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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 16 Dec 2010 (Thursday) 13:54
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I don't understand tilt-shift lens

 
AtMostFear
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Dec 16, 2010 13:54 |  #1

After watching this video (external link) , I still don't understand what tilt shift lens does other than having less distortion and being able to produce the 'miniature' effect.

Instead of shifting the tilt shift lens 1inch upward, can't you just use a normal lens and move the whole camera up by 1 inch? and instead of tilting it by a certain degree, can't you just tilt the whole camera to get the same composition?

Can anyone give a better analogy on how the tilt shift is different than a normal lens?


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gasrocks
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Dec 16, 2010 13:56 |  #2

Do a Google search. There are many good explanations of T/S out there. Video to be avoided, in general. I think Outback Photography had one of the best ones.


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FlyingPhotog
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Dec 16, 2010 13:57 |  #3

It's primary intended use is to allow you to keep the "film" plane parallel to your subject so you can avoid converging lines (buildings falling over backwards or falling in towards you) when shooting architecture.


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themadman
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Dec 16, 2010 13:59 |  #4

It doesn't work that way, why don't you go outside and see if you can just "move your camera up" an inch and see if you can have correct lines?

Also about tilt, you can't just aim the camera up, then you change what you are looking at...


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gasrocks
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Dec 16, 2010 14:01 |  #5

I mostly use tilt in the macro world where you never have enough DOF. With tilt I can put the DOF I do have where I want it. Putting it where it should not be also makes for "cool" portraits.


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monst0r
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Dec 16, 2010 14:01 |  #6

Look into ray tracing and how it works, then you'll see why tilt-shift lenses have their place.


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themadman
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Dec 16, 2010 14:03 |  #7

By ray tracing I am assuming you are not talking about CG?


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gasrocks
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Dec 16, 2010 14:04 |  #8

Are we really helping the OP understand anything? Abbreviations can be confusing.


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big_g
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Dec 16, 2010 14:07 as a reply to  @ themadman's post |  #9

It moves the focus plane relative to the sensor. Moving the camera keeps the focus plane and the sensor aligned. You just look at something else

A weird technique called "free lensing" uses the same principle but you remove the lens from the camera and move it around to shift the focus plane. The results are unpredictable I guess but I have seen some interesting shots doing this


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monst0r
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Dec 16, 2010 14:11 |  #10

themadman wrote in post #11464071 (external link)
By ray tracing I am assuming you are not talking about CG?

Nope just plain old ray tracing through a basic mirror or if you want a lens. It doesn't have to apply to CG, light works the same way [obviously that's what the CG is mimicking]. The effect of the tilt and shift will move the plane of focus wherever you want [which was iterated a few times already in this thread].


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Erik ­ S. ­ Klein
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Dec 16, 2010 14:40 |  #11

AtMostFear wrote in post #11464018 (external link)
After watching this video (external link) , I still don't understand what tilt shift lens does other than having less distortion and being able to produce the 'miniature' effect.

Instead of shifting the tilt shift lens 1inch upward, can't you just use a normal lens and move the whole camera up by 1 inch? and instead of tilting it by a certain degree, can't you just tilt the whole camera to get the same composition?

Can anyone give a better analogy on how the tilt shift is different than a normal lens?

I think of it this way:

A lens has a focal plane. With a normal lens this is perpendicular to the lens at some fixed distance.

So if you have a typical lens focused on a point 100 feet from you then you can think of a wall of focus at that distance. Everything closer is out of focus, everything further is out of focus. But that wall is always exactly perpendicular. (This oversimplifies it, but works for my brain. :))

With a TS lens you can alter that focal plane to be something other than a perpendicular wall. You can "shift" the focus to a different angle. So now the wall doesn't have to be flat in front of you, it can be at an angle in front of you with everything along that wall in focus.

The same effect can alter the vertical dimension via "tilt" changes.


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WhyFi
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Dec 16, 2010 14:48 |  #12

^^^ actually, the plane of focus is normally parallel to the sensor plane, not perpendicular to it and the shift function doesn't change that - the tilt function does.

Edit - ah, you said, "to the lens." Yes, that is correct, but I think that it's more helpful to think of it in reference to the sensor plane, not the lens. Your descriptions of the tilt and shift functions are still incorrect, though.


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richardfox
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Dec 16, 2010 14:48 |  #13

FlyingPhotog wrote in post #11464036 (external link)
It's primary intended use is to allow you to keep the "film" plane parallel to your subject so you can avoid converging lines (buildings falling over backwards or falling in towards you) when shooting architecture.

Best answer so far, and correct to boot! ;)


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jetcode
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Dec 16, 2010 14:56 |  #14

I recommend renting or borrowing a 4x5 camera and obtaining one of the many books that discuss LF techniques and see it for your self. The Scheimpflug is a great tool for increasing DOF in a scene. Literally you are bending the lens plane (against the film plane) to the scene; i.e. moving the lens closer to infinity for far field and closer to point of origin for close field. Shifts are best when you can't move or there are restrictions and you are looking for perfect parallel placement such as architecture.




  
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Dec 16, 2010 15:01 as a reply to  @ richardfox's post |  #15

I find this (external link) video helped me understand a lot more about tilt/shift lenses.


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I don't understand tilt-shift lens
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