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View Full Version : Why would you use a camera upside down?


Roger Hicks
01-22-2010, 11:07
Well, here are four reasons for large format users. I'll try to do one for 35mm users later, though I can't get hold of a Wrayflex prototype to illustrate how to do it properly.

Over the next 6 months or so I'm trying to pump up the site in preparation for selling my soul to the devil and accepting advertising -- any advice or ideas on the latter topic (accepting advertising, especially pricing, rather than selling my soul to the devil) gratefully received. Here's the reference: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/upside%20down.html

Cheers,

R.

Ronald M
01-22-2010, 11:22
If you are not using the Leica Clip on meter which can serve as a brace point, you have the ability to steady the camera against your forehead very securely.

This + the normal secure stance will do wonders. Please try.

Roger Hicks
01-22-2010, 11:30
If you are not using the Leica Clip on meter which can serve as a brace point, you have the ability to steady the camera against your forehead very securely.

This + the normal secure stance will do wonders. Please try.
Dear Ronald,

That's the intriguing thing about the original Wrayflex patents (1947-48, from memory). It was apparently designed to be held that way, with the body of the camera braced against the forehead.

Cheers,

R.

Ducky
01-22-2010, 11:52
OT maybe but the original Argus model "A" has ther shutter release so far foward that holding the camera still can be a problem. Some shoot up side down and hold the camera against the forehead for stability.

Pickett Wilson
01-22-2010, 12:10
Maybe it's a stealth thing. Who's going to take a photographer seriously whose pointing an upside down camera at them. ;)

batterytypehah!
01-22-2010, 12:13
Because you're using a flash on your Rollei 35.

Because you don't have a lens shade for your Minox 35.

Because you need to get really close to that dang squinty little VF (any number of vintage cameras with a centered VF)

Doug
01-22-2010, 12:40
Besides the forehead bracing, holding the camera upside down places the lens a bit higher... and sometimes that's useful if you don't have a skyhook.

Since you mention LF, Roger, I'll just observe that the upside-down view on the ground glass has always distressed me, so flipping the camera 180 should make it all come out right, eh? :D Now flipping the USER 180...

Roger Hicks
01-22-2010, 12:41
I'd forgotten the MF reflex argument -- though 'because you can' stretches 'can' a bit for me...

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
01-22-2010, 12:42
Besides the forehead bracing, holding the camera upside down places the lens a bit higher... and sometimes that's useful if you don't have a skyhook.

Since you mention LF, Roger, I'll just observe that the upside-down view on the ground glass has always distressed me, so flipping the camera 180 should make it all come out right, eh? :D Now flipping the USER 180...
Dear Doug,

Nah... Move to Australia. Maybe Chippy will chip in here?

Cheers,

R.

Solinar
01-22-2010, 13:19
Because you're using a flash on your Rollei 35.

Because you don't have a lens shade for your Minox 35.



I've had to use my folders on occasion either upside down or sideways because there wasn't time to install a lens shade or I didn't have one with me.

Roger shares an interesting perspective on the subject, pun intended.

Sparrow
01-22-2010, 13:32
I use the minox 35 whichever way round the lens cover shades the lens

brainwood
01-22-2010, 13:34
I have a Rollei 35 - its hard tell which way up it is anyway, and when I look at the negs they all appear to run right to left which is similar to shooting upside down as well.

Advantages ... er .. sorry got me there I still put the rollei negs in the scanner the wrong way round time after time. So actually shooting the rollei upside down would produce a neg which read left to right conventionally.

Is that an advantage ?

biggambi
01-22-2010, 13:35
Because, one finds themselves on the south pole. Back on point, I actually have done this as if to appear I am just playing with it in my hands. Of course everything is preset with a wide angle lens. A series of pictures can create a unique mosaic.

Roger Hicks
01-22-2010, 13:35
I must say I've learned more from the responses than ever I taught in the module! Some of it was stuff I 'knew', but had forgotten, and some of it was stuff I could/should/would have worked out, but never had the occasion to, or just hadn't thought of.

Thanks, everyone!

