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11-18-2010, 03:40 AM   #1
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Lensbaby or Tilt-shift adapter

How do you compare - Lensbaby or Tilt-shift adapter

Lensbaby is cheap, say around $150 but TS approach is a bit expensive with adapter and lens. I am sure there pro & con of each approach apart from the cost.

Yusuf

11-18-2010, 03:46 AM   #2
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This would be likely comparing apples with oranges, since the two serve very different functions. You need to ask yourself what you want either item for.
11-18-2010, 04:13 AM   #3
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The lenses for Lens Baby are generally designed to warp the image in some way around the focus point as well. It does not only change the focus plane.

Recently, Lens Baby has come out with the tilt shifter on which you mount your normal lens. This might be an less expensive way to get the proper effect. Haven't really checked it out though.
11-18-2010, 05:49 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by knyghtfall Quote
This would be likely comparing apples with oranges, since the two serve very different functions. You need to ask yourself what you want either item for.
I was under the impress that both are same - producing tilt of focus plane. Can you explain a bit more about different function.

Thanks

11-18-2010, 06:26 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
How do you compare - Lensbaby or Tilt-shift adapter

Lensbaby is cheap, say around $150 but TS approach is a bit expensive with adapter and lens. I am sure there pro & con of each approach apart from the cost.

Yusuf
I have no experience with lens baby but from what I hear it is very different from a high quality tilt lens. (shift is easily done in software, while the important function of tilting the lens so a tilted plane is in focus cannot be done with software.)

You can assemble a high quality tilt lens from a $125 Hartblei adapter Hartblei Tilt Adapter Pentacon Six Lens Pentax M42 42mm - eBay (item 170555084161 end time Nov-19-10 03:41:20 PST) and a Pentacon Six (Kiev 60, Kiev 88) lens ~ $100 (for example MC VOLNA-3 KIEV/PENTACON SIX 80mm F2.8 LENS EXCELLENT! - eBay (item 310270973512 end time Nov-21-10 12:36:52 PST) ).

I use an ~ $85 MIR 65mm lens. Shorter Pentacon Six lenses, like 50mm, usually cost more.

A different approach is to find a Nikon PB-4 tilt shift bellows - these sometimes sell for less than $200 but usually more; with an 80mm enlarger lens you'll be able to focus from infinity to more than 1:1 macro with both tilt and shift. A shorter lens won't be able to focus to infinity.

Good luck!
Dave

PS the Arsat 35mm tilt lens is available from the factory for $595 + S&H http://www.hartblei.com/price_list.htm

Last edited by newarts; 11-18-2010 at 06:33 AM.
11-18-2010, 08:44 AM   #6
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newarts: any idea if there are any 24mm lenses that feed in aperture info the the camera so you don't have to stop down metering? Arsat's widest seem to be 35mm and is on the K mount, not KA...
11-18-2010, 08:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
I was under the impress that both are same - producing tilt of focus plane. Can you explain a bit more about different function.

Thanks
A tilt shift adaptor is for perspective correction, most commonly for taking architectural shots so that your verticals remain parallel and not converge towards the top of the frame.

A lensbaby is something else altogether- you can tilt the lens, but its purpose is not for perspective correction - more like artistic rendering and effect. You should be able to find much more info through wiki or googling.
11-18-2010, 09:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
The lenses for Lens Baby are generally designed to warp the image in some way around the focus point as well. It does not only change the focus plane.

Recently, Lens Baby has come out with the tilt shifter on which you mount your normal lens. This might be an less expensive way to get the proper effect. Haven't really checked it out though.
The Lensbaby tilt is only available in 4/3 mount, and you can only put Nikon lenses on the end. We'll see if they expand it, but they seem to be locked into the Nikon.

QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
I have no experience with lens baby but from what I hear it is very different from a high quality tilt lens. (shift is easily done in software, while the important function of tilting the lens so a tilted plane is in focus cannot be done with software.)

You can assemble a high quality tilt lens from a $125 Hartblei adapter Hartblei Tilt Adapter Pentacon Six Lens Pentax M42 42mm - eBay (item 170555084161 end time Nov-19-10 03:41:20 PST) and a Pentacon Six (Kiev 60, Kiev 88) lens ~ $100 (for example MC VOLNA-3 KIEV/PENTACON SIX 80mm F2.8 LENS EXCELLENT! - eBay (item 310270973512 end time Nov-21-10 12:36:52 PST) ).

I use an ~ $85 MIR 65mm lens. Shorter Pentacon Six lenses, like 50mm, usually cost more.

