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Thread started 17 Oct 2010 (Sunday) 12:57
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Tilt/shift lens vs. View camera

 
DaveG
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Oct 23, 2010 17:48 |  #16

Mayniyak wrote in post #11118576 (external link)
Why is everyone asking for sensor tilt? To me that just sounds like $$$$$ added to the cost of the camera, and also giving it one more moving part that can (and will) fail. It's not a problem with large format, but to do it on the tiny scale (comparatively) of DSLRs is terrible for reliability.

All we need is an EF version of something like this (external link):

QUOTED IMAGE

This would work (probably) on a 1.6 camera but the image circle from a regular Canon lens is likely to be too small to cover much movement with a full frame DSLR. The Canon, and other tilt shift lenses have extra large image circles which are not - nor should be - built into their conventional lenses.


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Shadowblade
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Oct 23, 2010 17:54 |  #17

DaveG wrote in post #11151938 (external link)
This would work (probably) on a 1.6 camera but the image circle from a regular Canon lens is likely to be too small to cover much movement with a full frame DSLR. The Canon, and other tilt shift lenses have extra large image circles which are not - nor should be - built into their conventional lenses.

Hence, tilting the sensor, rather than the image circle, would be a better option with current lenses.

All it calls for is a sharper lens (the central portion of the image cirlce, anyway), not a larger image circle.




  
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Quad
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Oct 23, 2010 17:54 |  #18

DaveG wrote in post #11151938 (external link)
This would work (probably) on a 1.6 camera but the image circle from a regular Canon lens is likely to be too small to cover much movement with a full frame DSLR. The Canon, and other tilt shift lenses have extra large image circles which are not - nor should be - built into their conventional lenses.

Not to mention loss of infinity focus.

But you could use something like this: http://www.zoerk.com/p​ages/p_pshift.htm (external link) with a medium format lens.




  
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Shadowblade
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Oct 23, 2010 17:55 |  #19

Quad wrote in post #11151973 (external link)
Not to mention loss of infinity focus.

You wouldn't lose infinity focus if you put optical elements into the adaptor to correct for it.




  
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Quad
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Oct 23, 2010 18:22 |  #20

Shadowblade wrote in post #11151979 (external link)
You wouldn't lose infinity focus if you put optical elements into the adaptor to correct for it.

True but you may end up with a teleconverter as well (like Hasselblad's device and that gives the extra coverage) and you have a good chance to lose some optical quality. At least you are not likely to gain any quality.




  
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Shadowblade
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Oct 23, 2010 19:14 |  #21

Quad wrote in post #11152119 (external link)
True but you may end up with a teleconverter as well (like Hasselblad's device and that gives the extra coverage) and you have a good chance to lose some optical quality. At least you are not likely to gain any quality.

Yeah, exactly - hence, I suggested tilting the sensor, just like view cameras do!




  
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jetcode
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Oct 24, 2010 10:36 |  #22
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Shadowblade wrote in post #11117143 (external link)
As for DOF, I'd say large format actually has significant *disadvantages* for landscape work, in that you need to stop down to f/45 or even narrower for adequate DOF.

Pretty much depends on the lens focal length doesn't it? The relationships in DOF are the same in all formats. Long lenses need to be stopped down more than short lenses do to achieve the same DOF. I rarely if ever use f/45 and mostly because of the use of short to normal lenses. Rarely do I shoot a long lens and demand DOF from 2' to infinity.




  
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Wilt
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Oct 24, 2010 14:03 |  #23

mltn wrote in post #11113577 (external link)
I'm wondering how many people here with a TS lens have also used a 4x5 or larger camera?...I'm curious to hear a comparison of the tilt and shift to that of a camera with a bellows system.

A T&S lens can do tilt on ONE axis at a time, while a proper Large Format camera does not have that limitation. Tilt affects vertical movement, Swing affects horizontal movement. By affecting both, you can do things not possible with single axis control. Here are some very old examples shot on Polaroid from a workshop on LF movements, camera was only about 3-5' away so DOF is inherently shallow even when stopped down...

With no swing or tilt:

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/tiltswivelneutral.jpg

With both 6 degree swing and 6 degree tilt of the front standard:
IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/tiltswivelcorrection.jpg

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Hoppy1
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Oct 24, 2010 21:39 |  #24

T&S lenses on DSLRs are not very popular mainly because they're not needed. There's generally no shortage of depth of field and converging verticals etc can be easily corrected in post processing - just the reverse of the position with large format film cameras. You can't get the same DoF effects by tilting the sensor - you need to tilt the lens, and that demands a large image circle.

That new LensBaby adapter is cool, but only works with full frame Nikon lenses (for aperture control) on Micro 4/3rds cameras (much smaller format and short back focus).

I wonder if we might see a revival of interest in T&S lenses using the reverse Scheimpflug technique to create very shallow DoF while creatively swivelling the plane of sharp focus. Those 'model like' landscapes and cityscapes is one application, but I've also seen some very effective portraits and still life/table top work done in this way.


