Tilt Shift Lens advice

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
4,087
1,631
Irving, Texas
I have a question or three for those of you who use tilt shift lenses. I see the new crop of TS lenses coming out and just wonder what I would need to use.

I have two possible uses: 1. Architechture and 2. Miniaturization

1. Am I correct to assume that none of the new TS lenses are really wide enough for architecture? 50/90/135mm I really don't have a clue about any of this. I guess it would depend on the shot framing and whether or not the shots will be in tight areas like a downtown city. What focal length would you use for this?

2. For miniaturization would you use the 135mm?

I'm also wondering what other possible uses these types of lenses have. I wouldn't be into macro, but maybe there is something else?

These lenses might be the next great thing in TS lenses. I hope so. Just thinking that a wider focal length would be better for architecture.

Hope this is posted in the right place. I think these questions are about technique. It is also about the lenses, so I guess it could be posted either place.

Thanks!
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,610
2,072
Most of my architectural shots are at 17mm or 24mm. When I shoot tighter, they're generally not shots that would benefit significantly from lens movements.

Can't address the 'fake miniature' shots as I don't go there.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,906
1,048
119
Are you sure you won't feel "defeated" if you get one?

For architecture the 24 rules. The new lenses are built to replace the 45 and 90 with the 135 being an oddity. For interior real estate and the fact that you can make it a 24 with the TC 1.4 the 17 was my obvious choice and I use it extensively.

I am getting the new TS-E50 for product work as I shoot a wide range of sized objects and the 90 is too long, I am also assuming the 50 will take the 1.4 and 2x TC's so with two lenses and two TC's I end up with six good focal lengths.

Miniature look is a bit passe now it is so easily done in post but the longer the focal length the better.
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,252
189
52
Isle of Wight
Hi PBD.
I fear you may have confused CanonFanBoy with CanonGuy! :)

Cheers, Graham.

privatebydesign said:
Are you sure you won't feel "defeated" if you get one?

For architecture the 24 rules. The new lenses are built to replace the 45 and 90 with the 135 being an oddity. For interior real estate and the fact that you can make it a 24 with the TC 1.4 the 17 was my obvious choice and I use it extensively.

I am getting the new TS-E50 for product work as I shoot a wide range of sized objects and the 90 is too long, I am also assuming the 50 will take the 1.4 and 2x TC's so with two lenses and two TC's I end up with six good focal lengths.

Miniature look is a bit passe now it is so easily done in post but the longer the focal length the better.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,906
1,048
119
Darn, you are correct Graham and offer my apologies!

That will teach me to look at this silly forum when I am tired ::)

Valvebounce said:
Hi PBD.
I fear you may have confused CanonFanBoy with CanonGuy! :)

Cheers, Graham.

privatebydesign said:
Are you sure you won't feel "defeated" if you get one?

For architecture the 24 rules. The new lenses are built to replace the 45 and 90 with the 135 being an oddity. For interior real estate and the fact that you can make it a 24 with the TC 1.4 the 17 was my obvious choice and I use it extensively.

I am getting the new TS-E50 for product work as I shoot a wide range of sized objects and the 90 is too long, I am also assuming the 50 will take the 1.4 and 2x TC's so with two lenses and two TC's I end up with six good focal lengths.

Miniature look is a bit passe now it is so easily done in post but the longer the focal length the better.
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
4,087
1,631
Irving, Texas
neuroanatomist said:
Most of my architectural shots are at 17mm or 24mm. When I shoot tighter, they're generally not shots that would benefit significantly from lens movements.

Can't address the 'fake miniature' shots as I don't go there.
Yes, the fake miniature shots are a novelty. It might be fun occasionally. It sure isn't worth $2k. I've thought and looked on line a little more and I see some portraits (mostly full length) that look very nice. They are taken with TS lenses. Looks like fun. Really like the idea of having multiple focus points in the shot.

Since I enjoy portraits the most, the 50 might be a good choice for that. I just wonder whether the 135mm would be anything special. I have the 135 f/2L, but that is a different animal of the same focal length.

Neuro, I guess I need to read more about this because I really don't have a clue. Thanks for answering. I knew you used TS lenses. Glad to have your input. :)
 

Zeidora

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 15, 2015
668
10
Agree on architecture 17/24.

My other camera is a 4x5" and I have used T/S movements with 150, 180 macro, and 210 (divide FL by 3 to get 35 FF equivalent) for botanical work, rarely even with a 360 which is more of a pain because it is a tele design. You can isolate point of view/perspective from focal plane, and get nicer OOF areas while all parts that you are interested are still tack sharp. On complicated shots, it takes me 30-45 minutes to do the set-up. So nothing for snap shots.

