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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Tilt & Shift Lenses...Canon make a 24 mm tilt and shift lens. It has a maximum shift of 11 mm and I have ...
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Old 07-08-2007, 17:46   #1 (permalink)
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Tilt & Shift Lenses

Canon make a 24 mm tilt and shift lens. It has a maximum shift of 11 mm and I have read in reviews that its not all that sharp. Alternatively, Zoerk make a shift adaptor which enables the Mamiya 35 mm medium format lens to be used on 35 mm cameras and this provides a maximum shift of 20 mm. Further more the shift can be in any direction using the adaptor whereas the Canon lens will only shift in one direction. The adaptor does not provide a tilt facility. I have found that I can siumlate shift to some extent my using my 16 mm lens using portrait format and cropping half the negative but I then finish up with 6.4 mp isnstead of 12.8 mp and of course I am stretching the lens a bit with the extra enlargment.

Has anyone experience of using either the tilt and shift lens or the adaptor and could you advise on the best route to take. Thank you.

John

Last edited by John F; 07-08-2007 at 17:48. Reason: Spelling
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Old 07-08-2007, 18:02   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

You can simulate tilt-and-shift in post-processing, using perspective correction, although you do lose part of the shot because you end up with something trapezoidal that needs cropping (unless you have odd-shaped photo frames ).

Although you can do this with most editing software, my preference is Bibble Pro with the Percy Pro (yes, they like strange names) plugin which gives lots of control direct on the RAW file.

I'm not sure how the quality compares with a T&S lens, but it's a lot easier on the pocket.
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Old 07-08-2007, 18:15   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

there are also lensbabies

/me shrugs
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Old 07-08-2007, 18:43   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Lensbabies shift the point of focus but do not alter the focal plane so will not be appropriate for perspective correction.

If I'm doing anything with perspective correction I use photoshop as silkstone suggests although that's for purely amateur stuff so have no idea if this satisfies your own quality criteria. Plus if you're using film that adds another step of scanning and printing to the process.
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Old 07-08-2007, 18:48   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

ah right. know booger all about this

Don't even know what tilt shift is.. just remember it being a craze a year or so ago in relation to fake model photography...

Fake model photography
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Old 07-08-2007, 20:26   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Thank you all for your replies. I do sometimes use perspective control in PS but as Silkstone pointed out you do loose part of the image. When I can I prefer to use the 16 mm end of my zoom lens and crop off the bottom part of the image. This means that some quality is lost above when printing above A4. Thanks again.

John

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Old 07-08-2007, 20:39   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

The picture below was taken today using the 16 mm end of my zoom and just the top half of the frame. As you can see from the steep perspective I was very close indeed.
I think the verticals are converging slightly and in need of adjustment in PS.
John

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Old 07-08-2007, 21:21   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

IMO for something like that a slight convergence is OK because it is a natural perspective. If the verticals are truly parallel it can create the illusion of divergence. I think that's why the Greeks tapered their columns. Or was it the Romans?
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Old 07-08-2007, 21:22   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by John F View Post
...the Canon lens will only shift in one direction....
John
I used to use a shift lens on my F1 back in film days. If todays lenses are constructed along the same lines as the FD35TS you will find that you can shift in all directions (left, right, up and down) simply by rotating the lens, which has a built in rotating base.
11mm doesn't sound alot but it dose make a lot of difference. But like everything else they have their limitations.
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Old 07-08-2007, 23:30   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by john crossley View Post
John
I used to use a shift lens on my F1 back in film days. If todays lenses are constructed along the same lines as the FD35TS you will find that you can shift in all directions (left, right, up and down) simply by rotating the lens, which has a built in rotating base.
11mm doesn't sound alot but it dose make a lot of difference. But like everything else they have their limitations.
On the Canon T & S the lens slides in one direction only. You can can choose either horizontal or vertical before delivery. I understand that it is possible to swap from vertical to horizontal after delivery if you are handy with a screw driver. With the shift adaptor the slide rotates making it possible to shift in any direction. I have no hands on knowledge it's just what I have read. Thank you for your reply.

John.
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Old 07-08-2007, 23:32   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by silkstone View Post
IMO for something like that a slight convergence is OK because it is a natural perspective. If the verticals are truly parallel it can create the illusion of divergence. I think that's why the Greeks tapered their columns. Or was it the Romans?
That is interesting. Thanks.

John
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Old 13-08-2007, 17:13   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Well I have finally decided and ordered the Canon tilt and shift lens. I made my decision after playing about with different focal lengths on my 17/40 zoom and also on grounds of weight. Thanks again for all your comments.

John.
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Old 13-08-2007, 22:20   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

I look forward to your feedback on the lens
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Old 16-08-2007, 18:43   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

P-E you asked for feedback so here it is. First let me say that I am having trouble with my computer. It dosn't like it when I convert from tif to jpeg, the images are all washed out. Adobe is looking into it for me. This image is not washed out because I made the tiff almost black. It's involves a lot of trial and error so I won't be posting many pics until the problem is sorted. Now about the lens:-

It is not as sharp as my other L series lenses, but that is no surprise because its wide angle (24 mm FL) and it covers an image circle more like you would use with medium format. The full 11 mm shift was used with the picture shown here. There are two knobs, one for setting the amout of shift and one for setting the tilt. Both of these are rather stiff and could do with being it bit larger. The lens is well built and I am expecting to enjoy using it. You can get some idea of the size of the structure from the size of the people in it.

The picture below was hand held at 1/80 s @ f16 using 400 ASA.

