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12-20-2006, 01:47 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Tilt and shift on Pentax

Has anyone any experience with these two? What would be best to use with K10D?

12-21-2006, 11:37 AM   #2
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Take a look at this: Hartblei Superrotator
Might give you some insight regarding quality.
12-21-2006, 02:45 PM   #3
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I don't mean to detour the thread, but I'd be interested if someone could explain what these lenses do or are good for. I've never heard of such things before.

12-21-2006, 09:10 PM   #4
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They are sometimes called "perspective control" lenses, because they allow you to change the apparent angle of perspective lines. They are especially used for architectural photography, since it is often not practical to move yourself to where you need to be—imagine photographing a 100 story building. You would have to be over 60 feet in the air to avoid foreshortening!

12-23-2006, 01:19 AM   #5
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Shift is used to control converging lines, as explained by okto in the above post. Pentax has (or had) a 28mm shift lens. I owned one: big, cumbersome, and the less sharp Pentax lens I ever owned.

Tilt is used to control the plane of focus: it allows you to put in focus things that are not parallel to the film or ccd plane. It is expecially useful, for example, when you photograph a field of wildflower: tilting the lens you can let the plane of focus to lie over the field.

Pentax has not any tilting lens. Nikon has a 85 micro tilting and shifting. Canon has three, a 24, a 45 and a 90mm.

Now there are available many est-European T&S lenses (see the links on my first post), but also a Zoerk accessory tube and a Novoflex bellows that allows T&S for 35mm cameras with medium format lenses.

In fact, I am leaning, now, toward these two last solutions, as I could use a macro Pentax 645 lens instead of medium quality east-european lenses.

In fact, the superotator will be offered next year with Zeiss lenses, but the price will be outstanding: 4000$, 1500$ and 2500$ for 40mm, 80mm and 120mm macro!
06-12-2007, 12:15 AM   #6
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Pentax shift lens

Pentax produced shift lens. It's K 28/3.5 Shift.
Here you can find the specs:
Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Equipment Page

I've found one in Moscow but price is rather high - about $1350. Is it high for this lens?

Besides there are alternatives for it:
MC 35 mm Tilt & Shift Pentax lens
MC 80 mm Tilt & Shift Pentax lens

HARTBLEI Shift & Tilt-Shift Lenses | HARTBLEI

And I wonder if Pentax shift lens is better (or worse) than Hartblei or MC shift lens? Any ideas?
06-12-2007, 02:22 AM   #7
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unless you are really serious about the absolute maximum definition, or extreme correction for perspective, I would ignore the lens and use the perspective correction features in your image processing program. I use PSP XI for this and it works very well
06-12-2007, 03:31 AM   #8
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I have the Arax MC 35 mm Tilt & Shift lens, which is cheaper if you buy it directly from Arax: Arax Photo | Specials | MC ARAX 2.8/35mm Tilt & Shift lens

This lens is quite soft wide open but it becomes sharp at f/4-5.6 and excellent at f/8-11. I have the M42 version that I use on my *ist D with an adapter. The flash housing prevents the lens from rotating fully when shifted or tilted, but I don't find it much of a nuisance. I cannot say that I use this lens a lot but it is useful for maximizing DOF on macro shots and creating selective DOF for portraiture. I am not fond of lens shifting for perspective correction because I find it faster to correct perspective in post processing. Anyway, there are very few other options if you need a tilt-shift lens on a Pentax DSLR.

A few links that you might find useful:
Review of the Hartblei Super-Rotator on
Tilt/Shift Photography Links


06-12-2007, 04:03 AM   #9
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Hartblei Super Rotator

I have a Hartblei Super Rotator 80mm f2.8 and use it mainly for equipment shots to achieve correct perspective and also to obtain total depth of field control where the tilt aspect has particular importance. Basically a tilt and shift mechanism like the Super Rotator mount is like using a view camera with all movements, except that you cannot tilt the film plane with an SLR.

Here is the lens itself and also mounted on my old istD.

