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02-23-2008, 12:25 PM   #1
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What's your T/S lens for Pentax?

After a brief hand on of my friend's Arax 35 Tilt/Shift on his 5D, I fell in love with the whole idea of a PC lens. Imagine a quick 3 shot pano with no parallax. Imagine an endless DOF (at least it seems so to me), or the very selective DOF for creative purposes. There are more applications with a PC lens, but those few are what i'm interested in. The increase DOF is just so useful. Couple with a bellow/extension tube, no stack focus is needed. Street shot, in some situations, does need the deep DOF.

Anyway, currently for Pentax, I'm only aware of the two following T/S lenses: the Arax and the Hartblei. The Hartblei is about $300 more, though I don't really know their differences. Optically, they're similar; both are manufactured in Ukraine.

So I wonder if any of you have used either of these two and care to give me some feedback. I read that depending on the body, the shift function might be limited due to the built-in flash blockage. If you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears.

02-23-2008, 01:18 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
After a brief hand on of my friend's Arax 35 Tilt/Shift on his 5D, I fell in love with the whole idea of a PC lens. Imagine a quick 3 shot pano with no parallax. Imagine an endless DOF (at least it seems so to me), or the very selective DOF for creative purposes. There are more applications with a PC lens, but those few are what i'm interested in. The increase DOF is just so useful. Couple with a bellow/extension tube, no stack focus is needed. Street shot, in some situations, does need the deep DOF.

Anyway, currently for Pentax, I'm only aware of the two following T/S lenses: the Arax and the Hartblei. The Hartblei is about $300 more, though I don't really know their differences. Optically, they're similar; both are manufactured in Ukraine.

So I wonder if any of you have used either of these two and care to give me some feedback. I read that depending on the body, the shift function might be limited due to the built-in flash blockage. If you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears.
There also the dicontinued 28mm f/3,5 of Pentax, but I found the prices they asked for them way to high, and I have given up on that one...
02-23-2008, 01:25 PM   #3
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the latest lensbaby with the screws?
02-23-2008, 02:44 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
the latest lensbaby with the screws?
I'm under the impression that the Lensbaby can only do selective focusing, and can't extend the DOF like a tilt lens would do. I could be wrong, but that's all i can get from the official info and a couple of reviews.

By the way, the old Pentax 28 can only do shift. The Arax shift-only lens is a much better choice. From the review, the optical of the Arax is pretty much equivalent with the Canon 50/1.4 (except for corner performance).

02-23-2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
Anyway, currently for Pentax, I'm only aware of the two following T/S lenses: the Arax and the Hartblei. The Hartblei is about $300 more, though I don't really know their differences. Optically, they're similar; both are manufactured in Ukraine.

So I wonder if any of you have used either of these two and care to give me some feedback. I read that depending on the body, the shift function might be limited due to the built-in flash blockage. If you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears.
I have the Arax 35/2.8 Tilt & Shift lens. It's a good lens, optically and mechanically, though probably a notch bellow the Tilt & Shift Canon lenses. The Hartblei 35/2.8 lens is optically identical, as both lenses are based on the Mir-67N shift lens optical unit, which is a modified Mir-1 lens. The Hartblei has a superior tilt & shift mechanism, although it is heavier than the Arax lens. The first batches of the Hartblei had a very bad flare problem (see the Photozone.de review), which was not present on the Arax version of the lens, but it it said to have been corrected on the later production samples.

The cheapest option to consider, even cheaper than the latest version of the Lensbaby (which is a special effect lens and does not feature high quality optics), is to buy a tilt or shift adapter from AraxPhoto and to use it with a cheap 90/2.8 Vega-12 or 50/4 Flektogon lens. The lens has to be a medium format lens to offer sufficient coverage, meaning that you won't get wide angle field of view. Here are some pictures taken with my Vega-12 lens mounted on the tilt adapter:











Cheers!

Abbazz
02-23-2008, 06:27 PM   #6
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Thanks for the links Abbazz. They have a shift adaptor for mamiya 645 lenses on canon. Too bad the don't have one for pentax. Mamiya lenses are very nice, and also very cheap right now. We can only hope it's in the plans.
Ryan
02-23-2008, 08:20 PM   #7
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Hi aegisphan

Just don't forget to take into consideration that because the 5D is a full-frame DSLR, a 28mm or 35mm shift lens will be just that. However, due to the focal length crop factor (x 1.5) of an APS-C sensor such as that found in the Pentax K10/20D/100DS, a normal 28mm lens suddenly becomes 42mm and a 35mm lens becomes 52.5mm (in 35mm film terms). This rather defeats the original purpose of such perspective correction lenses when photographing architecture etc, particularly when used in conjunction with an APS-C DSLR.

Best regards
Richard
02-23-2008, 10:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
Hi aegisphan

Just don't forget to take into consideration that because the 5D is a full-frame DSLR, a 28mm or 35mm shift lens will be just that. However, due to the focal length crop factor (x 1.5) of an APS-C sensor such as that found in the Pentax K10/20D/100DS, a normal 28mm lens suddenly becomes 42mm and a 35mm lens becomes 52.5mm (in 35mm film terms). This rather defeats the original purpose of such perspective correction lenses when photographing architecture etc, particularly when used in conjunction with an APS-C DSLR.

