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02-21-2016, 09:49 PM   #1
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Tilt-shift lenses

Just say there was a used Schneider-Kreuznach tilt-shift lens for K mount for sale somewhere.


How useful would it be for someone who mostly does wildlife but has a street and a landscape project on the go?

02-21-2016, 10:01 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Billk Quote
How useful would it be for someone who mostly does wildlife
Utterly useless, because none of them are long enough.

QuoteOriginally posted by Billk Quote
but has a street and a landscape project on the go?
T/S lenses aren't well suited to handheld work: use a tripod, you must.
02-21-2016, 10:07 PM   #3
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Yep, I always use a tripod when I'm doing landscape or buildings.


I guess I should refine the question: Do the creative possibilities opened up for landscape and building photography warrant spending loadsa money, when those are your secondary photography interests, rather than your passion?
02-21-2016, 10:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
"Just say," eh?

Sounds like you don't trust your fellow PF members not to poach your deal!

Seriously, though, it would be somewhat useful for landscapes in that it would allow greater perspective control and is useful for doing shortish panoramas. If by "street," you mean taking pictures of buildings from a tripod, it would be useful there, too. If you mean taking pictures of people on the street, the amount of setup time required to make use of its abilities would limit its usefulness.

It's usefulness would be much greater with the upcoming FF, too.

I trust all PF members totally. We happy few....


It will probably be long gone by the time I have the next purchase paid off! Then there is the small matter of the K1 becoming available. : )


Perspective control is what interests me in particular. I'm doing a project with a writer who wants creative input on the shots and doesn't feel limited by what is possible with my current bag o' lenses. : )

02-21-2016, 10:43 PM   #5
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There are alternatives to the expensive T_S lenses...
02-21-2016, 10:46 PM   #6
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You could make a tilt shift from an old enlarger lens
02-21-2016, 10:51 PM   #7
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There's also a very affordable (relatively speaking) Samyang 24mm T/S. But I'd say it's mainly useful for cityscapes/architecture.

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02-21-2016, 11:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
There's also a very affordable (relatively speaking) Samyang 24mm T/S. But I'd say it's mainly useful for cityscapes/architecture.

That seems a much better option, as I'm dead certain a career as an architectural photographer is not beckoning.

02-22-2016, 01:14 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Billk Quote
as I'm dead certain a career as an architectural photographer is not beckoning.
FYI: it doesn't pay well either.
02-22-2016, 06:29 AM   #10
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Best to think of TSS lenses as an attempt to convert a small camera into a view-camera, at least partially. I have hand-held a TSS at times when correcting converging verticals (shift a bit, look at the effect, then shift more or less, then look at the effect again), but never when using one to increase DOF in a landscape. The camera really must be on a tripod for the latter.
02-22-2016, 06:30 AM   #11
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And there is also a problem with green/magenta lens casts with wide angle T/S lenses
02-22-2016, 07:10 AM   #12
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You can do some perspective 'control' (or alteration, if you will) in post, at the sacrifice of some resolution. It might be worth playing around with this to get a feeling for how important it might be to you/your project. The next step would be to borrow or rent (if possible) a pc lens and run a few captures past it. You might also want to discuss the expense angle with your writer and discover if he/she is willing to co-invest for the sake of this project. You may both reach the conclusion that the expense of acquiring this specific lens far outweighs the value to the project. Or not.
02-22-2016, 07:23 AM   #13
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PP is definitely a reasonable alternative to purchasing a TSS lens, and much less expensive. However, if using the LR vertical tilt for such correction, you made need to include more width in the original image than you might normally do when framing at the time of shutter click. Key-stoning the image with LR means losing some width. Also, having corrected vertical convergence with a TSS, in PS using perspective control, and in LR using the vertical distortion correction, the results don't look quite the same to me. I'm not sure that one method is better or "correct," but to my eye there are subtle differences. For me, the real value of TSS is getting enhanced DOF in some scenics, obviously where there is something in the near foreground that I want in focus and close to the camera (= four to eight feet ahead of the camera position).
02-23-2016, 07:03 AM   #14
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To sum up. TS are mostly for landscape, architecture, artistic, macro and product photos (due to DoF and perspective control). It is not very easy to set it up; the amount of tilt, shift, the focus, and so it requires a tripod and some planning. They are generally on the wider angle (35mm and wider), as it would be even more difficult to use them in telephoto situations. Interesting idea, but I don't think anyone ever made or used a 300mm TS lens. You tilt it by two degrees and your framing is completely off, DoF would still be oddly shallow..

Your options are:
- TS adapter with MF lens (645 or Pentacon; you can find fairly decent MF lenses for a good price if you look for mounts that are no longer used). Hartblei makes these adapters, possibly other brands as well
- Samyang 24mm TS. Affordable, decent. South Korean, Samyang has recently built a good reputation. I think this lens had its own thread some time ago, so you can find sample photos on the forum. Note that Samyang also makes other 24mm lenses (f1.4 for still photogaphy and a Cine version for videography; for all sorts of mounts)
- Arsat Arax also has some TS options for m42 and Kmount. Affordable, but not the best optical quality out there. Probably OK for film, but might seem poor on modern digital cameras with high MP. I think there were a couple focal lengths, but I'm not sure what is available in reality. Cheaper than Samyang. Ukrainian.
- Lensbaby has something similar to TS, but it is "artistic" (don't expect high quality optics with edge to edge sharpness)
- Schneider Kreuznach. I still haven't seen any actual reviews of someone using these lenses on Pentax DSLRs. I suspect next to nobody actually owns them. But these probably give you the best image quality. And also they cost an arm and a leg.
- You can make your own rig. I think there were some threads about this some years ago. It was quite clever, but looked terrible. I think it gave okay optical quality, though (depends which lens you use). One person used ping pong balls, and another used a soft cloth (similar to technical cameras). Definitely not practical for outdoors, wildlife,.. will never be very precise, won't give consistent results, but it might be an interesting project if you enjoy that kind of stuff. You can use a cheap m42 preset lens and adapters

Edit: Doing perspective control in PP is.. ugh, I don't like it. I think it always looks weird. I don't like those digital corrections, but I guess they are an option. Shoot wider with lots of room to spare, and do it as well as possible, so you need the smallest amount of digital corrections (every degree counts)

Last edited by Na Horuk; 02-23-2016 at 07:17 AM.
02-23-2016, 07:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Definitely not practical for outdoors, wildlife,..
..which has been my point all along. T/S lenses aren't suited (or even required for that matter) for shooting wildlife.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-23-2016 at 08:06 AM.
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