Tilt-Shift query
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    Tilt-Shift query

    by Plays with Light » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:44 am

    Howdy all,

    I am wondering about whether a tilt-shift lens could actually help many of my architectural and landscape captures? I'd be looking at using it tethered to my 15" laptop for liveview and magnification to make sure the plane of focus is tickety-boo.

    After doing a fair bit of research on the interweb over the last 8 weeks or so, since it was raised in a discussion of Doug's, I have looked at the what and how of tilt-shifts trying to get my pea-brain around their workings.

    What I have discovered is that you need to have independent tilt and shift as a given and free rotation of both to give the ultimate creative control. I have found a wide-angle lens that would offer me all of this and am seriously considering a purchase. What I'd love is any further advice or guidance/wisdom that you kindly folks could be willing to share with me and any one else that reads this thread in the future.

    Cheers and thanks,
    Alex
    Feedback and honest, constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by Doug » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:35 pm

    What I have discovered is that you need to have independent tilt and shift as a given and free rotation of both to give the ultimate creative control.


    Sounds like you are describing the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II Tilt-Shift.

    You can hire a Canon TS-E 17mm F4 L Tilt Shift from Photographic Wholesalers for $95 day rate if you had any question of the benifit/value of a tilt shift and to get first hand experience of the intricacies of use.

    I think you have the temperament and subject matter interest to make good use of this type of lens.

    Subtract what it would cost for a same quality 24mm L prime (I believe there is no finer Canon 24mm anyway than the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II Tilt-Shift) then the extra build complexity of it being a TS does not make the price of admittance seem quite so bad.

    I cannot offer any other perspective than that, having never used one.
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by beeb » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:09 pm

    I think they're great, and am saving for a 17mm TS-E as we speak. 24mm has never been quite wide enough for me, but until recently it was the only wide TS-E that could accept filters. However, now there's a mob that make a filter-system for the 17mm (and other Ultra-Wides) going by the brand name Wonderpana. I can't speak to the quality of the filters, but the price is surprisingly reasonable and I will more than likely purchase a set when I get the 17mm, but I almost constantly have CPL's on all my lenses, and am a big fan of Grad-ND's and so on, it may be less of an issue for you.
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by Plays with Light » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:23 pm

    Doug wrote:Sounds like you are describing the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II Tilt-Shift.

    You can hire a Canon TS-E 17mm F4 L Tilt Shift from Photographic Wholesalers for $95 day rate if you had any question of the benifit/value of a tilt shift and to get first hand experience of the intricacies of use.

    I think you have the temperament and subject matter interest to make good use of this type of lens.

    Subtract what it would cost for a same quality 24mm L prime (I believe there is no finer Canon 24mm anyway than the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II Tilt-Shift) then the extra build complexity of it being a TS does not make the price of admittance seem quite so bad.

    I cannot offer any other perspective than that, having never used one.


    It does sound a bit like that! :wink:

    Wow, one days hire is nearly 10% of it's cost! If it's the Mk 1. :shock:

    Right now, I'm really concerned with whether it's necessary to have that independent control or not. There's a massive price difference between having it or not, especially if the reality of architectural captures is that it's not really necessary.
    Last edited by Plays with Light on Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Feedback and honest, constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by Plays with Light » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:27 pm

    beeb wrote:I think they're great, and am saving for a 17mm TS-E as we speak. 24mm has never been quite wide enough for me, but until recently it was the only wide TS-E that could accept filters. However, now there's a mob that make a filter-system for the 17mm (and other Ultra-Wides) going by the brand name Wonderpana. I can't speak to the quality of the filters, but the price is surprisingly reasonable and I will more than likely purchase a set when I get the 17mm, but I almost constantly have CPL's on all my lenses, and am a big fan of Grad-ND's and so on, it may be less of an issue for you.


    The only time I have a filter on my lens is if I am taking a long exposure. I never use my CPL, I hate that god awful over saturated blue in the sky that you see all over the interweb.

    beeb, do you use independent tilt and shift often, if at all?
    Feedback and honest, constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by Eden » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:06 am

    I have seen this brand a few times and noticed the 24mm f3.5 tilt shift is around $1050 on feebay and allows for filters

    it isnt 17mm but the review was an education for me to say the least, what a clever lens tilt shifts are.

    http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/revi ... g24ts.html

    cheers eden
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by Doug » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:49 am

    Right now, I'm really concerned with whether it's necessary to have that independent control or not. There's a massive price difference between having it or not, especially if the reality of architectural captures is that it's not really necessary.


