the film and lens planes and get more of the flat road into focus on the film, the depth of field, measured at each point on the image, remains the same - it is controlled by the lens aperture (in f/ stops), the focal length, and the distance of the subject. If you use a wide open lens at say f/4 (that's going to be a large view camera lens!) and adjust to get the horizontal roadway into focus, you will see that a person standing in the road has their feet in focus, but their head may be out of focus. If they are reasonably close to the camera, a smaller f/ stop will be needed to get both the road and the person's head into focus at once, and no amount of Scheimpflug adjustment will get away from that.

The Scheimpflug principle allows you to match the focal plane with the subject, in certain cases. It allows you to make a focal plane that is not parallel to the plane of the lens. It does not change the depth of field calculations, or the depth of the field of the image.

JayWarner 17:56, 16 February 2007 (UTC) Jay Warner Wisconsin, USA

I agree that one doesn't need all the math to effectively use tilts and swings—in the field, I don't use any calculations other than determining the f-number from the focus spread. But I don't know many people who try to envision the intersection of the object, lens, and focal planes to actually set tilts or swings. There are several common ways of doing it, but they're not really appropriate here because Wikipedia is not a “how-to” guide. The equations for the rotation axis distance, and for the relationships among tilt, image distance, object distance, and angle of the plane of focus come up frequently in discussions (often incorrectly), so it seemed reasonable to include them here. There's a lot more math that I don't think is as useful, so I left it out.
“So the locus (math term) of points where the surface of a horizontal roadway comes to a focus will fall on a plane that satisfies the requirement that all three planes, subject, lens center, and focal plane meet at a common point.”
This is essentially what's shown in the proof of the Scheimpflug principle included in the article.
This proof didn't exist at the time of Jay's comment; nonetheless, I've added a couple of steps to make it more obvious that the proof covers what Jay was saying. (comment added at 14:01, 16 March 2010 but not signed. JeffConrad (talk) 02:02, 17 March 2010 (UTC))
I don't quite follow your comments about DoF. Are you suggesting that the DoF isn't wedge shaped when the lens is tilted? That it is is well-established in sources such as Merklinger, Stroebel, and Tillmans, and has long been shown in diagrams from camera manufacturers such as Sinar and Linhof. It's also quite easily derived by several different methods. I don't think it's really disputed.
Along any given ray, the DoF isn't changed by tilting, as Merklinger (1996, 115–116) describes. That could be added to this article, but I thought it would be more likely to confuse than enlighten, so I left it out. In any event, the DoF limits are different for every ray, so the effect is a wedge-shaped DoF. Understanding this is key to effectively using tilt or swing for a subject that isn't planar.
I agree that enlargement affects DoF if the viewing distance remains the same. This is covered in the Depth of field article. I'm not quite sure how your comments relate to this article.

Jay is exactly and entirely correct, although his explanation is a bit wordy.

I fixed this article earlier, and added the needed diagram. I cannot see why the article has now been revised back to the spooky language it now has.

Fil Hunter author "Light - Science & Magic"

