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10-30-2009, 07:56 AM   #1
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Hartblei or Arsat T/S lens experiences - anyone?

I'm looking for any opinions & personal experiences with the Russian Tilt/Shift lenses for Pentax K mount. Right now I'm using software for perspective correction and increased DOF (fusing focus brackets) but it is a PITA and hard to visualize while shooting. Any images would be appreciated as well...

It seems the Arsat T/S lens can be easily found, but the Hartblei "superrotators" are harder to get in wide enough focal lengths (35mm) for landscape photograhy with an APS-C sensor camera.

What are your thoughts?

10-30-2009, 09:44 AM   #2
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Hartblei's are awesome, but like you say they're extremely hard to come by, esp. 35mm. Optically speaking, Arsat T/S is the same so you should just go ahead and get one of those.

In any case, when 35mm (50+mm FOV on FF) is the widest you can get, Pentax isn't really the best system to do this kind of stuff. I purchased a 5D pretty much so that I can do tilt/shift photography with it.
10-30-2009, 11:39 AM   #3
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I have a Pentacon-6 Arsat lens that I use with a tilt adapter for Pentax K. It works ok, and you can definitely see what you get before (and imediately after) shooting. It has some downsides -

1) the whole set up is huge
2) I got the cheapest "wide angle lens" which is 45mm and not multi-coated, so flare is everywhere
3) you need a different adapter for shift.

35mm would be better, and MC would be better still. I think the Arsat tilt lens is probably the way to go.
10-30-2009, 01:04 PM   #4
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Very helpful information!

QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
Hartblei's are awesome, but like you say they're extremely hard to come by, esp. 35mm. Optically speaking, Arsat T/S is the same so you should just go ahead and get one of those.
Was not aware they were the same optics - good to know. I'm not sure how important being able to rotate the shift and tilt planes independantly is, but it would be nice to have.. just in case.

QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
In any case, when 35mm (50+mm FOV on FF) is the widest you can get, Pentax isn't really the best system to do this kind of stuff. I purchased a 5D pretty much so that I can do tilt/shift photography with it.
At which point I would just blow the wad and get a Canon 24mm T/S and wonder why I didn't just "cheap out" (!) and get a Toyo View VX125. But the crop-factor is the reason I'm looking at the 35mm (or the Pentax 28?), and I wonder how much FOV can be "made up" with lens shift and stitching the images together?

Failing that, one of my larger panoheads can handle the weight and size of the full lens - but then I have no idea how "tilted" DOF would stitch when rotating the whole unit...

QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
35mm would be better, and MC would be better still. I think the Arsat tilt lens is probably the way to go.
Thanks for your explanations. It sounds like the "Canon-style" non-rotating Russki is the way to go (unless magic transpires and someone tires of their Hartblei or old Pentax).

10-30-2009, 01:41 PM   #5
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This is a review of the Hartblei T/S for 645 format, from a while back. Assuming that they are made and operate the same way, it might be worth a read: Hartblei Superrotator
10-31-2009, 06:34 PM   #6
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Well, it seems I will go with the Arsat (Kiev/Arsenal/etc.) one with the tilt and shift in opposing planes, mainly because it is still being manufactured.

The Hartblei SuperRotators are no longer listed on their site, and a bit of digging explained why:
Hartblei Optics by Carl Zeiss 4/40 IF TS

Someone in Germany liked the design so much, he bought the company! (Actually, he just "partnered" with the Russian designers) The result is that "superrotators" are now 1) Made in Germany, 2) Made with Zeiss optics (read Cosina), and painfully for me 3) Now cost $3000-$7000 each!
10-31-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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In my opinion, the Arsat 35mm works well. It is not the sharpest lens, but it is very serviceable. Here's a sample of it at the full 8 degree tilt.

11-04-2009, 03:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by HawaiianOnline Quote
In my opinion, the Arsat 35mm works well. It is not the sharpest lens, but it is very serviceable. Here's a sample of it at the full 8 degree tilt.
Wow, thanks for the image. I'm currently weighing the importance of shift in my tilt/shift quest. The Hartblei tilt-only adapters (for Pentacon MF lenses) can still be had for pentax mount. At least then I could choose the sharpest lens I can fit on it (in my price range).

-Mark

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