example of mine using Canon TS-E 90mm lens on
the Canon 1D Mark III manually focussed on her left eye using
10x magnified live preview.
- whilst perspective control using shift lenses to correct converging lines
can be largely done in post-processing in tools such as Photoshop, the
ability to change the plane of focus by using a tilt lens cannot be achieved
satisfactorily in PS.
- a tilt lens can be very useful for product photography as well as macro
or even portraiture but accurate focus
of the distorted focal plane ideally requires use of Live Preview
such as in the Canon 1D MarkIII.
- some medium format film cameras (eg.
Fuji GX680III, Linhof 679 view, Horseman VR)
and practically all large format cameras have tilt and shift
capability via use of bellows.
- changing the plane of focus using tilt lenses:
- the amount and direction of the tilt determines where the Hinge line
- any movement of the camera back towards or away from the lens (eg. by
changing focus ring) causes the plane of sharp focus to rotate about the
- the plane of focus is formed by a line passing through 2 points:
- a fixed point (Hinge line) for a given degree of rotation
& tilt of the lens located directly below the lens at the
intersection of 2 lines:
- a line parallel to the film plane at the level of the lens
- a line parallel to the lens tilt which lies 1 focal length in
front of the lens
- to determine which tilt angle to use based on the vertical
distance (J in feet) from the lens which this point is placed
can be determined by the equation:
- tilt angle = arcsin(focal length/J)
- if focal length in mm and J in feet this approximates to
tilt angle = f/5J.
- eg. if using TSE90mm lens with 8mm tilt, this point is
~2.25 feet from lens (4.5 feet if 4mm tilt)
- a moving point (Scheimpflug line) along the lens plane
which intersects with a line parallel to and intersecting with the
- see http://www.trenholm.org/hmmerk/HMbook18.html
- perspective control using a shift lens:
- to determine how far from a subject you need to be to avoid
convergence, use the following equation:
- subject distance = actual focal length in mm / (height above
centre of film in mm x target height)
- see http://photo.net/equipment/canon/tilt-shift
- on a full frame sensor with 11mm shift:
- landscape: height above centre of film = 23mm
- portrait: height above centre of film = 29mm
- thus with 90mm lens, subject distance must be more than
3.1x the subject height
- on a APS-H sensor (eg. Canon 1D series) with 11mm shift:
- landscape: height above centre of film = 20mm
- portrait: height above centre of film = 25mm
- thus with 90mm lens, subject distance must be more than
3.6x the subject height
- a teleconverter multiplies both the focal length and the amount of
- hope I got all this right.
- NB. at the extremes of shift, vignetting effect will occur as
angle of light to film plane becomes more acute.
- perspective control in Photoshop:
- via Filter:
- Filters:Lens Distortion then adjust vertical & horizontal
- via Transform:
- Select:All then Edit:Transform:Perspective then adjust the handles
to correct the distortion
- in either case, this will result in a converging edge to your image which will then
require cropping to get back to a rectangular format, thus there is a
cost in potentially detail but also in loss of pixels due to cropping.
- see http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/tilt.shtml
- pseudo-tilt effect in PS:
- PS cannot replicate the optical characteristics of tilt effect but you
can apply selective blur:
- perspective control using the LensBaby
- these new lenses are fairly cheap and can be fitted to most dSLRs to
primarily provide creative images rather than technically perfect
commercial images as with most other perspective control lenses.
- these lenses are NOT trye perspective control lenses but just provide
a central sharp area with surrounding blur, and the location of this
central sharp area can be moved around the frame although it becomes
less sharp the further it is moved from the centre - and at its best,
its not that sharp.
- unfortunately to change aperture you must physically replace the
- in most cameras, aperture-priority metering works but in some Nikons
you must use manual metering.
- $US270 for current 3G version & only weighs 162g.
- 50mm focal length;
- minimum focus 30cm;
- aperture stops f/2 through to f/22.
- see http://www.dimagemaker.com/article.php?articleID=979 and
- tests to demonstrate use at different apertures and for infrared use.
- but you can achieve similar results in Photoshop using radial blur,
etc, this lens saves you time on the computer but at a cost of less
versatility in changing the end result.