Best regards
Richard
As stated, I'm interested mostly in Tilt function and quick Pano for Shift. I read a review for the same Arax lens, and the guy was able to put his entire picture in focus (from 8inches away from him to 8 miles in the background) at f/8. Even with f/22+, I think you would hardly get that kind of DOF.

@Abbazz

I just saw your post on mflenses. The boy and the flower shots are nice. The pool shot is kinda awkward, imo. The Vega is extremely nice considering its low price. I'll probably go with this option.


Edit: I just found a Flek 50/4. Wow, it's cheap for such a "wide" lens.


Last edited by aegisphan; 02-23-2008 at 10:56 PM.
02-23-2008, 11:14 PM   #9
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The Lensbaby can tilt and swing quite easily but the range of movement for rise/fall or shift is quite limited due to the stiffness of the bellows tube.
02-23-2008, 11:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
The Vega is extremely nice considering its low price. I'll probably go with this option.
Edit: I just found a Flek 50/4. Wow, it's cheap for such a "wide" lens.
Price for the Arax 35/2.8 T&S has more than doubled in two years time -- I bought mine for $325 in 2006. What used to be an affordable lens for experimenting with tilt and shift has become an expensive item. It's a shame, because it was the widest T&S option available on many cameras. The Arax adapters are now a better deal indeed. Keep in mind that you won't be able to use combined movements though: it's either shift or tilt. But that's not very limiting on an APS-C format cameras. If you need real movements, buy a Sinar Norma .

The Flektogon is a more versatile lens than the Vega on a crop format camera. I guess the Arsat 30/3.5 fisheye would be a lot of fun too...

Cheers!

Abbazz
02-25-2008, 08:48 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryno Quote
Thanks for the links Abbazz. They have a shift adaptor for mamiya 645 lenses on canon. Too bad the don't have one for pentax. Mamiya lenses are very nice, and also very cheap right now. We can only hope it's in the plans.
Ryan
Zoerk does a T/S setup for MF lenses to most 35mm mounts (uses a T2 mount adaptor).

Unfortunately, Zoerk's pricing is out of this world. A full setup is going to be well north of $1k.
02-25-2008, 11:17 PM   #12
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huh, I had no idea T&S could be so fun. Thanks for posting those shots Abazz. I like the first tree/car and the palm/pool ones as they strike me as so odd compared to normal expectations. I would love to get fast 50 DoF against a city scape, isolating single buildings... can you do something like that with a set-up like this?

Kelly.
02-26-2008, 04:26 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
huh, I had no idea T&S could be so fun. Thanks for posting those shots Abazz.
You're welcome, Kelly.

QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
I like the first tree/car and the palm/pool ones as they strike me as so odd compared to normal expectations. I would love to get fast 50 DoF against a city scape, isolating single buildings... can you do something like that with a set-up like this?
When you tilt or shift a lens, you move the image circle in regard to the camera sensor. With a lens designed for full frame 35mm photography and a crop format sensor, the image circle will not fully cover the sensor if you shift the lens more than a few millimeters or tilt it more than a few degrees. To be able to make significant shits (11mm) or tilts (8 degrees), you need a lens with a lot of coverage. That's why these adapters use lenses in Pentacon-Six mount, as these lenses were designed to cover the full 6x6 format. The problem is that 6x6 lenses are not very fast and their focal length is longer than lenses designed for 35mm. The shortest lens in Pentacon-Six mount is the Arsat (or Zodiak) 30/3.5 fisheye and there is no lens faster than f/2.8.

But, believe me, you can have tons of fun with a tilt adapter + a 90/2.8 lens. By tilting the lens at f/2.8, you can make the depth of field appear as thin as a sheet of paper. Or you can play with DOF, like on my first picture, where the mango tree branch on top of the image is in focus, while it is located maybe 2 meters from the camera, the cars in the middle of the frame are also in focus, while being located some 50 meters from the camera, and almost everything else is out of focus.

Cheers!

Abbazz
02-26-2008, 10:29 AM   #14
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Hartblei seem to have a pleasing line of 'super-rotator' T&S (Price List - HARTBLEI & Kiev Cameras and Lenses | HARTBLEI) for reasonable prices. Their performance seems decent and the all metal contrution is very nice... tempting. I've just learned of all this, but the results are something I've wondered about often (ie isolaing a building in a narrow DoF) I thought you'de need like a 1000mm lens and the right vantage point to do so, or just PS the result, but this is what I'm looking for. An example from the Hartblei courtesy photozone -
02-26-2008, 11:33 AM   #15
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The Harblei 35 is hardly "reasonable" at $1K. 2 years ago, they were selling it for around $600ish. I guess people started to express interest in the product.

Anyway, I checked out Zork catalouge. Beside their excellent T/S set, they do offer a custom tilt-only Schneider 28/2.8. I will contact them later today to ask for price quote and availability.

The cheaper option, as Abbazz pointed out, would be getting the Tilt adapter. From there, you can get various Pentacon 6 lenses, which aren't even that expensive. Versatility in FL is definitely a plus.
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