Fil, I have no idea what you mean by “spooky language”. And I question some of the “fixes” in your edit of 31 December 2006, such as
“Depth of field appears to be infinite if the entire subject is in the Scheinmpflug image plane, such as a roadway extending for miles from the camera on flat terrain. (In fact, a respected photographic publisher did, indeed, claim in the first edition of a well-selling text that the Scheimfplug Principle actually creates infinite depth of field!)”
What this really seems to be saying is that everything in the plane of focus is sharp, which would seem self-evident, and is not what I would call infinite DoF. And it's hardly how most other sources describe it. References such as “a respected photographic publisher” and “a well-selling text” don't exactly qualify as verifiable sources.
I don't understand a couple of other points:
“However, normal depth of field caculations also apply to Sheimpflug; the near and far limits of depth of field are tilted proportionally to the lens tilt and intersect along the same line as the lens plane and two focal planes.”
As I read this, it seems to say that the DoF is wedge shaped, much as the article currently reads. Strictly, I would disagree with the statement that the tilt of the planes is proportional to the lens tilt; rather, it's given by the equations for tan ψ.
“Sheimpflug's principle is practical only with extremely good lenses designed with the principle in mind.”
I take this to mean that lens tilt requires additional covering power. This certainly is true, but it's possible to employ the Scheimpflug principle using back tilt, which doesn't require additional covering power. Perhaps we could add that to this article, but I think it's more properly covered in the View camera article—rise and fall and lateral shifts also require additional covering power. JeffConrad (talk) 22:46, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I was going through the trig trying to derive the equation for tan psi in terms of the image plane distance v' and I think there needs to be a correction. Instead of {u'} it ought to be {v'}. i.e. tan psi = v'sin theta / v'cos theta -f. I didn't edit the page because I do not know how. Perhaps someone else could check my maths and edit it themselves if they agree? ---- [comment by Cjrlord (talk) on 15 March 2010 at 16:01]

Cjrlord, your derivation of the equation for tan ψ is correct. But that's the way the equation currently reads. Am I missing something in your comment? JeffConrad (talk) 13:17, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Edit of 25 April 2007[edit]

I've made a first attempt at cleaning things up a bit. A few specific comments:

  • I changed "focus plane" to "plane of focus" for two reasons: 1), the latter gets roughly twice as many hits on a Google search, and 2), more important, it seems less likely to be confused with "focal plane" (which apparently was the case with the previous link).
  • I revised the description of the macro photograph, because it doesn't employ the Scheimpflug principle.
  • I eliminated mention of claims that the Scheimpflug principle creates infinite DoF, because it didn't seem relevant—focus and DoF are separate issues. If someone insists on restoring this comment, a link to at least one source would be helpful (I'll quickly concede, of course, that I don't have a verifiable source for "anti-Scheimpflug").
  • I retained the wording "oblique tangent", with some reservations (I understand "oblique" and "tangent", but quite honestly, I still don't quite understand "oblique tangent" ...)
  • I retitled "References" to "External links" because none of the links technically meets WP criteria for verifiable sources. I think removing these links would be a great mistake, however, because I'm not sure there are any sources that would strictly qualify. Moreover, though self-published, Merklinger has been widely cited and discussed, and his diagrams remain the best available. Wheeler includes fairly complete derivations, so the reader can verify his results for herself. The "Tilt and Shift" link also includes considerable useful information, such as a clear demonstration that increasing tilt decreases angular DoF.
  • I don't think WP is the best place to be creating new terms, but in the case of the axis about which the PoF rotates, there may be no choice, as there simply is no standard term. "Counter axis" seems unintuitive, "hinge line" seems a bit informal, and planes intersect at lines, so "pivot point" doesn't seem quite right, either. Things generally rotate about axes, so "rotation axis" or "PoF rotation axis" seem the most descriptive, if not especially elegant. "Pivot axis" might be another possibility.

I think diagrams of the PoF rotation and the wedge-shaped DoF would be helpful; I have both, but they need some minor reformatting. They won't quite match the current diagram, but a slight hodgepodge may be preferable to nothing. An image similar to the text closeup, but with the PoF coincident with the paper would also seem useful; I have a round tuit here somewhere that I just need to get ... JeffConrad 09:27, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the cleanup tag. The editor (Vanderdecken) who added the tag gave no specifics, but the edits of 25–26 April 2007 made substantial changes, and there has been no subsequent comment, so I'll assume that most of the concerns have been addressed. This hardly is to suggest that the article would not benefit from additional work. JeffConrad 22:25, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Change to Depth of Field section[edit]

