tilted sensor on Rebel Xti - 400D

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by james_elwing, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. Recently had to copy around 400 old photos and postcards, each carefully framed, and discovered that I have to consistently tilt the image in Photoshop counter clockwise by .25 or .3 of a degree before cropping. I had noticed a bit of tilt before but put it down to careless framing; well I am careless, but have had the camera for over 6 years, so you would think I might have noticed. A bit irritating when one makes the effort.
    Otherwise, very happy; even the original batteries still working fine.
    Has anybody else had this kind of experience?
  2. I'm impressed that you can level the camera to that extent. My shots have a tendency to be a degree or so counter-clockwise using a variety of cameras and the tilt isn't consistent so I always blame myself. Most people have less than perfect eyesight. I for example have a slight astgmatism in my left eye which I have always blamed for my wonky shots. But I am interested to hear what others experience of this is and who / what gets the blame.
  3. Even on a tripod with a level, I find my shots off consistantly 1 degree clockwise. Never though it could be because of my eyesight!
  4. Having astigmatism and different
    degrees of far sightedness in both eyes
    I quickly had to learn just how much the
    brain works to interpret what the eyes
    deliver. It makes for quite a
    performance when I am asked to check
    for level when someone is decorating. I
    use a spirit level for the simplest of jobs
    at home, and still measure both ways
    the first time I use the level.
  5. I have wonky "horizons" all the time - when you're shooting quickly (as is usually the case with birds and motor sports) it just goes with the territory.
    Mind you, I've got eyesight problems too - retinal bleeding in my right eye which distorts the image I see and buggers with my depth perception (the bleeding forces the surface of the retina to bulge outwards) and I wonder if that might be contributing too - there are no straight lines, according to my right eye, everything having kinks in it because of the distortion.
  6. yes, often. that is why folks often use levels--in the tripod or head, in the camera itself (e.g., the 7D), or mounted in the hot shoe. I generally try to avoid framing too tight, to allow room for straightening if need be.
  7. Yep, a common occurrence with me too. I use the in-camera level on my 60D if I feel it necessary, but that's very seldom. Usually I just live with it. I can always straighten it out in post.
  8. It is unlikely the sensor is tilted. It is more likely the viewfinder is tilted. I have a 350D that is off by ~1 deg.
  9. I am assuming above obvious
    considerations such as live view use,
    the lens being perpendicular to the
    centre of the photograph, the
    photograph properly flat and using a
    good macro lens. I tried and was still
    getting alignment issues. I decided to
    line up the scanner for my old pictures
    instead. And when the auto fade
    correction kicked in I was even happier
  10. Thanks, folks, obviously I am not alone.
    As said, I suspect the viewfinder apparatus may in fact be crooked. I suppose I was miffed because it took me a full day with spirit level to get the copy stand and camera position horizontal.
    Bleeding retina doesn't sound too good. My nose & eyeballs bled at the drop of a hat until I stopped taking asprin, but it couldn't be that simple for you.
    I have astigmatism too, so everything tilts a bit, so I lined everything up pretty tight in the viewfinder.
  11. It does depend on the level too: some cheaper ones are not all that accurate or lack sensitivity. Somehow I doubt it is the viewfinder.
  12. Try taking a photo looking straight into a mirror. It doesn't matter which way you tilt the camera. Any tilt you observe in the resulting image is the tilt of your sensor.
    FWIW, some older cameras like 300D and 10D were prone to sensor tilt, but with the 20D/400D generation the problem seems to have gotten less common.
  13. I'd blame the setup before I'd blame the hardware.
    This is one reason why I almost always shoot with a grid viewscreen in the camera, plus it is good for manual focus lenses too.
  14. When I squat down to get a lower angle, my horizon is always off to the left, no matter how straight I might think it is when I snap the shutter. It's not the fault of the camera! I have to tilt what looks to be too far to the right to get my horizon straight. I've learned to review those "squat" shots carefully before moving on.
  15. Bleeding retina doesn't sound too good.​
    Aaaah, it could be worse, James - at least it's relatively stable, and only in one eye.
    That said, the depth perception problem can be pretty stressy when I'm scrambling over slippery rocks with a few grand's worth of kit in my hands in pursuit of some feathered subject matter or other; it's no fun not being able to tell for sure exactly when my foot is going to land...
    Eventually the problem should be fixable by laser cautery, when they really dial in the accuracy: as it is, I could have the problem blood vessels zapped, but they're very close to the fovea (the most sensitive part of the retina which shouldn't even have any blood vessels) and with the current state of the art, the laser treatment would all but blind me anyway - collateral damage of the light-sensitive cells.
  16. I used to own an XTi and recall the viewfinder was really small and only showed 94 or 95% of the image. It was nearly impossible to align with horizons or shoot tight scenes accurately. But if you're on a copy stand it should be pretty easy to compensate. Too bad you don't have Live View on that model (100% of image shown).
  17. I don't really mind not getting everything in the viewfinder; at least Im not accidentally chopping off heads. After a bit of non-event photography at art school with a Pentax Spotmatic, 10 years later I started off with my wife's Leica M3, which framed reasonably, and a Zenit 3M, which must have shown only about 80% in the 5:4 proportion rather than 3:2. I have always been prepared to crop a bit in the darkroom, where of course a bit of tilt wasn't even an issue.
    I suppose I am a bit surprised that such a small amount of tilt sends me bonkers, as does barrel distortion. Yes, live view would likely eliminate the problem, but I like the beast.

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