    I wonder that also.
    The way I imagine it working is that for a front and centre elevation shots you would just need an upward tilt for the verticals.
    At one end of a long building a 90 degrees rotated tilt so it is sideways would reduce the perspective along the length of the building and a tilt rotation less than 90 degrees is going to help with vertical at the same time.
    Shift brings things back into frame after tilting and since the shift can only happen along the line the the slider is orientated, having independent rotation for both tilt and another for shift gives more shift solutions for the tilt you want.

    Well that is how I picture it.
    On a view camera where lifting the lens by say 30mm and also sideways 30mm gets the result, on a tilt shift the shift slider is going to need to be at 45 degrees with the tilt still able to tilt and rotate as it needs to.
    It lets you copy view camera levels of adjustment all be it constrained to a much smaller envelop of movement and a less intuitive mechanism.

    WG said he had a Canon 24mm T/S (assuming the first model with one axis of rotation not two), so hold tight for a better view of the subject.
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by beeb » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:36 am

    Having no TS-E's currently, I don't use either function at the moment. But I know when I wish I had it!

    As I remember it, the 'Shift ' controls perspective (so you can reduce or enhance things like converging verticals when pointing an UWA upwards when shooting), and 'Tilt' controls the plane of focus relative to the sensor. So tilting forward can allow a wide aperture to be used for deep effective DOF is the landscape is quite flat for example.

    For me, Tilt is mostly unneccesary as I'm happy to stop down (as I'm usually chasing long exposures anyway), but having lens Shift available for perspective control/correction is what I crave.

    FWIW (IMO)Samyang might be alright if you don't have the funds available for the Canon gear. But the Canon lenses will be far better optically (sharper, less diffraction, contrast, colour, etc...). I think on something that's likely to be a significant investment anyway, spending the money once on the right product could end up being the cheapest option in the long run. Finding said money is proving something of a challenge for me though currently! :lol:
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by Plays with Light » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:29 am

    Eden wrote:I have seen this brand a few times and noticed the 24mm f3.5 tilt shift is around $1050 on feebay and allows for filters

    it isnt 17mm but the review was an education for me to say the least, what a clever lens tilt shifts are.

    http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/revi ... g24ts.html

    cheers eden


    That's actually one of the lenses I am looking at and his review is one of the reasons why I bothered to look further at this lens. Another review of this lens is here.

    I'm basically stuck between the Samyang and the Canon 24mm Mk 1, for my budget. Image-wise they are very close once you get past f/8, which is where I would be using it. The Samyang has that extra bit of barreling though, but on the other hand it allows fully independent movement of tilt and shift...

    To compare the imagery (at 100%) of the Samyang and the Canon 24mm Mk1 click here, at f/8+ it's pretty damn close.

    The make of the Samyang has been a little beefed up for a couple of months now:
      - it is now with 8 aperture leaves, not the initial six,
      - the knobs are slightly larger and are plastic coated metal, not solid plastic (except the locking knobs are still those tiny grey plastic ones)
      - the release levers are now reinforced with stronger metal

    If you have slender fingers and are gentle with your gear, it should last for quite a while.

    I have tracked down a supplier of the newer version and they are offering a three year warranty for free on it, apparently backed by Samyang themselves to boost sales of the second iteration of this lens, according to the sales manager in a private discourse.

    I have seen some damn fine imagery taken with the Canon 24mm TS-E Mk1 though, but I really just need to know whether the independent control is a deal breaker or not for maximum usage.
    Feedback and honest, constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by beeb » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:10 pm

    Plays with Light wrote:To compare the imagery (at 100%) of the Samyang and the Canon 24mm Mk1 click here, at f/8+ it's pretty damn close.


    That's cetainly very acceptable, definitely a good jump from early results I had seen of them. For the price they're pretty darn good value really, and I'm sure you'd turn out some exceptional images either way. The barreling would easily be corrected in post by making up a preset for it.


