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08-13-2011, 01:11 PM   #1
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How to use a pentax shift 1:3.5 28mm lens

I recently got hold of a tilt shift lens, and after having read about the way to create model effect tilt photography. However, after scouring the interweb for manuals or tutorials, all that has happened is that I have become increasingly frustrated with myself for being unable to operate the lens and unable to understand some of the technical jargon. Can anyone help me with an explanation of how to use it for this type of photography, or at least explain what each bit of the lens does? It's not that I'm stupid, its just I need someone show/tell me what to do. Its all very well saying 8 degrees up, but I dont know how! Its most frustrasting. Please hear my pleas!

08-13-2011, 01:32 PM   #2
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Wow... I wish I had the cash for one! To gain a little detail... could you list some of the jargon?
8 degrees... is that the dial closest to the mount. When turned, the lens should start to move off center. Where the normal path of light might be compared to an hour glass shape, the center or node of the lens moves off center to skew or elongate one side of the path. Each number or dot might be the degrees and it can't exceed 45 as that would mean the lens will have to fall off the camera... heh-heh! If that helps, have fun with that lens you lucky!
08-13-2011, 01:52 PM   #3
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If you have a Pentax branded lens, I think it will be a Shift lens, not a tilt-shift lens. I believe Pentax have yet to make a tilt-shift lens for K mount, though you can get them for it via other manufacturers or using adapters. I recently bought a Mir26b and Hartblei tilt adapter.

Shifting the lens alters the perspective but keeps the focal plane parallel with the sensor. That is, everything a certain distance in front of you (according to the lens focal ring) is sharp. Just like a normal lens. The distance you shift depends on the extent that the perspective is altered. In essence, it allows the photo to appear as though it were taken from a different position - e.g. looking square-on at a building instead of looking up at it from the street.

Tilting the lens would change the angle of the focal plane, and causes the "fake minature" effect, amongst other things. In everyday speak, the focal plane becomes diagonal, starting say above your head, and finishing at ground level in the distance; everything on that diagonal plane will be sharp, but the objects above and below it, will not be.

Once you tilt the lens, the markings for the "focal distance" ring on the lens are no longer truthful, and the mathematics of what the angle of the focal plane is, is quite complex. There is an android app for the Canon and Nikon lenses that will calculate plane angle, but not for any of the 'less common' tilt lens solutions. I spent several hours last weekend looking at the Scheimpflug formulae... complex stuff.

A few good explanatory photos here:
Focusing Tilt Shift Lenses

Last edited by MrA; 08-13-2011 at 01:57 PM.
08-13-2011, 01:58 PM   #4
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Pentax does have 28mm shift, not tilt.
If you want to get tilt, go for PentaconSix mount

It's not difficult to use the 28mm shift. Shift is used to correct the perspective, for example architecture use. Normally shift up several clicks to get the desired correction on ground level, typical perfect vertical lines (first photo).

I set the lens to wide open, focus and shift to desired result, then step down the lens and set the speed manually.

The sweet spot for this lens is about f8, or some better, f11. The lens does have some CA in high light subject, but I have not found it annoying. Normally at f8 or f11, it is sharp from 2 m/ 6 feet to infinity. The lens is not meant for bokeh use, and normally use with a heavy tripod for best result.

Max shift will give vignette, I also use it to darken the blue sky a bit, or water.

Hard to use it well, but keep me busy for years ;-)

Last edited by hoanpham; 08-13-2011 at 02:11 PM.
08-13-2011, 04:04 PM   #5
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It would help to know which camera body you have tried it with.

I think it's widely accepted that the Pentax 28mm shift lens is of limited use when attached to a Pentax DSLR due to the crop factor. It was designed for, and gives best results with, Pentax film cameras.
08-13-2011, 04:30 PM   #6
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If you have the Pentax K28/3.5 Shift, I have posted a link to the manual in my lens review.
08-13-2011, 04:51 PM   #7
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As others have written, it is a shift only lens, no tilt capability at all. Yes, using it on a cropped sensor camera body does limit its width, however it is still useful. Here is the manual for it.and here is the review of the lens. You can probably gleen some additional information from here also...Also, here is a video on using it that I found on the web (link also in the lens review).A bit over a year ago, I posed about this lens here (and I see that the images dropped off for some reason - so, I re-posted them).This lens is the heaviest lens I have. As you know it is not a light weight. A tripod is really in order on using this puppy. Through some trial and error I have found that f11 (at least for my lens) is a good place to start. Also, just do not shift to the maximum extent, I would try some smaller shifts to see how that goes. I have not had a lot of luck in shooting sunset panoramas, i.e. shooting into the sun or anywhere close tends to wash out the sky. The lens at times tends to either under expose and other times over expose (especially the sky). This happens because you are actually moving the image circle projected by the lens, across the sensors surface, so that the sensor is seeing different parts of the image circle, thus the light exposure is different. There is nothing wrong with the lens or the camera, it all has to do with the physics of the light.

Go through everything here, and then ask some additional questions. You are going to need some stitching software to stitch the images together. I believe that Microsoft ICE should do the trick - the price is right, its free.hope that helps ...

Last edited by interested_observer; 08-14-2011 at 07:53 AM.

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