Cheers,

R.

ruby.monkey
01-22-2010, 13:41
Well, it's the lens, innit? All that creamy bokeh... it naturally floats to the top; so you need to turn over the camera to spread it out evenly.

robklurfield
01-22-2010, 13:49
too much to drink? pants on backwards, etc.

monochromejrnl
01-22-2010, 13:57
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/113/290957483_c5c0131f23.jpg

Shot with a SWC held over my head (6/7 ft) and upside down so that I could trigger the shutter release with my thumb. Gave me just a bit more height from which to shoot from.

Keith
01-22-2010, 13:57
Stone the crows!

Fair dinkum ... I always thought it was a little strange that all these rangefinders seem to have the viewing window on the bottom of the camera.

Strewth ... I'm glad we sorted that out digger! :D

gdmcclintock
01-24-2010, 05:17
"Hi Roger,
Occasionally I use my Rolleiflex upside down when I want a higher perspective. I used one over a card game in Chinatown a couple weeks ago."

Yes! An old Rolleiflex manual I saw years ago showed pictures of the photographer holding the camera in different positions: upside down over his head; upside down and sideways, backwards, etc. Sadly, my vision is such that I really need to use the magnifier in the Rolleiflex viewfinder and can perform the acrobatics no longer! -George

ErnestoJL
01-24-2010, 06:26
Only if a have to shoot blind over a crowd and need the extra height my extended arms can provide plus the usual lens offset.

Cheers

Ernesto

Wayne R. Scott
01-24-2010, 08:06
With the way the economy has been lately many people are upside down in their car and mortgage payments. Using a camera upside down fits their view of the world right now.

Graphic press cameras used upside down provide a quick lens shade from fold out bed, just like medium format folders.

Wayne

sahe69
01-24-2010, 08:30
In tried this for some time but eventually it was too uncomfortable, with the blood packing into my head and all the difficulties in keeping myself balanced while composing... :p

chilohm
01-24-2010, 08:33
I shot this upside down with the guy sitting up on a ledge and me to his side. Rolleiflex2.8f, Tri-X
Click for a larger version.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2585/4049658090_46756e5567.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacksloan/4049658090/)

john neal
01-24-2010, 12:05
Roger,

At the risk of straying from the upside-down hardware - in terms of advertising, I would hope that you will only accept that from companies that you consider "sound" (however you choose to construe that). I think you have sufficient integrity not to accept ads just for the money IYSWIM. Otherwise I think you run the risk of diluting an excellent website, to say nothing of your (joint) reputation.

Not a dig, just hope you understand where I'm coming from ;)

Roger Hicks
01-24-2010, 12:30
Roger,

At the risk of straying from the upside-down hardware - in terms of advertising, I would hope that you will only accept that from companies that you consider "sound" (however you choose to construe that). I think you have sufficient integrity not to accept ads just for the money IYSWIM. Otherwise I think you run the risk of diluting an excellent website, to say nothing of your (joint) reputation.

Not a dig, just hope you understand where I'm coming from ;)

Dear John,

Absolutely. I'd rather turn down/lose an advertiser than be under their thumb. But it won't be for a few months yet. MAJOR changes coming on the site.

Cheers,

R.

ChrisN
01-24-2010, 12:37
Well, here are four reasons for large format users. ...

I thought you were going to tell us this was so you could see the image on the GG the right way up!

oftheherd
01-24-2010, 12:49
In tried this for some time but eventually it was too uncomfortable, with the blood packing into my head and all the difficulties in keeping myself balanced while composing... :p

I can understand your problem. Especially at parades, trying to get all those people to lift their feet at the same time.

Tom A
01-24-2010, 12:51
Hi Roger,
Occasionally I use my Rolleiflex upside down when I want a higher perspective. I used one over a card game in Chinatown a couple weeks ago.

Commonly known as the "Hail Mary" position. You prayed that what you wanted got into the frame.

Roger Hicks
01-24-2010, 12:57
I thought you were going to tell us this was so you could see the image on the GG the right way up!
Dear Chris,

You mean it's upside down in Canberra AS WELL?