Last edited by John F; 16-08-2007 at 18:47. Reason: Add a sentence
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Old 16-08-2007, 18:51   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

My first impression of the perspective is that it looks as if the towers are actually leaning outwards. That's probably an optical illusion because you wouldn't actually see parallel verticals with your eye in reality.

Hope you get the computer sorted.
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Old 16-08-2007, 19:08   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

The towers look diverging to me too. I think you need a slight convergence to make the picture more 'natural' to the eye. This does look odd.
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Old 16-08-2007, 19:37   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Thanks for the feedback John

I will be interested to see how the lens performs inside a cathedral, church etc with all the pillars ........obviously when you get your PC sorted
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Old 16-08-2007, 19:47   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Yes I agree a slight convergence towards the top does seem to be necessay. I had never realised that before. When I studied perspective for water colour painting I always understood that vertical lines remain vertical ie no convergence. Wherease, receding lines above eye level slope downwards and similar lines below eye level slope upwards. I am changing my views on this now. Thank you all.

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Old 23-08-2007, 12:36   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Not had chance to get inside any churches or abbeys with the T&S lens yet. I have just tried this bottle shot. It was shot as a jpeg (accident) at about 20 inches using f16 and 100 ASA. It was on full shift of 11 mm.

John


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Old 25-08-2007, 17:47   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Silkstone, your observation is interesting. I use photoshop to correct perspective distortion and I have also found that if you "correct" it you end up with it appearing that the verticals lean out even though they are parallel. For some time I have alway ensured that I leave a little perspective in and this seems to work better. John's first picture also showed the same effect which confirms that it is an optical illusion rather than any photoshop issue.

In practice I have been amazed at how much correction you can get away with and I always try to remember to include a little more of the scene to allow for the cropping. I print at near A3 and have had not detrimental comments on quality in pictorial competitions. However, if I had to produce architecture pictures professionally, I would certainly want a shift lens.
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Old 16-09-2007, 00:35   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

This picture of the interior of Binham Priory Church was taken on the T & S lens. It could be sharper because it was hand held at 1/60 s, f11 and 800 ASA.

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Old 24-09-2007, 13:00   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

This issue of convergence or 'true' parallel in buildings is a function of the brain. When the camera viewpoint is obviously lower than the mid-point of a building, as in most shots of buildings, when we see the image our brain 'knows' where the viewpoint is and 'knows' that we 'should' actually be looking upward. Hence, our brain/perception department expects to see 'natural' convergence (even though most buildings do have parallel sides). It is this expectation of the brain that makes true convergence correction in an image look wrong!

Out of interest...

Large format camera users that know what they are about also know that to produce a 'natural' looking convergence correction of a building you DO NOT completely correct the verticals by making the camera back vertical. The 'correct' position is half the angle of upward tilt of the camera base. Thus, if the camera base is pointing upward at 6 degrees, the camera back is not rotated to vertical but should have a 3 degree backward tilt on it. This produces just enough convergence of the verticals to look convincing but 'corrects' the obvious distortion of the perspective caused by the upward viewpoint.

With 35mm PC lenses, it is a good idea to actually point the camera upward slightly (very slightly) to introduce a touch of convergence. I know you've spent all this money on a PC lens only to be told by me to tilt the bl**dy camera! Proof of pudding is in the above images.

Funnily enough, our brain seems to accept fully corrected verticals in paintings/drawings without argument but in photographs it tells us it doesn't look real! Clever brain knows the difference between the 'falsehood' of a painting and the 'reality' that is a photograph!

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Old 25-09-2007, 01:13   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Very interesting indeed Les. I went out to Roche Abbey today and took some pictures with the shift lens. This was before I read your post. When I have reinstalled CS2/3 after a crash I will post one of the images and deliberately put some convergence back. with any luck, tomorrow.
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Old 25-09-2007, 11:53   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

As promised yesterday, here are a couple of shots of Roche Abbey taken on my 24 mm shift lens. I have to say I don't really like the steep perspective given by such a short lens. There is some CA present which I forgot to remove. I can't go back and do it now because during the crash I referred to, my raw files were lost. Until I upload CR4, which caused the crash, I can't process tiff files in CR.

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Old 25-09-2007, 12:35   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

John

The vertical perspective on #1 looks perfectly natural even though there is some convergence. Did you do this in CS or is that as is?

Nice shots.

Les
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Old 25-09-2007, 12:45   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Meehan View Post
John

The vertical perspective on #1 looks perfectly natural even though there is some convergence. Did you do this in CS or is that as is?

Nice shots.

Les
Hello Les, I took the shots with out correction but after reading your comments I applied some convergence in PS. Thank you.

John
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Old 25-09-2007, 13:10   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

John

Can we see the originals for comparison just to make it clear what a difference it makes?

Les
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Old 25-09-2007, 16:21   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Meehan View Post
John

Can we see the originals for comparison just to make it clear what a difference it makes?

Les
Sorry Les I cannot show the originals because as I said, they were lost in the crash when I tried to download CR4.2 from the Adobe web site. I had to do a complete erase and install of my Mac. I was up all night! However, I shall be taking some shots of the interior of Southwell Minster and I will post a couple of comparison shots then.
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Old 25-09-2007, 16:58   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

On second thoughts Les I could just reverse the perspective correction; so here it is. As you advised the correction was only slight.

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Old 25-09-2007, 19:37   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Tilt & Shift Lenses

John

Yes, you can see the difference straight away. In the original the left tower in particular looks wider at the top (as anticipated). Not quite so noticeable on the other, due to right side being missing/smaller, but still there.

An excellent proof of the pudding, thanks for taking the time to do these and being open to new possibilities!

Cheers

Les
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