I changed the phrase "smaller lens f-number" to "larger lens aperture," because, as a photographer, I feel this phrasing better conveys the idea that the wedge-shaped DoF allows a photographer to create photographs that utilize a greater DoF than would be available using parallel planes of focus (ie, with cameras that do not allow movement of the lens and image planes). Though it is purely a semantic difference (a smaller f-number = a larger aperture), I, myself, tend to think in terms of aperture size; thus, for increased DoF, I would think to use a "smaller aperture," rather than "larger f-number." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:37, 21 February 2008 (UTC)


Can we get a pronounciation guide on this article for "Scheimpflug"? (talk) 22:00, 10 April 2008 (UTC)


I've cleaned up the description of the Lensbaby SLR lens, but wonder if its mention here is appropriate. Although the Lensbaby has become fairly popular for creative selective focus, the effect it achieves is only marginally related to the Scheimpflug principle discussed in this article. It seems particularly strange to give it almost as much space as is given to view camera movements and tilt/shift lenses combined; however, I think mention in this context without some qualification would be very misleading. JeffConrad (talk) 21:25, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I've put the Lensbaby material in the article Tilt-shift photography, for which I think it's more appropriate. To avoid unnecessary duplication, I think we should remove that material from this article, and will do so if no one objects. JeffConrad (talk) 08:51, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Diagram description[edit]

The text doesn't explain what the "Lens object focal plane" in the diagram represents, nor does it mark "J" or theta from the equation on the diagram. It would be helpful if the equation and the diagram used the same symbols.

RobertSeber (talk) 16:04, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

What sort of explanation of "lens object focal plane" are you looking for? The linked article gives a reasonable description, though perhaps it doesn't address your question.
RobertSeber (talk) 06:37, 10 June 2008 (UTC) It seems to be a line floating in space. I understand what the "lens plane" is (a line through the lens), but not what the "lens object focal plane" is.
Any definition I would give would be essentially the same as that in the linked article focal plane. Is the confusion between "object focal plane" and "front focal plane"? JeffConrad (talk) 07:28, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's my confusion. RobertSeber (talk) 07:59, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
The diagram and the article do use the same terminology; the diagram is just missing a couple of symbols :-). It's easier to add an equation and a sentence than it is to update a diagram, but having the symbols on the diagram seems reasonable, so I'll try to get them added. JeffConrad (talk) 22:21, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Links to equipment manufacturers[edit]

I removed the link to the Arri tilt/shift bellows system because this article is about the Scheimpflug principle rather than the equipment. If the consensus is that we should include equipment links, then we should treat manufacturers equally by providing links to all. In the interim, I'll add the Arri link to the Perspective correction lens article. JeffConrad (talk) 21:46, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Adjusting focus[edit]

Unclear: "When the lens and image planes are not parallel, adjusting focus..." what kind of movement of the lens adjusts focus, moving it back and forth along the axis perpendicular to the lens plane? Please clarify or link to appropriate article.



--- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:09, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Focus is adjusted by changing the distance between the lens and image planes (specifically, the distance v′ in the text and in Figure 4), in the same manner as is normally done for a particular camera. On a view camera, focus is usually adjusted by moving the rear standard or camera back; it can also be done by moving the front standard. In either case, the motion usually isn't parallel to the axis of a tilted lens. On small-and medium-format cameras, focus is usually adjusted by moving the lens along its axis. It's possible to focus by moving the entire camera, as sometimes is done with small- and medium-format cameras in closeup work; this does not change the angle of the PoF, but it's by far the exception rather than the rule.
Strictly, the PoF rotation axis remains fixed only when focus is adjusted by moving the camera back. With a tilt/shift lens or adapter on a small- or medium-format camera, focusing is accomplished by moving the lens rather than the camera back, so the rotation axis moves slightly with focus. However, except for extreme closeups, the difference is usually insignificant. When the tilt is between the camera and the focusing mechanism (as on all current tilt/shift lenses), the focusing motion is at a slight angle to the line of sight, and there is a slight vertical motion as well as a change in v′, but again, the slight movement of the rotation axis is usually insignificant. JeffConrad (talk) 23:31, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Scheimpflug and ophthalmology[edit]