    On the topic of whether independent Tilt and Shift is required, it's really a personal preference type of thing. For me it wouldn't matter as I rarely (if ever) would need to tip the focal plane away from parallel to the image sensor. Nice to have if it's a no-cost option, but not necessary IMO.
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by W G » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:38 pm

    Alex,

    When I was forced, for the sake of commercial expediency, to leave the world of the view camera and venture in the realm of the inky-dinky little 35mm DSLR it followed quite naturally to me tha t the Tilt/Shifts were the way to go with the Canon. I bought them all (24mm, 45mm, and 90mm) and shortly thereafter I flogged the 45 and the 90mm coz I found them as useless as tits on a bull.

    I have said it before and, yep, I'm gonna say it again: a Tilt/Shift does not a view camera make.

    I do use the 24mm T/S for rise and fall but, more frequently, I use it to make panoramas — either horizontally or vertically. It is great with that.

    As for the TILT side of things ..... the tiny little looken-peeper falls well short in letting you view the image sufficiently well to make any informed decisions. Might that prove more effective shooting tethered? Maybe, but I could not bear dragging a lap top about with me just for the privilege. If there is connectivity with an iPad, then that might be a solution of sorts.

    Of course there are advantages to being able to vary the axis of swing independently of the rise and fall or shift. But with such a short focal length I wonder just how necessary it really is.

    I have known folk to deliberately employ anti-scheimpflug and wide apertures to create effects. It might make fun play but I would not be spending a fortune on TS glass just to see how much you can amplify optical aberrations.

    Here is a sample of a horizontal panorama leaving the camera fixed and shifting left and right and in the middle them using PhotoMerge:

    Image

    And here is an example of anti-scheimpflug on a view camera with 20º tilt forward and backward with a 300mm lens wide open at 5.6:

    Image
    Walter Glover

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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by Plays with Light » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:11 pm

    W G wrote:And here is an example of anti-scheimpflug on a view camera with 20º tilt forward and backward with a 300mm lens wide open at 5.6:

    Image


    Sorry, were you saying something, Walter!






    Thanks a bunch, Walter. I am more concerned with the ability to keep in focus a landscape, with maybe a waterfall that's at an odd angle, or foreground and background items at an odd angle across the screen. Would that perhaps necessitate the independent use of tilt and shift? I do understand the tilt-shift is a poor substitute for a medium format camera, but beggars can't be choosers.
    Feedback and honest, constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by Doug » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:48 pm

    Sorry, were you saying something, Walter!


    Lol :lol:
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by W G » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:29 am

    Plays with Light wrote:I am more concerned with the ability to keep in focus a landscape, with maybe a waterfall that's at an odd angle, or foreground and background items at an odd angle across the screen. Would that perhaps necessitate the independent use of tilt and shift?


    Alex,

    I suggest that you get hold of a 24mm TSE as a loan or a rental and just see how little you can do in a situation such as you suggest. It is a fanciful idea but I doubt that the results would justify the cost or the inconvenience.

    Assuming that you are wanting lens rise to get the top of the waterfall in frame and that the optical axis is then swung left of right so that the full height of the waterfall is sharp top to bottom and some distant item is sharp, then the normal orientation of my old 24mm TSE version I is ideal. In close range architectural work I have occasionally wondered if the orientation of the shift axis and swing axis might help but on a small format like 35mm and short focal length like 24mm by the time you are at f/8 it sort of all becomes academic.

    Not so on larger formats where the corresponding angle of view would be with a 75mm focal length.

    Another option open to the digital shooter is Helicon focus — or focus stacking which is a lot more facile.

    Cheers,
    Walter Glover

    "Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi
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    Re: Tilt-Shift query

    by Plays with Light » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:19 pm

    W G wrote:Another option open to the digital shooter is Helicon focus — or focus stacking which is a lot more facile.


    Thanks again, Walter, a little more to mull over! I have played with focus stacking in landscape imagery and it's not the answer for me. I want as little manipulation of the image as possible in post production and retaining as much information as possible, not that I'm printing anything yet, but when I do start, I want to have my methods and equipment in check.
    Feedback and honest, constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.

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