There go my emigration plans...

Cheers,

R.

payasam
03-30-2010, 17:02
What batterytypehah! said. Also, given location of human forehead.

Rob-F
03-30-2010, 17:07
Roger, the astronauts do it all the time on the space shuttle!

Doug
03-30-2010, 18:25
I don't know if it's possible to use a Leica RF to re-create Lartique's classic photo of the racing car with forward tilting, elliptical wheels.

http://www.penmachine.com/images/lartigue_car_trip.jpg

If it were possible, one could control which way the wheels leant by inverting the camera [or not]. This could be RFF homework over Easter weekend.This calls for a slow-moving vertical-run focal plane shutter. Leica M might qualify! But only for a portrait-orientation shot (and a fast-moving vehicle!). :)

sepiareverb
03-30-2010, 18:34
To really get "part of the action" photos of a trapeze act?

Drambuie
04-05-2010, 10:53
If shutter speeds on a Barnack run differently with the camera on its end or upside down it's a sure sign that it needs a CLA.

Muggins
04-05-2010, 10:59
Whereas if the shutter speeds on a Purma run differently depending on which way up it is, it doesn't need a CLA.

I guess upside down would be same speed as right-way-up, though.

Adrian

charjohncarter
04-05-2010, 11:28
You should accept advertising, almost all sites have ads. And the ones that don't, want them. You are a stand up guy, and your reputation is sufficient to make visitors, that come to your site, feel you are not compromised.

LADP
04-19-2010, 15:38
When shooting with a HD video camera mounted on a steadicam, it is quicker to just invert the main post of the steadicam (called "Low Mode), and shoot without having to mount the camera in the right side up configuration. With HD, it is as simple as pushing a button in post to flip the image. When shooting film, it isn't as easy to correct the inversion, so you generally take the time to remount and re-balance the camera for low mode.

sreed2006
04-19-2010, 16:02
For very similar reasons to LF, it is often better to use 35mm cameras upside down.

When using a tripod, and trying to get shots close to the ground (or the table the tripod is standing on), it is often easier to reverse the post of the tripod, so that it points down instead of up, and to hang the camera upside down. I've used that technique many times because I don't have a tripod that goes almost flat against the ground.

parsec1
04-19-2010, 16:06
Dear Roger,
Every 'National Press Photgrapher' carries a lightweight step lader for 'elevation'. We used to be able to claim a 'few quid' on our expenses for it.
Now if possible I use the missus to stand on, after all she stands on me all the time !
Regards
Peter.


PS.....Only been divorced twice......so far.

dee
05-03-2010, 14:20
Since this thread , I decided to try it , and could not balance on my head , so I shall stay with standing on my feet , which is a feat for me with dee'spraxia anyway . LOL .
Bit like trying baby sitting which only made it scream and get squashed .

JohnTF
05-16-2010, 01:17
When I used my Rolleiflex for journalism, I had three positions, the "normal" look down, the eye level using the sports finder, and the upside down using the camera strap to steady it, though I think it was only a few occasions for the upside down, I do recall the option.

One such effort won an on the spot news award in a contest. I never had a prism for the Rollei for eye level and had to really watch out for parallax.

Regards, John

johannielscom
05-16-2010, 01:29
Upside down?

It is the only New Zealanders and Australians can shoot a picture that isn't upside down for the rest of us.


:p

nobbylon
05-16-2010, 01:37
Well, here are four reasons for large format users. I'll try to do one for 35mm users later, though I can't get hold of a Wrayflex prototype to illustrate how to do it properly.

Over the next 6 months or so I'm trying to pump up the site in preparation for selling my soul to the devil and accepting advertising -- any advice or ideas on the latter topic (accepting advertising, especially pricing, rather than selling my soul to the devil) gratefully received. Here's the reference: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/upside%20down.html

Cheers,

R.

Roger,
I had an M4 a couple of years ago that would only run the slow speeds upside down! The bearings in the top of the slow speed mech' were obviously less gummed than the lower plate bearings. That's my only reason for upside down picture taking!
regards john