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Tilt shift idea for new digital cameras


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I was just reading about the Sony RX100 II, intrigued as usual about new gear that comes out. And this piece sounds very nice- Zeiss lens, compact, portrable, etc. And like Jeff, I was wondering how the function and quality compared to the Canon 7D. Then a thought came to me, maybe I'm not the first to think of this, but why can't designers of the new generation of digitals build in a tilt/shift feature on or in front of the sensor?  That is, rather than buying specialized tilt/shift lenses at great expense, how difficult would it be create some optical, interior component in between the sensor and the lens, that could create the effect of a tilt shift?  Or am I dreaming unrealistically :)

 

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In theory the sensor itself can be tilted. Only Pentax offer a 1.5mm shift function on their DSLRs, using the stabilisation carriage. No-one offers tilt. It would require a very clean 'return to zero' as aligning sensors parallel to the lens is hard enough with rigid mountings (using three screws to control focus collimation, pitch and yaw). No optical component needed, just a tilting sensor.

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You can get a bit of a tilt/shift effect by holding the camera high above your head and using the tilting screen to compose. I sometimes do this with my Sony NEX. I assume that the RX 100 II has a similar screen mechanism to that of the NEX cameras. This only works with horizontals of course, and it's nothing like the real thing.

 

This is somewhat off-topic (sorry). Minolta made a nifty little 35mm tilt/shift manual focus lens (MC or MD). Has anyone tried one of these with the NEX system? I've looked around for one, but they are very hard to find. I think Pentax made one as well (?).

Edited by John Mitchell
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In the latest Cameracraft magazine DK suggests that T/S on digital cameras may be somewhat redundant with the capability of image editing software such as PS, LR and their addins to achieve similar results in post-production.

 

I am intending to get a T2 adapter so I can use  my 35mm Arsat T/S lens (Ukrainian copy of an old Nikon  PC lens?) on my Fuji X-E1 for a bit of fun. Downside is that it has 50mm equivalent field of view.

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In the latest Cameracraft magazine DK suggests that T/S on digital cameras may be somewhat redundant with the capability of image editing software such as PS, LR and their addins to achieve similar results in post-production.

 

I am intending to get a T2 adapter so I can use  my 35mm Arsat T/S lens (Ukrainian copy of an old Nikon  PC lens?) on my Fuji X-E1 for a bit of fun. Downside is that it has 50mm equivalent field of view.

 

Yes, it probably makes more sense to do it digitally. I sometimes compose leaving a lot of extra space around buildings, etc. if I think that I'll be correcting the verticals later on. This allows for scaling and cropping.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I have bought an 80mm Hartblei T/S but only because I found one at half the normal going price. I previously had an Arsat 80mm on two different adaptors - one for shift, one for tilt, swapped as needed. This lens is for a specific use in the studio mostly, which software correction does not do all that well (as shown in Cameracraft).

 

In the field, there's often no tilt-shift lens made which will do what I want to do - such using multiple 24mm shots to stitch a vertical pan like this (the building is not parallel, it leans outwards - front angled).

 

D8TH9K.jpg

 

I'm using multi shot techniques, often hand-held, to make 100-200MB images more often now. I use the spirit level in the EVF of the Alpha 99 to align shots very rapidly without using a tripod.

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Yes, it probably makes more sense to do it digitally. I sometimes compose leaving a lot of extra space around buildings, etc. if I think that I'll be correcting the verticals later on. This allows for scaling and cropping.

Can you not just increase the canvas size then correct the verticals?  That's what I do, or am I missing something?

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Yes, it probably makes more sense to do it digitally. I sometimes compose leaving a lot of extra space around buildings, etc. if I think that I'll be correcting the verticals later on. This allows for scaling and cropping.

Can you not just increase the canvas size then correct the verticals?  That's what I do, or am I missing something?

 

I haven't tried that, so it is probably I who is missing something.

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The best thing I like about Tilt/shift lenses is that you can Tilt and Shift the plane of focus so that it lies over the parts that you want to look sharp and the bonus of boosted depth of field even with wide open aperture's.

 

This shot was taken with a 24mm Nikkor PC-E lens on a D7000 body.

D0DEB2.jpg

 

Parm

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I think we'll see T/S functions built in digitally, somehow, someday. I can imagine lenses designed with much larger image circles than 35mm, allowing for selective shifting on the sensor. And maybe lenses could be programmed to autofocus and re-autofocus selectively across a scene in a single frame- a quick, sweeping motion. Or maybe the sensor itself can be  3D, accepting light at different distances according to areas in focus. I'm sure  digital T/S technology will happen and it will amaze us.

 

Thanks for posting that photo, Parm, Nice.

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Before I abandoned film, I used a Mamiya 645 and had a 50mm shift lens for it. I sold all the other gear but kept the shift lens. I haven't used it much but it has come in very useful on a number of occasions. It is especially good for stitching panoramas. Shift it off centre one way then flip it round the other without having to move the camera at all. The images stitch together perfectly and easily as they are in effect parts of the same image. 

 

It's hardly a wide-angle, but using the above technique gets much wider pix than a single exposure.

 

I had to cobble together an adapter from an old Nikon extension tube and a redundant Mamiya 2x converter, and it's only manual of course, but I'm glad I hung onto it.

Edited by Phil Robinson
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I updated from LR4 to LR5 mainly for the perspective-control feature; I see myself as being stuck here in the city, so dealing with cramped quarters and tall buildings is a fact of life. But distortion, often deliberate distortion, has become commonplace with the viewing public. (A lot of shooters use a super-wide lenses on routine subjects, a look I'm bored with.) 

 

Long ago (Do I say "long ago" in all my posts? :rolleyes: ) I owned a Nikon 28mm PC lens and before that a 4X5" view camera. Neither of these were very useful in 95% of my work. These days the LR5 feature is there if I need it. It works very well, I think. 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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