A different approach is to find a Nikon PB-4 tilt shift bellows - these sometimes sell for less than $200 but usually more; with an 80mm enlarger lens you'll be able to focus from infinity to more than 1:1 macro with both tilt and shift. A shorter lens won't be able to focus to infinity.

Good luck!
Dave

PS the Arsat 35mm tilt lens is available from the factory for $595 + S&H Price List - HARTBLEI & Kiev Cameras and Lenses | HARTBLEI
No one has had Arsats in stock for quite a while. You can find a few 80mm ones on eBay, but that's all that's out there unless you look for something used.

11-18-2010, 09:51 AM   #9
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Lens Babies do change the plane of focus, but there are also other aberrations present because the lenses in them are fairly simple optics.

On the other hand, a T/S lens or adapter will allow the photographer to pursue different effects. Shifting the lens will help with perspective. This is usually employed in keeping buildings and trees straight by allowing the photographer to keep the film/sensor plane parallel to the subject. I've also used shifts to keep my reflection out of glass and such by altering the camera position.

Tilting a lens alters the plane of focus. A fellow by the name of Scheimpflug figured out that if you bisect the angle between the film/sensor plane and the subject with the lens plane, everything in the subject plane would be in focus. So imagine your camera is at a 30 angle to a building. If you tilt the lens to 15, the whole front of the building will be in focus, no matter what aperture or how far away it is.

Here's an example of doing what I described above:


Flickr Link

Conversely, if you tilt the lens away from the plane of your subject, you can really isolate your subject:


Flickr Link.

Both shots were shot around f8 or f11, IIRC, with the exact same camera and lens set-up (4x5 w/ Schneider 150mm f5.6 Symmar Convertible) but feel completely different because of the tilts used.

Lens Babies are interesting tools, but I don't think that they'll give you the creative control that a Tilt Shift Adapter would. The only bum part is that it'll be really hard to get really wide with an APS-C camera body, but you'll still have a new world open up to you.

Good luck!

EDIT: Now that I think about it, the first shot was probably with the Scheider Super Angulon 90mm f8, but the principle is still the same.

Last edited by GhoSStrider; 11-18-2010 at 09:58 AM.
11-18-2010, 11:05 AM   #10
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Thanks GhoSStrider, rory for the info.

Hartblei seems tp be the cheapest but the max tilt is 8 degree only. Any experience using this? What are other adapters?
11-18-2010, 12:12 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
Thanks GhoSStrider, rory for the info.

Hartblei seems tp be the cheapest but the max tilt is 8 degree only. Any experience using this? What are other adapters?
8 degrees seems pretty common. 8 degrees is a lot for normal distances (as infinity focus is approached the tilt angle approaches zero), however for macros greater than 1/2x or so you'd like more than 8; but much more can lead to vignetting problems.

I've experience using a Hartblei - no problems. Nice device. I got the m42 version.

Cambridge Colour Online has a nice tutorial on the subject that'll answer your quantitative questions.
Using Tilt-Shift Lenses to Control Depth of Field

Dave
11-18-2010, 07:16 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
I've experience using a Hartblei - no problems. Nice device. I got the m42 version.
Thanks Dave, does K version available as well? Couldn't locate any K version on ebay.
11-19-2010, 11:51 AM   #13
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Tilt-shift does what's described above. It controls perspective and the plane of focus of the camera.

I have a lensbaby. A Lensbaby doesn't do that. It does tilt, but not like a normal Tilt lens. It has spherical soft elements, and always gets at MOST one thing in perfect focus, with everything else going soft and distorted. Tilting it just moves the sweet-spot of focus around on the ground glass.
11-20-2010, 04:49 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
Thanks Dave, does K version available as well? Couldn't locate any K version on ebay.
Yes, Hartblei makes a K mount version. You might ask the ebay seller or do a google search. When I bought one on ebay the seller asked if I wanted m42 or K. I selected m42 so I could use the adapter on canon, nikon, my m42b bellows, etc,.

Here's Hartblei's price list page - click on "Tilt adapters for rmedium format".
Price List - HARTBLEI & Kiev Cameras and Lenses | HARTBLEI

Dave
11-20-2010, 09:28 PM   #15
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Lensbaby = selective focus. There is a sharp "hot" spot that you can move around. This is due to curvature of field. Even tilting the lens will not result in "near/far" sharpness though you can get some pretty cool effects.


Tilt/Shift = manipulation of the plane of focus and the center of focus. The traditional use is to correct perspective and plane of focus in landscape and architectural photography.


Translation...while there are similarities, it is actually fairly difficult to emulate the Lensbaby results with a tilt/shift lens or view camera and virtually impossible to match a true tilt/shift or view camera with a Lensbaby.


Steve

(Uses software to get the Lensbaby look...)
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