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Shadowblade
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Oct 25, 2010 00:36 |  #25

Wilt wrote in post #11156049 (external link)
A T&S lens can do tilt on ONE axis at a time, while a proper Large Format camera does not have that limitation. Tilt affects vertical movement, Swing affects horizontal movement. By affecting both, you can do things not possible with single axis control. Here are some very old examples shot on Polaroid from a workshop on LF movements, camera was only about 3-5' away so DOF is inherently shallow even when stopped down...

With no swing or tilt:
QUOTED IMAGE

With both 6 degree swing and 6 degree tilt of the front standard:
QUOTED IMAGE

Not quite.

The newer TS-E lenses are able to tilt in any single direction. Yes, it is a single axis, but that axis can be pointed in any direction. For example, tilting at a 45 degrees down-right angle (45 degrees direction, not magnitude) using a TS-E lens is the equivalent of using a view camera to tilt down, then swing to the right. One movement, but accomplishing the same thing as two movements on the view camera, since the direction of that movement is more controllable.

The older lenses (TS-E 24 Mk I, TS-E 45, TS-E 90) are limited to tilting in one direction only.




  
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Shadowblade
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Oct 25, 2010 00:47 |  #26

Hoppy1 wrote in post #11158251 (external link)
T&S lenses on DSLRs are not very popular mainly because they're not needed. There's generally no shortage of depth of field and converging verticals etc can be easily corrected in post processing - just the reverse of the position with large format film cameras. You can't get the same DoF effects by tilting the sensor - you need to tilt the lens, and that demands a large image circle.

Tilting the sensor gives you the same DOF effects as tilting the lens - you're basically changing the way the plane of focus intersects with the sensor plane, and you can do that by either moving the plane of focus (adjusting the lens) or by moving the sensor plane. Same with shift - you can either move the image circle (adjusting the lens) or you can move the sensor within the static image circle.

No shortage of DOF? There's *always* a shortage of DOF if you're shooting landscapes - generally there's something in the foreground you want to keep in sharp focus, but you also want the rest of the scene in sharp focus. If you stop down to f/16 to achieve this, you're running into diffraction limits. If you can shoot at f/8, you're much better off.

Converging verticals can be corrected in postprocessing, but this sacrifices both IQ (since you're interpolating the missing pixels) and width (since stretching the pixels to correct the verticals is essentially cropping off part of the photo and magnifying the rest to fill the gap).

I wonder if we might see a revival of interest in T&S lenses using the reverse Scheimpflug technique to create very shallow DoF while creatively swivelling the plane of sharp focus. Those 'model like' landscapes and cityscapes is one application, but I've also seen some very effective portraits and still life/table top work done in this way.

I've seen very effective use of a TS-E 24 with 1.4x TC for group photos, which aren't just the normal, boring row of people standing square in front of the camera. Using the tilt movement, the line of people needn't be square to the camera - you can arrange the crowd along more pleasing diagonal lines, etc., maintaining a shallow depth of field and background blur, while keeping everyone in sharp focus. Using a combination of tilt and shift, you can stand above people's heads for a group shot in depth, keeping everyone in focus using tilt, and using the shift movement to avoid the perspective distortion which would result from aiming the camera down at the crowd, like a regular lens.

I wouldn't mind seeing a TS-E 40 f/2.8L being developed just for group portraiture, for these reasons.




  
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Hoppy1
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Oct 25, 2010 06:29 |  #27

Good points SB, but I'm not sure it adds up to a very compelling argument. Plus the very shallow depth of focus you get with shorter focal lengths, and the physical/mechanical restrictions of the short back focus distance, make T&S lenses more of a luxury for DSLRs than the necessity they are for large format cameras.

Shadowblade wrote in post #11159162 (external link)
Tilting the sensor gives you the same DOF effects as tilting the lens - you're basically changing the way the plane of focus intersects with the sensor plane, and you can do that by either moving the plane of focus (adjusting the lens) or by moving the sensor plane. Same with shift - you can either move the image circle (adjusting the lens) or you can move the sensor within the static image circle.

For DoF effects, you need to tilt the lens relative to the subject plane, so you always need a larger image circle and therefore a specific lens designed for that. It therefore makes sense to put the necessary movements in the lens.

No shortage of DOF? There's *always* a shortage of DOF if you're shooting landscapes - generally there's something in the foreground you want to keep in sharp focus, but you also want the rest of the scene in sharp focus. If you stop down to f/16 to achieve this, you're running into diffraction limits. If you can shoot at f/8, you're much better off.

With 24mm on full frame, at f/11 DoF extends from 3ft to infinity. That's enough for most folks. At f/16 it's from 2ft. Diffraction is bearable at f/16 I think, compared to the potential loss of sharpness by using the very edge of a T&S lens' image circle, not to mention the vignetting they suffer.

Sure a T&S lens is a nice option to have, even at £1000, but given the choice, I would generally rather shoot landscapes with my 17-40L - easier to use and zoom flexibility.