Using just shift lenses, i.e. the shift part of tilt & shift, with wide angle lenses was used pre-digital to correct for converging verticals, but with the advent of digital, especially with APS-C, wide angle tilt lenses would have to be around 18 - 21mm to be of much practical use and is of no real benefit.

Here is an example of using perspective correction in software using a normal lens (DA 16-45 at ):

The uncorrected shot:

The corrected shot, done in PS CS2:

I often do mild perspective correction in my Raw converter (SilkyPix) rather than PS, as it has better controls and seems to destroy the image less, here is an example:

Full shot DA 16-45 at 16mm:

PC corrected shot in Silkypix, as it was shot non centre to the building I didn't want to correct for the horizontal, but could have done so, but it lost some of the feeling, being too "sqaure on":

But using tilt enables the whole subject matter from near to infinity to be "in focus" even with wide apertures. Here is a very rough example:

No tilt or shift, you can see the plane of focus is horizontal across the frame by looking at the woodgrain on the desk, and the camera is out of focus on both the left and right hand sides:

With tilt and shift, you can see that the plane of focus is tilted and runs across the face of the camera and most of the camera is now in focus, even using an f2.8 aperture:

I did say it was a rough example! I don't have better examples on my site at the moment, but I trust these will suffice.

You can read up on the effect of T&S lenses by doing a google for tilt and shift, perspective control and schleimpflug effect.

Have fun!

06-12-2007, 05:35 AM   #10
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Richard, that is amazing stuff, simply amazing! Your PS technique in the first shot is something that I never would even of thought of attempting, but now I am greatly tempted.

And your Optio demonstration really opened my eyes as to what that lens really does. Not by just getting the camera face in focus, but you can follow the focus line in the table grain all the way down, that can't be reproduced with normal equipment can it?
06-12-2007, 06:15 AM   #11
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My T & S Lens

Here is my 35mm T&S lens. Do wish Pentax made a 16mm One for APS-C sensors :-)

06-12-2007, 09:39 AM   #12
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Check out this flickr search Flickr: Search for some really neat tilt-shift photography. (Some of it real, but mixed in with lots of photoshop fakery.)
06-12-2007, 05:47 PM   #13
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Here are a few pictures taken with my Arax MC 35 mm Tilt & Shift lens:

Close-up picture taken at F/2.8. Notice the distribution of the narrow field of sharpness due to lens tilt.

The well worn "toy city" effect


06-12-2007, 07:12 PM   #14
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that's a great explanation and some good examples richard. thanks for shedding us some light regarding tilt and shift lenses. i understand that it is a specialty lens but it produces some neat images. they might not be practical for everyday use.

abbazz, nice pictures. i like the toy city effect best. how do you produce such an effect? i've seen numerous photos with this effect. there is even one blogsite that "specializes" in toy city effect. care to share the technique?
06-12-2007, 08:28 PM   #15
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j-pol, this effect is quite simple to achieve by tilting the lens upwards in order to get a limited zone of sharp focus on an horizontal subject like an urban cityscape. It is the reverse of the downwards tilt movement used to extend the zone of sharp focus in order to get "unlimited" depth of field.

You can get more detailed explanations by googling "Scheimpflug effect".

It is also quite easy to replicate this effect in Photoshop (see Fake model photography for example). On the contrary, the use of tilts to extend depth of field is a genuine advantage of T/S lenses ans cannot be simulated by digital means.

There is one point that you must be aware of if you plan to use tilt and shift lenses, that is the need to bracket every exposure because the lens movements tend to fool the camera's exposure control (it's also better to shoot raw). I always have to resort to exposure compensation on my *ist D when I use the tilt feature (and to a lesser extend the shift), up to an amount of +2 or -2EV, according to the direction of the movement. This, added to the fact that it takes time to set the proper focus and aperture on the lens (this is a full manual lens) and to turn the tiny T/S knobs in order to achieve the proper effect, makes this lens very slow to use and more suitable on a sturdy tripod than handheld.



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