The longer TS lenses for SLR do not offer the same flexibility as a front (and rear) standard of a view camera. Accordingly, if I really care that much, I rather get the 4x5 out than get a suboptimal solution with SLR-T/S lenses for close-ups. The downside, of course, is sheet film. For landscape/architecture, the SLR T/S are sufficient, IMHO.

Hope that helps.
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,252
189
52
Isle of Wight
Hi CanonFanBoy.
My experience of TS lenses runs to about a couple of hours during a landscape and TS tutorial day, (Thank you CPS) we concentrated on straightening the tall conifers (architectural) and increasing the depth of focus of landscapes, getting a branch positioned 18" in front of the tripod through to the far end of a large forest glade all in acceptably sharp focus.
I forgot to say, I want one but can't justify the cost, for a hobby with how much time I wouldn't use it having it sit in a bag would be a waste which is, I suspect, the main reason for the ones you see on eBay! :)

Cheers, Graham.

CanonFanBoy said:
I have a question or three for those of you who use tilt shift lenses. I see the new crop of TS lenses coming out and just wonder what I would need to use.

I have two possible uses: 1. Architechture and 2. Miniaturization

I'm also wondering what other possible uses these types of lenses have. I wouldn't be into macro, but maybe there is something else?

These lenses might be the next great thing in TS lenses. I hope so. Just thinking that a wider focal length would be better for architecture.

Hope this is posted in the right place. I think these questions are about technique. It is also about the lenses, so I guess it could be posted either place.

Thanks!
 

LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,578
152
CanonFanBoy said:
I'm also wondering what other possible uses these types of lenses have. I wouldn't be into macro, but maybe there is something else?
The shift movement is also useful to shoot reflective surfaces without showing the camera reflected into. You can also stitch two images shoot at opposite shift to create a "panorama" image.

The tilt movement is useful whenever you need to move the focal plane - it works for some landscapes, and still-life/product shots (i.e. I use them for train models). Miniaturization is an extreme effect of that, but it can also used creatively to focus very selectively.

Just a note: these lenses work best when on a tripod and a head that allows precise movements. While they can be used shifted handheld (with less precision), IMHO using tilt handheld is far more difficult.
 

bluenoser1993

EOS RP
Jul 11, 2012
200
2
I would agree fully with Valvebounce and add that all the TS seen on eBay is an indication of how difficult they can be to sell, at least in a small market part of Canada from my experience. I loved the whole idea of TS and luckily got a used 17mm for a great price. After 3 years of no shots except test shots, and one attempt with the mountain scenery too far away, I realized it was wasting space in my bag. I couldn't sell it without resorting to a silly price, but in the end managed a trade for a like new 24-70 2.8 II which I'm hoping will work well for my son's volleyball. Keep that in mind before you jump in.

Valvebounce said:
Hi CanonFanBoy.
My experience of TS lenses runs to about a couple of hours during a landscape and TS tutorial day, (Thank you CPS) we concentrated on straightening the tall conifers (architectural) and increasing the depth of focus of landscapes, getting a branch positioned 18" in front of the tripod through to the far end of a large forest glade all in acceptably sharp focus.
I forgot to say, I want one but can't justify the cost, for a hobby with how much time I wouldn't use it having it sit in a bag would be a waste which is, I suspect, the main reason for the ones you see on eBay! :)

Cheers, Graham.

CanonFanBoy said:
I have a question or three for those of you who use tilt shift lenses. I see the new crop of TS lenses coming out and just wonder what I would need to use.

I have two possible uses: 1. Architechture and 2. Miniaturization

I'm also wondering what other possible uses these types of lenses have. I wouldn't be into macro, but maybe there is something else?

These lenses might be the next great thing in TS lenses. I hope so. Just thinking that a wider focal length would be better for architecture.

Hope this is posted in the right place. I think these questions are about technique. It is also about the lenses, so I guess it could be posted either place.

Thanks!
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,906
1,048
119
As an aside, shift is easily replicated in post or by using a wider lens and cropping.