Converging verticals can be corrected in postprocessing, but this sacrifices both IQ (since you're interpolating the missing pixels) and width (since stretching the pixels to correct the verticals is essentially cropping off part of the photo and magnifying the rest to fill the gap).

For the level of correction available on a T&S lens, the reduction in image quality by correcting in post is effectively invisible. Not to mention the downsides of T&S image quality mentioned above. And with the PP option, you can go much further than any lens can, if you want to.

I've seen very effective use of a TS-E 24 with 1.4x TC for group photos, which aren't just the normal, boring row of people standing square in front of the camera. Using the tilt movement, the line of people needn't be square to the camera - you can arrange the crowd along more pleasing diagonal lines, etc., maintaining a shallow depth of field and background blur, while keeping everyone in sharp focus. Using a combination of tilt and shift, you can stand above people's heads for a group shot in depth, keeping everyone in focus using tilt, and using the shift movement to avoid the perspective distortion which would result from aiming the camera down at the crowd, like a regular lens.

I wouldn't mind seeing a TS-E 40 f/2.8L being developed just for group portraiture, for these reasons.

You mean a higher quality L version of the current 45 2.8? That would be nice, but the price would make the appeal even more specialist.


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jetcode
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Oct 25, 2010 06:40 |  #28
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As I recollect there are few lenses in LF that can handle large movements and this typically becomes a limiting factor before the camera. Also with LF you can tilt and shift the film plane as well as the lens plane. Another great reason LF succeeds in landscape and architecture.




  
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Shadowblade
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Oct 25, 2010 06:45 |  #29

Hoppy1 wrote in post #11159899 (external link)
Good points SB, but I'm not sure it adds up to a very compelling argument. Plus the very shallow depth of focus you get with shorter focal lengths, and the physical/mechanical restrictions of the short back focus distance, make T&S lenses more of a luxury for DSLRs than the necessity they are for large format cameras.



For DoF effects, you need to tilt the lens relative to the subject plane, so you always need a larger image circle and therefore a specific lens designed for that. It therefore makes sense to put the necessary movements in the lens.

Not necessarily. You can either tilt the lens relative to the subject plane (thereby producing a plane of focus in the projected image which is tilted such that it is no longer parallel to the sensor) or you can tilt the sensor relative to the lens, so that the plane of the sensor is no long parallel to the plane of focus in the image projected by the lens. Two different methods to the same outcome.

With 24mm on full frame, at f/11 DoF extends from 3ft to infinity. That's enough for most folks. At f/16 it's from 2ft. Diffraction is bearable at f/16 I think, compared to the potential loss of sharpness by using the very edge of a T&S lens' image circle, not to mention the vignetting they suffer.

Using the tilt function, you're not using the very edge of the lens' image circle - you only use that with the shift function.

3 feet to infinity implies an acceptable 'blob' size of 0.03mm - these days, I'd hardly qualify that as sharp. 0.012mm or so is probably a better limit, for a razor-sharp print.

In any case, many objects still look pretty small at 3 feet through a 24mm lens. Ever wished you could get an interesting flower/mushroom/pebble in the foreground, with the landscape in sharp focus all the way to infinity? You can do that with tilt-shift lenses. You can't without.

Sure a T&S lens is a nice option to have, even at £1000, but given the choice, I would generally rather shoot landscapes with my 17-40L - easier to use and zoom flexibility.

I'm just waiting for the day someone comes up with a TS-E 16-35 f/2.8L with a non-bulging front element. Even better if it has AF. No problem if it has a smaller image circle than current TS-Es and can't shift very much - as long as the tilt function is there.

Or, better yet, you could do exactly the same thing with the current 16-35, if they just added a tiltable sensor...

For the level of correction available on a T&S lens, the reduction in image quality by correcting in post is effectively invisible. Not to mention the downsides of T&S image quality mentioned above. And with the PP option, you can go much further than any lens can, if you want to.

You can go quite far with the TS-E lens already. Any more than that usually ends up being unrealistic (like how most view cameras have more tilt/swing/shift than you would ever actually use).

You mean a higher quality L version of the current 45 2.8? That would be nice, but the price would make the appeal even more specialist.

That, or a little wider. Remakes of the 45mm and 90mm TS-E lenses would be welcome, especially the ability to adjust the direction of tilt and shift independently.




  
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Shadowblade
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Oct 25, 2010 06:48 |  #30

jetcode wrote in post #11159929 (external link)
As I recollect there are few lenses in LF that can handle large movements and this typically becomes a limiting factor before the camera. Also with LF you can tilt and shift the film plane as well as the lens plane. Another great reason LF succeeds in landscape and architecture.

For most purposes you don't need a huge degree of tilt anyway; also, you don't need a large image circle to handle tilt, if you tilt the film plane instead of the lens. Shift is a different story, though.

Yes, you can move the film plane as well as the lens plane; for most purposes, though, moving one is as good as moving the other.




  
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Tilt/shift lens vs. View camera
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