Micro Four Thirds:
- fortunately with MFT cameras you can buy tilt
or shift adapters which allow you to convert almost any lens designed
for 35mm to a tilt or shift lens and you get HD video - and if using an
Olympus body, it will be image stabilised - just awesome!!
- you can use Canon EF tilt shift lenses via EF adapter but you must change
aperture with lens on a Canon body
- you can use Nikon PC or Olympus OM shift lenses via adapter as with Four
Canon dSLR options:
- Canon EF tilt-shift lenses:
- Hartblei tilt-shift lenses:
- Schneider-Kreuznach tilt-shift lenses:
- announced late 2010 and will be in Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony
mounts, and provide ± 12mm of lateral shift plus 8 degrees of tilt,
with directions of the tilt and shift to be rotated independently of
- see http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/images/pages/Tilt_Shift_engl.pdf
- PC-TS Super-Angulon 2.8 / 50 HM
- PC-TS Makro-Symmar 4.0 / 90 HM
- they also have a 120mm f/5.6 APO tilt shift for Mamiya or Phase One
- Schneider PC Super-Angulon 28mm f/2.8 shift lens (made
- available in different mounts including Nikon, Canon, Olympus OM
- close focus to 11"; no tilt; $US2447 + $US183 for adapter
may be available with Canon FD and EF,
Contax/Yashica, M42 (Pentax Screw), Minolta, Minolta AF,
Nikon, Olympus, Pentax (K) and Rollei mounts. The mount of
these versions is changeable.
This is a great lens, but putting filters on
it (special B&W 67EW) is made far too difficult.
- Nikon F perspective control lenses
- Olympus OM shift lenses
- no tilt capability but very nice wide angle
- 24mm f/3.5 shift:
84 deg field of view; 0.35m macro; internal
wheel filters; 6 blades; used $US900-1600
the first Perspective Control lens type that
broke the 24mm barrier in 35mm SLR photography (1984).
Due to its protruding and the extra large front
element, the lens was designed with a built-in protective
scallop hood to protect the front ED glass lens element. A
internal revolving filter turret supplies filters where a
Neutral Density, Y48, O56, R60 are provided.
a beautiful lens that many architectural
photographers bought and converted to Nikon mounts. It is
reportedly much sharper than the Canon version, and once
converted, will work in stop-down metering mode just like
Nikon's PC lenses.
- see http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/shared/zuiko/htmls/24mmSHIFT.htm
- 35mm f/2.8 shift:
- Carl Zeiss shift lenses:
- shift adapters:
- medium format & large format bellows system attachments:
LD bellows system for Canon or Nikon dSLRs
VVC Pro bellows system for Canon or Nikon dSLRS
Ultima 35 view camera system (~$US4100)
for Canon or Nikon dSLRs but shutter not used.
- Cambo X2-Pro view camera adapter for Hasselblad, Mamiya or large
Nikon dSLR options:
- Nikon F mount perspective control lenses:
PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED:
- PC-E Micro 45mm f/2.8D ED tilt-shift macro lens (late 2008):
- PC-E Micro 85mm f/2.8D tilt-shift macro lens (late 2008):
PC Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D:
Hartblei Super Rotators and other
Schneider-Kreuznach tilt-shift lenses
- what about the older PC lenses - no longer listed on Nikon's site:
- manual preset apertures and no tilt, thus not so good for macro.
- these tend to have a lot of CA and edge softness on dSLRs
- PC Nikkor 28mm f/4 shift
- PC Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 shift:
- introduced in 1980
- improved field curvature & reduction in coma &
chromatic aberration from the f/4 version
The Nikons handle better than the Canon TS due to the fact that they
only shift in one direction. It is easy to re-center them, meter and
then shifted again to compose. With the Canons, it is hard to tell
when the lens is centered unless you are looking at the scale and
thus using them handheld is more difficult. This applies to many of
the other shifting lenses as well.
- close focus to 0.3m;
- PC Nikkor 35mm f/3.5 shift:
- PC Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 shift
- medium format & large format bellows system attachments (see above for
Olympus dSLR options:
- can use any as listed under Canon except Cambo/Horseman solutions or Canon
EF lenses but 2x crop may be an issue.
- be aware though that the flash housing on some Olympus dSLRs may get in
the way of the knobs on some of these lenses.