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04-13-2015, 06:51 PM   #1
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lens for shooting buildings

In a rather run down area of town I noticed several interesting tall buildings, some look like cotton gins and some like large storage buildings. There is something so fascinating about the structure and shape that I am going to go out tomorrow morning and try to get some decent shots. I do not have a tilt shift lens but do have a 35mm 15mm and 50mm as well a couple of mid zooms. I have never photographed buildings before and wondered if I could get some advice on the best lenses or any advice anyone will share. The buildings look to be 40 + feet tall and I hope to able to get fairly close.
thank you,
maria

04-13-2015, 08:31 PM   #2
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The big thing is to leave a lot of headroom at the top and then use the Upright/vertical adjust function in Lightroom. It lets you have a tilt-shift like lens.

You'll want to be fairly far away. That will minimize the distortion and allow you to correct it.
04-13-2015, 09:08 PM   #3
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The closer you are the worse the convergence will be, so as MMM said, back up with a 35mm or longer, if possible.

Software stretches pixels to obtain a shifted look, so that should be your last, (or cheapest), option.

A tilt/shift lens is the obvious best solution, but they are not cheap - about $1,000 used for a good Canon. Samyang is a bit cheaper, but you know what they say (I hope)...

And don't forget the depth of field you can play with using the tilt function - hard to replicate in software.

Here is a sample of 17mm on full-frame - much wider than the common 24/28mm on a K-3. Note I do not totally correct the vertical as it will look unnatural - the eye expects some convergence, and if it is totally straight, you will perceive it as bulging outward....

http://specialk.slickpic.com/albums/UCLA/?grid#10140811

Last edited by SpecialK; 04-13-2015 at 09:17 PM.
04-13-2015, 09:12 PM   #4
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do you know about the composition adjust feature? it allows you to shift the sensor up so that you can lower the aim of your camera slightly and reduce converging verticals.

here's a thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/275602-compositi...you-using.html

for tall buildings at close range, this may not be enough correction, but it gives you a head start before you have to start shifting pixels and losing sharpness in post processing.


Last edited by mikeSF; 04-14-2015 at 07:31 AM.
04-13-2015, 10:28 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Building architecture is interesting. As others have said, start at a distance, leavening a lot of room for cropping after adjusting / correcting for the perspective. But, you are essentially telling a story with images, as you walk towards and around the structures. The sun angles, morning and evening are better, since you get the deep angles and shadow effects. Depending on what the structures are made of, that can do a lot of interesting things with the light.

Go and see what you can capture. The film is free. Experiment. Try out the lenses and see which ones work for you.

04-14-2015, 05:55 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
The big thing is to leave a lot of headroom at the top and then use the Upright/vertical adjust function in Lightroom. It lets you have a tilt-shift like lens.

You'll want to be fairly far away. That will minimize the distortion and allow you to correct it.
Thank you, I will try your suggestion.
maria

---------- Post added 04-14-15 at 07:00 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The closer you are the worse the convergence will be, so as MMM said, back up with a 35mm or longer, if possible.

Software stretches pixels to obtain a shifted look, so that should be your last, (or cheapest), option.

A tilt/shift lens is the obvious best solution, but they are not cheap - about $1,000 used for a good Canon. Samyang is a bit cheaper, but you know what they say (I hope)...

And don't forget the depth of field you can play with using the tilt function - hard to replicate in software.

Here is a sample of 17mm on full-frame - much wider than the common 24/28mm on a K-3. Note I do not totally correct the vertical as it will look unnatural - the eye expects some convergence, and if it is totally straight, you will perceive it as bulging outward....

UCLA by SpecialK
Nice photos . I see what you mean. Since the K3 is not full frame I will try the 15mm and see what that does. Might as well try several lenses and see what happens.
Thank you,
maria

---------- Post added 04-14-15 at 07:02 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Building architecture is interesting. As others have said, start at a distance, leavening a lot of room for cropping after adjusting / correcting for the perspective. But, you are essentially telling a story with images, as you walk towards and around the structures. The sun angles, morning and evening are better, since you get the deep angles and shadow effects. Depending on what the structures are made of, that can do a lot of interesting things with the light.

Go and see what you can capture. The film is free. Experiment. Try out the lenses and see which ones work for you.

Thank you. I love free film.
maria
04-14-2015, 01:35 PM   #7
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I like shooting buildings and architecture. I've learned, however, that some of the best shots can come from focusing on specific elements of a building rather than trying to capture the whole building. Perspective corrections, etc. are all great, but I find that my images often look all a bit simple and boring if I rely on filling a frame with a building and providing similar corrections for perspective and distortion.

And, if you go the software route, I suggest not fully correcting for perspective issues. Fully correcting an image digitally often leaves an unnatural looking image that will feel wrong. But, you'll notice it too.
04-14-2015, 03:32 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
I like shooting buildings and architecture. I've learned, however, that some of the best shots can come from focusing on specific elements of a building rather than trying to capture the whole building. Perspective corrections, etc. are all great, but I find that my images often look all a bit simple and boring if I rely on filling a frame with a building and providing similar corrections for perspective and distortion.

And, if you go the software route, I suggest not fully correcting for perspective issues. Fully correcting an image digitally often leaves an unnatural looking image that will feel wrong. But, you'll notice it too.
Thank you, I want to focus on the shadows and the structure of areas that will be , hopefully, interesting.
maria

04-18-2015, 11:51 AM   #9
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Sometimes leaving the convergence completely alone can make for great dramatic effect. Here's a shot I took with the HD-DA 15mm Ltd. Through color manipulation, I emphasized the fireplug, which saved the old building a few times at the turn of the century. Don't be afraid to experiment.

John

PENTAX : PENTAX Photo Gallery artist page

04-18-2015, 02:03 PM   #10
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Oh, I do like that one. The warm tones are just perfect. The 15mm is the lens I will be using for my adventure. I was sidetracked into getting stuff ready for a couple of shows, so I had to get pieces framed , matted and all that and fill out a bunch of paperwork. I didn't want to turn them down because one is the local art museum and another was set up by a friend and I had little time to get ready. I am hoping that our clouds will hang around 'til tomorrow because would really like to shoot these buildings with the 15mm.
I do admire your shot, hope mine turn out half as good.
maria
04-19-2015, 06:27 AM   #11
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* Use live view with grid and electronic level to minimize software correction of perspective, horizon.
* You want your lens to be wide and possess uniform sharpness across the frame. DA* 16-50 is quite wide at 16 mm, but corner / edge sharpness can be an issue.
* Adjust your composition using crop tool. That's where high megapixel count sensor of K-3 shines.
* Most wide angle lenses I shot distort the image considerably. I found DxO's optical corrections to work best. Volume anamorphosis correction feature should be turned on.
04-19-2015, 07:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stagnant Quote
* Use live view with grid and electronic level to minimize software correction of perspective, horizon.
* You want your lens to be wide and possess uniform sharpness across the frame. DA* 16-50 is quite wide at 16 mm, but corner / edge sharpness can be an issue.
* Adjust your composition using crop tool. That's where high megapixel count sensor of K-3 shines.
* Most wide angle lenses I shot distort the image considerably. I found DxO's optical corrections to work best. Volume anamorphosis correction feature should be turned on.
Thank you. I will be using the 15mm. I had forgotten about the grid.
maria
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