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Fluid Lens Shaping

Replace shift and tilt with shapable lens.
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Traditional style view cameras are still popular with professional and architectural photographers for a number of reasons. The large film area providing high resolution being one of the big ones.

The other is lens shift and tilt capability. Shift and tilt allow the focal point to be moved across the film, or angled across it for perspective correction and unique effects. With the development of fluid lens systems by Philips and others, shouldn't it be possible to dynamicaly alter the shape of the fluid lens to provide a the same effects as shift and tilt?

This would allow for a compact lens and camera combination that incorporates the advantages of shift and tilt without the bulk and mechanical complexity. Fluid lenes are already vari-focal, it shouldn't be too hard to alter the system to provide these features. Non-symetrical electroweting combined with conductive fluids (liquid crystals?) could produce any number of unique lense shapes on the fly.

Jawzx, May 02 2005

Wired.com: Liquid Camera Lens http://www.wired.co...04/start.html?pg=10
Mostly baked. It can pan, tilt, zoom, and focus. Don't know what shift is. [Laughs Last, May 02 2005]

Perspective Control Lens https://en.wikipedi...ective_control_lens
[Ian Tindale, May 03 2016]

[link]






       Damn Lucent/Bell Labs! Pan=Shift. I only hope these make it to consumer applications. I'd love to have a high-resolution digital camera with all the lens flexibility of a big, bulky veiw cam.   

       For technical imaging purposes these lenses could be linked to perspective correction software, allowing instant perspective correction without having to apply a filter to an image after capture. This also opens the door for linearly correct super-wide lenses and even eventualy a complete "1 lens solution".   

       Well I guess it was a good idea, even if I'm not first.
Jawzx, May 02 2005
  

       yeah, that was an interesting article [laughs].
neilp, May 03 2005
  

       If the lens were to move off axis in relation to the centre of the sensor, and the sensor were able to flex back to point at the central axis of the lens from where it ended up, it would achieve a tilt shift effect.
Ian Tindale, May 03 2016
  

       Why are different lenses needed anyway? Shirley all you need is one superb wide-angle lens plus a stupidly high-resolution CCD chip, and you can do all that panning and zooming in software.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 03 2016
  

       Different lens elements are required because ever since photography, lens designers have had to try and force an image out there to fall onto a flat plane in the camera. The film, on that flat plane, is then enlarged in an enlarger, which uses a multiple element (often a Cooke triplet, or four-element Tessar style arrangement) lens to get the flat image in there onto a flat photosensitive paper out there. The more expensive lenses with lots of elements are all correcting for deficiencies across colour responses, to force flat plane images onto flat plane surfaces.   

       In fact, the image plane “out there” is more or less a part of a sphere, and if sensors or film or enlarger baseboards were also sections of a sphere, life would be so much easier, you’d only need a single element. Same as how our eye works. The more air/glass interfaces you have, the better it is not going to get.
Ian Tindale, May 03 2016
  

       So, basically, a single lens with a stupidly high- resolution CCD chip would solve it, then?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 03 2016
  

       Not fully. To implement the perspective correction that tilt/shift gives, you’d have to find a way to “slip” the centre of the sensor plane away from the centre of the lens ‘beam’. One way is to actually slide it, which sort of works, but falls into the edge of the image circle of the lens, and into the worst parts of the aberrations, and also needs refocusing (it is now further). Another way is to do that, but also to tilt the plane so that it is more comfortably “facing” the lens, yet is still off-axis to it.   

       The eye can’t do this at all mainly because the retina is suitably curved and won’t register the abnormal perspective distortion. It is only a side effect of the sensor plane being so flat, which is not ‘expected’ of the rays, or ray paths, so the resulting image is differently proportioned across the image. You couldn’t really achieve this effect by merely cropping a section that is off axis, unless you started with a sensor that is massively over-sized for the image circle to begin with, and ignored the rest of it (which would be “shift” with no “tilt”, which is akin to how my (now lost) Nikon 35mm shift lens worked (by only sliding the lens centre, no tilting or angular reorientation involved).
Ian Tindale, May 03 2016
  

       //You couldn’t really achieve this effect... unless you started with a sensor that is massively over-sized for the image circle to begin with//   

       So, basically, a single lens with a stupidly high- resolution CCD chip would solve it, then?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 03 2016
  

       Only shift, not tilt/shift (and when you say stupidly high resolution, you should also mean stupidly over- big too).
Ian Tindale, May 03 2016
  

       I’ve incorporated onto this very page, but in an undisclosed territory of it, a hyperlink to a Wikipedia page on PC lenses. Interestingly (well, to me) the first photo on the page, of a 1961 PC-Nikkor lens is the exact lens type I used to have (then lent, and consequently lost, decades ago). I really don’t miss it much. The effect was only noticeable as you pushed it off to the outer parts of the lens image circle, where the lens was at its poorest. You could certainly do that today by digitally ‘faking’ the perspective correction, but it would be more naturally achieved ‘old school’ in one single capture by taking a cropped section, away from the centre of the lens axis, and hoping the lens isn’t too shit that far out toward the edge.
Ian Tindale, May 03 2016
  

       Then I do.   

       It all comes down to the fact that they're only a bunch of photons with nothing better to do than whizz through space. If you stop and ask each one "where are you from", you will be able to reconstruct any image you like.   

       I know this to be true because in 1988, by intercepting photons from the Moon, the Sunday Sport was able to reconstruct a detailed photograph of a WWII bomber that had crash- landed there.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 03 2016
  
      
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