Tilt is the killer feature that is not easily replicated, I can't understand a landscape shooter not using a tilt lens, the first time I saw pin sharp images from foreground to background shot at optimal apertures of f5.6 and f8 I knew it was the only way to shoot landscapes. Having said that focus stacking can, in many situations, replicate the focus control you get with tilt.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,610
2,072
privatebydesign said:
As an aside, shift is easily replicated in post or by using a wider lens and cropping.
To 'replicate in post' with keystone correction also results in significant cropping, so either way you need a wider lens.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,906
1,048
119
neuroanatomist said:
privatebydesign said:
As an aside, shift is easily replicated in post or by using a wider lens and cropping.
To 'replicate in post' with keystone correction also results in significant cropping, so either way you need a wider lens.
Well it depends on how much of an angle you pointed up to take the picture in the first place and what you envision as the final image, often it is just two triangles out of the top two corners where the subject is behind the plane of the bottom corners anyway, so nothing of consequence is lost. And yes shift exists for a reason and nothing done in post to emulate it will have quite the same IQ, I was just pointing out that shift is not 'magical', whereas I believe tilt is.
 

LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,578
152
privatebydesign said:
As an aside, shift is easily replicated in post
Not always - the image will look "compressed" along the axe when you need a strong correction. It may be noticeable or not, may depend on how much the viewer already knows about the subject. The image can be stretched trying to solve the problem, but that will also introduce other issues like a loss of resolution. Of course the need to interpolate to re-create missing pixels will decrease quality as well.

Cropping may mean you may need an higher mpx camera, if your image will be shown large enough.

But for occasional use, both techniques may avoid to buy a dedicated expensive lens.

IMHO TS lens are lenses one should buy when he or she really feels the need, not because they look interesting gadgets with more knobs. But if you're into the kind of photography they're designed for, they allow shots which are impossible or take a lot of time to be replicated in post.
 

Jopa

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 11, 2015
1,056
0
Charles, 4 minutes of watching this video and you will become a fake-miniature expert :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrg-7zMThmA

That's probably not the best example, but anyway:
 

Jopa

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 11, 2015
1,056
0
Valvebounce said:
Hi PBD.
I fear you may have confused CanonFanBoy with CanonGuy! :)

Cheers, Graham.

privatebydesign said:
Are you sure you won't feel "defeated" if you get one?

For architecture the 24 rules. The new lenses are built to replace the 45 and 90 with the 135 being an oddity. For interior real estate and the fact that you can make it a 24 with the TC 1.4 the 17 was my obvious choice and I use it extensively.

I am getting the new TS-E50 for product work as I shoot a wide range of sized objects and the 90 is too long, I am also assuming the 50 will take the 1.4 and 2x TC's so with two lenses and two TC's I end up with six good focal lengths.

Miniature look is a bit passe now it is so easily done in post but the longer the focal length the better.
CanonGuy should change his nick IMHO since he seems to be very anti-Canon.
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
4,087
1,631
Irving, Texas
Jopa said:
Charles, 4 minutes of watching this video and you will become a fake-miniature expert :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrg-7zMThmA

That's probably not the best example, but anyway:
Thanks Jopa! I'll check out the video. Did you take the photo? Very nice. Something about that effect is compelling to me. If it isn't the "miniaturization" effect, it is the portraits I've seen with TS lenses. I would never buy one just for the miniaturization. However, it does add to the appeal.
 

Jopa

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 11, 2015
1,056
0
CanonFanBoy said:
Jopa said:
Charles, 4 minutes of watching this video and you will become a fake-miniature expert :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrg-7zMThmA

That's probably not the best example, but anyway:
Thanks Jopa! I'll check out the video. Did you take the photo? Very nice. Something about that effect is compelling to me. If it isn't the "miniaturization" effect, it is the portraits I've seen with TS lenses. I would never buy one just for the miniaturization. However, it does add to the appeal.
Yes, thank you, it's somewhere in Dallas...

I've never heard anything about TS portraits, but learning something new every day! :) They look pretty cool http://mykiiliu.com/home-2/series/tilt-shift-portrait-photography/
The guy is shooting with the 45mm TSE.
 

JohanL

I'm New Here
May 9, 2015
9
0
I use a 24mm and it is a great lens, consider renting a TS-E and play with it, then consider the 24mm first for the architectural stuff. We travel extensively and the TS-E 24mm is the go to lens for all types of scapes, street, city, beach, buildings, etc. The shift is used mostly for the converging verticals, otherwise it is just a very good 24mm lens. Tilt is not used very much, but is very effective in the street on buildings etc. People shots are great, but for portraiture you might consider a longer lens, 100 to 135.

If you only need one TS-E lens then the 24mm should be the first consideration. Again, consider hiring first.

There is an app called SNAPI Tilt Calculator, that is very handy when using tilt.

Should you need to understand the lens, particularly the tilt, you would be welcome to contact me.