I've made a quick cleanup of the lead section, but it probably could use further improvement and generalization. It might also help to have an entire section on this topic. JeffConrad (talk) 23:03, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Key points of the Scheimpflug principle[edit]

This comment on 15 March 2010 mistakenly addressed both JayWarner's comment of February 2007 and Cjrlord's comment of 15 March 2010. The article has changed considerably since Jay's comment was made, but perhaps it's appropriate to now ask whether the article makes the following points clear, so I've moved it to a new section.

The practical implications of the Scheimpflug principle are fairly simple:

  1. Tilting the lens plane rotates the plane of focus away from parallel to the image plane.
  2. The distance to the axis of rotation is controlled by the tilt, and the angle of the plane of focus is controlled by the focus (i.e., lens-to-film distance).
  3. The DoF is wedge shaped when the lens is tilted.
  4. The angular DoF (i.e., the angle at the apex of the DoF wedge) is controlled by the lens f-number.
  5. The DoF on plane parallel to the image plane is the same on each side of the plane of focus.

These points apply to swing as well as tilt, and also apply to these movements on the camera back.

Does the article clearly convey this, or are these points buried in the details? It seems to me that item 4 is more implied than stated. Should the article include a summary similar to this? JeffConrad (talk) 14:19, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Errors in proof[edit]

Hi, I'm new to wikipedia, so please excuse any transgressions in protocol. But I noticed what I think are some sign errors in the proof for the Scheimpflug principle and wanted to point them out. The first time magnification is defined, there is a minus sign in front of the ratio. But the third time m appears (after the phrase "On the image side of the lens, again from Figure 6") there is no minus sign. So the convention isn't consistent.

Also, looking at the last line (y_v = -(a - b/f)v + b), there is a sign error in front of the b/f term. The previous line shows that it should have the same sign as the av term. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pixelatedcode (talkcontribs) 20:15, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Protocol is to point out the error so that the idiot who made it can fix it ... I've (hopefully) fixed the errors, and attempted to explain the combination of normal Cartesian coordinates and the optical sign convention that shows object distances increasing to the left of the lens plane. See if this works. JeffConrad (talk) 02:52, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Also seems to match the result I got from a different proof-method I tried. Btw, I like your proof approach. It uses some simple geometry to make for a more straightforward and intuitive proof (my independent attempt was more algebraic). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pixelatedcode (talkcontribs) 19:19, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Edits of 22–23 September 2010[edit]

I've made a couple of minor changes in attempt to clarify how the examples were calculated. I've used Merklinger's approximation for DoF on a plane parallel to the image plane because it's simple, and to my knowledge, he's the only published source. But his approximation isn't the best one for large values of tilt; specifically, as distance increases, the image distance vf, but the line-of-sight (rail) distance v′f / cos θ, so at the hyperfocal distance, the DoF on a plane parallel to the image plane is approximately 2 f / tan θ rather than 2J = 2 f / sin θ. At the hyperfocal distance, the difference between v and f is negligible, but with large tilt, as may be used on a large-format camera, the difference between cos θ and 1 may not be negligible. As a consequence, to be strictly correct, I've used to notes to explain the differences. If this makes an already arcane concept too confusing, we could simply use the more accurate approximation and have nothing that needs explaining. The down side of course is that someone familiar with Merklinger may notice the apparent disparity and wonder which is correct. The “exact” formula that he gives on p. 126 is indeed exact, so no qualification is needed.

Though it may seem like I'm making a big deal out of a small detail, the DoF distribution on a plane parallel to the image plane is a key concept in choosing the best position for the plane of focus in a typical scene that isn't strictly planar, and to my knowledge, it had not been described prior to Merklinger, and I think his contribution here is due some deference. JeffConrad (talk) 07:45, 23 September 2010 (UTC)